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‘In God We Trust’, but not in Livingston Parish officials — councilman says spat over courthouse sign led to rejected building oversight proposal

The Livingston Parish Council rejected a proposal Thursday to let officials who work at the parish courthouse oversee the operations and upkeep of the building. Council members feared the proposal would create a committee on which agency heads outnumbered parish government officials, possibly silencing parish government in matters affecting its own… Continue reading →

'Phone is ringing off the hook' at Kiwanis Club with people buying controversial Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival poster

2015 Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival poster

The controversial Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival poster that invoked the ire of the NAACP will not be sold at the festival next month — though collectors can still get their hands on a copy. When festival leaders revealed the design last week, hundreds flocked to social media in response. Some said the depiction of two… Continue reading →

Pioneer Day showcases skills of past

Advocate photo by Claire Salinas -- Jesse Eaves displays his hand-crafted wooden items and knots used on 17th and 18th century sailing ships Saturday during Pioneer Day in Denham Springs.

Rope knitting, quilting, soap-making and wood-carving displays were all part of Denham Springs’ seventh annual Pioneer Day. Saturday’s event, held in downtown Denham Springs, featured skills and products from different community vendors and hobbyists. Event coordinator Elvin Watts said Pioneer Day was created because “we’re just trying to let the community and people see that there’s… Continue reading →

JADD hosts Prom Fashion Show

Advocate staff photo by ANGELA MAJOR -- Josh Ballard, left, and Chris Ballard, right, sing 'You've Got a Friend in Me' on March 16 during the Jackets Against Destructive Decisions Prom Fashion Show at Denham Springs High School. This year's theme was Once Upon a Time in Denham.

Denham Springs High School’s Jackets Against Destructive Decisions hosted a Prom Fashion Show on March 16. This year’s theme was ‘Once Upon a Time in Denham.’… Continue reading →

Live Oak concert band, color guard perform well at Festival Disney

Photo provided by Lorna Clemente -- Live Oak High School Concert Band on stage at Festival Disney.

Live Oak High School band director Brian Feigles calls an early March trip to compete in the Festival Disney “an experience to remember.” After a year of fundraising, rehearsals and coordination, the school’s concert band and color guard loaded 70 students, 30 chaperones, instruments, uniforms, costumes, competition rifles and more than 25 flags into charter buses for… Continue reading →

Around Livingston for March 26, 2015

Walker Elementary School’s annual Wildcat Roar Festival kicks off at 4 p.m. Friday at 13327 Wildcat Drive. Friday’s lineup, which goes through 9 p.m., includes rides, concessions and a talent show. The Saturday schedule includes rides, school-sponsored game booths, a silent auction, garage sale, concessions, color run and spelling bee. Game booth and concession tickets… Continue reading →

Roseland names Iasigi as 2015 Teacher of Year

Roseland Montessori chose Rainey Iasigi as its 2015 Teacher of the Year. Iasigi has taught at REMS since its inception four years ago, a news release from the school said. She teaches fourth- through sixth-grade math and teaching concepts using the Montessori materials, the release said. Iasigi is a teacher leader at… Continue reading →

Class tastes apple treat to immerse in Dust Bowl

Photo provided by CAROLYN BANKSTON -- Preparing apple pandowdy this month at North Corbin Junior High School, first row from left, are Maddison Oakes, teacher Carolyn Bankston and Nathan Neale; and second row, Seth Allen, Jax Corkern, Luke Ferachi, Maycie Helton and Abby Boice.

After reading the historical fiction novel “Out of the Dust,” sixth-grade students in Carolyn Bankston’s gifted class at North Corbin Junior High in Walker indulged in a pan of apple pandowdy, Bankston said in a news release. The book takes place in the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. In the novel, the teacher receives some sugar after… Continue reading →

RPCC students finish internships at BASF

Photo provided by Jolen Stein -- River Parishes Community College  students who completed an internship with BASF, from left, are Chad Wascom, of Hammond; Fredrick Wallace, of Prairieville; Kelly Peltier, of Ponchatoula; and Jake Boriel, of St. Amant. Not pictured is Steve Nguyen, of Gonzales.

Five students from River Parishes Community College recently earned college credits toward a degree in process technology while gaining hands-on work experience at BASF’s site in Geismar. The internship program is part of BASF’s workforce development efforts designed to expose students to chemical manufacturing careers and help grow the talent pipeline, a news release said.… Continue reading →

Livingston finalists advance in Student of the Year contest

Photo provided by Delia Taylor -- North Corbin Junior High School eighth-grader Emily Seighman has been named a regional finalist in the states annual Student of the Year competition.

Live Oak High School Senior Victor Rushing and North Corbin Junior High School eighth-grader Emily Seighman have been named regional finalists in the state’s annual Student of the Year competition. The Louisiana Department of Education recently released the names of the state’s 18 finalists. The 18 students selected include one fifth-, eighth- and 12th-grader from each of… Continue reading →

Walker High competes in regional powerlifting meet

Photo provided by Laura Turner -- Walker High School medalists from the recent 2015 East Regional Powerlifting Meet from left, are Clarke Turner, Brandon Racca and Austin Craig.

