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Prairieville man collides with bulkhead and trees, killed in boating incident on Blood River

A Prairieville man died late Saturday in a boating accident on the Blood River in Livingston Parish, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reported. LDWF agents found the body of Larry Andre Jr., 59, about 10:15 p.m. Saturday. Andre was thrown into the water after he “collided with a bulkhead and subsequently trees,” according to a… Continue reading →

Two die Thursday in separate accidents in Tangipahoa Parish

Two men died on Tangipahoa Parish roads a half-hour apart on Thursday morning. Shortly after 9 a.m., 68-year-old Bobby Joe Benson, of Winfield, Alabama, was driving a 2003 Ford Explorer east on Interstate 12 near the Pumpkin Center Road exit when he drove into the center median and hit a barrier and a light pole, State… Continue reading →

Gator found in Livingston drainage canal — ‘When you peep and see a 9-foot alligator sitting in the pipe like that, it kinda makes you want to throw up’

Photo provided by Rachael Barksdale -- A nuisance officer wrangles an alligator in a Livingston Parish drainage canal on Tuesday, June 21, 2016.

Rachael Barksdale was raised around hunters and isn’t easily frightened by wild animals, but seeing an 8½-foot alligator just 100 feet from where her 3-year-old daughter was swimming Tuesday morning made her think twice about the wildlife in the small town of Livingston. “You hear about that mess in Florida where that… Continue reading →

Denham Spring council adopts adjusted millage rate

— The city’s property tax revenue should remain flat for 2016 after the City Council agreed to adopt the adjusted millage rate and collect the same amount as in 2015. With a projected taxable value in Denham Springs of nearly $83.5 million, the city would need to levy only 3.478 mills of the… Continue reading →

Walker council OKs spending for new railroad crossing

A new railroad crossing is coming to the city’s Industrial Park, giving businesses at the site a second crossing. However, the City Council agreed during a June 13 meeting to close two other crossings within the city limits. The City Council unanimously agreed to spend about $550,000 to install and properly equip… Continue reading →

7 local artists shine in exhibit spotlight

Photo provided by Vic Couvillion -- Six of the seven artists participating in the Gentlemen's Art exhibit on display at the Arts Council of Livingston Parish's gallery in Denham Springs pose with some of their creations at the reception honoring the artists held June 11. Pictured, from left, are Michael Verrett, Pierce Rainey, Kerry Curtin, Dody Sandifer, Kevin Paninski, and John Bolander. The exhibit will be on display throughout June.

A small, framed message hangs in the Arts Council of Livingston Parish’s offices and gallery that reads, “An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision.” That admonition helps to explain the muse that drives artists to create their works that draw attention and hope for favor from the audiences… Continue reading →

Around Livingston for June 23, 2016

Anyone interested in managing their Facebook business page will want to check out a free class from the Arts Council of Livingston Parish next month. Learn how to improve engagement, connect with your ideal audience and sell more of your products and services with Shelly Frederick at 6 p.m. July 19 at the Arts Council Gallery, 133… Continue reading →

Sports Roundup for June 23, 2016

Photo provided -- Denham Springs junior tennis player Paige Duncan holds an award she recently won.

Paige Duncan laughs when she recalls the revolving door that was her early sports career. Golf, basketball, gymnastics, soccer — she gave them all a shot. “We tried a ton of sports, and I didn’t like any of them,” Paige said. “So my dad introduced me to tennis.” About six years after picking up a racket… Continue reading →

FFA members attend Monroe convention

Photo provided by Roger Rios  --  Walker FFA members with their FFA state convention awards include, front from left, Rebecca Tairov, Tyler Simmons, Kaycee Sibley, Melanie Girouard, Samantha Jones, Roger Rios, Mikayla Martin, Cam Rote, Gavin Morales, Megan Hall and Lauren Meades; and back, Emily Wheeler, Westin Cobb, Luke Seguin, Matt Seguin, Ridge Bourg, Layni LeBlanc, Blake Cavalier, Cole Hudspeth, Jake Hall and Zane Pourcy.

Walker FFA members attended the 87th state FFA convention in Monroe, held June 7-10. The FFA members participated in leadership workshops, listened to keynote motivational speakers and attended sessions put on by the state officer team. They also took part in courtesy corps, helping with the flow of the convention and state staff. Layni LeBlanc… Continue reading →

‘Aladdin’ makes stop at parish library

Photo provided by Emma James-Wilson -- An evil sorcerer, played by Kenyai O’Neal, left, holds Aladdin, played by Lina Schoenwiesner, around the waist with a rope as she searches a ‘cave’ for the magic lamp during Hampstead Stage’s interactive performance of ‘Aladdin’ at the Albany-Springfield Branch of Livingston Parish Library on June 14. The two actors played all the major roles and invited children from the audience to participate in defeating the sorcerer.

