American Diabetes Month

Did you know that nearly 24 million people in the US have diabetes? And around 57 million American adults are estimated to have prediabetes — a condition that can lead to full-blown Type II diabetes if it’s not managed properly. In Louisiana alone, over 250,000 folks are diabetic — and over 130,000 of them are between the ages of 45 and 64.

Diabetes can cause heart disease, kidney disease, stroke and blindness. Poor circulation related to diabetes can lead to amputations, especially of the feet and legs. But diabetes doesn’t have to be deadly or debilitating. With proper diet and weight control, adult-onset diabetes can be avoided. And most diabetes can be controlled with lifestyle changes and medication.

November is American Diabetes Month — a time to raise awareness of this potentially debilitating disease, its causes and treatment. Remember that diabetes is treatable and, in many cases, preventable. If you’re concerned about diabetes, or just want to know more about it, you should talk to your doctor. Or you can visit one of the websites listed below.

Diabetes FAQs
About Diabetes & Prediabetes
MedlinePlus Diabetes
Living with Diabetes

FreeRice.com

A good vocabulary can open doors. If yours needs a little work, why not have a little fun improving it and do something for others at the same time. FreeRice.com can help!

FreeRice.com is an internet game with two goals: to provide a free educational experience and to end world hunger — and YOU can participate. Just play the game (the free educational goal).

All you have to do is define each word that’s displayed by choosing the correct definition from a list of 4 choices. If you answer correctly, FreeRice will donate 20 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program. If you miss the answer, not to worry! You’ll get a second chance to get it right. It’s a win-win proposition. You’ll help feed the world’s hungry people and you’ll learn a whole lot of new words in the process.

Now if you think that 20 grains of rice per answer is a pretty small amount consider this… To date, FreeRice.com has donated 49,105,129,470 grains of rice. That’s approximately 1,693,280 pounds of food!

Visit FreeRice.com and help yourself while helping others worldwide.

Yale Open Courses

Yale Open Courses

You know you want an Ivy League education (I know I do…). But let’s face it, the Ivy League is probably out of your league — way too expensive and scholarships are hard to come by.

Well those days are over!! Yale Open Courses lets you attend the Ivy League for FREE!

Open Courses offers actual Yale classes in several disciplines via the internet. Analyze Milton’s poetry; learn about dark matter in Astronomy; take a class in game theory or financial markets. It’s all online and taught by real Yale professors. What could be better? Well, you don’t have to worry about your grade…

Check out Yale Open Courses and begin the educational experience you’ve always dreamed of.

How to File a Consumer Complaint

So many different agencies handle consumer complaints, that it’s confusing to figure out which agency you should complain to. For example, should you contact the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office or the Public Service Commission? There’s so much division of jurisdiction that one might be tempted to file a complaint about it. 😉 But before you do that, try looking at some of the following charts and links as a guide.

The Baton Rouge Better Business Bureau handles complaints that involve buyers and sellers, where there is an item that has been sold or has been advertised for sale. Complaints may be filed by either a consumer or another business.

The Better Business Bureau will not handle:

  • Anonymous complaints
  • Allegations of discrimination or violations of constitutional rights
  • Complaints involving professionals such as lawyers or doctors (unless it involves billing procedures)
  • Debt collection
  • Disputes that are already in litigation

BBB of South Central Louisiana

Phone: (225) 346-5222
Fax: (225) 346-1029
748 Main Street
Baton Rouge LA 70802

Most complaints against businesses located in Louisiana should be directed to the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office. However, complaints about certains types of businesses, such as utility companies, for example, will be directed to other agencies. Refer to the following chart.

If your complaint concerns: Then contact:
Automobiles
Telemarketing
Landlords & tenants
Credit issues
Collection agencies
Home improvements and construction
Home appliances and furnishings
Health clubs
Travel
Charitable solicitations
Sweepstakes
Work-at-home programs
Multilevel marketing/business opportunities.

Office of the Louisiana Attorney General
Consumer Protection Section

P.O. Box 94005
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9005
Disaster Hotline: 1-800-351-4889

Motor Carriers
Telecommunications
Utilities such as Electric, Gas, Water and Sewage

Louisiana Public Service Commission

602 North 5th Street
12th Floor
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
(225) 342-4404
1-800-256-2397

Filing a Complaint With the Louisiana Public Service Commission

Insurance companies, agents and adjusters

Louisiana Department of Insurance

Post Office Box 94214
Baton Rouge, LA 70804
General Information: 1-800-259-5300 or 1-800-259-5301
Direct Telephone numbers: (225) 342-5900 or (225) 342-0895

Insurance Fraud

Complaints against medical professionals should be filed with the appropriate licensing or regulatory agency. Refer to the following chart to find the correct agency, with a link to their website and contact information.

Type of professional Regulatory board or agency
Physicians (MD and D0)
Acupuncturists
Acupuncturist Assistants
Athletic Trainers
Clin Exercise Physiologists
Clin Laboratory Personnel
Midwives (lay)
Occupational Therapists
Occupational Therapy Assistants
Physician Assistants
Podiatrists
Perfusionists
Polysomnograph Personnel
Radiological Technologists
Respiratory Therapists

Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners

630 Camp Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 568-6820

Chiropractors

Louisiana State Board of Chiropractic Examiners

8621 Summa Avenue, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70809
(225) 765-2322

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA)
Nurses
Nurse Practitioners

Louisiana State Board of Nursing

17373 Perkins Rd
Baton Rouge LA 70810
(225) 755-7500

Dentists

Louisiana State Board of Dentistry

365 Canal St, Suite 2680, New Orleans LA 70130
(504) 568-8574

Optometrists

Louisiana State Board of Optometry Examiners

P.O. Box 555
Oakdale, LA 71463
(318) 335-2989

Licensed Practical Nurses

Louisiana State Board of Practical Nurse Examiners

3421 N Causeway Blvd, Ste 505
Metairie, LA 70002
(504) 838-5791

Psychologists

Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists

8280 YMCA Plaza, One Oak Square, Bldg 8B, Baton Rouge LA 70810
(225) 763-3968

Here’s some miscellaneous state agencies:

Concerning the operation of state government

Louisiana Office of Inspector General

P.O. Box 94095
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9095
(225) 342-4262

Filing a Complaint

Employee complaints against employers

Louisiana Workforce Commission

1001 North 23rd Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70802-3338
(225) 342-3111

The following federal agencies handle consumer complaints.

