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Livingston observatory chief says gravitational waves detection a wish come true: 'We observed something'

File photo by Mike Fyffe/LIGO Caltech -- Daniel Sellers, left, and Matthew Heintze inspecting one of the four-stage pendulum suspended optics that are key components of the LIGO detector. The mirror on the right is one of 'test masses' and forms one end of a 2.5 mile long arm whose length will change due to the effect of a gravitational wave. The purple colors come from a special coating on the mirrored surface. LIGO stands for Laser Interferometer GravitationalWave Observatory

For the first time, scientists have observed ripples in the fabric of space and time, called gravitation waves, confirming a major prediction... Continue reading →

Investigation continues into two Hammond shootings Tuesday, one resulting in the death of a 19-year-old

Deputies continue to interview witnesses but have yet to name a suspect in a fatal shooting in Hammond on Tuesday. The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office reported Tuesday that the shooting occurred about 9:30 a.m. A man driving a car near Rufus Bankston and Wardline roads heard a loud popping noise. When he looked over to his… Continue reading →

Gym to become Red Cross shelter

School and public safety leaders are preparing to move forward on a project to retrofit the Live Oak Junior High gym so it can serve as a Red Cross emergency shelter. During their last meeting, the Livingston Parish School Board members voted to put the project up for bid. Authorities have… Continue reading →

Building listed on historic register

Advocate file photo by John Boss --   The old Brown Hotel in Denham Springs in 2000. The building was recently named to the National Register of Historic Places.

The building housing Crowder Antiques in the Old Hotel in Denham Springs was officially placed on the National Register of Historic Places, said Florence Crowder, whose research into the site of the former Brown Hotel contributed to the designation. The National Register plaque was unveiled in a ceremony in early January, Crowder said. Back… Continue reading →

Walk gives pupils a healthy dose of knowledge

Advocate staff photo by VIC COUVILLION -- Beatrice Bellony Ho-A-Sim, left, a parent presenter, teaches second-graders Jaleigh Deal, Heidi Crotwell and Bryson Ferguson about the mouth at an early station on the Body Walk held in the gym at Seventh Ward Elementary School recently. The interactive program was presented by the LSU Ag Center and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation.

Kindergarten through fifth-grade students at Seventh Ward Elementary School were recently treated to an imaginative “tour” through the human body during the Body Walk program designed to enhance students’ ability to learn skills and better choices that can lead to a healthy lifestyle.… Continue reading →

Sports Roundup for Feb. 11, 2016

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Headshot of new columnist Scott Hotard.

Riding the wave of momentum it built during last year’s playoffs and buoyed by the return of 10 seniors, the Denham Springs boys soccer team entered the 2015-16 season with expectations higher than ever. Whether the Yellow Jackets can meet those expectations will be decided in the coming weeks. After a regular season marked by what… Continue reading →

Hammond chamber of commerce honors successes

Photo provided by Phillip Colwart Photography -- The 2016 Greater Hammond Chamber Board of Directors includes, front from left, Sandy Summers, Bridget LaBorde, Stacey Neal, Kim Walker, President/CEO Melissa Bordelon, Immediate Past Chairwoman Erin Cowser, Robin Parker, Amber Narro, Elsbet Smith and Ginger Cangelosi; and back, Treasurer Jared Lauderdale, Elizabeth Reno, Greg Drude, Chairman-Elect Mark Dispenza, Hart Bordelon, Chairman Brian Shirey, Daryl Ferrara, Melanie Lanaux Zaffuto, Scott Henderson, Erica D. Williams and Calvin Fabre. Not pictured is Larry Bleakley.

