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January 17th, 2015

Do not fear a healthy New Year

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Anyone who is a regular reader of my column — or who actually sees me on a semi-regular basis — is aware that I lost a significant amount of weight in 2014.
Unfortunately, it’s an almost daily battle between my pragmatism that reminds me that I’m nowhere near done and my optimism that reminds me I’ve done an amazing thing. In 2008, I gained the weight that finally put me at my heaviest, and every January after that I vowed to lose at least that weight again.

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Extra day of training will help teachers

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Thousands of people recently flooded Memphis as Graceland rolled out the red carpet to mark what would have been Elvis’ 80th birthday. Reports shared that many in attendance had been planning for the day since before the previous birthday celebration last January — it was that important to them. Now there are many that are already planning the trek to Graceland for what promises to be a big blowout for the 40th Anniversary of his death even though it won’t take place until August 2017. Planning just seems to be a part of the process when things are significant and really matter to you.

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Criminals being outsmarted

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More medicine?

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Choudrant High: Students excel in 4-H, FFA, academics, drama

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CHS 4H
On Nov. 17 the CHS 4-H club went to the OWL center to have a day of team building. The OWL center, run by the Methodist Children’s Home, has a high ropes course, which gives participants an opportunity to work as a team and face their fears.

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D’Arbonne Woods Charter: STEM classes learn about forensics in the military

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The D’Arbonne Woods Charter School 21st CCLC program sponsored a guest speaker, Dr. John Lewis, of Mississippi, for our high school STEM students on Jan. 9.
Lewis is a retired Navy dentist. He practiced general dentistry and forensic dentistry during his Navy career.
After retirement, he went into education and taught high school Navy JROTC before going to the Mississippi State Department of Education where he currently serves as the JROTC Bureau Director. He also currently serves as the forensic dentistry consultant to the Mississippi State Medical Examiner’s Office.

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Income strategies for retirement

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Will I have enough money in retirement? It’s a question more and more Americans are asking. Baby boomers in particular wonder if they’ll be able to live comfortably and securely when they leave the workaday world. The good news is that you may be able to retire with confidence and enough assets — if you get organized. That means thinking about what you want retirement to be, reviewing your current investments and benefits, and taking maximum advantage of some investment vehicles designed to provide retirement income. As with so many things, the key is to set clear goals and then pursue them.

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Kids in college? FASFA needs to be completed

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We’ve just begun the new year, but the next academic year is still months away.
Nonetheless, if you have a child who will be attending college in the fall, it’s not too soon to start thinking about what might be a vital component of paying for his or her higher education: financial aid.

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Don’t be the fattest chicken in the yard

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Question: I have been asked to be part of a group that will guarantee a loan for a business deal. I am naturally risk averse and signing such a deal makes me nervous. Yet I am only one among many in the deal and have plenty of other money. What am I not considering?
Answer: Whether or not you are ready to risk it all.
Look around at everyone else in this deal. Are they well-heeled and blessed with deep pockets? Or are they inviting you to the party because of your deep pockets?
If this deal goes south, do you know how much you are on the line for?

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Business Cheers: Erica Everding

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Erica Everding grew up in Ruston and graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in English. Along with selling real estate she is the CFO of her family run company AllTec Plumbing. She also, helps her family manage several rental units in Lincoln and Ouachita parish, giving her a unique perspective on investment properties in the area.
She enjoys working with buyers in all aspects of real estate, whether it be investors, first-time home buyer or land. Above all else she loves helping people find the perfect property to fit their needs.

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Business Cheers: Kenneth Sutton

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Kenneth Sutton is a native of Ruston and a graduate of Ruston High School and Louisiana Tech University. His background includes working at ExxonMobil in Dallas as a systems analyst and at R2 Productions and Premier1Studios in Monroe as a video editor. He has worked this past year at Heritage Realty Group in Ruston as a realtor.

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