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'Explosively amazing': Baton Rouge native, New Orleans resident Lynn Whitfield joins Oprah in powerful new series 'Greenleaf'

Oprah Winfrey Network photo by Guy D'Alema -- Lynn Whitfield, center, stars as Lady Mae Greenleaf in ‘Greenleaf,’ which is about the powerful family that runs a Memphis megachurch. With her are Gregory Alan Williams, left, who plays her brother, and Lamman Rucker, who plays her oldest son.

“What do you believe, Grace?” Lady Mae Greenleaf pointedly asks her daughter. “Well, Mama, I believe that the Bible is one useful tool to see to the heart of God, in the Christian tradition,” she answers. “Well what other tradition is there?” Grace’s sister-in-law Kerissa Greenleaf chimes in.… Continue reading →

Faith Matters: How atheist played big part in ex-Baton Rouge gang member becoming Baptist minister

Scott

An atheist played a part in the Rev. Robert Scott’s journey into the ministry. Scott was newly saved after running with a notorious street gang, excited about God and was looking for a church home in 1995 when the admitted unbeliever directed him to King David Baptist Church on Harry Drive in Baton Rouge. “An atheist… Continue reading →

‘Looking good’: That’s how J.C. Pero, 94, likes his Valley Park garden; this colorful video tour will wow you

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- J.C. Pero looks over one of the flower beds in the front yard of his home in the Valley Park neighborhood. He says he maintains the garden under the supervision of his wife, Viney Pero.

Drive through Valley Park just about any morning and you will likely find 94-year-old J.C. Pero working in his jewel of a yard in the neighborhood he and his wife, Viney Pero, moved into in 1942. “We moved here when the streets were dirt, and there were only three houses in the whole area,” J.C.… Continue reading →

Louisiana artist, others create wallpapers that take you on a journey

Photo provided by Anthropologie -- Wonderlands Alice would love  New Orleans artist Rebecca Rebouche's Enchanted Forest wallpaper mural.

Wallpaper goes in and out of fashion. Right now, it’s enjoying an “in” moment. There are wildly creative designs coming out of studios all over the world, including Louisiana. Some of the best take us on a journey to far flung places both real and imagined. At Anthropologie, New Orleans artist Rebecca Rebouche… Continue reading →

Community column for June 24, 2016

Photo provided by BABS BABIN -- WBR Senior Spirit -- Enjoying the scenery from the Lorrain Bridge in Hayes are West Baton Rouge Senior Spirit members, from left, Kenny Carr; John Mouch; Father Matt Lorrain, pastor of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Brusly; Gerald Mabile; Nelson Stein and Walter Landry.

After a pot luck dinner May 31 set in the shadow of the Highland Road Observatory, Amateur Radio Vice President Jon Reise opened the meeting with a discussion of the club’s participation in operating the amateur radio aboard the USS KIDD during Museum Ship weekend on June… Continue reading →

Volunteer column for June 24, 2016

Volunteer opportunities, provided by Capital Area United Way, are outlined in this column. To learn more about these opportunities please contact the listed agency directly or visit CAUW.org to sign up online. BE A SUMMER READER, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Baton Rouge — (225) 383-3928: Every summer the club… Continue reading →

Family at heart of ‘The Diva Sisters’ tells ‘story that will hit home with everyone’

Photos provided by Maddgame Entertainment -- Crystal Jefferson as Lois, Antoine Pierce as Curtis and Kellie Gordon as Halie, from left, star in UpStage Theatre's summer comedy, 'The Diva Sisters,' opening June 24.

Even though it’s not yet July 4th, fireworks will be exploding at UpStage Theatre because the Pritchett sisters are coming home. And they’re staying this time. The action will unfold Friday through Sunday in UpStage Theatre’s summer comedy, “The Diva Sisters,” when the three Pritchett sisters gather to commemorate their mom’s… Continue reading →

Giddy up: Audubon Aquarium tagging, tracking its seahorse herd to learn more about mysterious fish

Advocate photo by J.T. BLATTY-- i  A seahorse wears a numbered tag at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas.

Recent visitors to the second floor of the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas may have noticed something a little different about its seahorses. Each member of the aquarium’s resident herd of seahorses has been tagged with a “necklace” of soft thread and tiny laminated pennant, part of a program to help researchers understand more about the… Continue reading →

Pam’s Party Line for June 22, 2016

Photo provided by VIVIAN FREY --- Saying so long --- Several hundred well-wishers came by the Baton Rouge Regional Eye Bank May 13 to say so long to retiring Executive Director Ginger Miller, left, after her more than 30 years at the helm. Taking over is Jamie Collier, who previously served as technical director.

