Denham Springs might repeal advance sick leave policy

The Denham Springs City Council may have to repeal part of the city’s advance sick leave policy after the state Legislative Auditor’s Office said the policy violates state law. Under the policy, city employees may apply to the City Council for sick leave beyond the hours they have accrued, up to 120 days. Any advance … Continue reading →

Walker area voters to decide fate of school bond issue

Walker-area voters will decide May 3 whether to approve issuing $25 million in bonds to pay for facility and technology improvements in the Walker school district. Early voting continues through Saturday. The money raised through the bond issue, which would be repaid over 20 years through an increased property tax millage, would be used … Continue reading →

Hammond area voters face school tax on May 3 ballot

Hammond-area voters will take another look on May 3 at passing a tax millage to support Hammond schools’ magnet and accelerated programs. Early voting begins Saturday. The Tangipahoa Parish School Board is asking voters in Consolidated School District No. 1 to approve a 10-year, 15-mill property tax for the programs. A similar proposition … Continue reading →

Denham Springs man booked on crimes against children

Giles F. Thibodeaux Jr.

A Denham Springs man has been arrested and accused of multiple sex crimes against children, according to the state Attorney General’s Office. Louisiana State Police arrested Giles Frederick Thibodeaux Jr., 44, 9260 Greystone Drive, at his home Wednesday, then took him to Ascension Parish, where he was booked on counts … Continue reading →

Denham Springs man booked on DWI 6th offense

Tangipahoa man fatally shot by deputies

Advocate staff photo by HEIDI KINCHEN -- A shooting occured at 42262 Deborah Drive, off HappyWoods southwest of Hammond

A deputy shot and killed a man Tuesday near Hammond in what started as a report of a domestic disturbance, authorities said. Michael C. Nichols Jr., 48, was found holding a knife and standing over his injured 70-year-old mother, Barbara J. Nichols, inside a home in the 42200 … Continue reading →

Hammond council signals support for key road project

The City Council approved a resolution Tuesday to signal its support for proposals to connect University Avenue with Pride Drive, creating only the second east-west corridor through the city. The council authorized the city’s grants department to apply for a $1.2 million U.S. Department of Transportation grant for the project. … Continue reading →

Girl Scouts promote safety for drivers, kids

Advocate photo by LESLIE ROSE -- Twin sisters and Girl Scouts, from left, Aimee and Abbigail Ardonne, 13, talk with Watson residents Saturday during Safety Awareness Day.

Members of Girl Scout Troop 10384, of the Live Oak area in Watson, are teaching safety — to each other, their families and the community. The girls, along with six other area troops, took to the parking lot of the Watson Wal-Mart for the Second annual Safe Driving Awareness Day, which began last … Continue reading →

WWII re-enactment held in Walker

Advocate Staff Photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- American troops take cover and fire on German troops during a battle reenactment Saturday during the  William W. Perkins World War II Memorial Weekend at Sidney Hutchinson Memorial Park in Walker. The event raises support for the Jackson War Veterans Home in Jackson and the Southeast War Veterans Home in Reserve, and includes an authentic 1944 M36 tank destroyer as well as a battle re-enactment, military vehicles, antique vehicles, World War II veterans and food and merchandise vendors.

The William W. Perkins World War II Memorial Weekend was held at Sidney Hutchinson Memorial Park in Walker on Saturday. The event raises support for the Jackson and Reserve veterans homes and include a battle re-enactment, military vehicles, antique vehicles, World War II veterans and food and merchandise vendors. … Continue reading →

Strawberry festival draws thousands

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Jakobe Durant, 15,  second from left, Latrell Barnes, 13, center, and Jaunsiamaure Jones, 14, participate in a strawberry eating contest at the 2014 Strawberry Festival  Saturday in Ponchatoula. The winner had to eat all berries in the pint-sized basket - stem and leaves included - and shout 'strawberry' to win. Durant won his heat, and came in second in the finals for his age group.

The winner of Saturday’s strawberry-eating contest at the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival is no stranger to the competition. James Kinte has been attending the festival for years and has won the strawberry-eating contest numerous times, he said. “You just get started with one and then you use another one to act like a … Continue reading →

Around Livingston for April 17, 2014

The Denham Springs and West Livingston Kiwanis Clubs will jointly sponsor the annual Denham Springs Community Easter Sunrise Service at Train Station Park at 6:30 a.m. Sunday. The message will be delivered by Open Door Baptist Church Pastor Dennis Schaffer. An offering will be taken for the Family Resource Center. For information, call Robert … Continue reading →

Independence Elementary wins $3,200 Lowe’s grant

Photos provided by MELANIE JOHNSTON -- First-grade teacher Catherine Campbell and her husband Chip Campbell begin to assemble the planters for the Lowe’s Grow and Learn grant at Independence Elementary School.

