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2015 Baton Rouge Attorney Profiles
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Close to half of La. workers can’t earn sick days

An estimated 676,000 Louisiana workers, or 45.1 percent of the workforce, cannot earn sick days, according to a new report from the National Partnership for Women & Families. Nationally, close to 40 percent of the workforce can’t earn sick days. The failure to establish a paid sick days standard is harming people in Louisiana… Continue reading →

Amedisys easily beats Wall Street forecast

Amedisys Inc., a Baton Rouge-based home health and hospice company, increased its second-quarter earnings to $10.6 million, or 32 cents per share, from $7.6 million, or 24 cents a share, a year earlier. However, after adjusting for exit and restructuring costs, settling a federal class-action lawsuit involving overtime payments, and an unrealized gain on investment, Amedisys’ second-quarter… Continue reading →

Thai Kitchen to move to Concord Avenue in October

The owners of Thai Kitchen, a popular Thai restaurant and karaoke lounge, have purchased the old Phil’s Oyster Bar building on Concord Avenue and plan to move their business. Kiatisak Sanguanruang and Punnee Arsanathong bought the building at 4550 Concord Ave. for $625,000, according to documents filed Tuesday with the East Baton Rouge Clerk of… Continue reading →

Florida Fuel Connection plans to build $75 million East Feliciana terminal to ship fuel to Florida, southeast Georgia

Florida Fuel Connection plans to build a $75 million petroleum terminal and rail transportation facility in East Feliciana Parish for shipping gasoline and other fuels by rail to Florida and southeast Georgia. The terminal near Slaughter will create 50 new direct jobs, with an average annual salary of $70,000, plus benefits, according to Louisiana… Continue reading →

Louisiana gains jobs despite losses in five of nine labor markets

Although only four of the state’s nine metro areas added jobs during the 12 months through June, Louisiana’s nonfarm employment still grew by 15,100 jobs to 1,995,800. The Baton Rouge metro area led the way, adding 10,300 jobs during the 12-month period to reach 403,700 jobs. It was the 54th consecutive month of year-over-year increases in nonfarm employment,… Continue reading →

Like a scene from a monster movie, track hoe operator tears down Tinseltown sign one bite at a time

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Larry Broussard with American Construction & Demolition begins the process of taking the sign at Tinseltown theater down Tuesday morning. Demolition started earlier this month on the Tinseltown theater. The theater has largely been vacant since late 2007, when parent company Cinemark USA opened a new theater in nearby Perkins Rowe. A spokeswoman for Olshan Properties, which owns the Siegen Lane Marketplace that Tinseltown is part of, said there is no news to report on the theater site. Tinseltown opened in 1996 and was the first theater in Baton Rouge to offer stadium-style seating.

Workers from American Construction tear down the Tinseltown sign Tuesday morning. Crews have spent nearly three weeks demolishing the theater, which has largely been empty since since late 2007, when parent company Cinemark USA opened a new theater in nearby Perkins Rowe. A spokeswoman for Olshan Properties, which owns the Siegen Lane Marketplace that Tinseltown is part… Continue reading →

La. school system ranked fifth-worst

Low math and reading scores helped give Louisiana the fifth-worst school system in the United States, according to report by financial website WalletHub. The WalletHub report looked at 13 measures, including math and reading test scores, student-teacher ratio, dropout rates, standardized-test scores and bullying incidence rates. On the plus side, Louisiana ranked No. 19… Continue reading →

Investar loan growth helps drive profit

Baton Rouge-based Investar Holding Corp. reported a second-quarter profit of $1.8 million, or 25 cents per share, compared to $1.1 million, or 26 cents per share, a year earlier. Wall Street analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected earnings of 24 cents per share. Investar Holding is the parent company of Investar Bank, which has branches… Continue reading →

