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Livingston Parish legal fees to total $300,000 after settling longstanding disputes with engineering firm

In an about-face from two months ago, Livingston Parish officials agreed to settle their legal disputes with engineering firm Alvin Fairburn & Associates without any money changing hands. Under the deal approved Thursday, the parish and Fairburn agreed to dismiss a pair of lawsuits against each other stemming from a terminated road engineering… Continue reading →

Controversial strip club returns to St. Helena Parish

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- The Oak Ridge Lounge, located on Highway 16 in Pine Grove, La., photographed Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015.

For years, St. Helena Parish warred with the strip club in a nondescript warehouse building. A few years ago, the owner pleaded guilty to running an illegal gambling den. The lounge has closed twice under inauspicious circumstances — torched by a suspected arson and shuttered after inspectors found a used condom… Continue reading →

Amite Christian principal, wife accused of having gun at school

Photo provided by LPSO -- Caroine Mons, left, and Frank Mons

The principal of a private school in Denham Springs and his wife were arrested Friday for bringing a gun on campus, according to the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office. Frank Mons, 46, Linda Lee Drive, Denham Springs, admitted putting an unloaded Springfield XD 9 mm handgun in his desk at Amite Christian Academy, La. 1019 and Amite… Continue reading →

Burgess retiring after 30 years in office; Tangipahoa’s only parish president

Gordon Burgess

The only parish president Tangipahoa has ever had will retire this year after nearly 30 years in the parish government’s top post. Parish President Gordon Burgess took office in October 1986, when the parish switched over from the police jury system by adopting its own Home Rule Charter. His eighth and final term will expire Jan.… Continue reading →

Livingston Parish Council scales down tax proposal, settles with engineering firm

The Livingston Parish Council voted unanimously Thursday to scale back the proposed parish health unit tax voters will see on the May ballot to 2.5 mills. The council also voted 5-4 to settle its legal disputes with engineering firm Alvin Fairburn & Associates over the road engineering contract, cleanup after Hurricane… Continue reading →

Tangipahoa School Board appoints interim board member and renews superintendent’s contract

The Tangipahoa Parish School Board appointed an interim representative Tuesday for a vacant Hammond-based seat, but it wasn’t the appointment some community members had requested. The board appointed Jim H. “Jay” Kelly to the District G seat vacated by Eric Dangerfield, who won election in November but was court-ordered… Continue reading →

Hammond awarded grant for Pathways job training program

Denham Springs honors King’s legacy of nonviolence

Advocate staff photo by CHRISTINE MORGAN - Scholarship recipients, first row from left, Ravyn Munson, Jalyn Brooks,Calentria Curtis and Carlisha Kinchen; and second row, Jeremy Washington, Quitesha Scott, Calvin Curtis, Katelyn Evans, Tyler Curtis and Colletter Mitchell, gather following the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Annual Celebration Jan. 19 at Roberts United Methodist Church. The scholarships are awarded each year and aim to show students they can 'live the dream,

Shirley Flowers made her way to the front of the crowd, just behind a banner, ready to march and display her support for Martin Luther King Jr. “It’s the first time I’ve ever had a chance to take part in this,” Flowers said of the annual march. She donned a T-shirt… Continue reading →

Outreach program informs parents of services available in Livingston Parish schools

Advocate staff photo by CHRISTINE MORGAN -- Delaynie McDonald, 9, creates a gingerbread man Thursday during the Livingston Parish school system's Winter Wonderland Agency Fair at the Literacy and Technology Center in Walker. The event was designed to help parents learn more about the special-education services offered in the parish.

Anna Matson spent much of Thursday evening crafting a plan to help her three grandchildren she is raising — all of whom have special needs — succeed in school and life. Matson took her grandson, Eithean Stevens, to the Livingston Parish school system’s Winter Wonderland Agency Fair. She needed information about how to… Continue reading →

Pet Adoption Event/Pet Education Expo held Saturday

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Livingston Parish Animal Shelter Animal Technician Carrie Laboyteaux, left, gets a lick from a former shelter resident Pebbles, an 11-week-old  pit bull mix, after the dog squealed when it recognized Laboyteaux, Saturday at Livingston Parish Animal Shelter's first-ever Pet Fest Adoption Event/Pet Education Expo.

More than 100 people attended the first Livingston Parish Animal Shelter’s Pet Adoption Event/Pet Education Expo Saturday, and nine pets were adopted, some pending home visits, said shelter technician Carrie Laboyteaux. The event featured adoptable pets from eight rescue organizations, K-9 demonstrations from Livingston Parish sheriff’s deputies and booths, and pet owners… Continue reading →

Around Livingston for Jan. 22, 2015

Advocate staff photo by Karin Devendorf -- Christine Morgan Arceneaux.

