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18-year-old accused of carjacking Slidell grandmother after pulling gun on her

Sheriff’s deputies found the stolen Lexus along with a Nissan Altima and a Lexus ES 330 that were taken during separate carjackings in New Orleans. A Chevrolet Cobalt that was reported stolen also out of New Orleans was also discovered. (Photo from St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office)

A New Orleans man was arrested for carjacking a woman in Slidell last week, after law enforcement officers found that stolen car and three others behind two vacant houses in eastern New Orleans. Perry Bridges, 18, is behind held in Orleans Parish Prison for possession of stolen property and being a fugitive from St. Tammany Parish, according… Continue reading →

Qualifying starts Wednesday for Mandeville city elections

With this fall’s statewide elections finally in the books, politicians in Mandeville can get down to serious business: the north shore town’s looming mayoral and City Council races. The election is March 5, and the races are starting to take shape. Qualifying runs Wednesday through Friday of this week. The race for mayor is expected… Continue reading →

St. Tammany officials puzzled by voters’ rejection of charter amendments

Before last weekend’s election, St. Tammany Parish Councilman Steve Stefancik confidently predicted voters would approve all nine proposed amendments to the parish’s home rule charter. Indeed, the results were lopsided — but in the opposite direction. Voters said yes to only one change to the 15-year-old charter, with the other eight going down to defeat, many… Continue reading →

Multiple meetings about Port Marigny development site have resulted in little progress

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD --  The former Pre-Stressed Concrete Products plant, photographed Sunday, Aug. 9, 2015, in Mandeville.

In a city where the length of public meetings often bears no relationship to the small size of the population, Mandeville’s marathon gatherings to discuss a proposed lakefront development are setting new records. The owners of Port Marigny, a planned 78-acre mixed commercial and residential development just east of the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, presented their conceptual… Continue reading →

Woman picking up her grandson victim of carjacking near Slidell, Sheriff’s Office says

St. Tammany Sheriff’s Office detectives are investigating a carjacking that happened Tuesday night near Slidell, according to Capt. George Bonnett. A woman was sitting outside a Pebble Beach Drive home near Eden Isles waiting for her grandson when she noticed a dark colored vehicle stop nearby, Bonnett said. A man got out of the dark vehicle,… Continue reading →

‘New sheriff in town’ promises changes at St. Tammany Sheriff’s Office

Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith

For nearly a year, Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith stayed on message in a campaign that he says covered every square mile of St. Tammany Parish, telling voters that new leadership and positive change were needed in the Sheriff’s Office. Now that he’s won the job, defeating five-term incumbent Jack Strain in Saturday’s runoff,… Continue reading →

Randy Smith ousts longtime incumbent Jack Strain in race for St. Tammany Sheriff

Randy Smith

Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith was elected sheriff of St. Tammany Parish on Saturday, narrowly denying Jack Strain a sixth term in an upset that saw yet another longtime north shore incumbent forced from office. Smith led the sheriff all night, beginning with the early voting ballots, and ended up capturing 52 percent of the… Continue reading →

Melissa Henry wins in St. Tammany Clerk of Court race

Update: 10:30 p.m. Melissa Henry is the new St. Tammany Parish Clerk of Court, defeating Matt Faust by just over 3,000 votes. Henry won by 52 percent, a margin she held most of the night. Update: 9:15 p.m.: Melissa Henry maintains the lead in race for St. Tammany Clerk of Court with 44 precincts in: she still… Continue reading →

St. Tammany students with and without disabilities compete together in bocce tournament

Advocate staff photo by SOPHIA GERMER -- Steven Leach gets handed a burning torch before the bocce tournament in Jack Salter Stadium at Covington High School in Covington, Friday November 20, 2015. The St. Tammany Parish Adapted Physical Education Department hosts the High School Unified Bocce Game along with Covington High School. 72 high school student athletes with disabilities partner up with students without disabilities for a bocce tournament.

The marching band, dance team, cheerleaders and revved-up athletes at Covington High School’s stadium Friday morning were brimming with the energetic vibe of any high school sporting event. Students joked with friends, took selfies and waited eagerly for the competition to begin. But the teams themselves and the game they were there to play represented something… Continue reading →

St. Tammany Parish to sell part of Southeast Louisiana Hospital campus to private hospital company for $6.7 million

St. Tammany Parish has reached an agreement in principle to sell part of the Southeast Louisiana Hospital campus near Mandeville to Northlake Behavioral Health Systems for $6.7 million, officials announced Friday. The sale, which is expected to be completed early next year, will turn over 35 acres and 13 buildings to the private company, which already… Continue reading →

Tammany president Pat Brister backs Jack Strain, touts charter amendments

St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister, who won a second term in October, is throwing her support behind three candidates and a raft of home rule charter amendments in the sprint to the Nov. 21 runoff election. Brister, who did not endorse any candidates in the primary, sent out mailers this week supporting incumbent Sheriff Jack Strain… Continue reading →

Suspended members of Salmen girls basketball team can only watch and wait

Photo by Rod Walker -- Salmen girls basketball coach Panos Bountovinas, right, talks to (from left) Jayla Faciane, Ashanti Eden and Allie Batistse during halftime of Thursday's game against Helen Cox.

