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In Profile: Bringing nightmares to Louisiana

Advocate photo by DEBORAH BURST - Proprietor and CEO of Tech Works FX Studios, Valek Syke of Mandeville is a master at creating everything from animal puppets and animatronic creatures to killer robots and walking zombies.

A look around Valek Syke’s Mandeville workshop, and you would think he celebrates Halloween all year long. Next to his computer is a bloody gent with his face bashed in, while the window shelf is lined with amputated heads so real you swear one just winked at you. Proprietor and CEO of Tech Works FX Studios,… Continue reading →

Wine & Dine fundraiser benefits foundation

Wine lovers, and people aiming to aid a worthy cause, will come together on Nov. 13 for the sixth annual Wine & Dine with Hospice event at Benedict’s Plantation in Mandeville. The event is a fundraiser for the Hospice Foundation of the South, which provides care to people in their final days. Wine & Dine with Hospice… Continue reading →

Cultural Collage: Competition celebrates fine arts, carvings, photography

Advocate photo by KATHLEEN DESHOTEL - The yellow warbler by Reuel Plaisance earned a red ribbon in the fine art division of the LWCCG competition.

The Louisiana Wildfowl Carvers and Collectors guild recently held its 37th annual Louisiana Wildfowl Festival at the Castine Center in Mandeville. Carving competitions for the novice, amateur and professional as well as competitions in fine arts and photography categories took place. Ducks are inspirations for human actions, often being compared to humans who make work appear… Continue reading →

The Pride Troupe makes its mark

Advocate staff photo by REBECCA RATLIFF -- This necklace and earring set from Juju's Boutique was one of the many auction items donated to help raise money for Pride Youth and Community Resources at the first annual Roll Out the Red Ribbon Gala held on Oct. 17, 2014 at Benedict's Planation in Mandeville, LA.

The Pride Troupe performed at the first annual Roll Out the Red Ribbon Gala recently hosted by Pride Youth and Community Resources at Benedict’s Planation in Mandeville. Skits about creating a revolution against drugs were presented by Pride Troupe members who bring the message ‘Love Yourself. Be Drug Free’ to middle and junior high schools around… Continue reading →

Tammany Times: Tammany Trace turns 20 with 2-day fest

Sharon Edwards

What was once a corridor for the Illinois Central Railroad is now 31 miles of paved hike and bike trails. From access points throughout St. Tammany Parish, you can walk or bike from downtown Covington, through Abita Springs, Mandeville and Lacombe to Slidell. St. Tammany Parish government purchased the railways in 1992 and with numerous grants… Continue reading →

Tammany Scene: Characters turn out for Monster Mash on the Bogue Falaya

Advocate Photo by MISSIE NOEL (Monster Mash) 'Jake the Pirate' Bryton Gunther with 'Elsa' Julia Ernst at the 26th annual Monster Mash at Bogue Falaya Park in Covington.

Ghosts, pirates and princesses strolled throughout Bogue Falaya Park recently for the St. Tammany Parish Hospital Parenting Center’s Monster Mash event. This year marked the 26th anniversary for the event, and the weather was perfect for a day of games, trick-or-treating, face painting and just hanging out by the river with family and friends. The main… Continue reading →

Recreation and Leisure: Wild Things Festival introduces families to Big Branch refuge

Advocate photo by ANDREW CANULETTE - Wyatt Sheridan, 6, looks down the barrel of an air-fired pellet gun under the watchful eye of USFWS employee Keith Westlake. The pellet gun station was a hit with all who attended the 17th annual Wild Things Festival on Oct. 18 in Lacombe.

David Stoughton, the supervisory park ranger for Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges, said he was nervous for weeks while helping plan the 17th annual Wild Things Festival. Even though the weather was perfect at the Bayou Lacombe Centre on the morning of Oct. 18, his stomach was still churning in anticipation of the day’s events. He… Continue reading →

St. Tammany Parish Library honors employees for work

Photo provided by St. Tammany Parish Library - Erica Gottardi, Samantha Brown and Nancy Little are shown with awards from the St. Tammany Parish Library's Employee of the Year Awards program.

