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2015 Baton Rouge Attorney Profiles
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East Baton Rouge Parish Homicide Map
A map listing homicides or suspected homicides in EBR Parish.
Gas Prices in BR
Current gas prices in BR area.

Low energy prices rock Stone’s performance

Plunging energy prices slashed the value of Stone Energy Corp.’s oil-and-gas properties and sent the Lafayette-based company to a first-quarter paper loss of $327.4 million, or $5.93 per share. The first-quarter results included a $314.5 million after-tax write-down of its oil-and-gas properties. Without that charge, Stone lost $12.9 million, or 23 cents per share, on revenue of… Continue reading →

Catalyst Fund taps MasteryPrep for first financing effort

Baton Rouge-based MasteryPrep is the first young business to receive fundraising assistance from The Catalyst Fund, a local evergreen nonprofit, officials said Monday. Charlie Davis, MasteryPrep’s co-founder and chief strategic officer, said Catalyst Fund officials will lead an investment round seeking $500,000 for expansion of MasteryPrep’s 12-state, 500-school business. MasteryPrep officials reported 2014 sales of $3.5… Continue reading →

Propeller business incubator doubling its effort

The Propeller program for developing startup companies in New Orleans is going to a two-track system designed to more than double the number of social ventures it serves per year. The program will support social entrepreneurs throughout the startup cycle: from the idea stage to beta to growth. It also will provide more tailored resources for ventures… Continue reading →

Gauthiers’ merging with Modex

Lafayette-based Gauthiers’ has merged with Modex to create the world’s third-largest offshore container company with an inventory of 17,000 container units. Gauthiers’ sells and rents offshore containers, baskets and support equipment for domestic and international oil and gas industry customers. The two companies said Gauthiers’ benefits from adding in-house manufacturing design and production capacity as well… Continue reading →

Dow Chemical to trim about 3 percent of global workforce

Advocate staff file photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- The Dow Chemical plant in Plaquemine.

Dow Chemical, which has facilities in Louisiana, will cut about 3 percent of its global workforce as it prepares to break off a significant part of its chlorine operations in a deal announced earlier this year with Olin Corp. The company says the cuts will reduce its workforce by 1,500 to 1,750 positions over the… Continue reading →

Louisiana second in Site Selection’s competiveness rankings

Louisiana’s economic development efforts are second in the nation for competitiveness in Site Selection magazine’s rankings for 2014. Louisiana’s competitive score was 408.5, just a half-point behind top-ranked North Carolina. Texas scored 406 and finished third. The Louisiana Department of Economic Development said state has attracted more than 91,000 new jobs and more than $62 billion… Continue reading →

Small banks vanish under weight of regulations, report says

Community banks in Louisiana and throughout the United States are rapidly disappearing, and federal laws meant to protect the country from another megabank bailout have saddled smaller financial institutions with disproportionately large costs, a new UNO study shows. The number of community bank charters plummeted 53.3 percent from 1993 to 2014, while the number of non-community banks… Continue reading →

Giants help small businesses through free website

In what they’re describing as “an unprecedented collaboration,” Allstate, Capital One, LegalZoom, Microsoft, Office Depot, Inc. and Web.com have created a free online resource hub to help small businesses. Organizers say SmallBusinessConnection.com will help small business owners solve critical business issues. “Small businesses are the backbone of our nation. They face the same challenges as… Continue reading →

Pinnacle advances real estate talks

Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. said Monday it is engaged in “productive discussions” about selling its real estate assets, which include four Louisiana properties, to a Pennsylvania company. Pinnacle owns L’Auberge Casinos in Baton Rouge and Lake Charles and Boomtown Casinos in New Orleans and Bossier City. Two months ago, Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc. offered to… Continue reading →

People in Business for May 3, 2015

Sara M. Downing, TWRU CPAs & Financial Advisors

Sara M. Downing has been named managing partner of TWRU CPAs & Financial Advisors. She started with the firm in 1991 and became a partner 2002. She specializes in audits, income tax planning and business consultations.… Continue reading →

