Barometer

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

“Cotton is no longer king in Louisiana, and its footprint in the coming year will probably be even smaller. Even so, we wish cotton farmers a successful year in producing a crop that still plays a big role in the world economy.” “Our Views: ‘King Cotton Gets Smaller,’” Advocate

HOT

Museum “Bale”

Out No matter what happens with funding from the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office, the Louisiana Cotton Museum in Lake Providence will survive. East Carroll Parish voters rallied to ensure its future by passing a property tax that will generate about $75,000 per year for three years, the Monroe News-Star reported. The Cotton Museum not only features exhibits chronicling the commodity’s rich history in Louisiana, but it has also become a gathering place for the community. “Plantation Hall is used almost weekly for reunions, weddings and receptions,” Harriet Bridges, a tourist information representative at the museum, said. “It’s one of the few facilities available to the community.”

 

HOT

Get Your Dancing Shoes On!

Board members of the Sicilian Heritage Festival in Independence will take to the floor this year with Italian folk dancing for the March 8-10 event, the Hammond Star noted. Lisa Maggio, ballroom dance instructor, will teach the classes. The dances tell stories, she said, and had been part of the festival in the past. Festival chair Robin Abrams said an Italian band will perform, “and all major food booths will come back, including muffulettas, lasagna and spaghetti.”
 

HOT

Duckin’ Out

A couple of would-be duck hunters were found soggy but safe after capsizing on the swollen Pearl River, the Bogalusa Daily News reported. A passerby, Danny Rester, dialed 911 after he came upon Steven Leicher, whose life jacket allowed him to reach shore but who didn’t know what had happened to his buddy, James Rogan. Luckily, Rogan was found alive and well, sitting on a logjam in the lingering fog. Next time he would put on a life jacket, too, Rogan said.
 

HOT

The Tradition Continues

The Shreveport’s Times newspaper celebrates its 175th birthday this year, tracing its history back to the Caddo Free Press, with a first edition on January 17, 1839. “[I]t is an honor to be part of the 175th year and to share our past and future with the community as 2013 progresses,” said Times’ publisher Don Bailey.

HOT

Happy Birthday, No. 300,000!

Baton Rouge Woman’s Hospital has welcomed its 300,000th newborn. To celebrate the latest milestone, the hospital is asking everyone who was born or had a baby at the facility over the past 44 years to share on its 300,000 Babies Badge on Facebook. Teri Fontenot, president and CEO of Woman’s, said the first baby was delivered at the hospital in November 1968, the 100,000th in August 1985 and the 200,000th in September 2000.

NOT

Bus Stop

A school bus weaving down Louisiana Highway 27 at 75 miles an hour got the attention of a trooper from Louisiana State Police Troop D. When the bus driver was pulled over, an open bottle of Southern Comfort, recently stolen, was in his possession. Happily, the 49 DeQuincy children he had just taken to school were not present at the time of his arrest, according to the DeQuincy News.

NOT

Class Dismissed

The number of Louisiana public school teachers retiring has jumped more than 25 percent, with 3,295 teachers retiring at the end of the 2012 fiscal year, the Advocate reported. Some 1,671 retirements have already been recorded in the first half of this fiscal year, which ends July 1. The new teacher evaluation system is suspected as the reason for more teachers leaving schools. n

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