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Japanese garden brings solace to Prairieville couple

Advocate staff photo by ANGELA MAJOR -- A focal point of Lisa and Quinn Rainwater's Japanese-style garden is a stream that cascades into a shallow pool surrounded by rocks and plants.

Lisa Harrison Rainwater turned to nature and art after the sudden illness and death of her 25-year-old son, her only child, in October 2009. In her grief, she transformed a small rock garden in a front corner of her backyard into a complete Japanese-style garden and her Prairieville home into a studio and gallery for… Continue reading →

Garden News: Low-hanging branches also cause problems

Provided photo -- Although low-hanging branches may not be touching the roof under normal conditions, the high winds of violent storms or hurricanes can cause trees to bend and branches to flail around considerably. These branches can cause extensive dam

Most of us are aware that dead limbs and branches, as well as weak trees themselves, pose a threat to roofs during hurricanes and other storms. But even low-hanging branches can cause problems. Although low-hanging branches may not be touching the roof under normal conditions, the high winds of violent storms or hurricanes can cause trees to… Continue reading →

Community column for Aug. 22, 2014

Photo provided by FRANCES SIMS -- Excalibur Club -- The Excalibur Club honored Matthew Wallace on Aug. 8 at the Baton Rouge Marriott Hotel for his volunteer work for the March of Dimes. Frankie Robertson, local March of Dimes director, spoke about Wallace's contributions and the work of her organization. Shown are, from left, Excalibur member Polly Williams, Robertson, Wallace and Excalibur President John Sanford.

Iota Master Chapter holds ice cream social Iota Master Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi held summer social Aug. 9 at Dearman’s Soda Shop. Cheryl Foster and Nancy McGraw were event hosts, and 18 members and guests attended. Essie Mongeau received a patriotic quilt from her secret sister. Members… Continue reading →

Volunteer column for Aug. 22, 2014

Volunteer opportunities, provided by Capital Area United Way, are outlined in this column every Friday. To learn more about these opportunities please contact the listed agency directly. EVERYBODY READS, Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS) — Tony Pryer (225) 226-4703 or VIPS is seeking volunteers. Each year, over 1,600 Pre-K-2nd-grade students,… Continue reading →

Cool and simple, a great sandwich can fit the bill

National Sandwich Month is being celebrated this month, which seems like an appropriate time to honor the humble sandwich. Still too hot to want to turn on the oven, August calls for cool, easy-to-make weeknight meals. But, the start of after-school activities also requires a need for filling supper choices. Sandwiches — and salads, too —… Continue reading →

Pam’s Party Line for Aug. 20, 2014

At the Baton Rouge Area Leadership class of 2015 announcement breakfast are, from left, Baton Rouge Area Chamber CEO Adam Knapp, Metro Councilwoman Ronnie Edwards, Wendy Gaudet, Metro Councilman Trae Welch, Allyson D’Aquin, Erin Monroe Wesley and Gordon Bell.

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber announced its Baton Rouge Area Leadership class of 2015 at a breakfast Aug. 11 at the Crowne Plaza. The 37 members represent several areas of the Capital Region’s business, civic and nonprofit communities. They include: David Baxter, Sparkhound; Gordon Bell, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana; Ryan Chenevert,… Continue reading →

New Salvation Army directors ready to march

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Captains Brett and Mary Meredith are the new directors of the local Salvation Army, and a lot of their plans involved expanding programs for children. They ended a week of activities with a pizza party for local kids at their Brookstown Drive location, Friday, August 1.

