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Pam’s Party Line: Baton Rouge, proud to call it home

Advocate staff photo by PAM BORDELON --- Philanthropy awards --- Honored for their philanthropic efforts at the National Philanthropy Day awards luncheon are, from left, Brett LeBlanc with Price LeBlanc Automotive Family, Sarah Dupree with the Cinderella Project, Layne McDaniel with Credit Bureau of Baton Rouge Foundation, Debbie Kidder Little, Damian Calato, Shelton Jones with the Cinderella Project, and Darrin Goss Sr. and Stevie Toups with Capital Area United Way.

I often reflect on the generosity of Baton Rouge and its residents. Over the past few weeks, several events have brought that generosity to the forefront in this place we proudly call home. What better way to celebrate National Philanthropy Day than to recognize some of our local… Continue reading →

Patricia Gannon: I’ll drink to that

Ginger and Jim Roy

Southerners have had it rough in recent months, and now the sipping whiskey’s running low. Numerous distillers have warned their supplies may not be able to meet society’s sudden appetite for bourbon. Buffalo Trace, in particular, spoke for all when it declared, “We’re making more bourbon everyday, more than we have in the last 40 years. Still,… Continue reading →

Human Condition: These scouts surely knew their stuff

Several years ago, I had just finished a Sheetrock and painting job and was waiting for the owner to pay me. It was summer and just beginning to turn dark. The owner was talking to two well-built athletic types in gym shorts and LSU shirts — not unusual as we were in Baton Rouge. The owner, A.J.,… Continue reading →

Guitar ensemble sets Dec. 1 fall concert

The Southeastern Guitar Ensemble, directed by instructor Patrick Kerber, will perform its fall concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1, in Pottle Auditorium in Hammond. The free program will feature music for guitar duo, guitar trio, guitar with trumpet, two guitars and voice and the full ensemble of 10 guitars. “This will be… Continue reading →

FW Gallery artists showcased at Shaw

Photo provided by FW Gallery -- Sarah Wiseman's 'Light on Tower'

FW Gallery is partnering with the Shaw Center for the Arts, 100 Lafayette St., to showcase FW artists. The gallery will bring a selection of works from its roster of accomplished artists to the first- and fourth-floor public spaces. The shows will open with a reception from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4. In… Continue reading →

Community invited to raise voices for Handel’s ‘Messiah’ ‘sing-in’

Photo provided by TERRY R. BOWMAN -- About 200 local residents have shown up in past years to take part in the 'Messiah Sing-In' at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, which has room for about 300. Everyone is invited to join the Dec. 6 event.

2 There’s nothing that proclaims the joy of Christmas more than the “Hallelujah Chorus” of Handel’s “Messiah.” That’s why the community is invited to a free “Messiah Sing-In” and to become the choir at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. The audience/choir will accompany some outstanding local soloists… Continue reading →

Patricia Gannon: Just Desserts

Ed Abell, Buddy Webb

The League of Women Voters recognized those who have made contributions to the League’s mission and policy positions. Given their “just deserts” at a swanky Petroleum Club reception were Earl Picard, Safeguarding Democracy Award; Nick Pugh, Improving the Quality of Education Award; Celeste White, Increasing Community Dialogue Award; Melinda Taylor, Mobilizing People to Take Action Award,… Continue reading →

Pam's Party Line: Time for holiday get-togethers

Photo provided by EILEEN KENNEDY --- Avant Garde --- Celebrating the renewal of the Ladies of The Society Avant Garde Baton Rouge Chapter's partnership with McKinley Middle Magnet School at an Oct. 30 breakfast are, front from left, Sandra Hall, Eileen Kennedy, Chaplain Janifer Peters, President Beverly Wade, Honeywood Smith, Millie Williams and Vice President Joyce O'Rourke; and, back, McKinley arts coordinator Marie Flowers and Principal Sean Joffrion.

Tomorrow is the start of the holiday season, and I hope you and yours have a very Happy Thanksgiving. After you’ve filled up on turkey and all the trimmings, take a few minutes to count your blessings. Then get out your calendar and mark a few dates for some upcoming holiday events.… Continue reading →

Common Ground: Getting into the science of it all

Science fair experiments have turned my dining room into a mad scientist lab cluttered with my children’s papers, glue sticks, buzzers, tape, rotten apple slices and some gooey gelatin residue. During science fair week, hundreds of students are putting their hypotheses to the test with experiments. When it’s all over, we parents are just… Continue reading →

Can video games help youngsters lose weight?

Photo provided by Pennington Biomedical Research Center -- Pennington Biomedical Research Center exercise coaches Matthew Abboud, left, and Chelsea Chabreck play active video games on the Xbox Kinect gaming system. Both coaches participate in the Game Squad study, which researches whether active games can help kids lose weight.

