St. Charles Herald-Guide

Parish airs government channel via Internet

By M. Susanne Hinkle - January 31, 2006

First step in correcting communication meltdown during Katrina
As Hurricane Katrina roared through South Louisiana and the Gulf Coast many residents of St. Charles Parish found themselves lost in the dark, literally and figuratively. Many residents had little or no communication with the parish during and after the storm. The parish website provided little information and was only updated as often as someone was available to input the information.

In an effort to help open the communication lines between residents and parish officials, President Laque announces that the St. Charles Parish Government Channel (Channel 6 on Cox Cable in St. Charles) is now broadcasting live on the internet.

The site is interactive, meaning that viewers can navigate the site to view individual slides, or they can just watch the channel as it is playing live.

"In the wake of Katrina, we are pursuing a program of multiple redundancies when it comes to communication," said Laque. "We are committed to having a system in place prior to the upcoming hurricane season that will allow us to communicate within and outside of the parish in the event we ever face a situation similar to last year."

The system is in a trial phase, according to Public Information Officer Steve Sirmon. "We are asking people to go to the site so we can see if we can handle the traffic without affecting our server," said Sirmon. "We anticipate that we will have to make some adjustments, but we want to evaluate how the system responds so that we can optimize its use," he continued. "The only way we will know is by getting feedback from the user."

The site may be accessed by going to the parish website at www.stcharlesgov.net, and clicking on the Channel 6 logo on the left side of the home page.