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Motorcyclist killed in Livingston Parish crash

A motorcyclist was killed when he ran off the road shortly after 6 p.m. Friday on La. 22, east of La. 16 in Livingston Parish, according to State Police. James B. Geter, 46, of Maurepas, was riding a 2003 Kawasaki motorcycle eastbound on La. 22 when he ran off the roadway to the left as he was… Continue reading →

Two more stars of canceled ‘Sons of Guns’ show arrested

Stephanie Hayden Ford

Two more stars of the canceled TV show “Sons of Guns” were arrested Friday. Kris Ford, 31, was booked on a count of cruelty to juveniles, while his wife, Stephanie Hayden Ford, 29, faces a count of being a principal to cruelty to juveniles, according to Livingston Parish jail records available online. Both offenses are felonies.… Continue reading →

Dangerfield’s revocation hearing postponed until after election

Eric Dangerfield

A probation revocation hearing for former Tangipahoa Parish School Board member Eric Dangerfield, who is seeking election to his former seat, was continued at the state’s request Friday until after the Nov. 4 primary election. Dangerfield and his wife, Cassandra, each received suspended sentences in May after pleading guilty in a Medicaid… Continue reading →

Husband of St. Helena fire victim found Friday, dead of apparent suicide

A suspect in a murder investigation out of St. Helena Parish was found Friday — dead from an apparent suicide, the State Fire Marshal’s Office has announced. On Oct. 11, investigators found the “charred remains” of 39-year-old Marsha Allen inside a home on La. 1043 in Greensburg. According to her autopsy, she died hours before the… Continue reading →

Hundreds without power in Denham Springs after accident

Hundreds are without power in Denham Springs after a delivery truck brought down power lines around 12:45 p.m. The truck snagged three lines and uprooted a utility pole at the corner of 4-H Club Road and Florida Avenue, said Denham Springs Police Capt. Steve Kistler. The cause of the wreck has not been determined. As… Continue reading →

Tax preparer sentenced after filing hundreds of fraudulent returns, prosecutors claim

The owner of several eastern Louisiana tax preparation businesses was sentenced to slightly more than seven years in prison and ordered to pay $148,673 in restitution by a New Orleans federal court judge. Prosecutors have said she raked in more than $100,000 in fees from clients in 2011 and 2012 while filing fraudulent tax returns for… Continue reading →

Van carrying accused child sellers spotted in Texas

Tangipahoa Parish authorities launched a search for blue van Friday morning after getting a report that a woman tried to sell a child, believed to be about 10 years old, to patrons at a Hammond gas station. By late Friday afternoon, it was believed that the woman, child and others in the van had fled Louisiana to… Continue reading →

Former SLU police officer says complaints of racism led to dismissal

A former Southeastern Louisiana University police officer who alleges retaliation and discrimination led to her termination in April testified Thursday she never had any trouble at her job until she complained of racism in the department. Angela Jones, who was employed with the university’s police department for more than a decade,… Continue reading →

Jury convicts man of theft, crashing into police cruiser

It took less than an hour for a jury to deliver a guilty verdict for a man who stole a former police officer’s insignia and crashed into a cruiser while trying to escape, 21st Judicial District Attorney Scott Perrilloux said. Maurice Anderson, 45, of Milley Lane in Hammond, was found guilty Wednesday before Judge Bruce Bennett… Continue reading →

Hammond moves closer to privately-run OMV office

HAMMOND — Following a lengthy discussion, the City Council on Tuesday gave its unanimous approval for the city to enter into an agreement with the state Office of Motor Vehicles to create a privately run office that would offer similar services as the state closes the public office. The resolution calls for the city… Continue reading →

Slaying leads federal investigators to Tangipahoa mushroom farm

Advocate file photo by BILL FEIG -- Manager Johnnie ‘Little Man’ Santangelo III stands in one of the 5,000-square-foot rooms in January of 2013 where mushrooms are grown at Red Hill Creole Mushroom Farm in Independence. Santangelo was arrestd  last week on federal charges regarding undocumented workers.

