Crime Stoppers of Tangipahoa and St Helena will host a women’s self defense class Feb. 20 at Ponchatoula Area Recreation Center, 19030 Ponchatoula Parks Drive.

The class will start at 10 a.m. and last about 90 minutes, said Crime Stoppers Executive Director Michelle Gallo.

Sensei Frank DiBenedetto, the instructor, was an Isshinryu Karate Black Belt for over 20 years. He also holds black belts in Japanese jujitsu, judo and Escrima and is a student of Combat Knife Fighting under Arcenio Advincula.

He is a graduate of the Slidell Police Academy and holds certifications as a Law Enforcement Defensive Tactics Instructor, is an instructor for The United States Chambara Association, is a student of the Japanese sword, and is an RCJ Machado Brazilian JiuJitsu affiliate. As a safety specialist who works with local schools, he brings the NRA’s Eddie Eagle Gun Safety Program, Bully Defense, and Stranger Danger programs to local youth.

The self defense class is open to ages 12 and up. Please wear comfort clothing for the class.

Michelle Gallo said Crime Stoppers, a non-profit, is requesting a donation of $25 for the class, but this is not required.

Donations can be made through PayPal at www.

Space is limited, please call Michelle Gallo at 985-662-5557 or email to tangi

Book giveaway

Tangipahoa Parish Library’s Ponchatoula Branch is giving away books today from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at 380 N 5th St.

People can take what they want and make a cash donation to the library in return. Picture books, juvenile chapter books, young adult fiction/ non-fiction and adult fiction/ non-fiction books are available.

The book giveaway is open to the general public, but masks are required. Call the Ponchatoula Branch at 985-386-6554 for more information.

Rainbow trout at Zemurray

Rainbow trout will be stocked in the Zemurray Park pond on Thursday, according to an announcement from The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

“This is a once-a-year opportunity as rainbow trout are a cold water species and can only be stocked during the heart of Louisiana winters when the water temperatures stay below 67°F. Stocked fish are adult size and ready to be brought home to cook with your favorite recipe,” the department announcement stated.

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