barometer

a compendium of what’s hot & what’s not in Louisiana

Girls in physical education classes at Airline High School in Bossier City had to perform three different stacking patterns.

photograph by Sean Green of the Bossier Press Tribune

Whole Lot of Stacking Going On. Girls in physical education classes at Airline High School in Bossier City have taken part in the World Sport Stacking Association’s effort to set a Guinness World Record in cup stacking, softball coach Tracey Rambin told the Bossier Press-Tribune. This year 276,637 worldwide participants were registered to take part. For next year,  “We’re working on getting these giant cups that take two hands to stack,” Rambin said.
Wasting Away Wetlands. The city of Mandeville, in an extension of a current project, will begin pumping up to 2 million gallons of biologically treated effluent daily into 1,700 acres of marshland via a 3-mile-long pipeline with 25 discharge points, according to the St. Tammany News. Public Works Director David DeGeneres notes that this use of treated sewage works to stop saltwater intrusion. It rebuilds marshland and decreases erosion, making the wetlands a better buffer for the city against storms.

Lab Stars on the Plate. Mac, a 9-year-old yellow Labrador retriever belonging to J. J. and Mary Linda Huggins of Monroe, is the new cover dog for the Ohio state motor vehicle license plate. Mac’s portrait was seen on artist Debbie Stonebraker’s Web site by Ohio designers. Sale of the plate (only to Ohio residents) benefits a spay-and-neuter fund.

Mac and his family received no compensation for his appearance on the tag except for a sample plate, says the Monroe News Star.

Catching Some Fees. The town of Sterlington will begin participating in a statewide program to pursue uncollected occupational license fees, said Mayor Vern Breland in a report in the Ouachita Citizen. A Louisiana Municipal Association program collects fees and issues occupational licenses to insurance companies that sell policies within municipalities’ corporate limits. By managing the licenses from one centralized system, towns are able to earn more money and save paperwork. Only about half of all eligible municipalities in the state currently take part in the program.

Still Perkin’ at 100! Perkins Pharmacy in DeQuincy celebrates its centennial this year. Founder T. J. Perkins opened the drugstore in 1909, and it stayed in the Perkins family until Carl Perkins (once mayor of DeQuincy) sold it to John Haga in 1971, and 22 years later present owner Eddie Batchelor bought it. In a connection to the original owners, Batchelor was in the same DeQuincy High School class as Jan Perkins, Carl’s daughter, according to the DeQuincy News.

Louisiana’s Loser. Former Terrebonne Parish teacher Abby Rike was eliminated from television’s The Biggest Loser reality show, but she was recently featured on the cover of Life & Style magazine, says the Thibodaux Daily Comet.

Rike applied for the show after losing her husband and two young children in a 2006 car crash. She is still working at her weight-loss program at home and has hopes of being a winner at the finale.

HOT to Trot! The McNeese State University engineering college has a new model chemical plant to train students for work in the chemical industry, reports the Lake Charles American Press. The plant, designed and built by local company Polaris Engineering, will reportedly include a hands-on trainer, or HOT; a glycol-water distillation unit; a confined-space training tower; and a 30-foot climbing tower. College Dean Nikos Kiritsis says the model chemical plant would give McNeese students real world experience in understanding and troubleshooting industrial processes, equipment and controls.

Going Geothermal. Louisiana Geothermal in Lake Charles is planning to begin construction of a new geothermal power plant in the Cameron Parish community of Sweet Lake in early 2011. The estimated $30 million project involves drilling a 16,000-foot well and piping scalding brine water to the surface to heat another liquid with a low boiling point to produce steam that turns turbines to produce electricity. It was among 123 projects in 39 states tapped for funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to support developments in geothermal power, the Baton Rouge Advocate reports.

Giant Salvinia on the Move. Flooding in North Louisiana waterways pushed waves of invasive giant salvinia into previously uninfested areas, according to Gary Hanson, executive director for the LSU-Shreveport Red River Watershed Management Institute. The floating fern, which can double in size in about seven days and choke the life out of a water body, has moved throughout the watershed. Hansen has suggested the time has come for North Louisiana and East Texas to work together toward a solution, the Associated Press reported.
 

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