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Gardere Initiative celebrates MLK

Advocate photos by C. J. FUTCH -- Katie Pierson, 7, and Ashanti Johnson, 12, prepare turnips they harvested in the garden before heading back to the Gardere Initiative offices on Monday. The students participated in a Martin Luther King Jr. service project.

Students, teachers and volunteers with the Gardere Initiative gathered Monday for a daylong celebration of the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. About 50 students and adults ended a morning ceremony by joining hands in a giant unity circle and singing, among other songs, “We Shall Overcome,” a gospel song that became the anthem… Continue reading →

Fellowship encourages students’ expressions of faith

Photo provided by Woodlawn High School Fellowship of Christian Students -- Fellowship of Christian Students' faculty advisor James Daniels recently leads an FCS meeting at the school. Woodlawn's club, at about 150 students, is one of the larger in the parish.

Most of the student-leaders of the Woodlawn High School chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Students came to FCS for similar reasons. “I was already a Christian, but I wanted a way to express my faith (at school),” said Brian Williams, who is on the leadership team with his twin brother Ryan. The group is young… Continue reading →

On the Southside for Jan. 22, 2015

Baton Rouge residents are invited to take part Saturday in Brookstown Middle Magnet Academy’s first 5K Run and Health Expo. The event starts at 7:30 a.m. with registration and the runs starts at 9 a.m. at 4270 E. Brookstown Drive. The other events on the school campus include a physician’s forum, Zumba and fitness classes, student… Continue reading →

Former NFL player helps celebrate Humana opening

Photo provided by AMANDA MALCOLM -- Former New Orleans Saints quarterback and area sportscaster Bobby Hebert talks to attendees Jan. 15 during the grand opening of Humana Guidence Center in Baton Rouge.

Former NFL quarterback Bobby Hebert was on hand Jan. 15 to celebrate the grand opening of Humana Guidance Center in Baton Rouge. More than 200 senior citizens and residents attended the event. The event featured Hebert’s son, “T-Bob” Hebert, a former center for LSU; healthy cooking demonstrations by Louisiana native and local chef Neil Thibodaux; a… Continue reading →

Whet your appetite for Women’s Chef Show Off

Tickets are on sale for the 20th annual Women’s Chef Show Off. The event will be from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. March 26 at the Belle of Baton Rouge Casino and Hotel Atrium, 103 France St. Tickets are available for $70 and tables of 10 are available for $650. Sponsorships also are available and… Continue reading →

Runnels D.A.R.E. graduates honored at program

Photo provided by Allison Wrenn -- Runnels School  Runnels D.A.R.E. instructor Capt. Randy Aguillard, left, presents certificates to essay contest winners, from left, Cooper Smither, first-place medalist Elisabeth Dardar, Katie Carpenter and Blaine Nicholson.

Runnels School fifth-graders were honored Jan. 12 for the completion of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program at a graduation ceremony in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theater. Presiding over the event was Capt. Randy Aguillard, of the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, the D.A.R.E. instructor at Runnels for more than 20 years. Winning the… Continue reading →

Southeast pets available for Jan. 22, 2015

Photo provided -- Bill is a 3-month-old, black Labrador and terrier mix. He is neutered, up-to-date with shots and good with children and dogs. For information, contact his foster home at carolineford74@yahoo.com or by calling (225) 614-8423.

The mission of Friends of the Animals is to rescue, rehome or save dogs, puppies and other pets from euthanasia in East Baton Rouge Parish. FOTA operates the Dog Adoption House, 8476 Highland Road, from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.… Continue reading →

Running club members log 952.5 miles

Photo provided by Bonnie Richardson -- Baton Rouge Foreign Language Academic Immersion Magnet School students, from left, Kade Moran and Kynnedi Spight take part in the school's Tuesday running club program.

Students at the Baton Rouge Foreign Language Academic Immersion Magnet School have hit the ground running thanks to a program started last year by teacher Bonnie Richardson. The idea to start a running club came to Richardson last year after receiving information on the Louisiana Kids Marathon. The children had to log 25 miles before the… Continue reading →

Southside Crime Blotter for Jan. 12-18, 2015

Calls for assistance received by the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office between Jan. 12 and Jan. 18: Assault / Battery 8500 BLOCK, LEAKE AVENUE, JAN. 12, 10:54 p.m. 8200 BLOCK, NED AVENUE, JAN. 15, 6:55 a.m. 1600 block,… Continue reading →

Southside cats available for Jan. 22, 2015

Photo provided -- Dexter is a black and white, male cat.

