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Traps set for Emerald Ash Borer

Following a discovery in Arkansas, Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Mike Strain says the USDA is conducting trap surveys across the state to watch for Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) beetles.  Strain says the EAB is an invasive beetle that attacks and kills ash trees.

"This particular insect will bore into the ash trees.  Ash trees are located mainly in urban areas. They are also found in our estuaries and our swamps and also on a lot of our land that's in CRP, the Conservation Reserve Program."
He says when the pest gets into an ash tree, it generally kills the tree in three to five years.  The EAB was first discovered in Michigan in 2002 and is now present in 24 states.  Strain says the beetle is often transported into an area by infested firewood.
"We recommend that you don't move firewood any more than ten miles from where you buy it.  If you use it for camping, use all the firewood before you leave the campground or the forest.  Use it all, burn it all.  Don't leave any unused firewood."
He says the EAB has a distinctive look.
"It is a brilliant green little beetle.  It is about a half an inch long and about an eighth to a quarter inch wide.  It is a very, very noticeable beetle once you take a look."
For more information on the EAB go to www.emeraldashborer.info

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Black and Gold merch flying off shelves as Saints training camp gets underway

Michelle Southern reporting.
The New Orleans Saints report to football camp in West Virginia today and the Black and Gold nation is already stocking up on their gear for the mega-hyped 2014 season. Lauren "FleurtyGirl" LeBlanc is the owner of a popular Saints fan shop in New Orleans.

"This is the time of the year when we want our customers to walk into the stores and the black and gold just hits them in the face," said LeBlanc. "That's all they're coming in for."

The Saints begin pre-season play August 8th and the regular season begins less than a month later.

Many have said that this year's team could be better than the Black and Gold Superbowl team on paper, but LeBlanc says Saints fans will load up on swag before ANY season.

"Saints fans love this team and want to wear the colors of this team no matter what," said LeBlanc.

LeBlanc says even though the Saints aren't practicing in Metairie this year, it's not stopping the merchandise from flying off the shelves.

She says her regulars come in every year looking for the one shirt that's going to be their lucky shirt for the season.

"The fans want to feel like they are contributing to the success of the team," said LeBlanc. "It's funny how the wearables play into that."

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LSU AgCenter launches statewide healthy living campaign

Michelle Southern reporting.
The LSU Ag Center has launched a statewide billboard campaign urging people to engage in a more healthy lifestyle. Diane Sasser is the AgCenter director of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Educational Program. She says the first message that will be promoted is to eat more fruits and vegetables.

"Increasing fruits and vegetables contributes to good health," said Sasser. "Then in our next quarter we'll be promoting physical activity."

Sasser says this effort also includes banners and posters that will be displayed in schools, stores and parish extension offices. She says the campaign will run for about a year and a half.

Sasser says they will also be spreading messages about increasing activities together as a family.

"And having family meals together because the family that prepares meals together and does physical activity together tends to thrive more," said Sasser.

Sasser says by displaying these simple suggestions in places that people will see easily and frequently, the hope is that they will absorb the information and starting thinking about their own health habits.

"It introduces this teachable moment," said Sasser. "We want everyone to live a lot longer."

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