Independence Elementary School has received a $3,200 Toolbox for Education Grant from Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation to purchase flowers and planters for the school. Independence Elementary is one of more than 350 schools across the United States to receive a Toolbox for Education Grant this fall for improvement projects during the 2013-14 school year, school officials … Continue reading →

Antique Village to host Spring Festival on April 26

The Denham Springs Antique Village Spring Festival will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 26 in the Antique District of Denham Springs along Range Avenue. The one-day event hosts more than 150 local and regional artists and craftsmen, offering a wide range of items including jewelry, pottery, metal, woodwork, hand-stitched garments, paintings and photography, purses, … Continue reading →

Livingston celebrates World Book Night

The Livingston Parish Library is one of more than 2,300 bookstores and libraries across America supporting World Book Night 2014. The Main Branch will distribute and provide resources to patrons passionate about literacy, a news release from the library said. World Book Night U.S. is a campaign to give thousands of free specially printed paperbacks … Continue reading →

Students of the Year honored at events Thursday

A presentation and reception to honor each of Livingston Parish’s 2013-14 Students of the Year will start at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Livingston Parish Public Schools Special Education Auditorium, 13909 Florida Blvd., Livingston. All recipients will receive a framed certificate. The district winners also will be honored at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Livingston Parish … Continue reading →

Group holds annual Prom Fashion show

Photo provided by DYLAN IVY -- Senior Chris Bolin, left, and sophomore Abigail Onnebane base their routine on  'Drive My Car' during the Denham Springs High School’s Jackets Against Destructive Decisions’ annual Prom Fashion show March 31 in the Jacket Gym at Denham Springs High School.

Denham Springs High School’s Jackets Against Destructive Decisions’ held its annual Prom Fashion show March 31 in the Jacket Gym at Denham Springs High School. The event was held in memory of former DSHS student Tara Rice, who was killed by a drunken driver in 1999. The theme of the event was The Beatles. … Continue reading →

Bees discuss guidelines for healthy eating

Photo provided by SANDRA MADERE -- From left, Linda Hoffman, Patricia Schmidt and Gail Griffin tour Griffin's azalea bushes following a meeting of the Busy Bees.

The Volunteers for Family and Community’s Busy Bees, an all-volunteer arm of the LSU Extension Service, held their April meeting at the home of Gail Griffin earlier this month. Co-hostesses for the meeting were Griffin and Patricia Schmidt. Members talked about their plans for the upcoming TVFC Volunteer Awards Luncheon slated in May. They also talked … Continue reading →

Take Back Initiative to accept expired drugs

Sheriff Daniel Edwards and the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with the federal Drug Enforcement Adminstration, will participate in the Eighth annual National Take-Back Initiative from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 26 in the Target parking lot at the Hammond Square Mall. The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day provides a safe, convenient and responsible … Continue reading →

Amite High to host Theatre Showcase

Photo provided by Charley Vance -- Sumner High students will be performing at the Talented Theatre Showcase on Thursday at Amite High School. Several of the participants are, first row from left, Sidney Polzcek, Alexis Verberne, Sabrina Walker and Lyndsie Davis; second row, Scotti Dykes and Maggie Applewhite;  and third row, Carl Brigss, Katherine Davis, Marla Sheridan and Alex Wiliams.

The 19th annual Talented Theatre Showcase will be Thursday at the Amite High School Theatre. “It’s hard to believe when the Talented Theatre Program began in Tangipahoa Parish, none of this year’s students were born,” said Talented Theatre teacher Charley Vance. The program began with one second-grade student and one part-time teacher and has grown … Continue reading →

Library offers online access to magazines

Tangipahoa Parish Library Executive Director Barry Bradford said the Tangipahoa Parish Library system will offer digital magazine editions. “This is a great addition to our library system,” Bradford said. “We can now offer the country’s most popular magazines for multiple viewing platforms, which can be used on your computer, smartphone and tablet. This online newsstand is another … Continue reading →

Two appointed to North Oaks board

The Tangipahoa Parish Council appointed Ann Carruth and Joycelyn M. Lee to each serve a six-year term on the North Oaks Health System Board of Commissioners. Lee will replace Guy Recotta Jr., whose term expires at the end of May. Both appointments were voted on at the Parish Council’s March 24 meeting and will become effective … Continue reading →

Livingston Parish calendar for April 17-24, 2014

STORYTIME: 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Livingston Parish Library, Springfield-Albany, 26941 La. 43, Hammond. Storytime for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. The event features stories read aloud, songs, finger plays, puppets and crafts. Call (225) 567-1441. RIBBON-CUTTING EVENT: noon to 1 p.m., Leaps and Bounds Sports, 30113 Eden Church Road, Denham Springs. … Continue reading →

Livingston-Tangipahoa Council on Aging for April 17-24, 2014

LIVINGSTON PARISH COUNCIL ON AGING AND TANGIPAHOA VOLUNTARY COUNCIL ON AGING: Meal site menus. For meal site locations, please call (225) 664-9343 in Livingston Parish or (985) 748-7486 in Tangipahoa Parish. EASTER SPECIAL: Baked chicken quarters, green peas with onions, candied sweet potatoes, white dinner roll, oatmeal honey apple cake, milk. … Continue reading →