The Denham Springs-Walker Library’s Exercise for Seniors class will be at 10 a.m. Friday at the library, 8101 U.S. 190, Denham Springs. Seniors can endure a workout that utilizes aerobics and light-weight training to help keep their heart health, maintain muscle tone and increase flexibility, organizers said. Registration is required by calling (225) 665-8118 or visiting Continue reading →

Roseland leaders hand out toys at Head Start

Photo provided by SUSIE CAMBRE -- Delivering toys in an overstuffed SUV  before Christmas, from left, are Town of Roseland Clerk Stephanie Cutrer, Assistant Town Clerk Shavonda Jackson, Mayor Wanda McCoy and Robin Williams.

Mayor Wanda McCoy and town leaders visited North Tangi Head Start before the Christmas break to distribute boxes of toys for each child at the school. Each year, the town of Roseland holds its annual toy drive at the town hall to collect toys and donations for the project, a news release from Roseland Town Hall said.… Continue reading →

Women’s group holding registration

The Tangipahoa Parish Women’s Organization is holding registration for its January meeting Jan. 27. The group will meet at Rosaryville Spirit Life Center, 39003 Rosaryville Road, in Ponchatoula for its monthly networking lunch. Those interested are asked to RSVP by Jan. 27 for the advanced rate of $18. The cost is $25 at the door. Registration is… Continue reading →

Rotary sponsoring Shamrock Run at SLU

Photo provided by the Hammond Rotary Club --  Louisiana's 1st Choice Auto Auction will serve as the Presenting Sponsor of the Shamrock Run March 14 at Southeastern Louisiana University. CEO John Poteet, right,  presents a check in December to Lance Kern, center, as Mike Williams looks on.

Runners who register for the Hammond Rotary’s fifth annual 10K/5K Shamrock Run before Jan. 31 can register for $20 during the special Resolution Registration offer. The run, presented by Louisiana’s 1st Choice Auto Auction, will be March 14 on the Southeastern Louisiana University campus. “We are thankful for the many sponsors and to the community who… Continue reading →

North Oaks welcomes its first baby of 2015

Photo provided by MELANIE ZAFFUTO -- From right, Women and Children’s Services Charge Nurse Megan McClendon delivers a 'Baby New Year 2015' welcome basket to Brook Williams and her newborn daughter Brae’lynn. Labor and delivery staff nurse Shannon Davis and OB-GYN unit staff nurse Lacie Caves also participated in the presentation on Jan. 1.

Brae’lynn Williams was the first baby born at North Oaks Medical Center in 2015. The baby girl was born to Brook Williams, of Hammond, at 7:13 a.m. Jan. 1. She weighed 6 pounds, 12 ounces, measured 19 inches long and was delivered by Dr. Brian Ashford, of North Oaks Obstetrics & Gynecology, a news release from… Continue reading →

Hannan’s Tuminello commits to Nicholls

Photo provided by JILL HOGAN -- Bailey Tuminello, a senior at Archbishop Hannan High School in Covington, and native of Amite, has signed her National Letter of Intent to play softball at Nicholls State University for Coach Angel Santiago, a news release from Hannon High School. Celebrating last month with Tuminello, first row second from left, are her teammates, first row from left, Kalie Buffinet, Shaye Trednich, Kaitlyn Allen and Katelyn Presser; and second row, Coach Becky Lambert, Cassidy Pennison, Lauren Distefano, Meghan Fussell, Kaitlyn Harris, Allison Hutton, Olivia Oalmann, Jensen Volz, Lauren Wegener, Lindsey Osbon, Kaitlin Wendt, Caitlin Collins and Caylee Palazzalo.

Bailey Tuminello, a senior at Archbishop Hannan High School in Covington and native of Amite, has signed her national letter of intent to play softball at Nicholls State University for coach Angel Santiago, according to a news release from Hannan High School. Bailey is a three-year letterman in softball at Hannan, where she helped the team to… Continue reading →

Livingston library ranks top five books, DVDs

The top five adult fiction titles for January are “Burn” by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge, “Private India: City on Fire” by James Patterson, “The Escape” by David Baldacci, “The Job” by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg, and “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn, according to Emma White, communications coordinator with the Livingston Parish Library. The top five… Continue reading →

SLU’s choir seeks singers

Singers from the campus and community are invited to join the Southeastern Louisiana University Northshore Choral Society and University Chorus. The Northshore Choral Society and University Chorus are non-auditioned ensembles of university students and community members, a news release from the university said. With more than 100 singers from majors throughout the university and a cross section… Continue reading →

Livingston chamber names businesses of the year

Advocate staff photo by CHRISTINE MORGAN -- Wayne Dugas, 2015 chair, left; presents the award for New Business of the Year to Christine Powell, Belk's store manager as Kim Sanders, 2014 chair looks on Jan. 14 during the Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce's Officers and Board of Directors Installation Banquet at Forrest Grove Plantation in Denham Springs.

