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City Updates Local Events Local News Public Meetings

A Morning With Mayor Mark

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A Morning With Mayor Mark for Coffee and Conversation takes place Thursday, July 15, 2021 from 9 to 10 a.m. at the Firehouse Event Center, located at 432 Theard Street.

This is an opportunity to meet informally with the mayor in a comfortable setting for city updates and pertinent information. Refreshments provided by Campbell’s Coffee.

For more information, visit the City of Covington in person at 317 N. Jefferson Avenue, call 985-892-1811 or email to info@covla.com. Visit the City of Covington online: covla.com

City Updates Local Events Local News

Groundbreaking & Downtown Roadway Projects

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The City of Covington held a groundbreaking ceremony at Gulf Coast Bank for the Boston Street Overlay Project Tuesday morning. Mayor Mark thanked Senator Patrick McMath and Representative Mark Wright for their help in bringing the project to fruition, explaining that the Overlay Project was a result of needed improvements to the roadway after addressing sewerage and drainage issues over the last year. Parish President Cooper made a few brief statements and the group took some pictures. Other city officials in attendance included City Councilmen Mark Verret, Joey Roberts, John Botsford, Peter Lewis and Larry Rolling; Chief of Police Stephen Culotta, Fire Chief Gary Blocker and Assistant Fire Chief Steven Michel; representatives of City administration and Gulf Coast Bank.

(l – r) Parish President Mike Cooper, State Representative Mark Wright, Mayor Mark Johnson, State Senator Patrick McMath, Councilman Larry Rolling, Councilman Peter Lewis, Councilman Mark Verret, Councilman John Botsford and Councilman Joey Roberts.

For more information about the City of Covington, call 985-892-1811 and visit them online at covla.com, where you can also sign up for Mayor Mark’s E-list Sign Up! Find the City of Covington on Facebook.

City of Covington Getting Ready For Its First Roundabout

Covington is preparing for its first roundabout that DOTD will build at the intersection of Jefferson and 21st. Roundabouts in the area, including Abita Springs and Highway 59, have received favorable response and keep traffic flowing.

Proposed roundabout at the intersection of Jefferson and 21st.

Mayor Mark reports that:

“Although DOTD is responsible for design and construction of the road, we (the City) are responsible for the necessary utility line relocations.

We have completed moving the utility lines. DOTD is at 60% design completion.

The FAQ: Can’t we put a fountain, statue or plantings in the center?

The Answer: DOTD frowns upon anything which might obstruct the sight triangle within the circle.”

Sign up for Mayor Mark’s e-blast at covla.com

Local News

Covington Named Tree City USA For 27th Year

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The Arbor Day Foundation designated the City of Covington as a 2020 Tree City USA
which marks the 27th year that the city has met the requirements set by the foundation.
The four core standards required are having an active Tree Board and a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and celebrating Arbor Day.

Pictured in the photo are, left to right:
Tree Board members Emily Couvillon, Ella Mae Selmon, Mayor Mark Johnson, Tree Board members Billie Stanga and Bruce Davidson

Keep Covington Beautiful sponsors the Tree Give-away each year in January to celebrate Louisiana Arbor Day. In 2020, 600 bare-root seedlings were given away at Farmer’s Market. The Covington Tree Board and Keep Covington Beautiful provide guidance to the city and coordination of the “Live Oak Preservation Project”. In 2020, 36 Live Oaks on public property received specialized professional care through this project.

City Updates Local News Public Meetings

A Morning with Mayor Mark – Coffee & Conversation March 9th

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City of Covington Mayor Mark Johnson invites you to join him for A Morning of Coffee & Conversation at the Bogue Falaya Hall on Tuesday, March 9th, 2021, from 9 am – 10 am.

Mayor Mark continues this quarterly informal meet-and-greet with the public to give updates and talk about recent news in town. He may even share a historical anecdote. Coffee and other refreshments are provided by Campbell’s Coffee.

Because of social distancing measures seating is limited – please register in advance at bontempstix.com/events/morningwithmayormark if you would like to attend. This is a free event.

