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News Briefs for 2 May 2014

Article Date: 
2 May, 2014 (All day)

Birkeland, Hone eliminated from state races
Following last weekend’s State Republican Party Convention, two local residents won’t be proceeding onto the November ballot for state offices.
Ann Millner won the Republican nomination for the State Senate 18 seat, edging out local Lars Birkeland.
Incumbent Mel Brown won the Republican nod, eliminating local resident Blaine D. Hone and physician John B. Zimmerman from the race for the State House of Representatives 53 position.
Participation in Bag o’ Woad program increasing
In 2011, the program took in $600 in donations and paid out $1,000 to participants who brought in full bags.  In 2012, $800 was brought in as donations and $1,600 was paid out.  In 2013, $2,700 was both donated and paid out, while some volunteers were turned away.
During the years, the county has regularly donated dumping fees to the program, which seeks to eliminate noxious weeds in the county.
“The weeds look better in the county than they have ever,” Morgan Councilman Ned Mecham said in an April 15 meeting.  “I think the numbers speak for themselves.”
City changes office hours
Effective March 31, Morgan City offices were open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  For years previous, city offices were open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday.  The Morgan City Council voted Tuesday to change the hours again, this time 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., on a temporary basis.
“It used to be that 8 to 5 was the old standard,” Councilman Tony London said.  “We are going to try 7 to 4 and see how that plays out.”
“I would rather see us open earlier than later,” said Councilman Mike Kendell.
Morgan City’s four-day work-week mirrored the state’s when it switched in 2008.  The state stayed on the four-day schedule until 2011, when it said savings weren’t being realized as expected and residents were complaining about lack of access on Fridays.
Councilmembers said staying open on Friday better serves public and business needs.
City councilmembers said city residents are more likely to physically drop by their offices early in the morning before going to work, rather than after work.  However, foot traffic in general has continually dropped off as more and more residents choose to pay utility bills online, Morgan City Recorder Julie Bloxham said.  Foot traffic comes mainly from those seeking a business license or building permit.
“It’s not as big a question as it once was,” London said.