Well, I’m back from what co-worker Smiley Anders likes to refer to as a “well-deserved” vacation in Las Vegas. Hot, but tons of fun. Fortunately, things were rather quiet on the social scene while I was gone. There were, however, some events that took place before I left town, including one bidding goodbye to one… Continue reading →

Patricia Gannon: Board Breakfast

Kathie Zimmermann, Sharon Moss, Jan Frost Williams

Susan G. Komen of Acadiana held its annual board meeting and appreciation breakfast at Joey’s, appointing some new board members in the process. “I’ll be taking notes and giving input,” said five-year survivor Monza Williams, who will serve as new secretary on the Executive Committee. Up early were Mike Crowson and Komen area directors Styphanie… Continue reading →

‘My mom is going to be so proud’: Ascension baker's tasty Peanuts-themed creation wins Food Network’s ‘Cake Wars’

Photo provided by Food Network -- Kelly Williams listens to the judges' critiques of his winning, Charlie Brown-themed cake on Food Network's 'Cake Wars.'

Geismar’s Kelly Williams, assisted by Holly Sigur Broussard of Prairieville, iced Food Network’s “Cake Wars” Monday night. The team’s winning cake — a vanilla butternut confection with pecan praline filling and vanilla buttercream frosting — impressed judges and well-known pastry chefs Ron Ben-Israel and Waylynn Lucas, along with celebrity judge Lindsey Schulz, granddaughter of Peanuts creator Charles… Continue reading →

Louisiana engineer competes in ‘Jeopardy’ on Tuesday

Photo provided by Jeopardy Productions, Inc. --‘Jeopardy!’ host Alex Trebek, left, with New Orleanian Ben Foley, who will be on the show Tuesday.

Ben Foley, a structural engineer from New Orleans, will compete on “Jeopardy!” on Tuesday. The show airs at 4:30 p.m. on WBRZ, Channel 2 (cable Channel 5 in Baton Rouge and Lafayette), repeating at midnight; and at 6 p.m. on WVUE, Channel 8 (cable Channel 9 in New Orleans), with a replay at 9 a.m. Wednesday.… Continue reading →

Health experts say pretty much anything can kill you, depending on the dose

Image provided by MetroSource

Potentially poisonous substances are everywhere — in the air, the water and even inside our own bodies. But don’t panic. “Everything is poisonous,” said Martin Ronis, a professor at the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans “The only thing that matters is the dose.” From water to alcohol, everyday substances can be… Continue reading →

Alzheimer's Q&A: What's the difference between normal memory loss and Alzheimer’s or dementia?

How can I distinguish between normal memory loss and Alzheimer’s or dementia? As we age, slight changes in our intellect begin to occur. Simple forgetfulness, or “senior moments,” like forgetting where the car keys are or a delay in recalling names, dates or events, are all a part of the aging process.… Continue reading →

Health calendar for June 20, 2016: International Yoga Day; health session on marijuana effects

WHAT: Session on the effects of marijuana WHEN: Noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, June 21 WHERE: Capital Area Human Services District, 4615 Government St., Building 2 Room 200, Baton Rouge DETAILS: Free; no registration required. Social worker Scott Thomas, program manager of CAHS-Addiction Recovery Services, will facilitate a discussion about the effects of… Continue reading →

At Random: A father who taught with silence

For a Father’s Day story, we asked readers to share the best advice their fathers ever gave them, a request that yielded lots of meaningful responses. But what looms largest in my memory of my own father, gone these many years, is what he didn’t say — the way he so often spoke with silence, inviting me, through… Continue reading →

Keith Spera’s ‘Parental Advisory’: What Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, Dave Grohl and I have in common

Advocate photo by Keith Spera -- Sophie, Celia and Sam Spera have only sent their father to the hospital once -- so far.

When feeling overwhelmed, writing can provide a false sense of control. Thus, when my wife first became pregnant, I felt compelled to chronicle it. Nearly nine years and three kids later, I’m still scribbling about fatherhood, still seeking that elusive sense of control. In my occasional “Parental Advisory” column, the hope is that readers… Continue reading →

Inspiring Cangelosi dance group sets summer tour of local libraries around Louisiana

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Cangelosi Dance Project dancers Leslie Stevens, front, and Chelby Gremillion practice routines for their upcoming week-long tour of East Baton Rouge Parish libraries.