Hampstead Stage, made up of Lina Schoenwiesner and Kenyai O’Neal, brought its interactive performances of “Aladdin” for all ages to the Albany-Springfield Branch of Livingston Parish Library on June 14. All five library branches were treated to the play, based on the classic story from “The Tales of the Arabian Nights,” as part of the 2016 summer… Continue reading →

Live Oak High students help out kindergartners

Photo provided by Karen Parrino -- Lauren Ginn, left, and Irin Jacobson teach a lesson to Karen Parrino’s kindergarteners at North Live Oak Elementary School.

Live Oak High School helped Karen Parrino’s kindergartners at North Live Oak Elementary in Watson discover their green thumbs this spring. Delanea Gates and her Students Teaching and Reaching class and 4-H members helped the youngsters plant a garden, teaching the children the importance of sustainable agriculture. The Students Teaching and Reaching class is for… Continue reading →

Urban dancing duo holds library workshop

Photo provided by Emma James-Wilson -- Tyler Wilson, left, and Terrance Morgan, of Rhythm/Soul, dance during an interactive workshop called ‘Think Positive’ at the Denham Springs-Walker Branch of Livingston Parish Library on June 8.

Rhythm/Soul, the urban dancing duo of Terrance Morgan and Tyler Wilson, performed an interactive workshop at the Denham Springs-Walker Branch of Livingston Parish Library on June 8. Titled “Think Positive,” the workshop about the power of positive thinking, hard work and self-esteem was targeted at all ages, a news release said. The duo’s… Continue reading →

Local students named to SLU honors list

Students from Livingston and Tangipahoa parishes were named to the spring honors list at Southeastern Louisiana University. Students with a 3.50 or better GPA are on the president’s list, dean’s list students have a 3.20 to 3.49 GPA and honor roll students a 3.00 to 3.19 GPA. Honors list students must be full-time undergraduates carrying… Continue reading →

Livingston Parish students honored at graduation

Allison Taylor

Three Livingston Parish residents received special recognition during Our Lady of the Lake College’s commencement exercises on May 23 in Baton Rouge. The graduates were among the 190 Our Lady of the Lake College students conferred master’s, bachelor’s or associate degrees during the college’s commencement ceremony at the Baton Rouge River Center Arena. Special recognition went… Continue reading →

Students hold closing ceremonies at Holy Ghost

Photo provided by Cindy Wagner -- Holy Ghost Catholic School eighth-graders gathered after their closing ceremony on May 18 from left, are Cadyn Reed, Kate Graziano, Kayla Gangi, Madeline Pistorius, Jacie Bellina, Josie Parker, Kylie Baudean and Mallorie Vaccaro.

Holy Ghost Catholic School in Hammond wrapped up the 2015-16 school year with a number of closing ceremonies. The eighth-graders said farewell to Holy Ghost at their closing ceremony on May 18. On May 19, the preK-4 students held their ceremony with parents, grandparents, friends and relatives. The students sang and entertained using the knowledge they… Continue reading →

Tickets available for Sundresses and Shrimp Boots celebration

Tickets are available for Child Advocacy Services’ annual Sundresses and Shrimp Boots celebration, slated for 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 28 at The Cedar Post Barn in Albany. There will be live music by Cuisine, multiple food exhibitors, drinks, silent and live auctions and several surprise celebrity guests. Tickets can be bought at… Continue reading →

Walker student wins two scholarships

Giuseppe Rizzi

Giuseppe Rizzi, of Walker, has been awarded the National Merit Scholarship and the President’s Endowed Scholarship from Texas A&M University. Rizzi was home-schooled for 12 years. He graduated with the Baton Rouge Holy Family Homeschoolers group on May 21 during a Mass and ceremony at St. Agnes Catholic Church, a news release said. His curriculum included… Continue reading →

Church to present ‘Shrek the Musical Jr.’

First Presbyterian Church in Hammond presents “Shrek the Musical Jr.,” an Acting Upon Faith Production, at 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday at the church’s Anderson Hall, 111 N. Pine St. Acting Upon Faith is a community theater group of young people entering sixth through 12th grade in the coming school year, a… Continue reading →

Families Helping Families to hold financial workshop

Northshore Families Helping Families will host a financial planning workshop in Hammond for families of children or adults with disabilities. The workshop is slated from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Tangipahoa Parish Health Unit, 15481 W. Club Deluxe Road. Patrick Reso, of Seale & Ross PLC, will talk about special-needs trusts, used to protect… Continue reading →