The St. Tammany Parish Library recently awarded the 2014 Part-Time and Full-Time Employee of the Year Awards and the Librarian of the Year award. Erica Gottardi has worked at the Slidell Library for five years. She was nominated for the Part-Time Employee of the Year Award by a co-worker who praised her work ethic and positive attitude.… Continue reading →

STARC provides services from birth through life

Advocate photo by ANDREW CANULETTE - Pictured at the STARC For Life Breakfast are, from left, Dawn Sharpe-Brackett; Lisa Fitzmorris Clement; and Bruce Clement.

Several hundred people showed up at the Castine Center on Oct. 16 to pledge their unwavering support to STARC, a 42-year-old St. Tammany-based group that provides services, training, advocacy, resources and community connections to people with disabilities. The STARC for Life Breakfast turned out to be a grand affair in Pelican Park’s Castine Center, with civic and… Continue reading →

Officer runs race in uniform

Photo provided by Mandeville Police Department -  Mandeville Police Officer Becky White accomplished her goal of running the Gulf Coast Half Marathon in her full uniform and duty rig. Cheered on by her fellow officers who were stationed throughout route, she completed the race in 2 hours, 11 minutes.

Mandeville police officer Becky White represented her department by running the Gulf Coast Half Marathon in Mandeville — in full uniform. Cheered on by her fellow officers who were stationed throughout the route, she completed the race in 2 hours, 11 minutes. Running the 13.1-mile course is an admirable endeavor under the best of conditions. But… Continue reading →

Three Rivers Art Festival in Covington to draw thousands downtown

The Three Rivers Art Festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 15-16, on Columbia Street in downtown Covington. The juried show of original works will feature more than 200 artists from more than 20 states with exhibits in categories ranging from painting to woodworking and everything in between. Admission is… Continue reading →

St. Paul’s homecoming offers many opportunities to celebrate

Photo provided by St. Paulâs SchoolâGabrielle Chaix

Members of the homecoming court for St. Paul’s School are Queen Megan Haydel, Gabrielle Chaix, Maggie Otillio and Juliette St. Romain, all seniors at St. Scholastica Academy. St. Paul’s homecoming took place the week of Oct. 11, featuring dances, dress-down days, a golf tournament, a pep rally and a Friday night football game against Northshore.… Continue reading →

Ozone Camellia Festival art contest

Photo provided by Ozone Camellia Club - The Ozone Camellia Club Festival and Show will be held Dec. 6 in the Slidell Municipal Auditorium. This promotional poster features the work of 2013 Ozone Camellia Club youth art competition winner, Slidell High School art student, Ashton Vidrine.

The Ozone Camellia Festival is inviting all St. Tammany Parish high school and Slidell-area middle school students to participate in its annual art competition. The two divisions for the contest are grades 4-8 and grades 9-12. The student may submit an original artwork maintaining a camellia theme. Color medium is preferred. The work… Continue reading →

Eagle Scout from BSA Troop 348 helps CCC

Photo provided by Troop 348 -- More than 1,100 pounds of food was collected at Cub Scout Day Camp this summer to benefit Community Christian Concern in Slidell. The project was organized by Troop 348 Scout Daniel Spencer with help from his fellow Scouts as part of his Eagle Scout project. Shown at John Slidell Park with food collected for Community Christian Concern are Daniel Spencer, in front; and back row from left, Sam Lawson; Daniel Metzger; Chris Barron; Sam Rowley; Mark Porter, of Troop 362; Nathan Lacourrege; Matthew Bald; Matthew Spencer; and Stephen Spencer.

