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Local Events Local News

Sign Up for Zumba with the Mayor December 27th

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Registration is open for Zumba with the Mayor, an up-beat and interactive multi-generational exercise dance class. This free class is open to all levels of experience and abilities – it’s about moving and having fun. Join Mayor Mark Johnson and burn off those extra holiday calories!

The City of Covington Mayor’s Council on Healthy Lifestyles teams up with Oschner and St. Tammany Health Systems to bring together five local instructors from the YMCA, Star Fitness, Bogue Falaya Fitness, Mandeville Sports Complex, Pelican Athletic Club and Francos. Five instructors, 90 minutes of cardio, core, and fun!

This event is free and open to the public. Due to COVID, attendance is limited. Click here to register for this event.

Learn more about the Mayor’s Council on Healthy Lifestyles on their Facebook page here.

Local News Parish News

First Vaccines Administered at St. Tammany Health System

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From St. Tammany Health System:

COVID Team Receives First Access to Revolutionary New Immunization

The COVID-19 vaccine has arrived on the Northshore. As part of federal deployment of the groundbreaking Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, St. Tammany Health System began administering vaccine this morning.

STHS infectious disease specialist Dr. Mike Hill became the health system’s first staff member to receive the vaccine at 10 a.m.

A string of Hill’s frontline colleagues followed, including Chief Medical Officer Dr. Patrick Torcson and about 50 other doctors, nurses and environmental services workers. Another 70 or so were scheduled to receive the first of the two-shot vaccine Thursday, with the second dose to follow in 19 to 21 days. Vaccinations will continue daily as STHS receives vaccine from Louisiana Department of Health.

“This is a big day at St. Tammany Health System,” Hill said moments after receiving his vaccine, delivered via injection to his left arm. “It’s been a long time coming and represents a lot of hard work by everybody involved. We’re very excited to have our employees – the people who are taking care of our patients – getting the first vaccines on the way to being protected against COVID-19.”

He added: “This is the beginning of the end of the pandemic.”

Drs. Hill and Torcson both said it was important for them to be among the first in line to roll up their sleeves as a demonstration of their confidence in the vaccine, which was developed with unprecedented speed as part of the federal government’s Operation Warp Speed program. That speed has prompted some in the public to question the safety of the vaccine, but experts insist the science behind its development is sound and that concerns to the contrary are entirely unfounded.

“This is a perfectly safe vaccine,” Torcson said after receiving his shot. “It really is going to make a significant contribution to ending this pandemic that has really been so devastating worldwide, and certainly in our community here in western St. Tammany Parish. The scientific input and clinical collaboration that went into the development of this vaccine is really unquestionable. This is a safe intervention that’s going to bring this pandemic to an end.”

As production of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine ramps up, and as other COVID vaccines hit the market, healthcare workers, residents of retirement homes, first responders and others deemed high-risk will be among those first in line to receive it. Widespread availability to the public is expected this spring, perhaps as early as February.

Even with the deployment of the vaccine, however, Dr. Hill stressed the continued need for social distancing, mask wearing and good hand hygiene, even for those who have been vaccinated. That’s primarily because it’s unclear how long it will protect those who receive it. Also unclear is whether those who have been vaccinated, even if they show no symptoms, are still able to transmit the virus to others.

Wednesday’s historic vaccine delivery comes almost nine months to the day of the arrival of St. Tammany’s first confirmed COVID-19 patient in mid-March. It also comes two days after the first U.S. patients received the vaccine as part of the ongoing federal rollout.

The heartbeat of its community, St. Tammany Health System cares for patients and families with excellence, compassion and teamwork. It is recognized for quality, safety and service excellence by CareChex, Leapfrog, Healthgrades, Hospital Compare, Women’s Choice and US News & World Report. St. Tammany Parish Hospital Service District No. 1 and Ochsner Health work together in partnership to improve the community’s health and quality of life. Together, west St. Tammany’s top two independent health leaders represent the most complete system of care, aligning behind the common goals of improving access, expanding specialty care and making care affordable. Under their agreement, each retains its autonomy; neither manages nor owns the other. Self-supporting, not-for-profit STHS is A+ rated by Fitch and receives no tax funding. More at stph.org.

Local Events Local News

Covington Cemetery No. 1 Participates in National Wreaths Across America Day

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Join the National Wreaths Across America on Saturday, December 19th at 11 am to participate in a nation-wide ceremony commemorating American veterans. The ceremony will be held at Covington Cemetery No. 1, at the Kirkland Street entrance. Sponsored by the Wharton Chapter of the Daughters of the Revolution.

From the National Wreaths Across America:

Each December on National Wreaths Across America Day, our mission to Remember, Honor and Teach is carried out by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as at more than 2,100 additional locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea and abroad.

Who We Remember

From the Revolutionary War to present day conflicts, our veterans are devoted sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers. They come from all backgrounds in life to place those lives on the line for our freedoms. There are millions of individual stories to tell. Get to know them by viewing the 4,760 recent posts made by our supporters or sponsor a wreath in honor of or in memory of an American hero.

Why We Do It

We understand we have Veterans Day in the fall and Memorial Day in the spring, but our service members sacrifice their time and safety every single day of the year to preserve our freedoms.

In many homes, there is an empty seat for one who is serving or one who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. There is no better time to express our appreciation than during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. We hope you will join us at any of our more than 2,100 participating locations to show our veterans and their families that we will not forget. We will never forget.