Project Purr Baton Rouge is a nonprofit group organized to prevent the euthanasia of cats and kittens at the Baton Rouge community shelter. Adoption day events are noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays at Petco, 6857 Siegen Lane, and PetSmart, 1653 Millerville Road. Interested residents can email adopt@projectpurrbr.org, call (888) 739-6780… Continue reading →

Southside calendar for Jan. 22-29, 2015

SEED BEAD BRACELETS: 6 p.m., Cajun Bead Crafts, 4733 Jones Creek Road. Learn how to make seed bead bracelets. RSVP by calling (225) 223-6573. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. STORY TIME: 7 p.m., Perkins Rowe, 7707 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge. The program will discuss contributions from Dr. Martin Luther King… Continue reading →

From panic to pieces of tapestry

Advocate photos by C. J. FUTCH -- 'Groaning,' by Judy Momenzadeh. This art quilt began as a watercolor by the artist, which was copied and transferred onto fabric, then hand-embroidered with accents.

Strange though the journey may sound, it was the panic attacks that led Ami Peyton-Kleiner to her life’s work and passion. Peyton-Kleiner designs and hand-weaves elaborate custom tapestries. “It was Claire (Coco, director at the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center) who helped me develop an appreciation for nature,” she said, and it was that appreciation that inspired “Sunset… Continue reading →

Weight loss with encouragement

Advocate photos by C. J. FUTCH --.  Shannon Arboreaux-Fish at the Paula G. Manship Y in Southisde.

If there was a low point in Shannon Arboneaux-Fish’s otherwise happy life, it was the bridesmaid’s dress fitting for her mom’s wedding. She’d been measured, and came in for a fitting with her mom alone, without the other bridesmaids, and there was a reason for it. “I was so excited for her,” she said, but at… Continue reading →

Soul Grooves class at fitness center energizes members

Photo provided by DANA MICHELL -- Tammy Harris, wearing a pink armband, stands front and center at the Woman's Center for Wellness fitness center with Arianne Bellizaire, far right, as the two lead center members in the first-ever Soul Grooves class in Louisiana. The center is the first studio outside of Texas to offer the dance-based fitness class founded by Harris of Houston, Texas. Bellizaire was certified by Harris and will be teaching the class at Woman's.

Arianne Bellizaire recalls attending her first Soul Grooves class in Houston. She loved the idea of a workout that involved an interchangeable rotation of miniature dance routines set together to fast-paced music. “I stood in the very back row of the class,” Bellizaire said. “And I slowly worked my way up. I lost a ton of… Continue reading →

Botanic Gardens hosts family events for Arbor Day

Photos provided by LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens -- Families pick trees to plant at last year's Arbor Day Celebration at Burden Botanic Gardens.

The LSU Agricultural Center Botanic Gardens at Burden will be replenishing the trees on the property that have been lost or damaged over the past year on Saturday, and it hopes to get the whole community involved. The gardens will celebrate Arbor Day on the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens grounds, 4560 Essen Lane, with family tree plantings… Continue reading →

On the Southside for Jan. 15, 2015

Registration is underway for the fourth annual Terracon Golf Benefit for the Capital Area Court Appointed Special Advocates Association. The four-person scramble will be March 30 at the University Club of Baton Rouge, 15333 Memorial Tower Drive. Proceeds from the golf tournament support Capital Area Court Appointed Special Advocates Association, a nonprofit organization that recruits,… Continue reading →

Southside cats available for Jan. 15, 2015

Faith, a black and white cat.

Project Purr Baton Rouge is a nonprofit group organized to prevent the euthanasia of cats and kittens at the Baton Rouge community shelter. Adoption day events are noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays at Petco, 6857 Siegen Lane, and PetSmart, 1653 Millerville Road. Interested residents can email adopt@projectpurrbr.org, call (888) 739-6780… Continue reading →

Southside pets available for Jan. 15, 2015

Bumble, a 2-year-old beagle mix. He's neutered, up to date with shots and good with dogs and cats.Bumble has tested negative for heartworm disease.