It was standing room only Wednesday as business owners and employees listened to Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce CEO and President April Wehrs give the 2015 chamber update, install the Board of Directors and name the business winners of the year. “The bottom line is we need to strengthen our organization… Continue reading →

Amite High FFA keeps momentum going in ’15

Photo provided by DANA MCLIN -- Career and Vocational Teacher and Future Farmers of America Sponsor Brandon Lebo, from left, and FFA students Kyle Edwards, Tanya Slade, Sammy Taylor and Daniel Addison attend the Tangipahoa Parish Public Speaking Career Development Event Dec. 4 at  Ponchatoula High School.

Members of the Amite High School Future Farmers of America plan to continue their efforts to become more involved in the community in 2015, a news release from the school said. “We are going to keep the momentum moving forward in order to become a positive influence and leaders in the community,” FFA teacher Brandon Lebo said.… Continue reading →

Welch, Simpson tapped as TARC ambassadors

Photo provided by TARC -- Ava Welch

Tangipahoa ARC, of Hammond, has selected Ava Welch and Craig Simpson as its 2015 TARC Ambassadors. The ambassadors will represent TARC in 2015 at special events and fund raisers, providing a face for the individuals served by TARC, a news release from the organization said. The ambassadors plan to garner support in Tangipahoa schools for TARC’s… Continue reading →

Amite, Sumner schools present student movies

Photo provided by CHARLEY VANCE -- Alexis Biandolillo, left, and Katherine Davis rehearse a scene in December from the movie 'Athletes vs. Mathathletes,' a story about a school scavenger hunt and overcoming grudges. The movie is one of three movies created by Talented Theatre students at Amite and Sumner High Schools. The premiere starts at 7 p.m. Jan. 27 at the Amite High School Theatre.

This year marks the 16th year Talented Theatre students at Amite and Sumner High Schools have created movies. The students will have a premiere starting at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Amite High Theatre, 403 S. Laurel St. Admission is free. Each year, the Talented Theatre students create three 20- to 30-minute movies, a news release… Continue reading →

Live Oak High hosts Career Day

Photo provided by DELANEA GATES -- Live Oak High School alumni and Attorney Robbie Harrison speaks to a classroom of students earlier this month during one of the career day rotations.

The administration and staff asked members of the community to talk with students about their careers, and asked Live Oak High alumni to give students a real-life analysis of life after graduation, a news release from the school said. “We really feel it is a great opportunity for our students to see what amazing things… Continue reading →

Boihem re-elected Port Commission president

The South Tangipahoa Parish Port Commission re-elected Donald Boihem as president in January. “It is an honor and a privilege to be re-elected to serve another term as president with the continued mission of economic development,” Boihem said. “I appreciate the continued support of my fellow commissioners and look forward to working with the entire staff in… Continue reading →

Livingston-Tangipahoa community photo gallery for Jan. 22, 2015

Photo provided by LINDA FALLER JOINER -- Students learn geometry through video -- Hammond Westside Montessori fifth-graders participate in a Geometric Transformations Video Conference on Dec. 19 presented by the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. Pictured with a representative from the Fort Worth Museum and Hammond Westside Montessori Elementary teacher Pam Sullivan, in back, are from left, Makaiha Leonard, Laura Seaberry, Charles Guillory III and Cavin Jackson. The Tangipahoa Parish School System has placed a Tandberg Video Conferencing System in each school in the district. Teachers and students use the equipment to communicate with others outside of the school. Sullivan and Becky Tobin, both fifth-grade teachers at Hammond Westside Montessori School, participated in a video conference called ‘Geometric Transformations.’ Using simple materials, including scissors, tape and strips of paper, students created three-dimensional loops, then transformed them into unusual shapes, school officials said in a news release. They also created and explored the mobius loop, the release said.

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-Tangipahoa pets available for Jan. 22, 2015

Photo provided -- David is a young, male tabby cat.

Pets available Pets are available at the Denham Springs Animal Shelter, 600 Bowman St., which is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. seven days a week. The shelter accepts donations of newspapers, food and animal supplies. Call (225) 664-4472 or (225) 788-3101. Visit www. animalshelter. Pets also… Continue reading →

Livingston-Tangipahoa Council on Aging for Jan. 22-29, 2015

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.) Hamburger, bun with lettuce/tomato/onion/mustard, baked beans, peach cobbler, milk. Shrimp étouffée, steamed rice, green… Continue reading →

Ponchatoula car crash claims life of Hammond man

Provided photo -- Crash scene of a car accident in Ponchatoula resulting in a fatality

