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Wreaths adorn graves of veterans

Photo by Lauren Langlois

REMEMBERING THEIR NAMES -- Pete Jones, with the American Legion Post in Hammond, places a wreath at the grave of a veteran in Independence's Colonial Cemetery on Saturday as part of Wreaths Across America.

By Lauren Langlois Staffwriter@hammondstar.com
A small group gathered in Colonial Cemetery in Independence to lay green wreaths on the graves of veterans Saturday as part of the national Wreaths Across America event.
Rich Ludwig, with American Legion Post 109 in In . . . more »


Christmas comes early for some Tangi children

Photo by Lauren Langlois

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FOR ALL — Lyric Wright, 5, of Natalbany tries on an octopus hat with the help of Linda Sharpless at the annual Serenity House Toy Giveaway Saturday in the Ponchatoula Community Center.

By Lauren Langlois Staffwriter@hammondstar.com
Children from across Tangipahoa Parish received Christmas gifts early thanks to two toy giveaways held Saturday.
Serenity House, the homeless shelter in Ponchatoula, held its annual toy giveaway inside the Ponchatoula . . . more »


Boaters planning to attend meeting

By Lauren Langlois Staffwriter@hammondstar.com
Representatives of a prospective tenant of the Manchac Port will answer questions Tuesday from people concerned about its plans to refine graphite at the facility.
The South Tangipahoa Port Commission will meet at noon . . . more »


DA's office will not prosecute doctor

The District Attorney's Office has declined prosecution in the sexual assault case of Ponchatoula doctor Gregory Allen.
Allen was arrested Oct. 13 on one count of sexual battery and two counts of misdemeanor sexual battery.
He turned himself in at Tangipahoa Paris . . . more »


Wreaths Across America

Photo by Connor Raborn

ESCORT -- A cavalcade of motorcycles roars into Amite Walmart parking lot Thursday, welcomed by a group of Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps students from Ponchatoula, Hammond and Loranger. The escort was a welcoming party for the two Walmart trucks behind the crowd, stopping on the way to deliver veterans wreaths to Houston National Cemetery for Wreaths Across America today.

By Connor Raborn Crime@hammondstar.com
Trucks bearing wreaths for veterans received an elaborate welcome into Tangipahoa Parish Thursday.
The seventh annual Wreaths Across America event at Amite Walmart had two trucks from the store's distribution center in Brookha . . . more »


Cangelosi hired as new TEDF director

By Lauren Langlois Staffwriter@hammondstar.com
Tangipahoa Economic Development Foundation has a new director after the former director accepted a position with Louisiana Economic Development.
Ginger Cangelosi will begin her new post as TEDF director in January, acc . . . more »


Town officials discuss need for health insurance

By Tori P. Savoy Reporter@hammondstar.com
The Independence Board of Aldermen discussed the possibility of providing health insurance in the future to their employees at their Tuesday night meeting following the news that their maintenance supervisor would be leavin . . . more »


Holy Ghost fourth-graders donate toys

HOLY GHOST STUDENTS -- Each year since 1996, Holy Ghost Catholic School's fourth-grade students have earned and collected money as an Advent project to purchase toys for the Pediatric Unit playroom at North Oaks Medical Center. Linda Owens, Shanna DeMarco and Alexis Wallette teach the students. The project was started in memory of a former fourth-grade student Jason Tinnerello, according to Owens. North Oaks Women & Children's Services Director Kimberly Woods and Patient Services Secretary Linda Jo Kincaid visited with the students on Friday to thank them and explain how the donated toys will be used to comfort and entertain hospitalized children.


Independence welcomes public to new town hall

MEETING ROOM -- Independence residents and local officials enjoy an open house on Thursday in the new, remodeled meeting room at Independence Town Hall.


Council to review reforms

Gov. John Bel Edwards has created the Governor's Justice Implementation Oversight Council as part of the bipartisan and comprehensive sentencing and corrections reforms he signed into law earlier this year.
"This oversight council will be responsible for reviewing . . . more »


Norene Palmer

Norene Palmer is originally from Missouri but has been living in Tangipahoa Parish since 1991.
"The food and culture is different then the corn fields of Missouri," she said.
Palmer came to Louisiana to go to the Baptist Seminary in New Orleans and eventually marr . . . more »


Judge hears arguments in sheriff's jail lawsuit

By Lauren Langlois Staffwriter@hammondstar.com
Judge Jeff Johnson will review arguments in the lawsuit filed by Sheriff Daniel Edwards against Tangipahoa Parish Government regarding local funding for the jail in Amite.
Arguments were heard Friday in court and Johns . . . more »


Early Christmas for area nonprofit

COPIER -- Northshore Office Equipment co-owner Earl Hernandez presents SOAR staff members Angela Krieger and Amanda Serpas with their copier.

