Yesterday’s Last Night’s 75 54 High Low AccuWeather (See Page 11) Today, mostly sunny, high of 83. Tonight, mostly clear early becoming partly cloudy, low of 64. Saturday and Sunday, partly cloudy, high of 86 to low of 72. Rain chance Monday. The Daily Review Morgan City, Louisiana 50 Cents 4 Sections 54 Pages Home of the Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival http://www.daily-review.com Serving St. Mary Parish Since 1872 Volume 49, Number 85 Friday, April 29, 2011 Levee board prepares for flooding aid By GEOFFREY STOUTE PATTERSON — In response to a declaration of a state of emergency by Gov. Bobby Jindal and one looming for St. Mary Parish, the parish Levee District on Thursday began local preparations for a possible flood fight in the next month. The board unanimously agreed to purchase at least $50,000 worth of sand for flood protection baskets (the same amount purchased last year) and agreed to allocate $100,000 to purchase limestone that will be placed on top of levees from Charenton to Calumet Cut, so the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can drive their vehicles on them to inspect these flood protec- tion systems as the water continues to rise. They also authorized the district to seek the plans of the individual municipalities, so they can be culled and submitted to the state and the Corps so these state and federal agencies can provide any assistance that may be necessary. Forecasts call for the Atchafalaya River to crest at 8 feet in Morgan City on May 23 but then to drop from those levels rather quickly. “Potentially with a south wind (like) we had yesterday, it could be 9 feet,” Levee President Bill Hidalgo said Thursday. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Atchafalaya River’s water level in Morgan City was at 5 feet this morning and expected to begin rising. By Tuesday, it is expected to reach 5.8 feet here. In anticipation of what may lie ahead in the next month, which has included discussion on the state and federal level about the likelihood of opening the Bonnet Carre Spillway as well as the possibility of opening the Morganza Floodway — the state’s last measure to alleviate high water — Hidalgo said he is being overcautious and planning as if the area would be hit with 10 feet of water. The flood stage for the Atchafalaya Daily Review Photo Construction on the new Cajun Coast Visitors and Convention Bureau is progressing. Most of the foundation is in place on the piers needed to lift the building above the levee and hold it above the swampy land below. This project is one of many showing the strength and resilience of businesses and organizations in St. Mary Parish. Celebrating our ‘Progress’ While the past year was a challenging time for the entire country as it grappled with a sour economic climate, south Louisiana — an area that relies heavily on the oil and gas industry — also was hit with its own challenges: a moratorium following the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. While local businesses have grappled with effects of the moratorium, which lasted approximately six months and was followed by a de-facto moratorium in which few permits were issued, local businesses and governments have been resilient and found ways to get by. The two 16-page sections we call “Progress” in today’s Daily Review are a celebration of that resiliency as well, just like it has each year since 1973. In honor of these businesses, we temporarily set aside our objective duties and allow these businesses to tell their stories, in their own words. In addition to stories, the edition also includes photographs that are further evidence of the success at home here in St. Mary Parish since last April. Today’s edition also includes advertisements purchased by valued edition supporters, further celebrating the success of all. Naquin to speak as the work the parish government does. Naquin, a Bayou Vista native, has worked for South Coast and Sterling Sugars as well as the former Texaco. He has served on the St. Mary Parish School Board and parish council before he was elected parish president in (Continued on Page 12) Paul Naquin MORGAN CITY — Substantial completion of the sewer rehabilitation work in Walsh Subdivision was approved unanimously by the city council during its monthly meeting Tuesday. The council approved the work, completed by Nottingham Construction Co., with a 45 day lien period for the work. The work included the rehabilitation of the gravity sewer system, including the replacement of approximately 3,700 feet of gravity sewer line and installing 2,000 feet of piping in the sewer lines and other miscellaneous repairs to the sewer system. Oscar Boudreaux of Environmental Engineering Services in LaPlace said that following the change order, the project should be around the original $1.2 million estimate. He also reported the city is completing the last phase of point repairs in the city and now will turn its attention to work on the city’s sewer lift Rhythms on the River will be held for 10 consecutive Friday nights this spring and summer in downtown Morgan City, beginning tonight with Don Rich. Other performers during the events, which will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., include Damon Troy & The Final Five (May 6), TK Hulin (May 13), Side Show Band (May 20), Louisiana Soul Survivors (May 27), Sheauxdown (June 3), Jamie Bergeron & The