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2015 Baton Rouge Attorney Profiles
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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… 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 →

IberiaBank posts $25.1 million profit

IberiaBank Corp. in Lafayette reported first-quarter net income of $25.1 million, up from $22.3 million a year ago. Per-share earnings amounted to 75 cents. IberiaBank said it incurred non-operating expenses of $10 million on a pre-tax basis. Excluding those items, first-quarter income would have been 95 cents per share. Daryl G. Byrd, president and CEO,… Continue reading →

Library gets building for $1 million

The city-parish has spent $1 million on an office building at the intersection of North Boulevard and Acadian Thruway that will be the new home for the East Baton Rouge Parish Library’s bookmobiles. According to documents filed Wednesday with the East Baton Rouge Clerk of Court’s office, the city-parish bought the building at 3434 North Blvd. from… Continue reading →

Parade of Homes begins Saturday

The Capital Region Builders Association will start its annual Parade of Homes Saturday, giving people a chance to see 40 new homes. The event will be held over this weekend and May 2 and 3, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The tour is free and… Continue reading →

Streetcar line along Nicholson Drive corridor to get federal technical assistance

Rendering provided to The Advocate -- A streetcar, seen in the background, could tie into a proposed plan for the Nicholson Drive corridor from LSU to downtown Baton Rouge.

Baton Rouge has been selected for a federal transportation department pilot program that will provide technical assistance in the development of the proposed streetcar line in the Nicholson Drive corridor. The Federal Transit Administration will help the city navigate the planning and environmental analysis to select the best alignment for the line, which will… Continue reading →

Industry executive sees chemical expansion continuing

Advocate file photo -- Dan Borné, president of the Louisiana Chemical Association

Low natural gas prices have fueled rapid growth in Louisiana’s chemical production over the past six years and now points to large-scale expansion of that industry. Dan BornĂ©, longtime president of the Louisiana Chemical Association, told hundreds of Rotary Club members Wednesday that he hopes no potential roadblocks inhibit that massive expansion. “We’re still on the… Continue reading →

Third-largest Coca-Cola bottler taking over New Orleans, other Louisiana markets

Coca-Cola Bottling Co. United Inc., the third-largest Coca-Cola bottling company in the U.S., is taking over territories in a major portion of Louisiana, including New Orleans, with oversight from Baton Rouge. Other markets are Alexandria, Monroe, New Iberia and Shreveport. The Birmingham, Alabama-based bottler already covered Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Lake Charles. United also is taking… Continue reading →

Hammond business center wins national award

The Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond has won the annual national Small Business Development Center award. The recognition is among various national awards being presented by the U.S. Small Business Administration. “This year’s winners are dynamic trailblazers in their respective small business fields, contributing to their local economies and… Continue reading →

Finalists to pitch business plans in LSU Student Incubator contest

Four finalists will pitch business ideas in the Fourth Annual Venture Challenge being held from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday by the LSU Student Incubator program at the Louisiana Business & Technology Center at the Lod Cook Hotel. The four finalists were selected from among 17 student teams that submitted business plans. They are competing for a… Continue reading →

Firm buys Alvin Dark apartments for $7.2 million

A Metairie-based company has purchased The Zone, a 200-unit apartment complex in Tigerland, for $7.2 million. PPQBR purchased the complex at 2000 Brightside Drive in a deal that was filed Tuesday with the East Baton Rouge Clerk of Court’s Office. The seller was Sheltering Palms-Baton Rouge II LLC, a group based out of Boca Raton, Florida.… Continue reading →

Agency proposes CB&I fine over dropped nuclear plant part

Federal regulators proposed an $11,200 fine Tuesday against Chicago Bridge & Iron Co. because its workers in southwest Louisiana dropped a prefabricated section for a new nuclear power plant in South Carolina and then tried to cover it up, officials said. The accident happened March 1, 2013, at the CB&I manufacturing plant in… Continue reading →

Louisiana adds 14,600 jobs over 12 months despite oil patch losses

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Unused lift boats are stacked together last month at the Port of Iberia. Plunging oil prices claimed 4,400 oil and gas industry jobs over the past 12 months, but Louisiana still posted an overall gain of 14,600 nonfarm jobs.

Louisiana’s nonfarm payroll jobs increased by 14,600 over the 12-month period ended March 31. There were 1,983,600 state residents employed in nonfarm jobs last month, according to preliminary numbers released Tuesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS numbers were not adjusted for seasonal factors. “Overall, it looks like hiring in Louisiana… Continue reading →

Blue Bell Creameries' recall having significant impact on Baton Rouge area grocers

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Adam Penny, left, and Tim Stevens, employees at Matherne's Supermarket on Bluebonnet, remove containers of Blue Bell ice cream from freezer shelves Tuesday. The Texas ice cream company issued a voluntary recall for all its products Monday after samples of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream tested positive for listeria, a potentially deadly bacteria.

