Local CEO Abruptly Fired

The Great Big StoryBATON ROUGE – In a shocking management shakeup, company founder Deonaedris Williams was abruptly ousted in June as chairman and chief executive of Dee’s Fix-it-Shop.“While Mr. Williams’ departure was unexpected by many of our shareholders and customers, we believe our decision is in the best interest of the company’s long-term strategic and financial goals,” the company’s board of directors said in a release. “We wish Mr. Williams well in his future endeavors.”Williams has not returned numerous messages left with the company’s global headquarters, an unused room in the back of Uncle Z’s Car Detailing on Ottawa Street.In a 2005 interview, Williams said his decision to launch Dee’s was motivated primarily by the need for extra money to support his marijuana habit.“Can’t nobody fix sh–t like me,” he said. LSU Football Ranked No. 1 by LSU FansBATON ROUGE – LSU is the overwhelming preseason No. 1 pick headed into this year’s football season, according to LSU football fans.In a poll, LSU fans chose the Tigers as the preseason favorite to win the 2007-08 national championship, marking the 114th straight year LSU enters the football season with the top ranking from LSU fans.

“No other team was even close,” said Kent Lowe with the LSU sports information department.

Lowe said LSU fans also chose LSU to win the SEC West division, the overall conference title, and their assumed postseason bowl game.

LEAN Enraged Over Baby-Seal Mulch

Mary Lee-Orr, director of the Louisiana Environmental Action Network, threatened to launch a string of lawsuits and “get medieval on some ass” unless nurseries and hardware stores across the country stop selling ground-up baby seals as garden mulch.

“This is outrageous, unimaginably inhumane treatment of these animals,” Lee-Orr said.

An industry representative countered, however, that seal mulch is an environmentally friendly alternative to mulch made from cypress trees, which Lee-OrrÂ’s group has previously complained about. Shigeko Misaki, a spokeswoman for the Japanese Whaling Association, said that baby seals are a renewable resource, and their ground carcasses are biodegradable and nontoxic.

“Besides, the baby seals that are mulched are already dead. If we don’t use their adorable, pudgy bodies for something, then bashing in all those innocent-looking faces with clubs and hooks would be a complete waste of time,” Misaki said.

S. American Expedition Finds Rare Readers of Ball Column

PARAMIBO, SURINAME – A team of biologists scouring remote parts of South America announced an amazing find in June: the only known readers of Baton Rouge Business Report Executive Editor J.R. Ball’s column.

The discovery was made during a follow-up survey of the Nassau plateau in Suriname in mid-2006 by Surinamese scientists Paul Ouboter and Jan Mol. The men said their team located several elders of the primitive Yanomami Indian tribe who read BallÂ’s columns regularly via a web-enabled cell phone donated by the U.N. Global Relief Fund in 2003.

“The elders said it was magical, the way Mr. Ball weaves pop-culture references into his critiques of Baton Rouge politics and culture,” Ouboter said. “This finding proves that there are so many wonderful things in the universe just waiting to be discovered.”

Alario Sends What-What to Blanco Administration

BATON ROUGE – House Appropriations Committee Chairman John Alario, D-Westwego, sent an ominous what-what in June to the Blanco administration, demanding information on his proposal to boost spending on public transportation by nearly $2 billion.

“I just need some direction, fo’ shizzle, on whether Gov. Blanco can support this,” Alario told senior administration officials during a heated committee meeting.

It marked Alario’s strongest demand for information from the governor’s office since his “What the dillio?” speech to staffers for former Gov. Mike Foster in 1997.

Q&A with Tony Swartz

This month, Tony settles down for a chat with one of the newest members of the Baton Rouge news team – Greg “Street Beat” Meriwether’s moustache. Tony caught up with the facial hair during a recent grooming session.

Tony: You really do add a touch of pizzazz to local TV news. Why were you not here sooner?

Moustache: I think Greg viewed it as a big step. He had to feel comfortable with the change. And IÂ’m not the easiest roommate, I admit.

Tony: You certainly are one of the cityÂ’s most eligible bachelors. Are you dating anyone right now?

Moustache: Yes, I have a regular girlfriend. (Pauses.) IÂ’d rather leave it at that and ask that folks respect our privacy.

Tony: Has anyone ever referred to you as “Dirty Sanchez?”

Moustache: OK, I think weÂ’re done now.

Ask Off the Wire

Dear Tony,

I’ve heard an increasing amount over the past several years about “quantum physics” and how this branch of science will lead to incredibly powerful computers and technology. I consider myself to be at least of average intelligence, but I really don’t understand the concept of quantum physics. Doesn’t the kind we use right now work just fine?

Jim Milton 
Retired pipe fitter 

Dear Jim,

Google™ it.

Write or email Tony Swartz with your “Ask Off the Wire” questions to “Ask Off the Wire,” c/o Red Shtick Magazine. And remember, you’re better off Googling it!

“Off the Wire” Corrections

The LSU University Relations departmentÂ’s scheduled exhibition of work by renowned photographer Duane Christopher Champagne has been postponed until further notice.

“Off the Wire” regrets any inconvenience.

Barry Bonds is not a complete a–hole.

“Off the Wire” regrets the error.

Our story on Sammy Kershaw’s announcement of his candidacy for lieutenant governor stated incorrectly that he believes Tony was killed off in the series finale of The Sopranos. A campaign spokesman said Kershaw “is a staunch, pro-life, pro-family Republican who respects the sanctity of human life. Of course Sammy thinks Tony lived.”

“Off the Wire” regrets the error