Barometer

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

Clearing the Air
The East Feliciana Parish school system, along with those of DeSoto and St. Bernard parishes, have been recognized by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals as being “asthma-friendly,” according to the Baton Rouge Advocate. “Asthma symptoms often hinder a child’s ability to succeed in academic settings,” said DHH Secretary Bruce Greenstein. Reducing environmental factors that trigger asthma can include stopping buses from idling outside school, replacing carpets with tile, frequently vacuuming area rugs and even asking teachers not to wear heavy perfume or cologne.

Lucky 13
As reported in the Abbeville Meridional, Christian Hebert of Abbeville was fishing in the Rollover Canal and pulled in a 41-inch redfish. His father, Jake, noticed that the usual black dots on the fish’s tail formed the number 13. “At first, I thought it was a tagged fish from the [Coastal Conservation Association’s] Star Tournament,” said Christian. The numbers were not a tag – the fish had a natural 13. Even a Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries agent thought a photo of the fish was faked, but the real specimen convinced everyone. The fish has gone to a taxidermist.

Down Under Wonder
Bogalusa native Michelle Burton has been named the 2011 Australia Bathroom Designer of the Year, said the Bogalusa Daily News. Burton began her studies in the field of interior design at LSU; transferred to the University of Southern California at Los Angeles; and moved to Sydney, Australia, to complete her studies at the University of Technology at Sydney, where she established her own interior design firm in 1998.

Army Partners With Leesville
Leesville, now a city in the Army Community Heritage Partnership Program, is hosting meetings with citizens and Fort Polk officials to discuss plans. Improved housing options for military families is one of the main suggestions outlined in the program, which also focuses on downtown development. Representatives from the National Trust Main Street Center visited Leesville and Fort Polk to make recommendations, according to the Leesville Daily Leader. The state economic impact of Fort Polk during the last fiscal year totaled $1.7 billion.

It’s Fun to Stay at the YMCA
A ribbon-cutting at the new Belle Chasse YMCA celebrated the completion of a project dating to 2006, when reconstruction from Hurricane Katrina started for both St. Bernard Parish and the Alliance Refinery, owned by ConocoPhillips. A $5 million donation by the company for a new parish community center led to the choice of the YMCA as the organization to build it.

This first phase includes workout and fitness equipment, a lap pool, study areas, youth activity centers, a café and many other amenities, according
to the Plaquemines Gazette.

Bandleaders: Born, Not Made?
Bubba Hebert, 11, performed with his band the New Morse Playboys at the Rendez-vous des Cajuns show at the historic Liberty Theater in downtown Eunice, according to the Rayne Acadian-Tribune. Best described as the Cajun Grand Ole Opry, the show was emceed in Cajun French by Herman Fuselier and features a dance floor for the audience.

Last Resting Place
Funeral services have finally been held for Joe Schexnider of Abbeville, who apparently died and remained in a narrow brick chimney for 27 years. His skeletal remains were found in May in the chimney of the Bank of Abbeville during renovations. Mystery surrounding the death lingers, according to the Abbeville Meridional. All Abbeville police can say with certainty is that Schexnider became snared in the chimney and apparently died there in 1984.

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