The mission of Friends of the Animals is to rescue, rehome or save dogs, puppies and other pets from euthanasia in East Baton Rouge Parish. FOTA operates the Dog Adoption House, 8476 Highland Road, from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.… Continue reading →

Southside Crime Blotter for Jan. 5-11, 2015

Calls for assistance received by the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office between Jan. 5 and Jan. 11: Assault / Battery 18200 BLOCK, MISSION HILLS AVENUE, JAN. 5, 12:57 p.m. 1700 BLOCK, MAST DRIVE, JAN. 10, 7:53 a.m.… Continue reading →

Old Perkins road work scheduled

Motorists using Old Perkins Road between Highland Road and the Ascension Parish line may experience delays through Monday. East and westbound lanes of Old Perkins Road, La. 427, between Highland Road and the Ascension Parish line will have alternating lane closures, weather permitting, DOTD spokeswoman Lauren Lee said. The $830,000 project on La. 427 will overlay… Continue reading →

Walmart Foundation gives $75,000 to Woman’s

Photo provided by RACHAEL STANTON -- Director of Imaging Services at Womans Hospital, Cynthia Rabalais, left, receives a $75,000 donation from Wal-Mart Associate Debra Walker on Jan. 9 at the Walmart on Cortana Place.

The Walmart Foundation donated $75,000 to Woman’s Hospital on Friday during a ceremony at the Cortana Wal-Mart in Baton Rouge. The money, provided through the Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program, will support Woman’s Digital Mobile Mammography Coach, which offers life-saving screenings to women in need, a news release from Woman’s Hospital said. The coach travels to… Continue reading →

Southside calendar for Jan. 15-22, 2015

GRAND OPENING: 10 a.m., Humana Guidance Center, 10330 Airline Highway. Humana will celebrate the opening of its new Guidance Center. The event is free. Festivities will feature Bobby Hebert; his son T-Bob Hebert; healthy cooking demonstrations by Louisiana’s Chef Nino; a seniors-oriented exercise routine by SilverSneakers; entertainment; refreshments and more. Call (888) 803-3535 to RSVP.… Continue reading →

‘Quilt the Swamp’ exhibit on display

The Contemporary Fiber Artists of Louisiana’s annual “Quilt the Swamp” exhibit is on display through Feb. 15 at BREC’s Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center, 10503 N. Oak Hills Parkway. In keeping with the growth of the staff, facilities and programming at the center, this year’s exhibit celebrates change with the theme of “Metamorphosis,” a news release from… Continue reading →

Southeast Crime Blotter for Dec. 29-Jan. 4

Calls for assistance received by the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office between Dec. 29 and Jan. 4: Assault / Battery 15500 BLOCK, RIVERDALE AVENUE, DEC. 30, 8:14 a.m. 15300 BLOCK, MONICA AVENUE, DEC. 30, 10:39 a.m. 900 block, Shadybrook Drive, Dec. 30,… Continue reading →

Work on school gym begins at St. Jean Vianney

Advocate photo by C. J. FUTCH -- St. Jean Vianney School class representatives participate in a school-wide ground breaking ceremony near a home-made construction sign for a new parish gymnasium that will begin construction soon.  From left are Braxton Rodrigue, kindergarten; Alivia Montgomery, fifth-grade; Samantha Simmons, preschool; Katie Polson, seventh-grade;  Brock Waguespack, preschool; Grace Morrison, eighth grade; Trey Simpson, third grade; Corinne Ganley, fourth grade; Jack Bannister, sixth grade; Michael McLeod, second grade; Charli Huffine, first grade; and Carter Reems, preschool.

St. Jean Vianney Catholic Church parishioners celebrated the culmination of a two-year capital campaign Jan. 5 with a ground-breaking ceremony for the Catholic school’s new gymnasium. The 10,000-square-foot gym will serve the church parish, but is particularly important to the student body, whose basketball and volleyball teams will be able to practice on campus and host… Continue reading →

Teams spend day counting birds

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- A black-crowned night heron is spotted in the LSU lakes during the annual Christmas Bird Count Saturday.  These herons forage at dusk and dawn for fish, frogs, and even small mammals.

Fourteen teams of volunteer bird counters met before dawn at locations all over Baton Rouge on Friday to participate in the Audubon Society’s Annual Christmas Bird Count, said Dan Mooney, with the Baton Rouge Audubon Society. The society marked a 15-mile diameter circle with the intersection of Gardere Road and Highland Road as the center, Mooney said,… Continue reading →

Around the Southside for Jan. 8, 2015

Friday is the last day to vote in BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo contest to name two female Malayan tiger cubs. The cubs were born to the Zoo’s female Malayan tiger, which came to the Zoo in 2009 from the Fort Worth Zoo, and the Zoo’s… Continue reading →

Starsky N. Hutch brightens swamp

Photos provided by JESSI RYAN - Starsky, the European starling who lives in the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center, spreads his wings to enjoy the warmth of the sun.