Kickin Cajuns (June 10), Nik L Beer (June 17), Déjà vu (June 24) and Waylon Thibodeaux (July 1). For the event, Front Street will be blocked off between Everett to Freret streets from 4:30 until 10:30 p.m. Also, the city’s open container law will be waived during this time in that area. station at the end of Federal Avenue. The city will receive bids on the project in May. In other news, the council: —Introduced its first reading for adoption of millage rates for the tax year 2011, as well as the adjustment of millage rates for the same period. The city introduced an ordinance adjusting the ad valorem tax (14.31 mills) and Municipal Auditorium tax (2.11 mills) and raising them but not to exceed the maximum rate allowed for the prior year. The city will propose raising its ad valorem tax to 14.78 mills. The Municipal Auditorium tax would remain at 2.11 mills. The increase is expected to generate approximately $60,000. A public hearing on the ordinances will be held at the June council meeting. —Unanimously agreed to accept the monthly financial statements, which included favorable variances in all three accounts. There was a (Continued on Page 12) Election day Sat. St. Mary and Lower St. Martin parish voters will head to the polls to decide measures in their communities. In St. Mary, voters will decide on a renewal of a 10-year, 5.72 mill tax, which supports the parish Library System, as well as the renewal of 20.71 mills for work in the City of Patterson for construction of a new water plant. In Lower St. Martin, voters will vote on a renewal of a 10year, 5 mill tax to maintain and upgrade the district’s water system. Voters should go to their regular polling precincts to cast their ballots. Polls are open in both parishes from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Taxes up for approval in St. Mary Parish include continuation of a 10-year, 5.72 mill property tax for the parish’s library system, which has been on the books since 1981. The tax is (Continued on Page 12) ‘Rhythms on the River’ starts tonight Inside group authorized the request of approximately five pumps from the Corps and others for the Berwick Locks, too. Much of Thursday’s meeting focused on protecting the Amelia area from potential flooding, which St. Mary Parish President Paul Naquin said is the parish’s greatest concern right now. Marc Rogers, an engineer for T. Baker Smith, which services Drainage District 6 in Amelia, said surveys are being conducted on Bayou Boeuf and the back levees in the Amelia area to determine how much flood protection is needed for this area’s homes and (Continued on Page 12) Walsh sewer work done; lift station coming next PROGRESS! St. Mary Parish President Paul Naquin Jr. will address the St. Mary Industrial Group during its monthly meeting Monday. During the noon meeting at the Petroleum Club in Morgan City, Naquin will discuss St. Mary Parish and the different projects that are ongoing throughout the parish, as well River in Morgan City is 4 feet, but an earthen levee near the BurlingtonNorthern Santa Fe Railroad, as well as the city’s other flood protection, provide protection for the city’s businesses on the unprotected side of Front Street, with little disruption, until water levels reach 6 feet. Hidalgo said the levee district would see what it could do to provide protection for those on the unprotected side in Morgan City and Berwick. Locally, there is a seven-day window available for leaders because local river levels usually can be predicted by what happens in Cairo, Ill., where the Mississippi and Ohio rivers meet. During Thursday’s meeting, the Organizers are asking for “Rain Angel” sponsors, which are reserved for those who buy VIP passes to sit upstairs at Café Jo Jo’s during the performance. Their contributions help pay for the bands. Anyone wishing to become a sponsor should contact Jo Ann Blanchard at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dallas Brass CCA-MC continues with Dallas Brass The Community Concert Association of Morgan City, formed more than 60 years ago, offers world-class entertainment to the Tri-City area and the rest of St. Mary Parish and surrounding parishes at affordable rates. Strong adult and student memberships help ensure continuing concerts for the area — and there is no debating the worth of the deal. The next concert offering is Wednesday, Dallas Brass. The acclaimed ensemble performs classical to swing to Broadway and more. Closing out the season will be “Jim Witter — The Piano Men,” with a parallel musical journey of Billy Joel and Elton John on Monday, May 23, 2011. Already this season, subscribers have seen Buddy Jewell, a Nashville star; “The Great American Songbook,” a journey through American music with show-stopping performances; and “Barbra and Frank,” an imagination of what a joint concert with Barbra Streisand and Frank Sinatra might have been like. Subscription prices remain at the low level of $45 per season for adults and $10 for students (K-12). That one price includes admission to all the 2010-11 shows in Morgan City. For more information call 385-2307. (Continued on Page 12) State Sports Obituaries On Monday Vitter questions Eagles pass first-round Shawn Long signs hearing cancellation hump in playoff win Hilda Boudreaux, Elizabeth Jones, Rita Pitre, John Rutledge with Mississippi State (See Page 9) (See Pages 6 - 8) (See Page 12) Check out Sports!