Ex-Louisiana, New Orleans, Official, Gill Pratt More Looting For Jefferson Clan, Than Leading

Wednesday, 09 February 2011 13:02 Written by

Jeff Crouere--Louisiana PoliticsThe racketeering trial of former State Representative Renee Gill Pratt is another embarrassing episode for the people of Louisiana. Gill Pratt served in the legislature and city council for 15 years, using her time in office to enrich herself instead of helping the community.

While claiming to be a public servant, Pratt was really doing the bidding of the Jefferson family and especially her boyfriend, Mose Jefferson. Prosecutors assert that Gill Pratt laundered money and was instrumental in securing state and city money for phony Jefferson family charities. Instead of directing money to worthwhile organizations, Gill Pratt worked aggressively to funnel money to corrupt enterprises.

On the stand yesterday, former Orleans Parish Assessor Betty Jefferson, a prosecution witness, confessed to looting several charities in cooperation with Gill Pratt. She has admitted to a variety of crimes including money laundering and tax evasion. Jefferson and her daughter Angela Coleman said that Gill Pratt knew the type of sham that was being performed.

Southern University In New Orleans (SUNO) Reports 91% Of Pre-Katrina Attendance
Wednesday, 09 February 2011 12:52 Written by

With Governor Jindal requesting that the Louisiana Board Of Regents study a possible merger of Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) with the University of New Orleans (UNO), Southern has released new enrollment statistics that argue against that merger.

According to new Spring 2011 stats released by SUNO, its current enrollment is 91% of its pre-Hurricane Katrina figure.  One of the arguments made by the advocates of the merger have been that SUNO’s post-Katrina enrollment has resulted in the university being less effective and cost-beneficial.  

Jindal, Landrieu, New Orleans, Law Enforcement Brace For Mardi Gras
Wednesday, 09 February 2011 12:11 Written by

Today,Governor Bobby Jindal was joined by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, State Police Superintendent Colonel Mike Edmonson, FBI Special Agent in Charge David Welker, Sheriffs’ Association Executive Director Hal Turner, State Fire Marshal Butch Browning, New Orleans Police Chief Ronal Serpas, New Orleans Fire Department Chief Charles Parent and Commissioner for the Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control, Troy Hebert, to announce important joint law enforcement operations underway to provide security during the 2011 Mardi Gras holiday.

Governor Jindal said, “We are here with all levels of law enforcement – from the local level, the federal level, and all across state government – to highlight the incredibly coordinated and dedicated work surrounding the upcoming Mardi Gras holiday. These men and women here with us today are collaborating before the holiday, and will continue to work throughout the Carnival Season to keep everyone safe during 2011 Mardi Gras festivities.

New Orleans Saints Sean Payton, Dallas Story Should Move On
Wednesday, 09 February 2011 11:54 Written by

Ed StatonSean Payton said he won't commute to Dallas.

The Saints said they knew the news that he was his family to Dallas wasn't going to go over well with the Who Dat Nation. But with his family in Dallas, he'll spend more time at the team facility.

"It's not a thing where you commute day by day," said Payton. "Your family comes for the weekend when you're playing games, and I'll go back to Dallas on the weekends of the offseason. We have our time as a family during the summer at our home on the beach in Florida."

Payton and his wife, Beth, said the family decided that his children should go to high school in Dallas and that he needed to "win more games at home."

US, Obama, Mubarak, Egyptian Conundrum: Tread Lightly Or Muslim Brotherhood
Wednesday, 09 February 2011 11:31 Written by

Christopher TidmoreThe feluccas were sailing around the Nile basin, just below the cliffs of Aswan on that December day in 2003.   US forces were in Iraq, and the Middle East was in an uproar, but the outside world seemed far away under the blue skies of Egypt.   And, the Mubarak family seemed entrenched in power for a lifetime to come.

     "If there were an election today, Hosni Mubarak would win," explained the professor of Egyptology serving as my personal guide that month.  

      His father had negotiated the Camp David Accords for Mubarak's predecessor Anwar Sadat.  With his long knowledge of Egyptian politics, the Professor noted that two groups wanted to keep Mubarak in power for the foreseeable future, the two groups with the most sway in Egypt then and today, the professional middle class and the Military.

Louisiana Higher Education Reform Needs Systemic Change
Wednesday, 09 February 2011 10:32 Written by

John Maginnis--Louisiana PoliticsIn laying out his legislative agenda for higher education, Gov. Bobby Jindal's recent address to a conference of university administrators and board members was received with mixed emotions, as evidenced by infrequent and tepid applause.