Learn more at www.wreathsacrossamerica.org

Uncategorized

Donate to Rotary Clubs’ Feeding the Needy Christmas Meals Program

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from Covington Rotary Club:

About Feeding The Needy

Feeding the Needy was founded in 2002 by John Baldwin and Craig Babylon to provide food on Christmas day for families in need on the Northshore. John and Craig shared the idea with Deacon Skip Graffinini, who was the executive director of The Covington Food Bank, which is now The Northshore Food Bank, and learned that The Food Bank was servicing sixty to sixty-five families at that time. A decision was made to move forward, and the project was named “Feeding the Needy”. The Covington Rotary Club was approached for support and special focus was put on providing food for the school children who, during the holidays, do not receive the meals they receive at school and depend on as their main source of nutrition.

Each year on December 23 and 24, volunteers from all over the area come together to prepare Christmas boxes that include a 14-to-16-pound cooked turkey with numerous side dishes and dessert.  Each box has enough food to feed a family of four to five with larger families receiving additional boxes. Deliveries are made to families throughout the Northshore area including St. Tammany, Washington, and Tangipahoa parishes. On Christmas morning, Rotarians and other community volunteers hand deliver the boxes to the homes of the identified families. Each family only needs to heat the food and it is ready to serve as a substantial Christmas Day meal and have leftovers to help on the days leading up to school reopening.

This year, due to COVID things will be a little different for FTN. We will have fewer volunteer opportunities and will be offering pick up locations instead of home deliveries.

Meal Pick Up Locations –
First Come, First Served Basis

Franklinton
Saturday, December 19th
9am – 12 pm
East Fairgrounds
Behind Rodeo Arena

Bogalusa
Saturday, December 19th
1pm – 4pm
Northshore Charter School
111 Walker Street, Bogalusa

Covington
Tuesday, December 22nd
9:30am- 2:30pm
St. Tammany Parish Fairgrounds
1304 N. Columbia Street, Covington

Monetary Donations

FTN relies heavily on financial donations. Because of the support from so many generous volunteers and strong partnerships, FTN is able to operate with minimal administrative costs.  Donations for FTN are accepted year-round and can be made below.

To Mail a Check: Checks can be made payable to The Covington Rotary Foundation, which is a 501(c)3 foundation with the corresponding tax status. Please mail checks to The Covington Rotary Club, PO Box 541 Covington, LA 70433.   Checks can also be dropped off at Baldwin Motors, 1730 N Hwy 190, in Covington.

To Donate On-line: CLICK HERE to make an online donation.

Please read the message below from our Chairman and Fundraising Coordinator: 

Volunteers  

Unfortunately, we will not be utilizing community volunteers this year due to COVID. If you have any questions, please contact Jill via email at jilly2134@gmail.com or by phone at 985-502-6575.  

Learn more at the Covington Rotary Club website.

Local Events

‘Deck the Rails’ Free Children’s Event at the Covington Trailhead Saturday

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The City of Covington presents this free, kid-friendly holiday event at the Covington Trailhead this Saturday, December 5th from 4:00 – 6:00 pm. Featuring Christmas Caroling by the Northlake Performing Arts Society (NPAS) chorale, Christmas craft activities, a visit from Santa Claus and individually wrapped holiday treats. All activities are free and open to the public.

Participants are requested to wear masks and practice social distancing in accordance with the Governors mandate at this time. The trailhead will also have hand sanitizing stations throughout. Bring lawn chairs or blankets and enjoy all that Covington has to offer! www.covla.com

Art Event Local Events

Holiday Art Market on Lee Lane Saturday

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The Covington Art Market returns to Lee Lane this Saturday December 5th from 10 am – 2 pm. Stroll through and find a variety of hand-made arts including pottery, jewelry, metal sculpture, stained glass, mixed media, hand-made garments, wood carvings, photography, and more.

lee lane art market
click to view larger

While you’re out, you are encouraged to visit other downtown locations, including exhibitions at the Art House, the nostalgic array of goods and the historic museum at H.J. Smith & Sons General Store and the many fine shopping establishments around downtown Covington. The Farmers’ Market takes place from 8 a.m. to noon at 609 N. Columbia Street, just a few blocks from Lee Lane. Then enjoy a bite at one of our many restaurants. It’s a great way to spend your Saturday!

The December Art Market, traditionally a holiday art market, will be coinciding with Lee Lane’s Christmas in the Country shopping event, happening every Saturday until Christmas. Enjoy live festive music as you peruse the many eclectic shops on Lee Lane and throughout downtown Covington!

The Art Market provides entrepreneurial opportunities to local artists while fostering creative community relationships by allowing artists to sell directly to the public. Presented by the St. Tammany Art Association in partnership with the City of Covington. Learn more at www.sttammany.art/arts-market

Opening Reception Saturday Evening at STAA Art House:

Christmas in the Country:

Non Profit Spotlight

NAMI St. Tammany Collects Gifts for Psychiatric Hospitals

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From NAMI St. Tammany – Chistmas Angels 2020:

photo from Christmas Angels 2019, NAMI St. Tammany FB page

While Christmas is embraced as one of the happiest holidays of the year, hundreds of St. Tammany Parish residents will spend their Christmas holiday at in-patient psychiatric facilities, away from the warmth of family and friends. You can be a Christmas Angel this year through your contribution to our annual gift-giving campaign.

Last year, NAMI St. Tammany provided over 300 gifts to individuals at local psychiatric facilities, which ensured everyone would have a gift to open on December 25th. While it may seem like a small token, these gifts represent community support and helps reduce feelings of isolation and provide hope.

Please show your support by making a donation to Christmas Angels today.

Who: Anyone may donate unwrapped gifts at either of two locations, or a monetary donation may be made by mail or online at www.namisttammany.org.

What: Suggested donation items include men, women, and adolescent socks, travel-size shampoo/conditioner, deodorant, travel-size body wash, snacks (popcorn, cookies, cakes, crackers, hot chocolate, candy), and entertainment (card games, board games, puzzle books, wireless journals, nerf balls).