Having been Salvation Army officers for 12 years, and volunteers long before that, Brett and Mary Meredith know well the public perception of this evangelical Christian ministry. Most of that perception involves Christmas fundraising and homeless outreaches. “I think it is very incomplete,” Brett Meredith said. “I think most people see the bells, see the kettles, they… Continue reading →

Patricia Gannon: Bread and ‘Jam’

Lee Koch,J.P.and Michelle MacFadyen

Who beat this guy, anyway? Former NBC’s “The Voice” competitor Lee Koch stopped in Lafayette for a visit with Great Harvest owners Michelle and J.P. MacFadyen, plus a little live performance. The singer-songwriter met the couple two years ago when they traveled to California, they hit it off and the rest is history. Koch actually goes back even further… Continue reading →

Common Ground: Sidelined star just fine with Coach Mom

Following my son’s sports physical exam this month, the doctor gave our 9-year-old a bit of crushing news. “You cannot play football right now,” the doctor told him. My son’s eyes filled with tears. He’d already told his uncles, cousins and friends that he was playing an offensive position in tackle football and traveling with… Continue reading →

Community News, Aug. 19, 2014

Photo provided by ANNABELLE ARMSTRONG -- Broadmoor Presbyterian Women -- Patricia Freshney is the fourth Broadmoor Presbyterian Church member to receive an honorary life membership in the national Presbyterian Women. At the pie and ice cream social on July 29 are, from left, incoming Moderator Emily McCune, Freshney, outgoing Moderator Virginia Holloway and the Rev. Lee Allen.

Freshney selected honorary life member Patricia Freshney received an honorary life membership in the national Presbyterian Women at the Broadmoor Presbyterian Church’s annual pie and ice cream social on July 29. She is the fourth member from the church so honored. Freshney has written monthly devotionals for women’s Bible study groups since 2007 and been a church member since… Continue reading →

Bone marrow donors needed

Advocate staff photo by KYLE PEVETO -- Sally-Ann Roberts, an anchor at WWL-TV in New Orleans, says more bone marrow donors are needed nationwide. Roberts gave life-saving bone marrow to her sister, Good Morning America's Robin Roberts.

Learning that she could help save the life of her sister was one of Sally-Ann Roberts’ proudest moments. Her sister, Good Morning America co-host and television personality Robin Roberts, needed a bone marrow transplant in 2012. Luckily, Sally-Ann Roberts was a match. “It was the most exhilarating, rewarding experience of my life,” said Sally-Ann Roberts,… Continue reading →

‘Eating America’ experiences wine and food

Photo provided by Food Network -- Hosts Anthony Anderson speaks with guests Greg Sonnier and Trent Verges at the New Orleans Food & Wine Experience.

While shooting “Eating America” this summer, actor and foodie Anthony Anderson landed in a familiar place, New Orleans. The Los Angeles native is host for the eight-episode Food Network series, which travels to a different food festival each episode to sample the region’s specialties and meet the people behind them. Anderson lived in New… Continue reading →

At Random: Technology builds bridges on travels

As I’ve been reminded this summer while rereading “Mornings on Horseback,” President Theodore Roosevelt’s enthusiasm for travel was a family tradition. David McCullough’s book about Roosevelt’s youth mentions that Roosevelt’s uncle, Robert Roosevelt, had some passionate opinions about travel, too. Don’t focus on the scenery when you leave home, Robert suggested in 1851. Going somewhere else,… Continue reading →

Where does one sign up for ‘how not to panic’ lessons?

Louisiana is a state where water sports abound, but, surprisingly, many of us who live here do not know how to swim. Because we realize the importance of learning this skill, swimming lessons were always a summertime activity. My friend Dotty came with me to lessons because I needed moral support. But, unfortunately, she shared aquaphobic behavior… Continue reading →

About Town for Aug. 17, 2014

WHAT: Financial fitness seminar WHEN: 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21 WHERE: Scotlandville Branch Library, 7373 Scenic Highway, Baton Rouge INFORMATION: Email Gwen at DETAILS: The Baton Rouge Chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants is holding the seminar, which is free and open to the public. The seminar will include information… Continue reading →

Pam's Party Line for Aug. 17, 2014

Last week was quiet until we got to the weekend, with two events on Saturday night and one on Sunday. And, what they all were! Centennial Celebration Peggy and Charles Coates were tripping the light fantastic to the sounds of Ned Fasullo & the Big Band Orchestra when I arrived at the Renaissance Hotel for the Centennial Celebration Gala of the Louisiana… Continue reading →

