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Lego competition encourages creativity in fourth-, fifth-graders

Advocate photo by C.J. FUTCH -- Stephanie Heumann, instructor and undergraduate coordinator at LSU's Bert S. Turner Department of Construction Management, asks William Edward questions about his design at the National Association of Women in Construction's local Block-Kids competition. Heumann volunteered as a judge at the event, held at Westdale Heights Academic Magnet School. Students from the school's fourth and fifth grades were chosen to participate.

Twenty-four fourth- and fifth-grade students took their seats Jan. 29 on the floor of the Westdale Heights Academic Magnet School. Each WHAM student had a bag of Legos — everyone had the same pieces — and instructions to use the stackable blocks and their imaginations to build something. Other than a 45-minute time limit and the materials,… Continue reading →

Couple keep Train Day event on track

Advocate staff photo by JOHN OUBRE -- Alex Duncan, 4, takes a poke at a locomotive as it rounds the track on Saturday during Train Day at Jones Creek Library.

Forrest Becht has loved trains all his life, and that didn’t diminish with the more than 40 years he spent working in the railroad industry. It’s a career that took him all over the world, he said, and he and his wife, Carol, still plan all their vacations around his newest hobby — photographing trains.… Continue reading →

On the Southside for Feb. 4, 2016

Baton Rouge City Appreciation Day at the Baton Rouge Zoo is set for Feb. 13. Buy one regular-price admission and get one of equal or lesser value for free when presenting an official Louisiana driver’s license with a recognized ZIP code. The buy-one-get-one discount will be recognized for all East Baton Rouge Parish… Continue reading →

Runnels pupils mark 100th day with fun, games

Photo provided by Allison Wrenn -- Kate Stelly, Lily Downing, Lucas Gil and Mark Albarado, from left, view 100th day of school collections at Runnels School on Jan. 21.

Kindergartners at Runnels School celebrated the 100th day of school on Jan. 21 with activities and lessons based on the number 100. Each student brought a display of 100 items to school for exhibition in the drama room for the day. Collections included fish-shaped crackers glued onto a drawing of an aquarium, round cotton make-up pads shaped… Continue reading →

Student selected as finalist for Diamond Game

Jalon Williams, a sixth-grader at St. Louis King of France Catholic School, has been selected as a finalist to participate in the 2016 Diamond Spring All American Game, slated for May 27-30 at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex in Virginia Beach, Virginia. More than 400 of the top youth and middle school football players have been invited… Continue reading →

Law firm wraps up holiday food drive

Photo provided by Tommy Santora -- Gathered for a photo are Taylor Porter employees, front from left, Connie Norton, Molly Longo, Dale Gray, Diana Pryor, Robin Toups and Lauren Rivera; and back, Mac Womack, Tommy Santora, Donna Montagino, Eddie Hughes, Lynette Pourciau, Kiki Bergeron, Ne’Shira Millender, Kelley Dick, Megan Bice and Katia Bowman.

The Taylor Porter law firm recently wrapped up its monthlong holiday food drive, collecting 265 pounds of food and $1,530 in donations for the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. Several attorneys and staff volunteered on site for a three-hour shift Jan. 25 to sort food donations and assemble sorted items into food boxes. The volunteers assembled 6,243… Continue reading →

Exhibitor space available for Builders’ show

Exhibitor space is available for the Building and Remodeling Show on March 12-13 at the Baton Rouge River Center. The annual show, formerly called the Habitat Home Expo, will be celebrating 39 years of offering consumers the newest products and services by many of the local companies. The event, hosted by the… Continue reading →

Main Library earns nod over roofing construction

Advocate file photo by BILL FEIG -- From left, Mary Stein, assistant library director; Patricia Husband, assistant library director; Cordia Clark, Councilwoman Tara Wicker's legislative aide; and Spencer Watts, Baton Rouge Library system director, visit the Main Library's facilities including the rooftop terrace during a May tour.