Livingston Parish calendar for June 23-30, 2016

MAKE A GEMSTONE CHIP BRACELET: 10 a.m., Main Branch Library. PRINTMAKING FOR KIDS: 10 a.m., Denham Springs-Walker Branch Library. Explore the art of printing by hand. STORY TIME: 10 a.m., Albany-Springfield Branch Library. BIG KID STORY TIME: 2 p.m., Watson Branch Library. For ages 5-8. Registration required.… Continue reading →

Tangipahoa Parish calendar for June 23-30, 2016

TWINKLE TOTS: 10 a.m., Hammond Branch Library. FIT BITS ADVENTURE CAMP: 2 p.m., Independence Branch Library. FIT BITS: 2 p.m., Kentwood Branch Library. WIGGLE WORMS: 2 p.m., Loranger Branch Library. JITTER BUGS: 2:30 p.m., Ponchatoula Branch Library. FREE MEN’S HEALTH SEMINAR: 6 p.m., North Oaks Diagnostic Center. Join Dr. Brad Lake for a free men’s… Continue reading →

Council on Aging menus for June 23-30, 2016

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. Ham with white beans, brown rice, coleslaw, mustard greens, cornbread, variety snack pie Chicken salad sandwich on whole-wheat bread, lettuce… Continue reading →

Livingston Parish Prison bookings for June 8-14, 2016

The following people were booked into the Livingston Parish prison from June 8-14: ADKINS, CHRISTOPHER MICHAEL: 30, 982 La. 411, Maringouin, possession of Schedule II controlled dangerous substance, possession of Schedule IV controlled dangerous substance, possession of marijuana. ARNOLD, CHRISTY NICOLE: 34, homeless, speeding, two counts no driver’s license, criminal sanctions… Continue reading →

Request for another legal review of Denham Springs meetings in police firings dies for lack of second

— A city councilman’s bid to seek a state attorney general’s opinion on whether the mayor and the other four council members broke the state’s open meetings laws died without support from his colleagues Tuesday. Councilman Chris Davis previously filed a complaint with the state Attorney General’s Office, alleging the committee that… Continue reading →

Bennett: Area poised for growth

David Bennett, chief executive officer and president of the Livingston Economic and Development Council, addressing the Parish Council for the first time since accepting his position with the LEDC, said the past five years have seen remarkable growth in Livingston Parish and the future promises a continuation of that pattern for years to come.… Continue reading →

Farmers Market finds niche in 10 years

Advocate photo by Vic Couvillion -- Ray Gill, the 'father of the Livingston Parish Farmers Market,' oversees market activities at the 10th anniversary observance of the markets opening on Saturday. Gill and his late brother Charles started the market to afford local farmers and craftsmen the opportunity to sell their products directly to the public.

Ray Gill and his late brother Charles had a dream about a dozen years ago. The two, who grew up on a farm near Holden, frequently talked about starting a farmers market where area farmers and craftsmen could sell their products directly to the public. That dream ultimately became a reality,… Continue reading →

Around Livingston for June 16, 2016

The Watson Branch of Livingston Parish Library is offering a 3-D printing workshop at 2 p.m. Friday for youths in grades two through 12. Participants will learn 3-D design software and create objects to print on the library’s 3-D printer. Call (225) 686-4180 or visit to register.… Continue reading →

Sports Roundup for June 16, 2016

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Jalen Cook (28) drives up court as others watch and wait their turnduring a 2015  summer basketball camp at McKinley High School gymnasium.

Most of Jalen Cook’s friends are busy this summer making the most of their not-so-busy schedules. They may stay up until the wee hours playing video games, then sleep through the morning. Then they may catch a movie or do some shopping. Those friends know what to expect when they ask Cook, a 14-year-old resident of… Continue reading →

SADD to host free summer camp at Gray’s Creek School

Livingston Parish Students Against Destructive Decisions will host its free, annual summer camp June 27 through July 1 at Gray’s Creek Elementary School in Denham Springs. This year’s theme is “Blast Off Into Safety.” The camp is for children in first through fifth grades. It emphasizes the importance of living healthy, safe and positive lives… Continue reading →

4-H students compete in culinary arts competition

Photo provided by Christy Sorenson -- Livingston Parish 4-H members led by associate Extension agent Christy Sorenson, back left, competed in the 2016 Southeast Regional 4-H Culinary Arts Contest on May 17 in Ponchatoula.