One long-term employee of the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center enjoys socializing, thought he isn’t much of a conversationalist. “He will repeat what he hears us say, if we keep talking to him,” said Claire Coco, director of the center. “You can see him watching your mouth as you talk, studying… Continue reading →

Southside pets available for Jan. 8, 2015

Photo provided -- Joanne is a white, brown and chocolate, hound-mix, 3-month-old puppy. She is spayed, housetrained, up to date with shots and good with children, dogs and cats. Contact mfe53@yahoo.com or punasgirl@yahoo.com.

The mission of Friends of the Animals is to rescue, rehome or save dogs, puppies and other pets from euthanasia in East Baton Rouge Parish. FOTA operates the Dog Adoption House, 8476 Highland Road, from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.… Continue reading →

Southside Crime Blotter for Dec. 29-Jan. 4

Calls for assistance received by the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office between Dec. 29 and Jan. 4: Assault / Battery 1300 BLOCK, JADE AVENUE, DEC. 31, 1:14 a.m. 9300 BLOCK, BURBANK DRIVE, JAN. 1, 3:19 a.m. BurglaryContinue reading →

Southside cats available for Jan. 8, 2015

Photo provided -- Schroeder, a gray and white cat.

Project Purr Baton Rouge is a nonprofit group organized to prevent the euthanasia of cats and kittens at the Baton Rouge community shelter. Adoption day events are noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays at Petco, 6857 Siegen Lane, and PetSmart, 1653 Millerville Road. Interested residents can email adopt@projectpurrbr.org, call (888) 739-6780… Continue reading →

Southside calendar for Jan. 8, 2015

FREE HOME-BUYERS WORKSHOP BY NACA: 10 a.m., Jones Creek Library, 6222 Jones Creek Road. Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, a HUD-Certified nonprofit housing agency, will conduct a free home-buyers workshop for anyone interested in becoming a homeowner. Register at www.naca.com or call (888) 302-6222. SATURDAY BEADING SOCIAL: 11 a.m., Cajun Bead Crafts, 4733 Jones… Continue reading →

Campers find fun in winter break

Advocate photo by C. J. FUTCH -- Gardere Initiative holiday camp participants, from left, Jordan Trosclair, 14, volunteer Kimberly Stevenson, Kolby Trosclair, 12, Edgar Hopkins, 14, Cedric Stewart, 16, and Patrick Brown, 15, play dominoes at Faith Chapel Church of God on Dec. 23. The children and young adults played games when their outdoor activities were canceled due to rain.

The Gardere Initiative held its second of a yearlong series of two-day camps for children living in the Gardere area on Dec. 22-23 at Faith Chapel Church of God on Staring Lane. Murelle Harrison, with the initiative, said the camp was open to students from kindergarten to high school, and was meant to give area children something… Continue reading →

Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center hosts holiday camp

Advocate photos by C. J. FUTCH -- Lean-to shelters get drenched by rain Dec. 23 as Bluebonnet holiday campers do crafts inside the Education Building at Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center. Campers harvested invasive plants on the swamp grounds and used them to make shelters on site.

Campers attending the Christmas holiday camp at Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center don’t just learn about nature, said Lauren Herbert, who works at the center as an educator. They also learned a surprising number of survival skills. “We made lean-to structures this week,” Herbert said of the two-day camp Dec. 22-23. At the holiday camp before Thanksgiving,… Continue reading →

Santa’s in the neighborhood for Jefferson Place/Bocage parade

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Riders throw candy and beads on McCarroll Drive during  the Jefferson Place/Bocage  Christmas Eve Day Parade.

Santa came to town during the Jefferson Place/Bocage Christmas Eve Day Parade. Trucks pulled trailers and neighbors rode in decorated floats.… Continue reading →

On the Southside for Jan. 1, 2015

The holiday parties and gift-giving have passed and many are turning their attention to resolutions for the new year. The Southside Advocate staff is hoping churches, school groups, neighborhood associations and nonprofit organizations will consider resolving to share their news with us in 2015. Photographs and information about accomplishments and happenings are shared on our pages… Continue reading →

Volleyball tournament raises money for charity

Photo provided by Josh Galasso -- Playing in the St. Michael the Arch Angel Holly Volleyball tournament in December are, from left, Katie McNeely, Jake Buss, Jordan Reinholtz , Lindsay Ellis, Caitlyn Thomas, , Garret Hamilton, and Kaci Robillard.

