Providence Photonics awarded EPA grant

Providence Photonics, an affiliate of Providence in Baton Rouge, has received a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Small Business Innovative Research Phase II grant.

The grant will be used to develop technology to monitor combustion efficiency of industrial flares, safety devices that burn off process vent gases in open air.

The monitors will help industry optimize flare operations, minimize emissions, conserve resources and reduce costs.

PrimeCare Network acquired by Jordan

PrimeCare Network LLC in Hammond and PrimeCare Network of Monroe LLC have been acquired by Jordan Health Services, a Dallas company that provides home health, hospice and pediatric services.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

PrimeCare Home Health was formed in 1997 in Hammond and Baton Rouge. It expanded into Monroe and northern Louisiana in 1999 and operates five locations in Hammond, Baton Rouge, Monroe, Ruston and Columbia.

“PrimeCare provides Jordan an established, high-quality platform and expands the Jordan operating base into Louisiana where we can grow all of our service lines,” said Dean Holland, executive chairman and CEO of Jordan, which was founded in 1975.

The combined companies will provide personal care, case management, skilled nursing, and pediatric and hospice services to about 23,000 patients in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.

PrimeCare will continue to operate under its trade name PrimeCare Home Health in Louisiana for the foreseeable future, officials said. The current PrimeCare Network management team will remain with Jordan, with the promotion of Paula Campo, former administrator of the Hammond and Baton Rouge operations, to regional vice president overseeing all Louisiana-based operations, and John Ortego, former director of sales in Hammond and Baton Rouge, to regional director of sales in Louisiana.

Group sponsoring film industry summit

The Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association is sponsoring an educational summit Jan. 14 to explore the impact of Louisiana’s film tax credit program on the state and issues related to the development of the entertainment industry.

The summit will be held from 9:30 a.m. to noon at the Capitol Park Welcome Center, 702 River Road, Baton Rouge.

Topics include the fiscal and economic impacts of film tax credits in Louisiana; current national and international trends in the entertainment industry; and what’s going to happen with film tax incentives in the next legislative session.

The summit is open to the public and cost is $20. Registration is at www.lidea.org.

Conservation program accepting applications

The Natural Resources Conservation Service is accepting applications for funding from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.

The voluntary conservation program helps agricultural producers improve water and air quality, build healthier soil, improve grazing and forest lands, conserve energy, enhance organic operations and achieve other environmental benefits.

To be eligible for this year’s first ranking period, a producer in Louisiana must submit an application to NRCS by Jan. 16.

For more information on the program and targeted initiatives, visit a local USDA Service Center or go to www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted.

Tri-State Soybean Forum scheduled

The 59th annual Tri-State Soybean Forum has been scheduled for 8 a.m. Jan. 9 at the Thomas Jason Lingo Center at 195A Community Road off La. 17 in Oak Grove.

A forum is a cooperative program of Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi universities.

Topics include insects, weed resistance and fungicide and disease issues.

N.O. participating in Forward Cities initiative

Leaders from New Orleans, Detroit, Cleveland and Durham, North Carolina, met recently in New Orleans to discuss how their cities can increase entrepreneurial activity and connectivity in underdeveloped commercial corridors as part of the Forward Cities initiative.

Topics included bolstering the economic vitality of targeted neighborhoods; fostering best practices for sharing and building relationships and entrepreneurial activity between the participating cities; and as a resource/model for other cities that are looking to extend diversity and inclusivity in their communities.

Over the next two years, leaders from the four cities will meet in each city for multiday learning, sharing and planning activities. Detroit is next in spring 2015, Cleveland in fall 2015 and Durham in spring 2016.

To ensure work carries forward between gatherings, each city has formed a local Innovation Council made up of entrepreneurs, policy leaders, funders, data analysts, economic development experts and others. The councils are charged with identifying target neighborhoods to focus on and advance efforts by the end of two years to increase entrepreneurial and small-business activity in underdeveloped commercial corridors.

The Innovation Councils are working with a local data partner and Forward Cities national research partner Urban Institute to help map current activity and connectivity, and identify assets that can be leveraged to address gaps.

More information about Forward Cities can be found at www.forwardcities.org.