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News roundup: Oil-related layoffs mount with two new WARNs … Skrmetta decides against US Senate run … Tiger Band inks deal with firm founded by two of its own

More layoffs: Two Louisiana employers recently issued Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notifications, or WARNs, for more than 300 workers in central and southwest Louisiana. GE Oil & Gas in Pineville announced a change in operations at its facility, resulting in the permanent layoff of some 269 of approximately 289 manufacturing, sales/services and engineering employees. The reduction is scheduled to begin Sept. 2 and continue through December. Also, Blue Sky Innovations LLC of Lafayette has provided a WARN notice that it will lay off 55 employees. The company says the layoffs are the result of a bid it lost with its only full-time client. The layoffs will begin July 31.

Sitting this one out: Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Eric Skrmetta will not seek Louisiana’s open U.S. Senate seat. Skrmetta, 57, told LaPolitics in June that he was considering entering the race, which already includes Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell and at least 10 other people who filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission. But Skrmetta says his sole reason for offering his name for consideration was to ensure that major energy-related policies would be addressed by Republican frontrunners. “I have spoken to the Republican frontrunners, and I am confident that they are each dedicated to promoting conservative energy policies that will protect ratepayers and our environment without over-regulating,” Skrmetta says.

A different drummer: The LSU Tiger Marching Band has inked a deal with Tonal Innovation to begin using the upstart company’s eFlip, a device that allows musicians to mount their phones and tablets to their instrument with a lyre. Tonal Innovation is owned by 2016 LSU grads and former Tiger bandsmen Garrett Kessling and Daniel Wendt, and was the winner of the fourth annual LSU Elevator Pitch Night Competition last November. Kessling and Wendt created the eFlip, which replaces paper and plastic flip folders, in the LSU Student Incubator.  

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