Business briefs

Daniel Henry

Robert “Bobby” Picou Jr.

TGMC board appoints board chairman, vice chairman
The Terrebonne General Medical Center Board of Commissioners appointed Daniel Henry as chairman and Robert “Bobby” Picou Jr. as vice chairman for the 2014-15 term.
Henry was appointed to the TGMC Board of Commissioners in 2009 and served as vice chairman from 2012-14.
Henry is the owner/manager of Henry Enterprises DBA as well as Klondyke Hardware. He has been a member of Terrebonne Parish Council where he served as chairman for two years, vice chairman for two years and chairman of all committees. He has also been a member of Terrebonne Parish Charter Committee where he served as chairman, Terrebonne Parish Council on Aging where he served as chairman and Terrebonne Chamber of Commerce where he served on the board of directors.
Picou was a member of the TGMC Board of Commissioners from 1999-2007. During 2000-02 he served as board chairman. In 2008, Picou rejoined the Board of Commissioners and served as vice chairman from 2009-10 in addition to his present term.
Picou is the co-owner of Trinity Catering, Inc., an offshore catering company that provides food and services to the offshore industry. He formerly practiced law for 33 years, focusing on maritime defense. He also served as a deputy for the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office Water Patrol from 1992-2000, as the secretary and treasurer of Hope Services Inc. from 1989-2002, and was vice president and general counsel for Offshore Specialty Fabricators Inc. from 1999-2004.

Pine log business returns to Port Allen docks
PORT ALLEN (AP) — Pine logs are rolling onto ocean-going vessels at Port Allen again.
Amite-based Ralph Stewart Logging LLC this month loaded 48,055 metric tons of Louisiana and Mississippi logs into the Marouli, a 623-foot-long, Panamanian-flagged vessel.
Port of Greater Baton Rouge executive director Jay Hardman said the ship was bound for China.
The cargo was valued at more than $2.5 million, according to an LSU forest economist.
While such shipments were common in the 1960s, Hardman said it had been more than a decade since a significant load of logs left the port.
“I think the timber producers are excited about this,” Hardman said. “It’s been a good project. Ralph Stewart has brought in a lot of Louisiana timber and some from Mississippi.”
Stewart said he is a third-generation logger with more than 25 years in the business before becoming an exporter.
“I knew the (overseas) demand was there,” Stewart said. “I’ve been dealing with this (export plan) for four years.”
“China is in the lead now,” Stewart said. “They’re buying the most.”
He said Chinese buyers believe in the durability and hardiness of southern pine.
Stewart said his company expects to be able to supply sufficient logs for about eight vessel loads annually over the next three years. During that span, he can gauge whether demand is increasing sufficiently to justify expansion.
The price for Louisiana pine logs this year was about $30 per ton, according to the LSU AgCenter. That was about $4 more than the average for other Southern states.

Company will fund
energy lab at LSU
BATON ROUGE (AP) — CB&I has pledged $750,000 to the LSU College of Engineering to establish the CB&I Energy Innovation Lab, which will promote integrated research and teaching for energy applications.
The Texas-based provider of engineering and construction services to the energy industry will fund the lab to support studies focused on trends in the global energy industry.
LSU engineering dean Rick Koubek says lab will help LSU bring its teachings up to date as it connects with the industry’s workforce needs.
CB&I’s contribution for the lab will be matched dollar-for-dollar by state funds.

Trial date set for firm’s dispute with port
LAKE CHARLES (AP) — A state District Court judge has set an Oct. 27 trial date in lawsuit by Lake Charles Stevedores against the Port of Lake Charles.
Judge Sharon Wilson set the date in the case, which includes allegations the port misappropriated funds.
The claims are just one aspect of a complicated case that addresses multiple contracts over a 50-year period.
Wilson also ruled on technical pleadings filed by the port’s attorneys to amend earlier filings. In October 2013, former state District Judge Wilford Carter ruled in favor of Lake Charles Stevedores, granting the company $5.56 million in damages from the Port of Lake Charles.

EPA water task force
to work with universities
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A task force established by the Environmental Protection Agency to curtail farmland pollution that flows into the Mississippi River said Wednesday it has reached an agreement to work with 12 universities on the problem.
The Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Task Force will work with Purdue University in Indiana, University of Illinois, University of Arkansas, University of Kentucky, Mississippi State University and Ohio State University. Others include University of Tennessee, University of Missouri, University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin, Iowa State University and Louisiana State University.
States already collaborate with their local universities on local water quality research and agricultural programs, but there hasn’t been a formal process for sharing research and ideas across the 12 states in the task force, the EPA said in a statement.
This agreement “will encourage university research into nutrient reduction strategies, will help communicate water quality messages and will encourage more involvement in voluntary science-based nutrient reduction efforts,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, a co-chairman of the task force.
From The Associated Press and staff reports.
The task force is a partnership of five federal agencies, tribes, and environmental quality, agricultural, and conservation agencies from 12 states from which water flows into the Mississippi River. It’s working to address nutrient pollution and the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, an area the size of Connecticut that’s largely devoid of marine life. High levels of nitrates and phosphorous, largely the result of runoff of fertilizer and livestock manure applied to farmland, lead to excessive plant and algae growth that depletes oxygen to a level inadequate to support aquatic life.
In 2008, the task force set a goal of reducing the dead zone to less than 2,000 square miles — still larger than Rhode Island — by 2015. The EPA said the agreement announced Wednesday brings additional expertise to develop farm runoff reduction strategies.
The agency said nutrient pollution is one of America’s most widespread, costly and challenging environmental problems. More than 100,000 miles of rivers and streams, close to 2.5 million acres of lakes, reservoirs and ponds, and more than 800 square miles of bays and estuaries in the United States have poor water quality because of nutrient pollution, the EPA said.

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