Visit covla.com and sign up for Mayor Mark’s emails for more updates.

Healthy Living Local Events

Sign Up Today for Zumba w/ the Mayor this Sunday

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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.

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.

City Updates Local News

City of Covington Construction Project Update from Mayor Mark Johnson

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The following is from Covington Mayor Mark Johnson‘s most recent e-mail update. Sign up for updates at www.covla.com

The City has been quite active during the past 60 days regarding infrastructure improvements. Kudos to engineer Callie Baker for getting these engineering and construction contracts underway:

1) Repave Boston Street (LA Hwy 21) engineering design. Special thanks to Senator Patrick McMath and Representative Mark Wright for funding.
2) That said, the City currently has no money budgeted to repave any of our other downtown or Division of Spring streets. We will continue to focus on repairing, replacing and lining our aging and leaky sewer lines.
3) Updating water line on 14th Ave between Jefferson and Jahncke. Retired Fire Chief Richard Badon had lamented the lack of a hydrant in this area.
4) Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) Chlorine system maintenance.
5) The screening apparatus at WWTP has been broken for a couple of years. This means every object flushed into our sewer system has been hand-raked out of our waste water input. Repairing this apparatus is a good thing.
6) State law requires engineers calculate the load bearing of all bridges every two years. Like most of America, our bridge system is aging out.
7) Crepe myrtles planted near the sidewalk have rooted into the culverts on Lockwood between Columbia St. and Florida St. This has had an adverse effect on drainage. While repairing the drainage culverts, we will take this opportunity to also repair the sewer lines.
8) Miscellaneous repairs (phase I) per 2016 engineering study for WWTP.
9) Replace aging generator at WWTP. Plant receives, treats and discharges about one million gallons of effluent into the Tchefuncte River daily.
10) Extending Philip Drive water line to provide water to Fire Station #2.
11) Safety striping of 15th Avenue from Hubie Gallager to River Forest and at westward bound turn at 15th Ave and S. Tyler St
12) Engineering design for replacement of Lurline Drive from Karen to Division Street.*
13) Sewer line breaks along Lurline Drive identified by smoke testing and cameras will be repaired prior to replacing street.
14) Engineering State required guard rails for 15th Ave / Rattle Snake Branch bridge.
15) Engineering design for replacement of Columbia Street / Mile Branch. No $$s are currently budgeted for actual construction (estimated at $1M).
16) All abilities access path along the riverside of Bogue Falaya Park is coming in under budget (grant provided dollars, thank you Mayor Cooper’s administration). Unused grant funds are being applied to extending the path behind the playground along Mackie Creek.

*As a rule, I do not offer timelines for completion. My life experience as a builder / developer tells me such estimates are seldom correct, create false expectations and disappointment.

Also, a shout-out to Chief Administrative Officer Erin Bivona, Director of Finance Stephen Sanders and Public Works Director Chris Davis. The procurement process is tedious, heavily regulated, counter to typical business methods and miserable. Their work and expertise are critical to us overcoming the waterfall of bureaucracy.

www.covla.com

Local News

Mayor Mark Reminds Covington to “Slow Your Roll”

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In September of 2019 Covington Mayor Mark Johnson introduced the “Slow Your Roll” campaign to remind drivers in Covington to obey speed limit restrictions. Careful driving not only keeps you safe, but also keeps Covington a safe place for pedestrians, residents and other drivers.

In an email update sent out yesterday, Mayor Mark details a particularly hectic traffic day for CPD on Monday, with 6 car crashes and 221 cars “radar clocked” for speeding, just in Covington.

While the Covington Police Department has 6 new police officers currently in training and 3 new experienced officers undergoing field training they are still currently understaffed. Mayor Mark reminds us that traffic calls take officers from the streets that can be dealing with more pressing or unavoidable calls. Driving carefully means more than keeping our roads safe, it means keeping us all safe.