Business Honors for May 3, 2015

Mona Laird-Rafeedie, Corporate Resources

Mona Laird-Rafeedie, chief executive officer of Corporate Resources, has been named the American Business Women’s Association La Capitale Chapter Woman of the Year for her dedication and involvement in the chapter. She is chapter president.… Continue reading →

Business Briefs for May 3, 2015

The LSU Student Incubator awarded $25,000 to six student-run startups during its fourth annual Venture Challenge. Money was presented to four Venture Challenge finalists and two “Audience Choice” Start-up Showcase display winners. The final round winners were:… Continue reading →

Company demonstrates lighting under downtown Baton Rouge overpass

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Traffic passes in front of a decorative lighting display seen on the north side of Florida Boulevard underneath the Interstate 110 overpass Thursday night. The Downtown Development District is planning on spending $250,000 this year to add parking spots underneath I-10 and I-110. Part of the work will involve lighting the areas, with security lights over the parking spots and decorative lighting along the road. Phillips Lighting and Color Kinetics set up the sample display. City and downtown leaders are set to meet soon to determine a timetable for selecting a firm to supply the lights.

Decorative lighting was put on display Thursday evening as a demonstration project underneath the Interstate 110 overpass downtown on the north side of Florida Street. The Downtown Development District plans to spend $250,000 this year to add parking spots underneath I-10 and I-110. Part of the work will involve lighting the areas, with security lights over… Continue reading →

Initial Louisiana unemployment claims drop

The state labor department says first-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending April 25 decreased to 2,737 from the previous week’s 2,789. For the comparable week a year earlier, officials said Friday there were 2,238 initial claims. The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure, increased to 2,722 from the previous week’s… Continue reading →

U.S. rig count drops by 27; Louisiana down 1

Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. declined by 27 this week to 905 amid depressed oil prices. Houston-based Baker Hughes said Friday that 679 rigs were seeking oil and 222 explored for natural gas. Four were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago, 1,854… Continue reading →

Albemarle to release new catalyst for hydrocracking later this year

Baton Rouge-based specialty chemical maker Albemarle Corp. will soon release a new catalyst for hydrocracking, a process used to make diesel and jet fuel. Albemarle and partner UOP are in the final stages of pilot plant testing. The new catalyst will be rolled out worldwide during the second half of the year. The new catalyst reduces nitrogen… Continue reading →

Louisiana Bancorp profit inches upward

Metairie-based Louisiana Bancorp Inc., the holding company for Bank of New Orleans, reported a first-quarter profit of $669,000, or 25 cents per share, compared to $620,000, or 23 cents per share, a year ago. The company increased net interest income by 7 percent to $2.7 million. Louisiana Bancorp also reduced the amount it set aside for loan… Continue reading →

Lemonade Day stands go into business on Saturday

More than 18,000 youth across Louisiana are expected to participate on Saturday in the fifth annual Lemonade Day. Stands will be set-up throughout the state as part of a national program. It is designed to encourage entrepreneurship and character development among Louisiana’s youth by supporting them in establishing and operating their own lemonade businesses. After… Continue reading →

Five of Louisiana’s metro areas post job losses; state still gains

Five of Louisiana’s nine metro areas suffered job losses over the 12-month period through March. Still, the job winners outpaced the losers to give the state an overall gain of 14,600 nonfarm jobs. Metro area job losses were suffered by New Orleans, Lafayette, Monroe, Houma-Thibodaux and Shreveport-Bossier City. But gains in Baton Rouge, Lake Charles, Hammond… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge-area home sales up nearly 15 percent in March; see where the biggest jumps occurred

The number of houses sold in metro Baton Rouge jumped 14.7 percent in March when compared with figures from the year before. There were 755 homes sold in March in the nine-parish area, according to figures released Thursday by the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors’ Multiple Listing Service. That compares with 658 MLS sales… Continue reading →

