From new companies entering the Baton Rouge market to the loss of local institutions—and virtually everyone being impacted directly or indirectly by the historic August flood—the Capital Region business community has seen its share of highs and lows over the past year.
The top 10 most read Daily Report stories of the year reflect the roller coaster ride that was 2016.
The most-read story of this year was about criticism the national media faced for ignoring the gravity of the August flood. The unprecedented disaster left 13 dead, including Amedisys founder and former CEO Bill Borne, and inundated tens of thousands of homes and businesses.
Other top-read stories included news of Texas-based Buc-ee’s entry—and relatively quick exit—from the Baton Rouge market. In March, the popular Texas rest stop chain announced plans to open its first location outside the Lone Star State at the Greens at Millerville. But by October, it had scrapped its plans.
Here are the other most-read Daily Report stories from the past year:
- Earlier this year, Izzo’s Illegal Burrito and its parent company filed a $10 million lawsuit against the owners of Rouses Supermarkets, alleging the Thibodaux chain pressured the developers of several area shopping centers to keep Izzo’s out of their developments.
- In response to the July ambush killing of three Baton Rouge law enforcement officers and the wounding of three other officers after the police killing of Alton Sterling, more than 130 area restaurants came together for #25onthe25th, a regional fundraiser to benefit the families of the fallen officers. Participating establishments donated a portion of the proceeds earned on the day of the event to the families. Business owners said the response from the public far exceeded expectations.
- 2016 wasn’t kind to longtime Baton Rouge institution, Dearman’s. An overnight fire destroyed the Bocage Village Shopping Center restaurant in early March. One week later, the shopping center’s owner terminated the restaurant’s lease. Since that time, Dearman’s owner and the restaurant’s longtime landlord have reached an agreement on a new lease. The restaurant is aiming to reopen in early 2017.
- After eight years, Andre Moreau left his job at the nightly anchor desk at WAFB-TV in September. Neither Moreau nor station executives will discuss his departure.
- Downtown Development District Executive Director Davis Rhorer announced in March that a committee would meet to discuss how to execute the parking plan crafted by Portland, Oregon-based Fregonese Associates. The plan calls for replacing antiquated parking meters with smart meters, hiring a professional firm to manage the city’s downtown parking garages and expanding the east River Center Garage to increase the number of parking spots from 800 to 1,200.