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Advocate photo by VERONICA DOMINACH --Ronnie Kole performs with  The Ronnie Kole Septet during the 45th Annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival on May 1, 2014.

Ronnie Kole has played for U.S. presidents, and he’s played for Pope John Paul II. While those gigs surely are highlights in his long and illustrious music career, he says one thing is for sure: “There’s no place like home.” Indeed. Kole has called the New Orleans area home for nearly 60 years and Slidell,… Continue reading →

Small-town vibe lives on with Mandeville reunion

 Tracy Frazier ElsensohnThe Mandeville native is helping to organize the reunion.She's 2nd from left

When Tracy Frazier Elsensohn was a child, Mandeville was quite a small town. She recalls how life seemed simple at the time and how she missed the place when she moved away. Her memories of Mandeville eventually brought her back home for good, and she’s inviting anyone else vwith ties to the community “to come home” for… Continue reading →

Rec & Leisure: New director takes over Coquille park at a busy time

Photo by Andrew Canulette -- Richard Bentley-Smith is the new director of the Coquille Parks and Recreation Complex.

Coquille Parks and Recreation Complex is one of those places where you get the feeling that something’s about to happen. Whatever the season, there always seems to be a group of kids staging for a game over here or a team breaking from an activity over there. Even its location (near the intersection of La. 1077 and… Continue reading →

Tammany Times: Sign-up open for Master Gardener Program

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD  Master Gardener Don Lefevre, right, shows Audrey Baker his plant tower Wednesday, April 6, 2016, during the St. Tammany Master Gardeners and the Friends of the Slidell Librarys Sweet Heat, a herb festival at the Slidell Library on Robert Boulevard. The one-day festival featured pepper tastings, talks, childrens activities, a book sale and vendors selling fresh herbs.

The Louisiana Master Gardener Program in St. Tammany is one of the largest in the state, with 181 active members, said County Agent William Afton, of the LSU Agricultural Center in Covington. The program is taking applications through July 31 for its next round of training. “We’re looking to break 200 with this new class,”… Continue reading →

Tammany Scene: Tea sheds light on Maritime Museum cottage; Annual festival celebrates veterans

Advocate photo by MISSIE NOEL -- Vets -- Adele Bruce Smith and Sheriff-elect Randy Smith

The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum was the setting for the second annual Susan Thurston Tea. Proceeds benefit restoration of the 1886-era Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage, which is used for community events and educational tours. Susan Thurston was the wife of the original lighthouse keeper. Guests were decked out in their favorite tea attire, including many derby-worthy hats.… Continue reading →

Check it out: Calliope Puppet Theatre to kick off summer program

Photo provided. Karen Konnerth of Calliope Puppets will present shows next  week at St. Tammany libraries.

Calliope Puppet Theatre will once again delight children during the first week of the St. Tammany Parish Library’s Summer Reading events. The audience will get to help tell the tales in “Go Turtle Go” at six library branches: 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Pearl River Library, 64580 La. 41. For information, call (985) 863-5518.… Continue reading →

Tammany Tracker: Slidell musician returns home to give back at Jazz and Blues Fest

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD --  Abby Donaldson, new columnist for the St. Tammany Advocate, photographed Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014.

Greg Barnhill calls me from the road, somewhere between Nashville, Tennessee and Roswell, Georgia. He’s driving from one music gig to the other, he says. The sound of the asphalt beneath his tires vibrates in the background as Barnhill tells me how he got where he is today. Barnhill is an Emmy-award winning, Grammy-nominated musician. He’s… Continue reading →

Animal Rescue: Color is only fur deep for adoptable animals

Photo by Suzanne C. Grim -- Tyson is a pure-bred Bengal cat, the softest youll ever meet. Incredibly intelligent, he loves to explore, and he adores water.  He loves other animals, but might do best in a home without other cats. For information contact

Shelter life is tough for animals. The high energy levels, continual barking and concrete floors all can be overwhelming. The lucky ones don’t have to endure the shelter life for long, but some animals have a tougher time than others even getting that second look. It is often said black dogs and cats are overlooked… Continue reading →

Slidell Art League honors members’ creations

Photo provided by Slidell Art LeagueFrom left are Carolyn Gums, Dolores Crain, Denise Gilhousen and Sebastiam Melerine.