When: Now until Friday, December 18th

Where: NAMI St. Tammany Office: 23515 Hwy 190, Mandeville, La 70448
Northshare Building: 807 North Columbia Street, Covington, La 70433

How: Let us do the shopping for you. Mail check donations to: Christmas Angels c/o NAMI St. Tammany P.O. Box 2055, Mandeville, La 70470 or donate online at www.namisttammany.org.

For more information, please call our office at (985)626-6538 or email info@namisttammany.org.

To learn more about NAMI St. Tammany, the resources we provide to the community, or to get involved, visit our website at http://namisttammany.org/.

Local News

St. Tammany Parish Library Modifies Hours Due To Return To Phase Two

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From St. Tammany Parish Library:

ST. TAMMANY- The St. Tammany Parish Library’s Causeway, Covington, Madisonville, Mandeville, Slidell and South Slidell Branches will open with adjusted hours while continuing to offer curbside service from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday beginning Wednesday, December 2, due to Louisiana’s new phase two restrictions. The Abita Springs, Bush, Folsom, Lacombe, Lee Road and Pearl River Branches will offer curbside service and computer use by appointment from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday beginning Wednesday, December 2.

Library users who wish to use curbside service can place holds via the library website, www.sttammanylibrary.org/; the library iOS app, STPL Mobile; or by calling the branch of their choice to request curbside pick-up service. These requests can include books, audiobooks and DVDs. The Abita Springs Branch, 71683 Leveson St., can be reached at (985) 893-6285. The Bush Branch, 81597 L.A. 41, can be reached at (985) 886-3588. The Causeway Branch, 3457 U.S. 190, Mandeville, can be reached at (985) 626-9779. The Covington Branch, 310 W. 21st Ave., can be reached at (985) 893-6280. The Folsom Branch, 82393 Railroad Ave., can be reached at (985) 796-9728. The Lacombe Branch, 28027 U.S. 190, can be reached at (985) 882-7858. The Lee Road Branch, 79213 U.S. 40, can be reached at (985) 893-6284. The Madisonville Branch, 1123 Main St., can be reached at (985) 845-4819. The Mandeville Branch, 844 Girod St., can be reached at (985) 626-4293. The Pearl River Branch, 64580 L.A. 41, can be reached at (985) 863-5518. The Slidell Branch, 555 Robert Blvd., can be reached at (985) 646-6470. The South Slidell Branch, 3901 Pontchartrain Dr., can be reached at (985) 781-0099.

Downloadable eBooks, audiobooks, movies, TV shows and magazines are available anytime. For more information, visit www.sttammanylibrary.org/library-apps/.

Checked out library materials may be returned during this time. No overdue fines are currently being charged.

ABOUT STPL: The St. Tammany Parish Library has been serving the citizens of St. Tammany Parish for seventy years. Our twelve branches offer over 542,000 loanable items including books, CDs, DVDs, audiobooks and magazines. The library’s website offers 24/7 access to downloadable audio and eBooks, music downloads, research tools, magazines and newspapers. Our programs and services are designed to meet resident’s cultural, informational, educational and recreational needs.

Parish News

‘Holiday of Lights’ Drive-Thru at Koop Drive Starts Dec 4

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from Louisiana Northshore:

from Louisiana Northshore

The annual Holiday of Lights in Mandeville returns for its 21st year on weekends beginning December 4, 2020. Typically featuring entertainment from local schools and area performance groups, a modified version of the 21st Annual Holiday of Lights will go forward this Christmas season as a drive-thru only event.

“We are all ready for something positive,” said St Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper. “What could be more positive than keeping this tradition alive even through COVID-19? While we know the experience will be slightly different, we will still have the experience, and that is the most important thing for us — to give our citizens the Holiday of Lights event in 2020.”

from stpgov.org

The Holiday of Lights display will be open on Koop Drive in Mandeville, as a drive-thru only sightseeing event, Fridays through Sundays from 5 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. in December, as well as Christmas Eve and Christmas night. Dates and drive-thru procedures will be announced closer to the kick-off of the event.

For more information, call the Tammany Trace Trailhead at (985) 867-9490.

www.stpgov.org

Local News

Tammany Turkey Trot Benefits Food Bank on Thanksgiving Day

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From Louisiana Northshore:

Run, jog or walk your way to the finish on Thanksgiving Day. The City of Covington presents the 3rd annual Tammany Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 2020.

The fun, family event is also a food drive and fundraiser for the Northshore Food Bank at 840 N. Columbia St. Each runner is asked to bring three non-perishable, canned food items to help them “pack the pantry” at the Northshore Food Bank.

Athletes will start their Thanksgiving run with the St. Tammany Courthouse as their backdrop just north of downtown Covington. From there, both 5K and 5-mile runners will make their way through downtown and into the splendor of moss-covered trees that line the streets. Near St. Paul’s High School, 917 S. Jahncke Street, runners will head slightly west toward Jefferson Street before turning north. From there, it’s a return trip for the finish line at the St. Tammany Parish Courthouse.

Five-mile runners will finish their Turkey “tour” with a scenic jaunt further south past more beautiful homes before rejoining with the 5K course and heading north back to downtown.

Covid-19 Cancellation: If the event is cancelled by government agencies in advance due to Covid-19 or other similar public health concerns runners will be able to choose one of the following options: defer to next year, switch to a virtual race, donate entry fee to charity or receive a full refund, less processing fees.

To register, get route details, check out race swag and awards, and learn more about the Northshore Food Bank, visit TammanyTurkeyTrot.com.


ABOUT THE NORTHSHORE FOOD BANK

Northshore Food Bank has served the Northshore community since 1984 by providing access to basic needs through its two programs – Food Bank and Resale Shop. Currently serving an average of 350 families each week from St Tammany and Washington parishes and distributing approximately 125,000 pounds of food monthly through need-based programs, the Food Bank tirelessly works to achieve its mission of a hunger-free Northshore.

