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Live Oak Sports Complex, Holden Fire Department want voters to approve tax renewals

Voters in areas of Livingston Parish will face two tax renewals in the Dec. 6 election to determine whether to keep funding Holden firefighters and the Live Oak Sports Complex. Parks and Recreation District 2 is asking voters to continue collecting 15 mills in the district to help maintain and improve the district’s facilities, board… Continue reading →

Sheriff: dice game led to shooting injuries in Hammond

An “unresolved dice game” led to the shooting injuries of two people Monday afternoon on Quick Boulevard, the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday. Multiple shots were fired into a crowd gathered at a home at 13016 Quick Blvd., where deputies found gun shell casings near the front door of the residence,… Continue reading →

Sheriff kicks off Christmas Crusade

Advocate staff photo by ARTHUR D. LAUCK -- Lt. Lance Landry, of the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office, plays with Michael and Alicia Plauche's dog, Santa, while delivering Christmas gifts for their children in 2012. The Sheriff's Office's Christmas Crusade, has helped more than 30,000 children have a brighter Christmas, officials said.

Livingston Parish sheriff’s deputies will play Santa Claus again this year when they deliver toys to underprivileged children. On Saturday, the department will kick off its 27th annual Sheriff Jason Ard’s Christmas Crusade by collecting donations of money and new toys. “We have underprivileged kids who wouldn’t have a Christmas without this program,” Sheriff… Continue reading →

Foster recaps highlights of 12 years as mayor

Photo provided by MEGAN MOSHER -- Outgoing Mayor Mayson Foster and Mayor-elect Pete Panepinto with members of the Hammond Chamber of Commerce. Pictured from left are Chamber President and CEO Chris Brannon,Treasurer Lacy Landrum, Foster, Chamber Chairman Donna Taylor and Panepinto.

It was a bittersweet moment for outgoing Mayor Mayson Foster as college and city officials and friends bade him well and reminisced about his 12-year tenure with the city. “I have mixed emotions,” Foster said about leaving his post as Hammond’s mayor. “Many people asked if I wish they would have changed the… Continue reading →

Seize the Beauty Pageant held at Walker High

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Kaley Wascom, 15, of Livingston, smiles as she is crowned Queen Deb Miss by 2013 Teen Miss Julie Hall, 18, during the 2014 Seize the Beauty Pageant, Saturday at Walker Freshman High School. All proceeds benefit the Kathleen 'Kat' Bailey scholarship given at Walker High School each year. Bailey was a 2007 Walker High Alumni who passed away at age 19 due to a fatal seizure.

The 2014 Seize the Beauty Pageant was held Nov. 22 at Walker Freshman High School. All proceeds benefit the Kathleen ‘Kat’ Bailey scholarship given at Walker High School each year. Bailey was a 2007 Walker High Alumni who passed away at age 19 due to a fatal seizure.… Continue reading →

Around Livingston for Nov. 27, 2014

Tickets are now on sale for the Holiday Chef’s Evening and Wine Tasting from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 4 in the Denham Springs Antiques & Arts Village. Local restaurants, caterers and wine servers will set up in downtown shops and serve their food and wine samples to ticket holders. Tickets can be purchased at Old City… Continue reading →

Counselor leads anti-bully activities during October

Photo provided by LINDA FALLER JOINER -- Students, faculty and staff members unite against bullying Oct. 22 at Hammond Westside Elementary Montessori School. Those wearing orange to show they are united against bullying, first row from left, are Justtin Merrick, Earryuna Lewis, Leah Sanders, Gamara Earlycutt, Michael Floyd-Stanley, Omari Jackson and Miracle Varnado; and second row, Madison Jackson, Darius Kimble, Damayis Perkins, Nina Gordon, Braylin Michelli, Connor Lacoste, Jamirian Sims, Manyri Webre, Kevin Barnett and Beth Soniat.

Dr. Teresa Perry, a guidance counselor for Hammond Westside Elementary Montessori School, taught students how to avoid bullying and how they can respond effectively to bullying last month. Perry, who promoted October’s Bullying Awareness Month throughout the school, arranged for students from each grade level to include tips to prevent bullying during each morning announcement, a… Continue reading →

Livingston-Tangipahoa pets available for Nov. 27, 2014

Photo provided -- Wendy is a young adult, female beagle mix.

Pets are available at the Denham Springs Animal Shelter, 600 Bowman St., in Denham Springs. The shelter is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. seven days a week. The shelter accepts donations of newspapers, food and animal supplies. Call (225) 664-4472 or (225) 788-3101. Visit denhamspringsanimalshelter. Pets also are available at Tangipahoa Parish Animal Control,… Continue reading →

Options sees off ‘dedicated’ retirees from cleaning crew

Photo provided by CHRISTIE GARDINER -- Chris Drolla, left, and his nephew Jonathan Delmer show off the Saints cake that was on display at a retirement party at Southeastern Louisiana University.