Home Bancorp profit rises

Lafayette-based Home Bancorp Inc. reported its second-quarter profit rose slightly to $2.8 million, or 41 cents per share, an increase of $87,000, or 1 cent per share, over the same period last year. Home Bancorp is the parent company of Home Bank N.A. Stock analysts surveyed by Zacks Investement Research had forecast earnings of 40 cents… Continue reading →

MidSouth Bancorp beats Wall Street forecast

LAFAYETTE – MidSouth Bancorp Inc.’s second-quarter profit climbed to $4.9 million, or 42 cents per share, from $3.9 million, or 34 cents per share, a year ago. Those results easily outstripped Wall Street’s expectations. Analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research had forecast earnings of 24 cents per share However, MidSouth’s second-quarter results included a… Continue reading →

Reiger Road Super 8 hotel sold for $3.2 million

The Super 8 hotel at 10451 Reiger Road has been sold for $3.2 million. Aastha, a Denham Springs-based limited liability company, bought the hotel in a deal that was filed Monday with the East Baton Rouge Clerk of Court’s office. The sellers were Dakshaben and Anilkumar Desai. Aastha is made up of Anilkumar Patel,… Continue reading →

EPI Group, Heart of Hospice acquire two hospices

EPI Group LLC and Lafayette-based Heart of Hospice LLC have acquired the hospice operations of Lakeshore Hospice Acquisition LLC in Hammond and Heart of Hospice of New Orleans LLC. The price was not disclosed. The two hospice facilities serve about 140 patients in southeast Louisiana. Heart of Hospice LLC was founded in 2007 and provides… Continue reading →

Business Honors for July 26, 2015

The Louisiana Restaurant Association has named as its 2015 Restaurateur of the Year Melvin Rodrigue, of Galatoire’s and its brands, as Hall of Fame Inductee chef John Folse; as Associate Member of the Year Brian Girardot, of Community Coffee; and Advocate of the Year U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, representing the state’s second congressional district.… Continue reading →

People in Business for July 26, 2015

Brent J. Guilbeau, of Coleman Partners Architects LLC

Brent J. Guilbeau has been promoted to firm associate at Coleman Partners Architects LLC. Guilbeau, a licensed and LEED-accredited architect, has been with the firm since 2001. He has been lead architect on projects such as the Dunham School’s Brown-Holt Chapel Arts Center and upper school gymnasium, Mayfield Elementary in St. Tammany… Continue reading →

Business Briefs for July 26, 2015

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals and the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum have formed the Health Information Technology Advisory Council, which will help develop health IT-related strategies in the state. The council consists of 17 members from across the state, representing health care providers, payers… Continue reading →

Lava Cantina owners to open Dallas music venue

The owners of Lava Cantina, a rock-and-roll-themed Mexican restaurant in Perkins Rowe, plan to break ground in the next two to three months on a $6 million restaurant and live music venue in suburban Dallas. Ian Vaughn, who co-founded Lava Cantina with his father, Steve, said Lava Cantina The Colony will be an 1,800-seat facility… Continue reading →

Louisiana Health Cooperative discontinuing insurance operations after being created with federal funds under Obamacare

Louisiana Health Cooperative Inc., a nonprofit health insurer created with a $65.8 million federal loan under the health care law is winding down its operations at the end of the year and will not offer coverage in 2016. The co-op said it will honor policies for the nearly 17,000 people who currently receive health insurance through the… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge area home sales see 10% increase in June from year ago, snapping 2-month decline

The number of houses sold in metro Baton Rouge rose 10.6 percent in June from a year ago, snapping a two-month streak in which home sales declined. There were 994 homes sold in June in the nine-parish area, according to figures released Thursday by the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors’ Multiple Listing Service. That… Continue reading →

New high speed internet service introduced in Zachary

The Americana traditional neighborhood development in Zachary is the first community in metro Baton Rouge to get Cox Communications’ new gigabit Internet service, which provides customers with download speeds that are 100 times faster than standard household services. “Zachary is going to be a smarter community as a whole as a result of what is happening… Continue reading →

