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Columns

12/16/2018
It’s a shame that the “most wonderful time of the year” can sometimes bring out the worst in people. The unrealistic expectations of trying to create the perfect Christmas can often turn the best of us into instant Grinches, lashing out at anyone in...
12/16/2018
As December winds to a close, you’ll probably see many reports and analyses of how the financial markets behaved this past year — and, of course, you should review your own investment portfolio’s performance. As in most years, you’ll likely see...
12/16/2018
Question: I have decided to buy a pretty large life insurance policy on myself so that if something happens to me my wife can keep raising the kids. She would have to forgo much of her career to raise our kids alone, so it wouldn’t be fair for her...
12/16/2018
Does this scenario sound familiar? • When the market is up, an investor feels good and buys stocks. • When the market is down, that same investor gets scared and sells. Although reacting like this may feel right at the time, the problem is this...
12/14/2018
The world we live in is highly connected by advanced technology. Information can be spread from one part of the world to another in a matter of seconds, and news comes to us constantly, whether we are searching for it or not. Unfortunately, the...
12/14/2018
**Television announcer voice** Previously, on “This Time Out:” I had been clean and sober for seven months when my Mom died. The day after her funeral, I was alone. Then for the next seven months, I wasn’t clean and sober any longer. Mom’s funeral...
12/13/2018
With Arbor Day scheduled for the third week in January, giving a tree at Christmas is the perfect gift for those on your list who enjoy their outdoor spaces. In addition, the best time to plant trees in Louisiana is from now until February. Before...
12/13/2018
In terms of meals, my mother spoiled my family when I was growing up. A week consisting of four or five home-cooked dinners was the norm, and I almost always liked what was put in front of me. However, because of my childish selfishness and the high...
12/12/2018
The timing could not have been worse. On Nov. 29 — a Thursday — Ruston’s Board of Aldermen voted to levy a new 1.75 percent sales tax on hotel stays and restaurant sales inside the city limits. Then on Dec. 4, the following Tuesday, the Lincoln...
12/12/2018
I’m trying not to take it personally. In my chorus’s upcoming Christmas production, I have been cast as Grumpy Aunt Sallie Rose. Actually, I was initially playing another role, but extenuating circumstances caused the reassignment of the Ms. Grumpy...
12/11/2018
Lincoln Parish possesses a well-deserved reputation as a community in which education is a top priority. Our commitment to education is a pillar of what has led to the academic and economic success of the community in which we live. Here, we have...
12/09/2018
Only weeks after an important national election, a Republican president known for reaching across the aisle died. Leaders from both parties paid tribute to his civility and bipartisanship, saying the country could use more of that. That was...
12/09/2018
Last week I stepped on Ebenezer Scrooge’s toes. We then discussed a very real phenomenon — concerning very special people — for whom holidays aren’t especially wonderful.       As many of us enjoy birthday celebrations, then refer to “Christmas” as...
12/08/2018
Question: My uncle has a lot of money but he is not a happy man. He’s always grumpy, he’s never at home and his kids don’t like him. All his big business buddies think he hung the moon, but they don’t really know him. Do people just get to the...
12/08/2018
Health care makes up roughly 18 percent of the U.S. economy and is expected to grow 5.6 percent annually through 2025. In fact, experts anticipate ongoing expansion in this sector no matter what happens with the broader economy — thanks at least in...
12/08/2018
As an investor, you will have access to accounts that are taxed differently from one another. And it’s possible you could benefit from tax diversification by owning accounts in these three categories:  Tax-deferred — Tax-deferred accounts include...
12/07/2018
Someone said once that I’d be a great candidate for elective office. Fueled by a hundred forms of insecurity, my first reaction was to think they didn’t say I’d be a good elected official, just that I’d be a good candidate. Before I could chase...
12/07/2018
She is angry, emotional and incapable of living life free of being controlled by passions. She is often rude and aggressive; this woman is a force to be reckoned with, and God help any man who tries to get in her way. A stereotype that is equal...
12/06/2018
Last weekend, I covered a charitable event in Ruston called Community Christmas. The short definition of Community Christmas is a partnership between the Bridge Community Church and six local nonprofit organizations to provide clients of these...
12/06/2018
This month I want to share some of my family and friends’ favorite dishes. As I flip through my blue checked recipe book, (where I record shared recipes) memories flood my mind, where I first ate the dish, how delicious the food was, who I was with...