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Columns

07/29/2016
In my house, our spare room is a library. While it may be counterproductive to having extended-stay guests, it works for us. Shelves line the three walls that are not taken up by a large sliding glass door, and on those shelves are books with topics...
07/28/2016
Mariuntaye Buggs has the right attitude in life. The 14-year-old Grambling resident, who goes by “Taye,” said the key to a successful life is never giving up. “You won’t get anywhere in life if you give up,” he said confidently. “That’s just the way...
07/27/2016
For more than 40 years, I’ve listened to police scanners 24/7, 365 days a year. It’s a practice I picked up from my Great Aunt Betty. Aunt Betty lived alone in a second story apartment in an older section of Shreveport. The voices coming from the...
07/25/2016
Editor’s note: Years ago, we had to have our Sheltie dog put down. Smartest dog I’ve ever seen. Old Miles. May you rest in peace in doggie heaven. My oldest son Brian named our new Sheltie after the jazz great Miles Davis. It’s an odd name for a...
07/23/2016
 Sometimes the best part of being a writer is living vicariously through others. That’s exactly what happened to me Friday afternoon as I interviewed Ruston’s Scott Pumphrey about his recent journey to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa. While I...
07/23/2016
We declared our independence 240 years ago. Many now ask, “What are we coming to?” Maybe the question is “What have we become?” Either is logically followed by a simple “Why?” Perhaps I can offer my meager attempt at an answer. I really wanted to...
07/23/2016
On Aug. 5, the 2016 Summer Olympics begin in Rio de Janeiro. One of the most compelling events is the marathon, a 26.2-mile endurance contest with roots dating back to ancient Greece. It may be that we’ve kept our interest in the marathon because it...
07/23/2016
Keep tax costs top-of-mind Investors need to consider many factors in the process of choosing investments. One at the top of the list is an investment’s tax cost. In fact, for some individuals, this issue may be among the more influential factors...
07/23/2016
Question: I get zero attention from my broker. I know my account is not his biggest, but I always have to call him to suggest changes, and that’s if I can get him on the phone. Isn’t he supposed to be advising me, not the other way around? Answer:...
07/23/2016
In 1987, Mickey Slaughter was inducted into the Louisiana Tech University Athletic Hall of Fame. Three years later, son Bobby Slaughter led all NCAA players in receptions and was chosen as an All-American, capping off one of the most productive...
07/23/2016
It was one year ago that an event was held in north Louisiana that had folks excited and turned lots of heads. The inaugural banquet of an organization was held that outdoors people still talk about. It was the initial gathering of a new...
07/23/2016
It began as a date night with my wife, and ended with a substantial purchase at Lowe’s Home Improvement. Please allow me to explain. Over the past few months, my wife and I have discussed expanding our patio space by adding to our covered porch....
07/22/2016
Something I learned a long time ago is that you have to find those small moments in life where everything seems to quiet and the only thing that really matters is whatever you are focused on at that moment. I had a lot of those moments in the...
07/21/2016
Notice the title of my column — “Amaya a city boy?” The title plays on my last name and my New Orleans roots. In correct grammar, my title asks if I really am a city boy. When I moved to Ruston in 2010, Ruston’s culture shook me to the core. I...
07/20/2016
Who would have ever thought? Bars and restaurants that serve alcohol in Ruston staying open until 2 a.m.? Heck, not too many years ago, who would have ever thought of bars and restaurants that serve alcohol being in Ruston at all? The city was “dry...
07/16/2016
Sometimes big things come in small packages. I think that will be shown in a couple of weeks, as the documentary “Gleason” hits theaters nationwide July 29. And it’s a documentary that hits home especially hard for me. It’s not a big-budget,...
07/16/2016
Salute, pray for and thank them. They are courageous.  They are not totally fearless, although nearly so. They are only human, not superhuman, but they are superior.  Regardless of their specific religious persuasion or beliefs, they exemplify...
07/16/2016
Today, women are playing an ever-increasing role in making important financial decisions — whether for themselves or for their families. While many of the basic rules of investing hold true for all investors, some life events affect women...
07/16/2016
Question: I hired a financial planner to do a plan for me several years ago. I got a nice boiler plate book I did not understand with a lot of recommendations for me to do. I’ve done some of them, ignored others and changed my mind on several things...
07/16/2016
“Regrets? I’ve had a few.” — Frank Sinatra. Mr. Sinatra, one of the most famous entertainers of the 20th century, did things his way, but he was also familiar with remorse. He’s not alone, of course. We all deal with regrets — and financial ones...