Casino employment, tax revenues increase in La.

Advocate staff file photo -- Casinos in Louisiana employed more people and generated more state and local tax revenue in 2013 than in 2012, ranking the state fourth natiionally in casino jobs.

While the number of people working in Louisiana’s commercial casinos increased from 2012 to 2013 and taxes paid to state and local governments also went up, a new report noted that employee wages, benefits and tips dropped during that time. According to the American Gaming Association, the number of permanent full-time workers in the … Continue reading →

Dow Chemical’s quarterly adjusted profit climbs, revenue rises

Dow Chemical’s second-quarter net income slid 62 percent from a prior-year period that benefited from a $2.16 billion payment related to a scrapped joint venture. But Dow’s adjusted profit and revenue topped analysts’ estimates. The stock climbed in pre-market trading on Wednesday. The specialty chemical company’s earnings … Continue reading →

AgCenter billboards encourage healthier eating, fitness habits

The LSU AgCenter has launched a marketing campaign to get poorer Louisiana residents, whose budgets and food options are often limited, to start thinking about making healthier choices when it comes to food and fitness. The campaign includes billboards in low-income areas across the state, as banners and posters that can be displayed in schools, stores and … Continue reading →

Federal judge dismisses sweetener case against LSU

A federal court in Los Angeles has dismissed Quest Nutrition LLC’s patent case against LSU over the development of a potential new sweetener. California-based Quest, which makes nutrition bars, said it went to LSU to consult on the sweeter. But LSU broke the confidentiality and nondisclosure agreement, according to Bloomberg.com. LSU has filed for a … Continue reading →

Investar CEO rings Nasdaq opening bell

Baton Rouge-based Investar Holding Corp. Chief Executive Officer John D’Angelo rang the opening bell for Nasdaq on Tuesday. Investar Holding is the parent company of Investar Bank and began trading on Nasdaq earlier this month under the symbol ISTR. The bank had total assets of $673 million as of March 31. Investar has … Continue reading →

Court: No protection agency funds for Stanford victims

Associated Press file photo by The Houston Chronicle, Nick de la Torre -- R. Allen Stanford, center, leaves the Bob Casey Federal Courthouse, in March  2012, in Houston.

The Securities Investor Protection Corp.’s emergency fund is not available to people who were fleeced of billions of dollars by Houston swindler Robert Allen Stanford, an appellate court has ruled. The decision by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rocked people who invested with Stanford’s companies from Baton Rouge to the Atlantic … Continue reading →

Two BR firms recommended for state incentives

Advocate staff photo by ANGELA MAJOR -- Packages of coffee pods move along a conveyer belt at Pod Pack. The Baton Rouge-based company, which manufactures single-serving pods of coffee and tea, has seen its sales more than quadruple since 2010.

Two Baton Rouge firms and a third in Shreveport have won recommendations for nearly $3.7 million in state awards from the Louisiana Economic Development Corp. Lacking a quorum because of intense rains Friday, Chairman A.J. Roy and several other board members said the recommendations would be subject to a vote of the full board at a later … Continue reading →

Gulf Coast holds oil from shale formations in abundance

Photo courtesy of Louisiana Offshore Oil PortThe above-ground tanks at Louisiana Offshore Oil Port's Clovelly facility allow the company to segregate specialty grades of crude oil for customers. This ability will be important if enough Canadian oil arrives in Louisiana to support the cost of adding the sysems needed to load vessels. Today, LOOP only offloads vessels carrying domestic and foreign crude.

