St. Charles Herald-Guide

In the news

By Staff Report - May 2, 2007

As hurricane season approaches, St. Charles Parish officials feel confident in their abilities to keep residents safe.

And a new “text-message alert system” offered by the sheriff’s office will give the community an additional option to receive emergency information.

“As in years past, we will take the necessary steps to make sure our citizens and their property are protected,” Albert Laque, parish president, told the Herald-Guide.

“We have one of the best Emergency Operations Centers in this area and that helps us stay ahead of the game for all emergencies, especially hurricanes.”

“Preparedness is an ongoing process throughout the year,” he said.

“It doesn’t just begin a month before hurricane season.”

The text message system supplements the parish's extensive early warning system, which includes sirens, the parish's government channel on cable TV that is also broadcast on the Internet, its low-power AM radio station and emergency operations center that is staffed around the clock.

"These notifications will only be made in emergency situations such as hurricane evacuations, tornadoes, hazardous material spills, serious automobile crashes involving road blockage, and possible terrorist attacks," Sheriff Greg Champagne said in an e-mail to residents.

Residents can sign up for the service at www.stcharlessheriff.org.

Champagne warned that residents' cell phone carriers may charge them for incoming text messages and urged those who sign up to check with their wireless carriers for more information.

State representative proposes tax incentives for alternate fuels

Louisiana State Rep. Mike Strain recently filed legislation to provide refundable tax credits from Louisiana income or corporation franchise taxes for manufacturers, producers, distributors and retailers of certain biofuels.

"I filed this legislation to encourage the development of the ethanol, biodiesel, and alternate renewable fuel industry and agricultural production in the state," Strain said.

“This industry will have a positive impact on agriculture in our state. The products produced in our state are a natural fit for the alternate fuels industry."

Under the bill, the credit would be 20 cents per gallon for biodiesel, ethanol, and alternate renewable fuel, and 30 cents per gallon for ethanol produced from cellulose.

Questions? E-mail Caleb Frey ad calebf@heraldguide.com