With the support of businesses, civic organizations, and individuals, the food bank serves the needs of the most vulnerable in our community. Now, your help is needed more than ever. The food bank has experienced record growth due to the pandemic and now has over 2,000 distributions monthly. Your donation to feed your neighbors in need is greatly appreciated.

Art Event

St. Tammany Art Association Announces Degas Pastel Society National Exhibition Opening Dec 5th

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St. Tammany Art Association presents a new exhibition on display
December 5, 2020 – January 30, 2021:
Degas Pastel Society 18th Biennial National Exhibition

Covington, LA – St. Tammany Art Association (STAA) presents a new exhibition, “Degas Pastel Society 18th Biennial National Exhibition,” on display December 5 through January 30, 2021 in the Miriam Barranger Gallery of the Arthouse. The exhibit will kick off with an opening reception on Saturday, December 5, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, guests to the reception are required to register in advance for timed tickets to ensure limited attendance and adequate space for social distancing. These free tickets can be obtained by visiting www.sttammany.art

From its inception in 1984, the Degas Pastel Society has played an important role in the Renaissance of pastel painting worldwide. Their exhibitions showcase some of the best pastels that are being painted throughout the United States and abroad.

The Degas Pastel Society remains dedicated to the promotion of pastel painting by presenting exhibitions of outstanding work. The hope is that all who view this exhibition will gain a greater appreciation of the beauty and brilliance of pastel painting.

History of The Degas Pastel Society

During the summer of 1983, seven artists gathered to plan the first pastel-only exhibition to be held in New Orleans. The purpose of the exhibit was to present to the public, a show of artistic excellence utilizing the pastel medium which until recently has suffered from public misunderstanding and neglect.

Encouraged by the enthusiastic response to the Premier Pastel Show held at the International Trade Mart (now the World Trade Center) in November 1983, they decided to organize formally and did so on April 23, 1984.

The Society is aptly named in honor of Edgar Degas (1834-1917), the artist most widely recognized for transforming pastel from a sketching tool into a major artistic medium. Pastel painting blossomed with his touch and his works have inspired countless artists.

A juried exhibit
The exhibition was juried by Lyn Asselta, who has exhibited her landscape paintings throughout the U.S. and has been included in invitational exhibitions in France and China. She taught workshops in Canada, Curacao and across the U.S. Lyn recently achieved Eminent Pastelist status with the International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS). She is a Signature member of the Pastel Society of America, a member of the Salmagundi Club, a Member of Excellence in the Southeastern Pastel Society, a member of the Eastern League of Professional Artists, and is the founder and past president of the First Coast Pastel Society based in northeast Florida. In 2009, Lyn was selected as an Artist in Residence at Acadia National Park in Maine. Her work has been featured in several magazines including Pastel Journal, Pratique des Arts, and Plein Air Magazine. In 2018, she published her first book, Seeing the Landscape, a compilation of her prose and paintings.

The exhibit will be judged by Don Marshall, a native of New Orleans who began his professional career in the arts as the first Director of the Contemporary Arts Center in 1977. Under his leadership the center grew into one of the largest multi-disciplinary Alternative Arts Centers in the country, curating over 30 exhibitions. As Director of Le Petite Theatre, Marshall founded the Tennessee Williams Festival in conjunction with a group that was organizing a New Orleans Literary Festival. As an educator, he has served as the Director of the Cultural Resource Management Program at Southeastern Louisiana University and Director of the Arts Administration Program at the University of New Orleans.

In 2004 Marshall became the Executive Director of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation. Since then, he has worked to expand programming that fulfills the mission of the organization to promote, perpetuate and support the music, arts and culture of Louisiana. 

Free demo
In conjunction with the exhibit, a pastel demo will be led by Degas Pastel Society Board member, Alan Flattmann, on Saturday, December 12 from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm. The demo is free, but advance registration is required at www.sttammany.art. More demos are from Degas Pastel Society members are scheduled for January. Visit our website for more information.

The St. Tammany Art Association is located at 320 N. Columbia Street in downtown Covington. Current gallery hours are Fridays and Saturdays, 11am – 4pm. All exhibitions are free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated.

St. Tammany Art Association is supported by the generosity of members, volunteers, sponsors and by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council, and as administered by the St. Tammany Commission on Cultural Affairs, St. Tammany Parish Government. Funding has also been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works.

Art Event Parish News

14th Annual President’s Arts Awards Slated for November 19th – St. Tammany Parish Government

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stp news

From St. Tammany Parish Government:

stp news

St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper announced last week that the 14th Annual President’s Arts Awards recipients will be honored at the President’s Arts Awards presented by the St. Tammany Commission on Cultural Affairs, Thursday, November 19, 2020, at an outdoor ceremony at the Koop Drive Trailhead Pavilion. Attendance will be limited to recipients and their families as COVID-19 protective protocol will be in place.

“We are happy to be able to host this event at the Koop Drive Trailhead. I want to thank the Commission for their hard work and their attention to every detail in keeping safety in mind in planning this event, for the honorees,” Cooper said. “The arts are a vital part of our community. I look forward to celebrating my first Arts Awards as Parish President and recognizing the wealth of artistic talent here in St. Tammany. I offer sincere congratulations to every recipient.”

The honorees are as follows:

Visual Artist – Gretchen Armbruster
Literary Artist – Mike Artell
Culinary Artist – Abita Brewing Company
Performing Artist – Mel Rogers
Musical Artist – Lee Hicks
Patron of the Arts – Painting with a Twist
President’s Award (Posthumously) – Gardner Schneider Kole
Native Son Award – Lesslee Fitzmorris Mitchell
Lifetime Achievement – Patricia “Pat” Clanton
Outstanding Service Award – Kim Bergeron

Congratulations!