Fourteen Livingston Parish 4-H’ers competed May 17 in the 2016 Southeast Regional 4-H Culinary Arts Contest in Ponchatoula. The 4-H members prepared dishes for judges in categories including seafood, beef, poultry, egg, sugar and bento, and took part in educational activities while judging was taking place. Participants were Ian Coates, of Northside… Continue reading →

Local Boy Scouts move up the ranks

Brian Frazier

Lewis Johnson and Brian Frazier, of Boy Scout Troop 478 at Broadmoor United Methodist Church, recently became Eagle Scouts. They are the 97th and 98th Eagle Scouts under the direction of Steve Beatty, a scoutmaster for 35 years. For his project, Lewis managed volunteers at the Caledonian Society’s Highland Games. Lewis will… Continue reading →

64 members from Livingston Parish attend 4-H Camp

Photo provided by Christy Sorenson -- Livingston Parish 4-H members attended 4-H Camp at Grant Walker Educational Center in Pollock from May 31-June 3.

Livingston Parish had 64 4-H members attend 4-H Camp, held May 31 to June 3 at Grant Walker Educational Center in Pollock. Members had the chance to participate in a “morning sessions on wetlands; hunters education; outdoor adventures; food and fitness; general arts; science, engineering and technology; and water safety. Afternoon sessions offered a variety… Continue reading →

Haygood takes over 225th Engineer Brigade

Photo provided by Sgt. 1st Class Denis Ricou -- Col. Cindy Haygood, right, accepts the 225th Engineer Brigade colors from Maj. Gen. Glenn H. Curtis, adjutant general of the Louisiana National Guard, on June 4 at Esler Air Field in Pineville.

Col. Cindy Haygood, of Gonzales, took command of the Louisiana Army National Guard’s 225th Engineer Brigade from Col. Rodney Painting, of Amite, on June 4 at an official ceremony at Esler Air Field in Pineville. Haygood is the first woman to command the 225th and the first woman to lead a second direct-reporting unit, according… Continue reading →

Jambalaya fundraiser to benefit injured man

Tickets are being sold for a jambalaya fundraiser to benefit Gordon Simoneaux, who was injured while assisting a Denham Springs police officer and has over $50,000 in medical bills. The fundraiser will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at the Denham Springs Wal-Mart. Tickets are $7 per plate and can be bought at… Continue reading →

Hammond officer speaks at school’s dads breakfast

Photo provided by Linda Faller Joiner -- Hammond Westside Elementary Montessori students at the recent All Pro Dads breakfast include, first row, from left, Kyla Hambrick, Aubree Terrio, Betsy Terrio, Emri Terrio and Tilyne Oliver; and second row, Logan Cade, Bella Warner, Persia Wright, Phillip Wright and Jacquail Irizarry.

Lt. Charles Muse was the guest speaker at the recent Hammond Westside Elementary Montessori All Pro Dads breakfast. The 30-year veteran of the Hammond Police Department was introduced by his wife, Darlene, who is a counselor at the school. Muse spoke to the gathering of fathers and their children about being a CHAMPION — an… Continue reading →

Library branch honored for tax assistance program

The Denham Springs-Walker Branch of the Livingston Parish Library was recognized May 23 as Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Site of the Year among locations offering tax assistance services in the capital area — the 10 parishes surrounding Baton Rouge. The branch received the award for a 52.8 percent increase in tax returns completed over last… Continue reading →

SLU finance students win national competition

A team of finance students at Southeastern Louisiana University has won the national Community Bank Case Study competition conducted by the Washington, D.C.-based Conference of State Bank Supervisors, a nationwide organization of banking regulators from all states and U.S. territories. The team of four Southeastern undergraduate students worked cooperatively with Hammond-based First Guaranty Bank… Continue reading →

Anti-litter group seeks Everyday Hero nominees

Keep Louisiana Beautiful is accepting nominations for its Everyday Hero awards. Nonprofits, Keep America Beautiful affiliates, businesses, professional groups, governmental agencies, civic and community organizations, schools, churches and individuals are eligible for nomination. Visit to see the list of awards and download an application. The deadline to submit a nomination is Sept.… Continue reading →

Springfield graduate wins scholarship

Photo provided by Ernie Ballard -- Taylor Prudhomme, second from left, recently received a Stamps Leadership Scholarship. She is pictured with her parents, Stewart and Charlotte Prudhomme, seated, and LSU admissions counselor Erin Lauderdale, standing.

Taylor Prudhomme, a graduate of Springfield High School, recently received a Stamps Leadership Scholarship to attend LSU in the fall. The scholarship is available to entering freshmen at LSU, providing a full cost of attendance for four years, a news release said. The award also offers up to $14,000 in enrichment funds, which can be… Continue reading →

Parish chamber board welcomes new member

Todd Caruso

Attorney Todd Caruso is the newest member of the Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He will be filling an unexpired term. Board Chairman Brian Abels said Caruso brings expertise in labor law, employment and business law to the board, according to a news release. Caruso has been Walker magistrate judge since… Continue reading →