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Good morning, Acadiana!

Today’s top business news:

Blue Dog Café to temporarily close two weeks in 2019 for renovations

The Blue Dog Café will be closed for just over two weeks at the beginning of 2019 to allow for interior updates at the popular Lafayette eatery. Read more

RaceTrac to open Broussard location in June, to be seventh location in Lafayette area

RaceTrac will open its seventh location in the Lafayette area when it completes construction on a site at the corner of Ambassador Caffery Parkway and Youngsville Highway.  Read more

Who's drilling in Louisiana? Here are the well permits filed for Dec. 8-15

Well permits for Dec. 8-15 Read more

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News | The New Orleans Advocate

Pollution fight, a wild gun battle, Marijuana in Gentilly: Your morning briefing

Andrew Vanacore | avanacore@theadvocate.com​ ​ ​

Click here to sign up for the New Orleans morning roundup!


Chloroprene wars

The company whose chemical plant upriver in St. John the Baptist Parish has been spewing a "likely carcinogen" called chloroprene into the air over many decades promised a year and a half ago to dramatically cut its emissions. 

Pollution fight, a wild gun battle, Marijuana in Gentilly: Your morning briefing

A new regenerative thermal oxidizer (RTO) sits at the Denka Performance Elastomer plant in Laplace, La., Monday, April 9, 2018. The RTO destroys chloroprene, a chemical the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says increases risk of cancer over a lifetime.

Advocate Staff photo by SOPHIA GERMER

The company has installed $35 million worth of equipment designed to destroy the toxic chemical, used to produce neoprene, before it hits the air. 

And it's worked, according to some intrepid data crunching by the Advocate's Della Hasselle, who found that emissions of chloroprene as measured by a half dozen testing stations near the plant have dropped by a little more than 70 percent. 

But is it enough?

The environmental activists who have been fighting the company for the past two years don't think so. They point to guidance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which says levels over 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter may be risky for people exposed over long periods. 

And the Advocate's analysis shows average monthly emissions never dropped below that level in the past 23 months. 

So, expect continued pressure on the company from the surrounding community. There's an elementary school right next door to the plant, and the parish school board has joined the push to bring emissions down. 


Shootout in Gentilly

A young couple quarreled. The boyfriend "put his hands" on the woman, her father claims.

Pollution fight, a wild gun battle, Marijuana in Gentilly: Your morning briefing

Gerald Barnes, via OPCSO

And a few hours later, the young man found himself squaring off against a group of the woman's relatives in a parking lot in Gentilly.

He managed to wound one of the woman's cousins, shooting him in the head, but he was outgunned, killed by a spray of bullets from a stolen AK-47. 

Details about the April 1 shootout surfaced in court documents filed a day after police arrested the man accused of wielding the assault rifle, 28-year-old Gerald Barnes, on a count of second-degree murder in Alfred Johnson’s death.

It was the type of incident that police see so often in New Orleans, a personal quarrel that escalates into deadly violence.


At the state Legislature...

Lawmakers signed off on Louisiana's first license for a legal medical marijuana dispensary, giving the nod to a proposed H&W Drug Store location in Gentilly. 

They also rejected the idea of allowing sports betting at Harrah's and the state's 15 floating casinos. 

And they scuttled the latest plan to reform the TOPS program, which would have made it harder to earn the popular college scholarship.  


From around the web 

Barbara Bush is dead at 93. Probably her most blunt assessment, among many: "There are other people out there that are very qualified and we've had enough Bushes." The CIA director met with Kim Jong Un, and Trump says he will meet with the North Korean leader himself likely in early June. The president and Hannity are tight, they "discuss ideas for Hannity’s show, Trump’s frustration with the ongoing special counsel probe and even, at times, what the president should tweet, according to people familiar with the conversations." The woman killed on a Southwest flight -- the first U.S. airline fatality since 2009 -- worked in communications for Wells Fargo and was the married mother of two children. The company that makes bump stocks is shutting down


Also...