A Hammond man died in a single-car wreck in Ponchatoula Saturday, the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office said Monday. Nat John Colona, 45, was driving his 2004 Audi north on North First Street near the intersection of Lavigne Road, where he failed to make a curve, left the roadway and struck a tree sometime before 9:20 p.m.,… Continue reading →

Oops! Livingston councilman erroneously ousts board member, will reinstate him Thursday

The Livingston Parish Council will have to reappoint an ousted drainage board member after discovering that state law allows area landowners to decide who they want on the board. Charles Kemp, a board member for Gravity Drainage District 2 near Denham Springs since the district’s creation in 1994, will be reappointed to the board Thursday,… Continue reading →

Contractor claims prosecutor after him since he disrupted Livingston Parish's 'good ol' boy’ system

Corey Delahoussaye

A former Livingston Parish contractor facing charges of theft and falsifying public records claims prosecutors are going after him but are overlooking potential fraud by others because he stood up to “the good ol’ boy network” in the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav. Corey delaHoussaye said he can think of no other reason why the 21st Judicial District… Continue reading →

Denham Springs board dismisses cases against police chief, captain

Scott Jones; Steve Kistler

The Denham Springs Civil Service Board on Wednesday night dismissed cases against the city police chief and captain after attorneys accused the board of breaking the law during its investigation. The board did not properly record testimony given by Chief Scott Jones and Capt. Steve Kistler during… Continue reading →

Facing blowback on a zoning vote by the prior council, Denham Springs councilman seeks to curtail powers of lame-duck councils

Within a half hour of being sworn in Tuesday evening, one Denham Springs city councilman began critiquing his predecessors. Recently elected Councilman Robert Poole, who previously served on the council between 2002 and 2006, asked the city attorney to investigate a way to curtail the council’s power during lame-duck… Continue reading →

Library offers fast, easy tech help

Advocate staff photo by CHRISTINE MORGAN -- Library Associate Sarah Banz, right, helps patron Catherine Hollard learn how to access ebooks from the Livingston Parish Library from her Ipad Friday during One-On-One Tech Help at the Denham Springs Library. The event was designed to help library patrons learn how to use new their tablet, download apps on their  smartphone, set up a new e-mail address, or check out Facebook. The program is held at libraries throughout Livingston Parish. To find out more, visit

Staff members at the Livingston Parish Library were putting new tech devices — many of them Christmas gifts — to good use Friday during one of the library’s newest programs, One-On-One Tech Help. Susanne Orr attended the session with her new Sony Walkman in hand and, within 30 minutes, left knowing how… Continue reading →

Girl Scouts prep for upcoming cookie sales

Advocate staff photo by CLAIRE SALINAS -- Girl Scouts, from left, Alyssa Bishop, Morgan Rainey and  Lainey Vige  play a bean bag toss game Saturday to learn about the many Girl Scout cookie flavors. In the background working at the table is Kasandra Aime.

The Walker High School gym was filled with Girl Scouts on Saturday, all of whom conducted smell tests, dressed like their favorite cookie and practiced their door-to-door sales skills — all in preparation for annual Girl Scout Cookies sales. The annual Girl Scout Cookie Rally is an event that event coordinator Jamie Griffith… Continue reading →

Family Resource Clinic looking for more volunteers

Photo provided by JULIE RASBERRY -- Staff members at the Family Resource Clinic is Ava Smith, Bryan Rasberry and Julie Rasberry; and second row are Faye Blair, Joyce Butler and Tiffiany Smith.

The Family Resource Clinic is seeking volunteers to help with its mission of helping people in the community to face life’s challenges. The Family Resource Clinic is a nonprofit organization that brings help, hope and healing to those facing serious life challenges such as hunger, abuse, disasters and crisis pregnancies by providing counseling,… Continue reading →

Around Livingston for Jan. 15, 2015

The Livingston Parish Animal Shelter, 13525 Florida Blvd., Livingston, will host the 2015 Livingston Parish Pet Fest Adoption Event/Pet Education Expo from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Animals will be available for adoption, and several groups will be available to answer questions and help pet owners. John Schneider… Continue reading →

MADD honors Mack as Legislator of the Year

H-95 Sherman Q. Mack

The Louisiana Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving named Rep. Sherman Mack, R-Albany, as their 2014 Louisiana House of Representatives Legislator of the Year last month. “This is a true honor to be recognized by a group that has worked tirelessly to eliminate drunk driving, advance the rights of drunk-driving victims and prevent underage drinking,” Mack said.… Continue reading →

McMurray named to Livingston Realtors board

Casie McMurray was named association executive for the Livingston Parish Board of Realtors last week. The Livingston Parish Board of Realtors said that McMurray will be responsible for operations of the association, which includes formulating and executing the association goals, objectives and policies and establishing and maintaining industry and community relations. “We are very excited to… Continue reading →