News roundup: Farm-to-table rice mill offering new brand of rice in Baton Rouge … New Orleans-based Tidewater says extension granted by lenders has expired … More and more gas pump skimmers found in Louisiana

    Farm to table: A Louisiana rice farm has opened a new farm-to-table mill in Acadiana and is producing a new brand of non-GMO single variety rice that can be found in select stores in Baton Rouge, Opelousas, Mandeville and New Orleans. James Rice Farms plants and mills the brand Prairie Ronde Rice, which can be found at Alexander’s Highland Market and Calandro’s, according to a news release. “As part of the constant desire to evolve, we wanted to develop our products to take them from our farm to the kitchen table. I believe that many consumers want to know where their food comes from,” Beth James, a partner in the venture, says in a statement. Her partner, Rolando Sanchez, was awarded “Farmer of the Year” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Read the full statement.

    Expired: Tidewater, a New Orleans-based offshore service vessel provider, announced today that the latest extension granted by its lenders and noteholders expired on Monday and the company is not seeking a renewal. Tidewater warned late last year that it could file for bankruptcy. In a statement, Tidewater President and CEO Jeffrey Platt says negotiations between the company and its lenders and noteholders have advanced. “However, work remains to resolve a small number of issues and to obtain the approval of our board of directors and final approval from the various financial institutions,” he says. “In the meantime, while we press forward with our lender and noteholder groups in an effort to bring our negotiations to a successful conclusion, it is business as usual for the company.” Read the full release.

    Swiped: Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain says the agency is seeing an increase in skimming devices that capture and steal credit and debit card information at gasoline pumps throughout the state. Strain says inspectors are finding one to two skimmers on a weekly basis and in the past month have confiscated 15 skimming devices. The devices were easy to detect, but now are smaller and easier to hide. Some even have Bluetooth capabilities. Skimmers have been found in Avoyelles, Calcasieu, Jefferson, Lafayette, Orleans, Rapides, St. Landry, St. Tammany and Washington parishes. Strain’s office is working with the United States Secret Service, as well as state and local law enforcement, to continue their investigations into skimming devices.

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