The Ponchatoula-based nonprofit SOAR (Strengthening Outcomes with Autism Resources) was the winner of a brand new copy machine as part of "We're Giving Thanks" contest.
Northshore Office Equipment held this contest to express its appreciation for the many nonprofi . . . more »


'The First Christmas'

"MARY DID YOU KNOW" -- Luke Ard portrays the "Grown-Up Jesus" as he moves to "Mary Did You Know?" during the Holy Ghost Catholic School Christmas play. Also pictured are stable animals Selena Florian, Lucy Barnes, Noelle Deshotel, Hannah Fontenot (hidden), Amelie Stagg, and Kinsley Kimberlin; Grayson Morse, as Joseph; Vivienne Breaud as Mary, and Layne Pegler as the Star of Bethlehem.

Kindergarten students at Holy Ghost Catholic School held their annual play "The First Christmas" for students Wednesday and relatives on Thursday. To the delight of their audiences, the kindergarteners took the roles of narrators, angels, shepherds, stable animals, . . . more »


New emergency headquarters opens

GENERATOR -- Tangipahoa Parish Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Deputy Director Vicki Travis shows guests the new Emergency Operations Center's generator during a tour of the agency's new state-of-the-art facility Thursday. The metal door next to the generator automatically opens to ventilate from the room heat caused by the generator.

By Connor Raborn Crime@hammondstar.com
Tangipahoa Parish became the first recipient of a $3.9 million Federal Emergency Management Agency grant to complete its allocated project when the doors of the new Emergency Operations Center in Amite opened Thursday.
Heads o . . . more »


Hammond Police Blotter

Dec. 5
Car burglary on the 1800 block of Natchez Street
Burglary of a business on the 2200 block of West Church Street
Automobile theft on the 1400 block of Sun Lane
Bicycle theft on the 200 block of South Morrison Boulevard
Car burglary on the 1300 block of North . . . more »


Sheriff confident he will prevail in suit

By Lauren Langlois Staffwriter@hammondstar.com
Sheriff Daniel Edwards said he has the law and several attorney general opinions to back up his argument he will present in the lawsuit over the jail's funding.
Judge Jeff Johnson will hear arguments Friday in the lega . . . more »


Thaleia Dufrene and Mac Anderson

Thaleia Dufrene

Two Hammond Eastside Magnet School students, Thaleia Dufrene and Mac Anderson, have been recognized for their outstanding work this year at the school.
Eighth-grader Dufrene, daughter of Sidney and Eve Dufrene, has been named as the school's Eighth Grade 2017-2018 . . . more »


Recycling available Saturday

After being forced to close last weekend during south Louisiana's snow storm, Tangipahoa Parish Government will accept recyclables this Saturday from residents.
Tangipahoa Parish President Robby Miller said the parish will hold a recycling day from 9 a.m. until 1 p . . . more »


Donuts with Dads

CROWD -- Independence Magnet School has a packed-house during its Donuts with Dads event.

Over 100 dads, uncles, brothers, and grandfathers packed the house of Independence Magnet School for a recent Donuts with Dads event.
Dads were treated to special treats for breakfast while their children interviewed them about their favorite things. The event als . . . more »


Legislators respond to Alabama election

By Connor Raborn Crime@hammondstar.com
The nation's eyes were on Alabama's U.S. Senate election Tuesday night as the state elected its first Democratic senator in 25 years.
Doug Jones won the seat in a race with Republican candidate Roy Moore, who had allegations o . . . more »


Children are top priority for Mizell

Photo by Tori P. Savoy

MIZELL -- Sen. Beth Mizell speaks Tuesday afternoon at the Hammond Kiwanis meeting.

By Tori P. Savoy Reporter@hammondstar.com
As a mother, grandmother and a child advocate, Louisiana Senator Beth Mizell said children are her number one priority.
"When I look at the concerns of my district, it's educations and jobs. None of that is going to happen . . . more »


Children are top priority for Mizell

Photo by Tori P. Savoy

MIZELL -- Sen. Beth Mizell speaks Tuesday afternoon at the Hammond Kiwanis meeting.

By Tori P. Savoy Reporter@hammondstar.com
As a mother, grandmother and a child advocate, Louisiana Senator Beth Mizell said children are her number one priority.
"When I look at the concerns of my district, it's educations and jobs. None of that is going to happen . . . more »


Tree replacement project on hold

By Lauren Langlois Staffwriter@hammondstar.com
A push to allocate money for a project to replace damaged trees downtown failed to get enough votes from the Hammond Downtown Development District's board Wednesday night.
The district's design committee is working on . . . more »


Audrey Miller

Audrey Miller

Audrey Miller has a lot of hobbies that she enjoys, namely reading, writing poetry, hanging out with her granddaughter and helping her neighbors.
She was spending a quiet afternoon Tuesday at the Hammond library branch doing a word jumble puzzle, another one of her . . . more »


Wreath ceremony welcomes bikers

A wreath ceremony honoring veterans past and present, fallen and still with us, will be held at Walmart in Amite Thursday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
"Wreaths Across America" will feature live music and will welcome a convoy of trucks from Walmart Distribution Center in Br . . . more »


Investing in People

CHAMBER LUNCHEON -- Members of the Greater Hammond Chamber of Commerce and guests attend the chamber's luncheon Tuesday while University of Louisiana System President Jim Henderson delivers the event speech.

