GONZALES — The Gonzales City Council is hoping to pocket a few extra dollars by selling surplus water meters.
The council approved placing 113 3/4-inch residential and two 2-inch commercial water meters out for bid to see how much money the city can make off the unused brass.
Clay Stafford, the city’s finance director, said the meters would go to the highest bidder, and that the money would be placed in the city’s general fund.
City Engineer Jackie Baumann said there is a great deal of interest in the water meters because they are made of brass.
Although city officials said they weren’t sure how much money the water meters would generate when sold, brass is selling for more than $2 per pound.
Oyster processor, state official in ICU
HOUMA — One of the best-known people in Louisiana’s seafood business is in intensive care.
Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board executive director Ewell Smith says oyster company owner Mike Voisin was hospitalized early Saturday at Terrebonne General Hospital in Houma.
Voisin is owner of Motivatit Seafood and a member of the state Wildlife and Fisheries Commissioner. He’s a former chairman of the National Fisheries Institute and of the Louisiana Oyster Task force, and a founder of the seafood board.
Smith says he’s been in touch with the family daily since Voisin’s heart stopped early Saturday. He says Voisin’s daughter happened to be visiting and was able to start CPR before an ambulance arrived, and on Tuesday Voisin responded to a request to move his fingers.
Man breaks into Labadieville church
LABADIEVILLE — Assumption Parish sheriff’s deputies have arrested a 32-year-old Labadieville man who had activated church bells and was found inside the religious building drinking alcohol with his shoes off.
Deputies said Hamid Banisaaid was booked into Assumption Parish Detention Center in Napoleonville Sunday night on a charge of simple burglary of a religious building.
Authorities were called to St. Philomena Catholic Church after the pastor reported hearing the church bells “going crazy.”
Deputies say they found Banisaaid inside the church and that he admitted to activating the bells after entering the church.
Deputies say it appears that Banisaaid entered the church by forcing a door open.
Delgado to lay off 46 employees
NEW ORLEANS — About 10 percent of Delgado Community College’s 465 employees will be laid off at the end of next month.
Chancellor Monty Sullivan said Tuesday the layoffs are a consequence of the school’s $13 million deficit and declining enrollment. Sullivan says no teachers will lose their jobs in this action.
College spokeswoman Carol Gniady said the 46 people who will lose their jobs are classified and unclassified employees, categories that include secretaries, clerks, bookkeepers and maintenance personnel.
Gniady said notices went out Monday because employees must be told 30 days in advance.
Retail spending rises 7% in B.R.
BATON ROUGE — Retail spending in East Baton Rouge Parish rose just less than 7 percent in November. That’s according to figures released by the city-parish Finance Department.
Businesses and consumers spent $672.6 million that month compared with $631.0 million in November 2011. The numbers do not include often-volatile vehicle sales.
Spending had a couple of flat months after the U.S. Bowling Congress tournament left town in July, but rebounded in October by rising 6 percent. The November numbers, which include the beginning of the holiday shopping season, followed suit.
For the year, consumer spending is up just less than 7 percent to $7.24 billion.
Woman gets 25 years in 2002 slaying
BATON ROUGE — A 51-year-old Baton Rouge woman has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for her role in the 2002 beating death of a man in his mobile home.
Dana Lynn Smith was sentenced Tuesday by state District Judge Mike Erwin.
Smith’s co-defendant, 31-year-old Melvin Toups, of Donaldsonville, will be sentenced Feb. 21. He is being held without bond.
Smith and Toups pleaded guilty in September to manslaughter charges in the killing of 47-year-old Nelson Dunbar.
Dunbar’s body was discovered Aug. 1, 2002, inside the mobile home.
Prosecutor Barry Fontenot said that Smith gave Toups a key to Dunbar’s trailer so that Toups could steal marijuana from the trailer.
Savoie re-elected to accrediting council
LAFAYETTE — University of Louisiana at Lafayette President Joseph Savoie was has been re-elected to represent Louisiana on the executive council of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
The regional body accredits higher education institutions in 11 Southern states.
Savoie will serve on a 13-member council that works to set higher education standards and processes for colleges and universities, and ensure they are met.
The council also is charged with the interpretation of commission policies and procedures for institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Council members are elected by the board of trustees.
Savoie’s one-year term continues through Dec. 31.
Tulane establishing Confucius Institute
NEW ORLEANS — Tulane University has signed an agreement with the Confucius Institute Headquarters of China to establish a Confucius Institute at Tulane University.
Tulane said in a news release Tuesday that the center will promote the study of Chinese culture and language.
The Institute, which will be within the School of Liberal Arts, will enhance Chinese language classes in Tulane’s Asian Studies Program with a range of new teaching materials. Those include software and hardware, a 3,000-volume Chinese language library and a state-of-the-art language classroom.
Jeremy Jernegan, the associate dean of finance and planning for Tulane’s School of Liberal Arts, says there are 64 Confucius Institutes in the United States.
Guard units to deploy to Kuwait
NEW ORLEANS — Soldiers of the Louisiana National Guard’s 205th Engineer Battalion and the 922nd Engineer Company are scheduled to bid farewell to family and friends during two separate deployment ceremonies this week.
More than 150 soldiers with the 205th, based in Bogalusa and Hammond, and another 150 from the 922nd, based in Gonzales, are leaving Thursday.
The units will conduct a yearlong deployment to Kuwait.
The 922nd is scheduled to leave at 8:45 a.m. from the Lamar Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales and the 205th at 10:45 a.m. from Southeastern Louisiana University Center in Hammond.
From The Associated Press.