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St. Tammany welcomes start of Uber operations in parish

Uber is going suburban. The popular ride-hailing service announced Friday that it would move its area operations beyond Orleans Parish into Jefferson and St. Tammany parishes. But unlike in Jefferson, where the parish attorney on Saturday announced an investigation into whether the company is operating there illegally, St. Tammany Parish President Pat… Continue reading →

Lacombe man to get life in prison for raping a young boy and molesting a young girl

Ventura Rigoberto

A St. Tammany Parish jury convicted a Lacombe man Wednesday of sexually abusing two children younger than 10, a spokeswoman for District Attorney Warren Montgomery said. Rigoberto Ventura, 57, will get a mandatory life sentence after the jury found him guilty of aggravated rape for sexually abusing a boy who was between 5 and 10 years… Continue reading →

Adding this new feature would significantly improve Causeway bridge's safety, consultant says

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Motorists stop to pay tolls Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014 at the Causeway toll plaza in Mandeville.

The southbound span of the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway — the first of the two spans built — was an engineering marvel when it opened in the late 1950s. Nearly 60 years later, though, one aspect of the bridge is proving inadequate for the modern age: the concrete railings, which are bordered by a 10-inch curb and rise only… Continue reading →

Trial for former St. Tammany Parish District Attorney Walter Reed postponed until January

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ--  Former St. Tammany Parish District Attorney Walter Reed enters the Federal Court House to face indictments  in New Orleans, La. Monday, May 4, 2015.

A federal judge has granted a request to postpone former District Attorney Walter Reed’s trial on an 18-count indictment from its original date of July 6 until January. The motion, signed by U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon on Monday and entered into the court record Tuesday, sets the trial of the former five-term district… Continue reading →

Covington's Annie Spell shares bond with Rachel Dolezal: Being white president of an NAACP chapter

Photo provided by Buddy and Annie Spell -- Annie Spell is pictured with the woman who helped raise her, on Annie's wedding day.

Annie Spell is white. The diminutive, fair-skinned blonde would be hard-pressed to argue otherwise — nor would she try to. Despite her lack of African ancestry, however, Spell not so long ago was the face of Covington’s chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. And in that,… Continue reading →

Will of slain doctor Wayne Breen ruled valid by Judge Scott Gardner on Thursday

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD  -- Kacie Breen leaves court following a succession hearing for her late husband, Dr. Wayne Breen, Thursday, June 18, 2015, at the St. Tammany Parish Justice Center in Covington. Kacie Breen said she shot her husband March 1, after the two argued and she feared for her life. The case is under investigation by the St. Tammany Sheriffs Office.

The judge hearing a lawsuit over the estate of Wayne Breen, the Covington doctor shot dead by his wife in March, declined a request from Breen’s children to invalidate his will on Thursday. But Judge Scott Gardner did agree to appoint a third-party administrator for the estate, something both sides in the case had called for.… Continue reading →

Filings in lawsuit over Wayne Breen’s death allege long history of fake war stories

Wayne Breen, the doctor who was shot dead by his wife, Kacie, in the couple’s Folsom-area home on March 1, had been faking the symptoms of Vietnam-related trauma in order to deceive his wife, his therapist and women he seduced, his wife alleged in court documents filed Wednesday. The documents, filed in connection with… Continue reading →

Federal prosecutors have given Walter and Steven Reed 57,000 pages of evidence in their indictments

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana Kenneth Polite, Jr. holds a news conference to announce the indictment of former St. Tammany and Washington Parish District Attorney Walter Reed and his son, Steven at the United States Attorney offices on Poydras Street in New Orleans, La. Thursday, April 23, 2015. Polite's assistant attorneys, and representatives from the IRS and FBI stand next to him.

Federal prosecutors have provided attorneys for Walter and Steven Reed with approximately 57,000 pages of evidence in the weeks since they were indicted in April, court documents show. In a pair of documents filed Wednesday, government lawyers mention the 57,000 pages as part of an argument that a federal judge should deny the Reeds’ request for… Continue reading →

Lightning strikes house, starts fire near Covington during storms Tuesday morning

This house in Covington was struck by lightning before noon Tuesday, June 9, 2015. photo courtesy St. Tammany Fire District 12.

Lightning set a Covington-area house on fire during heavy storms Tuesday morning, authorities said. A call to St. Tammany Fire District 12 sent crews to Derbes Drive in the Lazy River Estates subdivision just south of Covington about 11:15 a.m., district spokesman Kristopher Hines said. Upon arrival, firefighters found the house partially engulfed in… Continue reading →

Pearl River man convicted of molesting 6-year-old girl

A Pearl River man could get 99 years in jail after he was convicted Thursday of sexual battery in the molestation of a 6-year-old girl who was the daughter of a man who came to his house, according to Lisa Page, a spokeswoman for District Attorney Warren Montgomery, whose district includes St. Tammany and Washington parishes. Joshua… Continue reading →

St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office trying to return loot like guns, GPS devices, jewelry stolen in Slidell

Some of the items stolen during a series of burglaries in Slidell. St. Tammany Sheriff's detectives are trying to locate the owners to return the items.

St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s detectives are trying to return much of the loot recovered after they arrested a Slidell man and a juvenile for burglary more than a week ago. The June 1 arrest of Gary Hansome, 21, and a 16-year-old juvenile resulted in the recovery of $12,000 worth of guns, GPS units, cameras, cell… Continue reading →

St. Tammany opponents of planned fracking well haven’t given up the fight

Nearly 14 months after plans to drill a hydraulic fracturing well in a wooded area of St. Tammany Parish became public, nary an inch of earth has been pierced. Similarly, almost 13 months after Parish President Pat Brister promised a comprehensive parish regulatory program that would protect residents and businesses around the site from any potential… Continue reading →