Louisiana Press Journal

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The Buck Stops Here

Posted on Tuesday, September 1, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Time for some three-dot journalistic endeavors.

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Guys and gals who keep our roads in shape rarely get enough credit.
I would venture to say no one calls the office and says “Hey thanks, the road was smooth again without any bumps when I drove to work this morning.”
It’s kind of like working for a utility. No one calls and says, “Thanks. The kitchen lights came on again at lunch.”
I see people wave at road workers, but I don’t see anybody getting out to shake their hands. They’re unsung heroes in my book.
Standing out on a road of any kind when construction or repairs are going on can be dangerous business from many angles. I would imagine summer heat and winter cold can magnify the imperfections of the job.
I can tell you that the crew at Louisiana Special Road District No. 3 do a great job.
Our road was washed out badly at least three times during the spring and summer rains and the crews were right on it. What they found was deep cross-gulleys across the road, depressions and gravel swept into fields. It was a mess and was like driving on corduroy in the few hours before the crews could get to it.
I called the first time it happened and they were done before the day was out. I didn’t have to call the second and third times.
Now that the ground has compacted some and the rains have scattered, the crews have put down new gravel and graded. Your efforts are appreciated.

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When you become a journalist, you find out how many people are unaware of basic laws, how the criminal justice system works or are just too arrogant to think it pertains to them.
I recently received an e-mail from the mother of a crime defendant who informed me I shouldn’t have written about the arrest because it was “my intellectual property that I did not give you permission to use.”
I calmly informed her that it was  a matter of public record and a First Amendment right to report it and left it at that. I don’t choose the people charged with felonies in eastern Pike County, I just report on them, no matter who they are.

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It’s nice to go out to the ballparks and stadiums again to watch high school ball.
The sounds of mitts thumping and metal bats pinging is an enjoyable diversion. Friday night lights football reminds us the air is getting crisper and harvest is near.
It’s interesting how safety has risen in high school sports in recent years.
Softball players wear masks while on the field, not just behind the plate. Football players are taken off the field immediately whenever a concussion is suspected and can’t go back until they’ve passed a batter of cognitive tests.
Weight programs in general are strengthening the muscles around student-athletes’ joints and protecting them better from injury. Equipment seems to get better all the time.
Of course, injuries will always occur in high school sports. What’s important thing is to keep devising ways to prevent them without vastly changing the nature of games.