Alpha Kappa Alpha to present 17 debutantes

Sydné D'Les Barard

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Nu Gamma Omega Chapter, will present 17 debutantes Aug. 17 during a Rites of Passage Ceremony at the Lyceum. The young women will be formally presented to society March 28 at a debutante ball. The debutantes are Sydné D’Les Barard, daughter of Nicole and Brandon S. Barard; Cara DaLaune Blunt, daughter… Continue reading →

Les Jeunes Amies to honor 14 at tea

Caroline Olivè Bradford

Fourteen senior members of Les Jeunes Amies de la Symphonie will be presented during the Baton Rouge Symphony League’s Bal de la Symphonie on Nov. 29 at the Crowne Plaza. These young women are the guests of honor Aug. 17 for the Les Jeunes Amie Fall Tea at the Baton Rouge Country Club. This service organization… Continue reading →

Arts Calendar for Aug. 17, 2014

Here’s what’s happening in the local arts and cultural scene: ■ Auditions for new male and female company member of the Cangelosi Dance Project will be noon Sunday, Aug. 24, at the Cangelosi Dance Project space, 3749 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge. Dancers should be age 18 and older for the five-month rehearsal and performance schedule. Professional… Continue reading →

BR Mormon missionaries get new leaders for next three years

Photo by MARK H. HUNTER --  The new President of the Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Reed H. Hansen and his wife, Mary Anne Hansen, look over a map of the area where they are overseeing more than 180 missionaries. The couple, from Boise, Idaho, will be in Baton Rouge for the next three years.

You’ve seen them riding their bikes or even talked to them after they knocked on your door, a pair of clean-cut young men wearing white shirts and ties or modestly-dressed young women who introduce themselves as “elder” or “sister.” They are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and more than 180… Continue reading →

Theologian to speak on role of activism

Author Matthew Fox, a spiritual theologian and Episcopal priest, will speak Aug. 22 and 23 at the Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge, 8470 Goodwood Blvd. Fox, who has authored more than 30 books, will speak from 7-9 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 22, on exploring spirituality that integrates contemplation with social justice, and blends spiritual practices from various… Continue reading →

Beauregard Town double updated to open floorplan

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Mary Catherine Johnson uses one whole side of her double shotgun house in Beauregard Town as a combination living room, dining room and kitchen.

Mary Catherine Johnson had never heard of Beauregard Town until her Realtor took her there to see a 1920s-vintage house. “I had rented forever, but my rent was going up,” said Johnson, 29. “I got lucky to find this little gem.” The double shotgun, which she purchased at the end of 2013, was… Continue reading →

Garden News: Now’s a good time to edit garden

Photo by DAN GILL  Even good-looking beds can hide problems. Look carefully to identify any plants that may not be performing and make notes for next year.

Now, in the heat of midsummer, is a good time to see which plants are well-adapted to your landscape and which may not make it. “Other than tropical plants, which we all know have problems with freezing temperatures, it is often the late-summer heat rather than the cold of winter that takes its toll here,” says LSU… Continue reading →

Volunteer column for Aug. 15, 2014

To learn more about these volunteer opportunities provided by Volunteer! United at Capital Area United Way, contact the listed agency directly. ACTIVITY VOLUNTEERS, Jefferson Manor — LaQuan Harvey, (225) 293-1434: Volunteers are needed to help with activities and interact with the residents of the nursing home. Volunteering opportunities include participating in crafts,… Continue reading →

Community column for Aug. 15, 2014

Photo provided by ASHANTI WITHERSPOON -- Miracle Place Toastmasters -- Miracle Place Toastmasters welcomed the Myers family into membership on Aug. 4 to perfect their speaking skills and develop those skills in their sons. Shown are, from left, seated, Helen Myers, Joshua Myers, Gabe Myers, Treasurer Kariea McCanst; standing, George Myers, David Young, Tommie King, President Carey Emerson, Tyrone Johnson and Ashanti Witherspoon. Miracle Place Toastmasters meets at 6:30 p.m. Mondays at 2080 Main St. in Baker. For information, call Emerson, (225) 400-2868.