Walker High School successfully hosted the 2015 LHSPLA East Regional Powerlifting Meet on Feb. 27-28. The meet attracted 220 lifters from 19 schools, a news release from the team said. The competition required participants to complete three lifts — a squat, a bench press and a deadlift — with a combined lift weight determining competition placing.… Continue reading →

Girl Scouts to debut camp swimming pool

Girl Scouts are holding a ribbon-cutting at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 29, for a new swimming pool at Girl Scout Camp Whispering Pines, 56535 La. 1054, Independence. The ceremony, open to the public, will be during the resident camp open house, which runs from noon to 2 p.m. The 2,000-square-foot, Girl Scout Trefoil-shaped swimming pool was… Continue reading →

Denham Springs sophomore chosen to attend medical conference in Boston

Austin Barnes

Austin Barnes, a 10th-grader at Denham Springs High School, has been nominated to attend the Congress of Future Medical Leaders on June 24-26 in Boston. The Congress is an honors-only program for high school students who want to become physicians or go into medical research fields, a news release said. Barnes was nominated by Dr. Connie… Continue reading →

4-H members compete in state livestock show

Photo provided by Jessie Hoover -- The Livingston Parish Poultry Quiz Bowl wins first place in February at a state contest in Gonzales. Team members, from left, are Luke Seguin, Haley Williams, Colton Smith and Matt Seguin.

Livingston Parish 4-H members competed in several events at the state livestock show in February. The Livingston Parish Poultry Quiz Bowl team placed first at the state contest at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales, said Livingston Parish Assistant Extension Agent Jessie Hoover. Members won a trip to Louisville, Kentucky, where they will compete at the… Continue reading →

Livingston Parish Prison Bookings for March 11-17, 2015

The following people were booked into the Livingston Parish prison from March 11-17. ADAIR, ROSS: 58, 17800 La. 444, French Settlement, second degree battery, intentional serious bodily injury, aggravated criminal damage to property. BELL, CHRISTINA: 25, 7615 Magnolia Beach Road, Denham Springs, felony theft. BOWMAN, CHRISTOPHER: 19, 12184 Brown Road, Denham Springs, unauthorized… Continue reading →

Livingston Parish calendar for March 26-April 2, 2015

STORY TIME: 10 a.m., Albany-Springfield Branch Library.Text ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorText ColorText ColorText Color (225) 567-1441. BEGINNING PHOTOGRAPHY: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Albany-Springfield Branch Library.… Continue reading →

Livingston-Tangipahoa Council on Aging for March 26-31, 2015

Livingston Parish and Tangipahoa Voluntary Council on Aging meal site menus. For meal site locations, call (225) 664-9343 in Livingston Parish or (985) 748-7486 in Tangipahoa Parish. Sliced roasted turkey with gravy, smothered potatoes, green beans, whole-wheat bread and pineapple tidbits. Beef patty… Continue reading →

Denham Springs buys new recording equipment for council chambers after Civil Service investigation nixed because of faulty recordings

After the city’s Civil Service Board earlier this year abandoned an investigation because it did not properly record testimony, the city has now purchased a new recording system for council chambers, Mayor Gerard Landry told reporters before Monday’s City Council meeting. The Civil Service Board, which uses the same… Continue reading →

Denham Springs officer’s use of deadly force ruled justifiable in Feb. 23 shooting of Texas truck driver

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Denham Springs Police investigate the scene where a man brandishing a pistol was shot once by a Denham Springs Police officer Monday afternoon. Police Chief Scott Jones said the man was ordered repeatedly to drop his weapon and was shot when the man did not comply.

A Denham Springs police officer was justified in fatally shooting a Texas truck driver who police say brandished a gun when officers responded to a report of a suicidal man last month, the Livingston Parish sheriff announced Friday. Michael Brien LeBlanc, 30, shot 47-year-old Robert Kohl, of Fort Worth, Texas, after… Continue reading →

Residents in rural Livingston Parish community decry plans for a nearby gravel mining operation: 'Would any of you want to live where I’m living?’

Oak Hills residents made impassioned pleas Thursday night for state and federal officials to deny permits for a proposed gravel mine the residents contend would destroy their quality of life and cause their property values to plummet. The public hearing, held jointly by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and the… Continue reading →

Strawberry Festival poster described as racist by some, beautiful by others

Photo provided by Facebook -- The Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival poster

A painting of two black children that appears on posters for the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival has drawn comparisons to pickaninny stereotypes and other racist depictions of black people. Festival leadership unveiled the poster Tuesday night and posted photos to Facebook the following day, where many users said they found the painting distasteful. By… Continue reading →