Daniel Spencer, of Boy Scout Troop 348, chartered to Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Slidell, has worked for several months on his Eagle Service Project. Spencer met with officials at the Slidell-based Community Christian Concern to learn about the needs of the organization in feeding hungry families in the greater Slidell area. Phase I of… Continue reading →

St. Tammany Veterans Day events for October 30, 2014

Photo provided by Stone Creek Club and SpaÑFrom Nov. 8 through Nov. 11, Ochsner Boulevard in Covington will be lined with 500 U.S. flags placed there by Stone Creek Club and Spa to raise money and awareness for the Wounded Warrior Project. Businesses and individuals may sponsor a flag. This flag display was photographed in 2013.

WORLD WAR II POWS: Kimberly Guise, of the National World War II Museum, will present a lecture and slide presentation on World War II prisoners of war in Europe from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5, at the Folsom Library, 82393 Railroad Ave., Folsom. The event is free and open to… Continue reading →

St. Tammany youth entrepreneurship program identifies key sponsors

Cleco, The Azby Fund and Shelby P. LaSalle Jr. LLC are presenting sponsors for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy program at Southeastern Louisiana University’s satellite campus on Koop Drive in Mandeville. YEA takes students between the ages of 11 and 18 through the process of starting and launching a real business or social movement over the course… Continue reading →

St. Tammany health briefs for October 30, 2014

CPR CLASS: A community CPR class will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, in the Pelican Room of Lakeview Regional Medical Center, 95 Judge Tanner Blvd., Covington. For reservations, phone Nurses on Call at (985) 867-3900. FREE YOGA IN COVINGTON: Free yoga classes are held at 10 a.m. every Friday… Continue reading →

St. Tammany arts and entertainment for October 30, 2014

Photo provided by city of Slidell - Vince Vance and the Valiants

ROCKIN’ THE RAILS: Benny Grunch & The Bunch will perform with Kathy Savoie to wrap up the Rockin’ the Rails free concert series at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, at the Covington Trailhead, 419 N. New Hampshire St. Concertgoers are encouraged to bring picnic blanket and chairs, as seating is limited. Nonprofits will… Continue reading →

St. Tammany neighborhood briefs for October 30, 2014

Photo provided by St. Tammany Library - Ron McLoughlin at work.

COMMUNITY MEETING: St. Tammany Parish Council member Maureen O’Brien will hold a community meeting for constituents of District 10 at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, in the Mandeville Council Chambers, 3101 E. Causeway Approach, Mandeville. There will be updates on parish issues such as fracking and the budget, and a discussion of zoning for Destin Street… Continue reading →

Church’s quilts offer warm blessings

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Quilts and afghans are displayed Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014, during a Blessing of the Quilts at Hosanna Lutheran Church in Mandeville. More than 350 handmade items â quilts, afghans, dresses, shorts and pillow slips â were made during the past six months by the churchâs quilting ministry. The items will be distributed to military members returning from foreign duty, rape and trauma victims younger than 15, children coping with grief, and to children in Africa through a number of ministries. For more information about the quilting ministry call (985) 727-9200.

Quilts and afghans were displayed Sunday during a Blessing of the Quilts at Hosanna Lutheran Church in Mandeville. The quilting ministry at the church hand-makes the items, which will be distributed to veterans, victims of violence, children dealing with grief and others through a number of ministries. For information about the ministry, call (985) 727-9200.… Continue reading →

Masquerade to help families

When the Northshore Families Helping Families state budget was slashed, officials with the Covington-based nonprofit had to get creative. So they brainstormed and came up with several fundraising ideas they hope will evolve into annual events. One such fundraiser is Masquerade, a costumed affair that will take place from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Oct. 24… Continue reading →

Breast cancer seminar slated

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and to that end, the Slidell Memorial Hospital Women’s Health Alliance will present a fall seminar based on that subject. The Breast Cancer Awareness seminar will take place Tuesday, Oct. 28, at the Northshore Harbor Center, 100 Harbor Center Blvd., Slidell. The event will include free health screenings, a panel… Continue reading →

Rec & Leisure: Special-needs kids find fun, therapy with Miracle League

Advocate photo by ANDREW CANULETTE - Sklyar Haydel is pictured with Miracle League Buddy Allie Hutton before a recent Miracle League game at Coquille Park near Madisonville. Haydel, who has Williams Syndrome, is one of several dozen children participating in the special-needs baseball/softball league this fall. Hutton, a freshman at Hannan High, is one of several dozen students who are providing one-on-one assistance to help make the fledgling league a success.

