A compendium of what’s hot and what’s not in Louisiana

Joy Pace

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Women Writers

The Itinerant Theatre’s production of The Writers – Maggie, Kate and Rosa by playwright Carolyn Woosley is one of 13 parts of a cycle on Louisiana women. “Margaret Dixon was the first female managing editor of a major periodical in America and was able to create mental health reform with her writing,” Woosley told the Lake Charles American Press. “Kate Chopin explored taboo subjects in an eloquent writing style. Rosa Hart was a budding Jewish intellectual from Lake Charles who went on to create the Lake Charles Little Theatre and work as an ad writer.” Joy Pace starred as both Dixon and Hart, while Donna Rigdon Jones portrayed Chopin in a performance at the Gibson Barham Gallery of the Imperial Calcasieu Museum.


Cash on the Rice Barrel

The Alexandria Town Talk reports that the Master Farmer Program, a collaboration of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the LSU AgCenter, has taught 3,000 state farmers ways to reduce agricultural runoff of chemicals and fertilizer. The aim is the decrease in size of  the “dead zone” of oxygen depletion in the Gulf of Mexico. The Kellogg cereal company has announced support for extending the program to rice farmers and will pay a $50 per barrel premium to farmers completing the program.



Research aimed at improving the birth rate of pigs may have implications for human reproductive medicine, according to researchers at McNeese State University. Experiments have shown that encouraging natural production of the hormone progesterone in sows may reduce the possibility of miscarrying, according to C. Edward Ferguson, associate professor of animal sciences. Graduate and undergraduate students worked on the project, said Chip LeMieux, department head.


More Teachers

The total number of Louisiana public school teachers will decrease by 700 during 2012-2013, a report by the Education Estimating Conference predicts. The report also forecasts that the number of teachers will begin to rise in 2013, resulting in an overall increase of around 2,000 educators by 2016. Decline in student population coupled with financial difficulties resulted in the decrease, but as budgets increase, so will the number of teachers, the Times-Picayune reported.


Airline Motors Lives!

L’Observateur in LaPlace reports that Jamie Q. Kilbert and chef Ray Tromatore are the new owners of Airline Motors restaurant. “Right now, we have no plans to change much,” said Tromatore. “We just want to focus on the restaurant and the food.” The neon sign first went up in 1939 for the car dealership and café then occupying the building. Since then, the restaurant has been a familiar stop for drivers on the Airline Highway, who like their Cajun cooking served with a side of ‘50s décor.


Crape Murder

The Saint Mary and Franklin Banner-Tribune reported that the LSU AgCenter’s Allen Owings urged that crape myrtle trees not be “topped” or radically pruned. The lush growth at the new top may be structurally weak and prone to fungus, and unattractive knobs will form. “One of the 10 commandments of gardening should be ‘thou shalt not top crape myrtles,’” Owings said. n

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