The Gulf Coast is awash in oil from shale formations, so much light oil that the region’s refineries can’t process it all without spending big money on modifications. There’s so much shale oil that the United States has become the world’s largest crude producer, passing Saudi Arabia and Russia. There’s so much shale oil that when energy analysts … Continue reading →

Business Briefs, July 20, 2014

A combined PJ’s Coffee and WOW Cafe: American Grill and Wingery has opened in the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport. Ballard Brands formed a partnership with SSP America to provide food services at the airport. The company converted the cafe area located past airport security into … Continue reading →

Business meetings, July 20, 2014

LOUISIANA NOTARY ASSOCIATION-BATON ROUGE WHEN: Monday, 6:30 p.m. WHERE: D’Angelos, 7550 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge SPEAKER: Sharon Toups on “OMV Affidavit of Correction vs. Act of Correction” RESERVATIONS: Nan Riffe at nanor@eatel.net … Continue reading →

People in Business, July 20, 2014

Jim Engster, Louisiana Radio Network

Jim Engster, president of the Louisiana Radio Network, has been named president of the National Association of Statewide Radio Networks. Engster has served three years on the StateNets’ nine-member board, which represents radio networks in 31 states with more than 1,700 affiliates. Lemel Jones, who has served … Continue reading →

Business Honors, July 20, 2014

Fereydoun Aghazadeh, LSU Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

LSU professor Fereydoun ‘Fred’ Aghazadeh, in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, received the Institute of Industrial Engineering’s Fellow Award. The award recognizes outstanding leaders of the profession who have made significant, nationally recognized contributions to industrial engineering. The Regional Planning Commission for Jefferson, Orleans, … Continue reading →

FERC approves Cameron LNG site clearance

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has given the green light to Sempra Energy to begin site clearance at Cameron LNG. The move will pave the way for the company to begin construction on the plant’s new liquefaction units. FERC’s authorization, granted on July 10, will allow Sempra to begin removing bushes and … Continue reading →

Weekly jobless claims increase in La.

First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending July 12 increased to 2,984 from the previous week’s total of 2,301. The state labor department figures released Friday show the comparable week a year earlier, there were 3,764. The four-week moving average, which is a less volatile measure of claims, increased to 2,617 from … Continue reading →

BR Clinic patients to get CVS clinical support

Patients of the Baton Rouge Clinic will get access to clinical support, medication counseling, chronic disease monitoring and wellness programs at CVS/pharmacy stores and MinuteClinic, the retail health care division of CVS Caremark, the pharmacy company announced Wednesday. CVS Caremark will provide prescription and visit information to health care providers through the integration of secured electronic medical … Continue reading →

First grants to ‘LIFT’ tech businesses being awarded

Twenty-one LSU faculty members share the university’s first $500,000 in LIFT technology grants across five campuses, officials announced Tuesday. The 15 grants are the first since LIFT was created by the LSU Board of Supervisors in January. LIFT stands for Leverage Innovation for Technology Transfer, and the grants are for developing proof for advancements that … Continue reading →

Shell announces oil discovery in the Gulf

Shell said Tuesday it had made its third major discovery in the Norphlet play in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico with the Rydberg exploration well. The Rydberg well is located 75 miles offshore in the Mississippi Canyon Block 525 in 7,479 feet of water. It was drilled to a total depth of 26,371 … Continue reading →

Event to explore growing La. businesses with technology

A forum exploring ways that technology can help grow Louisiana businesses will be held from 10 a.m. to noon July 23 in the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry Conference Center, 3113 Valley Creek Drive, Baton Rouge. The event is an open meeting of the Technology Advocacy and Small Business Council and is being sponsored by … Continue reading →

LHC Group to acquire Life Care Home Health

Lafayette-based home nursing firm LHC Group will buy 14 home health agencies from a Tennessee company for $10 million in cash. Life Care Home Health Inc.’s agencies are spread across seven states. LHC said the deal will increase its footprint to 352 locations across 30 states. LHC expects to close the acquisition on Sept. 1, … Continue reading →

Handbook released for downtown BR developers

The Downtown Development District has released a development toolkit for downtown Baton Rouge with information for businesses and individuals looking at investing in the area. The 16-page guide contains information about the demographics of downtown, incentives that are available for developers and the process for obtaining commercial permits. This is the first time the … Continue reading →

Texas LNG facility draws $850 million investment

Associated Press file photo by STEVE CAMPBELL -- The Excelsior arrives at the Freeport LNG terminal in Houston in 2008. The Energy Department has given conditional approval to a Texas company that wants to export liquefied natural gas, the second LNG export project the Obama administration has approved as it faces a wave of export requests.