Communications, IT staffs earn ACE awards Nine faculty and staff from the LSU AgCenter Communications and Information Technology departments received awards at the 2014 International Association for Communication Excellence annual conference in June in Portland, Oregon. Awards went to four communications faculty: Frankie Gould, director, ACE Professional Award; Tobie Blanchard, associate… Continue reading →

Bites of History: In savory, sweet dishes, vanilla bean’s flavor anything but boring

Photo by Cynthia L. Nobles  --  A dash of vanilla adds a sweet note to Seared Scallops With Lemon Vanilla Sauce.

When it comes to flavoring desserts, nothing is used more than that little brown bottle of vanilla extract almost all of us have in our cupboards. But did you realize that, next to saffron, vanilla is the second most expensive spice in the world? The reason for its high cost is the vanilla bean’s complicated growing process. And… Continue reading →

USS KIDD will close for TV shoot next week

CBS’ new show, “NCIS: New Orleans,” will film aboard the USS KIDD next week, KIDD Executive Director Alex Juan said in a news release Wednesday. The KIDD destroyer and adjacent Veterans Museum will be closed to the public from Monday until Friday for the TV shoot and ongoing inventory of all museum and ship artifacts.… Continue reading →

Join Alice and all her pals in Playmakers update of classic

Advocate staff photo by ANGELA MAJOR -- Members of the chorus dance during Playmakers of Baton Rouge's rehearsal for its upcoming production of 'Alice in Wonderland' at the Reilly Theatre.

Welcome to Wonderland, where Cheshire Cats smile, Mad Hatters offer odd riddles, caterpillars rap and a playing card rules as queen. Revathi Menon will bring it all together in her first leading role when Playmakers of Baton Rouge opens “Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Jr.” on Friday, Aug. 15, in the Reilly Theatre. Opening night will… Continue reading →

Pam’s Party Line for Aug. 13, 2014

Photo provided by LAUREN MICHAUD --- 'Eyes on the Ties' --- At a July 31 get-together where members of Quota International of Baton Rouge presented The Emerge Center with proceeds from its 'Eyes on the Ties' gala last March are, from left, Emerge Center board President Jean-Paul Perrault, event co-chairwoman Bobbie Carey, Quota President Sharon Weston Broome, Emerge Center Executive Director Melissa Juneau and event co-chairwoman and Emerge Center board member Camilla Ford.

School’s back in session, football is a mere kickoff away and the party calendar is starting to fill up. Tomorrow night is the American Cancer Society’s Celebrity Waiter event at Mestizo’s as well as the Baton Rouge Blues Foundation Gala at the Capitol Park Museum. Friday night you again have two choices: travel to paradise with… Continue reading →

Common Ground: Summer ends with a splash

My family bypassed this summer’s water park crowds, speed slides, extreme rides and wave pools for something much more relaxing and off the beaten path. In our quest to find a kid-friendly park in a quiet area, a cousin coaxed us into taking a last-minute before back-to-school day trip to an 80-acre, freshwater lake and aqua park… Continue reading →

LPB Summerfest brings variety of entertainment

From Chubby Checker to Pavarotti, musical programming fills Louisiana Public Broadcasting’s Summerfest membership campaign, which runs through Aug. 24. All of the money raised during the campaign is used to purchase and create the programming which airs throughout the year on the six-channel LPB network. Thirteen-year-old musical prodigy Ethan Bortnick takes the stage at 7… Continue reading →

Patricia Gannon: Lynne performs in Lafayette

Ben Tyrrell, Charon and Frankie Harris

Lynne performs in Lafayette Frank and Tony Productions presented Shelby Lynne in concert at the Vermilionville Performance Center. A dressy-casual crowd turned out to hear the Alabama singer-songwriter play somethin’ country, including Tony Morrow, Rebecca Comeaux, Frankie and Charon Harris, and Steve and Monica Boutte. “This is our 15th show and… Continue reading →