The Greater Hammond Chamber of Commerce held its annual Installation and Awards Banquet on Jan. 28, where it celebrated its 2015 accomplishments and welcomed its new board. Brian Shirey, marketing manager for Northshore Broadcasting, took over as board chairman from Erin Cowser, executive director of public and governmental affairs for Southeastern Louisiana University. Shirey… Continue reading →

Live Oak High School places at business conference

Photo provided by Kathy Aucoin -- Live Oak High School FBLA students competing at the District VI Conference at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond on Jan. 27 include, front from left, Elizabeth Stewart, Chloe Pepper, Sara Martin, Halle Jones and Kennedi Johnson; and back, Katie Hammerschmidt, Ethan Brooks, Dawson Fontenot, Colt Olinde, Scotty Smith, Cameron Curtis, Blair Byers, Josh Higdon, Alex Sauhing, Ethan Phillips, Kaylee Jones, Anna Kuhlmann, Alexis Blackwell and Presley Wascom.

Live Oak High School Future Business Leaders of America students competed at the District VI Conference on Jan. 27 at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond. Students earning an excellent rating were Ethan Brooks, Introduction to Business; Blair Byers, Business Calculations; Dawson Fontenot, Economics; Katie Hammerschmidt, Business Calculations; Hammerschmidt, Kennedi Johnson and Elizabeth Stewart, Hospitality Management Team; and… Continue reading →

Library hosts spell-binding Harry Potter night

Photo provided by Emma James-Wilson -- Denham Springs-Walker Library Branch staff member Hannah Beck holds the Sorting Hat over Clint Bass' head as library staff member Ellen Albert watches during the after-hours Harry Potter Night on Jan. 29.

The witching hour descended upon the Denham Springs-Walker Branch of Livingston Parish Library on Jan. 29 for an adults-only, after-hours Harry Potter Night. Witches and wizards were sorted into their Hogwarts houses, played Quidditch, made wands and hunted for horcruxes, among other activities.… Continue reading →

Hammond Eastside holds Art Gala

Photo provided by Linda Faller Joiner -- Students, parents and teachers view items and place bids at a silent auction during the Art Gala on Jan. 14 at Hammond Eastside Elementary Magnet School.

Hammond Eastside Elementary Magnet School held its annual Art Gala, with the theme “Creativity Connects the World,” on Jan. 14. More than 1,500 students, parents, Tangipahoa Parish School Board members and community partners attended. The gala included a performance of many children involving dance, drama and music; works of art in clay, glass, sculpture, canvas… Continue reading →

Lions Club hosts 4-H cooking competition

Photo provided by JoAnna Pesson -- 4-H Agents Megan Roberts, left, and JoAnna Pesson, right, gather for a photo with Lauren Williams, of Oaks Montessori, winner of the Tangipahoa Parish 4-H Egg, Poultry and Bento Cookery and Ambassador competition on Jan. 26.

The Ponchatoula Lions Club hosted the Tangipahoa Parish 4-H Egg, Poultry and Bento Cookery and Ambassador Competition on Jan. 26. The Y-Knots Square Dance Club, of Hammond, provided entertainment while the dishes were judged. Overall winners were: EGG COOKERY: Jordan Mazzeno, Ponchatoula Junior High, appetizer/salad; Rebekah Pesson, Trafton Academy, dessert; and Irma… Continue reading →

Seminar to help businesses utilize Google Maps

The Southeastern Louisiana University Small Business Development Center and several area partners will host “Get Found on Google Search and Maps,” a free seminar on business use of Google, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Feb. 17 at the Tangipahoa Parish Library, 204 N.E. Central Ave., Amite. Co-sponsors include the Amite Chamber of Commerce, Tangipahoa Economic Development,… Continue reading →

Four Holy Ghost students honored with awards

Photo provided by Cindy Wagner -- Brotherhood Award winner Gabe Hester, left, and Sisterhood Award winner Juliette LeRay, right, gather for a photo with Holy Ghost Catholic School Principal Donna Wallette.

