Louisiana

Press Image / LSU Shreveport

With the 86th Academy Awards ceremony less than a week away, commentator Gary Joiner is pleased with the Oscar buzz surrounding "12 Years a Slave" that closely examines an undeniable chapter in American history.

The historic Caddo Lake drawbridge will turn 100 years old in 2014. The vertical lift bridge in Mooringsport, La., was built under the authority of the Caddo Parish Police Jury during the town’s oil boom era. Ahead of World War II, it was used in the Louisiana Maneuvers to mimic a bridge under siege. When the state decided to replace the drawbridge in the late '80s, Mooringsport resident Darren Guin began an earnest quest to save it.

Delta Farm Press

The corn harvest in Louisiana is in full swing, and on the stalks are large ears of corn. Ronnie Levy, LSU AgCenter’s corn specialist, said Louisiana farmers are expecting a bumper crop. The state has about 700,000 acres of corn, a significant increase over recent years. But the difference this year, according to Levy, is the price of a bushel of corn is about half of what it was last year, since the harvest in the Midwest is expected to be equally abundant.

A new report finds that Louisiana has the second worst dentist shortage in the nation. Because of this, many residents are not getting adequate dental care, especially children and people who live in rural areas.

The Pew Charitable Trusts examined the lack of access to dental care nationwide. The findings revealed a scarcity of dentists who participate in Medicaid. In Louisiana, the report comes as the state Department of Health and Hospitals is slashing reimbursement rates paid to dentists through the Medicaid program with the July 1 start of the new fiscal year.

It's Law Week in Shreveport-Bossier. Commentator Gary Joiner has a profile of a Winnfield, La., native who started practicing law at the tender age of 21, and went on to espouse public education during his political tenure.

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