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Teenager dies in crash Friday in Livingston Parish; Denham Springs man booked on DWI, negligent homicide

A 19-year-old Deville woman lost her life in a four-vehicle crash Friday afternoon in Livingston Parish. Michael Farris, 58, of Denham Springs, was driving northbound on La. 16 south of La. 63 shortly before 1 p.m. when he crossed the center line into the southbound lanes, sideswiping two vehicles and hitting another head-on, a Louisiana State… Continue reading →

Hammond man convicted of murder in shooting of crack cocaine dealer

A Hammond man was convicted of second-degree murder Friday afternoon for shooting a drug dealer 10 times over $10 worth of crack cocaine, according to the Tangipahoa Parish District Attorney’s Office. The night of the murder, Eugene Guidry, 37, and some associates picked up Jerrell Bird and took him to Guidry’s home. Bird sold Guidry… Continue reading →

Starkly different portraits drawn of Ponchatoula man accused of killing ex-girlfriend’s mother as trial begins

Ryan Pourciau

Ryan Pourciau is either a calculating killer who fantasized about torturing and slaying members of his ex-girlfriend’s family or a naive and scared young man who the same family manipulated and terrorized. In the coming days, a Tangipahoa Parish jury will have to choose between the starkly different… Continue reading →

Walker prepares for improvements

A community center, a dog park and a new baseball field for children with special needs are among the many improvements Walker officials envision for Sidney Hutchinson Park in the coming months. The ground at the southeast corner of the park on Corbin Avenue is already being prepared for the community center. Capable of sustaining 160-mph… Continue reading →

Parish fair starts with parade Saturday

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Riders enjoy the 'Bumble Bee Bop'  at the 76th annual Livingston Parish Fair in 2013. The fair kicks off Oct. 3 at the Livingston Parish Fairgrounds.

A parade, rodeo, beauty pageants, amusement rides, live entertainment, livestock demonstrations, cooking contests and a pet show are just some of the activities awaiting visitors to this year’s Livingston Parish Fair scheduled for Saturday through Oct. 11. Lynn Sibley, spokeswoman for the Livingston Parish Fair Association, said that as many as 50,000 visitors… Continue reading →

Women’s strengths featured at Arts Council open house

Advocate photo by Vic Couvillion -- Portrait and direct painter Paulette Ferguson creates a still life of three pears to demonstrate the creative process Saturday during an open house at the Arts Council of Livingston Parishs center in Denham Springs. The open house was presented as a way to introduce residents of the parish to the artistic endeavors possible at the center.

Those who appreciate the visual arts had the opportunity to watch four artists at work Saturday as the Arts Council of Livingston Parish hosted an open house at its center on Hummell Street. The open house was the Arts Council’s contribution to Women’s Week conducted by the Women’s Council of Greater Baton… Continue reading →

Around Livingston for Oct. 1, 2015

The Livingston Parish Library’s Main Branch Music Club meets from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday. Adult musicians looking for others to play with or who want to try out an instrument are welcome. Participants will work together to learn one song a month. Bring your own instruments,… Continue reading →

Sports Roundup for Oct. 1, 2015

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Headshot of new columnist Scott Hotard.

Two years after watching his brother Monroe’s promising athletic career cut short by a leukemia diagnosis, Walker High junior Judd Lockhart wears a little bit of the former Wildcat with him every Friday when he dons his brother’s old No. 46 jersey. Friday night at Wildcat Stadium, though, Judd Lockhart wasn’t the only one with Monroe on… Continue reading →

Denham’s annual antique festival is Saturday

Advocate file photo by ANGELA MAJOR -- A crowd gathers to enjoy shopping, music, food and other festivities Saturday at the 2014 Fall Festival in the Antique District in Denham Springs.

The Denham Springs Antique Village Fall Festival kicks off at 9 a.m. Saturday with arts and crafts, children’s activities, rides and games, live stage entertainment and festival foods for all tastes. The festival, held in the Denham Springs Antique District, hosts more than 150 local and regional artists and craftsmen offering everything from furniture to collectibles, a… Continue reading →

Students recognized for summer reading

Photo provided by Melanie Johnston -- Independence Elementary School students recognized for summer reading on Sept. 14 are, front row from left, Jonathan Hartman, Jesus Soto, Raelyn MacNeil, Anthony MacNeil, Ramiro Sanchez, Zarion Zanders, Brandon Castro and Jasmine Washington; and back row, Jennifer Ocana Espinoza, Ashly Castro, Maurice Brumfield, Nicolas Soto, Willie Allen, Tyrese Brumfield, Ja’Dora Arline, Mallory Harmon and Zamaria Zanders.

