A former chicken farm in Mount Enterprise, Texas, is now harvesting more than 300,000 pounds of tilapia each year. The freshwater, tropical fish is raised in large tanks inside modified chicken houses. Jim Reed, owner of East Texas Tilapia, sells the tilapia at the Nacogdoches farmers' market and to local restaurants. He also trucks live tilapia to supermarkets in Dallas and Austin, and is eyeing an expansion to take over more shuttered chicken houses.
Shreveport-based Moonbot Studios participated in a panel discussion at the world's largest gaming trade fair, Gamescom, held in Cologne, Germany, earlier this month. Moonbot's creative director Adam Volker debated with fellow panelists on whether games are art. He says Moonbot aims to carve out an interactive storytelling niche in the vast gaming industry as it works on a Sony Wonderbook game for the PlayStation 3. Diggs Nightcrawler is slated to be released sometime next year.
The organizing board of the Great Texas Balloon Race is working with LeTourneau University researchers to calculate the economic impact of the event on East Texas. Race founder Bill Bussey, a Longview dentist, said nearly 500 volunteers helped to put on this year's race. The Great Texas Balloon Race will host the U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championship in Longview for the next two years. Bussey says the board is considering bidding for the 2016 World Hot Air Balloon Championship.
The Willis-Knighton Health System has completed a $3.9 million assisted living expansion. The hospital system's Savannah at The Oaks community will nearly double in size to 52 apartments. Executive manager Janice Latvala says it fills a gap between independent living and a nursing home. She says the new units are nearly all leased, and she began taking contracts on them five months ago.
A California-based healthy vending machine company is spreading across Louisiana, with franchisees in Shreveport, Lafayette and now Alexandria. The owners of Cenla Healthy Vending, Graves and Anna Theus, launched their business earlier this summer by pitching the concept to local school principals. Two Rapides Parish high schools have signed on and will have vending machines with healthier snacks this school year.