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September 21st, 2010

Compost: Another way to go green

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It’s about that time of the year to dust off the rakes and begin cleaning up all the leaves that fall from our trees. As we drive around, we’ll see people burning and bagging tons of leaves and sticks from their yards. It wouldn’t take much effort at all to turn those leaves into nutrient-filled compost to use in our gardens and flower beds.
Compost can improve aeration of soil, root penetration and water infiltration. It can make clay soils easier to work and helps sandy soils retain more water. Plus it’s an environmentally sound practice in that it keeps the bags of leaves out of the landfill.
There are many different types of composters that can help you create this very valuable product. Of course there are composters that can be purchased from many home and garden centers. However, for the true do it yourself person there are those that you can create yourself. The simplest and most inexpensive thing you can do is just make a pile in your backyard. This works well enough if you don’t mind the appearance of an uncontained compost mound in your yard. Just find a good location and pile your yard waste in a mound about three feet by three feet by three feet. Then cover the pile with a layer of soil — it will keep moisture for the microorganisms and soil animals working to make compost.

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Court opens with reflection

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Last week your writer was privileged to have been part of a ceremony that affected not only my business, if you will, but our way of life here. The ceremony, sponsored by the Lincoln Parish Bar Association, took less than an hour, but it was reflective of the honor, capabilities and integrity of our profession here as well as the people we represent.
I thought I would share some of the joy with you my favorite readers. In the event that one is reading this for the first time, let me make a short reference to my job, or at least my “daytime” job: I am a lawyer. I am proud of that. Now from time to time in this column, I have poked a little fun at my profession; this has caused me to be criticized by some of my colleagues. I have also written some complimentary remarks about some of the courageous achievements and positions of other attorneys and judges, and for this, I have been criticized by some in the public. But all of this goes along with freedom of speech and freedom of the press. If one writes a word in public, he should be prepared to have a comment hurled back, and I can handle that. So, if this week’s views are too “nice” toward the legal profession and one takes umbrage at that, well, so be it.
Every court in this state, as do we here, has a “fall opening” of court. This traditionally takes place at the beginning of September during a regular court session. Here in Lincoln Parish, we have observed the opening of court at the time of the impaneling of the Grand Jury. Historically, this time of year has as part of its roots the fact that court used to be closed for the entirety of the summer. Kind of like the schools, the courtrooms did not have air conditioning, so business shut down.

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State lowers blood donation age to 16 years

Someone needs a blood transfusion every two seconds, America’s Blood Centers reports.
That someone could be you or a loved one. That’s why it’s important to give blood.
Recently, the state of Louisiana changed its criteria for blood donors, lowering the age from 17 to 16. Sixteen-year-old donors must have consent from a parent and valid identification, but a parent does not have to be present. Donors must also weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health.

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September 20th

Training to battle flames

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Volunteers to fight fires
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Things were heating up last week at the Lincoln Parish Fire Training Center as seven rookies were training to join the ranks of the Lincoln Parish volunteer firefighters.
Two other volunteers were training from the Grambling and Bernice departments.
So far recruits have learned how to use their protective equipment and put it on quickly. Lincoln Parish Fire Chief Dennis Ford said the National Fire Protection Association requires that firefighters be able to put on their protective gear in two minutes or less.

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Meth lab suspected

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Thirteen firearms reportedly uncovered

Three Lincoln Parish residents were arrested on drug and weapons charges Sunday morning.
Dayton Dale Howard, 46, of 799 Cardinal Hill Road in Dubach, Brandie Ann Jenson, 38, of 799 Cardinal Hill Road in Dubach and Willie Gene Lowery, 46, of 1303 Lewis St. in Ruston, were booked into the Lincoln Parish Detention Center on charges related to the illegal manufacture and possession of methamphetamine.
The arrests came after members of the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office and Ruston Police Department SWAT teams served a search warrant at 799 Cardinal Hill Road, where officers reportedly discovered 13 firearms, two of which were fully automatic. Officers also reportedly found assorted items and chemicals commonly used in the manufacture of methamphetamine along with several grams of processed methamphetamine.

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Galleries plan fall exhibitions

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Artworks focus on vocabulary, FBI, EPA raid
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David Wolske, an award-winning designer, typographer and artist, and A.W. Thompson, the director of the School of Communications at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, will share their works with the Louisiana Tech community in the coming weeks.
Both artists will have exhibits from Tuesday to Oct. 9 in Tech’s School of Art galleries. Wolske will give an artist lecture at 4 p.m. on the opening date in the galleries, which will be followed by a reception at 5 p.m. His exhibit, “Subverting Vernacular,” will be displayed in the Bellocq Gallery, and A.W. Thompson’s “Incendiary Iconography: the legacy of the Cold War in America” will be available for viewing in the Main Gallery.
Wolske is the creative director for the Book Arts Program and Red Butte Press at the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah.

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Pet of the Week

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Misty is a 7-month-old domestic short hair cat. She is one curious kitty that loves to play and climb. Her sweet personality and funny antics would make her a great addition to anyone looking to add a cat to their home. Misty’s adoption fee is $50. Call 251-DOGS for more information.

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Remember my name, remember my face

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Several times a year DART sends out various calls to the community. Sometimes we ask you for classic southern canned goods to feed our families. In the fall we ask you to support the Townsend House Annual Pumpkin Patch. At Christmas we ask for gifts for the children we serve, and at radiothon we ask you for cash.
Today, I’m asking you for photographs, photographs of the almost 30 murder victims who’ve lost their lives to family violence.
Every October, when DART’s five offices host their vigils, we read off the names of those women and children who died at the hands of those who loved them. We display our Silent Witness Project, life-sized silhouettes of the 23 women and four children from this area who are family violence victims. We also display the few photographs we have of our victims. Out of the 27 deceased whose names are read aloud in the “Remember my Name” segment of our vigils, we have only a handful of pictures. We’d like to be able to display photographs of all the women and children we honor.

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Chicken pageant presented

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Young women and little girls from around north Louisiana competed Saturday to be crowned queen in various divisions of the 2010 Chicken Festival Pageant in Dubach.
In eight divisions there were 41 contestants ranging in age from 1 to 18 years old. Each competitor brought something new to the stage to offer the judges.
The 2009 Miss Louisiana Chicken Festival Morgan Ledbetter was the emcee for the pageant.
Morgan was able to inform those who won about some of the duties they will have throughout the year, including “riding in parades and showing your support at Dubach events.”

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Parish teams face winless foes

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RHS, Grambling, Creek tackle 0-3 opponents
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Several things just might bode well for Lincoln Parish high school teams concerning their Friday night opponents.
There’s this fact: all of the teams facing local squads in week No. 4 of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association schedule have yet to win in three tries.
Plus, all have had their share of problems on defense, evidenced by each of the parish opponents having yielded no fewer than an average of 39 points per game.

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