JP Morgan Chase data breach occurs in La.

According to the La. Department of Revenue, JP Morgan Chase notified state officials on Thursday, Aug. 28 that "personally identifiable information" it maintains under contracts with various state agencies may have been breached, but, as of Friday, the company did not know "if or to what extent" information on citizens had been exposed.

Chase's contracts with the state include pre-paid debit cards that are used by the Louisiana Department of Revenue, the Louisiana Workforce Commission and the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services for various purposes, such as sending LDR income tax refunds and unemployment benefits.

"State agencies are working closely with JP Morgan Chase to keep Louisiana citizens apprised as more information about the breach becomes available," a news release from the LDR stated. "In the interim, citizens, particularly those who have used pre-paid debit cards issued on behalf of these state agencies, are encouraged to monitor their credit statements and financial reports for any suspicious activities and to change the passwords on their respective accounts as a precaution."

West Carroll fire department receives grant

The Forest Volunteer Fire Department in neighboring West Carroll Parish, received a $48,759 grant from the Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighter's Program. According to Senator Mary Landrieu's office, the grant will provide the fire department with critical equipment, protective gear, training and other resources vital to protecting the public and personnel from hazards during a fire.

In Morehouse Parish, Collinston's Ward 8 Fire Protection District 1 received a grant — for $79,515 — from the same program in July.

Agritourism workshop slated for Oct.

Area farmers who want to develop an additional revenue stream may want to take a day trip and opt-in to an agritourism workshop that the LSU AgCenter will be hosting at the Hammond Research Station from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 30.

According to the LSU AgCenter in Baton Rouge, workshop participants will hear from experts about how to create an agritourism destination, attract visitors and market a business. The official agenda also highlights classes about important topics such as limited liability laws, certifications and using social media as a marketing tool.

For more information or to register, contact Dora Ann Hatch via email at