Ask-a-Lawyer

Take advantage of free, individual, legal counseling sessions offered by the Pro Bono Project of the Baton Rouge Bar Association. Area attorneys will be available for confidential, one-on-one, 15 minute sessions for legal advice on a first come, first served basis at the Main Library on Saturday, October 25, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Experts will be in the areas of Business (Collections, Consumer Transactions, Insurance Disputes, Sale/Purchase), Criminal (Felony, Traffic, Misdemeanor, Juvenile), Education (General), Employment (Unemployment Compensation, Discrimination), Family (Adoption, Custody/Visitation, Property Settlement, Divorce, Support), Malpractice (Medical), Real Estate (Litigation, Property Transfer), Torts (Negligence, Product Liability), and other specific areas of law. For more information, call (225) 231-3746.

Disaster Relief for Small Business

Louisiana Economic Development (LED), U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Louisiana Small Business Development Center Network (LSBDC) and regional economic development partners announced the opening of five Business Counseling Centers, created to assist businesses adversely affected by Hurricane Gustav.

"The centers, located in Baton Rouge, Metairie, Thibodaux, Carencro and Alexandria will provide free, one-on-one consultations with SBA customer service representatives and LSBDC counselors. Services include assessing business economic injury, assistance with SBA Disaster Loan program, evaluating the business's strength, cash flow projections and most importantly, a review of all options to ensure each business makes the right financial decisions."

Louisiana Business Counseling Center locations are listed below:

Louisiana Technology Park, LLC
7117 Florida Boulevard
Baton Rouge, La. 70806
225.218.1100

LSBDC Greater New Orleans Region
UNO Jefferson Center
3330 N. Causeway, Suite 422
Metairie, La. 70002
504.831.3730

South Louisiana Economic Business Assistance Center
629 East First St.
Thibodaux, La. 70301
985.446.6023 (active 9.12.08)

Enterprise Center of Louisiana
3419 N.W. Evangeline Thruway
Carencro, La. 70520-9000
337.896.9115

LSBDC at Alexandria
Dunbar Plaza Suite 114
3600 Jackson Street Extension
Alexandria, La. 71303
318.484.2123

Read the entire September 11, 2008 press release here.

Business Person of the Month: John Melancon

River Road Coffees is owned and operated by John Melancon. Sometimes called "The Coffee Man," he's a veteran in the coffee industry with more than 30 years of experience. "We produce the best coffee and coffee service in the Baton Rouge area." The company uses only high-quality green coffee beans in their custom blends. They roast the beans by hand-and-eye, personally supervising the grinding and packaging, and provide customer service which always exceeds expectations. Consequently, RiverRoad's coffees and teas are quickly becoming the favorite of many folks in the Baton Rouge area.

The shortest time between roasting and brewing is the secret behind every savory cup of RiverRoad Coffee. "We roast only the right amount of beans each time to assure the freshest aroma and flavor of each cup." To further assure the freshest and finest taste, River Road Coffees offers a Coffee Service which provides and maintains all your brewing equipment and supplies. During each delivery, all equipment is inspected and cleaned to assure consistent flavor and freshness quality with each and every cup. "Our customers have become our best salespeople. For information on how to get the best tasting coffee on the planet, call us today."

Read more

Desperately Seeking Yearbooks

Help contribute to the preservation of Baton Rouge history! The Baton Rouge Room is currently asking for donations of yearbooks from Baton Rouge schools. All schools are included in this search — elementary, middle, junior high, high school, and college. “While the Baton Rouge Room does already have a large collection of local yearbooks, we are looking to expand the collection as well as fill in the gaps,” says archivist, Melissa Eastin. Find out if you have a yearbook that might be of value to the Baton Rouge Room by calling (225) 389-4960.

Library Elf

Perhaps you’ve read one of those fantasy novels where the wizard has a fairy that sits on their shoulder that gives them tips and reminds them of things they may have forgotten. Wouldn’t it be nice to have one of those in your modern life? Perhaps it would remind you when your books are due.

The East Baton Rouge Parish Library is proud to announce a partnership with Library Elf, which is an email library reminder service.

When you sign up for the service, Library Elf will email you a reminder BEFORE your books are due. It also keeps track of your items’ due dates, your overdue books, and your holds.

Library Elf can also track multiple library accounts, which is particularly useful to families, so that parents can keep track of multiple accounts.

Signing up for the service is voluntary and secure. Just go to Library Elf Sign Up and enter your email and make up a password. At the next step, choose your library (in this case East Baton Rouge Parish Library) and enter your card number. Then you enter your notification preferences. For example, do you want to be emailed 3 days before something is due, or on the actual due date? Library Elf sends a confirmation notice to your email, which activates your account.

You email address is kept confidential, as is any other personal information. Library Elf does not retain any information about your checkout history. If you have any questions be sure to read the Library Elf Privacy Policy and FAQ.

Everyone who has tried the service has wondered how they functioned without it. That’s because Library Elf works for you, and makes your life easier.