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Few men were as well known among the movers and shakers in the new American government in the Mississippi Territory than an enslaved man named Cesar, who could speak and interpret the languages of the Native Americans, particularly the Choctaw. 

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In south Texas in 1846 during the Mexican-American War, a young Army lieutenant observed mustang herds so large that he didn’t think all of the animals could “have been corralled in the State of Rhode Island, or Delaware, at one time.” 

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Common sense tells us the ongoing legislative session in Baton Rouge should be focused on how the state will spend a $1.6-billion gift from the federal government.

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I have several things to educate you on this week, all revolving on the important subject of our workforce. I want to spotlight things we are doing here locally to develop our workforce. 

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When I first started as the Economic Development Coordinator, I attended a 4-day Basic Economic Development Course through LIDEA (Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association). This allowed me to see the many diverse areas involved with economic development. 

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As you know by now, my title is “Economic Development Coordinator” for Franklin Parish. As I have been out meeting people and interacting with the community, I have been saying that phrase a lot. Then I started thinking, how many people know what ‘economic development’ means? Maybe you do, a…

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If you thought LSU had the market cornered in covering up a scandal or two, allow me to introduce a host of judges in the Fourth Judicial District Court in Monroe and a special appointed judge from down on the bayou.

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In between horse-trading, secret dealings and fortune seeking, 30-year-old Philip Nolan became romantically involved in Natchez not long before he was killed in a shootout with the Spanish in Texas. 

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The ink had not dried on this writer’s opinion piece last week before news surfaced in Baton Rouge that there’s another scandal brewing at LSU, but this time it’s not a football player or coach or former university president who’s in the hot seat.

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In October 1800, Jose Vidal, civil and military commander of the Spanish Post of Concord at present day Vidalia, forwarded a dispatch to the American governor of the Mississippi Territory across the river in Natchez. 

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You may not realize it but later this month voters in the Fifth District of Louisiana in the U.S. House of Representatives will elect a new congressman, or congresswoman. At the very least, voters in the March 20 special election will decide which two candidates out of a field of 12 will adv…

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In 1803, Dr. John Sibley, a contract Army surgeon employed as an Indian Agent at Natchitoches, Louisiana, wrote about the Native Americans in the Red River Valley in a report that President Thomas Jefferson shared with Congress. 

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The leaders of the Ouachita River Expedition of 1804-05 were no strangers to frontier challenges. Each had previously survived long journeys into the wilderness regions of America and often depended on river travel. 

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State Rep. Jack McFarland may have an almost insurmountable chore awaiting him when the fiscal-only session of the Legislature convenes April 12.

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During the 19th century, the Ouachita River in northeastern Louisiana attracted self-proclaimed royalty – a Marquis and a Baron. Even the former vice-president of the United States had a financial interest in the region. Each gained access to vast acreage and each purported ambitious settlem…

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Roughly two to three years ago, U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy paid a visit to West Monroe to speak to the Ouachita Parish Women’s Republican Club.

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In 1807, Indian Agent John Sibley, based in Natchitoches on the Red River, wrote the Secretary of War: “A Party of Caddo Indians lately returning from the Panis Nation were robed by a Party of Osages of 74 horses.” 

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In 1700, the French explorer Bienville, traveling west from Natchez, met a Ouachita Indian in present day Tensas Parish. Bienville's traveling party was made up of 22 Canadians, including St. Denis, the founder of Natchitoches, and six Tensas Indians. 

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The special election to fill the void created by the tragic death of 5th District Congressman-elect Luke Letlow will generate headlines but it won’t be because the race will be hotly contested.

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In recent years, most Americans refer to The Purge as a television and movie series, that depicts the violence and mayhem which occurs when citizens can commit any crime, including murder, during a 12-hour period once a year. However, the real “Great Purge” truly happened, it was not just Ho…

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In June 1804, William Dunbar wrote President Thomas Jefferson that the Ouachita River was home to “many curious objects,” including one major “Curiosity” located near the river’s headwaters in the Ouachita Mountains in west central Arkansas. 

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Regardless of the outcome of President Donald Trump challenging the validity of the vote in key swing states in the Nov. 3 presidential race, Trump has single-handedly altered American politics forever and because of him the battle lines separating the two major parties are crystal clear.

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Editor’s Note: This column by Sam Hanna Jr. was first published the week of Dec. 30, 2019. It remains relevant since the LSU Board of Supervisors has yet to name a permanent replacement for former LSU President F. King Alexander.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Sam Hanna Sr.’s Christmas column is reprinted below in his memory. He published the column each year for many years prior to Christmas. Hanna was owner and publisher of the Concordia Sentinel, The Franklin Sun and The Ouachita Citizen when he died in January 2006.

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Luke Letlow’s election Saturday in the 5th District congressional race capped off a rather lackluster year in Louisiana on the election front, but his margin of victory was more than impressive though not necessarily unexpected.

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