The bright light of an Apple retail store will be switched on next Spring in the midst of a huge black-out zone covering the entire eastern section of the Gulf Coast. Apple will open a retail store at the Mall of Louisiana (Baton Rouge), the first store in the state, and the only one along 1,000 miles of coastline from Houston (Tex.) to Tampa (Fla.). The capital city of 602,000 residents is about 85 miles west of New Orleans, and was damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, but suffered none of the catastrophic flooding like New Orleans. A huge influx of residents from hurricane-damaged parts of the state taxed the city after the disaster, but sparked a surge in commerce. Prior to this location, there were no Apple stores in Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi, not coincidentally the three states with the lowest rate of computer and Internet usage in the country (Bureau of the Census). Until last April when a store opened in Birmingham, the black-out also included Alabama. The Baton Rouge store will open in Spring 2008.