Thursdays just got better

Sharon Edwards
Sharon Edwards

St. Tammany students went back to school last week and now is the time for our adult residents to sit down, grab a cup of coffee — and catch up on community news. New to what we hope will become your daily routine is the St. Tammany Advocate, that debuts today with our first edition and columnists ready to be welcomed into your home.

Covering the social scene will be Missie Noel. Her first, full-page “Tammany Scene” column features the recent Safe Harbor fundraiser and United Way Red Beans and Rice Cook-Off. She lives in Mandeville with her husband and two children; attended St. Scholastica Academy and the University of Southern Mississippi; and has been a volunteer coordinator at Children’s Hospital, an international flight attendant and an elementary school teacher. She volunteers with the Make A Wish Foundation and is a CASA volunteer.

“I love living in St. Tammany, and I can’t imagine raising my family anywhere else. We are blessed to have that ‘small town’ appeal, yet the culture and diversity of the big city. We are a community of ‘givers’ and service. I’m proud to call St. Tammany my home,” Noel said. She speaks for a lot of us.

Familiar to many will be Karen Baker, who debuts the faith-based column “Grace Notes” with a look at Sister Catherine Martin’s unique approach to art and the soul. Baker’s lived here 20 year and worked as a copy editor, then community news editor for The Times-Picayune for 25 years. She recently earned a master’s degree in pastoral studies from Loyola University and is married with three children.

Another familiar byline is Andrew Canulette. Born and reared in St. Tammany, he’s written for local, regional and national publications and websites for more than 20 years — most recently as the Mandeville Picayune editor. He spotlights the new Recreation District 4 director in his first “Rec & Leisure” column.

“In Profile” will showcase people who help make St. Tammany such a vibrant community, and will be written by one such person, award-winning writer and photographer Deborah Burst. She’s a New Orleans native who’s lived here 30 years. Burst graduated from Tulane University with a BFA Cum Laude in Media Arts and has more than 1,000 published articles and 18 awards.

Vicky Kreeger, executive director of the St. Tammany Humane Society, said her column “Bark and Purr,” is an opportunity for education and exposure for animals who would make a great pet for a local family or person.

“Check It Out” is a column by Shellie Savoy of the St. Tammany Library. “This is a big year for the library system, with the opening of the new Madisonville Library and a grant for ‘The Big Read,’” she said.

And a big year for our readers, because there’s more to come. Next week, Slidell’s Bravo-award winner Kathleen DesHotel writes her first column for The Advocate on the cultural arts in St. Tammany.