Holy Ghost Catholic School in Hammond recently recognized the recipients of the Brotherhood/Sisterhood Awards and Students of the Year with their families in attendance during National Catholic Schools Week, celebrated Jan. 31-Feb. 6. Gabe Hester and Juliette LeRay received the Brotherhood/Sisterhood Awards. The awards, voted on by eighth-grade peers, recognize a boy and a girl who exemplify… Continue reading →

Catholic Schools Week activities wrap up

Photo provided by Michelle Chauvin -- Hammond Mayor Pete Panepinto, right, joins St. Thomas Aquinas Regional Catholic High School Principal Jose Becerra, left, and Holy Ghost Catholic School Principal Donna Wallette, center, in recognizing Hammond’s two Catholic schools for their impact on the community during National Catholic Schools Week, Jan. 31-Feb. 6.

St. Thomas Aquinas Regional Catholic High School in Hammond joined Catholic schools across the nation in celebrating National Catholic Schools Week, Jan. 31 through Feb. 6. This year’s theme was “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.” Activities throughout the week included: FEB. 1: Honoring Distinguished Graduate Judge Jeffrey Cashe, Class… Continue reading →

Registration for Girl Scout camps to begin

Photo provided by Marianne Addy -- Girl Scouts have fun on the giant water slide at Camp Whispering Pines last summer.

Priority registration for Girl Scout resident camps will be held from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Girl Scout Council’s regional service center, 545 Colonia Drive, Baton Rouge. Priority registration helps guarantee a Girl Scout group or individual girl’s placement in the camp session of her choice before general registration opens on Feb.… Continue reading →

Livingston Parish calendar for Feb. 11-18, 2016

VITA TAX PREP: 9:15 a.m., Denham Springs-Walker Branch Library; and 5:30 p.m., Albany-Springfield Branch Library. Free 2015 tax preparation for participants with low to moderate incomes. SUNNY-SIDE UP INSPIRATIONAL BOOK CLUB: 10 a.m., Watson Branch Library. STORYTIME: 10 a.m., Albany-Springfield Branch Library. ADULT BOOK CLUB: 10:30 a.m., Main Branch Library.… Continue reading →

Livingston pets available for Feb. 11, 2016

Photo provided -- Bess is a 4-year-old female gray domestic shorthair.

The Denham Springs Animal Shelter is located at 600 Bowman St. in Denham Springs. The shelter is open for adoptions seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The adoption fee is $60 and covers spay/neuter, dewormer and age-appropriate vaccinations, including rabies and bordetella. Call (225) 664-4472 and visit the group on Facebook. Petco in… Continue reading →

Council on Aging menus for Feb. 11-18, 2016

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. Meatball hoagie with Creole sauce, buttered cabbage, mixed vegetables, apple Seafood salad or chicken salad, potato chowder,… Continue reading →

Update: LSU repairs holes in bathroom stalls after obscenity arrest leads Walker city prosecutor to resign

Michael Cupit

Continue reading →

After hearing pleas from some residents, Tangipahoa Parish Council agrees to study north-south bus service

St. Helena College and Career Academy broken into during the weekend, doors to principal’s office broken, parish superintendent said

The St. Helena College and Career Academy was broken into over the weekend for the second time since the school opened about a year ago, the parish superintendent said. Someone broke a glass door in the front office area and damaged a door leading into the principal’s office, Superintendent Kelli Joseph said. Monday morning, authorities were… Continue reading →

Robert man found dead off I-12 after suspected motorcycle accident, Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office reports

A missing man from Robert was found dead after an apparent vehicle crash Friday, the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office reported. Randall Taylor Minson, 52, was last seen leaving the Pier 22 bar on La. 22 on a motorcycle late Monday, according to a missing person news release issued Friday afternoon. About an hour after the… Continue reading →

Livingston School Board to consider proposed school calendar that would have classes starting on Aug. 4

Students at Livingston Parish’s public schools could begin classes next school year in the first week of August. During Thursday’s School Board meeting, officials were presented with a proposed schedule for the 2016-17 school year. It begins Aug. 4 and ends May 23 but includes substantial vacation time — nearly three weeks… Continue reading →

Case dropped against pair accused in St. Helena asphalt scam

After warning St. Helena residents last year about possible asphalt scammers and issuing arrest warrants for two men, the Sheriff’s Office has resolved the issue out of court, the chief of detectives said this week. In May, deputies warned residents, particularly the elderly, that two men were approaching homeowners promising to perform driveway resurfacing for a low… Continue reading →