To stay healthy, kids might not have to press pause on their video game habits. Playing active video games that encourage dancing and low-intensity activity may actually help overweight and obese kids lose weight, according to researchers at Baton Rouge’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center. One in five American children is obese, according to the federal… Continue reading →

Health briefs for Nov. 23, 2015

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Ready with antlers and elf ears to run in the 2014 Reindeer Run and Jingle Bell Jog, Kristi Aubrey and husband David Aubrey watch a musical performance at last year's Festival of Lights.This year's event starts at 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4 in downtown Baton Rouge.

WHAT: Susan G. Komen Baton Rouge is accepting grant applications for projects in the areas of breast health and breast cancer education, outreach, screening, treatment and support services DETAILS: To qualify, organizations must be a 501(c) (3) nonprofit or local government agency providing services to one or more of the following parishes: Ascension,… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A: Is trouble sleeping a side effect from chemo?

I have recently started chemo treatment for cancer and find I am having trouble sleeping. Is this a side effect from the chemo? According to the National Cancer Institute, a person with cancer may experience sleep disorders because of physical illness, pain, treatment medication, effects of tumor growth (like night sweats, headaches or constipation), hospital stays… Continue reading →

New C.C. Lockwood book focuses on Louisiana’s Nature Conservancy sites

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Nature photographer C.C. Lockwood gets ready to snap an alligator at Lake Martin, one of many Nature Conservancy properties featured in his latest book, 'Louisiana Wild.'

Some day, C.C. Lockwood may run out of things to photograph in his adopted state. “Louisiana Wild” is the latest reason to be glad he hasn’t, yet. The acclaimed nature photographer’s wandering eye isn’t limited to the state’s boundaries, but since arriving at LSU from Fort Smith, Arkansas, in the late 1960s, he has developed a… Continue reading →

New Orleans bartender works fast on TLC’s ‘90 Day Fiancé’

Photo provided by TLC -- Bajaree 'Noon' Boonma and Kyle Huckabee embrace after he proposes marriage on an episode of  TLC's '90 Day Fiance.'

“Sometimes love happens by accident, when you least expect it. You can’t prepare for it, you can’t be ready. It just happens.” — Anonymous Kyle Huckabee was looking for a tour guide. He found a fiancée. The love story of the New Orleans bartender, 28, and Thailand native Bajaree “Noon” Boonma,… Continue reading →

Danny Heitman’s “At Random”: On holiday, give thanks for life itself

Kindergartner Riley Rushing nibbles on a rice and marshmallow treat made in the shape of a turkey drumstick as she and her classmates dress as Pilgrims and Indians to celebrate Thanksgiving in their classroom in Soldier Creek Elementary  School in Midwest City, Okla., on Wednesday, Nov. 24,  2015. (Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman/via AP)

If Thanksgiving is America’s culinary Super Bowl — an event hyped for days, then unfolded as an annual spectacle — it seems that those of us who live in south Louisiana must rank as national champs. We are, after all, perhaps better than other Americans at the art of the feast — the meal so mythically grand… Continue reading →

Pam's Party Line: Celebrating community

Advocate staff photo by PAM BORDELON --- Volunteer Activists --- At the Emerge Center's Volunteer Activists luncheon are, from left, luncheon Co-chairwoman Melissa Blake with honorees Nick Speyrer, Charles Freeburgh, Linda and McCleish Dawkins, Crissie Head Landry and Kevin Knobloch.

We celebrated those who give of their time and talents and local artists. We dined in the dark and raised money to spread a little sunshine. All in all, just a typical week in Red Stick. More than 400 family members, friends and supporters of the Emerge Center… Continue reading →

SLU to present new take on old Russian folktale

The musical drama “The Soldier’s Story” will be presented at Southeastern Louisiana University at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 23, in the Pottle Music Recital Hall on campus. Admission is free. “The Soldier’s Story” is an updated and reimagined musical drama based on Igor Stravinsky’s “L’Histoire du Soldat,” a Russian folktale. In the original… Continue reading →

Check this week's arts calendar: Nov. 22-29

Here’s what’s happening in the area arts and cultural scene: James Alexander and the Nicholls State University Camerata, a student string orchestra, will perform at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 29, at the Julien Poydras Museum and Arts Center, 500 W. Main St., New Roads. Free admission. Also, a Christmas bonfire will follow the New Roads… Continue reading →

Human Condition: Look at your roof to see the scope of your blessings

Roof. It’s such a simple word. For virtually everyone reading my words on this Sunday before Thanksgiving, the word “roof” might not have any special meaning. For me, during the past several months, each time I walk into our home I can’t help but notice our roof. For me on this Thanksgiving, I am… Continue reading →

LSU announces tenor Groves as artist-in-residence

Paul Groves

The LSU College of Music & Dramatic Arts has announced the appointment of tenor Paul Groves as the artist-in-residence in the LSU School of Music beginning in the 2016 spring semester. Groves will work with voice students in private coaching and public master classes during the semester, and he will give a public performance on campus each… Continue reading →

Lion finds way back to ‘L e Souvenir’ cover

Photo provided by Southeastern Louisiana University -- A lion drawn by Jeffery Lynn Kirk, a decorated veteran and the deceased son and brother of Southeastern Louisiana University alumni, adorns the cover of the 2015 student yearbook.