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

Local Events

Kick Off the New Year with Mayor Mark’s Zumba Class

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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 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 Events

Cameron Dupuy and the Cajun Troubadours – Chillin’ at the River Dec 26

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from the Cajun Troubadours‘ website

On Saturday December 26th, the City of Covington presents Grammy nominated Cameron Dupuy and the Cajun Troubadours at the Bogue Falaya Park. This free concert will be from 4 – 6:30 pm. A continuation of the Chillin’ at the River concert series, guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets, and picnics as food and beverages will not be provided. Masks are required, sanitation and social distancing circles will be available.

These concerts are put on to provide safe, family friendly entertainment with social distancing in mind. Enjoy the scenic sprawling landscape of our beautiful park while listening to local live music. Afterwards, take a stroll around downtown Covington and visit the many unique shops and fine dining restaurants.

About Cameron Dupuy and the Cajun Troubadours

From the Cajun Troubadours‘ website: “Cameron, the seven-time Cajun accordion contest winner, has now established himself as a favorite among many Cajun music fans in Louisiana. He has now recorded on three CDs; the most recent being “The Mid-City Aces” featuring Michael Dupuy and Gina Forsyth and the brand new “Cameron Dupuy and the Cajun Troubadours” self titled album.
“In November of 2020, the band’s debut self-titled album, “Cameron Dupuy and the Cajun Troubadours” was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of Best Regional Roots Music Album.”

“Twas the night after Christmas
And no cookies were left.
Cajun music filled the air
as we did the two-step!”
– Mayor Mark Johnson

Sign up for Mayor Mark’s emails at www.covla.com

Local Events

Register for Coffee with Mayor Mark Tuesday December 8th

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City of Covington Mayor Mark Johnson invites you to join him for A Morning of Coffee & Conversation at the Bogue Falaya Hall Tuesday, December 8th, 2020, from 9 am – 10 am.

Mayor Mark continues this tradition of informal meet-and-greet with the public to give updates and talk about recent news in town. He may even share a historical anecdote. Coffee and other refreshments are provided by Campbell’s Coffee.

Because of social distancing measures seating is limited – please register in advance at bontempstix.com/events/morningwithmayormark if you would like to attend. This is a free event.

Visit covla.com and sign up for Mayor Mark’s emails for more updates.

Local Events

Zumba with the Mayor this Sunday

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The Mayor’s Council on Healthy Lifestyles teams up with Oschner and St. Tammany Health Systems to present 1 1/2 hours of cardio, core and fun!

“If you’re moving, you’re doing it right” is the mantra for this multi-generational exercise dance class. All shapes, all sizes, all ages and all abilities are welcome to discover the fun we have at the YMCA, Star Fitness, Bogue Falaya Fitness, Mandeville Sports Complex, Pelican Athletic Club and Francos. Five different instructors — 1 1/2 hours of fun.

Join Covington Mayor Mark Johnson for this free event at Bogue Falaya Hall on Sunday, November 8th at noon. The Bogue Falaya Hall is located in the City Hall complex at 128 West 23rd Avenue Covington, LA 70433. Event is limited to 50 people. Click here to register.

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

Local History

Local History: The Talley Family Story as Told by Mayor Mark Johnson

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Covington History segment provided by local historical writer Ron Barthet.
View Ron’s blog Tammany Family here.

On Tuesday, December 5, 2017, Mayor Mark Johnson, then president of the Covington Heritage Foundation (CHF), presented a detailed account of the history of the Talley’s Feed & Seed Store, complete with family history and photographs.

Johnson’s speech entertained more than 100 members of the group in attendance, including three members of the Talley family who were surprised and appreciative when they found out that their parents were the subject of the 30 minute presentation. 

Here is the text and photos from Johnson’s presentation at the recent CHF Membership Gala held at the Southern Hotel, reprinted with his permission. Ted Talley Jr. has made some additional remarks in the text. Click on the images to make them larger.

The title of the talk was “Good People: A Family Tale of the 20th Century”

The following picture shows the Covington Coca Cola bottling company about 1918. Notice the low-pitched roof. The two-story building was located on North Columbia Street.

