John Bel Edwards

Swiss Company to Assemble Helicopters in Louisiana

Mar 8, 2019

Switzerland-based helicopter maker Kopter selects the Lafayette Regional Airport to assemble helicopters, creating 120 jobs. Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson says Kopter looked at 38 locations before picking Lafayette, which has a strong helicopter culture, because of the oil and gas industry.

The Kopter Production and Product Support Center will deliver SH09, among a variety of models throughout the Western Hemisphere.

A radio ad criticizing Louisiana Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards has been removed from stations around the state after his campaign complained it had false information. Times-Picayune reported the ads paid for by the political nonprofit Truth In Politics were withdrawn last weekend. Truth in Politics co-founder Lane Grisby said Monday he wants the stations to resume running the ads.

Louisiana's ethics board has reversed a three-month-old decision that prohibited candidates from using their campaign funds to pay for child care.

News outlets reported the board voted 6-4 Friday to let candidates use the money for babysitting expenses during campaign events.

Gov. John Bel Edwards and several Republican and Democratic lawmakers supported the reversal, saying child care is a reasonable expense associated with running for office. A board opinion issued nearly two decades ago allowed child care expenses to be paid with campaign funds.

Hundreds of Republicans will be gathering in the New Orleans area this weekend for an event billed as a kickoff to the 2020 presidential election.

The Southern Republican Leadership Conference is happening Friday and Saturday in Kenner, featuring Louisiana's top Republicans and others from the GOP national scene.

The Advocate reports that since President Donald Trump is seeking re-election, the event is unlikely to be the bustling scene of prior years when presidential candidates would attend jockeying for attention.

 Gov. John Bel Edwards and Richard’s Cajun Foods Inc. President Ronnie Doucet announced Richard’s will invest $2.7 million to relocate some production and administrative functions to Church Point, Louisiana, and expand the company’s operations there. With the expansion, the food processing company will retain 38 jobs and will create 12 new direct jobs, with an average annual salary of $35,000. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in 16 new indirect jobs, for a total of 28 new jobs in the Acadiana Region.

After months of speculation, U.S. Sen. John Kennedy announced Monday he won't run against Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards in 2019, a decision that removes a formidable opponent from the Louisiana governor's race and leaves Republicans scrambling without a well-known contender. The announcement, made in a press release, came as a shock.

The Republican senator, a political figure for three decades, has long eyed the governor's seat, and suggestions he would challenge Edwards began nearly as soon as he was elected to the U.S. Senate two years ago.

Gov. John Bel Edwards is urging Louisiana residents to make donations to their local food banks during the holiday period, saying supplies are low.

The Democratic governor and his wife Donna went to the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank to draw attention to the need for contributions.

Edwards says food banks across the country have been offering assistance to areas hard-hit by recent disasters, depleting food bank shelves by lessening availability of bulk food products usually offered for the hungry.

The Louisiana secretary of state's office will have to redo its work to replace the state's decade-old voting machines, after Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration refused Wednesday to reinstate a voided multimillion-dollar contract award.

Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne reviewed the decision to scrap the deal with Dominion Voting Systems, and Dardenne said he found that cancelling the contract award was "in the best interest of the state."

About $43 million in spending, mainly earmarked for public safety programs, is stalled in the disagreement between Gov. John Bel Edwards and House Republican leaders over state income projections.

Sheriffs likely will get the funding they're owed later in the year, and the Office of Juvenile Justice says it can make it through the budget cycle without the money it hoped to receive. But the corrections department, which gave prison guards a raise without the full financing for it, may have a harder time without the dollars.


Gov. John Bel Edwards' plans to steer more money to sheriffs and open more dorms in a new juvenile prison stalled Tuesday when the House budget committee chairman blocked the income forecast changes needed to pay for the spending.

The latest financial dispute between House Republican leaders and the Democratic governor, which erupted in a meeting of the Revenue Estimating Conference, also creates new wrinkles for Edwards' efforts to raise teacher pay next year.