The East Baton Rouge Parish’s Main Library was selected as the winner of the Building and Roof Award for Metal Roofing-New Category, as announced recently by the national 2015 Metal Construction News Building and Roofing Awards. As part of the review, MCN wrote, “The judges really liked the beautiful use of materials and said the Library’s form… Continue reading →

Runnels Senior Beta Club welcomes new members

Photo provided by Allison Wrenn -- Newly inducted members of the Runnels Senior Beta Club include, front from left, Hannah Page, Sophie LeBlanc, Anna Kadi, Eric Huygues, Caroline Henning, Seth Chiasson, Gabe Bettencourtt and Collin Bueche; middle, Rachel Webhe, Thomas Worsham, Sophia Torres, Anna Claire Pousson, Emma Tooraen, Madison Sutton and Anna Somerville; and back, Sean Parker, Lee Parker, Ian Lansing, Kaitlyn Landry, Ryan Lam, Tyler Robbins and Jeehan Mikdadi.

Runnels High School’s Senior Beta Club welcomed 24 new members during a lunchtime ceremony in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre on Jan. 13. New members include Gabriel Bettencourtt, Collin Bueche, Seth Chiasson, Abigail Courville, Caroline Henning, Eric Huygues, Anna Kadi, Ryan Lam, Kaitlyn Landry, Ian Lansing, Sophie LeBlanc, Jeehan Mikdadi, Hannah Page, Lee Parker, Sean Parker,… Continue reading →

201 graduate from La. National Guard’s youth program

Cadets from Baton Rouge were among the 201 students to graduate from the Louisiana National Guard Youth Challenge Program at Camp Minden on Jan. 23 during a ceremony at the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium Hannah Knowles, of Luling, was valedictorian and Bickham Crooks, of Gonzales, was salutatorian. Taylor Eschete, of Houma, was Cadet of the Cycle… Continue reading →

YMCA launches ‘For a better us’ campaign

YMCA of the USA and YMCA of the Capital Area recently launched a nationwide multimedia campaign titled “For a better us.” The campaign is designed to educate consumers on the YMCA’s charitable work in the areas of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. “The Y works to ensure all individuals have the support they… Continue reading →

Presley Group donates $5K to Feeding America

Photo provided by The Presley Group -- Gathered to celebrate the donation of $5,000 to provide 50,000 meals in the Baton Rouge community from The Presley Group to Feeding America, from left, are Alexis Smith, Gia Little, Jenny Malcolm, Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank President/CEO Michael G. Manning, Presley Group owner/founder Christy Smith, Matt Kennedy, Eva Wilkinson and Debbie DeJean.

The Presley Group recently donated $5,000 to Feeding America. The donation will provide 50,000 meals in the Baton Rouge community, a news release said. The company’s involvement with Feeding America was prompted in part by the 100 Million Meals Challenge being led by author Tony Robbins, who is donating the proceeds from his latest book to… Continue reading →

Miss Louisiana offers advice to LSMSA music theater 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 →

Locals named to La. Tech’s honor lists

Louisiana Tech University in Ruston recently announced its fall quarter president’s and dean’s honor lists. Students with at least a 3.8 grade-point average on a minimum of nine semester hours completed, with no grade lower than a B, are named to the president’s list. Dean’s honor list students must earn at least a 3.5… Continue reading →

Southside cats available for Feb. 4, 2016

Lots of kittens are looking for homes at Cat Haven. These beauties will be spayed/neutered and ready to go in a couple of weeks.

Cat Haven of Greater Baton Rouge is a nonprofit rescue organization for cats and kittens. The Cat Haven Adoption Center is at 11130 N. Harrell’s Ferry Road and is open from noon to 6 p.m. for adoptions every day except Sunday. Adoption Day events are held on Saturdays and Sundays at Petco, 6857 Siegen Lane; PetSmart, 1653 Millerville… Continue reading →

Southside dogs for Feb. 4, 2016

Jameison, a 7-month-old male Catahoula leopard dog/pointer mix, is neutered, up to date with shots and good with dogs. Weighing in at 25 pounds, he is gentle and sweet. Call or text (786) 376-4760 or email mrfoley25@yahoo.com.