This current day photograph shows the O’Keefe Feed and Seed in Covington.
It’s the same building.

That building plays an important part in this story. 

Our story actually begins in 1918 in war-torn France, the war to end all wars. It brought death and injury to thousands of American soldiers. One of the injured was Claudis Simpson of New Orleans, who suffered severe leg injuries. He was brought to the U.S. Army Hospital in Fort McPherson, GA, where, over time, he gradually recovered.  

He can be seen in the photograph above, lying down in the background with the sling around his leg. In the next photograph he is seen on the hospital grounds. 

After he recovered, he went back to New Orleans and started a service station. At that time, operating a service station was a big deal and since it was located near a large hospital, it was very successful.

The service station featured classic gas pumps, displayed a Standard Motor Oil sign, and, as we can see by the fire hydrant in front, had running water, indoor plumbing, and electricity.

He got married and in 1924 had a daughter named Evelyn.
Doctors eventually told him that if he stayed in New Orleans, the pollution would kill him. So he traded the service station for 60 acres in Bush. He and his wife and his daughter moved to Bush and lived in a house where there was no electricity and no indoor plumbing.

The photograph here shows his daughter Evelyn in her Mardi Gras costume. She would tell about going to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, leaving Bush early in the morning, going to Slidell and then to New Orleans, seeing the parades, then coming back through Slidell to Bush, all to return home in time to milk the cows.

She also recalled the story of when a new highway came through Bush, and since her father wanted the house to face the highway, he got together some of his friends, jacked up the house, put some logs under it and rotated it 90 degrees. Since there wasn’t any plumbing or electricity, it was a pretty easy thing to do.

 As she grew up in Bush, Evelyn studied by kerosene lantern, learned to play piano, went to high school in Covington, and joined the marching band.

 The Lyon High School Marching Band in 1940

Evelyn Simpson played trumpet, and she was so good at it the instructor Phillip Pfeffer would often leave her in charge of the group when he had to leave the room. She even helped conduct the band.  Pfeffer, a future Covington attorney, was the husband of Rosemary Pfeffer (long-time teacher of English and Latin at Covington High) and father of Elizabeth Pfeffer Williams and Susan Pfeffer Latham.

Evelyn Simpson Talley is far right, seated on the end with trumpet. On the far left front row is Clare Cooper Drinkard (elder Mayor Cooper’s sister, current Mayor Cooper’s aunt) and to her left is future husband Everett Drinkard.  In center left, in front of the cymbals, is junior high student  Ralph Menetre.

Menetre would walk from the junior high down Jefferson Avenue, past the St. Peter’s Catholic Church under construction to the high school to take part in rehearsals. After high school he went to LSU, and became a running back for the LSU football team.

Evelyn’s teachers all knew that she was a smart student and encouraged her to go to college. She graduated in 1940, but instead of going to college, she married Theodore Broughton “Red” Talley. Here’s a photo of the young couple. 

Shortly after they married, Red joined the army and went through basic training in Durham, NC. While he was away, Evelyn earned $10 a week as secretary and lived in a rooming house for $10 a week. Times were difficult, but as she recalled, she had a roof overhead, food, indoor plumbing and electricity. “Life was good,” she said, recalling the hardships of her childhood home.

Theodore “Red” Talley in Europe

Red Talley was soon deployed to Europe, and Evelyn got the news that she was pregnant.

Red Talley became a member of Patton’s 4th Armored Division, and was a part of Operation Bodyguard. He went on to France where he took a number of pictures.

Thirty-three months in Europe’s mud and snow

He served on a howitzer team.

The photograph above shows him on his way home after the war.

Here is Red and Evelyn Talley on November 4, 1945, with him seeing his daughter Carolyn Talley for the first time.
Red Talley then went to work for the Great Southern Paper Mill in Bogalusa.

He hated working there. Evelyn stayed on the farm in Bush. She hated farming. But then Red bought a truck and modified it to deliver seeds to farmers to plant in their fields. He also delivered chicken feed. The name of the business was Talley’s Feed in Bush, which operated between 1949 and 1951.