IberiaBank profit rises but falls short of Wall Street forecast

Lafayette-based IberiaBank Corp.’s second-quarter earnings jumped to $30.8 million, or 79 cents per share, compared $16.2 million, or 53 cents per share, a year earlier. The company’s second-quarter profit was lowered by non-operating costs, including acquisition-related charges. All of those costs lowered earnings by 26 cents per share after taxes. Without those charges, IberiaBank would… Continue reading →

Beau Olinde elected chairman of B. Olinde and Sons Co. LLC

Beau Olinde, chairman of the board of B. Olinde and Sons Co. LLC

Beau Olinde was recently elected as chairman of the board of B. Olinde and Sons Co. LLC, which does business under the trade names Olinde and Baton Rouge Beverage Co. Olinde is the fourth generation of his family involved in management of B. Olinde and Sons. The company began in the late 1800s, was incorporated in… Continue reading →

WBRZ-TV news director leaving at end of year

WBRZ-TV News Director Chuck Bark will end an 11-year run in that position at the end of 2015. “Most of us that do this are probably Type-A personalities anyway. I’ll probably be out of it for a bit, and who knows what I’ll do next,” Bark said. Nothing prompted the decision, other than the desire… Continue reading →

Nordstrom Rack reveals October opening date for new Baton Rouge store; Lafayette location coming in 2016

Photo provided by NORDSTROM -- A Nordstrom Rack store is set to open at the Mall of Louisiana on Oct. 1, in the space formerly occupied by American Factory Direct Furniture Outlets. The store sells men's, women's and children's clothing and accessories, at a 30 percent to 70 percent discount from regular prices. It will be the first Nordstrom store of any type in Louisiana.

. Get ready, Baton Rouge and Lafayette. Your new Nordstrom Rack stores are on their way. According to the retailer's website, the new Baton Rouge location at the Mall of Louisiana will open Oct. 1. Lafayette's new location at Ambassador Town Center will open spring 2016. In Baton Rouge, the 30,000-square-foot store… Continue reading →

Lithuania company investing $265 million to restart idle Louisiana plant

Investimus Foris, a Lithuania-based conglomerate, said Wednesday it will invest $265 million to convert an idle biofuels plant in Grant Parish into an ammonia manufacturing facility. Louisiana Economic Development officials said the project will create 85 direct jobs, with an average annual salary of $55,000, plus benefits. The work will support 560 construction jobs and create an… Continue reading →

New pipelines will send cheap natural gas South

New pipelines will unleash massive supplies of natural gas penned in the Northeast, allowing Florida and other southeastern states to take advantage of the low-cost fuel. Bloomberg reports that the pipelines and record production in the Marcellus Shale – 16.5 billion cubic feet a day in June – will slash regional price differences.… Continue reading →

PTS Solutions Inc. acquires Arizona company

PTS Solutions Inc., a public safety software company with its main operations in Baton Rouge, has acquired ITX Information Technology Solutions Inc. in Arizona. PTS, headquartered in Harrisonburg in north Louisiana with local offices on Corporate Boulevard, provides public safety software for local, parish/county and state law enforcement agencies, dispatch centers, jails and courts throughout Louisiana… Continue reading →

Louisiana adds 15,100 jobs over 12 months despite oil slump

Louisiana gained 15,100 jobs over the 12 months ending June 30, lifting the state’s total to 1,995,800, the highest June figures on record, despite the continued slump in the oil and gas industry. “Our labor markets seem to be performing well with growth across most industry sectors,” said Curt Eysink, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission.… Continue reading →

Convent coal export terminal sells for $412 million

SunCoke Energy Partners LP will expand into handling coal exports with the $412 million acquisition of Convent Marine Terminal, one of the Gulf Coast’s largest export facilities. The terminal can export up to 10 million tons of coal per year, and almost all of the facility’s capacity is taken up by long-term contracts. The facility has improved… Continue reading →