Independence Elementary School teamed up with the Independence Branch of the Tangipahoa Parish Library this summer to encourage students to continue to read throughout the summer while enjoying the presentations offered during the summer reading program. Seventeen students attended at least eight special programs and/or logged in a minimum of 10 hours of reading. The students were… Continue reading →

A prayerful tribute to police at Holy Ghost

Photo provided by Cindy Wagner -- Assistant Principal Terri Morrison gives Lt. Charles Deliberto a St. Michael medal at Holy Ghost Catholic School in Hammond on Sept. 14.

Students at Holy Ghost Catholic School in Hammond honored law enforcement officers and their families on Sept. 14 as part of a statewide day of prayer for law enforcement. Students, faculty, officers and parents gathered at a morning assembly where Principal Donna Wallette recited a prayer for law enforcement. Students then presented the officers with “survival kits”… Continue reading →

Hammond Eastside Magnet celebrates Dot Day

Photo provided by Linda Faller Joiner -- Teacher Anna Catalanotto’s kindergarten students posing in front of their artwork at Hammond Eastside Magnet School are, front row from left, Logan Matthews, Lataja Jackson, Breanna Addison, Madisyn Fornea and Aubrey Bergeron; middle row, Chloe Wascom, Dylan Mondebello, Parker Danna, Jackson Hoyt, Violet O’Berry, Lauren Rein, Kady Perilloux and Riley Fleming; and back row, Semahj James, James Gunn, Gracie Methvin, Braeden Bankston, Brian Catalano, Kaleb Mitchell, Kaylynn Addison, Hanna Herkes, Andrew McNamara and Emerson Fletcher. In back is visual arts teacher Heather McNamara.

Students at Hammond Eastside Magnet School celebrated International Dot Day on Sept. 15 with the help of visual arts teacher Heather McNamara. “The Dot,” written by Peter H. Reynolds, is the story of a reluctant student who doubts her abilities. Her teacher dares her, “Make a mark, and see where it takes you.” The student’s creativity… Continue reading →

Pulitzer winner Bragg to give lectures in Amite

Rick Bragg

The Amite Arts Council is bringing Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Rick Bragg to Amite on Oct. 20 as part of Southeastern Louisiana University’s Fanfare, a celebration of the arts, a news release said. Bragg will give a lecture to high school students at 10 a.m. and a free evening lecture to residents at 7 p.m. The lectures will… Continue reading →

Safety event set for downtown Hammond

North Oaks Health System will host Play It Safe, a free interactive safety event, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 24 at Cate Square Park in downtown Hammond. Play It Safe aims to increase safety awareness through education, demonstrations and activities for families with children ages 12 and younger, including child passenger car seat safety checks;… Continue reading →

Parish boy’s picture helps light up Times Square

Photo provided by Samantha Schenk -- This photo of Jeffery Gauge Travis, of Livingston, appeared in the bright lights of Broadway on Sept. 19, as part of the National Down Syndrome Societys annual Times Square Video presentation.

A photo of a Livingston Parish boy playing in the mud was one of more than 450 included in a video shown in Times Square as part of the National Down Syndrome Society’s annual Times Square Video presentation. Jeffery Gauge Travis, of Livingston, appeared on the bright lights of Broadway on Sept. 19 in the… Continue reading →

Fishing event ready for castoff in Hammond

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Community Fishing Program will hold an adult and youth fishing competition Saturday in Hammond’s Zemurray Park. The schedule: 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., registration; 6:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., fishing/weigh-in; 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., activities; 10 a.m. to noon, lunch; and 11:30 a.m., awards ceremony. The first 100… Continue reading →

SLU gallery exhibits a flair for ‘Fresh’ artists

Southeastern Louisiana University’s Contemporary Art Gallery will feature 11 artists in its new exhibit, “Fresh: New Master Artists, Part 1,” from Oct. 15 through Nov. 13. The exhibit is free and open to the public. An opening reception will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 15. The gallery is open Monday, Tuesday and… Continue reading →

Science on Tap offers intro to quantum mechanics

Southeastern Louisiana University’s next Science on Tap presentation, “The Nuts and Bolts of Quantum Mechanics,” will be geared to laymen. The presentation begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Tope lá Catering, 113 E. Thomas St. in Hammond. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. It is free and open to all ages. William A. Parkinson, associate professor… Continue reading →