Killian Police searching for man involved in high-speed chase; police chief said the man admitted to running meth from Texas to Louisiana

Curtis Savoie

Killian police have warned the public of a suspected drug runner on the lam after escaping police in a high-speed chase last week. On Friday, a village police officer tried to pull over an Infiniti G37 driving 83 mph in a 35 mph zone, said Killian Police Chief Dennis Hill. However, the driver sped off, tearing… Continue reading →

Chamber honors award winners

Advocate staff photo by Darlene Denstorff -- Wayne Dugas, the Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce 2015 chairman of the board, left, presents the Large Business of the Year award to North Oaks Health System President/CEO James E. Cathey Jr. during the chamber's annual meeting and awards banquet Jan. 27 at Forrest Grove Plantation in Denham Springs.

Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce President and CEO April Wehrs told members attending last week’s annual meeting and awards banquet that it would take five hours to explain everything the chamber does for the parish. She was able to keep her comments to about 30 minutes. Wehrs outlined the chamber’s 2015 accomplishments and assisted in handing… Continue reading →

Livingston extends ambulance pact

— The Livingston Parish Council approved a four-year extension of its contract with Acadian Ambulance Services last week and agreed to seek state grants for several of the parish’s fire districts. The parish also will seek Local Government Assistance Program grants for the parish animal shelter, Historic Carter House and Hungarian Settlement Museum, as… Continue reading →

Around Livingston for Feb. 4, 2016

The Brushy Creek Meteor Crater art exhibition featuring artist Marsha Allen Needham is on display for public viewing through the end of February at the Main Branch of Livingston Parish Library.… Continue reading →

Sports Roundup for Feb. 4, 2016

The Live Oak wrestling team had an impressive showing over the weekend as the Eagles placed third in the 47th annual Greater Baton Rouge City Championships on Friday and Saturday at Catholic High.… Continue reading →

It’s Lego time

Photo provided by Emma James-Wilson -- Briel Richardson, Tre Brewer, Xander Hunter, Conner Sweet, Alexis Brewer, Sofia Everhart and Gage Hunter, clockwise from bottom left, play Lego-themed checkers during ‘It’s Lego Time’ at the Watson Branch of Livingston Parish Library on Feb. 28.

The Watson Branch of Livingston Parish Library hosted “It’s Lego Time,” an event for the whole family, on Jan. 28. Kids of all ages participated in Lego-themed games, crafts and building challenges and enjoyed snacks.… Continue reading →

DSHS Hall of Fame seeks nominees

The Denham Springs High School Athletic Hall of Fame and Sport-N-Center are accepting nominations for the next class of inductees, said group spokesman Jim Spring. Nominations for the Class of 2016 will be accepted through March 31. This is the fourth time Sport-N-Center has served as title sponsor for the showcase of local talent, Spring said.… Continue reading →

Walker High powerlifting team places at Abbeville Invitational

Photo provided by Michelle Hutson -- The Walker High School powerlifting team, gathered Dec. 19 at the Abbeville Invitational, includes, front from left, coach Skylar Thibodaux, Alexis McCarthy, Bree Hutson, Katie Starns, Lorna Brooks and Alyssa Farman; and back, T.J. Taylor, Joel Hughes, Brandon Racca, Austin Craig, Alex Brady, Peyton Garon, Clarke Turner and coach James Roberts.

The Walker High School powerlifting team competed Dec. 19 at the Abbeville Invitational. The boys team scored 35 points overall, and the girls scored 13 points as a team. Individual results are as follows: BOYS 148S: Senior Brandon Racca placed second (squat 315; bench 195; dead 405; total 915).… Continue reading →

Miss La. offers advice to LSMSA students

Photo provided by Crystal Evans -- Gathered for a photo at Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts are, front from left, Lisa Benner, Shona McCullough, Kelsey Meshell, Erykah Wells, Miss Louisiana April Nelson, Ally Nguyen, Annie Noel and Lauren Sakryd; and back, Beth Fontenot, Maya Bochas, Lucy Rhymes, Jessica Hinote, Jeff Thomakos, Christina Arey, Jared Hulsey, Charlie Roppolo, Josh Savage, Josef Hofman and Aryiana Moore.