Local News Parish News

Find your Fur-ever Feline at the St. Tammany Parish Animal Shelter

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From St. Tammany Parish Government:

During the month of November, take home a cat six months or older for FREE from the St. Tammany Parish Animal Shelter. Kittens, or cats under the age of six months, are now $25. The cats are spayed or neutered, microchipped and vaccinated.

“Our shelter has come a long way in 2020, and our population is less than 150 right now — that’s less than one quarter of what it was in the first half of 2020. We want to keep the positive momentum going,” said Parish President Mike Cooper. “If you are looking for a pet, now is a great time to find one.”

Additional changes at the St. Tammany Parish Animal Shelter include: a mentorship with Best Friends Animal Society — a national animal advocacy group and partner; reduced euthanasia rates — euthanasia rates of animals who were either ill or a danger to the public, dropped to less than eight percent during the month of October; a high placement rate — since the start of 2020, over 1600 pets have been placed through adoption, rescue groups, or reunification with their owners.

Pets currently in adoption can be found at www.stpgov.org/pets. Please choose the Pet Finder or Pet Harbor tab to search the St. Tammany Parish Animal Shelter. You can also find many of our adoptable pets on Facebook.

Local Events Non Profit Spotlight

Local Beer & Bites Crawl Supports Covington Boys & Girls Club – Tickets SOLD OUT

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boys and girls club
boys and girls club

Like many nonprofit organizations in the greater New Orleans area, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana and the youth they serve have been dramatically impacted by COVID-19. Our community continues to face unprecedented times, but your support can help kids that need critical support.

The Covington Boys & Girls Club has made several adjustments to adapt to changes since COVID, including wellness checks, free meals and virtual learning classes. With the help of various donors, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana have provided financial relief to families in need.
The Covington Boys & Girls Club is back open for afterschool programming, seeing about 22 children a day. They provide free meals for all Club members, both a snack and dinner, averaging about 220 meals per week. They are also still offering free meals to anyone experiencing food insecurity in the Covington area, whether they are involved in the Club or not.

This Wednesday, supporting the Boys & Girls Club of Covington is as easy as strolling around downtown Covington, tasting beer and eating bites. It’s the 4th Annual Oxtober Fest event with a twist – a Beer & Bites Stroll starting at the Covington Trailhead and meandering through the many participating local restaurants. The event benefits the Covington Boys & Girls Club.

Tickets are SOLD OUT for the inaugural Beer & Bites Stroll! If you didn’t get a chance to get them, you can still donate to the Covington Boys & Girls Club or learn how you can volunteer here.

Mayor Mark has this to say about the Boys & Girls Club:

“As we know, not all families in our community are able to offer strong parenting. Some children do not receive the structure, the values nor the attention that most of us did as youngsters. At or around the age of 9, 10 or 11, some of these children begin to receive more attention from the streets than from their family. By the age of 13, the bad guys have become their family. This is a bad thing.
“Here in Covington, we are blessed with a strong and active Boys and Girls Club. Our school buses drop students off directly from school. A snack, a safe place and some help with homework helps fill a gap. The Club becomes their family. This is a good thing.
“Sometimes supporting the community is as simple as buying the ticket, eating the eats and drinking the drinks. This Wednesday is one of those times.”

Local News Non Profit Spotlight

Volunteers Needed – Replanting Downtown Planters with Keep Covington Beautiful

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Keep Covington Beautiful is dedicated to engaging all citizens in every aspect of keeping Covington clean and beautiful. KCB is a 501 c 3 non-profit corporation. Keep Covington Beautiful develops broad-based community partnerships to improve and beautify the physical environment of the City of Covington, including beautification, litter prevention and recycling activities. Keep Covington Beautiful provides educational activities to encourage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community environments through positive behavior. KCB also beautifies and maintains various location in and around downtown Covington, including our plentiful planters.

This Saturday join Keep Covington Beautiful in re-planting the downtown planters! Please bring your own gloves, water and trowel. Meeting at the Covington Trailhead at 9:30. Email info@keepcovingtonbeautiful.org if you are able to help. Learn more at www.keepcovingtonbeautiful.org.

Local News Non Profit Spotlight

Donation Opportunities for the Covington Community

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November is traditionally a month of giving, and many in our community have suffered hardships this year. Thankfully there are a number of organizations in our area designed to help our local neighbors.

Donate Food & Gently Used Household Items to the Northshore Food Bank

The Northshore Food Bank and it’s Resale Shop have undergone some changes in the past year, both expanding to larger locations to meet the demands of our growing community and outer areas. Each year, the Northshore Food Bank distributes over 1 million pounds of food to the residents of St. Tammany and Washington parishes. This year the Food Bank saw an increase of more than 110% in the number of individuals and families they serve due to COVID.

Want to help? You can donate food directly to to Food Bank at their new location, 125 W 30th Ave, Covington, LA. Donation hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday from 9a-12p at the Community Donations door, facing W 29th Ave. You, your business or place of work can also host a Food Drive! Learn more here: https://northshorefoodbank.org/donate-food

The Northshore Resale Shop accepts donations of gently-used clothing and accessories, household items, appliances and furniture. Funds from the Resale Shop go directly towards purchasing food for the Food Bank. Learn more at https://northshorefoodbank.org/resale.

Knights of Columbus Coat Drive

Our local Knights of Columbus are collecting small children’s (toddler – 12 years old) coats for distribution to those in need. Jackets in good shape may be dropped off at the collection box at Acquistapace’s Grocery or the Children’s Dental Cottage in Madisonville.