Livingston Parish calendar for Oct. 1-8, 2015

CHAMBER’S AMBASSADOR COMMITTEE MEETING: 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce. STORYTIME: 10 a.m., Albany-Springfield Branch Library. YOUNG WRITERS CLUB: 5 p.m., Denham Springs-Walker Branch Library. Open to anyone between the ages of 10-17. The goal of the club is to write for both publication and performance. WRITER’S CIRCLE: 6:30 p.m., Denham… Continue reading →

Tangipahoa Parish calendar for Oct. 1-8, 2015

BABY AND ME: 10:30 a.m., Kentwood Branch Library. STORYTIME: 10:30 a.m., Ponchatoula Branch Library. TANGIPAHOA PARISH FAIR: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., 400 Reid Ave., Amite. ADVENTURE CLUB: 4 p.m., Amite Branch Library. Activities, crafts and books focused around a central theme for ages 6-10. ADVENTURE CLUB: 4 p.m., Kentwood Branch Library.… Continue reading →

Livingston Parish Council on Aging menus for Oct. 1-8, 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. Barbecue chicken leg quarter, baked beans, Normandy-blend vegetables, whole-wheat bread, royal brownie. Spaghetti with meatballs, green peas, garden salad with… Continue reading →

Livingston Parish Police Bookings for Sept. 16-22, 2015

The following people were booked into the Livingston Parish prison from Sept. 16-22. ABBOTT, STEVE: 54, 17045 Randall Drive, Livingston, operating vehicle with suspended license/other offenses. BARRARA, RICARDO: 33, 11482 Florida Blvd., Walker, conspiracy/manufacture/distribution/possession of Schedule I controlled dangerous substance, possession of marijuana. BEAUCHAMP, JERMAINE DOUGLAS: 36, 46157 Darbin Road, Hammond, operating vehicle… Continue reading →

Man convicted with second-degree murder in the beating, stabbing death of Hammond businessman

A man who tied up, beat and stabbed a Hammond business owner has been convicted of second-degree murder, the 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday. In 2007, Lionel Richardson, now 29, bound and gagged Byron Williams, then hit him with a crow bar and other objects before stabbing him, the District Attorney’s Office wrote… Continue reading →

Tangipahoa Parish Council to meet Oct. 6 on landfill issue; considers expansion of Hood Memorial Hospital taxing district

Man shot while exiting vehicle at apartments

A man getting out of his vehicle at a Hammond apartment complex heard gunshots early Monday and realized he had been shot in the shoulder, according to the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Daniel Edwards is asking for help sorting out details of the shooting, which occurred about 6:30 a.m. on Quick Boulevard. Diquan Morris,… Continue reading →

Some skeptical in Walker over state proposal to build nine roundabouts in 2.5 mile stretch

Walker’s main highway is slated for significant improvements in the coming months, although some city officials remain skeptical of the design. The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has proposed a series of nine roundabouts along a 2.5-mile stretch of La. 447, known locally as Walker Road, between Burgess Avenue and Buddy Ellis Road.… Continue reading →

Three booked in Livingston Parish after raid nets drugs, counterfeit cash and a sawed-off shotgun

Joseph Blaine Coon, Lacie Marie Foley, Lorene Foley

Drugs, counterfeit money and an illegal sawed-off shotgun were uncovered during a Tuesday raid near Denham Springs that led to three arrests, the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office announced Friday. Deputies searched 12229 Brandon Ave. on a narcotics warrant and found 43 grams of methamphetamine, 19 tablets of alprazolam, 17 tablets of codeine and a small quantity… Continue reading →

Livingston Parish leaders strike compromise on dividing $1 million surplus on parish roads and Juban Road extension

Advocate staff photos -- From left: Livingston Parish President Layton Ricks, Livingston Parish Council member Ricky Goff.

Parish leaders struck a compromise Thursday on the use of surplus road funds, dedicating $250,000 to the Juban Road extension project with three times more to be allocated by the end of the year. The Parish Council voted unanimously, after little discussion, to dedicate a quarter of the $1 million in surplus… Continue reading →

Former Port Vincent village clerk accused of stealing $16,000 in fines and fees

Brandi Deaton

A former clerk stole at least $16,000 in public funds while working for the village of Port Vincent, the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office confirmed Thursday. Brandi Deaton, 29, of Denham Springs, surrendered last week and faces one count each of felony theft, injuring public records, and malfeasance in office, according to a news release. Deaton… Continue reading →

Cleaner waterways and better flood protection could be coming to Livingston Parish via BP disaster penalties

