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Eden Park derelict house transforming into community resource center

Photo by MARK H. HUNTER -- The Rev. Mary Moss holds a lemon from one of the fruit trees planted in front of the soon-to-be Eden Park Village Resource Center at 765 N. Acadian Thruway. The once-delapidated home behind her is being renovated to serve the neighborhood with educational and spiritual resources.

Thirteen months ago the abandoned house on North Acadian Thruway was just one eyesore among many. But a labor of love is slowly transforming the house into something worthwhile. The Eden Park Village Project is also slowly transforming some of the rest of the low-income neighborhood. And it’s not even finished yet.… Continue reading →

Religion Bulletins for Sept. 20, 2014

Rev. Gloria Johnson of the Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church

Addis Sunday Taste Feast: 3 p.m., Addis Community Center, 7520 La. 1 South. Fourth District Young People annual Taste Feast. Donation of $5 to benefit Youth Ministry activities. (225) 778-1710. Baton Rouge Saturday Women’s Empowerment Conference: 8 a.m., Wisdom Rock Ministries, 3770 Maribel Drive. The theme is “I Ain’t Going Out Like That, Because The Purpose of My Pain is to Possess My Promise.” Ruthel… Continue reading →

Couple guts, brings new life to old home in Abita Springs

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Lynn and Melissa Bridges completely gutted and redid their home, filling it with joyful colors and one-of-a-kind treasures.

Melissa and Lynn Bridges brought spunk and color to their quiet, older neighborhood when they completely remade their house. “When we purchased the house, we gutted it completely out,” says Melissa Bridges. “All that was left were the four outside walls.” Having both grown up just blocks away,… Continue reading →

Garden News: Mesa gaillardia named La. Super Plant

Photo by ALLEN OWINGS -- Plant Mesa gaillardias, a Louisiana Super Plant, in your yard this fall and get ready for a colorful show.

With fall coming, LSU AgCenter horticulturists are encouraging planting Mesa series gaillardias in September or October. If they’re planted early enough, gaillardias will begin flowering before Christmas. Also called blanket flowers, gaillardias are native Louisiana perennials. Although traditionally planted in spring, the versatile Mesa series are being promoted for fall planting, which allows them… Continue reading →

Community column for Sept. 19, 2014

Photo provided by CAROLYN RIZZUTO -- Sherwood Forest Garden Club -- The Sherwood Forest Garden Club held its fall coffee Sept. 10 at the Runnymede Clubhouse. Officers for 2014-15 were introduced and a brief business meeting was conducted. Shown are, from left, Lori Main, Joan Walsh, Joyce Matherne, President Inda Watkins and Jane Parnicza.

Preceptor Beta Epsilon taps Burns as chapter sweetheart Anna Marie Burns was selected chapter sweetheart when Preceptor Beta Epsilon Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi met Sept. 3 at Ruth Mannen’s home. She will be presented at the annual Sweetheart Ball in February at the Gonzales Civic Center. Continue reading →

Volunteer column for Sept. 19. 2014

To learn more about these volunteer opportunities provided by Volunteer! United at Capital Area United Way, contact the listed agency directly. JAMBALAYA JAMMIN’, Capital Area United Way — Lauren Robinson, (225) 346-5800 or Volunteers are needed to help out with the 27th annual CAUW Jambalaya Jam, which gathers 49 cooking teams… Continue reading →

For a good year: Begin the High Holy Days with sweetness of Rosh Hashana dishes

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Carrot Tzimmes, or Honeyed Carrots, are traditional for  Rosh Hashana.

At sundown on Wednesday, Sept. 24, Jews around the world will celebrate Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, but not with Champagne and fireworks. It is a time for reflection and prayer. And, of course, food. Rosh Hashana begins the High Holy Days — 10 days of contemplation and repentance that end with Yom Kippur, the… Continue reading →

Pam’s Party Line for Sept. 17, 2014

Photo provided by KATE BRADSHAW --- Friends of LPB ---  Volunteer Award recipients Charles and Frances Bennett, LPB President Beth Courtney and President's Award recipient Dr. Rani Whitfield enjoy the annual Friends of LPB meeting Sept. 9.