   They liked hearing his pledge to limit college budget cuts to only 10 percent and to grant schools more flexibility to raise tuition and fees. But they also gathered from his remarks that, if he has his way, most of their seats would be vacant at a future conference a year or two from now.

Louisiana Claims Special Ties With Kennedy Clan
Wednesday, 09 February 2011 09:42 Written by

Jim Brown--Louisiana PoliticsThe 34th President of the United States took office 50 years ago last week, with tributes and remembrances flowing from all over the world.  Republicans look to Ronald Regan as their ideal. But to Republicans and Democrats alike, John Kennedy seemed to capture the hearts of the American people in a way that has been unique in presidents before or since.  And from the first stirrings of his efforts to become president, to events that took place after his death, my home state of Louisiana has a special place in the Kennedy legacy.

 John Kennedy’s first foray in building Louisiana relationships began in 1956, during the then young senator’s efforts to become the vice presidential candidate on the Adlai Stevenson ticket.  Stevenson had promised the VP spot to Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver, but didn’t want to offend the Kennedy patriarch, Joseph Kennedy.  So he threw the nomination open to the convention floor.

Tom Capella Announces Candidacy For Jefferson Parish Assessor
Tuesday, 08 February 2011 17:18 Written by
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Councilman-at-Large Thomas J. “Tom” Capella officially announced his candidacy for Jefferson Parish Assessor today. Capella, an attorney, was first elected to office in 2001 as the State Representative from District 88.  He served in the Louisiana House of Representatives until 2003 when he was elected to the Jefferson Parish Council as Councilman-at-Large from Division B. 

Capella is expected to face Alan Leone, a real estate broker who has run for Secretary of State and for Jefferson Parish President.

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Event of the Day

The LTC's Medical Technology Special Interest Group (SIG) will be hosting a Med Tuesday on February 8th at the Louisiana Emerging Technology Center on LSU's Campus. The event will take place from 5:30PM to 7:30PM with light food and drinks provided.
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Ex-LSU DB Patrick Peterson Has Plan To Be NFL Draft No. 1
Tuesday, 08 February 2011 16:42 Written by

Ed Staton--Louisiana sportsPatrick Peterson has a plan for being the first player picked in the NFL draft.

"Run fast, that's it," he said. "I want to run a 4.2"

The former LSU All-American cornerback received his Jim Thorpe Award, given to the best defensive back in the country on Monday night in Oklahoma City.

Louisiana Business: Landrieu, Idea Village, Always Care, LSU Health, UnitedHealth Group
Tuesday, 08 February 2011 15:53 Written by

Landrieu, Idea Village

Plans for the 3rd annual New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW) to be unveiled at The Idea Village. Honorary Chair Mayor Landrieu will make a special proclamation, and the line-up of events for the week long celebration of entrepreneurism will be announced. In the spirit of President Obama’s Startup America initiative, NOEW 2011: Start it Up will showcase New Orleans as a hub of innovation and provide a national model for fostering entrepreneurship around the country.

Always Care


Almost $100 million in revenue now under management


Baton Rouge-based AlwaysCare Benefits, Inc. has surpassed more than half a million Members and dependents covered by group benefits, marking a major milestone for the national group dental, vision, life, disability, critical illness and accident benefit plan provider.


Some highlights of AlwaysCare’s growth over the last five years:


•             Opening of new 24,500-square-foot headquarters in Baton Rouge, Louisiana;

•             Expansion into regional sales offices in Wisconsin and South Carolina;

•             Launch of new group products: life, disability, critical illness and accident;

•             Launch of new individual products: fully insured dental and vision plan with hearing savings plan


LSU Health

Suzanne Farrar, RDH, MSHCM, Associate Professor and Director of Clinical Staff and Patient Services at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Dentistry, is the only dental hygienist among the 24 dental educators in the nation named to the 2012 Class of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Leadership Institute.

              The ADEA Leadership Institute is a year-long program designed to develop the nation's most promising individuals at academic dental institutions to become future leaders in dental and higher education.

               Farrar was also awarded the ADEA/Colgate-Palmolive Company Allied Dental Educators Fellowship for her strong leadership qualities in dental hygiene and higher education administration. She will apply the $4,000 stipend that comes with the fellowship to the ADEA Leadership Institute tuition and fees.

Healthcare IT

PHNS, an independent provider of comprehensive healthcare information technology (“IT”) services and business process solutions for hospitals and other healthcare providers, today announced that it is changing its name to Anthelio, effective immediately.

“Anthelio is focused on bringing to market a truly innovative set of ideas to address the many challenges that hospitals and other healthcare providers face.”