In 1951 Talley’s Feed moved into an old building at the corner of Gibson and Vermont Sts. in Covington. It was there for three years. Today that location is occupied by a parking lot west of Marsolan’s Feed and Seed which is pictured below.

“Retail was much better than farm life,” Evelyn said.

In 1953 the business moved to old Coca Cola bottling plant on North Columbia Street.

The caption to the above photograph included the following: The old Coca Cola Bottling Co. building is still standing, but has been converted into Talley’s Feed & Seed Co. on North Columbia Street. The two old trucks shown are Model T Fords. Standing in the door, left to right, are Bennie Aouielle and his father J. M. Aouielle. Standing by the trucks are Willie Bickham and Sonny Brown. The elder Aouielle owned the building and the son managed the plant.

The grand opening picture below shows the newly-repainted Talley’s Feed and Seed building, complete with loading dock and people attending the opening ceremonies.

In the 1954 photo above, the tall man in front of “Dairy Supplies” lettering was Red’s father, Theodore Talley of Bush.  The two ladies to the far right, making their way to the side of the building are probably Red’s mother Rosa Corkern Talley (Theodore’ wife) being led by her daughter Lydia Talley Mitchell.

Shown below in this interior grand opening picture are the Grand Ole Opry singers providing the music for the festive occasion. Notice the milk cans lining the wall on the right, a sign of the active dairy industry in the area. 

St. Tammany Parish was still quite rural in nature at this time with many poultry operations, cattle ranches and dairy farms. In fact, the area now occupied by River Forest Subdivision in Covington was at one time the location of two dairies.

Claire Cooper Drinkard wound up working at Talley’s Feed and Seed, and her husband Everett Drinkard is shown above with his Zetz-7up truck, with Troy Jackson and his son Troy Jr., at left, who grew up to become a principal of a Covington area elementary school.
In 1955 Talley’s started mixing their own feed after constructing a two ton feed mixer and elevated storage tank. 

The man to the far left is Oscar Franklin, long-time Talley’s employee.  To the right is Sydney Thompson of Bush, Red’s nephew. 

In 1955 a feed mill was added to the business, with the equipment to include two 2 ton feed mixers, a hammer mill for grinding and a molasses mixer.

The elevator storage tanks. 
In 1959 the Talley mill was expanded to include a 250 ton capacity grain storage elevator and a 100,000 pound capacity truck scale.

In the photograph below, from left to right, is Branker Talley (Red’s brother from Bush who was then a partner in Talley Bros.),  Red Talley, his son Ted Talley and Evelyn Talley. 

The large nail and fence staple lazy-Susan bin in the foreground was one of the first non-feed purchases made by the feed store.  It was at the old store location on Gibson Street and stayed on Columbia Street until the feed store was sold and became Spencer’s.

The picture above shows Oscar Franklin and the young Ted Talley, at left. Franklin was an important part of their operation for many years.

The picture below shows the Talley Brothers truck parked on the scales in front of the store, heading out to fill chicken feed tanks at poultry farms. 

 The truck could pump feed from the storage area on the truck directly to a hatch in the chicken house feed storage area.

In 1960, Talley’s became the authorized dealer for Ralston-Purina livestock and specialty feeds and animal health care products, switching from Ful-o-Pep Feeds.

In 1965 Mr. and Mrs. T. B. Talley were recognized by the Ralston-Purina Chairman’s Honor Council. It was one of four times that Talley’s was recognized as an outstanding Purina dealer.

Not long after, another building addition made room for a clothing section and western wear store. 

When the courts ordered the de-segregation of area schools, Red Talley, as a member of the school board, worked for the peaceful integration of the two separate school systems. As a result, those who vehemently disagreed with his efforts repeatedly smashed the windows of his store, roofing tacks were spread over the gravel of his parking lot, and his phone would ring all hours of the night, with no one on the line when it was answered. 

