General contractors course scheduled

The Louisiana Contractors Accreditation Institute has opened registration for its General Contractors Seminar, a 10-week web-based video conferencing course.

The course will be offered from Feb. 22 to April 28 on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Registration will conclude Feb. 22.

Topics focused on commercial construction will include print reading; building calculations; site work, demolition and construction; foundations, formwork and retaining walls; finishes; roof structures; structural loads; wood framing construction; related trades; special construction and equipment; and safety codes.

Program and registration information are at under the “Apply Now” link. A $350 fee covers the cost of the course and materials.

Louisiana Economic Development, the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors and the Louisiana Community and Technical College System developed the institute. Other contractor accreditation courses planned later this year include the Residential Contractors Seminar, June 7 to Aug. 11, and the Business and Law Seminar, Oct. 5 to Nov. 11.

LSU AgCenter plans Citrus Symposium

The 2021 LSU AgCenter Citrus Symposium will be held virtually from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Feb. 20.

Sessions will be live with participant question and answer available. Sessions will also be recorded for viewing later at

Topics include new research on citrus canker in satsuma cultivars and post-disaster options for growers who experienced losses in the 2020 hurricane season. Participants also will get an early look at the new Louisiana Citrus Center of Excellence FUSE (fruit under screened environments) structure at Docville Farm in Meraux and learn about the LSU AgCenter’s upcoming research in containerized citrus production.

Information will be presented by LSU AgCenter researchers, University of Florida citrus extension agents and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

RSVP by emailing LSU AgCenter agent Anna Timmerman at

Hotel association addressing issues

The Louisiana Hotel Lodging Association will present updates pertaining to COVID-19, legislation and education at 11:30 a.m. Feb. 11 at the Crowne Plaza Executive Center at 4728 Constitution Ave. in Baton Rouge.

Sponsored by the Baton Rouge Lodging Association, event speakers include Ben Blackwell, past president; Bill Langkopp, executive director; and Jessica Starns, lobbyist.

There will be social distancing with five people per table. Masks are required until participants are at their seats. Hand sanitizer will be provided.

The event costs $30 for Baton Rouge Lodging Association members and additional members and $45 for nonmember guests. Reservations and prepayments are at

Houston company forms BR subsidiary

Houston-based Orbital Energy Group Inc. has created subsidiary Eclipse Foundation Group, specializing in building foundations in difficult terrain such as marshlands.

The company can build shafts 16 feet wide, deeper than 80 feet in marshland and also drill into the earth from barges. It has a fleet of hydraulic cranes for setting rebar cages and driving caissons, which is a watertight retaining structure for dry underwater construction.

Eclipse is headquartered in Baton Rouge and led by Michael Cutrone as president. Cutrone is an alumnus of LSU and former president of Auger Services in Gonzales. The company expects to grow its business with electric transmission, industrial sites and communication towers after natural disasters.

"There is a growing need for experienced foundation drilling contractors to help upgrade and expand the energy and telecommunication infrastructure across the Southern U.S.," said Jim O'Neil, CEO of Orbital Energy Group.

First Title opens United Plaza office

First Title of Louisiana LLC, an agency for the Fidelity National Financial Inc. family of companies, has opened at 8550 United Plaza Blvd., Suite 205, in Baton Rouge.

First Title is part of the Commercial Services Southeast team in Atlanta, which offers title insurance products and services to commercial clients throughout the southeastern United States.

Dan Reed has been named vice president and commercial underwriting counsel with responsibility for the Louisiana agency. He was a partner with the law firm of Seale, Smith, Zuber & Barnette.

Urban South Brewery expands into Mississippi

Urban South Brewery will begin distributing a selection of its beers in Mississippi through a partnership with Mitchell Distributing, making them available in bars, restaurants and stores in the Mississippi Gulf Coast region.

“Demand has been high from our fans in Mississippi, and our team is both grateful and excited for the opportunity to expand,” said Kyle Huling, Co-Founder of Urban South Brewery. 

Urban South beer varieties that will be offered in the Mississippi market include Paradise Park American Lager; Holy Roller IPA; Throwback Vibes; Paradise Park 100; and Lime Cucumber Gose.

Urban South Brewery was founded in 2016 and has a new satellite location in Texas.

Issa Snack Express opens on Lapalco

Issa Snack Express has opened at 1525 Lapalco Blvd., Suite 26, in Harvey.

Issa Snack Express, owned by Keiontae “Katie” Kagler, originally opened April 2018 as a mobile food truck. The menu includes includes Cajun Dipp, hand-rolled seafood egg rolls, Downtown Fries, flavored teas and other items.