Community News

‘Stonewall’ Jackson topic for Waddill UDC

Nola Labat spoke about Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson when the Joanna Waddill Chapter 294, United Daughters of the Confederacy, met Jan. 13.

Jackson graduated 17th in a class of 59 from West Point in 1846 and became professor of artillery tactics and natural philosophy at Virginia Military Institute. Jackson was wounded by friendly fire at the Battle of Chancellorsville in 1863. His left arm was amputated, and he died of pneumonia eight days later.

Frankie Platte read a poem, “Robert Lee,” by the Rev. Abram Ryan. For information on the UDC, call Jan, (225) 342-7455.

BR Philharmonic hears ‘American Passages’

Soprano Rose Mary Williams and mezzo soprano Rita Lovett sang a program titled “American Passages” for the Philharmonic Club of Baton Rouge on Jan. 15 at Kay Hawthorne’s home.

Their all-American selections were Samuel Barber’s “Must the Winter Come So Soon” sung by Lovett and Victor Herbert’s “Indian Summer” sung by Williams. Marianne Parker was piano accompanist. Assisting hostess chair Lorice Say were Janelle Couvillon and Gail Kinney.

LSU Botanic Gardens celebrates Arbor Day

More than 700 visitors attended the Arbor Day celebration on Jan. 18 at the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens.

Visitors were allowed to plant trees in Burden Woods as part of an effort to replace damage from Hurricane Gustav in 2008. Each person who planted a tree was given GPS coordinates so they will be able to return to the tree to mark its growth.

“We had 380 trees to plant this year,” said Botanic Gardens Director Jeff Kuehny. “This will give us a total of about 1,000 trees planted in Burden Woods over the four years since we’ve started the Arbor Day program.”

Visitors were offered tree seedlings to plant at home. The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry provided the seedlings. The Burden Horticulture Society and other community volunteers helped visitors in planting trees and other activities, which included a 5-K trail hike, scavenger hunt, the Junior League of Baton Rouge-sponsored StoryTime for children, lumberjack demonstrations by LSU Forestry students (led by Cornelius De Hoop, LSU AgCenter associate professor, Louisiana Forest Products Development Center) and children’s tree climbing.

Sponsors were Entergy, Crosby Land & Resources, Bancorp South Insurance Services/Wright & Percy Insurance, Bofinger’s Tree Service, Louisiana Association of Conservation Districts and Slaughter Logging. Other supporters were Acadian Ambulance, Arborgen — Richard O. Barham Supertree Nursery, Associated Grocers, Baton Rouge Green, Britton & Koontz Bank, Community Coffee Company, ExC!TE, Junior League of Baton Rouge, Louisiana Forestry Association, Weyerhaeuser and Whole Foods Market.

Chronologically Gifted learn about exercise

Physical therapist Richard O’Quinn demonstrated exercises for balance and stronger muscles when the Chronologically Gifted and Talented met Jan. 22 at Broadmoor Presbyterian Church’s Naylor Hall.

O’Quinn, a home health nurse for 17 years, said 30 percent of those age 65 and older do not survive a hip fracture, and 50 percent of those 80 and older do not survive one.

The group stood behind chairs to try simple balance exercises, like standing on one leg for at least six seconds. He demonstrated exercises to strengthen ankles, calves, feet, neck and shoulder. The key is to keep moving, no matter what the exercise, how much or how little, he said. Exercise with caution, and if something is painful, stop it immediately.

E.J. McCune coordinated the event, which included a catered lunch. Tom Conlin of Central Physical Therapy was a guest.

Six students graduate from dyslexia program

Central Masonic Lodge 442 held a graduation ceremony on Jan. 26 for six graduate of its dyslexia program: Joseph Bergeron, Kimarah Collins, Sarah Dupré, Michael Toney, Beau Villarreal and Céphas Nicholas. The students spoke on how they have improved since starting the program. The guest speaker was Hunter Gerald, who is a graduate of the lodge’s first class, and is now a college graduate and businessman.

Worshipful Master Luther Perkins and other members prepared a meal for the 103 in attendance. Grand Lodge officers attending were Deputy Grand Master Earl Duran, District Deputy Grand Master Ben Melanson for the 13th Masonic District and 2005 Grand Master Harold Ballard. Ted Powell, chairman of Central Lodge Dyslexia Committee; Ronald Bailey, worshipful master of Trinity Union Lodge 372; Duran and Ballard presented each student with certificates, trophies and cash rewards.

Ballard presented the class teacher, Cindy Kahao, a cash award from Central Lodge.

Capital Area CASA elects officers, board

The Capital Area CASA Association has announced new board members and officers: Chair David Faulk, Vice Chair Deborah Lamb, Secretary Christine Lipsey and Treasurer Katie Ruiz.

New board members are Reginald Brown, Shirley Lewis, Patricia Manetsch and Robert Woosley. CASA also welcomes Roy Hebert and Mary Thompson, who served previous terms. Returning members are Kimberly Bardell, Tanie Bush, Heather Cross, Todd Denton, Tracy Evans, Jessica James, Chris McGhee, Holly Sides, Karen Sirman, Michelle St. Martin and Brandi Williams.

