Louisiana Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne is promoting the state's assets in neighboring Texas.

Dardenne is in Dallas to promote Louisiana Culinary Trails through a partnership with the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association and Texas Monthly magazine. The magazine is co-hosting Thursday's event for news media and food writers at which Cajun and Creole fare will be highlighted.

In addition, Dardenne was to meet with reporters to discuss the launch of Louisiana's new retirement brand and website:

New Orleans cab drivers say new city rules aimed at improving taxi service are too expensive, and they were given too little time to prepare for them. City and tourism officials say the changes are needed to improve an outdated fleet.

The rules include requirements that cabs be less than 11 years old, able to take credit cards, and have cameras and GPS units.

Local advertising agencies that held the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp. contract for more than a decade failed to win a new deal with the tourism promotion organization.

The Times-Picayune reports ( the work will go to a New York company.

The marketing corporation's board voted unanimously Tuesday to hire Dentsu America as its advertising agency of record. Dentsu will work with a local company, Spears Consulting Group.

Spirit Airlines is starting service to New Orleans, offering daily non-stop flights between Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

New Orleans International says the low-cost carrier plans to start the flights on Jan. 24 with either a 145-seat Airbus A319 or 178-seat Airbus A320.

The planned flight schedule calls for one round trip between New Orleans and Dallas daily.

Terrebonne Parish is keeping a tight wrap on the new logo and slogan it plans to unveil Thursday, but the director of the Houma-Terrebonne Civic Center says they won't be surprising.

Janel Ricca tells The Courier that's because the new rebranding reinforces the parish's natural identity.

In Ricca's words, "It's going to be obvious, but it should be because it is authentic."

The new brand was created with part of the parish's $2.1 million share of $78 million that BP PLC gave Louisiana for tourism after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.

First lady Michelle Obama says she's been to New Orleans many times but never seen the French Quarter. She told CBS's Charlie Rose that the Quarter is on her vacation dream list.

In an interview aired on CBS' "Sunday Morning," Rose asked President Barack Obama and the first lady where they'd like to go on summer vacation.

The president said his wife told him she'd love to travel more in India.

A small town in southwest German has designated two parking spaces, "men only." They're two of the town's trickiest places to park. The mayor's response, guest host David Greene reports, is that it will attract tourists.

RUSTON — The 2012 Louisiana Peach Festival pumped a record of about $5.3 million into the Lincoln Parish economy, according to the Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce.

The Daily Leader reports ( the economic impact estimate tops the previous high of $4.6 million set in 2006.

Figures released by the chamber, which produces the festival, show attendance rose to 19,837, a slight increase over 2011.

The president of a business organization in New Orleans says the group is focusing on changing the image the city presents to businesses that are thinking about relocating or expanding.

Rodrick Miller, president and CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance, told a luncheon Wednesday that many people often associate New Orleans with Bourbon Street, jazz and its port. But Miller said they don't think about the new things coming to the city like the film industry and technology companies.

GULFPORT, Miss. — Developers of Gulfport's waterfront Harbor Town Casino say they will present new plans to the Mississippi Gaming Commission on July 19. Rotate Black CEO John Paulsen tells the Sun Herald the plan increases the investment from $87 million to $100 million. He says developers will bring in a four-star hotel with an upscale swimming pool area and cabanas.