Two Tangipahoa men get 10-year sentences on four-offense DWI convictions

Two Tangipahoa Parish men both were sentenced to 10 years in prison for unrelated convictions on fourth-offense driving while intoxicated, District Attorney Scott Perrilloux reported Wednesday afternoon. Judge Doug Hughes handed down the sentences in court last week to 56-year-old Richard Hawkins, of Independence, and 35-year-old Jermaine McGee, of Amite. A state trooper spotted Hawkins… Continue reading →

After review with auditors, attorney, Livingston Parish Council to move ahead with road overlay program

The Livingston Parish Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to move forward with the parish’s road overlay program after its attorney said the road work list meets state law requirements. Parish legal adviser Christopher Moody said he had extensively researched the state Parish Transportation Fund Act and met with a team from… Continue reading →

Science Saturday engages youths at library

Advocate staff photo by CLAIRE SALINAS -- Haddox Hebert constructs snap circuits as part of an initiative by the Watson Library to enhance children's engineering skills March 7 during Science Saturday. The new program is held once a month to get youths interested in science.

Young science enthusiasts gathered for a meeting of the minds — and a little fun — March 7 at the Watson Library Branch’s Science Saturday. Adam Hawkins’ reason for bringing his daughter to event, which enabled youths to create, predict and craft science experiments, was simple: “She loves science, and in this parish,… Continue reading →

Around Livingston for March 19, 2015

The seventh annual Pioneer Day will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday on Mattie Street in the old downtown Antique Village. Featured exhibitors will be Louisiana Gold with a honey bee observation deck; Jesse Eaves, who will demonstrate knots used by 19th-century sailing ships and marlin-spike rope knitting; and Gary Price,… Continue reading →

SLU yearbook staff takes home 14 awards

Southeastern Louisiana University students have been honored with the 2015 Gold Circle Awards for Yearbooks from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association for their work on the university’s 2014 “Le Souvenir,” a news release from Southeastern said. The 2015 Gold Circle Awards attracted more than 4,600 entries from yearbook and digital media from colleges, universities and secondary… Continue reading →

Livingston Parish calendar for March 19-26, 2015

BOOK BABIES: 10 a.m., Watson Library Branch, 36581 Outback Road, Denham Springs. A monthly program designed for children ages 2 and younger to introduce them to books and music and encourage them to crawl and play. STORY TIME: 10 a.m., Albany-Springfield Library Branch, 26941 La. 43, Hammond. SHADY BOWER SENIOR LUNCHEON: 11:30 a.m., Shady Bower… Continue reading →

Tangipahoa Parish calendar for March 19-26, 2015

VETERANS MONTHLY BREAKFAST: 8:30 a.m., Hammond Recreation Department, 601 W. Coleman Ave. Breakfast sponsored by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3652. Reservations required. (985) 277-5906 or GYM WALKING: 8:30 a.m., Old gym, Hammond Recreation Department. LINE DANCING: 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Hammond Recreation Department.… Continue reading →

Livingston Parish Prison Bookings for March 4-10, 2015

The following people were booked into the Livingston Parish prison from March 4 - 10. ANGELLOZ, BETHANY MARIE: 33, 31115 Green Leaf Drive, Walker, possession of schedule II controlled dangerous substances, possession of schedule IV controlled dangerous substances, prohibited acts/drug paraphernalia, safety belt use, tags indicating exemption, expired motor vehicle license, operating vehicle… Continue reading →

Livingston-Tangipahoa Council on Aging for March 19-26, 2015

LIVINGSTON PARISH AND TANGIPAHOA VOLUNTARY COUNCIL ON AGING: Meal site menus. For more meal site locations, call (225) 664-9343 in Livingston Parish or (985) 748-7486 in Tangipahoa Parish. Hamburger, baked beans, peach cobbler Shrimp etouffee, steamed rice, green beans, tossed salad with dressing, whole-wheat bread, cardinal… Continue reading →

Livingston council’s settlement offer not enough to make federal lawsuit go away, contractor says

Corey Delahoussaye

Efforts to settle Livingston Parish’s ongoing dispute with a former contractor appeared to stall Friday when Corey delaHoussaye said the Parish Council’s offer of $300,000 is not enough to convince him to drop his federal lawsuit for retaliation. The council authorized the “one-time final offer” amount Thursday night, after rejecting a $579,000 settlement offer from delaHoussaye’s… Continue reading →

Authorities ask for help to find missing Tangipahoa Parish man

Scot Riddick

A 46-year-old Tangipahoa Parish man has gone missing, and the Sheriff’s Office is asking for help finding him. Scot Riddick was last seen March 2 at a convenience store on the corner of Happywoods Road and Club Deluxe Road in Hammond, according to a news release. He was wearing carpenter-style blue jeans and royal blue… Continue reading →

Independence man plead guilty to threatening a woman with a gun as children watched

An Independence man pleaded guilty in New Orleans federal court Thursday to being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm after threatening his ex-girlfriend with a gun in front of her children. Eric O’Neal Selders, 43, had four prior state felony convictions as of July 2012, when he broke into his ex-girlfriend’s home, pushed her… Continue reading →