News roundup: Report points to reasons why Baton Rouge is so dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians … J.C. Penney expanding into baby products market … DEMCO has a new CEO

    Fatal flaw: Bike Baton Rouge has released a new report that points to several reasons Baton Rouge is among the most dangerous mid-sized cities in the U.S. for pedestrians and cyclists. The report, Designed to Fail, argues that state and local road design guidelines make complete streets difficult in Baton Rouge because they specifically discourage things like pedestrian crosswalks and traffic calming measures while enabling vehicles to travel at a dangerously high rate of speed. The report was featured in Streetblog USA, a national website that focuses on smart growth policies and ways to develop pedestrian friendly communities.
    Baby bump: J.C. Penney has announced it will open baby shops in 500 stores that are near shuttered Babies R Us locations, now that Babies R Us owner Toys R Us has liquidated. Starting Aug. 30, J.C. Penney will sell in stores items like cribs, high chairs, strollers and car seats that it had formerly sold on its website only. Retailers like Walmart, Target, BuyBuy Baby and Amazon are trying to attract former Babies R Us shoppers by adding more baby products, enlisting pregnant celebrities for promotions, or helping people recreate their gift registries.
    DEMCO CEO: DEMCO has new leadership. Randall Pierce, the CEO of Association of Louisiana Electric Cooperatives, has been named CEO and general manager with the electric cooperative, pending a final contract. He replaces John Vranic, who announced his retirement in May after serving at the helm since 2009. A brief news release from DEMCO included this statement from Board President Richard “Dickie” Sitman: “We believe Randy Pierce possesses the experience, vision and leadership to continue DEMCO’s tradition of great service and value to its members.” DEMCO is Louisiana’s largest electric cooperative, with 108,000 customers in the Baton Rouge region.