Kris Cangelosi keeps a close eye on the kid-filled audiences when the Cangelosi Dance Project’s Elite Select youth company makes its annual summer tour of local libraries. The kids are so mesmerized by the dancers they start emulating the dance moves during the performance. And Cangelosi makes mental notes of their movements so she… Continue reading →

Ascension bakers unite for Food Network's ‘Cake Wars’ airing Monday

Photo provided by Food Network -- Kelly Williams prepares part of the decoration for his cake during a challenge on Monday night's 'Cake Wars.'

Two self-taught Ascension Parish bakers, pastry bags at the ready, are headed to battle. Kelly Williams, of Geismar, assisted by Holly Sigur Broussard, a new resident of Prairieville, will compete on Food Network’s “Cake Wars” Monday night. In the competition series, four teams of expert bakers vie to see whose cake creation will be the centerpiece… Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: Southern Baptists reject the Confederate flag at convention Tuesday

The Southern Baptist Convention holds it annual meeting in June each year. Many years, actions taken at the meeting are noticed throughout the nation. The 2016 meeting was no different. On Tuesday, convention messengers adopted a resolution rejecting use of the Confederate flag. It urged “brothers and sisters in Christ to discontinue the display… Continue reading →

Book review: ‘Stiletto’ imaginative, fun romp through London

“Stiletto” by Daniel O’Malley, Hachette Book Group, $26, 592 pages, hardcover Merging two factions that have been enemies for centuries isn’t the easiest task in the world, I imagine. But when you add in supernatural elements, it becomes an even trickier business. Luckily, it happens to… Continue reading →

Side-by-side Beauregard Town houses converted to one great living space in heart of city

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Erin and Claude Reynaud live in Beauregard Town in two side-by-side houses connected in the back by a courtyard. The couple removed the front entrance from their 1915-vintage bungalow, left. The main house, right, dates to the 1890s.

While most Baton Rougeans are dealing with the often frustrating traffic, Erin and Claude Reynaud enjoy a leisurely breakfast or sip a glass of wine in one of their two side-by-side Beauregard Town houses within walking distance of his downtown law office and many of their favorite restaurants. A dozen or so years ago, Erin… Continue reading →

Garden News: A low-fuss flower that loves heat? Meet angelonias

Photo by ALLEN OWINGS, LSU AgCenter -- Serena angelonias, also know as summer snapdragons, are tough, sustainable plants. These flowers do best under minimum fertilization and minimum irrigation, making angelonias truly a good, low-maintenance flower for Louisiana landscapes.

Gardeners tend to seek out flowers that are low-maintenance in their landscape, but they also want them to last spring through fall. “Actually, it’s possible to select plants that will perform this way,” says LSU AgCenter horticulturist Allen Owings. Some popular bedding plants that do this include vinca, begonias, coleus and angelonia.… Continue reading →

Pam’s Party Line: Hot times in the city

Photo provided by TYLER TRAHAN --- Active for Autism --- Wrapping up Families Helping Families of Greater Baton Rouge's annual Active for Autism 5K Run/Walk and Family Fun Fest at a May 20 luncheon at Louisiana State Police headquarters' are, from left, Lt. J.B. Slaton, Lt. Nick Manale, Executive Director Jamie Tindle, honorary Co-chairman Col. Mike Edmonson and Maj. Doug Cain. Daniel NoackLeSage was the other co-chairman. Aside from raising funds for FHFGBR's Resource Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders, the event also promotes 'awareness, acceptance and inclusion of autism' in the greater Baton Rouge community.

Summer is heating up here in Red Stick, and there are a few hot tickets on the horizon. On June 23, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation holds a Mother-Son Dance at the Renaissance Hotel beginning at 6:30 p.m. The following night, Lighthouse Louisiana is holding its “Celebrate the Art of Inclusion,” where… Continue reading →

Former White House photojournalist’s exhibit looks past presidency, into the man

Photo by DIANA WALKER, Diana Walker Photographic Archive, Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at AustinDiana Walker captures President Ronald Reagan hearty laugh at Queen Elizabeth's toast at a state dinner given in her honor by the president and Mrs. Reagan in San Francisco, March 1983.

