Week in Review, Feb. 14: A Bounty of Crawfish and Federal Dollars

Here’s the week that was:

Looking Up

Experts say there are two to three times the amount of crawfish this season compared to last year so prices are way down and everybody’s salt intake is way up. … The Port of New Orleans said it had a record-breaking number of cruise passenger numbers and vessel calls in 2019. … New Orleans-based tech company iSeatz reported more than $4 billion in 2019 bookings, the highest total in its history. … The University of Holy Cross said it has bested the national average for enrollment projections by securing a 4.4% enrollment increase for the 2020 Spring semester. … And New Orleans-based dating app Dig said it has built a community of 150,000 singles who are also dog lovers.

Water Works

A week after the historic impeachment vote in Washington, D.C., a lot of federal money is heading toward Louisiana: The Army Corps of Engineers announced plans to spend more than $85 million this year on a project to deepen the main channel of the Mississippi River in Louisiana. The plan will allow several southeast Louisiana ports to accept large cargo ships built to take advantage of the Panama Canal’s expansion. … The Department of Transportation is awarding a $13.4 million grant to the Port of South Louisiana in LaPlace to fund the Globalplex Multi-Modal Connections Project, which is expected to bring major repairs to current infrastructure and expand the facility’s useful life for more than 20 years. … And the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority is moving forward on a $200 million project to revitalize the 45,000-acre Maurepas Swamp and provide a buffer from hurricane winds and storm surge. $130 million will come from the RESTORE Council, which oversees the use of Clean Water Act fines stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.


Allpax Products LLC announced the company will build an 80,000-square-foot headquarters and manufacturing center in St. Tammany Parish, replacing existing facilities where the food and pharmaceutical equipment maker has operated for more than two decades. Allpax and its corporate parent ProMach are one of the primary U.S. producers of the equipment needed to package everything from a Starbucks latte to a can of Campbell’s soup. …

Coming Soon

Essence Fest announced that Bruno Mars and Janet Jackson will headline the 2020 edition of the annual event that’s become the tourism highlight of the New Orleans summer and has an economic impact of more than $280 million. … Microsoft’s Xbox Game Studios announced it will host a hands-on game development camp beginning April 21 in New Orleans to inspire adults to realize their potential in the gaming industry. … Officials with the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience announced the new museum will open this fall at 818 Howard Ave. MSJE is working with Gallagher & Associates, an internationally recognized design firm responsible for award-winning projects including the National College Football Hall of Fame and the National WWII Museum.

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