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Business Briefs for Sept. 14, 2014

Joey Munn, Progressive Safety Innovators

The LSU AgCenter Food Incubator has received a $25,000 grant from the Louisiana Economic Development Business Incubation Support Program. The funds were awarded through the Louisiana Business Incubator Association and will be used to purchase faster, more efficient processing equipment. “Adding faster processing equipment to our… Continue reading →

People in Business for Sept. 14, 2014

Rene Clouatre, Business First Bank

Rene Clouatre has been named vice president, associate chief credit officer, at Business First Bank. He was a loan review specialist with the FDIC and previously director of internal audit for The Shaw Group. Clouatre is from New Orleans and a graduate of the University of New Orleans.… Continue reading →

Business Honors for Sept. 14, 2014

Timothy McCall Sr., Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division/International Brotherhood of Teamsters

The Greater Baton Rouge Industry Alliance Inc. announced the winners of its seventh annual Craft Workforce Development Excellence Awards, recognizing contractors who invest in workforce development programs that include recruitment, assessment, training, career path development and retention of employees. The GBRIA Craft Workforce Development Most Valuable Plant award was presented to BASF Corp. and The… Continue reading →

Eastman Chemical buying Taminco

Eastman Chemical Co. will acquire specialty chemical maker Taminco Corp., whose plants include a St. Gabriel manufacturing facility, in a deal valued at $2.8 billion. The St. Gabriel plant makes dimethylaminopropylamine or DMAPA, “a chemical cornerstone” used in making fabric softeners, detergents, disinfectants, shampoo and liquid soap. Taminco officials did not respond to requests for… Continue reading →

Initial unemployment claims fall in Louisiana

First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending Sept. 6 decreased to 1,961 from the previous week’s total of 2,237. The state labor department said claims for the comparable week a year earlier were 2,190 claims. The four-week moving average, which is a less volatile measure of claims, decreased to 2,202 from… Continue reading →

Agency helps consumers get $2 million in insurance disputes

Consumers who filed complaints against their insurance companies recovered an additional $2.25 million in payments during the first half of 2014, with help from the Louisiana Department of Insurance. Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon said these payments are above and beyond the original amounts insurers offered to the consumers. The payments are the result of Insurance Department staff… Continue reading →

U.S. rig count up 6; Lousiana down 2

Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by six this week to 1,931. The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,592 rigs were exploring for oil and 338 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were… Continue reading →

Citizens Property insurance rates rising for most commercial customers

Premiums for almost all of Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp.’s commercial customers will increase an average of 2.3 percent beginning in February, under a proposed rate filing. But the 307 customers whose properties lie below the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway will see rates drop by 17.5 percent, said Citizens Chief Financial Officer Steve Cottrell. The average policyholder… Continue reading →

Albemarle deal with Rockwood gets past antitrust review period

The federally mandated antitrust review waiting period for Albemarle Corp.’s $6.2 billion acquisition of Rockwood Holdings Inc. has passed. “This is another important step as we continue to make progress towards completion of the transaction with Rockwood to create a premier specialty chemicals company,” said Albemarle President and Chief Executive Office Luke Kissam.… Continue reading →

CSRS, Tillage to fully manage EBR school construction

Baton Rouge firms CSRS and Tillage Construction have acquired Georgia-based Garrard Group’s half of the CSRS/Garrard Program Management partnership, which oversees construction management for the East Baton Rouge Parish School System. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The CSRS-Tillage partnership, a 75-25 arrangement, will manage roughly $200 million in school construction projects, including… Continue reading →

Baker discount store sold for $1.8 million

The Fred’s Super Dollar Store property in Baker has been sold to a local investor for $1.8 million. Sidco Real Estate LLC, headed by Sidney Coxe Jr. of Baton Rouge, bought the store in a deal that was filed Tuesday with the East Baton Rouge Clerk of Court’s Office. The seller was Kimble Development of Baton… Continue reading →

BR to get $1.8 million transit grant

Baton Rouge has been awarded a $1.8 million federal transportation grant to study plans to develop a high-capacity transit system along Nicholson Drive to better connect LSU and downtown. U.S. Sens. Mary Landrieu and David Vitter announced the grant award Tuesday. The money is being allocated from the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER, Grant Program.… Continue reading →

Downtown Baton Rouge maintenance committee formed

The Downtown Development District has formed a Downtown Maintenance Committee to help eliminate eyesores around the area, such as trash dumpsters on sidewalks and weeds and potholes in surface parking lots. The committee was announced at Tuesday’s DDD meeting. Davis Rhorer, executive director of the DDD, said the committee was formed after a challenge was issued… Continue reading →

La. Sports Hall of Fame wins design award

Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame & Northwest Louisiana History Museum in Natchitoches.