Grocers yanked market-leading Blue Bell Creameries products out of area supermarket freezers Tuesday after the popular ice cream maker issued a voluntary recall in the wake of a listeria outbreak. Donny Rouse, managing partner of Rouses Market, which has 23 locations in metro New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette, said Blue Bell is the No. 1 ice… Continue reading →

Health care company purchases medical office building for $10.5 million

A Milwaukee-based health care real estate company has purchased a medical office building near Interstate 10 and Bluebonnet Boulevard for $10.5 million. A limited liability company affiliated with Physicians Realty Trust bought the property at 9118 Bluebonnet Centre Blvd. in a deal that was filed Friday with the East Baton Rouge Clerk of Court’s office. The seller… Continue reading →

Refinery positions itself to handle more U.S. shale crude

Photo provided by Motiva -- Motiva refinery at Norco and/or Convent.

Motiva Enterprises’ plan to run its Norco and Convent refineries as a single operation by linking them via a major pipeline may signal that the company, like a number of other refiners, is positioning itself to handle more of the “super light” crude gushing from U.S. shale formations. “One of the challenges with North American refinery operations …… Continue reading →

Business Honors for April 19, 2015

Pamela Bounds, Berente Companies

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber presented its Volunteer of the Year Award to Pamela Bounds, of Berente Companies; Community Champion Award posthumously to Ben Miller Jr.; and Project of the Year Award to Pod Pack International. Bounds also was appointed as a BRAC ambassador and is a member of the… Continue reading →

Business briefs for April 19, 2015

Brad Grantham, Zehnder Communications

The Better Business Bureau is taking nominations for the 2015 Douglas Manship Sr. Torch Awards for Ethics in Business. The award is open to all for-profit businesses that serve Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, St. James, Tangipahoa, West… Continue reading →

Baker Walgreens building sold for $6.4 million

The Walgreens pharmacy building at the corner of Groom and Plank roads in Baker has been sold for $6.4 million. 6485 Groom LLC, a New York-based partnership named after the address of the pharmacy, bought the property in a deal that was filed Thursday with the East Baton Rouge Clerk of Court’s office. The seller was FR&W… Continue reading →

Bardwell Homes buys building for new offices

Bardwell Homes, a local homebuilder, has purchased an office building on Bluebonnet Boulevard, north of Interstate 10, and will move its operations there. Bardwell paid $875,000 for the 5,000-square-foot building at 5153 Bluebonnet. The builder plans to take up about half of the space and lease out the remaining portion to a local investment advisory firm. The… Continue reading →

LLOG begins production from deepwater hub

Covington-based LLOG Exploration Co. and joint-venture partner Blackstone Energy Group have begun production from a massive, floating production system in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Delta House floating production system lies about 130 miles southeast of New Orleans. The hub and platform can handle peak daily production of 100,000 barrels of oil and 240 million cubic feet… Continue reading →

Office market remains strong in Baton Rouge area

The office space market in Baton Rouge is expected to remain strong in 2015, but falling oil prices could have an impact. Branon Pesnell, with Beau Box Commercial Real Estate, said if oil price remain low, local engineering firms could lay off employees and downsize the amount of space they are taking up. Pesnell discussed the office market during the Trends… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge apartment market may face glut

There are nearly 6,000 apartment units that planned to be built in metro Baton Rouge by the end of the year, a number that has one person who tracks the multi-family housing market concerned. “We could end up with a glut of units,” said Wesley Moore, with Cook, Moore & Associates. Moore discussed the state of the local apartment market at… Continue reading →

Smaller banks pulling back on real estate lending

The smallest local banks are pulling out of construction and development lending because of concerns over regulatory changes brought on by Dodd-Frank consumer protection act, a speaker at the annual Trends in Real Estate seminar said Thursday. Brian Andrews, with the Real Estate Research Institute at LSU’s E.J. Ourso College of Business, said small local banks don’t… Continue reading →

Industrial real estate seeing 'brake pumping'

The industrial real estate market in Baton Rouge is seeing some “brake pumping” caused by the sudden drop in oil prices. Scot Guidry, with Mike Falgoust & Associates, said some firms are making adjustments to deal with the 50 percent drop in oil prices that has happened over the past year. Guidry was discussing the industrial real… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge real estate professionals hear encouraging words about U.S. economy, hope for housing market

After the pain of the Great Recession, the national economy has posted two years of a decent recovery, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors said Thursday at a seminar in Baton Rouge.
“Market conditions are improving from a very low base,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist and senior vice president of research for the National Association… Continue reading →