The Slidell Art League’s master artists of the month for May are Candace Page, first, for “N.O. Lady”; Robin Miller-Bookhout, second, for “View from Nature’s Canvas”; Frances Fawcett, third, for “Blue Shutters”; and John Kennedy, honorable mention, for “Gravesite.” The league’s apprentice artists of the month for May are Carolyn Gums, first, for “Fleur”; Dolores Crain,… Continue reading →

Spotlight on veterans

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD  Veterans salute while 'Taps' is played during a Field Cross ceremony, in with a soldier's boots, rifle, helmet and dog tags are displayed to honor the fallen.

Veterans were entertained and educated at the May 14 festival at the Northshore Harbor Center in Slidell. The Louisiana Veterans Festival included a tribute from guest speaker Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honore, a car and truck exhibit and live music, as well as a ‘Stand Down’ of services. The name is an old… Continue reading →

Scouts on the run

Photo provided by Girl Scouts Louisiana East -- Claire Williams, cousin to quadruplets Meg Garvey, Patrick Garvey, Mary Kate Garvey and Jack Garvey, all come from a family of runners. Patrick was the first across the 5K finish line, Mary Cate was the first girl, and Jack was fourth overall.

More than 200 Girl Scouts, volunteers and family members recently participated in Girl Scouts Louisiana East’s fourth annual Thin Mint Sprint 5K and 1-Mile Daisy Dash. Both were held at the Tammany Trace Trailhead in Mandeville. The runs were noncompetitive but designed to promote the Scouts’ Healthy Living initiative. Sponsors were Florida Parishes Bank and Road… Continue reading →

St. Tammany Parish principals, teachers of the year announced

Photo provided by St. Tammany Parish Public School SystemQuay Brisco

The teachers of the year in the St. Tammany Parish Public School System are Jerrilyn Swett, Lancaster Elementary; Veronica Fucich, Bonne Ecole Elementary; and Quay Brisco, Slidell High. The principals of the year are Arlana LeBlanc, Mayfield Elementary; Mary Hart, Mandeville Middle; and Frank Jabbia, Northshore High. “These outstanding educators are role models in their schools… Continue reading →

St. Scholastica Academy welcomes grandparents to campus

Photo provided by St. Scholastica Academy -- Organizers of Grandparents Day at St. Scholastica Academy in Covington were, from left, Michele deZayas, Keri Dufour Peace(86) and Maria Cabrera Tudela.

St. Scholastica Academy students invited their grandparents to campus April 15 to celebrate Grandparents Day. Grandparents were treated to performances by the cast of “Seussical,” the SSA Cheerleaders, the SSA Royalettes, the St. Paul’s School Cheerleaders and the SPS Golden Blues. After the performances, students gave their grandparents a tour of campus.… Continue reading →

Pope John Paul II High School awards diplomas to 55 graduates

Photo provided by Pope John Paul II High SchoolBrittany Chetta

The valedictorian and salutatorian of the Class of 2016 at Pope John Paul II High School in Slidell are, respectively, Taner Cihangir, son of Gina Palermo and Cengiz Cihangir, of Slidell; and Carleigh Faciane, daughter of Ronald and Christine Faciane, of Pearl River. They are among a class of 55 graduates who earned more than $1.52 million… Continue reading →

Lee Road School makes teachers the stars

Photo provided by Lee Road SchoolFrom left are Lee Road School PTA President Kourtney Leto, Brooke Fauntleroy and Jamie Monlezun.

The Parent-Teacher Association at Lee Road School in Covington made sure teachers got the start treatment they deserve during Teacher Appreciation Week at the school. Parents decorated the hallways and teachers lounge and provided and served delicious lunches throughout the week.… Continue reading →

Rites of spring

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD - Children play as the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra performs May 7 in Bogue Falaya Park.

Music danced through the pines as The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, under the direction of Michelle Merrill, performed a free concert at the Bogue Falaya Park in Covington. A meet-and-greet with musicians and their instruments started things off. A student art exhibit with the theme “Celebrating Spring” added eye appeal, and non-perishable food items were collected for… Continue reading →

Covington High School honors students of the month

Photo provided by Covington High SchoolDaniel Ruppert, left, and Abigail Jenkins.