Students at St. Michael the Archangel School celebrated Christmas a little early this year as more than 300 attended for the third annual Holly Volleyball tournament, which raised more than $1,500. The event, organized by the Student Council, is held annually in December to help raise money for a charity of choice. This year, the recipient… Continue reading →

Coroner’s Office participates in forensics class

Photo provided by  Josh Galasso -- Gathering in December  for a segment on the St. Michael forensics class are, from left, Nathan Kristof, Victoria Passman, Kylie Dixon, Alana Lyons and Will Englade. The class was featured  as a Cool School on WBRZ.

The St. Michael High School forensics class provides upperclassmen a solid foundation in physics, chemistry, biology and advanced mathematics led by a first-year teacher who is a certified death investigator for the West Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office. Alana Lyons’ students and the program were recently highlighted in a “Cool School” segment on WBRZ television. Lyons… Continue reading →

All-Star effort

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- The Rough Riders' Bryce Jones, No. 21, of Livonia celebrates his interception with teammates Jacob Loupe, No. 77, of St. Michael and Josh Stansell, No. 22, of Parkview, in the U.S. Army Red Stick Bowl all-star football game Dec. 21 at Olympia Stadium in Baton Rouge.

St. Michael the Archangel senior football players Chris Reid, Jeff Vaccaro, Jacob Loupe and Ashton Fletcher were selected to play in the U.S. Army 2014 Red Stick Bowl on Dec. 21 in Baton Rouge. The game featured Baton Rouge-area all-star football players. The Rough Riders led by St. Michael head football coach Paul Varnado and assistant… Continue reading →

Southeast cats available for Jan. 1, 2015

Photo provided -- Ava needs a permanent home.

Project Purr Baton Rouge is a nonprofit group organized to prevent the euthanasia of cats and kittens at the Baton Rouge community shelter. Adoption day events are noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays at Petco, 6857 Siegen Lane, and PetSmart, 1653 Millerville Road. Interested residents can email adopt@projectpurrbr.org, call (888) 739-6780… Continue reading →

Southside pets available for Jan. 1, 2015

Photo provided -- Creole, a male, adult, tri-colored collie, greyhound mix, who is neutered, up to date with shots, and good with dogs.Creole is heart worm negative and underweight at 33 pounds.To arrange a meet and greet, or for information text his foster mom at (225) 571-6575.

The mission of Friends of the Animals is to rescue, rehome or save dogs, puppies and other pets from euthanasia in East Baton Rouge Parish. FOTA operates the Dog Adoption House, 8476 Highland Road, from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.… Continue reading →

YMCA honors staff’s service

Photo provided by Kristen Hogan -- Don Clark, left, group executive director at the Americana YMCA and A.C. Lewis YMCA, with Bob Jacobs, President/CEO, YMCA of the Capital Area, who presented Clark’s service pin at the annual staff recognition dinner Dec. 7.

Staff members from the nine YMCA of the Capital Area branch locations gathered Dec. 7 for the Y’s annual Staff Recognition Dinner at Boudreaux’s. The YMCA honored its 248 employees during the dinner and presented services awards. During the dinner, President and CEO Bob Jacobs distributed awards to staff members who embodied the Y’s cores… Continue reading →

Southside Crime Blotter for Dec. 22-28, 2014

Calls for assistance received by the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office between Dec. 22 and Dec. 28: Assault / Battery 8500 BLOCK, GSRI AVENUE, DEC. 23, 6:31 p.m. 1300 BLOCK, WOODHUE DRIVE, DEC. 23, 9:08 p.m. 8600 block, Coy Avenue, Dec. 24,… Continue reading →

Exercise goal No. 1: Have fun Exercise goal No. 2: Get fit

Advocate photo by C. J. FUTCH -- Austin Thomas does a more advanced Workout of the Day on Dec. 27 at Geaux CrossFit using heavy weights.

When you walk through the doors at Geaux CrossFit, you can expect to leave with two things: spent muscles and a new outlook on life. “It’s a very supportive environment,” co-owner Amber Leonard said. “You’ll see people gathered around the last person to finish, cheering them on. If not, it’s because we’re out of breath, ourselves.”… Continue reading →

Southside Calendar for Jan. 1-8, 2015

HOPE KEEPERS OF BATON ROUGE: 11 a.m., St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, 12663 Perkins Road. Hope Keepers hosts a free support group for anyone affected by chronic illness or pain, physical or mental. The group meets at 11 a.m. the first Saturday of each month. All faiths are welcome. For information, visit hopekeepersbr.wordpress.com or… Continue reading →