Jefferson Chamber holding annual gala

The Jefferson Chamber of Commerce will hold its Annual Gala on March 13 on the turf at the New Orleans Saints indoor training facility at 5800 Airline Drive in Metairie.

The event is open to members and nonmembers and will feature an open bar, heavy hors d’oeuvres, silent auction, dancing and live musical entertainment by the Bucktown All-Stars.

A VIP reception will start at 6:30 p.m., followed by the gala from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

A corporate package for $1,000 includes 12 tickets. A VIP ticket is $200 for early access to the gala. An earlybird ticket is $100, with prices increasing to $125 after Feb. 20.

Tickets are available at www.jeffersonchamber.org or by calling (504) 835-3880. There are no refunds and participants must be 21 years or older. Event sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting Katie Ivory at (504) 835-3880 or katie@jeffersonchamber.org.

Sidney’s Saloon undergoing renovation

Sidney’s Saloon, a longtime Treme bar at 1200 St. Bernard Ave., is expected to reopen by March or April after major renovations.

New owners Robert Clark and Tara Weberg said Sidney’s will continue to serve as a bar, with a plusher lounge area, and entertainment venue, with space for music shows, comedy and dance nights.

Clark and Weberg bought Sidney’s from local music legend Kermit Ruffins, who had renovated the bar after Hurricane Katrina.

DEQ sets stormwater training sessions

The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality Enviroschool is sponsoring free training sessions about DEQ construction stormwater permits for communities, businesses and other organizations.

Topics include an overview of stormwater general permits and the requirements for operators of construction projects to obtain authorization to discharge stormwater. An emphasis will be placed on new requirements in the 2014 Large Construction General Permit, LAR100000.

BATON ROUGE AREA: Feb. 25, 10 a.m. to noon; DEQ HQ-Galvez Building, Pensacola Room, 602 N. 5th St., Baton Rouge.

ALEXANDRIA AREA: March 5, 10 a.m. to noon; Tudor Community Center, 341 Bragg St., Pineville.

LAKE CHARLES AREA: March 12, 10 a.m. to noon, LSU/SU Ag Center, 7101 Gulf Highway, Lake Charles.

NEW ORLEANS AREA: March 26, 10 a.m. to noon; Jefferson Parish Library, 4747 W. Napoleon St., Metairie.

Register online at www.deq.louisiana.gov/enviroschool. More information is available by calling (225) 219-3954 or going to http://www.deq.louisiana.gov/portal/tabid/2601/Default.aspx.

LSU AgCenter offers solar power guide

The LSU AgCenter has released a new guide to help homeowners who are considering adding a solar power system explore various options and learn more about the technology.

The 24-page guide, which is available as a PDF file online only, provides information about solar power benefits, limitations, technology options, installation and financial considerations.

The guide features a list of seven basic steps to going solar, 40 questions to ask when considering a home solar power system, a leasing vs. buying calculation worksheet, diagrams, photos and sources of additional information.

The guide can be viewed online and downloaded for free at www.lsuagcenter.com/solarpub.

Crop insurance deadline near

The last day for Louisiana farmers to buy or change a crop insurance policy for corn, cotton, soybeans, rice, grain sorghum, peanuts or sweet potatoes is Feb. 28.

The USDA’s Risk Management Agency said crop insurance is sold solely through private crop insurance agents. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers and online at the RMA Agent Locator.

Wyndham completes hotel renovation

The Wyndham New Orleans French Quarter has completed a multimillion-dollar renovation to update the hotel’s interior and exterior.

The renovation features the signature design and contemporary furnishings of a Wyndham-brand hotel.

The renovation includes all 374 guest rooms, exterior paint and restoration, relocation of the business center to the hotel’s 10th floor and new lighting in the hotel’s Royal Street garage entryway.

The hotel features an indoor swimming pool and fitness center on the 10th floor with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Canal Street and Deuce McAllister’s Ole Saint Kitchen and Tap.

Craig Mouney is general manager of the Wyndham New Orleans French Quarter. The hotel is owned by FelCor Lodging Trust.

Deadline approaching for USDA programs

Producers and landowners have until Feb. 27 to participate in Price Loss Coverage and Agricultural Risk Coverage programs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Louisiana Farm Service Agency said.

Decisions are required concerning base reallocation and/or to update yields.

In addition, the last date for a current producer to make decisions concerning the election of ARC or PLC is March 31. Farms with a covered commodity base, on which no election decision is made before the deadline, will be defaulted to PLC for all covered commodity bases on the farm for the life of the Farm Bill.

Producers and landowners should contact local parish offices to make an appointment. For more information, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc.

First Guaranty posts earnings increases

First Guaranty Bancshares Inc. in Hammond reported fourth-quarter net income increased to $2.8 million, or 43 cents per share, from $2.7 million, or 41 cents per share, a year earlier.

Net income for 2014 increased to $11.2 million, or $1.72 per share, from $9.1 million, or $1.34 per share, in 2013 for the holding company of First Guaranty Bank.

First Guaranty had about $1.5 billion in assets as of Dec. 31 and operates 21 banking facilities across Louisiana.