CF Industries discussing possible deal involving some OCI businesses

Fertilizer maker CF Industries Holdings Inc., which has substantial operations in Louisiana, said on Monday it is in preliminary talks with OCI NV on a potential deal involving some of OCI’s businesses. CF Industries’ stock dropped $3.92 to $65 a share. The Deerfield, Illinois-based company also said there are no assurances that the discussions will result… Continue reading →

Burbank CVS building sold again for the second time this year

For the second time in less than a year, the CVS Pharmacy building at 9326 Burbank Drive has been sold for $4.4 million. ECC Baton Rouge La LLC of San Ramon, California, bought the store for $4.4 million in a deal that was filed Monday with the East Baton Rouge Clerk of Court’s office. The seller… Continue reading →

Checkers & Rally's planning to re-enter Baton Rouge, open several new locations at 'hot spots'

Checkers & Rally’s, which operates nearly 800 drive-thru fast-food restaurants across the U.S., plans to re-enter the Baton Rouge market with 10 to 15 locations. Jennifer Durham, vice president of franchise development for the Tampa, Florida-based chain, said Checkers is looking at getting existing and new franchisees to enter the Baton Rouge market. The… Continue reading →

Three Louisiana hospices selected for new Medicare program

Three Louisiana hospices are among the more than 140 selected to take part in a new program that allows Medicare members who qualify to receive hospice care while continuing medical treatment. The Louisiana facilities are St. Joseph Hospice LLC in Baton Rouge; St. Joseph Hospice and Palliative Care Northshore LLC in Covington; and St. Joseph Hospice of… Continue reading →

Louisiana Technology Park in Baton Rouge has netted six video game developers so far

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING --  Fierce-toothed piranhas eat diving bell spiders at the Piranha Jungle level of 'Tadpole Treble,'  a music-oriented adventure video game that Michael Taranto and  brother Matthew Taranto produce through their Baton Rouge-based company, BitFinity.

Louisiana Technology Park has attracted six gaming clients to its nonprofit Baton Rouge incubator, and two are polishing video games for release this summer or early next year. First up is BitFinity, owned by brothers Michael Taranto, 32, of Prairieville, and Matthew Taranto, 30, of Sorrento. They plan to release “Tadpole Treble”… Continue reading →

People in Business for July 19, 2015

Staci Sullivan, of Lane Regional Medical Center

Staci Sullivan has been named chief nursing officer for Lane Regional Medical Center. She was the vice president of infant and pediatric services at Woman’s Hospital. Jeff Mosely has been named vice president of facilities and construction at Our Lady of the Lake… Continue reading →

Business Honors for July 19, 2015

Gervy Papion, State Farm Insurance

Gervy Papion of State Farm Insurance has earned the Chartered Life Underwriter designation from The American College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Certification is based on completion of courses and examinations, experience and ethics requirements. N-Y Associates Inc. was recognized as the Sustaining Engineering Firm of the… Continue reading →

Business Briefs for July 19, 2015

The Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southern University in Baton Rouge is planning a series of free seminars on developing a business plan. The dates are July 20, 22, 27 and 29, each from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., with different aspects of developing a… Continue reading →

Consumer, business spending in East Baton Rouge Parish down in May

Consumer and business spending in East Baton Rouge Parish fell by 2.5 percent in May, the second consecutive month that economic activity was lower than the year before. According to figures released by the city-parish Finance Department, businesses and consumers spent $688.7 million in May. That compares with $706.2 million in May 2014. The figures do… Continue reading →

Distribution center moves to Livingston Parish

State officials approved $1.2 million Friday to help build a second road through the 200-acre Livingston Industrial Park along U.S. 190 just east of Walker. The move benefits Martin-Brower Co., the largest distributor of products to McDonald’s restaurants. Martin-Brower was offered that assistance by state economic development officials before the Illinois-based firm agreed in March… Continue reading →