The election of officers and the recognition of some very deserving volunteers topped the agenda of the annual Friends of LPB meeting and reception Sept. 9 at the Louisiana Public Broadcasting Telecommunications Center. Robyn Merrick was elected board chairwoman. Tapped to serve with her were Donna Ewing, vice chairwoman; Dan Hare, treasurer;… Continue reading →

Common Ground: Books give us a glimpse into others

The yards of yellow police tape wrapped around a stack of popular books and movie titles at one library might have some a little confused. Iberville Parish librarian Elizabeth Haynes is giving readers a chance to celebrate the freedom to read once-censored books at the Plaquemine library’s Banned Book Read-out on Sept. 25.… Continue reading →

Theatre Baton Rouge finds its voice under new direction with ‘Mary Poppins’

Photo provided by Theatre Baton Rouge -- Melanie Couvillon has the starring role and Zachary Denham plays her friend, Bert, in 'Mary Poppins' at Theatre Baton Rouge.

When the cast list came out for “Mary Poppins,” Theatre Baton Rouge seemed to send a not-very-subtle message: Management may have changed, but the standards haven’t. Despite some significant opening-night technical glitches, the message was affirmed. Vocally, this may be as strong a group as TBR has assembled in recent memory, including last year’s summer… Continue reading →

Patricia Gannon: Physicians host kickoff party

Dr. Troy Antill and Kati Antill

Was there a doctor in the house? Yes, more than 50 of them, and their spouses, too, as the Lafayette Parish Medical Society and the Lafayette Parish Medical Society Alliance kicked off the season with a membership party at Mazen Grill. The boards of both… Continue reading →

Helping make the next move: Boys Hope Girls Hope outreach expands with ‘Road to Excellence’

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Mordecai Logan, 11, makes his move against Boys Hope Girls Hope Home Executive Director John Daniel on Sept. 8 at the Boys Hope Girls Hope Home in Baton Rouge. The Boys Hope Girls Hope Home expanded its outreach beyond the 10 residential spots to students who still live at home but will benefit from the tutoring and enrichment opportunities it offers. One of the enrichment opportunities is chess, which offers the students guidance on aspects of life such as stress management, focus and discipline.

Since opening its residential facility in 1994, Boys Hope Girls Hope has helped Baton Rouge youth overcome dysfunction at home to achieve success. But, while pleased with the results, supporters knew the program’s design severely limited the number who could be helped. Not any more. In the summer, Boys Hope Girls Hope launched “Road to… Continue reading →

Bales to speak at O’Brien breakfast

Susan Ford Bales

Susan Ford Bales was 25 years old, the baby of the family, when her father, former President Gerald Ford, and three older brothers — Steven, John and Michael — asked her to orchestrate an intervention with mom, Betty. The family had become alarmed with the former First Lady’s drinking, addiction to prescription drugs and erratic behavior.… Continue reading →

Judge Faith: Hoping to draw a younger audience, new courtroom series taps La. native Faith Jenkins

Photo provided by DKC Public Relations -- Louisiana native Faith Jenkins wil preside over the courtroom on the new syndicated reality courtroom drama, 'Judge Faith. At left is courtroom bailiff Barbra Carlisle.

With a more contemporary spin, Shreveport native Faith Jenkins hopes to attract younger viewers to her new courtroom-set reality series, “Judge Faith.” Debuting Monday, the New York lawyer and legal analyst will hear cases culled from small claims courts across the country. Prior to appearing on the show, each pair of litigants agrees to abide by… Continue reading →

Community news, Sept. 16, 2014

Photo provided by CAROLYN RIZZUTO -- Sherwood Forest Garden Club -- The Sherwood Forest Garden Club held its fall coffee Sept. 10 at the Runnymede Clubhouse. Officers for 2014-15 were introduced and a brief business meeting was conducted. Shown are, from left, Lori Main, Joan Walsh, Joyce Matherne, President Inda Watkins and Jane Parnicza.

Chili Cook-off raises $13,500 for OLOL unit The International Chili Society Louisiana and the Regional Chili Cook-off Committee donated $13,500 to the Our Lady of Lake Regional Medical Center Foundation for the Children’s Hospital on Aug. 27 from proceeds from the March chili cook-off at LSU. Jason Blevins chairs the committee, whose members are from organizations like Knights of Columbus, Kiwanis, Redstick… Continue reading →

Photographers let La. shine in exhibit at Old State Capitol

Photo provided by the Old State Capitol -- Beverly Coates' photo,

It’s all about perspective in Louisiana’s Old State Capitol’s second-floor galleries. That’s where 25 members of the Louisiana Photographic Society are showing their work in the exhibit, “Light Up Louisiana.” It’s also where the old statehouse itself is the dominant subject. The show runs through Saturday, Sept. 20. “It’s an exhibit celebrating Louisiana,”… Continue reading →