It started with a murder, a mushroom farm and, eventually, a mole. Not hallucinogenic mushrooms, but rather popular staples on grocery shelves: white buttons, portobellos and criminis. The Independence farm is under federal investigation, as a special agent has accused two employees of “harboring, encouraging to remain and unlawfully employing illegal aliens,” according to an… Continue reading →

Walker police social media gain following

The Walker Police Department, which celebrated the five-year anniversary of its social media campaign Oct. 9, appears to be steadily gaining more followers on social media sites. The department’s Facebook page has more than 12,000 followers, which exceeds the city’s population, and about 6,200 residents receive text message alerts with information… Continue reading →

Around Livingston for Oct. 23, 2014

The Hungarian Settlement Historical Society semi-annual smoked pulled pork dinners benefit will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at the Hungarian Settlement Museum, La. 43, Albany. Dinners will be $8 and include pulled pork, coleslaw, baked beans, a roll and dessert. Those interested may dine on-site, pick up or have the meals delivered in the Albany,… Continue reading →

District 8 candidates focused on crowded schools

A pair of candidates with professional ties to the Livingston Parish school system will square off on the Nov. 4 ballot to represent District 8 on the School Board. The district is the largest in the system, covering French Settlement, Springfield, Maurepas and vast unincorporated areas in the southeast portion of the parish. Since 1987 it has… Continue reading →

State ranks Tangipahoa schools 50th, Livingston 9th

The Louisiana Department of Education on Tuesday released school report cards summarizing and evaluating academic achievement for the 2013-14 school year, part of the state’s long-term transition to higher expectations. Each school report card includes information used to calculate school letter grades and provides parents and educators information on the performance of schools statewide. The release comes on… Continue reading →

Juban Crossing opens to a grand welcome

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING --From left is T.J. Maxx Companies construction project manager Wayne King, LMG Installer owner; Louis Garner, Tek Electric's; Michael Bengston; and Jessica Yarbrough, assistant job superintendent for General Contractor Hoar Construction; review the location of T.J. Maxx's checkout system and power, at the soon-to-open Phase 1 Juban Crossing store in Denham Springs on the morning of Oct. 15.

The shoppers at the front of the line had arrived by 6:30 a.m. to guarantee the first shot at deals and giveaways when the Belk at Juban Crossing held its grand opening Oct. 15. When the doors were thrown open, a flood of hundreds streamed in, accepting freebies and fanning out to… Continue reading →

Arts Council to partake in Belk’s Charity Sale

The Arts Council of Livingston Parish will participate in Belk’s Fall Charity Sale of the Year from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Nov. 8. During the event, 100 percent of $5 ticket sale proceeds go to local charities, a news release from the Arts Council said. The first 100 customers will receive a Belk gift card ranging… Continue reading →

Kindergartners learn about nutrition, reading

Photo provided by SANDRA MADERE -- Tangipahoa Volunteers for Family and Community Busy Bee members, from left, Sandra Madere and Terry Voight visit kindergarten students at Cherbourg Elementary School to introduce the The Family Book Bag program. The program teaches children the importance of eating better, playing more and reading more at home.

Tangipahoa Volunteers for Family and Community Busy Bees, an all-volunteer arm of the LSU Extension Service, recently visited kindergarten classes at Amite Elementary and Cherbourg Elementary to introduce the children to its literacy program, The Family Book Bag. The children listened to a story, “Five A Day the Color Way,” which emphasized the importance of eating a variety… Continue reading →

Volunteers read to students

Photo provided by SANDRA MADERE -- Members of the Tangipahoa Volunteers for Family and Community Busy Bees recently visited North Tangi Head Start to read the Character Critters story Rusty the Respectful Raccoon. Students, from left, Jaueon Chain, Chance Johnson, John Verdin, Londynn Daniels, Mia Clark, Derriva Hurst, all students at North Tangi Head Start; and second row, Volunteer Foster Grandmother Hazel Allen and Busy Bee members Terry Voight and Ruby Johnson.

Tangipahoa Volunteers for Family and Community Busy Bee’s, an all-volunteer arm of the LSU Extension Service, recently visited North Tangi Head Start to begin the new school year of Character Critters. The enrichment program was developed by the LSU Extension Service and is based on the Josephson Institute’s Character Counts program. Each month, volunteers read to students… Continue reading →

SLU to host seminar for tax preparers

The Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southeastern Louisiana University will host the seminar “2014 Updates” for tax preparers, CPAs and enrolled agents from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday at Southeastern’s University Center at 800 W. University Ave., room 133. Registration will start at 8:30 a.m. Those interested can register online at and… Continue reading →

St. Thomas Aquinas Lobster Bash set

Photo provided by MICHELLE CHAUVIN -- Pictured with George and Yvonne Ibert is St. Thomas Aquinas Regional Catholic High School Advancement Director Joshua Wittie, right. Tickets for the Lobster Bash are available in the STA Advancement Office or by calling (985) 542-8941.