Two Hammond men arrested in Monday night shooting death

William Wilson, left, and John Perry

Police arrested two Hammond men in the Monday night shooting death of Brian Keith Chester, authorities said Wednesday. Chester, 31, was shot three times with a small-caliber handgun while at his home in the 1000 block of Phoenix Square, Hammond police Lt. Vince Giannobile said Wednesday. Investigators … Continue reading →

Police: Person of interest interviewed in Hammond killing

Investigators are interviewing a person of interest in the fatal shooting of a Hammond man Monday night, authorities said Tuesday. A neighbor of Brian Keith Chester, 31, 1010 Phoenix Square, called 911 just before 11 p.m. Monday to report that Chester had been shot multiple times at his home, Hammond police Lt. … Continue reading →

Denham Springs treasurer to build on mentor’s legacy

Advocate staff photo by CHRISTINE MORGAN ARCENEAUX -- After working in the city's treasury department for seven years, Michelle Hood, 46, is the new treasurer for the City of Denham Springs. Hood was appointed for the position following the death of longtime treasurer Clarence Speed.

Michelle Hood, who has taken on the role of treasurer for Denham Springs, says the excitement of her promotion was lessened considerably by the death of her former boss, who succumbed last month to complications from cancer. Hood took over the position following the death of longtime city treasurer Clarence Speed. … Continue reading →

Around Livingston for April 10, 2014

The William W. Perkins World War II Memorial Weekend will be April 12 and April 13 at Sidney Hutchinson Memorial Park, 13750 Ball Park Road, Walker. The event raises support for the Jackson and Reserve Veterans Home. The event includes an authentic 1944 M36 tank destroyer as well as a battle re-enactment, military vehicles, antique vehicles, … Continue reading →

SLU recognized for child abuse prevention efforts

Photo provided by RENE ABADIE --  Southeastern Louisiana University was honored with Child Advocacy Services Mary Ellen Award in recognition of its efforts to train all teacher candidates in detection and prevention of child sexual abuse. Pictured are, from left, CAS President and CEO Rob Carlisle;  Shirley Jacob, interim dean of the College of Education, Hayward; facility dog; Margaret Hoelzer, a member of the U.S. Olympics swim team, and Cynthia Elliott, interim head of the Southeastern Department of Teaching and Learning.

Child Advocacy Services honored Southeastern Louisiana University for its efforts in training university teacher education candidates to help prevent sexual abuse among children. Shirley Jacob, interim dean of the College of Education, accepted the Mary Ellen Award at a regional premiere screening of a new training video, “Stewards of Children,” March 27 at the Columbia Theatre for … Continue reading →

Holy Ghost honors Distinguished Graduate

Photo provided by CINDY WAGNER -- Ashley Edwards Sandage, left, is chosen as their Distinguished Graduate for 2013-2014 and is congratulated by principal Tangee Daugereaux, right.

Holy Ghost Catholic School chose Ashley Edwards Sandage as their Distinguished Graduate for 2013-14. Sandage graduated from Holy Ghost in 1980. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Mississippi State University in 1989 and her juris doctorate from LSU Law Center in 1996. She began practicing law at the firm of Cashe, Coudrain, and … Continue reading →

SLU students win awards for yearbook

Eight Southeastern Louisiana University students have been honored with Gold Circle Awards from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association for their work on the university’s 2013 yearbook, Le Souvenir. The 2013-2014 Gold Circle Awards attracted more than 4,200 entries from yearbook and digital media from colleges, universities and secondary schools throughout the United States. Gold Circle … Continue reading →

Girl Scouts welcome new members

Looking for a “wonderful” way to spend Earth Day outdoors? Girls in grades second and third are invited to Wonders of Water Day from 9 a.m. to noon April 22 at the Shell Training Center, Robert Facility, 23260 Shell Lane. This program is for girls new to the Girl Scout experience, Scout officials said … Continue reading →

SLU career fair pairs tech field graduates, potential employers

Photo provided by RANDY BERGERON -- Joseph Naquin, left, and John Song, both computer science majors, of Mandeville, speak with Adriane Allen, of Blue Cross Blue Shield, about job opportunities with the company during the first Tech Connect Career Day on March 26 at Southeastern Louisiana University.

Southeastern Louisiana University hosted its inaugural career fair for technology March 26, attracting more than 20 area employers looking to fill positions in high-demand tech fields. A collaborative effort between the Office of Career Services and the Department of Computer Science and Industrial Technology, Tech-Connect 2014 was an opportunity specifically for the university’s computer science, engineering and … Continue reading →

Students compete at librarians convention

Photo provided by CINDY STILLEY -- Pictured from left are Courtney Fontenot, author Michael Northrop and Sarah Hess.

Members of the 2013-14 Maurepas High School Library Club attended the Louisiana Teen-age Librarians Association’s annual convention in March. Maurepas received numerous awards at the convention, school officials said. The library club received first place in the Design a T-shirt Contest, third place in the Design a Bookmark Contest and third place in the Bulletin Board Contest. … Continue reading →