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Interim police chief named for Denham Springs; consulting firm to help with daily ops

Paul Scott Jones

Holden High hoopsters are lauded by board

– The Livingston Parish School Board recently congratulated the Holden High School girls basketball team for their state championship win. Superintendent John Watson said he knew the 2015-16 team was going to be one to watch after a conversation with head coach Pam Forbes during a parish tournament. “I asked, ‘Well, how’s your… Continue reading →

Childhood pastime gets adult attention

Advocate photo by Vic Couvillion --  Connie ship, left, manager of the Albany-Springfield Branch of the Livingston Parish Library System helps colorist Anette Goynes of Holden select pencils from a wide variety of colors that  Anette will use on her design. The library supplies designs and color pencils, liquid and gel markers for the coloring sessions.

On the third Wednesday of every month at 10 a.m., a small group gathers at the Albany-Springfield Branch of the Livingston Parish Library System to pursue what was once considered strictly a childhood pastime but is now an adult craze: coloring. At the latest session on April 20, the devoted colorists sat around… Continue reading →

Authors share tale of Hammond’s origins

Advocate photo by Vic Couvillion -- Jason Thompson, who has been discovering native American artifacts in Tangipahoa and Livingston Parishes for several years, explains the importance of an approximately 3000-year-old artifact to Jennifer Bankston Buras at the Annual Spring Meeting of the Southeast Louisiana Historical Association held recently. Looking on is Jasons wife, Lauren Cavis Thompson.

Members of the Southeast Louisiana Historical Association and their guests gathered for the group’s Annual Spring Meeting on April 20 were taken on a pictorial trip through Hammond’s first 50 years of existence by authors who recently published a history of the city through the “Images of America” series. The group,… Continue reading →

Around Livingston for April 28, 2016

Photo provided by Emma James-Wilson -- Tonya McMichael, Raegan Sanchez, Leeann Sanchez and Evie McMichael, from left, look over donated items at the Albany-Springfield Branch of Livingston Parish Library’s annual Free Garage Sale on April 24.

A Free Garage Sale at the Denham Springs-Walker Branch of Livingston Parish Library gets underway at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Sale hours end at 2:30 p.m. Donations can be dropped off through Friday. You don’t have to donate to get items. Clothing, anything with a strong odor, large furniture or broken items will… Continue reading →

Scott Hotard: Live Oak to face Pineville Friday in tourney

Advocate staff photo by  APRIL BUFFINGTON --   Live Oak's Savannah Hall pitched a four-hitter with no walks as the Eagles beat Central March 17 at Live Oak Sports Park. The Eagles are playing in the Fast Fitch 56 state tournament.

The Live Oak softball team suffered a heartbreaking one-run loss last season to fall one win shy of a return to the Fast Pitch 56 state tournament. This year, the Eagles punched their ticket to Sulphur in emphatic fashion. Senior Savannah Hall crushed a grand slam in the third inning to finish a 15-0 mercy-rule win… Continue reading →

Livingston Parish libraries recognize patrons

Photo provided by Emma James-Wilson -- Dressed up as book characters to celebrate National Library Workers Day on April 12 are, front from left, Kellye Ray, Rachel Bergin and Cassidy Storey; and back, Melissa Verrett, Amanda Blanton, Jenny Connor, Megan Butler, Ellen Albert, Sally Herring and Branch Manager Felecia West. All are from the Denham Springs-Walker Branch of Livingston Parish Library. Children who guessed their book character’s identity correctly won a prize.

During National Library Week, celebrated April 10-16, Livingston Parish Library asked patrons at all five branches: “How has your library transformed you?” Crafts, events and prizes for adults, children and teens were highlighted during the week’s activities, under the theme “Libraries Transform.” “Livingston Parish Library looks forward to celebrating National Library Week annually, to reflect… Continue reading →

Walker cheerleaders earn trip

Photo provided by Margaret Westmoreland -- Sponsor Shannon Babin and Walker High School cheerleaders Reyna Lejeune, Victoria Williams and Lauren Meades, from left, at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital’s Target House in Memphis, Tennessee.

