News roundup: Woodlake Drive bridge ordered closed immediately … La. first-time jobless claims increase … Apple CEO Cook forgoes $75M in stock dividends
Span shuttered: City-parish officials announced today that the Woodlake Drive bridge over Jones Creek near South Harrell's Ferry Road has been closed due to "critical deficiencies." DOTD inspectors found several deficiencies during an inspection of the bridge and alerted DPW officials, who are taking immediate steps to close the span to traffic. The bridge was already scheduled to be closed in the next few weeks to allow for a complete replacement. DOTD has taken bids on the project and awarded a contract.
Job hunting: First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending May 19 increased from the previous week's total. The state labor department figures released today show the initial claims increased to 3,547 from the previous week's total of 3,394. The figure was lower than it was for the comparable week a year earlier, when there were 4,432 initial claims. The four-week moving average—a less volatile measure of claims—increased to 3,342 from the previous week's total of 3,224. Continued unemployment claims filed for the week ending May 19 totaled 31,959, an increase from 31,691 the previous week. The four-week moving average for such claims decreased to 32,065 from 32,333.
Small change: Apple CEO Tim Cook is giving up $75 million in dividends on restricted stock, dividends that the company is awarding to all of its employees. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday, Apple says Cook requested that his restricted stock units not receive dividends. The dividends Apple workers are getting amount to $2.65 per quarter for each restricted stock unit held. The shares are not normally eligible to receive dividends, so Apple's decision is a perk for its employees. Even without the dividend, Cook, 51, remains one of the highest-paid CEOs in America. His pay package was valued at $378 million when he became Apple's chief in August. The Associated Press has the full story here.
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