Miss Louisiana April Nelson spoke with musical theater cabaret students at Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts in Natchitoches on Jan. 15. Nelson offered advice for those wishing to pursue a musical career and shared her experiences as Miss Louisiana and her plans for the future, a news release said. The class is led… Continue reading →

Teachers learn about agriculture

Photo provided by Linda Faller Joiner -- From left are Farm Bureau Insurance Agency representative Victoria Lawrence and manager Malcolm Fitzhugh, iPad winner Elaina Roque, basket winner Kristen Davis and presenter Colette Taillon. Roque, Davis and Taillon are teachers at Hammond Westside Elementary Montessori School.

Tangipahoa Parish teachers attended workshops throughout the parish on Jan. 15, including “Ag in the Classroom” at Hammond Westside Montessori School. Hammond Westside teacher Colette Taillon and her students instructed the teachers on how to incorporate agriculture into the classroom. Farm Bureau Insurance Agency donated two iPad minis and two baskets of Louisiana products to… Continue reading →

Soccer tourney, logo contest winners lauded

Photo provided by Sam Barnes --  LP Express girls team members include, from left, Madelyn Vaughn, Emily Ellis, Aubrey Johnson, Taylor Deshotel, Dejah Marsh, Katelyn Shaffer, Sydney Nester, Gueslee Brownell, Alexis McCray, Charleigh Naquin, coach Paige Frederick, Karson Smith, Baylee Kimbal, Victoria Germany and Farrah Deshotel.

The winners of the Pride of the Parish Middle School Soccer Tournament and tournament logo contest, held in December and January, were recognized Jan. 20 during championship night. The four-night tournament was held at the Denham Springs High School and Live Oak High School stadiums and included teams from Live Oak Middle School and Southside Junior High… Continue reading →

Holy Ghost students honored at Awards Day

Photo provided by Cindy Wagner -- Holy Ghost Catholic School fifth-graders Luke Coats, left, and Abby Davis smile after being recognized for achieving the highest academic honor, Principal’s List, All A Honor Roll, on Jan. 22.

Holy Ghost Catholic School in Hammond held its second-quarter Awards Day on Jan. 22. Relatives attended to see students recognized for academic achievements including honor roll, Accelerated Reader and spelling bee.… Continue reading →

Seventh-grader wins Holy Ghost spelling bee

Photo provided by Cindy Wagner -- Holy Ghost Catholic School students recognized at a recent Awards Day ceremony for their spelling skills include, from left, fifth-grader Graham Mizell, sixth-grader Nathan Drummond, seventh-grader Emma Davis, English I student Juliette LeRay and eighth-grader Kayla Gangi. Davis will represent the school at the Scripps National Spelling Bee district competition in March.

Seventh-grader Emma Davis recently was the overall winner of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, sponsored by the Louisiana Children’s Discovery Center, at Holy Ghost Catholic School in Hammond. Students in fourth- through eighth-grades participated in each classroom, with students competing for one winner per grade level. Grade-level winners then participated in a spelling bee to determine… Continue reading →

Four Louisiana Blazers Elite players sign with LSU Eunice

Photo provided by Wanda Simmons -- Louisiana Blazers Elite players, from left, Lakyn Wales, Ally Howard, Alexa Lonibos and Kelsey Cifreo recently signed to play softball with LSU Eunice.

Four softball players with the Louisiana Blazers Elite recently signed with LSU Eunice in the presence of their high school head coaches and Andy Lee, of LSUE. Kelsey Cifreo, of Walker High School, lettered four years in softball; was 2014 and 2015 Academic All-American; 2015 2nd Team All-District and All-Parish; and 2015 Baton Rouge Player of… Continue reading →