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‘Little things’ could mean state tax savings

Associated Press photo by PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS -- Tax preparer Richard Sowell works with Courtney Mayhew at H&R Block offices in Atlas District in Washington. The Internal Revenue Service started last week accepting electronic returns and processing paper ones.

Although no major changes took place in the Louisiana tax code, accountants and financial advisers want taxpayers to remember the little things, like claiming often-ignored tax credits and exemptions. “Some of the things that people should be aware of that they sometimes miss are the little things, like the Citizens Insurance tax credit,” said Jennifer McGinnis, director… Continue reading →

AARP Tax-Aide provides free services

Kathy Pickering, executive director of The Tax Institute at H&R Block

AARP Tax-Aide, a free, volunteer-run tax counseling and preparation service, can address most tax issues faced by low- and middle-income taxpayers, with special attention to those ages 60 and older. Sessions are scheduled: EAST BATON ROUGE MAIN LIBRARY: 7711 Goodwood Blvd.; e-filing; 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Mondays, Feb. 2-April 6; Tuesdays, Feb. 3-April… Continue reading →

Business Briefs for Jan. 25, 2015

SCORE is holding a free workshop titled “Simple Steps for Starting Your Business” from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday in the East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library at 7711 Goodwood Blvd. Topics include myths and realities of entrepreneurship; critical success factors; know your options; components… Continue reading →

People in Business for Jan. 25, 2015

Russell Mosely, of Long Farm Village and Mosely Law Firm

Russell Mosely, developer of Long Farm Village and partner of Mosely Law Firm, has been elected president the Baton Rouge Growth Coalition board of directors.… Continue reading →

Business Honors for Jan. 25, 2015

Lisa Skemp, Our Lady of the Lake College

Lisa Skemp, professor of nursing at Our Lady of the Lake College, was inducted as a fellow by the American Academy of Nursing for her leadership in education, management and policy focused on improving health and also as a fellow by the Gerontological Society of America for outstanding contributions to the field… Continue reading →

Business Meetings for Jan. 25, 2015

BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU WHEN: Tuesday, 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. WHERE: Holiday Inn Baton Rouge South, 9940 Airline Highway, Baton Rouge TOPIC: “Become a Volunteer of the Better Business Bureau” COST: Complimentary event for BBB-accredited… Continue reading →

Two Sonic restaurants sold for $3.5 million

Two Sonic fast-food restaurants that opened within the past six months have been sold for $3.5 million. The Sonics at 505 East Boyd Drive in Baton Rouge and 14620 Greenwell Springs in Central were sold by the developer to businesses associated with Larry Tucker of Baton Rouge, according to documents filed with the East Baton Rouge Clerk… Continue reading →

Initial unemployment claims fall in Louisiana

The state labor department says first-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending Jan. 17 decreased to 2,987 from the previous week’s total of 3,601. For the comparable week a year earlier, there were 2,726 initial claims, officials said Friday. The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure, increased to 2,492, from the previous… Continue reading →

Louisiana to save millions by refinancing highway projects

Louisiana has refinanced $649 million in highway project borrowing to take advantage of lower interest rates. Treasurer John Kennedy’s office said Friday that the refinancing, done this week, will save the state $109 million over 26 years in lessened interest payments on the debt. Under state law, the savings can only be used to pay for… Continue reading →

Blue Cross moving some IT workers to Bon Carré

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana plans to move about 90 information technology employees to the Bon CarrĂ© Business Center. The company will spend about $1.3 million to renovate 17,822 square feet at 7257 Florida Blvd., according to a permit issued by the city-parish earlier this week. John Maginnis, a spokesman for Blue Cross,… Continue reading →

Kleinpeter Farms Dairy CEO Jeff Kleinpeter taking sabbatical

Jeff Kleinpeter, president and chief executive officer of Kleinpeter Farms Dairy, said Thursday he is taking a short sabbatical after working to overcome quality issues last year involving the family owned Baton Rouge dairy’s milk. “I expect to come back within 30 days to help the team grow even further,” Kleinpeter said. Kleinpeter said his brother… Continue reading →

Shipper adding service at Port of New Orleans

Shippers will soon have new direct weekly options to Europe from the Port of New Orleans. CMA CGM, the world’s third-largest container carrier, is adding the port to its Victory Bridge Service. FRance-based CMA CGM will launch the service Feb. 2 with the arrival of the CMA CGM Jamaica at the Port’s Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal.… Continue reading →

The Advocate overtakes The Times-Picayune as Louisiana's largest newspaper

Advocate staff file photo by BILL FEIG -- John Georges, publisher and CEO of The Advocate, addresses employees during a November groundbreaking for a new headquarters on Reiger Road for The Advocate's daily newspapers in Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Lafayette and growing portfolio of weeklies. The Advocate has overtaken The Times-Picayune as the state's largest newspaper for average circulation.

