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April 22nd, 2009

Legislature needs to know deal's details

It would be smart to let Theriot know what’s going on. Lawmakers in Baton Rouge hold the key to the approval of the $50 million plan with California-based Foster Farms, and there is some understandable skepticism about the deal. Theriot’s oversight will go a long way.
It should be noted that changes to the law governing the state’s economic development fund are required before that deal can even go through.

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April 21st

Grambling calls crisis meeting

Wednesday, Mayor Martha Andrus held a special-called meeting at city hall, where she addressed residents’ concerns over the murky state of the city’s finances. During that meeting, Andrus angered city council members by passing out a budget prepared by an accounting firm not approved by them and not worked on by Mabry.
She also passed out bank statements of the city’s primary bank accounts during that meeting. The statement for the city’s main general fund account said it contained $113,129.08 as of March 31.

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Bradshaw promoting Tech

“I’m at a Tom Thumb supermarket store in Gainesville, Texas, the other day when this lady, probably in her 70s, came up to me and started talking about Tech,” Bradshaw said Monday during a press conference held in conjunction with the golf tournament being hosted by him and country and western musician Kix Brooks at the Squire Creek course in Choudrant. “She wanted to know what I thought about the football team’s chances next season and how things are going with everything happening at Tech.

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A large effort for little lives

I wasn’t the only preemie born that day at West Jefferson Hospital in the New Orleans suburb of Marrero. My mother was only seven months pregnant when I was born during an emergency C-section that day. My parents met another couple, the wife being eight months pregnant, when their son was born the same afternoon I was. That premature child didn’t survive.
Like I said, I was one of the lucky ones.

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Groups’ green efforts united

“We need trees for oxygen,” fifth-grader Rachel Brown said. “And people are cutting down trees, so we’re losing oxygen.”
Throughout the year, students work in the courtyard garden, planting flowers and peanuts or building strawberry beds to grow fruit for local nursing home residents. Herbs grown by the students are being sold at the Townsend House to benefit the Domestic Abuse Resistance Team.
Seated under the courtyard gazebo on Friday, fourth-grader Ricky Parker reflected on his other experiences in the school garden this year.

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Get serious about Sparta

The depleting Sparta aquifer provides potable water to residents in 16 parishes across north Louisiana. Locally, we rely 100 percent on the Sparta for our water.
It’s our responsibility to use only what we need year-round, but especially during the summer months. We can’t afford to waste one drop of our precious Sparta water. Once it’s gone, our community will be in dire straits.

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April 20th

City’s bank account comes up short

Jones said those figures concerned him, Mabry and Stringfellow because he said there was more than $500,000 in the account when they last checked. When they went to Regions Bank in Ruston on Friday morning to check on the account, Jones, Mabry and Stringfellow learned it was actually $3,200 overdrawn.
“We tried to meet with the manager of Regions Bank on Thursday, but he was tied up in meetings all day,” Jones said. “But he got on it first thing Friday and called Ms. Stringfellow to tell us that the account was $3,200 overdrawn.”

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Tech sweeps Fresno State

Nobody, probably least of which was Fresno State, saw this sweep coming.
Tech entered the weekend series in last place for the seven-school league and FSU (18-20, 2-6) was favored in most circles to at least break even before heading back home.
It didn’t happen.
Now, Tech is suddenly back in business and setting the foundation for what coach Wade Simoneaux and his team hope can be a major momentum boost for the remainder of the season.
“Before we played Northwestern State, we told each other that we were going to turn our season around,” Simoneaux said.

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Economic fund tapped for wider use

Peterson, D-New Orleans, was talking recently about Jindal’s plans to use $50 million in mega-fund money to cover half the Pilgrim’s Pride plant’s $80 million sale price to California-based Foster Farms, along with another $10 million for improvements to the plant site.
Foster Farms will take over the plant in Farmerville and keep it running, a move that could save up to 1,300 jobs and the farms of an estimated 300 chicken growers.
Jindal said it was absolutely critical for the state to try to keep the plant running. “You’re talking about the most significant employer in that region.”

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Tech’s impact estimated at $462.5M

The study also shows Tech’s impact on jobs — 4,745 statewide non-university jobs and 4,553 in its focus area from Ouachita Parish west to the Texas border. Almost $450 million of Tech’s impact occurs in that focus area.
ULS President Randy Moffett commissioned the studies at system universities in summer 2008. After months of information gathering and data analyses, an impact of nearly 8-1 for every dollar spent at the system level came to light. The studies show the system’s impact at $3.4 billion statewide annually.

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