New York-based investment firm Global Infrastructure Partners has acquired 25 percent of Freeport LNG Development L.P., for $850 million. Freeport LNG is developing a three-unit liquefied natural gas export facility on Quintana Island, near Freeport, Texas. Global acquired the stake in the LNG facility through its second fund, Global Infrastructure Partners II. The deal is expected … Continue reading →

Level Homes expands to Florida

A Level Homes house in the Copper Mill development in Zachary

Baton Rouge-based Level Homes will enter the Florida market with two residential developments in the Sarasota area. The company is developing Bayshore, a 23-site, single-family home property, and Golden Gate, 15 condominiums in the downtown area. Golden Gate’s amenities include private boat slips. The Florida move is Level’s latest out-of-state expansion. The company, also … Continue reading →

Government Street revamp taking shape

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- The redevelopment of the Darensbourg Building is one of several projects that could reshape Government Street. The building will be one of the bookends of Model Block, a $1.6 million redevelopment of the block between Ogden and Bedford drives.

Work has started or is getting ready to begin on several development projects that will transform Government Street. Construction is underway on a model block of local businesses near Baton Rouge Magnet High. In the next few months, a nonprofit tied to Catholic High will look for partners to help with the redevelopment of Westmoreland Shopping … Continue reading →

People in Business for July 13, 2014

Charles F. Castille has been named executive director of the Rural Hospital Coalition. Castille was with law firm Adams and Reese LLP as special counsel with its governmental relations and health law practice and had served as general counsel, deputy secretary and undersecretary with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. … Continue reading →

Economists cut U.S. 2014 growth forecast to 1.6%

Associated Press file photo by Julie Jacobson -- A cashier rings up a sale Nov. 23, 2013, at a Sears store, in Las Vegas. U.S. business economists have sharply cut their growth forecasts for the April-June quarter and 2014, though they remain optimistic that the economy will rebound from a dismal first quarter.

U.S. business economists have sharply cut their growth forecasts for the April-June quarter and 2014, though they remain optimistic that the economy will rebound from a dismal first quarter. The average forecast for growth in the second quarter has fallen to 3 percent, according to a survey released Friday by the National Association … Continue reading →

Ride-share service launches in BR

Uber launched its ride-share service in Baton Rouge on Friday with LSU football coach Les Miles as “rider zero.” It’s unclear if Miles is a paid endorser. Uber spokeswoman Kaitlin Durkosh said she could not provide details about Miles because of the company’s privacy policies. The service will offer rides for $5 each … Continue reading →

State collects $1.5 million in mineral leases

The Louisiana Mineral and Energy Board collected $1.5 million in bonus revenue for the state in its July lease sale. The board awarded 15 leases covering 7,561 acres, out of 39 nominated tracts covering more than 62,867 acres. Leases were sold in Avoyelles, Caddo, Catahoula, Concordia, Plaquemines, St. Martin and Vermilion parishes. During fiscal year 2013-14, … Continue reading →

Study shows energy industry powers La. economy

Advocate staff file photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- The ExxonMobil Refinery in Baton Rouge is the nation's third-largest refinery. Two others in Louisiana are in the top five: Marathon in Garyville and Citgo in Lake Charles.

East Baton Rouge Parish is one of four parishes that will enjoy a taxable-property bonanza over the five years ending 2017, thanks to expiring tax exemptions on refineries. In East Baton Rouge, 10-year tax breaks on roughly $419.5 million worth of refinery property expire from 2013 to 2017, economist Loren Scott says in a 2014 update … Continue reading →

FCC files suit against Amazon over in-app purchases

The Federal Trade Commission is suing Amazon over charges that the company has not done enough to prevent children from making unauthorized in-app purchases, according to a complaint filed Thursday in federal court. The move had been expected since last week, when Amazon said it wouldn’t settle with the FTC over the … Continue reading →

First-phase areas of cancer center expansion open

Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center has opened the Phase One areas of its $23 million renovation and expansion project that started last summer. The areas that have been completed are: A 14,000-square-foot infusion suite with an onsite clinical oncology pharmacy for expedited drug preparation and delivery. The … Continue reading →