The Advocate has overtaken The Times-Picayune as Louisiana’s largest newspaper, according to statistics made public Thursday. The Advocate’s circulation has increased since being acquired in 2013 and expanded by New Orleans businessman John Georges. Meanwhile, The Times-Picayune has seen its circulation decline by about 28 percent since 2012 when news broke that… Continue reading →

Regional-bank investors fears rise as oil price’s fall

As banks begin reporting fourth-quarter earnings, one question is on the lips of investors and stock analysts: How will energy-related loans affect the banks? Investors are panicking, Brady Gailey, an analyst with Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, told The Wall Street Journal. Gailey said nervous investors are peppering him and other bank analysts with questions about how… Continue reading →

New Orleans accounting firm merging into regional company

Gurtner Zuniga Abney, a New Orleans area accounting and advisory services firm, is merging into Carr, Riggs & Ingram LLC, an Alabama-based firm with offices in 21 markets and 1,250 employees throughout nine states across the South. CRI said it will retain current Gurtner personnel and will be operating offices in New Orleans and Mandeville.… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge, New Orleans top magazine’s filmmaking list

Photo provided by Universal -- Anna Kendrick stars in the Baton Rouge-filmed 'Pitch Perfect 2.' Baton Rouge topped MovieMaker Magazine's list of best small cities to live and work in as a filmmaker in 2015

MovieMaker Magazine has named Baton Rouge and New Orleans as the first and second best small cities to live and work in as a filmmaker in 2015. The magazine ranked its five best film-making cities ranging from 100,000 to 400,000 in population. Baton Rouge and New Orleans were followed by Savannah, Georgia; Pittsburgh; and Orlando, Florida.… Continue reading →

Louisiana enrollment tops 137,000 for ‘Obamacare’

Louisiana enrollment has reached 137,142 residents under Obamacare. The figures include those who have enrolled or were automatically re-enrolled for 2015 in the online federal marketplace for health insurance as of Jan. 16, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A year ago, roughly 102,000 Louisiana consumers found 2014 coverage through the federal… Continue reading →

BASF expanding Geismar plant’s production capacity

BASF is expanding production at its Geismar plant for a product used in making plastics, solvents, electronic chemicals and elastic fibers. The project will increase production of a chemical intermediate called 1,4-butanediol by 10 percent in 2016, lifting the company’s global capacity of BDOs to 670,000 metric tons per year. A project cost was not… Continue reading →

Stone Energy to halve drilling budget in 2015

Lafayette-based Stone Energy Corp. will slash its capital spending in 2015 to $450 million, a little more than half of the $875 million the company spent a year ago on items including drilling, exploration and lease acquisition. Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer David Welch said the spending cuts were part of the steps the company has… Continue reading →

Rouses ready to return to Denham Springs

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Managing Partner Donny Rouse talks about the new Rouses Market in Juban Crossing. The store has a focus on Louisiana products, such as  Zapp's potato chips and Abita beer.

Rouses Market will make its return to Denham Springs on Wednesday, when the grocery chain opens a store in Juban Crossing. The Thibodaux-based chain had a location at 630 S. Range Ave. in the late 1990s in a building once home to a National Superstore. Back then, Rouses had eight stores in the Houma-Thibodaux… Continue reading →

Venture Global seeks additional property for LNG site

Venture Global Calcasieu Pass LLC has signed an agreement for an additional 63-acre parcel next to the site of its proposed natural gas export project, Calcasieu Pass, in Cameron Parish. Calcasieu Pass has filed for federal permission to export liquefied natural gas. The original site covers 203.6 acres. The additional parcel gives Calcasieu Pass roughly one mile… Continue reading →

Area home sales increase in 2014

Baton Rouge area home sales increased by 3.2 percent in 2014, thanks to more activity in Livingston and Ascension parishes. There were 8,903 homes sold in the nine-parish area during 2014, compared with 8,625 in 2013, according to figures released Tuesday by the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors’ Multiple Listing Service. “It… Continue reading →

Matheson agrees to supply gases to Sasol’s ethane cracker

Matheson has signed a deal to build a new air separation unit to supply oxygen and nitrogen to Sasol’s world-scale ethane cracker at the company’s $8.1 billion complex in Lake Charles. Under the agreement, Matheson will build the unit and a pipeline using the technology and facility of Matheson’s parent company, Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corp. The cost… Continue reading →

Albemarle realigns business units

In the wake of completing a $6.2 billion deal for lithium producer Rockwood Holdings, Baton Rouge-based specialty chemicals maker Albemarle Corp. said it will realign its global business units and announced the executives that will head those divisions. The three units are Chemetall Surface Treatment, Refining Solutions and Performance Chemicals. Chemetall will supply specialty chemicals, with a… Continue reading →

Effort underway to reopen Oaks at Sherwood golf course

Advocate staff file photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- The par 4 ninth hole provides a view of the Oaks at Sherwood golf course, which has been shut down since July 2013. A former member of the course is trying to raise $500,000 from private investors to reopen the course.

