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Neighborhood leaders pursue special district

Image from Lemar Marshall

PROPOSED BOUNDARIES -- A map shows the proposed boundaries marked by the yellow lines for an overlay district for the Hammond neighborhood Greenville Park. Zemurray park is in the northeast corner of the proposed district.

By Lauren Langlois Staffwriter@hammondstar.com
A group of Greenville Park residents have started a steering committee to form a special zoning district to revitalize and protect their Hammond neighborhood.
The effort to get approval for a Greenville Park overlay di . . . more »


Resident sees wandering wild pig

By Lauren Langlois Staffwriter@hammondstar.com
Jerry Michelli, of Hammond, said the first time he saw the large pig haunting his neighborhood was four days ago.
He said he saw what he believes to be a feral pig walking on Sanders Avenue near the intersection with H . . . more »


Abandoned no more: Cate House being restored

UPSTAIRS -- On top of the stairs can be seen the stained glass windows inside the Cate House. The historic and uninhabited home is near Cate Square and is going to be restored by its new owner John Exnicios.

By Lauren Langlois Staffwriter@hammondstar.com
John Exnicios III was always intrigued by the grand, pink but abandoned house that sits catercorner to Cate Square with its unique exterior, large porch and stained glass windows.
Now the Cate House, built by one of th . . . more »


Scalise talks tax reform

Photo by Connor Raborn

IN MANCHAC -- U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise visits Tangipahoa Parish Friday to meet with parish officials after his return to work last month. Scalise, shot at a congressional baseball game practice in June, is still rehabilitating his left foot and learning to walk again. Tangipahoa Parish President Robby Miller, Mayor Pete Panepinto and Southeastern Louisiana University President John Crain were among those who met Scalise for lunch at Middendorf's Restaurant Friday.

By Connor Raborn Crime@hammondstar.com
U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise took time Friday to meet Tangipahoa Parish officials over lunch before a newly Senate-approved budget goes to the House.
The past week saw him visiting Louisiana's 1st congressional distr . . . more »


Greg Allen out on bond

Wanted for questioning

Ponchatoula physician Greg Allen is out on bond after turning himself in to Tangipahoa Parish Jail Friday.
A spokesperson for the 21st Judicial District Attorney's Office said that office plans to officially take over the case by next week.
The Louisiana Attorney G . . . more »


First lady has virtual visit with students

Photo by Tori P. Savoy

WATCHING AND LISTENING -- PreK and kindergarten students at Roseland Montessori interact with first lady Donna Edwards via video conference as she reads to them on Wednesday morning.

Students in Jennifer Saing's Pre-K/Kindergarten class at Roseland Montessori were treated to a special virtual presentation with first lady Donna Edwards on Wednesday morning.
As a former music teacher at Amite Elementary School, Edwards led the students in story d . . . more »


City eyes bike-friendly streets

By Lauren Langlois Staffwriter@hammondstar.com
A contract is in the works for a second study of creating bike-friendly streets in Hammond, according to city Administrator Lacy Landrum.
The study is being done through the Regional Planning Commission that has hired . . . more »


Wreck on Thomas

TRAFFIC BACKUP -- Cars line up on East Thomas Street as first responders work to clear the scene of a car accident near North Chestnut on Thursday.

Photo by

Lauren Langlois

A two-vehicle wreck at the intersection of East Thomas and North Chestnut streets about 11:30 a.m. Thursday resulted in one car overturning.
Fire Chief John Thomas said firefighters removed the windshield to pull the injured driver out of the overturned vehicle, an . . . more »


Relay for Life returns Saturday with new Boo Bash

By Tori P. Savoy Reporter@hammondstar.com
After taking last year off, Tangipahoa Relay for Life is coming back strong again this year with more than 35 teams signed up to raise funds to fight cancer.
Relay for Life returns Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m. at Zemurray Park . . . more »


Farming attracts focus

Travelers and locals will gather at Brunett Farms this week to witness re-enactments of farming traditions during the Old Farmer's Day and Horse Pulling Contest.
Located at 56136 Loranger Road, Brunett Farms will open at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday and will offer de . . . more »


Independence board discusses Frazier Park

By Tori P. Savoy Reporter@hammondstar.com
Restroom stalls at Frazier Park need doors, not curtains, and the president of Concerned Citizens of Independence has called on town officials for help.
"You don't want your kids or your grandkids going there," Butch Jackso . . . more »


Hammond Fire Reports

Where the fire trucks went...

