The Navy plans a Saturday christening for the USS Somerset, the last of three ships named for sites of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The amphibious landing transport is named for the Pennsylvania county where the hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 crashed after passengers fought back against a terrorist takeover.
The 684-foot-long Somerset is the final ship to be built at the Huntington Ingalls Shipyard in suburban Avondale. The yard is scheduled to close in 2013; its workforce has been cut nearly in half since 2010.
Executives of offshore oil and gas fleet provider Tidewater Inc. told shareholders Thursday that prospects are bright the company's African market.
The Times-Picayune reports more than 90 percent of New Orleans-based Tidewater's fleet of oil and gas service vessels operates abroad. The largest concentration is in waters off sub-Saharan Africa, where Tidewater stations 132 vessels, about half its fleet.
Chief Operating Officer Jeff Gorski told shareholders attending the company's annual meeting that Africa is expected to continue to be a leading market.
INTRACOASTAL CITY — A rupture in a south Louisiana natural gas pipeline erupted into a fire that led to an evacuation and road closures.
State police say the rupture and fire were reported around 4 a.m. Wednesday in southern Vermilion Parish.
The area is sparsely populated. State police said only one residence was evacuated and two businesses were prevented from opening until the pipeline was shut down and the fire went out around 6:30 a.m.
ASSUMPTION PARISH — A top geologist at the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources says bubbling gas in bayous in Assumption Parish may be connected to a salt dome deep underground.
The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/LsftDK) that Madhurendu Kumar, director of DNR's geological oil and gas division, told residents last week that gas that has collected in pockets of a fault along the Napoleonville Dome could be being released naturally.