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Woman found in St. Helena burned home identified Monday

A woman found dead in a burning house on Oct. 11 has been identified as 39-year-old Marsha Allen, St. Helena Parish Coroner Jimmie Varnado said Monday. The Sheriff’s Office suspects foul play, Chief of Detectives Joe Chaney said. On Monday, he declined to discuss specifics of the case, saying it was still under investigation by his… Continue reading →

Natalbany man flees after high speed chase, search continues, deputies say

A Natalbany man escaped capture after leading deputies on a high-speed chase that ended in a crash, according to the Tangipahoa Sheriff’s Office. Now authorities are asking the public for help bringing him in. On Saturday, deputies pulled over a blue Chevy Caprice on New Gennessee Road for a traffic violation, the Sheriff’s Office wrote… Continue reading →

Livingston School Board to advertise bonds to pay for major improvements in district

The Livingston Parish School Board moved a step closer Thursday night to issuing $25 million in bonds that will bring improvements to Walker schools. In May, school district voters approved a plan that increased property taxes by adding 16.83 mills to fund various projects, especially Walker High School’s vocational… Continue reading →

Tangipahoa Parish Council mulling over 2015 budget proposal

Sale offers deals for book lovers

Advocate staff photo by JOHN OUBRE -- Heather Ogden looks at the many  books displayed Saturday durnig the fall used book sale sponsored by Friends of the Livingston Library Systemat the Denham Springs branch library.

DENHAM SPRINGS — Several dozen book lovers lined up early Saturday at the Denham Springs-Walker Branch of the Livingston Parish Library awaiting the opening of the library’s doors for the fall used book sale sponsored by Friends of the Livingston Library System. When the doors opened at 9 a.m., volunteers — all members of FOLLS… Continue reading →

Parish fair celebrates Older Folks Day

Advocate staff photo by CHRISTINE MORGAN ARCENEAUX -- Senior citizens were honored Friday during the Livingston Parish Fair's Older Folks Day. From left are the king, Edgar Richardson, 75; of Livingston; the queen Lois Fitzgerald, 75, of Walker; oldest man, Kermit Pitre, 92, of Livingston; oldest woman, Cleo Gayle, 98, of Livingston; and the longest married couple, Nick, 94, and Ethel Erdey, 89, who have been married for 72 years.

More than 100 senior citizens packed the green barn at the Livingston Parish Fair on Friday, taking center stage for the day’s festivities as they anxiously awaited the names of this year’s Older Folks Day king and queen. “This is really nice to honor them (senior citizens),” said Vivian Chiapetta, 83, as… Continue reading →

Around Livingston for Oct.16, 2014

Livingston Parish residents and residents of the Central and Baton Rouge areas are invited to a Common Core Town Hall Meeting to discuss its impact on the educational system at 6 p.m. Thursday at Greenwell Baptist Church, 19421 Greenwell Springs Road. Those attending will hear from a panel of people who have done extensive research on Common… Continue reading →

Fourth-graders get lesson on weather, animals

Photo provided by MELANIE JOHNSTON -- Gracie Carr pets a baby squirrel in Christy Ard's class at Independence Elementary School.

Students in Christy Ard’s fourth-grade class at Independence Elementary School learned about animals on Sept. 26. Ard’s sons found baby squirrels that had fallen from their nest after one of the recent storms and adopted the babies. They have been caring for them, as well. The squirrels visited Ard’s class, and the students talked about… Continue reading →

Independence Elementary third-graders learn about Wright brothers

Photo provided by MELANIE JOHNSTON -- Students flying paper airplanes, from left, are Sierra Rhynes, Abril Flores, Charles Bailey, Quinten Briggs, Kyra Buchanan, Lanaisha May, Adravien Harness and Willie Allen.

Students in Veronica Dunomes’ third-grade class at Independence Elementary are learning about the Wright Brothers. The students participated in several activities centered around the Wright brothers. The students read information about the Wright brothers and conducted online research to find out how they could make a good paper airplane fly. Then,… Continue reading →

High-schooler reaping ‘Karma’ with program

Photo provided -- Student Harlan Brian Milton Jr. created a discipline tracking software program called the ‘Karma System’ for Amite High School.

Harlan Brian Milton Jr., a former Hammond High School student who transferred to Amite High School, has started making his mark on AHS by pitching an innovative idea to the administration. After a conversation about discipline documentation management, Milton created a discipline-tracking software program for the school, officials said in a news release. “When Harlan began… Continue reading →

Southeastern students win journalism awards

Southeastern Louisiana University students working on the Southeastern Channel won four 2014 Mark of Excellence Awards at the annual Society of Professional Journalists Region 12 conference in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The students were honored in the SPJ’s Region 12, which includes all universities in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee. The television awards presented to Southeastern Channel students… Continue reading →

Livingston-Tangipahoa pets available for Oct. 16, 2014

Photo provided -- Sally is a female, four-month-old kitten.