Livingston Parish officials hope to use more than half a million dollars in coastal restoration funds to clean out a slew of waterways, repair a public boat launch and buy two sandbagging machines. The money flows from a portion of Clean Water Act penalties against BP stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. The… Continue reading →

Teen named SADD Student of the Year

Susan Lynch

Susan Lynch, of Denham Springs, has been named the 2015-16 Livingston Parish Students Against Destructive Decisions Student of the Year. She will be the teen spokesperson for the organization and will represent her peers on Livingston Parish SADD’s board of directors, a news release said. “Susan was chosen for her dedication and commitment to the… Continue reading →

School Board OKs gym expansion

Student musicians at Southside Junior High will have a new $558,000 practice space thanks to a gym expansion. The school uses the gym for events such as assemblies, School Board member Buddy Mincey explained. But as the student body grows, the school will have trouble fitting all of the students inside. Officials decided to build out… Continue reading →

Hundreds make the ride in Tangipahoa bike tour

Advocate photo by VIC COUVILLION -- Glen Achord, of Gonzales, Bennie Flores, of Pride, and Thomas Sugg, of Baton Rouge, members of Team Geaux Race, are poised to begin the 60-mile Tour de Tangipahoa Bicycle Ride on Saturday. A large number of cyclists are members of clubs that ride together at events such as the Tour de Tangipahoa.

Hundreds of cyclists clad in brightly colored, multi-hued outfits streaked out of the parking lot at the University Center on the Southeastern Louisiana University campus early Saturday signaling the start of the 23rd annual Tour de Tangipahoa Bicycle Ride sponsored by the Hammond Kiwanis Club. The early group of riders faced a challenging… Continue reading →

Around Livingston for Sept. 24, 2015

Taffy Morrison, a representative with Well-Ahead Louisiana, will be the guest speaker at the Livingston Parish Human Services Coalition’s September meeting at 10:30 a.m. Monday. Morrison will explain how small choices toward wellness allow people the opportunity for balance. The meeting is at North Oaks Medical Complex, 17199 Spring Ranch… Continue reading →

Sports Roundup for Sept. 24, 2015

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Headshot of new columnist Scott Hotard.

Entering his first season as the Walker High head coach, Brandon Lawley made a surprising personnel decision when he moved last year’s offensive coordinator — himself — to the defensive side of the ball. Lawley knew the Wildcats had to fix a defense that gave up 48 points per game during a winless 2014 campaign, and he… Continue reading →

Yellow Jackets hit the road with drum and bugle corps

Photo provided by ELisa Richard -- Denham Springs High School band students Jensen Granier, left, and Vincent Ton participated in the Louisiana Stars Drum and Bugle Corps in Lafayette this summer.

Two Denham Springs High School band students challenged themselves during the summer by participating in the Lafayette-based Louisiana Stars Drum and Bugle Corps. Vincent Ton and Jensen Granier traveled to Lafayette on weekends and during a summer camp for intense practices and took part in a competition schedule that brought them to other states… Continue reading →

Hammond school teaches character education

Annaleigh Rowle

Hammond Eastside Magnet School students are being taught integrity, confidence and curiosity in learning, focusing on a different attribute from the “Learner Profile” each week. At the end of the week, teachers give a “shout-out” to students and colleagues who have demonstrated excellence with the attribute. The attribute for Aug. 10-14 was caring. Students and teachers recognized… Continue reading →

Surf’s Up for class of second-graders

Photo provided by Melanie Johnston -- Surf's up -- Independence Elementary School's 'Surf’s Up' class announced Sept. 3 is made up of, front row from left, Dinah Nunez, Carlos Fonseca-Martinez, Brennon Willman, Chaselyn Bean, Markieyo Flowers, Jayden Lee and Jessica Martinez; middle row, Kendall Woolridge, Danijah Ruffin, Ti'kara Lee, Christian Milton, Jaylan James, Shelbriyonna Miles, Roy Jackson, Juanfernando Contreras and Keylan Cooper; and back row, Jordin Robinson, Alejandro Hernandez, Robert Carr, teacher Todd Arceneaux, Osvaldo Razo, Je'nyra Stevenson and Kendall Perkins.

Independence Elementary School announced its new “Surf’s Up” class Sept. 3. Todd Arceneaux’s second-grade class has been following all of the FISH Philosophy expectations: be there, participate, choose a positive attitude and make someone’s day, a news release said. This year’s theme at the school is BEACH: brilliant, educated, awesome, caring heroes.… Continue reading →