As an important part of Anthelio’s goal to create a higher standard in healthcare, the Company has established an independent group of outstanding healthcare experts who have become members of its Healthcare Innovation Council, which will generate innovative ideas about how U.S. hospitals can meet their escalating quality and financial pressures.

One of the members of the council is from Louisiana, Jim Brexler.

Healthcare Innovation Council Members:

Jack Bailey, FACHE, Former COO, California Pacific Medical Center; former SVP, The Hunter Group; former CEO, Memorial Health System of East Texas; former Commander, 11th Contingency Hospital, USAF; former CEO, Lutheran Medical System of North Texas

Jim Brexler, FACHE, MPA, CEO, Erlanger Health System; Vice Chancellor, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Services Division and CEO of its Health Care Services Division

Robert Burns, PhD, MBA, Chair of the Health Care Management Department at Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; Director of the Wharton Center for Health Management & Economics

Hud Connery, MHA, CEO of Performance Management Institute (strategic planning services and performance management tools for hospitals); former founder and CEO of Essent Healthcare; former COO of HealthTrust (now part of HCA)

Jack Lord, MD, Chairman, Dexcom, Inc.; former CEO, Navigenics; former SVP and Chief Innovation Officer, Humana Inc.; former COO, American Hospital Association; Director, Stericycle; Member, Advisory Committee to the Director of the CDC

Julie Klapstein, CEO, Availity (health information exchange network between payers and providers) owned by BlueCross BlueShield of Florida, Humana, HCSC, WellPoint, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota; former CEO of Phycom, a vendor of medical management solutions

MaryAnn Stump, RN, President, Innovation International, Generate; former SVP, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota; External Advisory Board, Yale College of Nursing; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellow National Advisory Board


Healthcare Grant

UnitedHealth Group has awarded $4,500 in grants to 7 Louisiana-based youth-led organizations that have developed programs to fight childhood obesity in their communities.


The grants are part of the UnitedHealth HEROES program, a service-learning, health literacy initiative designed to encourage young people, working through educators and youth leaders, to create and implement local hands-on programs addressing childhood obesity.  Grants were awarded to schools and youth-focused, community-based programs that have demonstrated a clear understanding of the health risks associated with pediatric obesity; proposed creative solutions to fighting obesity in their neighborhoods and communities; and can be easily implemented, scaled and measured.


Grant recipients include:


Youth Raising Their Community’s Health-O-Meter – Bastrop, LA -  $1,000 Grant

Since the problems of childhood obesity and health issues seemed to increase following the closing of several industrial plants in their home town, Youth Raising Their Community’s Health-O-Meter, a Bastrop, Louisiana-based program, will use its grant to study childhood obesity and its possible link to the economy. 


RPCC (River Parishes Community College) Health Initiative and Community Health Fair for Childhood Obesity – Sorrento, LA - $1,000 Grant

RPCC is using its grant to expand its existing service-learning project into a semester-long Childhood Obesity for Community Health Initiative, which will provide students with a deeper understanding of their classroom lessons and engage them directly as members of the community. Throughout the semester, students will design and distribute brochures about healthy living and childhood obesity, as well as host workshops at childcare facilities in underserved neighborhoods.


Dubach Childhood Obesity Prevention Program – Dubach, LA - $500 Grant

Students of the Dubach Childhood Obesity Prevention Program will be taught by a licensed nutritionist and physical education instructor about the importance of nutrition and physical activity. They will in turn teach what they’ve learned to other students and parents, afterschool, at such events as PTA meetings, pep rallies and other school functions.


Advance Baton Rouge Civic Responsibility Project – Baton Rouge, LA - $500 Grant

This Baton Rouge-based program plans to create an informational campaign to promote healthy lifestyle choices as a positive step towards reducing obesity. Students will research healthy food choices and create presentations to share with community members.


Fitness Challenge – New Orleans, LA -  $500 Grant

Middle school students at the Batiste Cultural Arts Academy will design a whole-school/community fitness challenge in order to educate teachers, peers, family and community about the importance of fitness as one step in fighting obesity.          


SAVY (Strong and Virtuous Youth) Health & Wellness Tour – Metairie, LA - $500 Grant

The goal of SAVY is to promote responsibility for health by equipping people, particularly young females, with skills for understanding health & wellness and the importance of maintaining both through health literacy. Youth will receive training on how to disseminate health and fitness information to their peers, culminating in a Health and Wellness Tour at community churches and schools.


The Green Miles – Luling, LA - $500 Grant

The Green Miles is an initiative by the Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Administration course at the St. Charles Parish Satellite Center to replant native trees along nature trails and scenic walks throughout the parish. The goal is to improve residents’ quality of life issues such as health, fitness and beautification, while replanting trees lost during the recent hurricanes.

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