These pets are available at the Denham Springs Animal Shelter, 600 Bowman St., Denham Springs. The shelter is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The shelter accepts donations of newspapers, food and animal supplies. Call (225) 664-4472 or (225) 773-8022.… Continue reading →

Movie project kicks off at Talented Theatre

Photo provided by CHARLEY VANCE -- Sumner High Talented Theatre movie casts students, first row from left, Jessica Rush, Carlee Applewhite, Carl Briggs and Brooke Montreuil; and second row, Alexis Verberne, Lee Verret, Jessica Williams, Kyle Primes, Reanne Roberts and Jackson Latner in their upcoming movie,

Filming for the 16th year of the Talented Theatre movie project will start Oct. 21, Project Director Charley Vance said. “At the conclusion of this year’s movie project, the Talented Theatre students at Amite and Sumner high schools will have created 48 movies about social problems facing high school students,” he said. The students determine the… Continue reading →

Livingston Parish calendar for Oct. 16-23, 2014

USING SACRAMENTAL RECORDS TO TRACE YOUR ROOTS: 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Livingston Parish Library Denham Springs-Walker Branch, 8101 U.S. 190, Denham Springs. A workshop to teach ways to use sacramental records to research ancestry in southeast Louisiana.… Continue reading →

Tangipahoa Parish calendar for Oct. 16-23, 2014

THE GREAT PUMPKIN PATCH: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Oct. 31, 19354 Rolling Pines Drive, Amite. (985) 517-1690. VETERANS BREAKFAST: 8:30 a.m., city of Hammond Recreation Department, 601 W. Coleman Ave., Hammond. Reservations required (985) 277-5906. Gym… Continue reading →

Livingston-Tangipahoa Council on Aging for Oct. 16-23, 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.) Sliced roasted turkey with brown gravy, rice, mustard greens, carrifruit salad, cornbread, oatmeal cookie. Ham… Continue reading →

Ricks-Livingston council stalemate stymies settlement talks in litigation with engineering firm

Advocate staff file photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Livingston Parish President Layton Ricks

A stalemate between the Livingston Parish Council and Parish President Layton Ricks threatens to blow a potential settlement deal between the parish and its former road engineering firm. Parish officials and Alvin Fairburn & Associates, where Ricks worked before taking office in 2012, have been in negotiations for their ongoing contract dispute since late July, when… Continue reading →

Police dogs, helicopters part of wild chase of Albany man

Aircraft, canines, a car chase and people jumping into and out of a moving Camaro were part of a Friday morning chase involving a stolen vehicle, according to a Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office release. Deputies were called about 8 a.m. to Pine Hill Drive, where a Chevrolet Camaro — with its keys… Continue reading →

Teen accused of setting March wildfire in Livingston Parish

A teenager has been accused of arson in connection with a 43-acre wildfire in Livingston Parish in March. Austin Tycoty Brewer, 17, of Tangipahoa Parish, confessed to starting the blaze near Independence in March but has not offered a motive, according to a news release from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry. “I guess… Continue reading →

Walker schools placed on lockdown during manhunt

Dennis Shampine

Walker schools were put on lockdown Tuesday during a manhunt involving the city police, the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office and a law enforcement helicopter. Authorities are still looking for Dennis Shampine, 33, wanted on robbery, battery and failure to register as a sex offender, said Walker Police Capt. John Sharp. Shampine… Continue reading →

Hammond residents may soon be able to use a private company for driver’s licenses, vehicle tags and titles

The City Council on Tuesday authorized Mayor Mayson Foster to enter into an agreement between the city and a private auto title service that, pending final approval from the state, would transfer the processing of driver’s licenses and vehicle tags and titles to the private service. Auto Title Services LLC, operated by… Continue reading →

New Horizons working to dig out of fiscal hole

Though saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes, new management at a nonprofit in Hammond is helping the organization claw back toward the black. If they are successful, it could mean more services for struggling children and their families throughout the Florida Parishes. Founded in 1976, New Horizons Youth Service Bureau provides… Continue reading →

Ponchatoula man booked as fugitive in alleged sexual battery incident

A man suspected in a sexual battery in a Hammond parking lot Sunday has been arrested, the Tangipahoa Sheriff’s Office said. Investigators identified Brandon Scott Hudson, 31, of Ponchatoula, as a suspect. On Monday, deputies learned he may have been at a home on Tiger Creek Lane in Ponchatoula, according to the release. When they… Continue reading →

