Jan 21, 2013
Grant Morris / It's New Orleans

New Orleans city government is unleashing a world of new regulations on taxicabs, and it’s got United Cabs upset enough to drag the city into court.

Lamb Weston, the ConAgra-owned company that operates a sweet potato processing plant near Delhi, will have a new boss in February.

ConAgra Foods has announced Greg Schlafer will join the company on Feb. 25 as president of its Lamb Weston frozen potato business.

Schlafer will have specific responsibility for running Lamb Weston's global business, which ConAgra said serves more than 2,500 restaurant, food service and retail customers in 120 countries.

Tourism officials in Okaloosa County, Fla., have selected New Orleans-based Peter Mayer Advertising to design a program to attract visitors to the Florida Panhandle community.

The county includes the communities of Destin, Fort Walton and Okaloosa Island.

The agency began working with the county tourism development department in December. Its destination-marketing experience includes work with the Louisiana Office of Tourism, the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp., hotels and attractions such as the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

Will French has been elected president of the Louisiana Film and Entertainment Association, a nonprofit trade group.

He is with Film Production Capital.

Other new officers include Lampton Enochs of Moonbot Studios LA LLC, vice president; Scott Niemeyer of Gold Circle Entertainment, treasurer; and Diego Martinez of Millennium Studios, secretary.

The group works to expand the entertainment industry in Louisiana.

The Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southeastern Louisiana University is working with business organizations in the Florida Parishes to offer counseling sessions for business owners.

The sessions are free and confidential, and are by appointment only. They are offered in Livingston, St. Helena, Washington and St. Tammany parishes.

More information is available by calling the business center at 985-549-3831 or online at

Bill of Health

Jan 14, 2013
Grant Morris / It's New Orleans

On this edition of Out to Lunch Peter introduces us to New Orleans' and Louisiana's little-known but potentially significant contribution to the future of healthcare.

Peter Ragusa unveils Better Day, software that aims to replace every medical record in America; and Joe Lovett heads up The Louisiana Fund, an impressive fund of Louisiana venture capital investors.

Moody-Price LLC, a Baton Rouge equipment and supplies distributor, has acquired Guico Specialty Co., a Lafayette firm that sells high-pressure industrial equipment.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Danny Daniel Jr., Moody-Price president and chief operating officer, tells The Advocate ( Guico's customers are mainly deepwater, oil and gas companies, with some in the chemical industry.

Moody-Price expects the deal to increase sales of Parker Autoclave Engineers products.

Dow Chemical Co. has successfully restarted its St. Charles Olefins 2 Plant near Hahnville after three years of inactivity.

The Advocate reports the plant has been producing ethylene, which is used in alcohol- and plastic-based products, since Dec. 25. Dow said it expects the plant will add $150 million to earnings before interest, depreciation and amortization.

An upcoming study could show that a Richland Parish industrial site could be ready for use within less than two years if chosen by a company.

One of the things the study is expected to show is that the 1,425-acre Franklin Farms tract could be raised to a 500-year floodplain relatively quickly and inexpensively, The News-Star of Monroe reports (

North Louisiana farmers and timber growers say they're beginning to recover from drought in 2010 and 2011. But The Times of Shreveport reports it will take time to rebuild cattle herds and that trees stressed by the drought could continue to die for another two years.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture declared 36 Louisiana parishes drought disaster areas in 2010. In 2011, seven parishes were named drought disaster areas along with 213 Texas counties.