The organization has been awarded certification by the National CASA Association, which recognizes that Capital Area CASA is in compliance with National CASA’s standards for quality child advocacy.

CASA volunteers speak up for abused and neglected children in need of safe, permanent homes. Community volunteers are needed in order for CASA to provide an advocate for every child who needs one. For orientation dates and more information about becoming a CASA volunteer, call (225) 379-8598, visit or email

Three local children win fire prevention contest

Children from Westdale Heights Magnet Elementary School, Parkview Baptist School and St. Luke’s Episcopal School won the local 2014 Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl Poster Contest sponsored by the Baton Rouge Garden Club. This is part of a campaign to educate the public on wildfire prevention and other environmental issues. Sponsors are the National Garden Clubs and the U.S. Forest Service.

Winners were, second grade, Camille Piner, Westdale, daughter of Andy and Britney Piner; third grade, Rainey-Estelle Harrison, Parkview, daughter of Susanne Harrison and Mark Mesteyer; and, fourth grade, Caroline Pinsonat, St. Luke’s, daughter of Kevin and Gail Pinsonat.

An award ceremony was held Jan. 26 at the Baton Rouge Garden Center with gifts from the Baton Rouge Garden Club, Raising Cane’s and the Louisiana Department of Forestry. Willie Allen was emcee. Associate Commissioner of Agriculture and State Forester Wade Dubea spoke and Smokey Bear made special guest appearance.

Local winners will compete at the state level, with winners to be announced at the Louisiana Garden Club Federation convention in March.

Arts Council of GBR receives $50,000 grant

The Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge has received a $50,000 grant from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation to develop a pilot program with the Old South Baton Rouge community. The effort, Creative Industries Corps, will provide training and artistic development opportunities for the region’s film, video and media arts activities.

In partnership with the Louisiana International Film Festival, the Arts Council will implement a multi-part creative and industry training program for Greater Baton Rouge young people, with a focus on residents and students in Old South Baton Rouge.

The last few years have seen the Louisiana film and media production industry grow, but the local workforce has not been able to keep pace. The Louisiana International Film Festival, and its mentorship program, hope to serve as a central reference for the state and film production to provide trained people for this industry. This new initiative, the Creative Industries Corps, will begin development in early 2014 and launch in full with the Louisiana International Film Festival in May.

Area contestants place in Little Miss World

Several area contestants placed in the 2014 Our Little Miss World’s Universal Beauty Scholarship Competition Jan. 16-21, in San Marcos, Texas. Hundreds of contestants from the United States and other countries competed.

All age divisions competed in Close-up Appraisal, Sportswear, Team OLM/Playtime with the Judges and Party Dress/Evening Gown. Contestants were judged on poise, stage presence, facial beauty and ability to answer questions. Area competitors included:

Rylee Vickry, Baton Rouge, World’s Universal Beauty Top 10 finalist, 2013 Louisiana’s Universal Beauty State Queen (7-9 years); Anna Claire Reily, Baton Rouge, fourth alternate overall, World’s Universal Beauty Top 10 finalist (7-9 years); Maggie Milstead, Baton Rouge, 2014 World’s Universal Beauty Miss Personality, 2013 Louisiana’s Universal Beauty State Queen (13-17 years), Livin’ Doll first alternate (15-17 years); Layna Baker, Baker, 2014 World’s Universal Beauty Miss Personality, 2013 Louisiana’s Universal Beauty State Queen (10-12 years); Natalie Rabalais, Cottonport, 2014 World’s Universal Beauty (0-2 years); Addison Plauché, Plaucheville, World’s Universal Beauty 3-6 Top 10 finalist, ProAm Modeling Sweepstakes qualifier; Livin’ Doll first alternate (3-4 years), 2013 Louisiana’s Baby Petite State Queen (0-2 years), 2013 Louisiana’s Universal Beauty Miss Personality (3-6 years); Natalie Reed, Moreauville, 2014 World’s Universal Beauty Miss Personality, 2013 Louisiana’s Universal Beauty Mini Queen (3-6 years); M’kalia Meyers, New Iberia, 2014 World’s Universal Beauty Mini Queen, Livin’ Doll first alternate (7-9 years); and Amanda Gordon, Covington, 2014 World’s Universal Beauty semifinalist, 2012 Louisiana Universal Beauty State Queen (10-12 years).

Wooders completes Army basic training

Army National Guard Pvt. Tyler M. Wooders has graduated from basic infantry training at Fort Benning, Columbus, Ga. He is the son of Timothy and Kecla Wooders, of Baton Rouge, and is a 2013 graduate of Glen Oaks High School.

Linton graduates from Army basic training

Air Force Airman 1st Class Jacob D. Linton graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas. Linton is the son of Karen Linton, of The Woodlands, Texas, and Patrick Linton, of Baton Rouge, and is a 2013 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, Conroe, Texas.

View all Community News photos here.

Compiled by Advocate staff writer George Morris. The “Community” column runs every Tuesday and Friday in The Advocate. Items should be submitted to “Community,” Advocate eatplaylive section, P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821, or emailed to Events should be submitted in a timely fashion. By submitting photos to The Advocate, you agree that they can be published in any of The Advocate’s print or digital publications.