The photo above was taken in December of 1974, the year that the Farnam Horse Care Center was added to the many expanding areas of the Talley retail business department.
The picture below shows the Talleys celebrating the store’s 25th anniversary.

Theodore “Red” Talley died on February 1, 2012.
Mark Johnson ended his presentation by reading a newspaper column written by Ted Talley Jr. detailing his final Father’s Day visit with his dad Red Talley.
“They were our parents, the greatest generation, they were good people,” Johnson concluded.

Following the Covington Heritage Foundation presentation, Carolyn Talley Pearce thanked Johnson for doing the research and telling the story of her parents. She went on to tell the audience: “This has been really special for our family. My mother and dad, they were not in the old Covington family group, but we were part of St. Tammany Parish for eight generations. That’s pretty incredible.  We enjoyed being a really big part of this community, and I think our parents taught us to contribute and to be a part of everything that was going on around us. I’m so glad Ted and Susan are here tonight. The presentation surprised us. He (Mark Johnson) and mother had some great visits, and mother was so happy when she got to go ring the bell at the Bell Tower dedication ceremony. I took her out to Covington High, and they looked at her and asked can she ring this bell? CHS was such an important part of her life. Thank you all for being here and sharing all these memories with all of us tonight.”

Ted Talley Jr. said, “There’s been a lot of new things going on in Covington in the last couple of decades. You see art galleries and music events going on Boston and Columbia Streets and at the Trailhead. The photo showed this couple standing in front of feed sacks on a dusty floor in the old feed and seed store, but in 1955 (when the store was just three or four years old), they became part of a community effort to bring cultural arts to Covington.  The year 1955 was a significant year in the birth of the Arts in Covington.  The little theater Playmakers began that year, the St. Tammany Art Association was getting underway, and my dad helped support the Covington Symphony Society in its attempts to hold concerts for the students and adults of the area.

Talley’s Feed and Seed was one of the first guarantors of the efforts to fund the New Orleans Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra when it came to Covington for annual concerts. He and other businesses made sure that the orchestra would have the money to make the trip in the event ticket sales were not quite enough. Mother and father were both a part of symphony arts appreciation and development.”

Three Lyon High classmates and pillars of Covington community. All celebrating 90 years of age in 2014. From left to right are Clare Drinkard, Evelyn Talley, and Audrey Oalmann.

Evelyn Talley showed off her Class Ring from Lyon High’s Class of 1940

In October of 2013 Covington High School celebrated its Centennial, 100 years of serving the community. Special guest was Evelyn Talley, and she was given the opportunity to “ring the bell” that had been saved from the 1984 fire that burned down the school building on Jefferson Ave.

She passed away on July 19, 2017, at the age of 93.

See more great photos from this article here.

Read about the original presentation here:

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

New Covington Concert Band – First Meeting November 2nd

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The City of Covington is partnering with local musicians to form the Covington Concert Band, a new concept to create another outlet for local talent to perform in Covington. Community musicians are invited to attend an informational meeting on November 2nd at Bogue Falaya Hall at 7 pm.

Meredith Berry Jr. approached Mayor Mark Johnson and City Councilmen Larry Rolling and Rick Smith with the idea of a Covington Concert band with local musician’s performing 5 to 8 times a year at Covington venues. They will hold auditions and practices will be held on Thursdays at 6:30pm at the Bogue Falaya Hall.

Erik Morales from Mandeville has been chosen to conduct the band. Morales has extensive experience in composing bestselling music for many types of genres including classical, jazz and chamber ensembles, and has participated in featured performances across the globe.

Mayor Mark Johnson said, “We invite everyone from the Northshore to attend the informational meeting on Monday, November 2, 2020 at the Bogue Falaya Hall at 7:00pm.” Bogue Falaya Hall is located at 317 N. Jefferson Ave.

For more information, email covingtonconcertband@covla.com

Local Events

The Days of Motown at Peter Atkins Park with the New Orleans Mystics

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The City of Covington kicks off their free concert series this Thursday with The Days of Motown at Peter Atkins Park featuring the New Orleans Mystics.