Photo by Connor Raborn

By Connor Raborn Crime@hammondstar.com
In 18 months, a young girl named Misty went from living out of her car to managing at a dealership that sells them.
This was the story that University of Louisiana System President Jim Henderson said really illuminates to him . . . more »


Man tries to pay two stores with counterfeit money

Ponchatoula Police Department is seeking a man who tried to pay with counterfeit money at Ponchatoula Walmart on Saturday, Dec. 2.
A man around his early 20s wearing a gray beanie hat and blue jeans and covering his head with the hood of his purple sweatshirt alleg . . . more »


Port Commission reschedules meeting

By Lauren Langlois Staffwriter@hammondstar.com
South Tangipahoa Parish Port Commission will hold its next meeting Dec. 19 at its office at 163 West Hickory St. to consider the proposed 2018 budget for Port Manchac.
The commission, which governs the port south of Po . . . more »


SLU crowns Miss Alyssa Kate Larose

Photo by Larshell Green and Prakriti Adhikari of The Lion's Roar

2018 MISS SOUTHEASTERN -- Miss Southeastern 2017 Kristyn Gary of Denham Springs crowns Alyssa Kate Larose of Kenner as Miss Southeastern 2018 at the annual pageant held earlier this month.

Southeastern Louisiana University elementary education major Alyssa Kate Larose of Kenner has been chosen Miss Southeastern 2018.
Larose received her crown from Miss Southeastern 2017 Kristyn Gary of Denham Springs at the annual pageant on Dec. 1 at Southeastern's . . . more »


Lt. Governor to speak at Chamber Installation

Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser will be featured as the special guest at the Greater Hammond Chamber of Commerce's Installation and Awards Luncheon on Jan. 4.
The Installation Banquet will take place at the Southeastern Louisiana University Student Union Grand B . . . more »


Small farm animals coming to farmers market to be sold

By Lauren Langlois Staffwriter@hammondstar.com
Vendors at the Hammond farmers market will have the option to sell some baby farm animals now that the City Council has approved an exemption to the prohibition on the sale of live animals.
The council passed on Tuesda . . . more »


Parish council adopts budget

By Lauren Langlois
Tangipahoa Parish Council adopted the parish operating and capital outlay budget for 2018 and granted a 5 percent raise for the finance director.
Parish President Robby Miller said Finance Director Jeff McKneely has . . . more »


Hammond Fire Reports

Nov. 30
A false alarm sounded due to a system malfunction on Destination Drive at 10:10 a.m.
A false alarm sounded on Highway 190 at 12:33 p.m.
A motor vehicle accident on I-55 at 12:35 p.m. resulted in no injuries.
A motor vehicle accident on SGA Drive at 5 . . . more »


Hammond Police Blotter

Dec. 1
Bicycle theft on the 1700 block of Martens Drive
Traffic stop on I-55 at US 190 West
Traffic stop at McDonald's on North Morrison Boulevard
Traffic stop at Waffle House on East Morris Avenue
Illegal use of a weapon on the 600 block of South Cherry Street
Int . . . more »


Doug Brown

Although he is an attorney by career, Doug Brown of Hammond still finds ways to incorporate his love of music performance into his life.
This time of year he does so by forming groups to go caroling around town. He decided to go door-to-door one Christmas, and it h . . . more »


Council to discuss capital outlay projects

By Lauren Langlois Staffwriter@hammondstar.com
Hammond City Council will discuss getting updates on projects listed in the five-year capital outlay plan at its meeting today.
The council will meet, first for a public hearing at 5:30 p.m., followed by the regular se . . . more »


Delivery service aims to hire 100

A food delivery app service plans to expand to Hammond and is looking to hire 100 local drivers.
Waitr, a restaurant on-demand platform, will debut in Hammond on Thursday, according to a statement from the company. The app lets people order from any Hammond restaur . . . more »


Snow Again

FAMILIAR SCENE -- East Thomas Street takes on a snowy appearance for the filming of "Green Book," days after Hammond was covered in a sheet of real snow.

By Connor Raborn Crime@hammondstar.com
Friday's actual snowfall had scarcely thawed as a film crew turned downtown Hammond into a winter wonderland Monday afternoon.
The 100 and 200 blocks of East Thomas Street and the 100 blocks of North and South Cypress streets . . . more »


Toys for Tots receives donations

ON THE WAY -- Sgt. Deven Rafter of Hammond Marines Recruiting Substation picks up toy donations for Tangipahoa Toys for Tots.

By Tori P. Savoy Reporter@hammondstar.com
More than 800 children in Tangipahoa Parish will receive a toy for Christmas this Saturday thanks to donations from businesses and members of the community.
The Toys for Tots toy distribution will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. . . . more »


Ponchatoula to swap police vehicle for hours of assistance

By Tori P. Savoy Reporter@hammondstar.com
The City of Ponchatoula will donate a 2008 Dodge Durango police vehicle to the Village of Tickfaw in exchange for 30 hours of police assistance.
The vehicle has 140,000 miles and has an estimated worth of $750.
The city cou . . . more »