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No 21st JDC judges will preside over case involving Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center secretary

The Louisiana Supreme Court will decide who will preside over a criminal case against a Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center secretary, accused of illegally recording her supervisor’s conversations, now that a judge has recused himself and all of his colleagues in the judicial district. State District Judge Bruce Bennett recused himself… Continue reading →

Holden man arrested after firing shotgun during argument, injuring someone after the buckshot ricocheted off road

A Holden man is accused of firing a shotgun during an argument, and the buckshot ricocheted, hitting a man in the neck, according to the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office. Melvin Graham, 54, got into an argument Monday with an unnamed man outside his home at 28892 George White Road, the Sheriff’s Office wrote in a news… Continue reading →

Audit: DA’s Office deficit stable

Scott Perrilloux

The District Attorney’s Office for the 21st Judicial District continues to struggle with inadequate funding from the parish governments but managed to stabilize its deficit in 2014, according to an independent auditor’s report. The District Attorney’s Office, which serves Livingston, Tangipahoa and St. Helena parishes, had expenditures just over $3.1 million in 2014, down from nearly $3.3… Continue reading →

Full Tummy Project combats hunger

Advocate photo by Claire Salinas --Members of Mighty Moms collect food and raise money Saturday for the Full Tommy project. Gathering, from left, are Dawn Birdsong, executive director; Kathleen Stephens, chairwoman of the Full Tommy Committee; Charlene Lilly, board chairwoman; and  Kevin Accord, board member.

Volunteers with Mighty Moms sold jambalaya and baked goods and accepted food and monetary donations during their Full Tummy Project kickoff event Saturday outside the Denham Springs Sam’s Club. The project aims to combat child hunger throughout Livingston Parish. Dawn Birdsong, executive director of Mighty Moms, said the group is supported by “the good people… Continue reading →

Around Livingston for July 30, 2015

Summertime for thousands of area youth is wrapping up this week. Families are getting in last-minute getaways and stores are filled with parents shopping for back-to-school supplies. Livingston Parish public school students report to class Aug. 7. The first holiday of the new school year comes on Sept. 7, when the system is closed for… Continue reading →

LSBDC helps vets launch small businesses

Melissa Daigrepont

Veterans picked up tips on how to start a small business during the Louisiana Small Business Development Center’s ReBoot program held July 17 in Hammond. Sandy Summers, assistant director of the LSBDC, said the event touched on many of the logistics necessary for opening a small business. “We kind of started off the day with the… Continue reading →

Acorn Theatre brings ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ to Walker

Photo provided by Shane Stewart -- Performing in Acorn Theatre's production of 'Much Ado About Nothing' are, from left, Megan Robertson, Madeline Miley, Skyler McMorris, Tate Sibley, Joni Bankston, Justin Stafford, Miranda Bordelon and Kelsey Murray.

Acorn Theatre’s production of “Much Ado About Nothing” opened Wednesday at a Walker coffee shop. The Shakespearean spirited romantic comedy has its second performance Thursday at Wholly Ground, 27988 Walker South Road. Director Shane Stewart said the comedy will hit the road Saturday and Sunday for shows at Zoar Baptist Church in Central. Stewart, a… Continue reading →

DSHS Jacket Pride holds summer band camp

Advocate staff photo by Marla Elsea -- Denham Springs High School Jacket Pride band practices during band camp on July 22. The school held its annual summer band camp on campus during the last two weeks of July. Students practiced marching, worked in sectional groups, were fitted for uniforms and began fundraising for the year.

Denham Springs High School’s Jacket Pride band began its annual two-week summer camp on July 20 at the school under the direction of Chad Campbell, director, and Carlye Latas, assistant director. Band members welcomed incoming freshmen, worked on marching fundamentals, began fundraising for the year and were fitted for uniforms. Parent volunteers with the Jacket… Continue reading →

Basketball skills camp open for elementary students

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Caroline Bouquet, 11, left, and Jace Griffin, 8, both of Watson, participate in a ball control drill during a basketball clinic hosted by Live Oak girls basketball head coach Michele Yawn on July 23 at Live Oak High School in Denham Springs.

