News roundup: Red Stick Spice planning barista-run tea bar … Farmers learn the benefits and limits of using drones … Cassidy, some Republicans still holding out on ACA overhaul

    Spice it up: Red Stick Spice Company in Mid City is in the early stages of planning a barista-run tea bar. According to a news release, customers will be able to order cups of Red Stick Spice’s in-house tea brand, SoGo, at the tasting bar. “We’ve been sourcing local fruit and drying it for use throughout the year in our tea. Local strawberries go into our Strawberry Festival black tea. Louisiana Citrus is featured in our Spiced Satsuma green tea,” owner Anne Milneck says in a prepared statement. The name, SoGo, is a nod to Red Stick Spice’s Mid City home and the positive reception the store has received since relocating to the area from further down Jefferson Highway, Milneck adds. Customers can order cups of SoGo tea at Red Stick Spice Company’s tasting bar.

    Up in the air: There’s value in using drones to assess the progress and health of crops, but they won’t detect insects by air unless there’s extensive damage, LSU AgCenter agents said at a recent drone workshop held at the AgCenter’s Dean Lee Research Station. Dennis Burns, the center’s Tensas Parish agent, says images captured by drones can only show so much, with more expensive thermal images revealing more than other devices. Stitching several hundred photos together from a flight can be a long, tedious process, taking nearly two to three hours of computer processing. And obtaining good images requires uniform light, with no spotty cloud cover. A basic drone can cost $800 to $1,000. Read more. 

    Holding out: The House is racing to find enough votes for the GOP’s health care bill this week, but even if it passes, prospects in the Senate have only darkened. Bloomberg reports more than enough Senate Republicans oppose the House bill to kill it—with rival camps insisting on pulling the bill in opposite directions to meet their demands. With just a 52-48 majority, the bill would fail if three or more Republicans vote against it. One of the holdouts is U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, who says he wants to radically reshape the House bill so it covers more people, not the 24 million fewer estimated by the Congressional Budget Office. Read the full story.

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