All 12 members of the Salmen High School girls basketball team were in the Helen Cox High gymnasium on Thursday night. Only five played. The other seven players, suspended from the team on Wednesday, watched from the stands. They will have to wait to see if they will be reinstated. The seven… Continue reading →

Company cited for safety violations after death of worker in trench collapse near Covington

Advocate staff photo by FAIMON ROBERTS -- One man is trapped and another person is dead after a trench collapsed in Covington on Thursday, according to St. Tammany Fire Protection District No. 4.

Federal officials have cited a Baton Rouge-based company for six violations related to the May collapse of a construction trench near Covington that killed a worker. Ted Hebert LLC faces a possible $105,000 fine for the violations, one of which is classified as “willful” and five as “serious.” The willful violation involved… Continue reading →

Superintendent: Salmen girls basketball players' claims 'unfounded'; re-instatement decision coming after holidays

Photo by Rod Walker -- Salmen girls basketball coach Panos Bountovinas, right, talks to (from left) Jayla Faciane, Ashanti Eden and Allie Batistse during halftime of Thursday's game against Helen Cox.

. Update, 3:30 p.m. Thursday: Salmen parents have been notified that a decision to re-instate the seven players kicked off the team will be made after the holidays. Update, 1:18 p.m. Thursday: Below is a statement from St. Tammany Parish's superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III: “A thorough investigation by the St. Tammany Parish Public School… Continue reading →

Walter Reed’s donation to Franklinton church was legal and routine, his attorney says

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’s $25,000 donation to a Franklinton church is at the heart of the most recent charge lodged against the former North Shore district attorney by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, but in a recent court filing, Reed’s attorney argues that such donations are legal and were routine for Reed. Lawyer Rick Simmons filed a motion last… Continue reading →

Activists file complaint about deaths of four monkeys at Tulane primate center

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.

An activist group has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture about the deaths of four monkeys at the Tulane National Primate Research Center near Covington. The group SAEN, or Stop Animal Exploitation Now, filed the complaint with USDA Western Region Director Robert Gibbens, asking him to investigate the four deaths and assess Tulane… Continue reading →

Efforts growing to deal with St. Tammany homelessness

Last November, 35-year-old Phillip Pickens was arrested when St. Tammany Parish deputies found him on the Tammany Trace carrying a gun with an obliterated serial number after he had threatened a member of the volunteer force that patrols the trace. In March, a state district judge — based on two doctors’ reports — ordered… Continue reading →

St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain attempts to ward off Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith for sixth term

As the two candidates for St. Tammany Parish sheriff head into the final week of campaigning for Saturday’s runoff, they paint vastly different pictures of the electorate’s mood. Challenger Randy Smith said he sees voters as thirsting for new leadership; incumbent Jack Strain said constituents frequently tell him, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’’ Which… Continue reading →

St. Tammany Parish voters to decide on variety of tax issues Nov. 21

Covington voters will decide Nov. 21 whether to extend a 1-cent sales tax first adopted in 1982 and to allow greater flexibility in how the revenue can be spent. The Covington renewal and rededication is one of two sales tax issues on the ballot in St. Tammany Parish. The other is a half-cent sales tax in… Continue reading →

St. Tammany grand jury charges former district attorney investigator with making false statements

In December 2011, Louis Dabdoub Jr., then the chief investigator for the 22nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office in St. Tammany and Washington parishes, swore out an arrest warrant for felony theft and damage to property, plunging restaurateur Ricky Cambre into a two-year legal nightmare. But on Tuesday, Dabdoub was himself charged with a crime… Continue reading →

Clay Madden to seek re-election to Mandeville City Council

With the statewide election winding down, political eyes in Mandeville are turning to the city’s March election, in which all five council seats and the mayor’s job will be before the voters. This week, Mandeville Councilman At-Large Clay Madden announced he would seek re-election, joining District 2 Councilwoman Carla Buchholz in the race for the two-at large… Continue reading →

Update: Covington police say missing teenage girl has been found

Covington police have canceled the search for a 15-year-old girl who had been missing since Nov. 5 after she was located Saturday morning. The girl was last seen around 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5, after she had an argument with a family member. Police Chief Tim Lentz said earlier that no foul play… Continue reading →

Judges pepper both sides with questions during hearing on permit for St. Tammany well

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD - Michael Barham of Helis Oil and Gas Co., LLC, visiting a proposed fracking site in 2014. He stands near where the drilling platform will be located.

The panel of appellate judges who will decide whether Helis Oil & Gas Co. can drill its controversial “fracking” well in St. Tammany Parish — a project on hold since April — left all parties in suspense Thursday after grilling both sides with skeptical questions during a half-hour hearing in Baton Rouge. On the one side,… Continue reading →

State attorney general taking ‘active look’ at controversial case involving former Tammany DA investigator

Assistant State Attorney General David Caldwell said Thursday that his office is taking an “active look” at claims that a former investigator with the 22nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office engineered the wrongful arrest of a Covington restaurateur to help a landlord who was suing the man. Sources familiar with the case said a grand jury will be… Continue reading →