The New Orleans Mystics is a versatile singing group that performs a wide variety of Oldies, Motown, Top 40, R&B, Disco, Jazz, Rock and more. They have been grooving to Motown in America and Europe since 1972. Come on down to Peter Atkins Park (corner 28th and Tyler Street i.e. basketball goals) October 15th at 5 pm for some proper social distancing fun. Bring your chairs, your masks and your refreshments.

From Mayor Mark Johnson:

“Relationships are built on common experiences. Great communities are built on relationships. Join us for a common experience.” – MMJ

This is the first in a series of free concerts meant to replace the City’s usual “Rockin’ the Rails” with social distancing in mind. Stay tuned for updates on more free concerts in downtown Covington!

Local News

Mayor Mark Update on Increased and/or Incorrect Water Bill – City of Covington

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Covington Trailhead

City of Covington Mayor Mark Johnson shares in an email update information concerning the water bill increase and recent glitches in the billing cycle. Sign up for Mayor Mark’s email updates at www.covla.com.

From Mayor Mark Johnson:

Dear Residents and Business Owners,

This month we rolled out the utility rate hike that is helping fund the police officer pay raise. There is one glitch in the roll out, one glitch Covid related and a third typical concern:

1) Three hundred customers with 1″ water lines were mis-coded in the change. This is evident if your water charge is greater than your sewer charge. All of these have been adjusted. If you like, you can e-mail me for your new adjusted amount. If you do pay the full amount, the difference will be credited on the next bill. Sorry for the inconvenience.

2) We experienced a Covid outbreak among Meter Techs. Due to the manpower shortage, the current billing cycle ranges from 37 to 43 days rather than the typical 30 days. This should result in your bill being 25 -33% higher than normal. Add to that the $20 – $30 rate hike and BOOM … your bill is 50% higher than usual. This is an anomaly and should not continue.

If the higher bill presents a problem for you, please e-mail me. We will make arrangements.

3) Meter readings: Many of our water meters have reached the end of their life expectancy. If your water usage reports 5 times or more greater than the norm, please let us know. We will order a re-read. Sidenote: We are currently replacing about 50 old meters each week with new meters.

With the above in mind, if you have a concern about your current bill, please e-mail a copy of it directly to me, mayormark@covla.com. I am overseeing the resolution of concerns.

Sincerely,

Mark Johnson
Mayor
City of Covington

Local Events Local News

A Morning with Mayor Mark – Coffee & Conversation Sept 18

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City of Covington Mayor Mark Johnson invites you to join him for A Morning of Coffee & Conversation at the Bogue Falaya Hall this Friday, September 18th, 2020, from 9 am – 10 am.

Mayor Mark continues this tradition of informal meet-and-greet with the public to give updates and talk about recent news in town. He may even share a historical anecdote. Coffee and other refreshments are provided by Campbell’s Coffee.

Because of social distancing measures seating is limited to 50 people – please register in advance at bontempstix.com/events/morningwithmayormark if you would like to attend. This is a free event.

Visit covla.com and sign up for Mayor Mark’s emails for more updates.

Local Events

Zumba with the Mayor Encourages Healthy Lifestyles

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The Mayor’s Council on Healthy Lifestyles teams up with Oschner and St. Tammany Health Systems to present 1 1/2 hours of cardio, core and fun!

“If you’re moving, you’re doing it right” is the mantra for this multi-generational exercise dance class. All shapes, all sizes, all ages and all abilities are welcome to discover the fun we have at the YMCA, Star Fitness, Bogue Falaya Fitness, Mandeville Sports Complex, Pelican Athletic Club and Francos. Five different instructors — 1 1/2 hours of fun.

Join Covington Mayor Mark Johnson for this free event at Bogue Falaya Hall on Sunday, September 20th from 11 am – 12:30 pm. The Bogue Falaya Hall is located in the City Hall complex at 128 West 23rd Avenue Covington, LA 70433. Event is limited to 50 people. Click here to register.

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