Children are picking up basketball skills every Tuesday and Thursday at the Live Oak High School gym thanks to a clinic hosted by Live Oak girls basketball coach Michele Yawn. The weekly clinic costs $20 and is held Tuesdays for boys and girls in first through third grade and Thursdays for fourth- through… Continue reading →

Grant to support scholarships for LSMSA Online Academy

Gifted and high-potential students in the seventh, eighth and ninth grades will be eligible for tuition assistance for participation in the Online Academy offered through the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts thanks to a grant from the Virginia Martin Howard Foundation. The $21,000 grant will provide $550 toward tuition for a limited number of… Continue reading →

Livingston members compete in 4-H University

Photo provided by Christy Sorenson --  Livingston Parish 4-Her’s and leaders recently attending 4-H University, first row from left, are Skylar Brandon, Megan Mincey and Tia Catoir; second row, 4-H Agent Jessie Hoover, Hannah Rhodus, Charlotte Streat, Megan Hall, Marian Luzier and 4-H Agent Christy Sorenson; and third row, Jake Hall, Adult Volunteer Jed Hoover and Westin Cobb.

Several 4-H members from Livingston Parish attended 4-H University June 23-26 at LSU. Westin Cobb and Marian Luzier won second place for their agriculture demonstration. In the dairy judging individual contest, Tia Catoir won third place and Megan Mincey was fourth. Catoir, Mincey and Megan Hall won third place in the dairy judging team… Continue reading →

Hammond Regional Arts Center names new director

Katherine Marquette

Katherine Marquette has been named the new executive director of the Hammond Regional Arts Center. Marquette, the former development and donor services specialist of the Second Harvest Food Bank, was appointed executive director following a search led by the HRAC board of directors, a news release said. Marquette’s career in arts administration began in 2006. She… Continue reading →

Independence Elementary beach bash set Monday

Independence Elementary School is hosting a Beach Party back-to-school meet-and-greet session from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday at the school. Parents and students in first through fourth grade can meet teachers and drop off school supplies during the beach-themed event at the school, 221 Tiger Ave., Independence. For information, call (985) 878-4946.… Continue reading →

1,500 student-athletes receive free physicals

Photo provided by Nanette White --  Walker High School football player Tyrie Green, left, is examined by Dr. Katy Morris during North Oaks Sports Medicine’s Annual Physical Days.

Nearly 1,500 student-athletes from 36 Tangipahoa and Livingston parishes schools scored free physical examinations in April and May during North Oaks Sports Medicine’s Annual Physical Days. North Oaks has sponsored the Tangipahoa Parish Physical Day for 24 years and the Livingston Parish Physical Day for five years with the goal of helping junior high and… Continue reading →

Area students visit N.Y. Stock Exchange

Photo provided by Melissa Matson -- Ringing the bell at the New York Stock Exchange on July 22, from left, are Daniel Wendt, Madison Nixon, Christian Vardaman and Tom Nally.

Daniel Wendt, of Denham Springs, and other students enrolled in the financial planning program LSU joined TD Ameritrade at the New York Stock Exchange to ring the closing bell on July 22. Wendt, Christian Vardaman, of Baton Rouge, and Madison Nixon, of Lake Charles, were there, along with 11 other students from across the country, to… Continue reading →

Livingston Bassmasters team wins fishing tourney

Photo provided by Jim Breaux -- Justin Watts, left, and Alex Heintze lift the first place trophy July 25 they won at the B.A.S.S. Costa Bassmaster High School National Chamionship Tournament in Paris, Tennessee.

A 15-bass catch totaling 661 pounds was enough to win the national B.A.S.S. Costa Bassmaster High School National Tournament for the Livingston Parish Bassmasters’ team of Alex Heintze and Justin Watts. The team competed with 134 high school teams at Kentucky Lake in Paris, Tennessee, July 22-25. The fishermen caught their fish using Popin’ Frogs and… Continue reading →

Livingston Parish calendar for July 30-August 6, 2015.

