Week in Review, Sept. 5-9: NOPD, 9th Ward Stadium Project, ASAP and More

Chargers Saints Football
AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman

NEW ORLEANS — At the start of the 2022 NFL season, optimism abounds. Saints fans are hoping the Dennis Allen-led team will put lots of points on the board while keeping opposing offenses in check. Local hospitality professionals, meanwhile, are counting on plenty of hotel room bookings and restaurant reservations to boost receipts. In this spirit of optimism, New Orleans officials announced this week an ambitious plan to curb crime by boosting the ranks of the New Orleans Police Department — and U.S. Rep. Troy Carter announced a $3 million federal investment in a potential public athletic stadium in the 9th Ward.

Here are the week’s top business stories.

New Orleans officials announced a three-year, $80 million plan Thursday providing raises for all NOPD officers, free health care and $30,000 in incentive payments for new hires. Facing criticism after a rise in violent crime, a dwindling police force with fewer than 1,000 officers, and reports of slow emergency response times, Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced the news alongside Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson and Fausto Pichardo, a former leader of the New York City Police Department who is acting as a temporary “consulting chief of operations” for NOPD. The plan may bring resurrect a take-home car policy for officers, which would require purchasing 600 new vehicles. In addition, officers from specialized areas within the department will be assigned to patrol duty to beef up enforcement. The City Council and Civil Service board will have to approve elements of the plan.

On Sept. 7, U.S. Rep. Troy Carter (D-New Orleans) was joined by students, coaches and local officials at George Washington Carver High School as he presented a check for $3 million to the 9th Ward Stadium Project, a nonprofit working to bring a public athletic stadium to the community. Currently, students from the 9th Ward have to travel across the city to use other fields, but Carter hopes this funding will help change that. “I am proud to have secured $3 million in federal funds to help build a state-of-the art stadium in the 9th Ward,” he said at the event. “This will be more than just a stadium for the community to share with the students and public of New Orleans. This is a chance to level the playing field for the 9th Ward, create opportunities for the neighborhood to recreate, build community pride, and ultimately to boost homeownership and energize the surrounding economy. This stadium will be a long-awaited win for this community, and I’m grateful to have played a part in bringing it to fruition.”

ASAP, the Louisiana-based delivery app formerly named Waitr, has announced a new NIL (name, image and likeness) offer for all student-athletes at Louisiana State University. The offer spans all collegiate sports at the university as the fall schedule kicks off for men and women sports. Under the proposal, every player at LSU who accepts the NIL deal will promote the newly rebranded delivery app on their social media accounts. The student-athletes will be compensated for orders created from their social media accounts. ASAP will work with MatchPoint Connection, a leader in the NIL industry, to facilitate the prospective agreements with the athletes. NIL agreements allow college athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness.

Bernhard Capital Partners Management, a services and infrastructure-focused private equity management firm, has announced the launch of a dedicated architecture, engineering, and construction platform with an investment in Grace Hebert Curtis Architecture. GHC will continue to be led by CEO Jerry Hebert and its current management team, which will retain a significant stake in the business. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Founded in Baton Rouge and with locations in Dallas, New Orleans, Lake Charles, and Lafayette, GHC and its team of talented, client-focused architects have delivered innovative, functional, and personal projects for thousands of customers. Its holistic, immersive design project management approach prioritizes transparency, client engagement, and customer satisfaction throughout every step of the development process. The company currently serves clients in designing and developing properties across distinct asset classes and industries, including education (higher ed and K-12), commercial office, industrial, and healthcare. Bernhard Capital will support the ongoing growth of GHC and build on the company’s recent momentum. The firm plans to leverage its critical infrastructure services expertise with this platform to partner with the best-in-class businesses supporting the growing demand for modern, sustainable infrastructure.

A technique used to test THC levels in hemp plants has now been confirmed to also identify the sex of the plant accurately without disrupting the growth cycle. The findings from research at Texas A&M University create an expansion point and valuable new use for Mariposa Technology’s software and database. Called PAMAP (for Predictive Analytical Modeling Application for Plants), this digital farming tool has been in an extensive research and development process for the on-farm testing of live hemp plants’ THC levels, among other cannabinoids, to ensure plants remain below the federal legal THC limit (0.3%) for industrial hemp. Mariposa Technology has been using the technique, known as Raman spectroscopy (RS), for rapid, in-field testing of industrial and pharmacological hemp for THC levels. Testing onsite at farms growing hemp crops provides farmers with affordable, accurate and immediate test results and offers the opportunity to supplement the work of testing labs.

Categories: A Week In Review, Today’s Business News