Lauren Davis likes best the emotional photos, images filled with laughter, sorrow and quiet reflection. Those are the Diana Walker photographs that look past the presidency and into the man. Some 50 of Walker’s photos of American presidents, beginning with Jimmy Carter, fill Louisiana’s Old State Capitol’s main galleries through Aug. 27… Continue reading →

Patricia Gannon: Bowling for Causes

Mark Hudspeth, John Landry, Doug Dugas

KLFY’s Jeff Horchak ushered in the annual Bowling for Causes Celebrity Charity Bowling Event hosted by Lafayette Lanes. All money raised goes to nonprofit charity Impact Acadiana, due in no small part to local sponsors and athletes who put in celebrity appearances. “How fun can bowling be when you have such a great cause,” said… Continue reading →

Common thread runs through group where hand sewing preserved, ‘lifelong friendships stitched’

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Lorraine Bergeron, Dorothy Simoneaux and Lorraine Poirrier, from left, work on projects at the monthly meeting of the French Handsewers, a group that wants to preserve hand-sewing techniques. Bergeron and Poirrier are charter members.

Bullion rose. French knot. Feather stitch. Smocked chevron. Unless you’re an embroidery fan or grew up sewing, these terms may not sound familiar. And some say technology has made obsolete what for decades grandmothers, mothers and aunts taught their children and grandchildren. While there are machines that can make almost any stitch, there is… Continue reading →

Replacement for knee replacement? Trial surgery on Baton Rouge woman may help sufferers of torn meniscus

Photo provided by DEBRA TONGUE -- A year ago, Debra Tongue was ready to go skating with husband, Reggie Tongue, and granddaughters Heaven Hulstrom, left, and Halo Morris. Then she tore her meniscus last summer, and surgery didn't cure her pain. Now Tongue has received a new plastic implant that she hopes will soon have her back to running five days a week.

The radio ad seeking participants for an innovative new surgery seemed like fate. Debra Tongue, 46, of Baton Rouge, was suffering knee pain after an operation on torn cartilage last year, stopping her in her previously active tracks. “The pain was not going away, and it wasn’t lessening,” she said. “I knew… Continue reading →

Alzheimer's Q&A: How can patients maintain sense of well-being after dementia diagnosis?

How can I maintain my sense of well-being after my diagnosis of dementia? The definition of “well-being” includes the good or satisfactory condition of existence, a state characterized by health, happiness and prosperity. The notion of well-being is part of the mission and philosophy of The Eden Alternative, which asserts that no matter how old we… Continue reading →

Cast of characters highlight of early 1900s-era novel

“The Summer Before the War” by Helen Simonson, Random House, $28, 496 pages, hardcover My overall feeling about this book is frustration — not because of the author but because of the time period. Whenever I muse about how much easier my life would be if I was a lady… Continue reading →

Pam's party line: Bonding with dancing buddies

Advocate staff photo by PAM BORDELON --- Big Buddy --- At a wrap-up party for the 10th anniversary of Dancing for Big Buddy are, front from left, Rhonda Loy, Claire Broyles, Leonard Augustus, Executive Director Gaylynne Mack, Co-chairwoman Terri LeBlanc, Michael deBarros, Co-chairwoman Erica Mercer, Rock Rockenbaugh, Todd Sterling and Layne McDaniel.

After spending an intense four months rehearsing with my fellow Team Leonard dancers to get ready for the 10th anniversary of Dancing for Big Buddy back in April, I’ve found myself really missing them and feeling like I was supposed to be at the Dancer’s Workshop, where we practiced.… Continue reading →

10 Delta debutantes to be introduced at tea

Mallarie Nicole Dillon

The Baton Rouge Delta Development Corporation will present 10 debutantes at its 51st Annual Debutante Cotillion on Saturday, Aug. 6. The debutantes will be introduced to the community Sunday, June 12, during the annual Presentation Tea, with a theme of “An Evening with the Debutantes,” at the Baton Rouge Delta Sorority House on Harding Boulevard.… Continue reading →

Danny Heitman’s “At Random”: Mr. Danny’s camp for bored kids

Welcome once again to Mr. Danny’s Camp for Bored Youngsters. You’ve been sent here because summer is still new, but you’ve already complained to your parents that there’s nothing to do. We had our first camp for bored youngsters a couple of summers ago, and you can read about it here: http://theadvocate.com/columnists/9343383-55/danny-heitmans-at-random-mr. I know,… Continue reading →

Trip to Israel fosters relationships

Photo provided by the Rev. S.C. DIXON -- The trip to Israel by members of the National Baptist Convention of America included a visit to the Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall, the last remaining part of the Jewish temple that was destroyed in A.D. 71.

For much of his life, the Rev. S.C. Dixon, of Greater Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church, hasn’t thought badly of Israel. It simply wasn’t in his thoughts. “Growing up, when we thought of Israel and heard about Israel, very seldom did you discuss where people of color had any relations with Israel, with… Continue reading →