Covington Police Department Toy Drive

The Caroline Darby’s Christmas Wish, formerly known as Covington Police Toys for Tots was started in 1995 by Sgt. Wayne Mayberry and the Marines along with a host of CovPD employees, mainly Caroline Darby.

An average of 500 children attend this event annually. It takes about 6 to 8 thousand dollars plus a host of volunteers to provide this special experience for our children.

CovPD is asking for help to keep this program thriving and continuing to put smiles on children’s faces. If so inclined, please mail your donation to:

Caroline Darby’s Christmas Wish
PO Box 4074, Covington LA 70434
Questions: Contact Tammy Bushnell @ 985-892-8500 Opt 2

Boys & Girls Club of Southeast Louisiana – Covington Unit

boys and girls club

For the past 50 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana has been a leading provider of afterschool and summer enrichment programs for at-risk youth. As an independent local 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana depends on the generosity of local partners, supporters and investors. Each is vital to the organization’s continued ability to save the lives of at-risk kids across southeast Louisiana.

This year the Boys & Girls Club of Covington has made adjustments and offered additional support to the community with financial relief to families in need, meals, well-being checks and virtual learning for the children. To learn more about how you can donate, sponsor or volunteer with the Boys & Girls Club, visit www.bgcsela.org or follow them on Facebook.

On Wednesday, November 11th, from 5:30-9:30pm, the 4th Annual event for Oxtoberfest, but the INAUGURAL Beer & Bites Crawl will take place at the Covington Trailhead and throughout downtown Covington, benefiting the Boys & Girls Club of Covington! Read more here: https://covingtonweekly.com/2020/10/26/oxtober-fest-beer-bites-crawl-in-downtown-covington-nov-11/

Children’s Advocacy Center – Hope House

Children’s Advocacy Center – Hope House is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to ending the cycle of child abuse in our community.

This week is the last chance to support Hope House by donating toward your favorite Men Who Cook celebrity/restaurant team! Men Who Cook, sponsored by Cintas and the Brooke It Forward Foundation, is the primary annual fundraiser for Children’s Advocacy Center – Hope House. Campaign ends Sunday, November 8th. You could win a Dinsey getaway! All donations help CAC-Hope House fight child abuse and trafficking on the Northshore. Learn more here: https://www.cachopehouse.org/events/

Covington Rotary Club’s Feeding the Needy

Feeding the Needy was founded in 2002 by John Baldwin and Craig Babylon to provide food on Christmas day for families in need on the Northshore. The Covington Rotary Club was approached for support and special focus was put on providing food for the school children who, during the holidays, do not receive the meals they receive at school and depend on as their main source of nutrition.

Each year on December 23 and 24, volunteers from all over the area come together to prepare Christmas boxes that include a 14 to 16 pound cooked turkey with numerous side dishes and dessert. Each box has enough food to feed a family of four to five with larger families receiving additional boxes. Deliveries are made to families throughout the Northshore area including St. Tammany, Washington and Tangipahoa parishes. On Christmas morning, Rotarians and other community volunteers hand deliver the boxes to the homes of the identified families.

Besides the fundraising luncheon which is held on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving at the Briggs Assembly Center on St. Paul’s School campus, FTN relies heavily on financial donations. Because of the support from so many generous volunteers and strong partnerships, FTN is able to operate with minimal administrative costs. Donations for FTN are accepted year round. Learn more at the Covington Rotary Foundation’s website.

Northshore Humane Society – Adopt & Donate

Northshore Humane Society rescues thousands of neglected and abandoned animals each year. But we can’t do it alone. Together we can save even more!

For the price of a movie ticket, $13.90, you can provide food to an animal in need for an entire month. Together we can make Thanksgiving Day special for a homeless dog or cat. Your special gift will give an innocent animal the second chance and loving family they have always deserved.

View Northshore Humane Society’s Thanksgiving donation page here: www.northshorehumane.org/thanks

See NHS’s Adoptable Pets of the Week here: covingtonweekly.com/category/pet-of-the-week/

Art Event Local Events

STAA Art Market on Lee Lane this Saturday

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The Covington Art Market returns to Lee Lane this Saturday November 7th from 10 am – 2 pm. Stroll through and find a variety of hand-made arts including pottery, jewelry, metal sculpture, stained glass, mixed media, hand-made garments, wood carvings, photography, and more.

lee lane art market
click to view larger

While you’re out, you are encouraged to visit other downtown locations, including exhibitions at the Art House, the nostalgic array of goods and the historic museum at H.J. Smith & Sons General Store and the many fine shopping establishments around downtown Covington. The Farmers’ Market takes place from 8 a.m. to noon at 609 N. Columbia Street, just a few blocks from Lee Lane. Then enjoy a bite at one of our many restaurants. It’s a great way to spend your Saturday!

The Art Market provides entrepreneurial opportunities to local artists while fostering creative community relationships by allowing artists to sell directly to the public. Presented by the St. Tammany Art Association in partnership with the City of Covington. Learn more at www.sttammany.art/arts-market

Currently on display at the STAA Art House:

Local News

Mayor Mark Storm Update – Hurricane Zeta

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Hurricane Zeta Prep Update from City of Covington Mayor Mark Johnson. Sign up for email updates at www.covla.com

Covington’s own meteorologist Michael Efferson offers a very concise and most useful update on this week’s hurricane:

Hurricane Zeta: – The forecast track remains similar to pretty much every previous one. Climatology favors a more easterly one if any changes do occur.

Timing: Wednesday afternoon-midnight for peak conditions for southeast LA. It’s short because Zeta will be moving fast.

