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Online LEAP tests continue

by Connor Raborn reporter@hammondstar.com
With students more accustomed to Tangipahoa Parish School System's online LEAP tests, the computer-based exams this week have not caused testing hiccups in their second year of use.
The . . .

More than $1,000 collected for burial

Photo by Lauren Langlois

HELPING A FAMILY IN NEED -- Burgette Irving, aunt of murder victim Jermica Irving, holds up the check the Irving family has received to help cover the cost of her niece's funeral today. With her are bus drivers Johnny Jones and Marcus Downs; Derrick Thomas, supervisor of bus drivers on the north end of Tangipahoa Parish; and Joshua Cross, owner of the Cross Memorial Funeral Home in Amite. Also present but not in the photo was bus driver Tammie Madison. A bus driver in Tangipahoa Parish School System, Irving was fatally shot April 12 in Greensburg.

By LAUREN LANGLOIS staffwriter@hammondstar.com
The family of Jermica Irving has received $1,036 in donations from bus drivers, teachers and administrators across the parish to help cover the cost of her funeral today.
Irving, 28, . . .

Gardens in Bloom

COLORFUL -- Freshly watered flowers soak up the sun as well at the Options Garden Center Friday.

by Connor Raborn reporter@hammondstar.com
Flowers, food and flavor are what home gardeners will find at Options Garden Center.
Among the plethora of plants are vegetable-bearing varieties, herbs and, of course, beautiful . . .

NAACP branch reactivated

Photo by Lauren Langlois

BRANCH OFFICERS -- The reactivated Greater Tangipahoa Parish NAACP branch officers are sworn in at a meeting Thursday night. From right are President Erica Williams, First Vice President Mack McCraney, Second Vice President Vanessa Williams, Secretary Tameka White, Assistant Secretary Nekeia Archangel, Treasurer Kiplyn "Kip" Andrews and Assistant Treasurer Charles Brumfield.

By LAUREN LANGLOIS staffwriter@hammondstar.com
Now that the Greater Tangipahoa Parish NAACP branch is reactivated, newly elected President Erica D. Williams said she hopes to keep the energy up and is still welcoming . . .

Theater students to perform in showcase

The 23rd annual Talented Theatre Showcase will be April 26 at Amite High Theatre. Curtain time is 7 p.m.
The showcase will feature performances by roughly 60 students ranging from second graders to seniors from Spring Creek . . .

Amite to hold creative summer camps

Amite Arts Council will again break up the heat of the summer with camps on visual arts and drama.
The Visual Art Camp, June 4-8, will be led by award-winning book illustrator and artist Marita Gentry. The Drama Camp will be led . . .

Walking tour spotlights mid-century architecture

AT PINE AND THOMAS -- Miller Memorial Library fronts Pine Street and serves as home to the Tangipahoa Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council, commonly known as TADAC.

By LAUREN LANGLOIS staffwriter@hammondstar.com
Hammond has a trove of mid-century modern structures, and a walking tour downtown this Saturday aims to spotlight them.
The tour will showcase the works of John Desmond, who . . .

Stewart embraces new job, same role

Photo by Lauren Langlois

READY TO LISTEN -- Betty Stewart, legislative aide for District 86 Rep. Nicky Muscarello Jr., sits in the legislative office at 100 W. Robert St. in Hammond.

By LAUREN LANGLOIS staffwriter@hammondstar.com
Getting back into a work routine has been a joy for Betty Stewart, who says her new job as legislative aide for District 86 has not had a dull day so far.
Stewart served as the . . .

Flying Museum

Photos courtesy of Commemorative Air Force

RESTORED BOMBER -- The Gulf Coast Wing of the Commemorative Air Force's B-17 bomber, built in July 1945, has been completely restored to be WWII-era authentic, including its original flight deck.

by Connor Raborn reporter@hammondstar.com
The Flying Fortress Texas Raider never quite made it to the Pacific before the end of World War II.
The B-17 bomber did just complete 50 years of educational service last year and will be . . .

Community rallies for domestic homicide victim

Those who knew and loved Jermica Irving are rallying behind her family and gathering donations to cover the cost of her funeral that will be this Saturday.
Irving, 28, was apparently a victim of domestic h . . .

Parish to hold job fair, resume workshop today

More than 44 vendors will participate in the Tangipahoa Parish Job Fair scheduled for April 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Chapappeela Sports Park Gymnasium, 19325 Hipark Blvd., Hammond.
The fair will have a focus on academic . . .

NAACP chapter to meet

The Greater Tangipahoa Parish NAACP branch will meet today at 6 p.m. at Police Union Hall, 201 Natchez St. in Hammond.
The meeting is being held to reactivate the branch, which is not in compliance with the NAACP organization. . . .

ON THE EDGE -- Timothy Villars does a nose grab trick on his board at Zemurray Park.

by Connor Raborn reporter@hammondstar.com
Deb Gouedy, 49, started skateboarding in October after a visit to Hammond's Dreamland Skate Park, and now she can't stop.
She brought her son, Jason, to skateboard there and soon found . . .

Amtrak strikes truck, boat over tracks in Ponchatoula

Photo by Ryne Berthelot

Members of Ponchatoua Police Department and Ponchatoula Volunteer Fire Department work to clear the scene of a train wreck on Pine Street in Ponchatoula Wednesday. A white GMC Denali, complete with boat and trailer, was caught under the cross arm while the train came through town.

By RYNE BERTHELOT crime@hammondstar.com
A collision with an Amtrak train running through Ponchatoula left one man in the hospital and his truck, boat and trailer destroyed Wednesday.
The man, who has not been identified, was . . .

Greenville Park to host STEM day

Southeastern Louisiana University instructors will join students and staff of Greenville Park Leadership Academy for a full day of science, technology, engineering and math.
The free admission STEM Festival will be April 28, noon . . .

John W. Hatcher III

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A New Jersey native who moved to Hammond for his job says he gets great joy teaching future principals and educational leaders.
Dr. John W. Hatcher III is an assistant professor in the educational leadership and technology . . .

State treasurer says government's size unsustainable


-- State Treasurer John Schroder holds up a graph showing the growth of state government that he believes is unsustainable. He was the luncheon speaker Tuesday for the Hammond Kiwanis Club.

Photo by Lauren


By LAUREN LANGLOIS staffwriter@hammondstar.com
Treasurer John Schroder said state government's size is unsustainable and needs to be reined in.
Schroder, who was elected state treasurer in November, told the Hammond Kiwanis Club . . .

Parish makes quick recovery from storms

by Connor Raborn reporter@hammondstar.com
The storms of Saturday brought heavy winds and brought down a few trees around Tangipahoa Parish but little substantial damage.
"The worst thing we had were some trees down," Parish . . .

Brookelynn Seghers and Korres

Brookelynn Seghers of Mandeville is on her way to the top of the medical field.
A freshman health systems management major at Southeastern Louisiana University, Seghers plans to one day be CEO of her own hospital. Her career . . .