October marked the long-awaited retirement for four Options participants, Laurie, Jeff and Amanda Fletcher and Chris Drolla. All four had been working on the cleaning crew at Southeastern Louisiana University’s Teacher Education Center at the time of their retirement, a news release from Options said. Drolla has worked with Options since 1985 and has worked more than… Continue reading →

Auto organization gives through golf fundraiser

Photo provided by CHRISTIE GARDINER -- John and Georgianne Poteet, of Louisianas First Choice Auto Auction, present Options CEO Sylvia Bush with a $3,000 check from their Golf Tournament Fundraiser. From left are John Poteet, Louisianas First Choice Auto Auction owner;  Bush; and Georgianne Poteet, Louisianas First Choice Auto Auction owner.

Louisiana’s First Choice Auto Auction raised $3,000 for Options through its fifth annual Charity Golf Tournament at Lakewood Golf Club in New Orleans. Proceeds from the event also benefited two other nonprofit agencies, a news release from Options said. “The auction owners, John and Georgianne Poteet, spread good will wherever they go and set a phenomenal example… Continue reading →

Ponchatoula hosts day for small businesses

The Ponchatoula Chamber of Commerce will host Small Business Saturday this week. Small Business Saturday reminds residents to purchase merchandise from small, locally owned and operated shops and businesses. Ponchatoula offers an array of specialty items, ranging from antiques, to hand-embroidered linens, to hand-fired pottery, to farm tools. The aim of the day is to present… Continue reading →

Applications open for Ponchatoula parade

Santa Claus is coming to Ponchatoula. The annual Ponchatoula Christmas parade will be at 5 p.m. Dec. 13, and the Ponchatoula Chamber of Commerce is now taking applications for marching groups, churches and organizations. The theme of this year’s parade is “Cartoon Characters on Parade.” The parade will line up at Ponchatoula Memorial Park, travel east… Continue reading →

‘Louisiana Mermaid’ to promote La. tourism

Photo provided by MICHELLE JESTER -- Louisiana 'Mermaid' Venessa Lewis

The Denham Springs-based “Louisiana Mermaid” signed a deal this month with the Livingston Parish Convention and Visitor’s Bureau to promote tourism and recreational waterways in the parish with her unique “hook,” — a swimmable, realistic fish tail, a news release from the Livingston Parish Convention and Visitor’s Bureau said. The “Louisiana Mermaid,” also known as Venessa Lewis,… Continue reading →

Livingston Parish calendar for Nov. 27-Dec. 4, 2014

Livingston parish library closed CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Denham Springs Antique Village Christmas Open House, Mattie St., Denham Springs. The event will feature photos with Santa Claus, hot chocolate and cookies and shopping. CHRISTMAS CRUSADE DONATIONS: Donate unwrapped gifts for needy children through Sheriff Jason Ard’s… Continue reading →

Livingston-Tangipahoa Council on Aging for Nov. 27-Dec. 4, 2014

LIVINGSTON PARISH COUNCIL ON AGING AND TANGIPAHOA VOLUNTARY COUNCIL ON AGING: Meal site menus. (For more meal site locations, please call (225) 664-9343 in Livingston Parish or (985) 748-7486 in Tangipahoa Parish.) Closed for holiday. Italian herb chicken breast, broccoli and cauliflower, candied sweet potatoes, white bread,… Continue reading →

Legal bills mounting, Livingston Parish Council decides to continue battle with engineering firm

A vote to settle an ongoing legal dispute with Livingston Parish’s former road engineering firm failed Monday night, with some Parish Council members saying the case needs to be heard by a judge. The vote was 6-3 against settlement, with council members Joan Landry, Sonya Collins and Ricky Goff casting the only votes… Continue reading →

Dispute settlement talks shelved when quorum fails to show up for special Livingston Parish Council meeting

An attempt to settle a dispute between Livingston Parish and its former road engineering firm was delayed again Thursday when the Parish Council canceled a special meeting due to a lack of a quorum. The discussion will be taken up instead in an executive session during Monday night’s regular council meeting, the council’s clerk said… Continue reading →

Independence man accused of raping four-year-old child

Joseph Underwood

Tangipahoa deputies have arrested an Independence man accused of raping and molesting a 4-year-old. Joseph Underwood, 61, was taken into custody Wednesday after a parent of the victim contacted authorities, said Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Dawn Panepinto. Underwood, an acquaintance of the child’s family, admitted in a polygraph interview to being sexually aroused by the child, according… Continue reading →