Cheerleaders from Walker High School placed fourth nationally in Varsity’s Team Up for St. Jude, a fundraising competition that took place over the past school year, according to a news release. The cheerleaders raised nearly $4,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The top 10 squads in the nation received an all-expenses paid trip April… Continue reading →

LSMSA ensemble members place at state assessment

Photo provided by Crystal Evans -- Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts mixed ensemble members include, front from left, Veronica Jimenez, Kathy Barrios, Emma Jochim, Genesis Lambert and Carrie Thomas; middle, Alese Jones, Sarah Green, Kamryn Chauncy, Tamika Simpson, Shona McCullough, Bethany Jenkins, Alyssa Kinchen and Al Benner, director of the mixed ensemble; and back, Marcos Cecchini, Jamin Kidd, Mitchell Metzger, Ian Sager and John Robken.

Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts mixed ensemble members earned an overall superior rating for performance and a superior rating for sight reading at state assessment for the second year in a row. Local members include juniors Marcos Cecchini, Alyssa Kinchen and Carrie Thomas and senior Emma Jochim, all of Denham Springs.… Continue reading →

Classroom Spotlight: Seventh Ward Elementary School in Denham Springs

Photo provided by Delia Taylor -- Nicole McElroy’s fifth-grade class at Seventh Ward Elementary School in Denham Springs includes, front from left, Summer Poole, Victoria Frederic, Issabella Johnson, Emma Cecchini, Hannah Ozuna, Cayden Sloan, Riley Rothman and Chloe McBride; middle, Lucas Roberts, Matthew Shaw, Talon Graves, Lagoon Yin Goung, Joseph Dale, Tyler Childres, Michael Shaw, Royce Schexsnayder, Micah Harrison and Aaron Guitrau; and back, Jalaysia Haynes, Jude Gilmore, Conner Doss, Tray Broussard, Cade Baker, Lawson Fillingame and Malaysia Scott.

The Advocate’s Spotlight Classroom this week is Nicole McElroy’s fifth-grade class at Seventh Ward Elementary School in Denham Springs. The students were asked: If you could have a superpower, what would it be? CADE BAKER: “If I could have a superpower, it would definitely be telekinesis. I could levitate, move… Continue reading →

Denham Springs fest offers crafts, games

Rain or shine, the Denham Springs Antique Village Spring Festival returns Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the historic Antique Village of Denham Springs along Range Avenue. The popular one-day festival is free to the public and includes free parking. It features arts and crafts, children’s activities, rides and games, live stage entertainment, military exhibits,… Continue reading →

Children’s Choir to present ‘Space Odyssey’

Livingston Parish Children’s Choir Dinner Theatre will present “3001: A Space Odyssey” July 14-16 at Central High School. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the buffet dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. “3001: A Space Odyssey” is written and directed by Dinah Toups, is set aboard a spaceship filled with stowaways, spies, movie stars, cosplayers and… Continue reading →

Applications open for SLU’s summer writing project

Applications are being accepted for participation in the Southeastern Louisiana Writing Project’s Invitational Summer Institute in Teaching Writing. SLWP is one of the sites for the National Writing Project, which has offered the institutes since 1992 through Southeastern Louisiana University. Summer Institute Fellows from across all curricula and grade levels come together in a comfortable… Continue reading →

SLU dance company to hold auditions

Southeastern Louisiana University’s resident student dance company, Dance Performance Project, will hold auditions for Southeastern students and community dancers May 6-7 for an upcoming dance concert. Called “Bayourella: A Story of Forgiveness,” the fall event, will be directed by dance instructor Skip Costa. Selected choreographers are Haley Morgan and Joe Matherne, Baton Rouge; Lindsy Brown, El Paso,… Continue reading →

Record group competes in annual Amite skeet shoot

Photo provided by Samuel C. Hyde Jr. -- Winners in the 13th annual Sam Hyde Sr. Youth Skeet Shoot, from left, are Senior Division champion Andrew Hyde, Junior Division runner-up Brandon Leyrer, Senior Division runner up Clay Hyde, Novice Division champion Brad Frieze, and Junior Division champion Christy Cornwell.