St. Thomas Aquinas Regional Catholic High School’s annual auction and fundraiser, the Lobster Bash, will be Nov. 1 in the school gymnasium. George Ibert Jewelry and Gifts will be the sponsor of the popular martini raffle. A $25 donation earns you a hand-painted martini glass with a chance to win earrings and a necklace from Thistle… Continue reading →

Student-athletes chosen for North Oaks honor

Photo provided by MELANIE ZAFFUTO -- From left are Loranger High School head football coach Sam Messina, Cole Stevens, North Oaks Sports Medicine Athletic Trainer Whitney Adams and North Oaks Sports Medicine supervisor Jeff Schmitt.

The North Oaks Sports Medicine staff and North Oaks Physician Group orthopedic surgeons have selected Kristen Favalora, Katelynn McKenzie, Andrew Shelton and Cole Stevens as Student-Athletes of the Month for September. Favalora is a senior on the Hammond High Magnet School volleyball team with a 4.0 grade-point average. She is a four-year veteran of the volleyball… Continue reading →

Yellow Jackets swarm the Hornets

Advocate staff photo by John Oubre -- Scotlandville running back Delmas Holmes is caught from behind by Denham's Caleb Roddy as Brennan Wall (44) closes in to assist on the tackle Friday at Denham.

Scotlandville and Denham Springs were coming off big wins when they clashed Friday. A Scotlandville comeback attempt in the final seconds was held off by the Denham Springs defense. The Yellow Jackets defeated the Hornets 14-13.… Continue reading →

Workshop to discuss sexual abuse in children

The Livingston Foster Adoptive Kinship Association will offer a free workshop for parents, staff and volunteers advocating for children. The Stewards of Children program will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Revival Temple, 28521 Walker South Road, Walker. The Stewards of Children program will increase knowledge, improve attitudes and change child-protective behaviors, a news release… Continue reading →

Livingston-Tangipahoa community photo gallery for Oct. 23, 2014

Advocate staff photo by JOHN OUBRE -- Tina Bigner, of Ponchatoula, looks at children's clothing Saturday during a community yard sale in French Settlement.

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 Oct. 23-30, 2014

ASK-A-LAWYER: 9 a.m. to noon, Livingston Parish Library Main Branch, 20390 Iowa St., Livingston. STORYTIME: 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Livingston Parish Library Albany-Springfield Branch, 26941 La. 43, Hammond. Also. Oct. 30. MYSTERY DINNER THEATER: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Livingston Parish Library South Branch, 23477 La. 444, Livingston. Those attending will be given… Continue reading →

Tangipahoa Parish calendar for Oct. 23-30, 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. GYM WALKING: 8:30 a.m., Hammond Recreation Department, 601 W. Coleman Ave.… Continue reading →

Livingston-Tangipahoa Council on Aging for Oct. 23-30, 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.) Sausage and pinto beans, steamed rice, mustard greens, carrifruit salad, cornbread, oatmeal cookie, milk. Hot… Continue reading →

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 →

Volunteers step up for upkeep of Red Oak Cemetery

Advocate staff photo by JOHN OUBRE -- Alex Ouber takes a brief break Oct. 18 during a volunteer clean up of Old Red Oak cemetery in Livingston.

LIVINGSTON Rose Sibley walked the cemetery, stepping among toppled headstones and sunken graves choked with weeds. Fire ant hills and broken figurines littered the ground — a rabbit with an ear snapped off, a cat with a caved-in face. Old Red Oak Cemetery is the final resting ground for at least… 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 →

Belk in Juban Crossing opens Wednesday, others stores to open soon

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Livingston Parish President Layton Ricks, left, shakes hands with Juban Crossing developer Stephen D. Keller, Principal and Founder of Creekstone Companies,  after a ribbon cutting at the Belk department store grand opening at Juban Crossing in Denham Springs Wednesday morning. Ethan Bush, Vice President and Chief Development Officer of the Our Lady of the Lake Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, is behind them, left, and Chief Joe Kocrowski of Livingston Parish Fire Protection District Five is at right. The 75,000 square-foot  store anchors Phase 1 of the 471-acre Juban Crossing development, which will eventually have residential development.

Years after it was first envisioned, Juban Crossing has opened for business. Wednesday morning, hundreds of shoppers stretched around the building where the Belk store conducted its ribbon-cutting. In the coming weeks, a dozen more retailers are slated to host grand openings. When the 471-acre… 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 →