The mission of Friends of the Animals is to rescue, place in homes 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. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Anyone interested in adopting or fostering… Continue reading →

St. George Fire Department calls for Jan. 17-23, 2016

The St. George Fire Department operates eight fire stations, and its two response districts are roughly separated by Airline Highway, with one zone mostly north and east of Airline Highway, while the other is south and west of Airline Highway. The information provides a summary of the St. George Fire Department’s activity for Jan. 17 through Jan. 23.… Continue reading →

East Baton Rouge Parish permits for Jan. 24-30, 2016

Permits issued in East Baton Rouge Parish for Jan. 24 through Jan. 30. REITZ AVENUE 5525: Owner not listed. Total square footage not listed. New covered walkway canopy and associated foundation, structural, electrical and 4-inch drain pipe work. Addition 2,538 square feet. Issued Jan. 29. SOUTH PERDUE AVENUE 9762: $2,000,000, Owner not listed.… Continue reading →

Southside calendar for Feb. 4, 2016

GRIEF SUPPORT GROUP: 6 p.m., Life Source Services Hospice, 11605 Southfork Ave. TOPS CHAPTER LA 0312: 10 a.m., South Baton Rouge Church of Christ, 8725 Jefferson Highway. SATURDAY BEADING SOCIAL: 11 a.m., Cajun Bead Crafts, 4733 Jones Creek Road, Suite H. No formal… Continue reading →

Photographer takes project into pools

Photo provided by Aaron Hogan -- Photographer Aaron Hogan's artwork - photographic stories told under water - will be on display at The Healthcare Gallery, beginning with a reception Jan. 30. Hogan took the photographs with the help of SCUBA gear and his wife, Jency, in a pool at a private residence in Baton Rouge.

Aaron Hogan makes his living at the helm of Eye Wander Photo, preserving weddings, people and other special occasions in photographs. But for the last half of 2015, Hogan, and often, his wife, actor Jency Hogan, spent their off-hours submerged in a pool, capturing the emotional, otherworldly images that became OVRFLO, a collection of underwater photographs that… Continue reading →

Newbery award recipient speaks to students

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Kwame Alexander , left, signs his book for Stephen Barker after the program as other students wait their turn. Alexander, a Newbery Medal recipient, spoke to Episcopal School students in grades  6-8.

Kwame Alexander, a Newbery Medal recipient, author of “The Crossover,” spoke to Episcopal School students on Friday after speaking to LSU Lab students on Jan. 21. Alexander answered students’ questions and signed copies of his book. The Newbery Medal was named for 18th-century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually by the Association for… Continue reading →

Around the Southside for Jan. 28, 2016

Capital Area Court Appointed Special Advocate Association is in need of volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children in foster care to reach safe, permanent homes. Orientation sessions lasting 45 minutes will be held at 848 Louisiana Ave. at 1 p.m. Feb. 5, 10 a.m. Feb. 13, 12:30 p.m. Feb. 16, 6… Continue reading →

Sorority honors MLK with day of service

Photo provided  by Amanda Austin -- Attending a recent day of service at HOPE Ministries are member of the Gamma Eta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., front row from left, Amanda Austin, Mary Beals, Nikki Johnson, Emilia Gilbert, Karen Thomas, Micheline Millender, Janifer Peters, Chante Rice and Rosalind Hudson; and second row, Rachel Vincent-Finley and Alrica Payne.

Following a recent prayer breakfast at L’Auberge Casino and Hotel, members of the Gamma Eta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority continued to commemorate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with a day of service at HOPE Ministries on Winborne Avenue. Members painted the office spaces, stocked and organized the food pantry, and… Continue reading →

Dudley DeBosier offering scholarships

Area students can apply for scholarships offered by Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers. The company’s College Scholarship Program is open to graduating high school seniors in Louisiana who are attending an institution of higher education within one year of graduation. Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers created this scholarship program to enhance the educational opportunities available to students in… Continue reading →

15 Runnels students vie for math honors at tournament

Photo provided by Allison Wrenn -- Runnels Calculus AB and BC team members participating in the Mu Alpha Theta Math Tournament on Jan. 9 include, from left, Andrew Mitchell, Alex Matthews, Anna Morgan, Jesse Stephens, Clay Harned and Ross Stephens. Not pictured is Regan Dean.

Fifteen Runnels Junior and Senior High School students competed Jan. 9 in the Mu Alpha Theta Math Tournament at Catholic High. Nearly 500 students participated in the annual competition. Calculus AB team members winning first place in their division were Regan Dean, Clay Harned and Ross Stephens. Also picking up first place in their… Continue reading →

School program hails MLK as national hero

Photo provided by Crystal Evans -- Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts senior Sebastian Brumfield Mejia, of Baton Rouge, left, gathers for a photo with Maxine Crump, president and CEO of Dialogue on Race Louisiana, center, and Pat Widhalm, executive director of LSMSA, on Jan. 14.