Here’s what I’d be most concerned with in southeast LA:
1. Flash flooding: rain will be heavy, even today(Tuesday). We’ve seen heavy rainfall events the day before landfall many times before. I’m talking parish sized flood events. Be careful driving and watch out for flooded roads
2. Winds: For those east of I-55, we saw some trees down and relatively short-term power outages with Delta. I’d expect similar, if not slightly worse conditions with Zeta.
3. River Flooding: Probably the lowest threat but non-zero. We can handle roughly 5-7″ of rain without more than moderate river flooding. More than that would be problematic.

City Impacts from most to least:

New Orleans/Slidell: 50-75mph winds. Expect scattered trees down and power outages lasting from a few hours to a day or 2. Localized street flooding likely. Covington: 40-65mph winds. Expect isolated to scattered trees down, no power loss to a day or 2 at most. Think similar to slightly worse than Delta impacts. Hammond: 30-50 mph winds. Isolated trees down and maybe powerloss for less than a day.

Baton Rouge: 25-35 mph. No real-world wind impacts. BUT, localized street flooding possible today and tomorrow.

**UPDATE 10-28-2020** from Covington’s own meteorologist Michael Efferson:

Winds look as bad or worse than I mentioned yesterday across New Orleans and Slidell. Covington, Hammond and Baton Rouge should be about the same.

Bottom Line:

  • Take this storm seriously. It WILL be worse than hurricane Delta was for those east of I-55 (Covington, Slidell, New Orleans metro)
  • Get your errands finished by noon.
  • 4 to 6 hour window of intense rain and dangerous winds
  • It will not be safe to be on the roads late this afternoon.
  • Winds should rapidly relax after around 9-10pm.

City Impacts from most to least:

New Orleans/Slidell: 60-90mph winds. Expect scattered trees down and power outages lasting from a few hours to a few days. Localized street flooding likely.

Covington: 40-70mph winds. Expect isolated to scattered trees down. Many will lose power for short period to a day or 2. Localized street flooding likely.

Hammond: 30-50 mph winds. Isolated trees down and maybe powerloss for less than a day.

Garbage / Recycling Pickup

Garbage will be picked up tomorrow morning (Wednesday) — But not per usual. Trucks will be running early to beat the storm.
Customers are advised to place bins out this evening, then secure bins tomorrow after pick up, prior to storm.
Assuming storm path and timing does not change, recycling will remain on Thursday.
After the storm: Leaves and clippings should be bagged and placed curbside on garbage day. Small piles of branches should be consolidated amongst neighbors (making the boom-trucks more efficient).
Changes in pick up schedule will be posted by Coastal Environmental Services on Facebook and on their website:
Coastal Environmental Services

Covington is a No Wake Zone

Covington Public Works is pre-positioning barricades for frequent flood hot-spots as well as cleaning culverts / catch basins. Big thanks to those residents who adopt a ditch or catch basin to check and clean prior to storms ( RivF : ).
Reminder: Covington streets are a NO WAKE ZONE. Though you may drive through safely, your wake rolls up into businesses and homes that otherwise would not flood. Avoid flooded streets when possible … go slow when unavoidable. Be kind.


Covington Fire Department will be checking on our most vulnerable, home-bound residents prior to the storm.
Covington Police Department will be on stand-by.

Sewer Lift Station – Generators are fully fueled.

CLECO order of re-energizing outages: 1) Hospitals 2) Nursing Homes 3) Sewer Lift Station / Treatment Plant 4) Traffic Signals 5 ) Residential Neighborhoods.
Repair crews are being pre-positioned today. To monitor outages & repair times, use CLECO’s app or Outage Map.

City Hall will be closed on Wednesday, October 27th

Visit www.covla.com for more information or to sign up for Mayor Mark’s email updates.

Read about St. Tammany Parish Government Emergency Operations for Hurricane Zeta, including self-serve sandbag locations:

Local News Parish News

Emergency Operations Update: St. Tammany Parish Government Prepares for Hurricane Zeta

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From St. Tammany Parish Government www.stpgov.org:

St. Tammany Parish President, Mike Cooper, his administration and emergency operations personnel continue to monitor, and prepare for, any anticipated impacts of Hurricane Zeta as it moves toward the Gulf of Mexico. The National Hurricane Center is predicting that Zeta will move over the southern Gulf of Mexico Tuesday, and approach the northern Gulf Coast on Wednesday.

The National Hurricane Center predicts that Hurricane Zeta could bring tropical storm force conditions to our area late Wednesday into Wednesday Night. The severity of the threats is dependent on the exact track and intensity.  The Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is receiving continual updates from the National Hurricane Center, and coordinating with the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, as well as local partner agencies.

The St. Tammany Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is prepared to physically activate the Emergency Operations Center. The St. Tammany Parish Department of Public Works will open six self-serve sandbag locations beginning Tuesday, October 27, 2020 from 7:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. All locations (with the exception of the Old Levee District Site) will have personnel on-hand to assist the elderly or infirmed. Citizens are asked to bring their own shovels, should the ones provided be in use.

Sandbag Locations

  • St. Tammany Parish Government- Building
  • 21410 Koop Dr., Mandeville
  • St. Tammany Parish Public Works- Airport Road Barn
  • 34783 Grantham College Rd, Slidell, La
  • The Old Levee District Site (those who need assistance, visit Fritchie Barn)
  • 61134 Military Road (Hwy 190) Slidell, La.
  • St. Tammany Parish Public Works- Fritchie Barn
  • 63119 Highway 1090 in Pearl River
  • St. Tammany Parish Public Works Barn- Keller Barn
  • 63131 Fish Hatchery Road, Lacombe
  • St. Tammany Parish Public Works Barn- Covington Barn
  • 1305 N. Florida Street, Covington

Emergency preparedness information will be available to citizens, contingent on the forecast, through our television station: STPG-TV —Channel 710 on Charter, Channel 99, AT&T U-VERSE, or livestream at www.stpgov.org/, through our storm page: www.stpgov.org/storm, through social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, and through the local media. Citizens can also subscribe to automatic email updates from the Parish by visiting www.stpgov.org.  

