News roundup: BRAC hires director to focus on region-wide economic development … Alabama fan's sexual assault trial gets under way in N.O. Tuesday … Airlines' profit outlook recovering
On the job: BRAC announced this morning that it's hired Larry Collins as a director of business development, responsible for regional economic development in coordination with Ascension, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana parishes. He will work in partnership with the economic development leaders in these parishes and business leaders throughout the region. A Baton Rouge native and LSU graduate, Collins has spent more than 20 years working in economic development, BRAC says, including working with business development teams and international development efforts for LED.
Busted down on Bourbon Street: This week, in an Orleans Parish courtroom, a jury of six people will be called on to settle a rarely explored question: If a man presses his genitals on your neck while you're passed out drunk in a crowded hamburger joint, are you the victim of a humiliating sexual assault or just an unsavory prank? As The Times-Picayune reports, the trial of Brian Downing—the 33-year-old ex-sporting-goods store manager from Alabama whose open-zippered exploits after LSU's loss in the college football championship game on Jan. 9 captured a national audience with a video that spread across the Internet—is set to open Tuesday. Get all the details in the full story here.
On the ascent: The outlook for the airline industry is improving, with profits expected to reach $4.1 billion this year and $7.5 billion in 2013, the International Air Transport Association announced this morning. The industry group raised its forecast for 2012 from $3 billion, saying passenger numbers so far this year were robust. “Airlines are keeping their heads above water better than we expected,” IATA Chief Executive Tony Tyler says, noting profits this year will still be less than half the $8.4 billion that the industry earned in 2011.
Today’s poll question: How many games do you think the New Orleans Saints will win in the regular season, in light of the team’s disappointing 0-4 start?
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