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St. Tammany Council names appointed Slidell lawyer Michele Blanchard for District 13 seat to fill vacancy

The St. Tammany Parish Council chose appointed Slidell lawyer Michele Blanchard from a field of three applicants to represent District 13 in the southeast corner of the parish for the remaining five months of Richard Artigue’s term. Blanchard is an announced candidate for the seat, along with Don Crowley, chairman of the board of St. Tammany Fire… Continue reading →

Slidell police bust two in suspected metro-wide burglary ring targeting ATMs

Marvin Hudson

Less than three minutes. That’s how long a ring of burglars who have been targeting businesses across the metro area typically needed to break into a business, seize an ATM machine and flee, law enforcement authorities said Thursday. But the thieves, who authorities say have made off with more than $500,000 from 100-plus businesses over… Continue reading →

Slidell man gets 25-year sentence on child porn charges

A Slidell man will spend 25 years in prison after he pleaded guilty Monday to 35 counts of possession of child pornography as well as two counts of production of child pornography, according to Lisa Page, a spokeswoman for St. Tammany Parish District Attorney Warren Montgomery. Patrick Emerson, 56, offered his plea to ad hoc 22nd… Continue reading →

Former teacher Jacki Schneider in race for St. Tammany Parish Council District 7 seat

Jacki Schneider

Jacki Schneider, a Lacombe business owner, has announced that she is seeking the District 7 seat on the St. Tammany Parish Council, which represents Lacombe, eastern Mandeville and southern Abita Springs. Schneider, 63, is a former teacher who co-owns the Brian Schneider Company with her husband and serves as an officer of Bayou Lacombe Construction Co.… Continue reading →

Incumbent Binder seeks fourth term on St. Tammany Parish Council

Jerry Binder

St. Tammany Parish Councilman Jerry Binder, who was first elected to his District 12 seat in 2003, is seeking a fourth term. Binder, 64, had a career in marketing and management and served on the Slidell City Council before his election to the Parish Council. He was unopposed in his last two bids for the Slidell… Continue reading →

Term limits back before Tammany council

Just weeks after the St. Tammany Parish Council rejected a measure that would have let parish voters decide whether to impose term limits on council members, it looks like the idea is back up for discussion. On June 4, the council voted 11-3 against putting a charter amendment before voters that would have limited… Continue reading →

Former St. Tammany Parish District Attorney Walter Reed faces state ethics charge

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.

Walter Reed, the former 22nd Judicial District Attorney who was indicted earlier this year for allegedly committing fraud by taking payments from a public hospital, now faces ethics charges for the same arrangement. The Louisiana Board of Ethics this month filed charges against Reed, who already faces numerous criminal allegations outlined in an 18-point federal indictment.… Continue reading →

St. Tammany Parish court affidavit recounts Kacie Breen’s killing of her husband in self defense and what led up to it

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD  -- Kacie Breen, right, leaves court with her attorney, Richard Ducote, 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.

Wayne Breen was furious, his hand pressed against his wife Kacie’s throat, her back flush against her SUV in the couple’s garage. His rage, which she had seen many times before, was volcanic. So, at least, Kacie Breen says. Moments before, he had vowed that he would never let her leave, especially not with the couple’s… Continue reading →

St. Tammany Council to pick one of three applicants to fill interim District 13 seat

The St. Tammany Parish Council will decide at a special meeting Wednesday which of three applicants will be appointed to fill out the unexpired term of Richard Artigue, who resigned earlier this month to become Slidell’s airport manager. Four people submitted letters and résumés for the District 13 seat, which covers the southeast corner… Continue reading →

Video: St. Tammany heroin investigation lands 15 suspects

Todd Blanc

A 14-month investigation into a western St. Tammany Parish heroin distribution ring culminated in the arrests of 15 people late last week, including a man whom Sheriff Jack Strain described as the “head of the snake.” Strain said Scottie Fisher, 29, had a “pretty sophisticated organization” of people in St. Tammany and Tangipahoa parishes selling heroin… Continue reading →

Helis doing only permitted work at drill site, Tammany officials say after inspection

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD  -- Doug Herlocker of Tetra Tech shows air monitoring equipment June 19, 2015, on the campus of Lakeshore High School. The monitoring station is for a Helis Oil and Gas fracking site near the school.

St. Tammany Parish officials who inspected Helis Oil & Gas Co.’s drilling site Friday found that the company was “doing exactly what they said,” namely, completing installation of air and groundwater monitoring stations at the site of a controversial planned fracking well, according to Ronnie Simpson, a spokesman for Parish President Pat Brister. The parish had issued… Continue reading →

St. Tammany DA to pursue misdemeanor charges against man who has sued sheriff, former DA

Shane Gates, who claims in a federal lawsuit that he was beaten and badly injured by St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies nine years ago, will have to face outstanding misdemeanor charges stemming from that 2006 arrest. A lawyer who successfully defended Gates against a felony charge in the same incident has said the 22nd Judicial… Continue reading →

Lawyer: Path cleared for talks on reducing sentence for rapper Mac Phipps after witnesses say they lied at trial

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD --  22nd Judicial District Attorney Warren Montgomery on Jan. 12, 2015, at the St. Tammany Justice Center in Covington.