Six-year-old Skylar Haydel skipped across the infield, and then the outfield, of a softball diamond at Coquille Park on the evening of Oct. 14. A few moments later, Skylar, who has Williams syndrome, would take part in a nonstructured game between players in the Miracle League-North Shore. She and several dozen others with special needs are participating… Continue reading →

Tammany Times: Arts program to strut talents

Sharon Edwards

Art projects, live music and theater performances will be available in abundance this Saturday at the “Talented Arts Program Celebrates Americana” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Kids’ Town Pavilion on Koop Drive in Mandeville. In its third year, the festival is a fundraiser for St. Tammany Parish School’s Talented… Continue reading →

IN PROFILE: James Roberts rubs elbows with big-name movie stars

Advocate photo by DEBORAH BURST - James Roberts of Slidell enjoys life on screen and behind the cameras.

He has that kind of face, the same face used by the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center-Our Lady of the Lake on media material and billboards across the country and into Canada. James Roberts has the Midas touch, or maybe it’s just that face. With no acting experience, no headshots or high-price agent, he has literally… Continue reading →

Tammany Scene: Women, wine and musical waves

Advocate Photo by MISSIE NOEL (peo) Celebrating the United States at the PEO event were Sandy Willis, Pat Jackson, Lou Bordelon and Carolyn Curl.

The Chamber of Commerce recently facilitated the annual Athena Awards banquet at the Northshore Harbor Center. Since 1989, the chamber has supported the award, recognizing women and the mentorship of women, in both business and community affairs. The event recognizes the nominees and recipients who demonstrate professional excellence, provide valuable service… Continue reading →

Cultural Collage: Slidell Pumpkin Fest offers varied ways to experience art

Photo provided by Kathleen DesHotelâJuliet Boe uses her eye for art to carefully place stickers and then paint her tiny pumpkin at the Ochsner Hospital tent.

The Olde Towne Pumpkin Fest featured several opportunities for creating and interacting with art that exemplified the vision of Nelle Landry. No matter the art involvement, Landry will always be a teacher sharing opportunities for others to explore their artistic abilities, especially youngsters. She conceived several new ideas, one of which was a… Continue reading →

CHECK IT OUT: Library serving spooky stories, costume contest

Photo provided by St. Tammany Parish Library - Grayhawk Perkins will spin scary tales for children ages 10 and up at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 30, at the Madisonville Library, 1123 Main St.

Native American storyteller and musician Grayhawk Perkins will spin scary tales for children ages 10 and up at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, at the Madisonville branch of the St. Tammany Parish Library, 1123 Main St. Younger children are welcome to attend, but must be accompanied by an adult in case of fright. The event will include a… Continue reading →

President’s Cup Fishing Tournament lands win for two charities

Advocate photo by ANDREW CANULETTE - The team from Gulf State Real Estate won the Third annual President's Cup Fishing Tournament held Oct. 4 at The Dock just south of Slidell. Pictured, from left, are Eric Paranteau, John Ammerman, St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister and team captain Mike Saucier.

The third annual President’s Cup Fishing Tournament was Oct. 4 at The Dock south of Slidell. The event, which was hosted by St. Tammany Parish Government and Parish President Pat Brister, attracted 17 competing teams and three noncompeting teams, which raised $10,000 for charity. Teams paid a $500 entry fee, and the winning team chose the nonprofit… Continue reading →