New Orleans-based Trahan Architects has been awarded a 2014 International Architecture Award for the design of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Regional History Museum in Natchitoches. The design was among those honored by the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. The awards recognized… Continue reading →

BASF donates $100,000 to Ascension community college

Chemical giant BASF has donated $100,000 to River Parishes Community College to support the construction of an Advanced Technology Center on the school’s new campus in Burnside. The center will strengthen workforce development for Ascension Parish and the surrounding area. BASF said it will work closely with the college to design the new facility and develop… Continue reading →

Sperry Van Ness opens BR office

Sperry Van Ness International Corp., a commercial real estate franchise, has opened a Baton Rouge office, Sperry Van Ness / Graham, Langlois & Legendre LLC. Managing Directors Ben Graham and Justin Langlois and Managing Broker Steve Legendre will head the commercial real estate brokerage and property management franchise. The organization will focus on full-service The men have… Continue reading →

Sasol nears decision on west La. megaproject

Sasol won’t make the final decision on a multibillion-dollar natural gas-to-liquids facility in Westlake until late 2016 but will announce its decision on an ethane cracker by the end of the year, President and Chief Executive Officer David Constable said during a Monday conference call with stock analysts and investors. The gas-to-liquids facility will convert natural gas… Continue reading →

Moving truck prompts questions on Eola’s future

Officials at the historic Eola Hotel in Natchez, owned by Bob Dean of Baton Rouge, say the hotel has not been sold — despite what some callers to the hotel management might think. Eola manager Ron Brumfield said he received calls from residents Friday asking if the hotel had been sold.… Continue reading →

BR Health District could include medical school, obesity/diabetes center

A proposed south Baton Rouge health district, which could include a four-year medical school, nationally recognized clinical research center for diabetes and obesity and new dual-degree programs at LSU, will be up for public discussion this month. “It’s exciting,” said John Spain, Baton Rouge Area Foundation executive vice president. While this is planning for 10 to 15… Continue reading →

IberiaBank buys six Memphis branches, plans ATMs

IberiaBank Corp., of Lafayette, will acquire the six Memphis, Tenn. branches of Trust One Bank, a division of Synovus Bank, under a deal announced Friday. The price was not disclosed. IberiaBank will acquire selected loans and other assets and the deposits of Synovus’ Memphis operations in an acquisition expected to close by the end of 2013. As… Continue reading →

Business Meetings for Sept. 7, 2014

BATON ROUGE LODGING ASSOCIATION WHEN: Thursday, 11:30 a.m. WHERE: Crowne Plaza, 4728 Constitution Ave., Baton Rouge EVENT: House Keepers Appreciation Luncheon COST: $25 members; $35 nonmembers and no shows RESERVATIONS:Continue reading →

Business Briefs for Sept. 7, 2014

Terril Faul, 4-H

Terril Faul, who retired as state leader of 4-H in 2007, is being inducted into the Hall of Fame in October at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Faul is the 12th person from Louisiana to be honored. Faul began his 41-year extension career in 1970 as… Continue reading →

U.S. rig count up 11; Louisiana unchanged

Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by 11 this week to 1,925. The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,584 rigs were exploring for oil and 340 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A… Continue reading →

Initial unemployment claims fall in Louisiana

First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending Aug. 30 decreased to 2,237 from the previous week’s total of 2,268. The state labor department figures released Friday show initial claims for the comparable week a year earlier were 2,434. The four-week moving average, which is a less volatile measure of claims, decreased to… Continue reading →

Company partnering with city-parish for deckhand job fair

A job fair to fill immediate openings for deckhands in Baton Rouge and the surrounding areas will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday at the EmployBR office at 4523 Plank Road. The fair is sponsored by Turn Services, a push boat company, and EmployBR, the city-parish’s workforce agency. Representatives from Turn Services will… Continue reading →