News roundup: Lafayette leadership development firm opening a Baton Rouge office … B.R. credit unions agree to swap a Chalmette branch … Louisiana wants to know why so many of its babies are born prematurely
Eastward expansion: Lafayette-based leadership development company Excelerant says it will begin offering professional services in Baton Rouge following the appointment of Baton Rougean Manny Valencia as vice president of strategic development. Valencia will be responsible for the growth of Excelerant's business lines, including executive team development, leadership development, executive coaching and meeting facilitation. He will oversee the firm's expansion into new markets, leading the business development and operations of the new office to be established in Baton Rouge.
The union line: Two Baton Rouge credit unions—Pelican State Credit Union and Eagle Federal Credit Union—have agreed to a branch swap at a Chalmette facility that was badly damaged in Hurricane Katrina. The branch sits on a refinery site and was once home to Chalmette Refinery Credit Union, which eventually merged into Pelican, the Credit Union Times reports. Under the deal, Pelican is transferring loans, a lone employee and the branch to Eagle, effective April 17. Pelican management says it's transferring the 600-member branch because it's trying to grow outside the southern part of the state. "We are concentrating our growth on central Louisiana, in Monroe and other communities, and that is the direction we seek to go," says Leigh Porta, marketing manager at Pelican. Read the full story here.
Early arrivals: Louisiana has some of the nation's highest percentages of premature babies and underweight newborns. Now it has begun adding information about why babies are born early to its vital statistics. Louisiana has a Web-based vital records system to collect data about birth, death, fetal death, marriage and divorce. Other medical information already was being gathered for each birth, including risk factors such as the mother's use of drugs or alcohol or maternal diseases such as diabetes. "We know that Louisiana ranks 48th nationally in infant mortality and preterm birth, and 49th in the percentage of low-birth-weight and the percentage of very low-birth-weight babies, but we don't have the data necessary to understand why," says Dr. Rebekah Gee, who directs a state program designed to reduce those percentages. The Associated Press has the full story here.
Today's poll question: Should the Metro Council approve an ordinance that requires food truck operators to get permission from private landowners in order to do business in their parking lots?
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