New Hammond recreation supervisor aims for adults

Desiree Dotey

Desiree Dotey is committed to encouraging more adults to get off the couch and play sports at the city of Hammond’s Recreation Department. The 24-year-old was recently hired as the department’s recreation supervisor after working as its secretary since May 2013. “I miss playing basketball and missed being around sports,”… Continue reading →

Around Livingston for Oct. 9, 2014

North Oaks Walk-in Clinics make it convenient for people to beat the flu with a “little stick” with no appointments needed, early morning weekday hours and locations in Walker, Hammond and Ponchatoula, a news release from North Oaks said. Flu shots are offered for adults and children, ages 3 and up. North Oaks is using the quadrivalent… Continue reading →

ROAR book club helps teachers, students

Photo provided by LINDA JOINER -- Fifth-grade students at Hammond Westside Elementary Montessori School, from left, Viondi Moore, Malorie Cox, Maraih Harris, Alexa Diaz and Charles Gross met with Southeastern Louisiana University student Goslynne Hitchen.

Project Rediscovering Opportunities and Attitudes towards Reading, or ROAR, as it is known by the students, is a book club partnership between Hammond Westside Montessori School students and Southeastern Louisiana University teacher candidates enrolled in Gerlinde Beckers’ adolescent literature course. Teachers learn from establishing and facilitating the book clubs, a news release from the school… Continue reading →

Schoolchildren sought for ‘Pied Piper’ troupe

As part of SLU’s Fanfare, the Amite Arts Council is bringing Missoula Children’s Theatre to Amite. Missoula Children’s Theatre is America’s top touring children’s troupe, a news release from the organization said. MCT will hold auditions at 4 p.m. Oct. 27 in the Amite High Theatre, 403 S. Laurel St. MCT will cast 50… Continue reading →

Research station hosts agritourism workshop

An agritourism workshop, sponsored by the LSU Agricultural Center, will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 30 at the Hammond Research Station, 21549 Old Covington Highway. Participants can learn about the growing agritourism industry, which is open to landowners, farmers, market managers and extension agents. The cost is $15 per person or $20 per… Continue reading →

Anderson joins North Oaks Physicians Group

Dr. Brianne Anderson

Dr. Brianne H. Anderson has joined the North Oaks Physician Group practice of Magnolia Obstetrics & Gynecology. She specializes in personalized health care for women from adolescence to menopause, including routine gynecologic care, pregnancy and postpartum care, contraceptive choices, family planning and surgical services, a news release from North Oaks said. “I strive to be… Continue reading →

Fourth-graders enter parish fair poetry contest

Photo provided by MELANIE JOHNSTON – Principal Lisa Raiford, right, is shown with Independence Elementary School students who represented the school in poetry at the Tangipahoa Parish Fair, from left, Marius Jackson, Christoria Brown and Sean Howard.

Fourth-grade students at Independence Elementary geared up to participate in the Tangipahoa Parish Fair poetry contest. Marius Jackson, Christoria Brown and Sean Howard, of Bernadette Legoria’s fourth-grade class, recently shared their poems with the school during morning announcements. Principal Lisa Raiford said she believes the students represent the learning and education they are receiving at… Continue reading →

Students design school’s spirit shirt

Photo provided by CINDY WAGNER -- Pictured on the September spirit day in the new tropical blue spirit shirts, first row from left, are Bailey Fugarino, Maya Bachemin, Chloe Partridge, Kylie Ruiz and AnnaGrace Hoover; and second row, Caleb Governale, who submitted the winning design; Lily Inman; Rachel Schnadelbach; and Chloe Allbright. Not pictured are Andrew Loyacano and Gavin Patti.

The eighth-grade B-Quest students at Holy Ghost Catholic School designed this year’s spirit shirt. Students worked for several days, creatively designing a shirt that could be worn by all on the last Friday of each month. After submitting several designs to the administrators, one was selected. Once chosen, the students then had Parish Vicknair,… Continue reading →

Hammond Westside Elementary invites dads to school

Photo provided by LINDA FALLER JOINER -- Students and fathers gather Sept. 17 for the All Pro Dads Days at Hammond Westside Elementary Montessori School in Hammond. Students, from left, are Hillary Haverkamp, Malorie Cox, Natalie Arbuckle, Neariah Garnette, T.J. Perry, Omari Alexander, Tristan Howard, Joe Harris and Caleb Burris.

Hammond Westside Elementary School greeted fathers during its All Pro Dads Day monthly breakfast Sept. 17. The guest speaker was Charles Brumfield Jr., disciplinarian Sharon Walker and Principal Catherine LeBlanc. The speakers talked to the students and their fathers about the importance of families and family values. Students were treated at the end with door prizes.… Continue reading →