News roundup: State Rep. Marcelle to announce Baton Rouge mayoral run Thursday … Application period opens for Forum 35 leadership program … 911 fee on prepaid cell phones would double under proposal

    Jumping in: After some speculation, former Metro Councilwoman and state Rep. C. Denise Marcelle says she is running for mayor. WBRZ-TV reports Marcelle announced the run Tuesday evening, saying in a release she reached her decision after “being encouraged by many citizens from all areas of the parish.” Marcelle is expected to make her announced official during a news conference at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Baton Rouge Marriott. She joins an ever-crowding field that includes: former state Sen. Sharon Weston Broome, Sen. Mack “Bodi” White, Metro Councilman John Delgado, real estate broker Darryl Gissel, former Southern Athletic Director Greg Lafleur and former Metro Councilmember Byron Sharper.

    Now open: Forum 35, a community volunteer group for young professionals, has begun accepting applications for the 2016 John W. Barton, Sr. Community Leadership Development Program. The deadline to apply is July 31. The program costs $150. The program aims to be a stepping stone for young professionals to become effective leaders and to use their skills in the nonprofit community. The leadership program consists of four sessions and one meet and greet. According to a news release, 30 participants will be trained in nonprofit governances and introduced to local nonprofits. Get more information and apply. 

    Doubling down: Prepaid cell phones would come with higher fees to pay for local 911 emergency districts, under a proposal nearing final legislative passage. The Associated Press reports that current law calls for a 2% charge on prepaid wireless phone services with the proceeds largely distributed to local emergency districts.The state revenue department gets a small slice of the money for administrative costs for fee collection. Those selling the products also get a share. The bill by Rep. Thomas Carmody, R-Shreveport, would double the fee to 4% starting Oct. 1. The fee hike would raise $6.1 million annually for the local emergency districts. The Senate voted 33-3 for the proposal Tuesday, sending it to the House for consideration of Senate changes.


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