Thirty-eight shooters competed in the 13th annual Sam Hyde Sr. Youth Skeet Shoot at the Skeet Club in Amite on April 16. It was the largest group to compete in the annual event, organizer Samuel C. Hyde Jr. said in a news release. The Novice Division, designed for first-time shooters, included some of the… Continue reading →

Holy Ghost Catholic School to present Mother Seton Award

Anna Doan

Holy Ghost Catholic School in Hammond has named Anna Doan as the 2015-16 recipient of the Mother Seton Award, established by the Diocese of Baton Rouge in 1986 in honor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. Seton was a wife, mother and educator who established a school for girls in the United States that became the start of… Continue reading →

Holy Ghost raises nearly $1,300 for autism

Photo provided by Cindy Wagner -- Gathered at Holy Ghost Catholic School in honor of Autism Awareness Month are, front from left, Tyler Phelps, Juliette LeRay and Luc LeRay; and back, teacher Laura Ulloa, National Junior Honor Society officers Amelia Pham, Travis Settoon, Myles Naquin, Cameron Dionne, Laken Neal and Jacie Bellina and teacher Carley Walker.

Holy Ghost Catholic School in Hammond celebrated Autism Awareness Month on April 15 with a fundraiser to benefit school’s the Class for Autism. Students donated a minimum of $2 to wear blue shirts, socks, accessories and other gear. Nearly $1,300 was raised. National Junior Honor Society Secretary Juliette LeRay presented the idea to NJHS members and… Continue reading →

Tangipahoa Parish president speaks at All Pro Dads event

Photo provided by Linda Faller Joiner -- Winners of door prizes at the recent All Pro Dads breakfast at Hammond Westside Magnet School include, front from left, Shaw Holley, Sawyer Holley, Tristan Gill, Blaise Luneau and Maria Fernonda; middle, Aaja Keys, Terran Perry Jr., Robert Russell, Canaan Holley and Aweri Keme; and back, Gabrielle Cooper.

Tangipahoa Parish President Robby Miller was the guest speaker at the most recent All Pro Dads breakfast at Hammond Westside Montessori School. Miller congratulated the parents and grandparents in attendance for being involved in their children’s lives and listened to the parents tell the audience why they were proud of their children. “You all are doing… Continue reading →

Walker Elementary students honored for original writing

Students from Walker Elementary School were among winners honored at the Capital Area Reading Council’s Young Authors Awards Program on April 13. The program was hosted by LSU Laboratory School. All student winners received a certificate and a copy of the anthology in which their original work was published. Teachers of the student winners also were… Continue reading →

Ponchatoula Kiwanis to hold first Fall Fest

The Ponchatoula Kiwanis will host its first Fall Festival and BBQ Competition Oct. 7-9 in Ponchatoula Memorial Park, 301 N. Sixth St. The family-friendly festival will feature carnival rides, games, a petting zoo, live music, food and refreshments while more than 50 local and national cooking teams from throughout the South compete for more than $5,000 in prize… Continue reading →

Honors bestowed on SLU students

Residents of Livingston and Tangipahoa parishes were among students honored at Southeastern Louisiana University’s annual academic convocation, sponsored by the College of Business, on April 21. Honorees include Casey Shelton, of Walker, distinguished graduate in marketing; Andrea Villarreal, of Hammond and a native of Mexico, distinguished graduate in finance; and Gabriela Pacheco Molina, of Hammond and a… Continue reading →

Students honored at SLU convocation

The College of Education at Southeastern Louisiana University honored students from Livingston and Tangipahoa parishes at its honors convocation April 21. Honorees included Quinley Arceneaux, of Denham Springs, nominee for outstanding elementary education student teacher ; Tara Hymel, of Denham Springs, outstanding graduate in music education; and Alexandra Niel, of Ponchatoula, outstanding graduate in English education.… Continue reading →

Council on Aging menus for April 28-May 5, 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 moon pie. Chicken salad sandwich on whole-wheat bread,… Continue reading →