Citizens are reminded to enhance emergency preparedness plans to include masks, hand sanitizers and other items needed to continue to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. For more storm preparation tips visit www.ready.gov.

St. Tammany Parish Emergency Operations Update – October 27, 2020

St. Tammany Parish Government announced the following Emergency Operations updates at a news briefing earlier today.

  • Parish President Mike Cooper signed an Emergency Declaration in advance of Tropical Storm Zeta
  • Parish Officials continue to monitor Tropical and the potential impacts on St. Tammany Parish
  • The St. Tammany Parish Emergency Operations Center will partially activate at 7 a.m. Wednesday, October 28, 2020
  • Six Self-Serve Sandbag locations will be open from 7: 30 a.m. until 12 p.m. tomorrow (Wednesday October 28th). There will be someone to assist the elderly and the disabled at each location, with the exception of the Old Levee District site.
  • Non-essential Parish Government Offices will close Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at noon. Essential personnel are expected to report as assigned. Animal Services will be closed to the public.
  • The October 28th Agenda Review and Special Council Meeting has been cancelled due to the approaching storm.

The following will close Wednesday, October 28, 2020:

  • Camp Salmen Nature park, located at 35122 Parish Pkwy, Slidell, LA 70460
  • The Tammany Trace
  • The St. Tammany Fishing Pier located at 54001 E Howze Beach Rd, Slidell, LA 70461
  • Kids Konnection Playground located at 21410 Koop Dr, Mandeville
  • Northshore Beach located at 267 Debbie Dr, Slidell, LA 70458
  • Bayou Lacombe Bridge. No Marine traffic.

Public works has contacted Debris and Monitoring contractors and they are on standby/monitoring potential impacts.

  • Public Works and Tammany Utilities personnel are on call, if needed, out of an abundance of caution.
  • STAR TRANSIT will run until 3 p.m. Wednesday, October 28, 2020, and then once the storm has passed and road conditions are reassessed they will let us know when services will resume.
  • 22nd JDC, Clerk of Court, St. Tammany Assessor and District Attorney will be closed tomorrow.

Citizens can visit www.stpgov.org/storm for information.

Continuous updates will be posted at www.stpgov.org, on STPG-TV; Channel 710 Spectrum; Channel 99 AT &T U-Verse, as well as on Social Media.

Residents are asked to clear any debris from culverts and drainage pathways, and to monitor the weather forecasts in the coming days through your local media outlets. Prepare your enhanced plan to accommodate COVID-19 precautions.

Sign up now for ALERT St. Tammany, here. This is the Parish-wide emergency notification system for St. Tammany Parish Government. If we can’t reach you, we can’t alert you.

Local Events

Oxtober Fest Beer & Bites Crawl in Downtown Covington Nov 11

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On Wednesday, November 11th, from 5:30-9:30pm, the 4th Annual event for Oxtoberfest, but the INAUGURAL Beer & Bites Crawl will take place at the Covington Trailhead and throughout downtown Covington. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased online at www.oxtoberfest.org. (*Rain date is Thur, Nov 12th).

Tickets include small plate tastings and beer pairings at local downtown restaurant sidewalks including: Lola, OxLot 9, Del Porto, Seiler Bar, Cured on Columbia & Beck N Call. The Shack, Hoo Doo Ice cream, and Campbell’s coffee will also be serving up some favorites at the Trailhead as well. The evening kicks off at the Covington Trailhead for check-in and the first course at 5:30pm, and patrons can sidewalk crawl in any order to the other 6+ participating restaurants throughout downtown until 7:45 pm, where the evening will continue back at the Covington Trailhead for the dessert course and final beer pairing. At this final stop, patrons will enjoy live music by Jeff Cryer’s  Tribute to Motown, and a live auction beginning at 8pm. All proceeds benefit the Boys & Girls Club- Covington Unit and the event concludes at 9:30 pm.

While the Oxtoberfest Committee was disappointed to have to cancel their traditional beer fest in 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions, they are excited for the opportunity to “pivot” and think outside the box, creating this exciting new event that supports both the local fine dining restaurants as well at the Covington Boys & Girls Club. Tickets must be purchased ahead of time and will be limited so that proper social distancing can take place. The outdoor, walkable concept allows for people to casually stroll and enjoy the fall weather and sights of downtown as they sample each participating restaurants “bites” and “beer pairings.”

Event chairs, Nick and Cody Ludwig, saw the opportunity to create something really fun for their community while also supporting restaurants in town who took a hit during the spring/summer by having to shut down or operate on to-go orders only saying, “There was no way we could lean on these restaurants for donations at this time, they have suffered enough. So instead of relying on traditional ways to put on an event, we figured we’d move the event to them and use sponsorship dollars to pay the restaurants while also earning funds for the Covington Boys & Girls Club (who also took a huge financial hit from Covid-19 by having to cancel 3 other fundraisers).”

“The Covington Boys & Girls Club changes futures of the youth in our community, it is incredibly important to Covington that they be able to keep their doors open and allow a safe place for kids to go after school, be able to attend summer camp, meet adult mentors and many other opportunities…Now more than ever, they need funding and we are more than happy to execute Oxtoberfest events that allow us to fundraise for them 4 years in a row and many more years to come,” Ludwig says. “We can’t wait to see everyone for this unique event!”

Sponsorships are still available, if you or your company have an auction item or room in your budget to support this great cause, please send info/inquiries to info@oxtoberfest.org

Follow event details and updates at facebook.com/theoxtoberfest

*Must have valid ID to obtain wristband and be 21 years of age to consume beer*