Louisiana news briefs
Cameron loss may be gain for Abbeville, Moss Point, Miss.
CAMERON (AP) — Omega Protein Corporation, a company that processes fish oil and protein products, has announced plans to close a menhaden processing facility in Cameron as part of a consolidation with facilities in Abbeville and Moss Point, Miss.
The company said in a news release that it is streamlining its Gulf of Mexico operations by re-deploying fishing vessels and workers.
Ben Landry, a spokesman for Omega Protein, said about 20 people will be retained to help with the transition over the next 18 to 24 months. Figures on how many workers will lose jobs were not available.
“In 2013 we advanced our goal of building a more balanced nutrition company, and while we made a tough, strategic decision to close our Cameron facility, we believe this will better position us for future growth as we consolidate operations and reallocate assets in the Gulf to create a more efficient fishing operation,” Bret Scholtes, Omega Protein’s chief executive officer said in a news release.
Parish administrator Tina Horn said the news is a big blow to the parish and its employees, particularly “with it being Christmas time.”
“We’re trying to create jobs in Cameron parish, especially after the two hurricanes,” Horn said. “This is not a good thing. I’m very disappointed.”
Jennings may rename
street for fallen soldier
JENNINGS (AP) — The City Council will vote in January on a proposal to change the name of Doyle Street to Marcus Cain Street in honor of a local soldier killed in Iraq.
“Marcus Cain was one of the first in our parish to die in the (Iraq) war, and his mother brought it to our attention that she would like to see the street named after him,” said Councilman Anthony LeBlanc.
Cain, who grew up on the street, where his family still lives, was one of three soldiers killed during a car bomb blast near Baghdad in 2006. He was assigned to the 4th Infantry Division’s 4th Support Battalion, 1st Brigade, based at Fort Hood, Texas.
He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
Lafourche council voices support for levee tax
THIBODAUX (AP) — If the North Lafourche Levee and Conservation District wants a new sales tax dedicated to increased flood protection, Lafourche Parish Council members say they will support the effort.
There are plans to try to reintroduce a tax after voters rejected a proposed 1-cent sales tax by a 54-46 percent margin last year.
The district’s levee and drainage projects in its comprehensive plan have an estimated price tag of $250 million but the district’s annual revenue is $3 million, s raised from property taxes.
Last year’s sales tax measure would have raised more than $8 million annually.
1 dead in 3-vehicle crash
in Iberia Parish
NEW IBERIA (AP) — State police say a New Iberia woman died in a three-vehicle accident in Iberia Parish.
Troopers say the Friday afternoon accident happened as Shanathan Nora, 33, was exiting a curve on La. 674 in an eastbound pickup truck.
A passenger car driven by 38-year-old Dodi Anderson of New Iberia was traveling west on the highway.
Troopers say Nora’s truck crossed the center line and struck the side of Anderson’s car. Nora’s vehicle continued to travel and struck the side of a GMC Sierra driven by Robert Schupp Jr., 47, of New Iberia.
Nora, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was pronounced dead at the scene by the Iberia Parish coroner. Anderson and Schupp, both of whom wore seatbelts, were hospitalized with minor injuries.
Economic development group winding down
HOUMA (AP) — The Terrebonne Parish Economic Development Authority is preparing to put itself out of business.
At a Friday board meeting, the authority committed to pass a streamlined budget aimed at ending its operations.
Terrebonne Parish President Michel Claudet on Friday addressed the organization’s board for the first time since he proposed stripping the organization of $600,000 from parish occupational licensing fees.
The Terrebonne Parish Council went along with that proposal earlier this month, leaving the organization with only a trickle of revenue, but about $1 million in reserves.
Road to close while
railroad crew is at work
CHACAHOULA (AP) — Brule-Guillot Road near La. 20 in northern Terrebonne Parish will be closed to traffic from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, the state Transportation Department says.
The closure is needed while Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad crews perform maintenance to the crossing on Brule-Guillot Road in Chacahoula.
Traffic will be detoured to La. 3107.
Wildlife agent earns honor
OPELOUSAS (AP) — Sgt. Lance Devillier of Lawtell has been twice named Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries agent of year.
Devillier recently was presented with that honor by the Shikar-Safari Club International during a ceremony in Baton Rouge.
The Shikar-Safari Club International is a group of hunters interested in exchanging ideas about the sport. Each year the club sponsors an award for the wildlife officer of the year in all 50 states, 10 Canadian provinces and the territories of both nations.
“It was a real honor to be selected from among our almost 200 agents throughout the state. I was very surprised,” said Devillier, who patrols the St. Landry, Pointe Coupee, West Baton Rouge and Lafayette Parish areas.
Earlier this year, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement division named Devillier its 2013 agent of the year, citing him for outstanding work in investigating DUI cases involving boats.
While the job can be difficult and often long, Devillier said it is one that suits him well.
He started his career as a police officer and jumped at the chance to join the wildlife and fisheries enforcement division when an opening became available in 2006.
“I’ve always enjoyed the outdoors. I’d wanted this for years,” said Devillier.
In addition to his enforcement duties, Devillier, who was recently promoted to sergeant, teaches boating safety classes for the state agency.
From The Associated Press.