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December 25th

Turning Brown Dense into green

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Discovery of oil, gas could spark ‘gold rush’ in Union Parish

Editor’s note: The following is the final of a three-part series looking into gas and oil exploration in the Lower Smackover Brown Dense rock formation under much of Union Parish. The series explains current exploration, what that exploration has already meant for the parish and what it could potentially mean in the future.
By T. Scott Boatright
Gazette staff writer
While frankincense and myrhh are known as traditional Christmas fragrances, it’s the potential smell of sweet and sour crude oil that has area landowners feeling like young children waiting for Santa Claus.

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The building blocks of an investment portfolio

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Opening a savings account with your local bank may provide an easy way to put money away for safekeeping, but the thought of doing more can be tempting.  While your money will earn a small rate of interest with a savings account, you may want to consider an “investing” program that can potentially earn more from the money you put away.  If investing is something that piques your interest, but you’re not quite sure where to begin, consider two of the most basic types of investments — stocks and bonds.

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Learn to avoid Christmas procrastination

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Question: I did it again and left all my Christmas shopping till the last minute. I went crazy this week. I must be nuts. Is everybody like me?
Answer: Retailers hope so. This may be the season to be jolly, but it can also be the season of folly. Financially speaking, that is.
Shopping procrastination usually leads to spending exaggeration.
We tell ourselves that we’re waiting for last minutes deals. And maybe we’ll find a few.
But along the way, we’ll get that cold feeling in the pit of our wallet that says the Big Day will wait no longer — ready or not, here it comes.

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It’s the time again for New Year’s financial resolutions

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Once again, it’s time to make some New Year’s resolutions. This year, in addition to hitting the gym, learning that second language and getting better organized, why not also consider a few financial resolutions? 
What types of resolutions might you consider? Here are a few suggestions:

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American Towing’s White receives ACE Award

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Trey White from American Towing, of Ruston, has received the prestigious American Towman ACE Award for achievement in service performance.
Recipients were nominated by the nation’s major motor clubs and dispatch centers, including: GEICO, National Automobile Club, National Motor Club and Nation Safe Drivers.

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Extend the holiday spirit into 2012

Today is a time when many across the parish are snuggled up in blankets inside their homes with family.
The majority are likely opening Christmas presents under a decorated tree or just enjoying spending time with those they love. Some will take this time to strengthen bonds with extended family, while others will reach beyond familial ties by going caroling or visiting nursing home residents.

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Share stories of the season

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Here “it” is. But what is “it” for you?
Is this a time that is panic-stricken or one of peace?
May I share a couple of thoughts.
One of the best gifts someone can receive is that of another’s time or presence. Don’t worry about spending a lot of money. Don’t worry about picking the right card.  Don’t worry about the beauty of the package. Let that friend or neighbor have a few minutes of your time.
This is especially important to some people who are sometimes overlooked or forgotten at this time of year. The group? It is those for whom this holiday is a reminder of a sad time.

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Online search reveals new treats

Resident creates dish for dog, cooking oil
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With the birth of the Internet and the rise of the number of homes having family computers there is no excuse for not having a recipe for a dish.
Or so that is Sue Martin’s philosophy.
“My mother was a dietician,” she said. “And I had an aunt who had her own cooking show on Channel 12. So I guess you could say that is why I truly love cooking — it’s my hobby. Nowadays there is no excuse for not having a recipe. You can go online and find any kind of recipe you can imagine. All you have to do is click.”
Online is where the recipe for Lolly Pups came from, she said.

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Visited by an angel — makes great Christmas story

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I have a need to make this special.
When again will I ever have an opportunity to write a column appearing on Christmas Day?
Let me begin by wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas — a blessed Christmas, to be more specific. I’ve had an amazing time leading up to this day, and I’d like to thank God, who gave us our first Christmas.
People my age are notoriously famous for repeating themselves, and I realize I fit squarely in the middle of that category — and ... I’m about to do it again.

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Tech gave solid effort against TCU

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Into the record books for future reference will be the final score of 31-24.
But those numbers don’t tell the real story of Louisiana Tech versus TCU in the 2011 edition of the San Diego County Poinsettia Bowl.
Sure, the Horned Frogs left southern California as the winner and garnered a seventh bowl victory for this decade.
But the Bulldogs came away with arguably more swagger and recognition than their regional neighbor.

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