Research continues on oil spill impact

Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium scientists will continue to study the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on southeastern Louisiana marsh ecosystems under the umbrella of the Coastal Waters Consortium.

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative recently awarded $4.8 million in funding to sustain the CWC for two years beginning in January.

A CWC group has been working for seven years and will use the two additional years to complete ecosystem experiments and synthesize the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon on coastal Louisiana communities.

Topics will focus on possible links between oil contaminants and shoreline erosion; changes to coastal vegetation; differences in greenhouse gas emissions from coastal ecosystems; changes in carbon flows through wetland food webs; constructing computer models of how post-spill oil moved through sections of the Gulf Coast; and testing the impacts of oil on Gulf Coast marshes using controlled experiments in addition to natural observations.

The CWC has amassed over 60 peer-reviewed publications on the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on nearshore coastal waters and marsh ecosystems, and has more to produce.

Cyber awareness seminar scheduled

The Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond will host a free seminar Oct. 26 titled “Cyber Threat Awareness for Business.”

The seminar is co-sponsored with the Greater Hammond Chamber of Commerce and Northshore SCORE. The seminar is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Greater Hammond Chamber of Commerce, 400 NW Railroad Ave., in Hammond.

Attendees also will learn tips to help reduce business exposure to and recovery from phishing attacks, malware, social engineering, ransomware and Trojans, such as WannaCry, CryptoLocker and similar threats, as well as unintended modification or corruption of data. The seminar also will provide take-away checklists and policy templates relating to cybersecurity awareness that can be shared with employees to increase the ability to withstand cyber trickery.

Registration is at (985) 549-3831 or

Crane, rigging, transport careers event set

A careers event for students and veterans interested in the crane, rigging and heavy transport industry will be held Nov. 15 in Baton Rouge as part of a national careers initiative through Lift & Move USA.

The industry-led program was launched in 2015 by the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association, the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators, the Specialized Carriers and Rigging Foundation and industry publisher KHL Group Americas.

The event will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Deep South Crane & Rigging at 15324 Airline Highway in Baton Rouge. Attendees will learn about vocational, technical and service job opportunities. Information is at

Nominations sought for Ag distinction

Nominations are being accepted until Nov. 20 for the Louisiana Agriculture Hall of Distinction.

Nominations of individuals who have made significant contributions to agriculture or agriculture-related industries can represent farming, ranching, forestry, aquaculture, fisheries, education or agribusiness.

The Hall of Distinction is a joint effort of the LSU AgCenter, Louisiana Radio Network, Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.

An induction ceremony will be held March 22 at the L’Auberge Hotel in Baton Rouge.

Nomination forms are online at or through any parish LSU AgCenter extension office.

Brand acquires Waveland Services

Georgia-based Brand Industrial Services has acquired Eunice-based Waveland Services, an offshore coatings company for deep-site platforms in the Gulf of Mexico and on the coast of California.

The price was not disclosed by the Georgia company, known as BrandSafway.

Waveland’s abilities in offshore maintenance coatings expands BrandSafway’s expertise in surface preparation and coatings services in the global offshore market, said Dave Witsken, president of energy and industrial for BrandSafway.

Waveland is a maintenance-based coatings business with long-term contracts with large offshore platform owners, including major oil companies with deep-water assets, independent oil companies with shallow-water assets and pipeline transmission companies. Founded in 1996 by Ed Caswell, the current president of Waveland, the company employs up to 200 people in peak season.

Caswell will continue managing the company under its new name Waveland, a BrandSafway company.

Group adds Medicare Advantage product

Louisiana Healthcare Connections has introduced Medicare Advantage products branded as Allwell, a national brand that unites local and regional Medicare plans under one umbrella.

Allwell plans from Louisiana Healthcare Connections are available to residents in Ascension, East and West Baton Rouge, Livingston, St. Tammany and Tangipahoa parishes. Products include preventive care; dental, vision and hearing services; behavioral health; medical equipment and supplies; chiropractic and podiatric services; personal emergency response devices and prescriptions.

The open enrollment period continues through Dec. 7. The new plan will be effective Jan. 1. The website is

Louisiana Healthcare Connections has been providing services to Medicaid members in Louisiana since 2012. The health plan serves more than 475,000 members in the state.

Captain D’s opens in Denham Springs

Captain D’s, a fast-casual seafood restaurant, has opened at 2913 S. Range Ave. in Denham Springs.

The restaurant is corporate-owned and marks Captain D’s third opening in the area this year, with locations in Baton Rouge and Zachary. It’s the 10th location in the state.

A location in Hammond is slated to open soon. The chain has said it expects to open 10 to 15 franchise stores in East Baton Rouge, Ascension, Livingston, West Baton Rouge and St. Mary parishes.

The Denham Springs restaurant showcases Captain D’s beach design, includes a drive-through and supports more than 50 jobs.

Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, Captain D’s has 525 restaurants in 21 states. It was founded in 1969.

Lafayette supply firm expands to Alexandria

Lafayette-based Hilton’s Restaurant Supply has opened a location at 3651 Lee St. in Alexandria to serve the central Louisiana market.

Founded in 1939, the company serves the commercial kitchen equipment and supplies industry but also is open to the public.

Owners are Casey and Valerie Rawlings.

Nonprofit schedules homebuyer seminar

Urban Restoration Enhancement Corp. is holding a free homebuyer seminar from 6 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Oct. 25 at Scotlandville Library, 7373 Scenic Highway, in Baton Rouge.

The seminar will focus on building credit to purchase a new home, with Toni Dionne Banks, a home mortgage consultant for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage as guest speaker.

Urban Restoration Enhancement Corp. is a nonprofit community development organization. Online preregistration is required at

Chicken Salad Chick opens in Denham

Chicken Salad Chick has opened a restaurant at 27306 Crossing Circle, Suite 270, in Denham Springs.

The restaurant is owned and operated by multiunit franchisee Beau Nicolosi, who pioneered Chicken Salad Chick’s expansion into Louisiana by opening the brand’s first location in Lafayette last year. A lifetime resident of Lafayette, Nicolosi partnered with his father, Pete Nicolosi, to bring the restaurant into the state.

The Denham Springs location is the chain’s first there and fifth in the state.

The restaurant serves a dozen flavors of chicken salad, as well as gourmet soups, side salads and freshly-baked desserts. Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Chicken Salad Chick was established in 2008 in Auburn, Alabama. The chain has more than 70 locations across the Southeast and has sold 146 franchises. The website is The phone number in Denham Springs is (225) 243-7524.

Townsend center opens in N.O. East Hospital

Townsend Recovery Center New Orleans has opened inside New Orleans East Hospital.

Located on the fifth floor, Townsend has 36 beds and provides detox and residential treatment services for addiction. Treatment includes addressing the genetic components of addiction and using pharmacogenetics to give physicians vital information about which medications will be most useful for each patient.

Townsend is part of American Addiction Centers, a publicly traded company treating addiction with 30 facilities across the country. The website is

Cambria Hotel opens in Warehouse District

The Cambria Hotel New Orleans Warehouse District has opened at 632 Tchoupitoulas St.

The 162-room upscale Choice Hotels International Inc. hotel is a collaboration with Fillmore Capital Partners and Fillmore Hospitality.

The hotel features contemporary on-site dining, with local specialties, signature cocktails and area craft beers, as well as grab-and-go gourmet salads and sandwiches. The property also includes 1,200 square feet of meeting space and a fitness center.

Cambria has 32 hotels across the United States, with nearly 100 hotels open or in the pipeline in the U.S. and Canada.