DEWEY DECIBELS: 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Main Branch Library, 20390 Iowa St., Livingston. Superhero-themed, originals and popular music. All ages. STORYTIME: 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Albany-Springfield Branch Library, 26941 La. 43, Hammond. Designed to reach and teach a multi-age audience from babies to age 5. SUPERHERO MYSTERY: 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Albany-Springfield… Continue reading →

Council on Aging menus for July 30-Aug. 6, 2015

Livingston Parish and Tangipahoa Voluntary Council on Aging meal site menus. For meal site locations, call (225) 664-9343 in Livingston Parish or (985) 748-7486 in Tangipahoa Parish. Hamburger on a bun, lettuce/tomato/onion, mustard/ketchup, baked beans and cardinal citrus mold. Chicken salad, pickled beets, apple confetti coleslaw,… Continue reading →

Livingston Parish Prison Bookings for July 15-21, 2015

The following people were booked into the Livingston Parish prison from July 15-21. BASHAM, SEBASTIAN: 17, 17633 Bay Pearl, Livingston, domestic abuse battery. BLEVIN, DANIELLE: 23, 14550 Springfield Road, Walker, unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling. BRUCE, MARY: 30, 11295 Dubois Lane, Denham Springs, possession of schedule II controlled dangerous substances,… Continue reading →

Parish attorney advises council to close half of Tangipahoa Parish jail if sheriff doesn’t back down on funding request

Photo by Sarah Pagones -- Tangipahoa Sheriff Daniel Edwards

Closing half of the parish jail might be the signal Tangipahoa Parish government needs to send if the sheriff continues to demand reimbursement for expenses the parish does not legally owe, the parish’s special counsel advised Monday. The parish government and Sheriff’s Office have been at odds for months over… Continue reading →

It’s hot out there: Tangipahoa schools to allow all students to wear shorts

Photo provided by WWL-TV -- A group of Tangipahoa Parish women have started an online petition asking schools delay the start of classes because of the intense heat.

In response to the recent outcry from parents about sending their children to school amid the intense summer heat, Tangipahoa Parish school administrators amended the district’s uniform policies to allow students to wear shorts. Effective immediately, all students will be allowed to wear “khaki or navy, twill, loose-fitting walking… Continue reading →

Hammond Chamber plans parish presidential forum

The Greater Hammond Chamber, along with the Amite and Ponchatoula Chambers of Commerce, will host a parish presidential forum at 7 p.m. Sept. 16 at the Southeastern Louisiana University Student Union Ballroom. Prior to the forum, the chambers will host a meet and greet at 6 p.m. for all political candidates running in the fall 2015… Continue reading →

Livingston Parish calendar for July 23-30, 2015

TRI-PARISH BALLET: 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., South Branch Library, 23477 La. 444, Livingston. STORYTIME: 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Albany-Springfield Branch Library, 26941 La. 43, Hammond. SUMMER MOVIE MATINEE: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Main Branch Library, 20390 Iowa St., Livingston. Ages 6 and up. ELEMENTAL SUPERHERO: 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Watson Branch… Continue reading →

Tangipahoa Parish calendar for July 23-30, 2015

SUPER TOTS AWARDS: 10 a.m., Hammond Library Branch, 314 E. Thomas, Hammond. Preschool group. MIGHTY MINIONS: 1 p.m., Ponchatoula Library Branch 380 N. Fifth St., Ponchatoula. Ages 4-7. POWER PACK: 2 p.m., Amite, Kentwood ,101 Ave. F, Kentwood, and Loranger Library branch, 19451 La. 40, Loranger. SUPERHERO COSTUME CONTEST: 2 p.m., Independence Library Branch, 290… Continue reading →

Annual Evening in the Park to benefit nonprofit

Livingston Youth and Family Counseling will hold its third annual Evening in the Park from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Aug. 22 at the Tony Dugas North Park Recreation Center in Denham Springs. Tickets are $50 per person and include an evening of dinner and dancing to the sounds of Big River Express. An… Continue reading →

Program gives students tools to succeed

Photo provided by Delia Taylor -- Volunteers, from left,  Krysta Watts, Jim Kiker, David Spence and Darryl Whitehead load supplies during the 2014 Livingston Parish Assess the Need school supply drive.