Students at the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts in Natchitoches participated in the school’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. program on Jan. 14 in Treen Auditorium. Maxine Crump, president and CEO of Dialogue on Race Louisiana, was the guest speaker. Crump works to eliminate racism through her work with the YWCA in Baton Rouge… Continue reading →

BREC tennis program earns top honor

BREC was honored as the 2015 U.S. Tennis Association Southern Member Organization of the Year on Jan. 16 at the USTA Southern Annual Meeting during the J. Randolph Gregson Awards Ceremony and Luncheon in Atlanta. The award recognizes outstanding service to the local community, organization members and to the game of tennis by a member organization… Continue reading →

Emerge Center to host gala May 14

The Emerge Center for Communication, Behavior and Development, formerly the Baton Rouge Speech & Hearing Foundation, will host its second signature gala on May 14 at The Emerge Center, 7784 Innovation Park Drive. This year’s presenter is The Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation. Sponsorships and donations will raise funds for the center’s day-to-day operations.… Continue reading →

Registration open for CASA golf benefit

The fifth annual Terracon Golf Benefit for Capital Area Court Appointed Special Advocates Association will be held April 11 at the University Club of Baton Rouge. All proceeds support CASA, a nonprofit that recruits, trains and supervises community volunteers who help abused and neglected children reach safe, permanent homes. Last year’s golf tournament raised approximately $11,000… Continue reading →

Classroom Spotlight: Sacred Heart of Jesus School eighth grade

Photo provided by Lisa Black Cossé -- Beth Jones’ eighth-grade class at Sacred Heart of Jesus School includes, first row from left, Tyler Toussant, Anthony Tempanaro, Emily DeMeulenaere and Elise Encalade; second row, Alex Colbert, Kylon Haynes, Kendall Ourso, Ashley Stevens, Caroline Dazzio, Maggie Hurdle, Abby Wall, Amelia Cave and Caroline Feduccia; third row, Trey Spears, Emily Reynaud, Mikiyah Parker, Faith Woods, Carlette Dunn, Jane Singleton, Caroline Creech and Abby Ligon; and back row, Jake Strupp, Seth Hardin, London Scott, Ben Bookman, Ty Grenfell, Kelvin Givens, Beau Brown and Martin Helouin.

This week’s Classroom Spotlight is Beth Jones’ eighth-grade class at Sacred Heart of Jesus School. The students were asked: What is your favorite memory of Sacred Heart of Jesus School? BEN BOOKMAN: “Being able to meet new people when I came here and being able to make good friendships… Continue reading →

St. George Fire Department calls for Jan. 10-16, 2016

The St. George Fire Department operates eight fire stations, and its two response districts are roughly separated by Airline Highway, with one zone mostly north and east of Airline Highway, while the other is south and west of Airline Highway. The information provides a summary of the St. George Fire Department’s activity for Jan. 10 through Jan. 16.… Continue reading →

Southside cats available for Jan. 28, 2016

Photo provided -- Chester is about 5 months old. He is very friendly and playful — a great family pet.

Cat Haven of Greater Baton Rouge is a nonprofit rescue organization for cats and kittens. The Cat Haven Adoption Center is at 11130 N. Harrell’s Ferry Road and is open from noon to 6 p.m. for adoptions every day except Sunday. Adoption Day events are held on Saturdays and Sundays at Petco, 6857 Siegen Lane; PetSmart, 1653 Millerville… Continue reading →

New executive director sought for LSMSA

Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts in Natchitoches is searching for a new executive director to replace Patrick Widhalm, who will leave the school this summer after 15 years of service. Widhalm has accepted a position at Ben Franklin High School in New Orleans. LSMSA, a state-supported residential high school on the… Continue reading →

BR woman featured in book on veterans

Author Donna A. Lowery’s newly released book, “Women Vietnam Veterans: Our Untold Stories,” is dedicated to Precilla Landry Wilkewitz, of Baton Rouge, and Claire Brisbois Starnes, of New Hampshire. The women’s experiences are featured in the book, a compilation of stories from military women who served in the Vietnam War in non-nursing fields, including intelligence analysts, flight… Continue reading →