Settlement possible in Livingston road dispute

Livingston Parish appears once again on the verge of a possible settlement of a legal dispute with its former road engineering firm. The Parish Council called a special meeting for 6 p.m. Thursday to discuss in executive session a pair of lawsuits between the parish and Alvin Fairburn & Associates. The dispute began in 2012 after the… Continue reading →

Hammond garbage pick-up fees rise slightly

City residents will pay a slightly higher rate for solid waste and recyclables pickup under a new contract approved by the City Council on Tuesday. The council agreed unanimously to authorize Mayor Mayson Foster to enter into an agreement with Progressive Waste, of Independence, to serve as the city’s solid waste collection company… Continue reading →

Tangipahoa Parish School Board looks to desegregation plan

Tangipahoa Parish school officials agreed Tuesday to an action plan for complying with the parish’s desegregation orders for student assignment, infrastructure, long-term financing and teacher employment. The School Board did not discuss the plan publicly Tuesday night, after spending more than an hour in executive session hammering out the details, but… Continue reading →

Two set in runoff for Denham Springs council seat

Photos provided -- Denham Springs City Council elections will end in a Dec. 6 runoff between Republican Chris Davis, left, or party-unaffiliated Julie Dyason-Norris.

Denham Springs City Council elections will end in a Dec. 6 runoff between a challenger who owns a business in the city and an incumbent whose sole term has won him praise from the outgoing mayor but was marred by a drunken driving arrest. Four of the council’s five at-large seats were filled during November’s election.… Continue reading →

Library festival celebrates more than just books

Advocate staff photo by ANGELA MAJOR -- Books from Cavalier House Books are on display Saturday during the Livingston Parish Library's second annual Book Festival at the Livingston Parish Library.

Guests at the Main Branch of the Livingston Parish Library were greeted with a carnival atmosphere Saturday, a contradiction to the traditional quiet atmosphere. However, this wasn’t a typical Saturday. Livingston Parish residents attended the second annual Livingston Parish Library system Book Festival.… Continue reading →

Albany High School meets the press

Advocate staff photo by CHRISTINE MORGAN -- Staff writers at 'The Buzz,' first row from left, are editor Harley Bourgeois, Dana Hudson, Luke Callahan, Keri Disedare, Elizabeth Blackburn, Jacob Pettigrew, Haley Banks, Emily Anthony, Savannah Woodward, Margaret 'Neally' Kent and Tyler Updyke; and second row, Breanna Carver, Rebekah Graef, Tanner Frazier, Katrina Taylor, Dustin Spring, Joey Bates, Dakota Wild and Austin Tullier. Not pictured is Laytyn Addison.

Students at Albany High School believe they can improve communication among teachers, students and members of the community with a new school newspaper. Called “The Buzz,” the newspaper, which started last month, profiles students and teachers, details high school sports and features club news, said editor Harley Bourgeois, a student at the high… Continue reading →

Around Livingston for Nov. 20, 2014

Shady Bower Pentecostal Church, 13375 Galloway Gardens, Walker, invites senior citizens to a Thanksgiving luncheon at 11 a.m. Thursday. For information, call (225) 571-8793. Go Ministries will minister the Gospel of Jesus Christ with videos, skits, music and ministry at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. Sunday at Glory of God… Continue reading →

Livingston-Tangipahoa pets available for Nov. 20, 2014

Photo provided -- Priscilla is an adult female black Labrador mix.

Pets are available at the Denham Springs Animal Shelter, 600 Bowman St., in Denham Springs. The shelter is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. seven days a week. The shelter accepts donations of newspapers, food and animal supplies. Call (225) 664-4472 or (225) 788-3101. Visit denhamspringsanimalshelter. Pets also are available at Tangipahoa Parish Animal Control,… Continue reading →

French Settlement students tie hot rods to lessons

Photo provided by SHANEA BURNS -- Fifth-grade students at French Settlement Elementary School attend a car show as part of their curriculum. The students used the show to research topics, create an outline and draft a paper, school officials said.

Fifth-graders at French Settlement Elementary watched each classic car as they approached the Gerald Keller gymnasium parking lot during a car show Oct. 17. The students greeted car owners, examined their classic cars and admired the features of each car, a news release from the school said. National Street Rod Association state representative, Larry Teal, who brought… Continue reading →

University names Huss its Alumnus of the Year

Photo provided by RANDY BERGERON -- At the Alumni Awards Evening, Craig Huss, far right, retired vice president with the agricultural firm Archer Daniels Midland, was honored with the Alumnus of the Year Award. Also honored at the event as the Young Alumnus of the Year was James 'Jay' Prather III, of Ponchatoula, second from left, a 2005 graduate with a degree in biology. Congratulating them are President John L. Crain and Alumni Association Director Kathy Pittman.