Teach your children, and let them teach you

“JP,” I told our 17-year-old son, “as you know, I’m out fishing off the pier next to the KOA Kabin that we love to stay at in Lillian, Alabama,” I said, careful to not drop my cellphone into the water while holding my fishing pole in the other hand. “I sure wish you could have come with me… Continue reading →

About Town for Sept. 14, 2014

Photo provided by the Old State Capitol -- The exhibit,

WHAT: Senior Crime Prevention Expo, sponsored by the East Baton Rouge Parish SALT (Seniors and Lawmen Together) / Trial Council. WHEN: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16 WHERE: Cortana Mall, 9401 Cortana Place, entrance 2, Baton Rouge DETAILS: The expo will provided information on various services, programs and functions offered by area… Continue reading →

Pam's Party Line for Sept. 14, 2014

Advocate staff photo by PAM BORDELON --- Bengal Belles --- Bengal Belle President Aimée Simon, left, with LSU Football coach Les Miles and wife Kathy at the Sept. 4 Bengal Belle luncheon.

Kudos to our area chefs, restaurants and caterers, who over the past few weeks have pulled out all the stops for three huge gastronomic extravaganzas — the two-day Fête Rouge event, Dining By Design and, most recently, Capital Chefs’ Showcase. Please note which of the many wonderful restaurants and caterers stepped up to provide, at their… Continue reading →

A vision of betrayal ‘Perfidia’ takes readers to WWII era

“Perfidia” by James Ellroy. Alfred A. Knopf, 2014. $28.95. Los Angeles, Dec. 6-29, 1941: The eve and immediate aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor is the setting for James Ellroy’s new crime novel, “Perfidia.” The title reveals the theme: betrayal by all, in every conceivable manner. Ellroy’s… Continue reading →

Readers in danger of getting caught in ‘The Web’

“The Web” by Jonathan Kelleramn. Ballantine, 2014. $24. In Jonathan Kellerman’s thriller, “The Web,” you are taken on a roller-coaster ride of events that can only be compared with the television show “Lost.” “The Web” takes place on the island of Aruk, where Dr. Alex Delaware arrives for… Continue reading →

K-5 students sought for Kids’ Choir program

The Kids’ Orchestra announces its new program, Kids’ Choir, for the 2014-15 school year. The choir is open to all kindergarten through fifth-grade students in the Baton Rouge area and is under the direction of Sarah Bartolome, an assistant professor of music education at LSU. The Kids’ Choir will meet from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.… Continue reading →

Arts Calendar for Sept. 14, 2014

Here’s what’s happening in the area arts and cultural scene: Ascension Community Theatre will conduct auditions for its upcoming production of “Arsenic and Old Lace” from 3-6 p.m. today, Sept. 14, and 7-10 p.m. Monday, Sept. 15, at the theater, 823 N. Felicity Ave., Gonzales. Callbacks will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16. The… Continue reading →

Center celebrates Ernest J. Gaines, 50th anniversary of first novel

Ernest J. Gaines

Literature survives because it teaches us universal lessons. The Ernest J. Gaines Center at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is planning to commemorate exactly that Sept. 17 through Nov. 21. In events planned with public libraries, the center will mark the 50th anniversary of Gaines’ first novel “Catherine Carmier” as well as… Continue reading →

Loves ‘being able to share the Gospel’

Associated Press file photo -- Aeneas Williams, recently inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame, preaches in a suburban St. Louis church in 2008.  ORG XMIT: NY426

In a dark high school auditorium, hundreds gather every Sunday to listen to a former St. Louis Ram who has traded in an athletic career for a life of coaching. Aeneas Williams is specifically interested in coaching souls. Williams is pastor of… Continue reading →

Broadmoor United plans first Day of Compassion

Broadmoor United Methodist Church will hold its first Day of Compassion from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 27. As many as 20 volunteer teams will be working on 17 different projects throughout Baton Rouge on this day, the goal of which is to serve the community and give back to the neighborhoods surrounding… Continue reading →

Religion Bulletins for Sept. 13, 2014

Rev. S.C. Dixon

Baton Rouge Saturday women’s ministry conference: 8-9 a.m., Magnolia Baptist Church, 960 E. Buchanan St. Theme is “Spiritual Warfare.” Speakers are the Rev. Mary Moss, of St. Alma Baptist Church; and Sister Tonya Granville, of True Light Baptist Church. Fee is $20, includes breakfast, lunch and door prizes. (225) 383-2913. Tribes of Israel Tribal Encounter: 9… Continue reading →

Couple looking to downsize their home wasn’t willing to cut back

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --  Melanie and Joel Safer relax  in the living room of their Jamestowne Court home.