Crime blotter for Jan. 18-24, 2016

Calls for assistance received by the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office between Jan. 18 and Jan. 24: Assault/Battery 100 BLOCK, SUMMER RIDGE DRIVE, JAN. 20, 6:24 p.m. 1900 BLOCK, JASPER AVENUE, JAN. 20, 9:35 p.m. Burglary 8700… Continue reading →

East Baton Rouge Parish permits for Jan. 16-23, 2016

Permits issued in East Baton Rouge Parish from Jan. 16 through Jan. 23. OLD HAMMOND HIGHWAY 15913, EAST BATON ROUGE: Owner not listed. Total square footage: 800. Complete interior to finish suite spaces A, B and D in existing shell for mercantile use. This permit is specific to Suite B of 800 square feet… Continue reading →

BR Green celebrates Arbor Week with tree plantings

Photo provided by Baton Rouge Green -- Third and fourth-grade students from the Baton Rouge Center for Visual and Performing Arts help plant trees provided by Baton Rouge Green on Jan. 13 as part of Arbor Week activities. The groups planted five Redbays and three Parsley Hawthornes on campus.

Baton Rouge Green celebrated Arbor Week with a series of tree plantings at schools, according to Amy Loe, communications coordinator for the organization. Third- and fourth-grade students helped members of Baton Rouge Green plant three parsley hawthorn trees and five redbay trees on campus at the Baton Rouge Center for Visual and Performing Arts on… Continue reading →

SMS holds open house to display magnet program

Photo provided by HUNTER KIRKLAND -- Hunter Kirkland broadcasts as one of the on-air talents for Southeast Middle Digital Arts and Technology Academy, a magnet program that is a school-within-a-school at Southeast Middle. Faculty, staff and students at SMS volunteered their time at Saturday’s The Big Event, a combination car show/car wash and school open house to inform the neighborhood about the magnet program.

Faculty, staff and students at Southeast Middle School are excited about what they’ve accomplished in their short time operating a magnet program, said Principal Amber Boyd, and they are eager to spread the word about their neighborhood school. To that end, Boyd and John Hayman, magnet site coordinator at Southeast Middle, led tours of the program’s… Continue reading →

Around the Southside for Jan. 21, 2016

'Stolen Words: The Nazi Plunder of Jewish Books,' by Rabbi Mark S. Glickman tells the story of how millions of books were looted during World War II.

A story- and craft-time for children ages 8 to 11 is planned for 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday in the Storytime Room at Bluebonnet Regional Branch Library. Listen to “The Cloud Spinner,” a magical tale by Michael Catchpool about a boy who can spin clothing from a cloud, then learn to weave… Continue reading →

Runnels High names homecoming court

Photo provided by Allison Wrenn -- Runnels Homecoming Queen Kim Lam, left, receives her crown from 2015 homecoming queen Morgan Evans, a freshman at LSU, on Jan. 8.

Runnels High School senior Kim Lam, escorted by Nicholas Saunders, was crowned 2016 homecoming queen during a presentation of the homecoming court in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre on Jan. 8. This year’s theme was “Hollywood Homecoming.” Presenting the crown was 2015 queen Morgan Evans, now a freshman at LSU. Other members of the court… Continue reading →

5th-grade Runnels students complete DARE program

Photo provided by Allison Wrenn -- Essay winners Jonathan Harper, Thanh Kirsch, Michaella DeSimone and Emma Collett, from left, attend the D.A.R.E. graduation ceremony for Runnels fifth-grade students on Jan. 6.

A graduation and recognition ceremony honoring the Runnels School fifth-grade class for completing the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program was held in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre on Jan. 6. The ceremony was led by Capt. Randy Aguillard, of the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, who has been the DARE instructor at Runnels for more than… Continue reading →

CASA announced board of directors

Photo provided by Jennifer Mayer -- Capital Area CASA’s newly elected officers include, from left, Chair Reginald Brown, Treasurer Allyson Sadler and Vice Chair Kristen Hogan. Not pictured is Secretary Katie Ruiz.

Capital Area CASA Association has announced its 2016 board of directors. Executive committee members include Chairman Reginald Brown, Vice Chairwoman Kristen Hogan, Secretary Katie Ruiz and Treasurer Allyson Sadler. New board members include Joy Michelle Boyd, Ryan Curtis, Joana Hernandez Edwards, Carlton Jones, Paulette Porter LaBostrie, Munzer Qaddourah, Lea Seelbach and Robin Toups.… Continue reading →