Fifteen years ago, Livingston Parish Assessor Jeff Taylor was sitting around the breakfast table with a group of teachers talking about the need for a school supply drive to give area children the tools they need in the classroom. Since then, Taylor said, the Assess the Need program he founded has collected more than $500,000 in donations… Continue reading →

North Oaks School of Radiologic Technology graduates 45th class

Photo provided by Melanie Lanaux Zaffuto -- Graduates of the 45th class of the North Oaks School of Radiologic Technology are, front row from left, Molly Marie Willie, Brooke Amber Richardson, Angela E. Valenti, Kristina R. Evans and Brittany L. Palmer; and back row, Justin J. Grijalva, Rocky J. Brown Jr., Trenton L. DeBautte and Richard P. Hebert III.

The North Oaks School of Radiologic Technology in Hammond graduated its 45th class during a ceremony July 7 in the E. Brent Dufreche Conference Center, located on the North Oaks Medical Center campus, according to a news release. The graduates are Rocky J. Brown Jr. and Brooke Amber Richardson, of Maurepas; Trenton L. DeBautte and Brittany Palmer,… Continue reading →

Chamber announces Annie Awards winners

The Greater Hammond Chamber of Commerce and Tangi Lifestyles Magazine are honoring six women for volunteerism, leadership and overall community involvement, a news release said. The recipients of the 2015 Annie Awards are Chris Bentley, Terri Chaucer, Judy Couvillion, Lila Tritico Hogan, Cindy Shelton and Katie Wainwright. “This year’s recipients are amazing women who give… Continue reading →

Livingston Parish Prison Bookings for July 8-14, 2015

The following people were booked into the Livingston Parish prison from July 8-14: ALLEMAN, AMBER: 26, 29980 Pine Drive, Albany, possession of schedule I controlled dangerous substance. ANGELLOZ, BETHANY MARIE: 33, 31115 Green Leaf Drive, Walker, two counts possession of Schedule IV controlled dangerous substance, two counts possession of schedule II controlled dangerous… Continue reading →

9/11 ‘Cry Out America’ ceremony scheduled

The 2015 “Cry Out America” remembrance ceremony and prayer service will be held in the Livingston Parish Council Chambers, 20355 Government Blvd., Livingston, at 11:45 a.m. Sept. 11, a news release said. This year’s master of ceremonies is Chief Judge Bob Morrison, of the 21st Judicial District Court. Program participants will include ranking members of the judiciary… Continue reading →

Livingston Parish Sheriff’s K-9 Unit visits library

Photo provided by Emma James -- Mack, a Belgian Malinois, bites Deputy Nick LoCicero’s protective sleeve during a demonstration by the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s K-9 Unit at the Main Branch of the Livingston Parish Library on July 15.

The Livingston Parish Sheriff’s K-9 Unit visited the Main Branch of the Livingston Parish Library on July 15. Deputies and their dogs demonstrated techniques used in the field and talked about their work. The presentation is part of Livingston Parish Library’s 2015 Summer Reading Program. This summer’s theme is “Every Hero Has a Story.” For more… Continue reading →

Around Livingston for July 23, 2015

Friday is the deadline to apply for Leadership Livingston’s Class of 2016. The program, sponsored by the Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce, aims to create community leaders. Download an application form at http://bit.ly/1GowlSq. Applications can be mailed to or dropped off at the Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce, 248 Veterans Blvd., Denham Springs.… Continue reading →

Denham Springs High School Band members raise $700 with cake sale

Photo provided by ELisa Richard -- Denham Springs High School Jacket Pride band members volunteering at the Louisiana National Guard’s Family Fun Day on July 2 are, from left, percussionist Josh Hutchinson and drum majors Ivy Richard, Paige LeJeune and Steven Broussard.