Livingston Parish Prison bookings for April 13-20, 2016

The following people were booked into the Livingston Parish prison from April 13 through April 20: CRAWFORD, ERICA: 31, 30841 Lilac St., Denham Springs, theft, possession of Schedule III controlled dangerous substance, possession Schedule I other than marijuana or synthetic. GRANADE, SAMANTHA M.: 29, 7953 Violet St., Denham Springs, hold for court. HALL,… Continue reading →

Livingston Parish employee accused of driving drunk in parish truck last week resigned Monday

A Livingston Parish employee accused of driving drunk and wrecking a parish truck resigned Monday at the parish president’s request. Parish President Layton Ricks said Shevis Ball, who was arrested last week on counts of DWI and careless operation after wrecking a parish-owned truck near his home in Watson, resigned before a scheduled hearing at which… Continue reading →

Livingston Parish councilman wants allegedly drunk employee who wrecked parish truck fired

Livingston parish truck wrecked by a parish employee accused of drunk-driving

As Livingston Parish officials await the release of a crash report and damage estimate following the arrest of a parish employee on a count of drunken driving in a parish vehicle, one councilman is calling for the employee’s immediate termination. State Police arrested Shevis Ball, 49, of Denham Springs, on counts of DWI and… Continue reading →

Denham Springs’ former chief of police, captain give notice they will appeal their firings over handling of domestic violence case

Scott Jones; Steve Kistler

Former Denham Springs Police Chief Paul “Scott” Jones and his second-in-command plan to appeal their terminations, officials said Wednesday. Jones, through his attorney, notified the city’s Civil Service Board that he will challenge the City Council’s April 7 decision to fire him over the Police Department’s handling of a domestic violence case involving… Continue reading →

Livingston Parish government worker wrecks parish truck, accused of DWI early Tuesday, State Police report

A Livingston Parish government employee was placed on paid administrative leave following his arrest early Tuesday morning on a count of drunken driving while in a parish vehicle, officials said. State Police arrested Shevis Ball, 49, of Denham Springs, about 1:30 a.m., after Ball wrecked the truck in a single-vehicle crash on La. 16, south of… Continue reading →

Juban Crossing finances yet to be audited, but bigger question: Who monitors these districts?

Advocate staff file photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Juban Crossing Shopping Center on Juban Road near Denham Springs as seen in July 2015.

Nearly a year after Juban Crossing’s first state-mandated audit report was due, the development district has hired an outside accountant to review its past two years’ worth of finances. The belated contracts have raised questions about how such development districts are monitored and who bears responsibility for their financial reporting. Development districts… Continue reading →

4-H clubs honored at awards ceremony

Photo provided by Christy Sorenson -- A highlight of the Livingston Parish 4-H Achievement Day was the presentation of Overall Club Awards in six divisions. Award winners, from left, were Camille Comish, Holden Elementary; Ava Barker, South Live Oak Elementary; Brianna Chaney, North Corbin Jr. High; Shelby Forbes, Holden Jr./Sr.; Gerard Keel, Doyle Elementary; and Matthew Seguin, Walker High School.

Approximately 1,000 laughing and cheering students representing 43 schools from throughout Livingston Parish gathered in the gym at Walker High School Friday for the annual 4-H Achievement Day, which recognized successes realized by the clubs and individual members throughout the past year. Students in 4-H clubs from the fourth through 12th grade had… Continue reading →

Officials raising funds for good Samaritan

Photo provided -- Denham Springs Mayor Gerard Landry, left, presents Gordon Simoneaux, right, with a certificate of appreciation in recognition of Simoneaux's help in capturing a suspect who tried to take an officer's gun during a struggle on March 12.

Denham Springs officials are raising funds for a good Samaritan who risked his life, broke his ankle and lost his job after helping an officer capture a suspect who tried to take the officer’s gun. Mayor Gerard Landry said Officer Halie Alexander was responding to a disturbance call at an area hotel on March 12, when… Continue reading →

Biddy Basketball team honored for win

— Walker officials recently honored the members of the city’s Biddy Basketball team, which claimed a world championship earlier this month. In a brief meeting on April 11, Mayor Rick Ramsey and the City Council presented certificates and a special city pin to the 9- and 10-year-old team members for their title win in… Continue reading →

Sports Roundup for April 21, 2016

Advocate staff photo by  APRIL BUFFINGTON --   Live Oak's pitcher Savannah Hall pitches against Central during the District 4-5A game on Thursday night at Live Oak Sports Park.