Methanex’s first Geismar plant hits full production

Methanex successfully started its Geismar 1 plant in late January and produced 198,000 tons of methanol during the first quarter, according to Chief Executive Officer John Floren. The company also is making “excellent progress” on the Geismar 2 plant and expects to begin production late in the first quarter of 2016, Floren said.… Continue reading →

Oil’s slump lowers H&E Equipment’s profit

Winter weather and the oil industry’s slump dropped Baton Rouge-based H&E Equipment Services Inc.’s first-quarter earnings to $6.1 million, or 17 cents per share. For the same period in 2014, the heavy-equipment supplier turned a profit of $7.4 million, or 21 cents per share. First-quarter revenue dipped 4.1 percent to $227.4 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters… Continue reading →

Ochsner, CVS Health form clinical affiliation linking electronic records

CVS Health, which operates pharmacies and has MinuteClinics in some locations, has entered into a clinical affiliation with Ochsner Health System. CVS Health will provide prescription and clinic visit information to Ochsner through its electronic health record system. That will help Ochsner health care providers ensure patients are keeping up with their medications and help coordinate care… Continue reading →

ExxonMobil donates $1 million to LSU Foundation

The ExxonMobil Foundation has donated $1,038,866 to the LSU Foundation as part of the ExxonMobil Foundation’s 2014 Educational Matching Gift Program. The gift represents the ExxonMobil Foundation 3:1 match of 157 employees’, retirees’ and surviving spouses’ donations of $377,013 to LSU. LSU was the third-largest beneficiary of the company’s Educational Matching Gift Program last year. The… Continue reading →

Energy industry worries lower MidSouth Bancorp’s profit

Fears that the ongoing energy-industry downturn could result in failed loans dropped Lafayette-based MidSouth Bancorp Inc.’s first-quarter earnings to $1.3 million, or 12 cents per share. A year earlier, the company reported a profit of $3.5 million, or 57 cents per share. MidSouth’s revenue slipped to $24.2 million from $26.8 million a year ago. The 2015… Continue reading →

CRISIS aims to address Baton Rouge traffic issues

Baton Rouge-area business groups have teamed up to form a coalition to address regional transportation needs. Scott Kirkpatrick, executive director of the Capital Region Industry for Sustainable Infrastructure Solutions, said the time is right to address issues such as the backlog of transportation maintenance in metro Baton Rouge and the traffic congestion that exists on local roads.… Continue reading →

Entergy profit falls on warmer Northeastern weather

Entergy Corp. reported first-quarter net income dropped to $298.2 million, or $1.65 per share, compared to $401.2 million, or $2.24 per share, a year ago. The power company said its results were affected by warmer weather and closing the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station. A year ago, cold weather across the Northeast and limited supplies of liquefied… Continue reading →

Home Bancorp profit rises

Lafayette-based Home Bancorp Inc., the parent company of Home Bank NA, reported its first-quarter profit grew to $2.8 million, or 41 cents per share, compared to $1.4 million, or 40 cents per share, a year ago. The first-quarter 2014 results included $2 million of pre-tax expenses related to the acquisition of Britton & Koontz Capital Corp.… Continue reading →

Canadian firm buys B&G Crane in New Orleans

A Canadian crane company has acquired New Orleans-based B&G Crane Holdings Inc., one of the largest crane and heavy haul transportation companies in Louisiana and Texas. Terms of the deal with NCSG Crane & Heavy Haul Holdings Inc. were not announced. The Sterling Group LP was the majority owner of B&G, which was founded in 1946 by… Continue reading →

Investar boosts first-quarter profit

Baton Rouge-based Investar Holding Corp., the parent company of Investar Bank, reported its first-quarter earnings rose to $2 million, or 27 cents per share, compared to $900,000, or 21 cents per share, a year ago. Investar President and Chief Executive Officer John D’Angelo said the company grew both its commercial and industrial loan portfolio and non-interest bearing,… Continue reading →