A former member of the Oaks at Sherwood is trying to round up investors to raise $500,000 to reopen the shuttered golf course. Hien Nguyen said the idea for reopening the golf course, which has been closed since July 2013, came about while he was doing information technology work at the Legacy at Bonne Esperance, the tennis… Continue reading →

LSU participates in worldwide game creation event

LSU and its students will be part of the Global Game Jam, the world's largest game creation event, from Jan. 23-25. Organizers are describing the event as a hackathon focused on game development. This is LSU's second year as a festival participant. The game jam starts at around 5 p.m. Friday. Participants at sites worldwide will… Continue reading →

Report: Fine for 2010 spill should be lower because of drop in oil prices, BP to argue in court

BP plans to argue that the drop in oil prices means the company should pay a lower fine for the 2010 oil-well explosion that spewed millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. BP faces up to $13.7 billion in federal fines for the disaster, and the oil giant currently finds itself in much less… Continue reading →

Lafayette, Orleans metros adding parishes; Hammond becomes a metro area

Happy New Year to the Lafayette, New Orleans and Hammond areas. Acadiana and the Big Easy just added parishes to their metropolitan statistical areas, making them bigger, while Hammond becomes the centerpiece of a new, ninth metro area for the state that encompasses Tangipahoa Parish. The big news, though, is Lafayette’s new metro just… Continue reading →

People in Business for Jan. 18, 2015

Gasper Chifici, of Burk-Kleinpeter Inc.

Gasper Chifici has been named vice president in the Baton Rouge office of New Orleans-based Burk-Kleinpeter Inc. Chifici was self-employed as president of G&D PM Consulting LLC. Parker’s… Continue reading →

Business Honors for Jan. 18, 2015

Theresa Lockwood, Baton Rouge Physical Therapy Lake

Theresa Lockwood was presented with the 2014 Outstanding HR Professional of the Year Award by the Greater Baton Rouge Society for Human Resource Management. Lockwood is the director of human resources at Baton Rouge Physical Therapy Lake. The award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the HR profession and… Continue reading →

Business Meetings for Jan. 18, 2015

LOUISIANA NOTARY ASSOCIATION-BATON ROUGE WHEN: Monday, 6:30 p.m. WHERE: D’Angelos, 7550 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge RESERVATIONS: Nan Riffe, BUSINESS NETWORK OF BR WHEN: Tuesday, 7:30… Continue reading →

Rail service expansion proposed at Port of Baton Rouge

ED NOTE: Don't know what the slug is as I am making this assign myself.  TS)      Advocate Staff Photo by Travis Spradling. The Teddy Meyer pushes a string of barges past part of the Port of Baton Rouge, just below the I-10 bridge,  as another boat sits well below the dock,  because of the  low level of the  Mississippi River, Thursday, July 5, 2012 From Baton Rouge to New Orleans,  river traffic is not very affected by the low river level, because of the river's navigation channel.   MAGS OUT / INTERNET  OUT/ONLINE OUT/NO SALES/TV OUT/FOREIGN OUT/ LOUISIANA BUSINESS INC./GREATER BATON ROUGE BUSINESS REPORT/225/10/12/IN REGISTER/LBI CUSTOM PUBLICATIONS OUT/

More than $19.6 million in rail service expansions are proposed for the Port of Greater Baton Rouge. The proposal is set for a vote Thursday by members of the Greater Baton Rouge Port Commission. On the table is more than $7 million for installation of interchange tracks. The addition would enable the Port Allen facility to… Continue reading →

U.S. rig count plunges by 74; Louisiana down 1

Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. tumbled by 74 this week to 1,676. The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report 1,366 rigs were exploring for oil and 310 for gas. A year ago 1,777 rigs were active.… Continue reading →

Production start again pushed back for Elio

The start date for production of a new three-wheeled vehicle at a plant in Shreveport has been pushed back — again. Production at Elio Motors had been slated to start by March 2015. Now, it is expected to begin in first half of 2016. Founder Paul Elio made the announcement Thursday. Elio again… Continue reading →

Initial unemployment claims rise in Louisiana

The state labor department says first-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending Jan. 10 increased to 3,601 from the previous week’s total of 1,814. An increase in initial claims is customary the first week of a new quarter. Also, the previous work week was shorter due to the New Year holiday, and retail… Continue reading →