Oct. 16
Dispatched and cancelled en route to Morrison Boulevard at 6:59 a.m.
Dispatched and cancelled en route to Texas Avenue at 9:50 a.m.; someone trapped in an elevator at Southeastern Louisiana University; university police . . . more »


Flight sends 20 dogs to Michigan, New York

Terrie Varnado with Hawker Jet and Thelma and Louise

Volunteers with Pilots N Paws helped load 20 dogs last week onto a jet bound for approved partner rescues in Michigan and New York.
Terrie Varnado, a local animal rescuer with Don't Be Cruel Animal Rescue and Transport and flight coordinator for the event, said a H . . . more »


Ponchatoula Police Department Arrests

Ponchatoula Police Department made the following arrests on the listed charges Oct. 9-15:
Oct. 9
Josh Lacoste, 28, of Covington, possession of stolen property, resisting an officer on foot and resisting by flight.
Megan Butler, 26, of Springfield, theft by shoplift . . . more »


Flames destroy home

TOTAL LOSS -- Smoke rises from John and Diane Clement's home after the fire that engulfed it is extinguished Wednesday morning. Ponchatoula Fire Chief Rodney Drude said the mobile home was a total loss.

Photo courtesy of John M. Clement

By Connor Raborn Crime@hammondstar.com
A day after John Clement finished fixing his home from the damage done by water, it was destroyed by fire.
A Wednesday morning blaze on John and Diane Clement's front porch soon engulfed the entire mobile home on Dickens Lane . . . more »


Kid-designed 'city' comes to Hammond

By Lauren Langlois Staffwriter@hammondstar.com
Building Blocks: If Kids Ruled the City is returning to Hammond on Saturday at the Michael J. Kenney Recreation Center.
This is the second year the American Institute of Architects Baton Rouge has brought the free even . . . more »


Pre-trial hearings scheduled

Judge Robert Morrison has scheduled pre-trial hearings for several murder cases working their way through the 21st Judicial District Courthouse in Amite.
On Nov. 15, 19-year-old Eric Newman of Hammond will have a pre-trial hearing. Newman is charged with first degr . . . more »


Four die in two wrecks on interstates

By Connor Raborn Crime@hammondstar.com
Two Tangipahoa Parish residents died in a wreck on Interstate 12 near Juban Road, and two Schriever residents died on Interstate 55 south of Ponchatoula. Both crashes were Wednesday morning.
Wesley Prevost, 22, of Independence . . . more »


Tradition lives on at Courtyard Cafe

Photo by Tori Savoy

SERENE -- A view of the outdoor area behind Courtyard Cafe where apartments are located. On the other side of the brick wall is a fountain and seating area for cafe customers.

By Lauren Langlois Staffwriter@hammondstar.com
On a Tuesday afternoon inside Courtyard Cafe, the Wongs greeted customers and chatted with old friends, sometimes popping behind the counter to help make coffee, crepes and Hawaiian ice at the family's recently opened . . . more »


Arts Council presents theatre to students

Photo by Charley Vance

IT'S SHOW TIME -- The Talented Theatre students from Chesbrough and Spring Creek elementary schools meet the cast of "Beauty and the Beast." From left are Macy Chauvin, Mattie Titus, Celise Simpson, Mariah Robertson, Mary Brown, Ivy Roberts, Emilee King, Katelyn Gordon and Kayden McIntyre.

The Amite Arts Council recently sponsored three performances of "Beauty and the Beast" performed by a professional touring theatre troupe.
Educational Theatre performed "Beauty And The Beast" for about 1,100 Amite area elementary and middle school students inside t . . . more »


Hammond Police Blotter

Oct. 8
Disturbance - domestic violence on Morris Road
Shoplifting on the 2000 block of Highway 190 East
Possession of stolen things at Rende's Quick Stop on University Avenue
Oct. 9
Burglary of a business on the 100 block of Pride Drive
Shoplifting on the 1700 bloc . . . more »


Economist presents sunny forecast

Photo by Lauren Langlois

PLANNING FOR FUTURE -- Business leaders from across Tangipahoa Parish, including major employers North Oaks Health System and Southeastern Louisiana University, listen to economist Loren Scott's Louisiana Economic Outlook for the next two years.