Joel and Melanie Safer live in a home for two that accommodates more than 20. That was the only way Melanie Safer would agree to move some 10 years ago when the couple decided to downsize. With their blended family of four grown children and their spouses along with 11 grandchildren, they still wanted… Continue reading →

Garden News: Here’s a new insect to watch out for

Photo by STEVEN ARTHURS, University of Florida -- Watch out for Chilli thrips, which can cause damage on ornamentals, like this Indian hawthorne.

Homeowners should be on the alert for a small insect called chilli thrips, which feeds on the young, tender parts of many plants, according to Yan Chen, an entomologist at the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station. A pest of tropical and subtropical regions of the world, chilli thrips first made an appearance in Louisiana on Knock… Continue reading →

Volunteer column for Sept. 12, 2014

To learn more about these volunteer opportunities provided by Volunteer! United at Capital Area United Way, contact the listed agency directly. JAMBALAYA JAMMIN’, Capital Area United Way – Lauren Robinson, (225) 346-5800 or Volunteers are needed to help with the 27th annual CAUW Jambalaya Jam, which will be held Oct.… Continue reading →

Community column for Sept. 12. 2014

Photo provided by CHARLES BENNETT -- Mental Health Association -- At the Aug. 21 board meeting of the Mental Health Association for Greater Baton Rouge are, from left, Linda Lynch, Charles Bennett, Erica Sweeny, Pam Fisher, Frances Bennett and Grace Bielkiewicz.

Laureate Alpha Gamma holds Beginning Day Laureate Alpha Gamma Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi held Beginning Day Aug. 16 at President Dixie Gregory’s home. Also attending were Virginia Huffman, Gail Keller, Verlyn LeBlanc, Jean Leyda and Page Meyer. Leyda passed out yearbooks, and chapter chairwomen reviewed their sections. Members discussed… Continue reading →

Bites of History: Plenty to do with popcorn when the movie is over

Photo by Cynthia L. Nobles  --  Parsley, oregano, garlic powder and Parmesan cheese flavor Italian Herb Popcorn.

Popcorn has one of those enticing smells that makes you drop just about anything you’re doing and rush to the kitchen to be sure you get your share. We never seem to outgrow this infatuation. No matter what kind of newfangled treats entice us at the movies and football games, we still keep reaching for popcorn.… Continue reading →

Tasty pork skewers a tailgating hit

Photo by National Pork Board  --  Offer your tailgate guests a winning taste with Spicy Korean Pork Skewers.

At your next tailgate, tackle a winning taste with portable, bite-sized Korean Pork Skewers. The tasty, on-the-go option is a perfect choice for a tailgating party, whether at the game or at home. Spicy Korean Pork Skewers won’t take a lot of preparation time, and clean-up is easy, too. For the dish, cubes of pork ribs… Continue reading →

Side Dish: Squash pie tastes a bit like pumpkin

Regular shoppers at the Red Stick Farmers Market in downtown Baton Rouge on Saturday mornings probably know Buddy Miller, the farmer who sells pecans and peaches. He and his wife, Carol Lee Miller, owners of Plantation Pecan & Gift Co. in Waterproof, have been longtime vendors at the farmers market and the adjacent Main Street Market.… Continue reading →

Straightening up and flying right

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Melanie Couvillon and  Zachary Denham will bring Mary Poppins and Bert to life in in Theatre Baton Rouge's production of the Broadway musical 'Mary Poppins.'

Yes, Mary Poppins is definitely going to fly in Theatre Baton Rouge’s production of the Disney-based musical, which opens Friday. That’s the question director Lyn Holderidge has gotten the most in the past few months. But, if you ask Melanie Couvillon, who is taking on the role of the nanny, this is a story… Continue reading →

Lakes clean-up volunteers hope to snag grant

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Parry 'Matt' Thomas, right, leads a group, including Greg Ducote, left, that helps clean up the lakes around City Park and LSU.

For the past three years a small group of volunteers has worked weekly to clear vegetation and trash from the lakes at City Park and LSU in Baton Rouge. Some of the lake system is maintained by BREC, the parish park system, while the city-parish’s Department of Public Works cares for others, said Parry “Matt” Thomas, one… Continue reading →

Mr. Mom and creamy red beans

Shortly after arriving home from work, my husband called me to the bedroom where I found him sitting in his recliner, eyes wide and glued to the television. “Boo, you’ve got to see this,” he told me as he pressed the DVR button and paused an image of Dr. Oz on the television. I… Continue reading →