A group of Denham Springs High School Band students volunteered July 2 at the annual Family Fun Day at the Louisiana National Guard Base in Carville. Band members Josh Hutchinson, Ivy Richard, Paige LeJeune and Steven Broussard provided funnel cakes to those in attendance. Their efforts, under the coordination of the Jacket Pride Band… Continue reading →

Officials eye road extension to provide access

Location of Industrial Park

An upcoming road extension will open up about 70 acres of undeveloped land in the expanding Livingston Economic Development Council Industrial Park, the organization’s president has said. During its most recent meeting, the Walker City Council accepted $1.5 million in federal grant money to pay for the project, which is expected… Continue reading →

Chamber donates life preservers to Turtle Cove

Photo provided by Megan Mosher -- The Greater Hammond Chamber Board of Directors recently presented 48 new life preservers to the Turtle Cove Research Station in honor of the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. From left are Chamber President and CEO Chris Brannon, board member Tonia Gay, Turtle Cove Manager Dr. Rob Moreau, Chamber Chairman Erin Cowser and board member Justin Crossie.

The Greater Hammond Chamber of Commerce recently donated life preservers to Southeastern Louisiana University’s Turtle Cove Environmental Research Station in remembrance of the upcoming 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, a news release said. “The Board of Directors wanted to give a tangible gift that would not only honor the memory of this terrible time, but would… Continue reading →

Livingston Parish Council on Aging menu for July 23-30, 2015

Livingston Parish and Tangipahoa Voluntary Council on Aging meal site menus. For meal site locations, call (225) 664-9343 in Livingston Parish or (985) 748-7486 in Tangipahoa Parish. Ham and lima beans with rice, grape juice, steamed spinach, cornbread and fig bar. Chicken salad, pickled beets,… Continue reading →

First Baptist finds evening Bible school draws all ages

Advocate staff photo by CHARLES CHAMPAGNE    Tori Harthcock, left, and Ryan Russell perform skits inspired by the Gospel on July 16 for Vacation Bible School students at the First Baptist Church in Denham Springs.

Katie Massey, 5, sat at a table at First Baptist Church of Denham Springs with vacation Bible school classmates Blayk Smith, 6; Bella Bernard, 6; and Alena Thibodaux, 5, working on a coloring craft. “We have a different craft for each class every day,” said Laura Dunlap, who was in her sixth year… Continue reading →

Parish increases resources to combat litter

Criminal offenders are helping clean up litter around Tangipahoa Parish, a news release said. Nearly 3,200 bags of garbage have been collected by community service workers and inmate crews since Jan. 1, according to Parish President Gordon Burgess. Litter pickup takes place nearly six days a week, the release said. The DWI Community Service Workers… Continue reading →

Greater Hammond Chamber seeking new CEO

The Greater Hammond Chamber of Commerce is seeking a new president and CEO following the resignation of Chris Brannon on July 17, according to a news release. Applications will be accepted through close of business July 31. A full job posting is available at hammond chamber.org. “This has been an amazing two years with… Continue reading →

Some parents say it's 'entirely too hot' for school in early August; Tangipahoa board open to future changes

Advocate staff photo by CHRISTINE MORGAN ARCENEAUX - Brock Jackson, 12, carries his school supplies off the bus after arriving Thursday at Ponchatoula Middle School for the first day of school in Tangipahoa Parish.

A petition to delay the start date for Tangipahoa Parish schools due to excessive heat has drawn thousands of supporters — and similar requests are being made across the state — but it won’t change the parish’s school calendar just yet. The online petition, which seeks to move the parish’s… Continue reading →