Southeastern Louisiana University’s 2015 edition of “Le Souvenir,” the university’s student yearbook, holds special meaning for a family with strong Southeastern ties. As the deadline to turn in artwork for the 2015 yearbook approached, editor Fernanda Chagas couldn’t find a graphic of SLU’s mascot, a lion, for the cover. “We haven’t had a lion… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge area book events for Nov. 21-28

INTRODUCTION TO EREADERS: 4-6 p.m., EBR Bluebonnet Regional Branch Library, Meeting Room 2, 9200 Bluebonnet Blvd. A beginner’s class showing how to use an eReader and the library’s databases, which contain free audio and ebooks and how to access them. Bring your eReader (iPad, Nook, Kindle, smartphone) to class. A script for various eReaders… Continue reading →

Center for Louisiana Studies displays rare archival works

SLU Public Information Office photo by RANDY BERGERON -- Southeastern graduate assistant Nicholas Heyd, of Covington. examines one of the rare books in an exhibit sponsored by the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies on the third floor of the Sims Memorial Library. With him are graduate student Megan Arledge, of Walker, and Faith Allen, a sophomore from Ponchatoula.

A new exhibit showcasing rare books and documents from Southeastern Louisiana University’s archives and other sources has opened in Sims Memorial Library on the Hammond campus. Housed in the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies on the library’s third floor, the exhibit was curated by the center’s student workers and will remain open in the viewing area at… Continue reading →

Patricia Gannon: ’Twas the night before Thanksgiving

Lynn and Mike Crochet, Tish and Don Johnson

Often in society I get more than I give, and it’s become my custom to acknowledge the souls I meet whose comments have kept me going throughout the year. Unknown, they step forward out of nowhere, introduce themselves, and never fail to make work worthwhile. Like the nurse in pink at the gala for the working uninsured… Continue reading →

Baptist students host LSU internationals for dinner for special Thanksgiving

Photo by MARK H. HUNTER -- LSU international students, from left, Angi Wang, Eli Roblero, George Zhao and Xiao Guang-En, show their approval and empty plates at the Thanksgiving dinner at the Baptist Collegiate Ministry at LSU.

For most Americans, Thanksgiving means turkey dinner with more side dishes than there is room on the table. But some of LSU’s international students got their first taste of the traditional meal Monday evening at the Baptist Collegiate Ministry. Thanksgiving turkey was not the only item on the menu, said Sarah Farley, the… Continue reading →

Chanukah celebration planned at State Capitol

Chabad of Baton Rouge will host a Chanukah celebration on Dec. 6, the fist night of Chanukah on the steps of the State Capitol. Hot latkes, chocolate gelt, soufganiyot (traditional jelly doughnuts) children’s activities, along with the lighting of the city’s largest menorah, are scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. and go until 6 p.m. The… Continue reading →

Centenary College Choir to visit south Louisiana

The Centenary College Choir takes its 2015-2016 program, “It’s About Time!,” on the road to south Louisiana Nov. 21-22. On Saturday, Nov. 21, the choir will perform at 7 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 2200 Rue Denise, Hammond. The concert is sponsored by FUMC Hammond, FUMC Ponchatoula and Well UMC Ponchatoula. On Sunday, Nov. 22,… Continue reading →

'Every piece ... is a story': Home's imaginative furnishings a tribute to woman's collecting skills, good luck

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Debra Breaux is a thrifty collector, finding her leather sofa at St. Vincent de Paul, her collection of framed botanicals from a 50-cent calendar and crafting her end table from a $2  decorative suitcase she bought at Albertson's.

Debra Breaux’s well-trained eyes are peeled as she drives around the area looking for garage sales and treasures by the side of the road. And a tour of her Westminster home is a testament to her expert collecting skills and a dose of good luck. Breaux’s thrifty collecting has been both a pleasure and… Continue reading →

SU Ag Center hosts annual Fall Gardening Workshop

The Southern University Ag Center is holding its third annual Fall Gardening Workshop on Tuesday, Nov. 24. Registration for the event, which is free and includes a healthy lunch, will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the program starts at 9 a.m. inside A.O. Williams Hall at the SU Ag Center. Topics for this year’s workshop… Continue reading →

Garden news: Leslie Ann camellia named latest Super Plant

Photo by ALLEN OWINGS, LSU AgCenter -- Leslie Ann camellia is a proven winner for area landscapes and has been named a Louisiana Super Plant.

It’s the season of camellias, one of our popular evergreen shrubs. We typically think of azaleas for spring flowers, crape myrtles for summer flowers and camellias for fall and winter flowers in Louisiana. Leslie Ann camellia is a great choice and the latest LSU AgCenter Louisiana Super Plant selection for 2015. It’s a longtime proven… Continue reading →