Craig Huss, retired vice president with the agricultural firm Archer Daniels Midland, was honored with Southeastern Louisiana University’s Alumnus of the Year Award Oct. 17 during the university’s Homecoming Week, a news release from the university said. The Decatur, Illinois, native was recruited to attend Southeastern on a basketball scholarship, earning his bachelor’s degree in business administration… Continue reading →

Bolton joins Our Lady of the Lake clinic in Walker

Photo provided -- Dr. Jonell H. Bolton

Dr. Jonell H. Bolton has joined Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group’s Walker Clinic, 5000 O’Donovan Blvd., Suite 507. Bolton treats children of all ages and specializes in the evaluation and care of pediatric illnesses and minor injuries. She offers well-child visits, immunizations, preventive health care and school or sports physicals, a news release from Our… Continue reading →

Options participants help with garage sale

Photo provided by CHRISTIE GARDINER -- Gabrielle Miceli sets up items for a recent garage sale at First Christian Church in Hammond.

Options Enrichment Program participants dedicated their time to help First Christian Church set up for a garage sale Oct. 11 in Hammond. “I am happy to help the church organize, and we should all help each other,” Gabrielle Miceli said. Community involvement and volunteerism are founding principles of the Enrichment Program, Options officials said… Continue reading →

Volunteers needed to give children a voice

Child Advocacy Services in Livingston, Tangipahoa and St. Helena parishes and the Court Appointed Special Advocates program need volunteers to be the voice for children in the community who have been victims of abuse and neglect, a news release from CAS said. CASA is the only volunteer program that empowers everyday citizens as officers of the… Continue reading →

Live Oak High School celebrates homecoming with circus theme

“Welcome to the Big Top” was the theme Live Oak High School adopted for this year’s homecoming celebration Oct. 27-31. In honor of the school’s homecoming football game against Tara High School, Live Oak High School celebrated with many traditions and festivities, a news release from the school said. One of the school’s most-famed traditions is the… Continue reading →

Confederate training camp plans re-enactment event

Advocate photo by BRIANNA PACIORKA -- Reenactor Shawn 'Moose' Mefferd shows Zachary Onstatt, 2, the campsite's fire pit at the 2012 Camp Moore Historical Association's annual Civil War Living History Encampment and Reenactment in Tangipahoa.

The Camp Moore Historical Association will hold its annual Civil War Living History Encampment and Re-enactment Saturday and Sunday. Camp Moore was the largest Confederate training camp in Louisiana and the only one in the country still open to the public, a news release from Camp Moore said. Camp Moore features six acres of grounds, a… Continue reading →

Students drive to stop texting behind wheel

Photo provided by LAURA DUNLAP -- Cade Johnson, from left, Haley Johnson and Peyton Hubbard promote Celebrate My Drive campaign Oct. 21 at Seventh Ward Elementary's Fall Parent Night.

Denham Springs High School students Cade Johnson, Haley Johnson and Peyton Hubbard registered parents for the campaign sponsored by State Farm on Oct. 21. The campaign encourages teens to make positive choices as they start driving, a news release from the school said. Parents and teachers were asked to commit not to text while driving.… Continue reading →

Chamber of Commerce honors Foster

As Mayor Mayson Foster’s third term in Hammond’s highest office comes to a close, the Hammond Chamber of Commerce is celebrating him and his service during November’s general meeting starting at 11:30 a.m. Thursday on the third floor of the new Southeastern Student Union. Foster will speak at the meeting, discussing the many successes that have helped… Continue reading →

Livingston-Tangipahoa community photo gallery for Nov. 20, 2014

Photo provided by EMMA JAMES -- Livingston Parish Library hosts teddy bear picnic -- Head of Adult Services Sarah Colombo narrates a teddy bear-themed puppet show Oct. 20 during the Watson Branch of the Livingston Parish Library’s Teddy Bear Picnic. Children brought their favorite teddy bears to the event. They watched a puppet show, enjoyed snacks, sang songs and completed a craft.

The Livingston-Tangipahoa Advocate this week includes photos from local civic, community and school groups and highlights recent events around Livingston and Tangipahoa parishes.… Continue reading →

Livingston Parish calendar for Nov. 20-27, 2014

ARTS COUNCIL OF LIVINGSTON PARISH ART EXHIBIT AND SALE: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Art Gallery, 133 Hummell St., Denham Springs. The exhibit includes paintings, pottery, jewelry, blown glass, fiber art and books. Also Friday and Monday-Wednesday. THE WATSON LIBRARY TEEN: 5:30 p.m., Livingston Parish Library Watson Branch, 36581 Outback Road, Denham Springs. Anime Club… Continue reading →