The April students of the month at Covington High School are Abigail Jenkins and Daniel Ruppert. Jenkins is secretary of the state FFA and the Louisiana Junior Angus Association. She received the Ben Greene Memorial Scholarship and the McLachlan Overall Showmanship Scholarship and is classified as a premier beef exhibitor. Ruppert has earned… Continue reading →

St. Tammany Around the Neighborhood for May 25, 2016

Photo provided by Wounded War HeroesJason Austin of Mandeville is one of those who have benefited from the Wounded War Heroes program. When I came home, I had no desire to hunt or fish again, Austin said. WWH introduced me to bow hunting, and I fell back in love with the outdoors.

BREAKFAST WITH THE MAYOR: Slidell Mayor Freddy Drennan will deliver a state of city address at a breakfast briefing sponsored by the East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce on Friday at Palmetto’s, 1901 Bayou Lane in Slidell. Doors open at 8 a.m.; presentation begins at 8:15 a.m. $30 if reservations are made by Wednesday; $35 after. Register at… Continue reading →

St. Tammany to do for May 25, 2016

Photo provided by Northlake Nature Center -- KAYAKING THE BAYOU: Kayakers stop to look at the sights. Head to Northlake Nature Center this weekend for a kayak tour through the Mandeville swamps.

NATURE WALK AND TITIVATION: 1 p.m. Wednesday. Volunteers clean up the nature trails. Call (985) 626-1238 for information. Northlake Nature Center, 23135 U.S. 190, Mandeville. PURE BARRE: 9 a.m. Thursday. A low-impact, full-body workout. Participants should bring a mat. Registration is required. On the patio at Whole Foods, 3450 U.S. 190, Mandeville. CONCERT AND… Continue reading →

St. Tammany school notes for May 25, 2016

TCHEFUNCTE MIDDLE SCHOOL: The April students of the month at Tchefuncte Middle School are Jailyn Alexander, Yasmeen Allahaleh, Layla Allen, Olivia Apatini, Jillian Arena, Olivia Ayestas, Anna Bouton, Sydney Bray, Jessica Daigle, Madison Davis, Mia Drennan, Olivia Faler, Bennett Fenton, Jaden Fleniken, Alexis Franklin, William Gammage, Lena Gunn, Alex Gwartney, Amaya Henderson, Anna Langford, Lake Lenormand, Karlie Masters, Caden… Continue reading →

St. Tammany healthy living for May 25, 2016

FAITH AND MENTAL ILLNESS: The St. Tammany affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness will give a presentation on the role of faith communities in addressing mental illness from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the Family Life Center at First United Methodist Church, 433 Erlanger Drive, Slidell. The “Bridges of Hope” event will include discussions of… Continue reading →

St. Tammany faith notes for May 25, 2016

LOYOLA UNIVERSITY NEW ORLEANS: John Finan Jr., chairman of the board of trustees of Loyola University New Orleans, has been awarded the Order of St. Louis Medallion by the Archdiocese of New Orleans. A medallion is also being awarded to Loyola senior Jacob DeRusha, a hip-hop artist with a passion for youth ministry. Finan and his wife, Patricia, were… Continue reading →

Foundation dedicates memorial to Walker Percy

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- The Walker Percy Serenity Circle at the Madisonville Library was dedicated May 12, and the sculpture of Percy by Covington artist Bill Binnings was unveiled. The circle is set under live oak trees a block from the Tchefuncte River.

You might know him as the author of “The Moviegoer,” which was written in 1961 and received the National Book Award. Time magazine named it “one of the best English language books published since 1923.” But to many in St. Tammany, Walker Percy was also a friend and neighbor. The St. Tammany Library Foundation honored both… Continue reading →

Tammany Times: Scholarships available for Elder Abuse conference

Sharon Edwards

When my grandmother, Betty Cowan Nores, lived with us, I always appreciated that if she had a fall or we called an ambulance, first responders were on the scene in minutes. There would be firefighters and local police as well as EMTs. Once, after she had fallen and broken her arm, they made sure that she… Continue reading →