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Mandeville council defers vote on plan for Rest A While property

Advocate staff photo by SARA PAGONES -- The historic Rest A While  property

Should the city of Mandeville consider purchasing a historic property in order to preserve its character and prevent it from being turned into something the surrounding residents don’t like? That, for the Mandeville City Council, is the $30,000 question. After nearly three hours of debate Thursday night, though, the council decided to defer a vote… Continue reading →

Covington races head into final stretch

While most of the attention is trained on October’s statewide election, residents of Covington are gearing up for Saturday’s municipal ballot. Unlike four years ago, when three candidates ran for mayor and every seat on the seven-member council was contested, only two council seats are up for grabs this year. Those seats are in Districts B and… Continue reading →

Slidell-area fire district receives rare accreditation

St. Tammany Fire Protection District No. 1, which serves the Slidell area, has been awarded accredited agency status by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International, making it the only municipal or volunteer fire agency in Louisiana to have achieved that distinction. Fire Chief Chris Kaufmann announced the accreditation Tuesday, saying that he and other representatives of… Continue reading →

Mandeville council to consider study on future of Rest A While property

Advocate staff photo by SARA PAGONES -- The historic Rest A While  property

The future of Mandeville’s historic Rest A While property apparently will not be decided for a while. The property, which consists of an inn and two smaller cottages, sits on Mandeville’s picturesque lakefront. It has been derelict since 2005, but last year, Barrett McGuire bought it and began to renovate the buildings, eventually presenting a plan… Continue reading →

Friction, controversy starting to bubble up between St. Tammany Parish officials, District Attorney Warren Montgomery

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- New 22nd Judicial District Attorney Warren Montgomery addresses the audience during his swearing-in ceremony Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, at the St. Tammany Justice Center in Covington.

The 22nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office has long served as legal counsel for St. Tammany Parish government, an arrangement ensconced in the parish’s home rule charter, but a charter review committee has targeted that relationship for change, and that’s causing some friction between parish officials and District Attorney Warren Montgomery. Montgomery, who took office… Continue reading →

Race is on for 1st District Senate seat

Sharon Hewitt, who is chairman of a Slidell area recreation district and vice chairman of the St. Tammany Republican Parish Executive Committee, announced that she is running for state Senate District 1, the seat held by long-time incumbent A.G. Crowe. The district includes parts of Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard and St. Tammany parishes. Hewitt,… Continue reading →

Parents of rapper convicted in 2000 Slidell slaying push for case to get fresh look

The minor media tempest prompted by two news articles raising questions about the 2001 manslaughter conviction of rapper McKinley Phipps Jr. intensified Thursday when Phipps’ parents appeared on the steps of the Justice Center in Covington to plead for a new trial for their son, who is serving a 30-year sentence. Phipps’ parents, McKinley Sr. and Sheila,… Continue reading →

St. Tammany Parish Council seat draws candidate

St. Tammany Parish Council District 5 has drawn its first candidate in the wake of incumbent Marty Gould’s announcement last week that he would not seek a fourth term. Covington attorney Rykert Toledano, who has served as a magistrate judge for Covington’s Mayor’s Court and is a former president of the St. Tammany Economic Development… Continue reading →

Tests show Tulane worker wasn’t exposed to bacterium at primate center

Follow-up tests on a Tulane National Primate Research Center worker who previously tested positive for exposure to deadly bacteria that escaped from the center’s lab have shown that the worker was not exposed while at the center, a Tulane spokesman said Wednesday. The worker — whose initial test results barely registered as a positive… Continue reading →

Probe of Tulane primate lab blames lapses for bacteria exposure

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD --  The Tulane National Primate Research Center in Covington, top, photographed Friday, Feb. 13, 2015.  The Estates of Northpark subdivision, bottom, is adjacent to the TNPRC.

Staff members at the Tulane National Primate Research Center near Covington may have transmitted dangerous bacteria from a secure lab into a monkey breeding colony or a veterinary clinic due to lapses in the use of protective personal gear, inspectors with two federal agencies said Friday. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for… Continue reading →

Bicylist hit by vehicle, killed late Thursday in Covington

A man riding a bicycle late Thursday on La. 1077 near U.S. 190 in Covington was hit by an oncoming vehicle and killed, State Police said. Police gave this account of the accident: Colby Garrett, 31, of Franklinton, who was headed north in the southbound lane around 10:55 p.m., traveled into the path of a… Continue reading →

Detectives investigating apparent murder-suicide near Slidell

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- The home of Thomas and Debra Franklin in Slidell, photographed Thursday, March 12, 2015. Their bodies were found inside the home Wednesday after an apparent murder-suicide.

Joe and Deloris Fujko knew something had to be wrong with their next-door neighbors, Thomas and Debra Franklin. Both cars were at their house on Meadow Lake Drive East near Slidell, but the couple didn’t answer a knock on their door on Monday or their phone on Tuesday. By Wednesday, a worried Joe Fujko sought out… Continue reading →

Richard Reed had previous run-ins with women that drew police attention

Richard Reed

When Richard Reed flashed an honorary District Attorney’s Office investigator badge at Covington police officers in August — part of an incident that has landed him in the St. Tammany Parish Jail charged with kidnapping and sexual battery of an intoxicated woman — it wasn’t the first time he tried to hide behind his brother’s shield.… Continue reading →

Worker at Tulane primate center tests positive for exposure to bacterium

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD --  The Tulane National Primate Research Center in Covington, photographed Friday, Feb. 13, 2015.

An animal clinic worker at the Tulane National Primate Research Center in Covington has tested positive for exposure to a potentially deadly bacterium that escaped from a high-security lab at the center and infected several monkeys, officials said Wednesday evening. The results of blood tests on the worker showed antibodies consistent with exposure to… Continue reading →

Two former employees of St. Tammany coroner’s office face state theft charges

Two former employees of the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office who figured in the federal case against former Coroner Peter Galvan were indicted by a St. Tammany Parish grand jury Tuesday on state charges brought by the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office. Kim Kelly, who was chief financial officer for the office under Galvan, and Mark Lombard,… Continue reading →

Brother of former DA Walter Reed indicted in St. Tammany on kidnapping and sexual battery charges

Richard Reed, the brother of former 22nd Judicial District Attorney Walter Reed, was indicted Tuesday on kidnapping and sexual battery charges related to a bizarre August incident in which he allegedly groped an intoxicated woman in a restaurant. Richard Reed then left the restaurant with the woman in his car and flashed… Continue reading →