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Saturday, October 25, 2014
Southwest Louisiana ,
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Informer: Eucalyptus trees in area used for paper

Last Modified: Friday, July 26, 2013 2:46 PM

By Andrew Perzo / American Press

I have been noticing in Beauregard and Calcasieu Parish that tracts of land are being planted with eucalyptus trees. What is the product that comes from this? Are the leaves harvested, or is the whole tree harvested?

The trees are owned by MeadWestvaco, which uses them for pulpwood at its paper mill in Evadale, Texas, said Keith Hawkins, an LSU AgCenter forestry expert.

“Leaves and bark will be used as boiler fuel at the paper mill,” Hawkins wrote in an email. “The trunk will be harvested for pulp.”

MeadWestvaco, which leases the land, has planted eucalyptus on thousands of acres in both Louisiana and Texas over the last several years. The trees grow quickly, reaching maturity — and a height of about 70 feet — in six to eight years.

The company uses eucalyptus and pine to create a kraft paperboard for product packaging.


Online: www.lsuagcenter.com; www.meadwestvaco.com.

Report scam callsto AG’s Office, FTC

For the last several weeks my telephone recorder has been inundated with messages concerning a medical alert device that supposedly has been ordered for me by someone and there’s no charge to me. These calls come more than once in a day and on weekends. What is going on, and how can this be stopped?

The calls are from people trying to trade on consumers’ familiarity with such products — that is, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” devices — and gain access to consumers’ personal financial information.

If you receive such a call, take note of the number on your caller-ID display and hang up the phone. Block the number, if possible, and then call the state Attorney General’s Office at 800-351-4889 and the Federal Trade Commission at 877-FTC-HELP to file complaints.

The calls, which have plagued consumers nationwide, have prompted Life Alert, the company associated with the widely known medical emergency service, to release a statement of warning for consumers:

It has come to our attention that senior citizens nationwide are receiving pre-recorded messages from medical alert imposters claiming to be Life Alert. These are unauthorized, unsolicited, recorded calls that invite you to push the #1 number on your phone to connect to a live sales person.

The recordings sound like a real person claiming that either “someone has purchased a Life Alert system for you”, or that “You qualify for a free Life Alert.” Other calls may say they are calling from a shipping department to confirm a free order or to send upgraded Life Alert equipment. These calls are not made by Life Alert. All of these are telemarketing scammers trying to mislead and defraud consumers by using our trademarked name so they can get your address, credit card number and bank information to charge you.

We would like to remind you that Life Alert does not employ telemarketers or perform cold calls so if you do receive a recorded call saying they are Life Alert or the “I’ve fallen and can’t get up” people, please DO NOT press the #1 button to talk to a sales person.

More importantly never give your personal information or credit card number over the phone to anyone with whom you did not initiate the call.

Life Alert Emergency Response is investigating this nationwide telemarketing scam and is currently working with the authorities.


Online: www.ag.state.la.us; www.ftc.gov.

• • •

The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098, press 5 and leave voice mail, or email informer@americanpress.com

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