An attorney for Mac Phipps, a rapper who was convicted in a fatal Slidell nightclub shooting, says 22nd Judicial District Attorney Warren Montgomery has no plans to recuse his office from the case. Attorney Buddy Spell said that clears the way for negotiations to begin regarding Phipps’ sentence now that several witnesses have said they lied during the… Continue reading →

Former suspect turns tables, joins suit against ex-DA Walter Reed, ex-prosecutors

Douglas Dendinger

It looked like a legal mismatch. Five police officers and three attorneys claimed that Doug Dendinger committed battery when he served notice of a lawsuit against one of the cops back in 2012. Dendinger, who also was charged with witness intimidation and obstruction of justice, could have spent decades in prison if convicted, because… Continue reading →

Mandeville City Council votes to close parts of the lakefront to special events

When Mandeville was founded 181 years ago, founder Bernard Xavier de Marigny de Mandeville did something unusual. He took the city’s best attribute — a 1.5-mile section of Lake Pontchartrain shoreline — and decreed that it would be set aside for public use forever. Nearly two centuries later, however, the public use of that land is… Continue reading →

Helis offers to let St. Tammany Parish inspectors check on work at drilling site; activist group wants to go along

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD  -- Workers head down a dirt road June 19, 2015, as they help prepare the infrastructure for a fracking operation by  Helis Oil and Gas off Louisiana 1088 near Lakeshore High School.

One of the ripples from Monday’s court skirmish over a controversial proposed fracking well in St. Tammany Parish is turning into a wave. A spokesman for Helis Oil & Gas Co. said Thursday that parish inspectors have been invited to visit the site and verify that the work going on there is within the narrow scope… Continue reading →

Man wanted on rape warrant in St. Tammany arrested in Houston

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office has begun extradition proceedings for Jose David Raibstein, who was arrested July 18 as he tried to enter the U.S. from Honduras. Raibstein had an outstanding aggravated rape warrant in St. Tammany Parish for an incident that occurred in May 2013, according to Capt. George Bonnett, a spokesman for… Continue reading →

Helis will be allowed to complete monitoring stations at controversial St. Tammany well site

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD  -- A noise monitoring station, photographed June 19, 2015, has been installed by Helis Oil and Gas near Louisiana 1088 and Interstate 12 near Mandeville to monitor noise from their fracking operation.

Helis Oil & Gas Co. will be allowed to continue installing environmental monitoring equipment at its St. Tammany Parish drilling site despite a Monday order to cease all work, a parish spokesman said Wednesday. Following a ruling by a Baton Rouge state judge Monday morning, St. Tammany officials ordered the company to stop construction… Continue reading →

Two newcomers challenging incumbent Jake Groby for Tammany council seat

Gerrin Narcisse

Two political newcomers have announced that they are running for the District 7 St. Tammany Parish Council seat, challenging incumbent Jake Groby. Joseph Savarese, owner and president of Dependable Electric Motor Co. in Lacombe, and Gerrin Narcisse, a 27-year-old teacher, both recently announced that they are running for the seat that Groby was elected to in… Continue reading →

St. Tammany Sheriff’s detectives make arrest in hammer robbery

Milton Reed Jr.

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested a man they had sought for holding up a Mandeville area gas station Monday night using a hammer as a weapon. Detectives obtained a warrant for Milton Reed Jr., 57, who lives near Covington, and took him into custody without incident Tuesday night. He was booked into the St. Tammany… Continue reading →

Incumbent Marty Dean running for western St. Tammany Parish Council seat

St. Tammany Parish Councilman Marty Dean is seeking re-election to the District 1 seat that he has held since 2003. Dean served two terms as a councilman at large on the Covington City Council before his election to the Parish Council. District 1 covers western St. Tammany Parish including parts of Covington. He has lived in the… Continue reading →

Activist Gary Leonard announces run for open seat on St. Tammany Parish Council District 4

Gary Leonard

Gary Leonard, a stalwart in the activist group Concerned Citizens of St. Tammany, is running for St. Tammany Parish Council District 4, which covers southwestern St. Tammany Parish, including the western portion of Mandeville and the town of Madisonville. Incumbent Reid Falconer is not seeking reelection, running instead for state representative. Leonard, a pharmaceutical sales… Continue reading →

STPSO searching for hammer-wielding gas station robber

Suveillance video shows a suspect in Mandeville gas station robbery Monday night.

St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s detectives are searching for a man who robbed a Mandeville-area gas station with a hammer, a spokeswoman said. The man entered the Danny and Clyde’s on La. 59 just north of Mandeville around 11 p.m. Monday night and went behind the counter and attempted to open the register, Suzanne Carboni said.… Continue reading →

Archdiocese building apartment complex for low-income elderly in Slidell

Christopher Homes Inc., an Archdiocese of New Orleans nonprofit that provides affordable housing for low-income elderly and disabled people, is building a 75-unit apartment complex on Gause Boulevard West in Slidell. Villa Additions is slated to open in August 2016, archdiocese spokeswoman Sarah McDonald said. The new development will take the… Continue reading →

St. Tammany Parish orders halt to work on controversial fracking well

Advocate staff file photo by VERONICA DOMINACH -- Opponents of Helis Oil plans to drill a fracking well in St. Tammany Parish were dealt a second blow this week as a state district judge ruled that parish authorities cannot interfere with the oil company permit.

Monday turned into a day of rare — if possibly temporary — triumph for opponents of a fracking well planned in St. Tammany Parish. In the morning, a state judge in Baton Rouge decided that an earlier adverse ruling in a lawsuit against the well should be suspended while the parish appeals. And with that order… Continue reading →