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Judge deals Tammany fracking opponents 2nd blow, rebuffing efforts to stop Helis Oil from acting on its state permit

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.

For the second time in less than a week, a state district judge has dealt a serious blow to opponents of a plan to drill a fracking well in St. Tammany Parish. The latest rebuff came from Judge William Morvant, of the 19th Judicial District in Baton Rouge, who ruled Monday that state law prohibits parish… Continue reading →

Rain to bring surge in mosquitoes in St. Tammany

St. Tammany Parish residents who were dodging rainstorms last week will be dealing with clouds of mosquitoes this week, according to the St. Tammany Parish Mosquito Abatement District, which is stepping up aerial and ground treatment in response to an expected surge in floodwater mosquitoes. While most of the mosquitoes hatched during the rain are still… Continue reading →

St. Tammany Parish public schools set kindergarten registration

St. Tammany Parish public schools will hold registration for 2015-16 kindergartners and first-graders this week. Prekindergarten registration will be May 27 to June 2. Any child born before Oct. 1, 2009, will be eligible for the first grade, and any child born before Oct. 1, 2010, will be eligible for kindergarten. Registration for kindergarten… Continue reading →

Staffing changes continue under new 22nd Judicial District Attorney

Warren Montgomery didn’t start his tenure as 22nd Judicial District Attorney by purging his predecessor’s staff, but there have been a fair number of changes since Walter Reed left office, including some that Montgomery describes as being at the “top of the food chain.” In all, six lawyers and eight investigators have left since Montgomery was sworn… Continue reading →

Engineers ready to test latest proposed design for Causeway railings

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD --  A.J. Adams of the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway drills into the side of the bridge Wednesday, July 9, 2014, as part of a study to  upgrade the southbound span with crash-resistant steel rails.

Engineers at Texas A&M’s Traffic Institute plan to begin crashing trucks into a metal railing specially designed for the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway next week, hoping the new design will keep large trucks from toppling over the railing while cushioning the impact of smaller vehicles. The tests, which will take place at an abandoned airfield near College… Continue reading →

Rain forces some street closures in Lacombe

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- A St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's deputy blocks Cross Gates Boulevard at Gause Boulevard in Slidell Tuesday, April 14, 2015, due to high water.

A number of streets in Lacombe were closed early Tuesday afternoon due to high water, according to a spokeswoman for St. Tammany Parish. Portions of Coral Street, East Street at Sapphire Street, Vermillion Street and Aqua Street were closed, as was all of Sapphire Street and Dresden Drive. The parish was encouraging motorists to use North… Continue reading →

Wednesday, tax day, could be a deadline for feds investigating Walter Reed case

Advocate staff file photo by SCOTT THRELKELD --  Former St. Tammany District Attorney Walter Reed, right, and his publicist Morgan Stewart drive away from the St. Tammany Parish Courthouse in Covington Tuesday, July 15, 2014, after Reed announced to his staff that he would not be running for re-election.

Wednesday is April 15, the traditional deadline for Americans to settle their debts with the federal government. It’s also a date that the federal authorities building a case against Walter Reed, the longtime former district attorney for St. Tammany and Washington parishes, have likely had circled on their calendars for months. That’s… Continue reading →

Reserve officer, accused of being drunk, crashes St. Tammany Sheriff’s Office patrol boat into T Rivers piling

A St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office reserve officer was booked with operating a vehicle while intoxicated and unauthorized use of a movable Saturday night after he crashed a Sheriff’s Office patrol boat into a piling outside T Rivers, a bar and restaurant on the Tchefuncte River in Madisonville. Daniel Eckhardt, 39, was booked and released Sunday… Continue reading →

Work begins to add third lane to I-12 between U.S. 11 and Airport Road

A state highway project that will add a third lane to both sides of Interstate 12 in St. Tammany Parish between U.S. 11 and Northshore Boulevard/Airport Road has begun, with state Transportation Secretary Sherri LeBas describing the $20.6 million project Thursday as part of a plan to eventually widen all of I-12 between Baton Rouge and Slidell.… Continue reading →

Long-idle industrial site on Mandeville lakefront could see new development

For three decades, the 78-acre PreStressed Concrete site along the Mandeville lakefront has sat idle, a victim of the oil bust of the 1980s and subsequent inertia. The site’s original reason for being — creating concrete for giant bridges like the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway — ceased to exist in the early 1980s as the economy soured.… Continue reading →

Ex-Marine who fired at Slidell cop says he doesn’t remember shoot-out; ‘The last thing he’d want to do is hurt an officer,’ lawyer says

Jeremy Lackey

Jeremy Lackey, the 28-year-old former Marine arrested in the shooting of a Slidell police officer Friday night, doesn’t remember what happened during an armed confrontation in the city’s Olde Towne district, according to his attorney, Jeffrey Smith. But the veteran of two tours of duty in Iraq was tearful during a Monday afternoon meeting… Continue reading →

Wounded Slidell officer out of hospital; suspect in custody

Jeremy Lackey

The suspect involved in the shooting of a Slidell Police Department officer Friday night was identified Saturday as 28-year-old Jeremy Lackey. The wounded officer, Sgt. Cliff Laigast, was shot in the leg. He was taken to the hospital, treated and released. The eight-year veteran of the department is expected to make a full recovery.… Continue reading →

Update: Slidell police officer shot Friday night expected to make a full recovery

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD --  Slidell Police investigate a shooting Friday, April 3, 2015, after a Slidell police officer was wounded in a shootout. Police responded to a disturbance at 8:40 p.m. at a bar in Olde Towne Slidell at Cousin and First streets. The wounded officer and the shooter, apprehended by a police dog, were taken to the hospital.

A police officer shot Friday night in the Olde Towne section of Slidell is “doing fine” and is expected to make a full recovery, a Slidell Police Department spokesman reported Saturday morning. The man accused of shooting the officer is in custody with non-life-threatening, but unspecified injuries, Sgt. Daniel Seuzeneau said. It was unclear whether the suspect… Continue reading →

Attorney for Richard Reed, brother of Walter Reed, files new motion to move Richard Reed's trial outside southeast Louisiana

Richard Reed

The criminal case against Richard Reed — the brother of former St. Tammany and Washington parishes District Attorney Walter Reed — is becoming something of a legal hot potato. Just days after Richard Reed was arrested in August, his brother’s office recused itself from the case and handed it off to the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office.… Continue reading →

Disciplinary board recommends suspension, training for Tammany judicial also-ran McCool

Nanine McCool, who clashed with 22nd Judicial District Judge Dawn Amacker on the campaign trail and in court, broke rules of professional conduct when she took her differences with the judge to social media, the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board has concluded. The board is recommending that the state Supreme Court suspend McCool from practicing law… Continue reading →

Bacterium release inspires review of procedures at research labs on deadly diseases

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD --  Joyette Musselman Rhoden, a resident of Estates of Northpark subdivision, speaks during a public meeting about the ongoing problems at the Tulane National Primate Research Center in Covington Tuesday, March 31, 2015, at the St. Tammany Parish Administrative Complex in Mandeville.

The release of a deadly bacterium from a research lab near Covington has triggered a federal review not just of procedures at that facility but of how all U.S. facilities such as the Tulane National Primate Research Center are overseen, officials said Tuesday night. Earlier this month, a report from the federal Centers for… Continue reading →