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February 25th, 2017

Tech alumna publishes debut novel

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Julie Pennell, a Louisiana Tech University alumna, grew up in Shreveport where she ate her weight in crawfish, used the word “y’all” a lot, and wrote a weekly “Teen Scene” column for the local paper, according to her biography.
After graduating from Tech, she saw her future in New York City lights and packed up her bags and moved.
“I moved to New York City a couple of weeks after graduating from Tech,” she said. “I knew I wanted to work in magazines, and the city was the hub of all of that.”

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Tech holds winter commencement

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Saturday served as commencement for Louisiana Tech University’s 326 winter quarter graduates, and Ronny Walker, mayor of Ruston, served as the event’s keynote speaker.
Walker focused on three words to emphasize to the graduates: bold, believe and brave.

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Grambling to begin Safe Routes to School project

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After six years, Grambling residents will begin seeing the first stages of the Safe Routes to School project.
The project was authorized by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development to begin proceeding with non-infrastructure items on the list, said Mark Blake, director of Grambling Public Works.
The project’s purpose is to create safer passageways to Lincoln Preparatory School and Grambling State University’s campus throughout the city including on RWE Jones Drive and College Avenue.
New sidewalks will help local school children get to school safer.

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City seeks to boost cultural district

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Ruston is hoping to leverage its Louisiana cultural district designation to draw shoppers into the district and ultimately lure more out-of-town visitors.
Among other things, the cultural district designation means customers buying original artwork at shops located in the district pay no local sales tax and only 3 percent state sales tax.
“It’s using the arts as an economic driver to get people to your cultural district,” Jessica Slaughter, executive director of the North Central Louisiana Arts Council, said.

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Death into life: Local woman teaches children in slums of India

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When Amanda Rahn was 7 years old, her father died in an accident. For a while, she was angry with God.
“I was the only girl in my class who didn’t have a dad,” Rahn, now 29, said.
But as she got older, Rahn, who grew up in Ruston, realized her father’s death pushed her into what’s she’s doing now: teaching biblically-based moral values to schoolchildren from the slums of Mumbai, India.
“I don’t say the word ‘missionary.’ That is a target word at all costs,” Rahn said.
“I say we have no hidden agenda. Our agenda is we’re going to come into the schools and teach moral values.”

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Buddy Davis is a true writer, friend

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Last Sunday I described this man in terms insufficient to adequately describe his talents, character, honesty, proficiency and his unparalleled impact in our home.
Not identifying the subject, he was accurately described as unselfish and, quite simply, one of the best persons any of us could ever know. This applies to his friends. For that person not yet met, he would treat him/her with the same dignity and respect he accords others.
He genuinely loves people, and any stranger he will meet will not carry that label any longer.

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We must help to reach potential

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As a music lover, I’ve always gravitated more toward the melody or rhythm of a song before I ever really focus on the lyrics. However, every now and then lyrics can be so powerful that they actually manage to paint a picture for me. Such was the case when I heard the original Elvis recording of “In the Ghetto” in 1969.

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Laissez les bon temps rouler!

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Louisiana is a special, different kind of place.
New Orleans is a big part of that. There is quite no other place like in on our planet, and a big part of that lies in its signature holiday — Mardi Gras.

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Fiscal reform: Is anybody listening?

Possibly the best thing that came out of the recent special legislative session was that lawmakers didn’t come to literal fisticuffs in the aisles.
Nevertheless, seven hours before last Wednesday’s midnight adjournment deadline, opponents and proponents of dipping into Louisiana’s rainy day fund as a way to help eliminate a $304 million budget shortfall this fiscal year did reach a compromise.

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Women face financial challenges

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International Women’s Day, observed on March 8, celebrates the social, cultural and political achievements of women. Yet, women continue to face many challenges. For one thing, women still encounter gender-specific obstacles to their important financial goals, such as a comfortable retirement. If you’re a woman, what can you do to get past these barriers?
First of all, you need to recognize them. Here are a few to consider:

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