By Lauren Langlois Staffwriter@hammondstar.com
Well-respected economist Loren Scott predicts Tangipahoa Parish will add about 1,000 jobs to its economy over the next two years.
Scott returned to Hammond Tuesday to present his annual economic forecast that looks at . . . more »


Folk singer will be honored at ceremony


By Lauren Langlois Staffwriter@hammondstar.com
Songwriting comes naturally to Jim Oertling, a St. Tammany Parish resident who works with Options.
A renowned folk singer/songwriter, Oertling will be honored at a ceremony Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Covington Brew Hous . . . more »


School spending recommended

By Tori P. Savoy Reporter@hammondstar.com
A new lighting system is in the works for the Independence Magnet High School football field.
The Tangipahoa Parish School Board's capital outlay committee will recommend seeking bids up to $125,000 for the lighting system. . . . more »


Professor urges recording history

By Connor Raborn Crime@hammondstar.com
One professor's desire to record his father's memories of war led to the creation of the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies' oral history project.
The center, at Southeastern Louisiana University's library, is now home to . . . more »


Parish proclamation

Photo by Connor Raborn

DYSAUTONOMIA -- Tangipahoa Parish Council Chair Lionell Wells presents an official proclamation declaring October as Dysautonomia Awareness Month in Tangipahoa Parish to Carmen Gonzales, who has been diagnosed with dysautonomia. They are joined by Parish President Robby Miller, Clerk of Council Kristen Pecararo and Angelia Beadle, a parish government worker who also is diagnosed with dysautonomia. This is a category of medical conditions that cause malfunctions of the autonomic nervous system.


Pumpkin Center Pumpkins

Photo by Sandra Spano

'GOURD' GEOUS -- Just in time for the fall season, Herman Coates and daughter Jeanette LeBlanc show impressive looking pumpkins they grew at their place in Pumpkin Center. The larger pumpkin weighs 68 pounds and the other one weighs 45 pounds.


Poliscientist featured in Common Read

Photo from Southeastern Public Information Office

'COMMON READ' SPECIAL GUEST — Yuri Herrera, a prominent Mexican novelist and political scientist, will hold a series of events at Southeastern Louisiana University Monday (Oct. 23) as part of the university's Common Read program.

Prominent Mexican novelist and political scientist Yuri Herrera will visit Southeastern Louisiana University Monday as part of the institution's Common Read program.
Herrera, who teaches at Tulane University where he is a Mellon Fellow, will meet with students and . . . more »


Hammond Fire Reports

Oct. 10
Dispatched and cancelled en route to Stephenson Lane at 12:02 a.m.
Dispatched and cancelled en route to Range Road at 11:33 a.m.
Passenger vehicle fire on Martin Luther King Avenue at 5:28 p.m.; the entire engine compartment of a parked car was engul . . . more »


Elizabeth Rodriguez


Elizabeth Rodriguez of Ponchatoula spent part of her Monday afternoon dress shopping at Hammond Square with her 2-month-old and one of her best friends.
Rodriguez's graduation from Virginia College in Baton Rouge's surgical technology program this Friday is the occ . . . more »


Parish voters support changes

Most Tangipahoa Parish voters voted yes Saturday on the three proposed constitutional amendments that passed statewide.
Voter turnout for the parish, along with the state in general, was low. In Tangipahoa Parish, the unofficial voter turnout was around 11.8 percen . . . more »


Stewart pleads guilty to malfeasance

By Lauren Langlois Staffwriter@hammondstar.com
The former Tangipahoa Parish landfill manager pleaded guilty to one count of theft and one count of malfeasance in office Monday and received a suspended sentence as part of a plea deal.
Terrance Stewart, who was the m . . . more »


John Berry tells stories

AT THE COLUMBIA -- Singer and songwriter John Berry is one of four artists scheduled to participate in "Heart Behind the Music" at Columbia Theatre on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

By Tori P. Savoy Reporter@hammondstar.com
Singer and songwriter John Berry plans to do more than just perform Wednesday during his first visit to Hammond.
"I just love going to place that I've never been. Because typically all the stories I tell are new again, and . . . more »


Ponchatoula receives clean audit report

By Tori P. Savoy Reporter@hammondstar.com
The City of Ponchatoula received a clean financial audit report for the fiscal year ending June 30.
James, Lambert, Riggs & Associates presented the 2016-2017 audit report before the city council last week.
"The financi . . . more »


Sword-wielder arrested


Ponchatoula Police Department officers arrested Shawn Verret around 2 a.m. Sunday for allegedly walking into a bar wearing a mask and holding a samurai sword.
It was determined that earlier that night, Verret was involved in a verbal altercation with another man in . . . more »