People don't go on dates anymore?  

***

The Morning Briefing is compiled by Andrew Vanacore, deputy editor for the New Orleans Advocate. Get in touch with feedback, tips, complaints at avanacore@theadvocate.com.

Your morning roundup... Click here to sign up!

Header Test 2

News | The New Orleans Advocate

Pollution fight, a wild gun battle, Marijuana in Gentilly: Your morning briefing

Andrew Vanacore | avanacore@theadvocate.com​ ​ ​

Click here to sign up for the New Orleans morning roundup!


Chloroprene wars

The company whose chemical plant upriver in St. John the Baptist Parish has been spewing a "likely carcinogen" called chloroprene into the air over many decades promised a year and a half ago to dramatically cut its emissions. 

Pollution fight, a wild gun battle, Marijuana in Gentilly: Your morning briefing

A new regenerative thermal oxidizer (RTO) sits at the Denka Performance Elastomer plant in Laplace, La., Monday, April 9, 2018. The RTO destroys chloroprene, a chemical the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says increases risk of cancer over a lifetime.

Advocate Staff photo by SOPHIA GERMER

The company has installed $35 million worth of equipment designed to destroy the toxic chemical, used to produce neoprene, before it hits the air. 

And it's worked, according to some intrepid data crunching by the Advocate's Della Hasselle, who found that emissions of chloroprene as measured by a half dozen testing stations near the plant have dropped by a little more than 70 percent. 

But is it enough?

The environmental activists who have been fighting the company for the past two years don't think so. They point to guidance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which says levels over 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter may be risky for people exposed over long periods. 

And the Advocate's analysis shows average monthly emissions never dropped below that level in the past 23 months. 

So, expect continued pressure on the company from the surrounding community. There's an elementary school right next door to the plant, and the parish school board has joined the push to bring emissions down. 


Shootout in Gentilly

A young couple quarreled. The boyfriend "put his hands" on the woman, her father claims.

Pollution fight, a wild gun battle, Marijuana in Gentilly: Your morning briefing

Gerald Barnes, via OPCSO

And a few hours later, the young man found himself squaring off against a group of the woman's relatives in a parking lot in Gentilly.

He managed to wound one of the woman's cousins, shooting him in the head, but he was outgunned, killed by a spray of bullets from a stolen AK-47. 

Details about the April 1 shootout surfaced in court documents filed a day after police arrested the man accused of wielding the assault rifle, 28-year-old Gerald Barnes, on a count of second-degree murder in Alfred Johnson’s death.

It was the type of incident that police see so often in New Orleans, a personal quarrel that escalates into deadly violence.


At the state Legislature...

Lawmakers signed off on Louisiana's first license for a legal medical marijuana dispensary, giving the nod to a proposed H&W Drug Store location in Gentilly. 

They also rejected the idea of allowing sports betting at Harrah's and the state's 15 floating casinos. 

And they scuttled the latest plan to reform the TOPS program, which would have made it harder to earn the popular college scholarship.  


From around the web 

Barbara Bush is dead at 93. Probably her most blunt assessment, among many: "There are other people out there that are very qualified and we've had enough Bushes." The CIA director met with Kim Jong Un, and Trump says he will meet with the North Korean leader himself likely in early June. The president and Hannity are tight, they "discuss ideas for Hannity’s show, Trump’s frustration with the ongoing special counsel probe and even, at times, what the president should tweet, according to people familiar with the conversations." The woman killed on a Southwest flight -- the first U.S. airline fatality since 2009 -- worked in communications for Wells Fargo and was the married mother of two children. The company that makes bump stocks is shutting down


Also...

People don't go on dates anymore?  

***

The Morning Briefing is compiled by Andrew Vanacore, deputy editor for the New Orleans Advocate. Get in touch with feedback, tips, complaints at avanacore@theadvocate.com.

Your morning roundup... Click here to sign up!

Watch: Time lapse of super blue blood moon in Baton Rouge

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