Houston firm acquires proposed Plaquemines LNG project

Louisiana LNG Energy LLC, a liquefied natural gas export project planned in Plaquemines Parish, has been acquired by Houston-based Parallax Energy. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. “The addition of Louisiana LNG to our company sets the Parallax strategy firmly into motion. We have an innovative, efficient and cost-effective way to safely… Continue reading →

EuroChem chooses St. John the Baptist site over Iberville Parish for $1.5 billion plant

EuroChem Group AG chose Monday 915 acres in St. John the Baptist Parish for its proposed $1.5 billion ammonia and urea production plant, a spokesman said. The move means EuroChem will not retain 2,150 acres of state-owned land near Carville in Iberville Parish for the project. Russia’s largest producer of minerals fertilizer now… Continue reading →

Program forges welders for industrial jobs

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Student Justin Kennedy learns welding at Delgado Community College's West Jefferson Site. His class is one of three funded by Praxair, with about 100 students spread across three Louisiana Community and Technical College System campuses.

Jesse Farris, a husband and father of two children, works a maintenance job and over the years has sold and installed home theater systems and worked at a couple of industrial sites. Then, he heard at a job fair about a welding course offered by Baton Rouge Community College. “It just sounded like a golden opportunity,” Farris,… Continue reading →

Ad Club of New Orleans presents annual Addy awards

Robert Alford, Alford Advertising

The Ad Club of New Orleans announced the winners of its annual Addy awards recognizing outstanding creativity in advertising. The 2015 Silver Medal Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Robert Alford, of Alford Advertising, for his 42 years of dedication to the New Orleans advertising community. Other individuals recognized are Cleveland Spears III, Spears… Continue reading →

People in Business for April 26, 2015

Dr. Allison Parkman, FastLane - Urgent Care

Dr. Allison Parkman has been named medical director of FastLane — Urgent Care by Lane Regional Medical Center at 19900 Old Scenic Highway in Zachary. Parkman was the supervising physician. David Blitch has been named vice president and assistant general manager at L’Auberge Casino and Hotel Baton Rouge. Blitch was vice… Continue reading →

Business Honors for April 26, 2015

Dr. Hugh V. McKnight, Louisiana Dental Association

The Louisiana Dental Association has presented Dr. Hugh V. McKnight, of Baton Rouge, with its Distinguished Service Award and Dr. Nicholas Rauber, of Baton Rouge, with its New Dentist Award. The Distinguished Service Award is given annually to individual members who exemplify the highest standards of professional conduct in dentistry and make… Continue reading →

Business Briefs for April 26, 2015

Steve DeRouen, ISC Corp.

A free workshop titled “Simple Steps for Starting Your Business” is being held by SCORE from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m May 5 at the EBRP Main Library at 7711 Goodwood Blvd. Topics include myths and realities of entrepreneurship; critical success factors; knowing options; components of business ownership; making… Continue reading →

Gertrude Geddes Willis Life’s policies turned over to Majestic Life

An insolvent New Orleans life insurance company cost an industry-backed guaranty fund $2.5 million and has a court-appointed receiver scrambling to recover $1 million from the sale of related funeral homes and other assets — mostly in New Orleans and Houma. In addition, the remaining life insurance policies that were held by Gertrude Geddes Willis Life Insurance… Continue reading →

Nucor’s Convent iron plant back in operation

The Nucor Corp. iron plant in Convent is back in production and operating at 85 percent of capacity. Nucor Steel Louisiana’s direct reduced iron had been shut down since November, when a process gas heater failed and had to be repaired. The plant restarted production toward the end of March, the company said in an earnings… Continue reading →

U.S. rig count drops by 22; Louisiana gains 2

Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. declined by 22 this week to 932 amid depressed oil prices. Houston-based Baker Hughes said Friday 703 rigs were seeking oil and 225 explored for natural gas. Four were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago, 1,861 rigs… Continue reading →