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An area just outside Baton Rouge is heavily flooded after record rainfall in mid-August. Photo by U.S. Coast Guard

Louisiana Copes with Devastating Floods, Recovery Underway

By Dan Bennett

Residents and businesses were assessing damage caused by massive flooding in southern Louisiana as of late last week, with thousands still without homes. Even more rain was predicted. It could lead to added problems and a slowed recovery effort.
At least 13 people had died as of late last week, and around 40,000 homes were damaged, with more than 20 parishes in Louisiana, and the state itself, declared as under a state of emergency. Relief workers from the Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) were arriving to help with damage caused by the flooding and to aid victims. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson visited Louisiana last week.



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Broward County Commissioners
Pursue Convention Center Project

By Jonathan Trager

Broward County Commissioners have given the green light to Matthews Southwest Holdings and its development team to collaborate with the county on redesigning an expansion of the Broward County Convention Center.
Commissioners voted unanimously on Aug. 16 to forge ahead with the project, which is also expected to include a convention center hotel and is currently scheduled for completion by late 2020. The redesign work is expected to cost nearly $1 million.

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FY ’17 Federal Per Diem Rates Announced by GSA

By Dan Bennett

The General Services Administration (GSA) has raised per diem rates for federal employees traveling on business to $142 for fiscal year 2017, up from last year’s $140.
The starting date for the new rate is Oct. 1. The new rate will accommodate for $91 in lodging expenses a day, and $51 for meals and incidental expenses.

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Louisville CVB Issues $148 Million in Bonds for Convention Center Funding

By Todd McElwee

Hardhats and hammers are replacing pinstripe suits and laptops as the two-year renovation of Louisville’s Kentucky International Convention Center (KICC) commenced Aug. 17, said the building’s operator, the Kentucky State Fair Board (KSFB).
Assisting in financing the $207 million makeover, the Louisville CVB (LCVB) has issued more than $148 million in bonds through Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the corporate and investment banking division of Bank of America. The Commonwealth of Kentucky will provide the additional $59 million.

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HOTS needs a break from politics. And the best vacation from this seemingly everlasting election cycle’s vitriolic atmosphere appears to be business trips: DMAI’s Annual Convention and ASAE’s Annual Meeting & Exposition.

Of course politics feature on both events’ agendas and will be discussed by attendees. (USAE has convention coverage in the current issue.) HOTS however is confident nobody will be screaming “Lock her up,” during an Opening General Session at either event.

HOTS is also certain DMAI and ASAE will be a far better time than either the Republican or Democratic National Conventions; and that’s not a reflection on either Cleveland of Philadelphia. Standing on an arena floor holding signs for speech after speech sounds hideous, though not as torturous as actually navigating security to get to said arena. Also, are delegates afforded free food and drink like they are at DMAI or ASAE attendees, or are they paying premium stadium prices?

Sure, the future president is not appearing in Minneapolis or Salt Lake City, but these meetings do have a significant economic impact. And HOTS has never seen a protester outside an association event.

The election is roughly three months away and at the moment reasonable political talk between colleagues and friends gets HOTS’ vote.


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