Walker baseball coach Randy Sandifer didn’t expect anyone to flirt with a perfect 10-0 record in District 4-5A this season, much less his own team. Yet the Wildcats were off to an 8-0 start in the district as they entered the final week of the regular season, needing only one more win to clinch at least a… Continue reading →

Classroom Spotlight: North Corbin Elementary School in Walker

Photo provided by Delia Taylor -- Christy Boston’s first grade class at North Corbin Elementary School in Walker includes, front from left, Chris Devall, Tyler Scott, Paul Ganucheau, Colt Collins and Kayden Turberville; middle, Skylar Lewis, Jolie Mitchell, Parker Pusch, Devin Gilliland, Isabella Boyd, Taylor Peel, Marissa Nummerdor and and Brelee Powell; and back, Gavin Richard, Delinda Downing, Kila Light, Kadie McLin, Brynlee Guillot, Boston, Angelina Rowland, Abigayle Krumholt, Hayden Cranford, Dawson Stuart and Ayden Kersey. Not pictured is Tyler Whisman.

The Advocate’s Spotlight Classroom this week is Christy Boston’s first-grade class at North Corbin Elementary School in Walker. The students were asked: What is your favorite thing to do when the weather is warm? ISABELLA BOYD: “I like going to the movie theater. I like going to Pensacola Beach. I… Continue reading →

Annie Award winners honored at luncheon

Photo provided -- The 2016 Annie Award winners stand with Greater Hammond Chamber of Commerce and Tangi Lifestyles representatives as well as guest speaker, Lauren LeBlanc with Fleurty Girl, during a recent awards' luncheon. Pictured, from left, are Chamber President and CEO Melissa Bordelon, Chamber Chairman Brian Shirey, Bernadette Kemp, Kim Howes Zabbia, LeBlanc, Alexis Ducorbier, Susan T. Courtney, Tamara Danel and Tangi Lifestyles Editor/Owner Darrelyn Moore.

More than 170 people turned out to honor the five 2016 Annie Award winners during a recent luncheon in Hammond. The winners were selected by the Greater Hammond Chamber of Commerce and Tangi Lifestyles Magazine for “their excellence in their respective fields and for their true servant’s heart for the community,” a news release said.… Continue reading →

SLU fraternity chapter nabs top award

Epsilon Phi Chapter of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity at Southeastern Louisiana University has received the Hugh Shields Flag, presented to the top 10 chapters across the United States. The Shields flag is the highest award the national fraternity can bestow upon a chapter and is based on overall performance and programming in the areas of academics, finances,… Continue reading →

Denham Springs student earns first-place state win

Photo provided by Crystal Evans -- Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts students attending the FBLA State Leadership Conference on April 3-5 in Lafayette, first row from left, are Aryiana Moore and Justin Blanchard; second row, Jacob Harrison, Sam Crochet and Eli Langley; third row, Dale Campo, Hayden Scott, Maya Bochas and Timothy Shertzer; and fourth row, Marcus Shallow, Tori Laviolette, Connor Elsea and Shrey Mishra.

A Denham Springs student is one of five from the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts who qualified for national competition during the FBLA State Leadership Conference April 3-5 at the Lafayette Convention Center and Cajundome in Lafayette. The National Leadership Conference will be June 29-July 2 in Atlanta. Connor Elsea, a senior from… Continue reading →

Denham Springs tennis teams face highs, lows

Photo provided by Addie Barnes-- Denham Spring High School's Cassidy Ainsworth defeats Emille Ferguson of Dutchtown High during a recent three-hour match, 5-7, 7-5, 10-7.

The Denham Springs High School girls tennis team beat Dutchtown High and lost to Baton Rouge High during recent matches. The Denham Springs girls won 5-0 over Dutchtown and lost 1-5 to Baton Rouge High School. In the April 6 match against Dutchtown, Cassidy Ainsworth and Jessica Hoover won… Continue reading →