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General Local News Parish News

STPL Continues a Hybrid of Virtual and In-person Outdoor Programming

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COVINGTON- As the St. Tammany Parish Library prepares for upcoming fall programming, patrons can expect the hybrid model of in-person outdoor programming and virtual programming, to remain in place for the foreseeable future.

“We have social distancing mitigation measures in place and we’ve designed the spaces inside our branches to ensure that our libraries are a safe place to visit for everyone. The programming we provide is based on this also,” said Kelly LaRocca, Director of the St. Tammany Parish Library. “We value our patrons and their safety, and we want tour staff to feel safe as well. We appreciate the patience of everyone, as we continue to work toward this goal during this pandemic.”

As the school year kicks off, beginning the week of Aug. 9, small branches of the St. Tammany Parish Library will begin evening hours on Wednesday nights. The six small branches — Abita Springs, Lacombe, Pearl River, Lee Road, Folsom, and Bush — will open at noon and remain open until 8 p.m. on Wednesdays. The six large branches will maintain their current hours: Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Masks are required in all St. Tammany Parish Library branches, after St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper announced increased COVID-19 preventative measures in late July. Beginning Wednesday, August 4, 2021, all patrons five and older will be required to wear a mask inside library branches in cooperation with Governor John Bel Edwards statewide indoor mask mandate announced August 2, 2021. Patrons are also asked to maintain proper social distancing. In addition, every other public computer will be available for use for the safety of our patrons. Masks and sanitizing supplies are provided. All St. Tammany Parish Library branches offer curbside service until dusk each evening for patrons who do not wish to come into the library. Find more information or register for an event: www.sttammanylibrary.org

Local Events

STPL Storytime at the Covington Trailhead

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On Tuesday, June 1, 2021, the St. Tammany Parish Library introduced Storytime at the Covington Trailhead! Join your favorite librarian as they interact with your little ones through stories, music, rhymes and more!

Storytime is 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. every Tuesday in June at the Covington Trailhead.

Upcoming dates:
10:30am-11:30am
June 8th, 15th, 22nd & 29th
July 6th
For more information, contact Jennifer Mayer at (985) 871-1220 or children@stpl.us

Local News Parish News

STPG Announces Rental Assistance Program

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The St. Tammany Rental Assistance Program (STRAP) which will utilize $7.7 million in CARES Act funding from the Department of Treasury, is fully underway. This program is available to assist households that are unable to pay rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. St. Tammany Parish Government has opened two locations, one on Koop Drive in Mandeville, and one in Slidell at the Towers building, for in-person applications. Officials are asking that applicants make an appointment to be served, by calling (985) 898-3016 or by emailing STRAP@stpgov.org.

“Our offices are up and running, and I am urging citizens who need this assistance to schedule an appointment and apply,” President Cooper said. “We know that many in our community are in need and we are here to ensure these funds are made available to those who need them as quickly as possible.”

St. Tammany Parish Government is slated to receive an additional round of funding in the near future. That date and amount have not yet been announced.

Rental assistance provided to an eligible household must not be duplicative of any other federally funded rental assistance provided to such household. The St. Tammany Rental Assistance Program (STRAP) is now accepting applications for the following households:

Households with an income at or below 80 percent of the area median income (AMI) which is approximately $56,300 for a family of four;
Households that have experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19; and
Households that are at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability.

Support documentation will be required prior to issuance of payments. Additional information on this program can be found at: www.stpgov.org/departments/grants. Applicants who have questions, or who plan to apply, should email their contact information, including mailing address to: STRAP@stpgov.org.

Local History

Local History: St. Tammany Ice & Manufacturing Company

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

Back in the days when everyone had “ice boxes” instead of refrigerators, it meant you had to have a steady supply of ice delivered to your door. Since ice doesn’t keep well in the summer, it meant there had to be an ice house in every town, and to make ice, it helped to have electricity. So in the early days of electricity, the ice houses generally became the electric generating stations that eventually supplied the entire town not only with cool ice but also with hot electric current.

At least that was the case in Covington, and here are two photographs from the early 20th century to illustrate the point.

Here is the Covington Ice House and Electric plant building. The company had the first generator in Covington, and was awarded the contract to provide the town of Covington with electricity in 1910.

click to view larger

According to a close community source, St. Tammany Ice & Manufacturing Co., Ltd, was a powerful aggressive service business serving the Covington area. This business manufactured and  delivered ice to the businesses and residences in and about Covington and it also shipped ice in box cars to other communities in this area. 

The company also installed a waterworks system in the streets of Covington serving the businesses and residences with good water from deep wells.  Next came the  need for electricity in this area so the company  came forward and installed the equipment to generate electrical current and built  the lines and other service outlets to deliver electrical current to the businesses and residences in the Covington area. 

This service expanded to  cover Abita and Mandeville as well. According to Lawrence Frederick when the motor car trolley was liquidated in 1918 the St Tammany Ice and Manufacturing Company purchased the right of way and electric lines. He wrote “This line was maintained to supply electric current to Mandeville and Abita from the Covington plant.” 

But in addition to these services the company was instrumental in  establishing many other businesses in St. Tammany  Parish. The company was headed and managed and  mostly owned by Edward A. Frederick and Maurice P. Planche, both of Covington. These two men were active in the economic, social and political growth of Covington and the area of west St. Tammany Parish.

Here is an article about the company published in 1919.

click to view larger

Inside the building were a crew of men tending to the big electric generator, which had a big flywheel to keep it running smoothly. 

Above is an advertisement from a 1911 St. Tammany Farmer Newspaper

St. Tammany Ice and Manufacturing Company Ltd., Covington, La., began on Rutland Street between Florida street and North Lee Road. It outgrew this facility and built a new plant.

It housed the ice manufacturing machinery and tanks, and cold storage facility. The plant added the Production of Electric D.C. Current with steam driven generators. Current generated from these projects was transmitted over the lines to homes and to businesses in and about Covington. 

This facility was later expanded to include Abita Springs and Mandeville, as the industry progressed this plant was compelled to convert to alternating current and purchased diesel engines and alternating generators and installed them. This change also demanded the use of different transmission lines and the installation of transformers along the lines. 

Their personnel had to be trained in the use of this new machinery and material. The company had to secure a franchise with the several towns which it supplied electric current to. This company also served the Covington area with water supply and had to install and maintain the pipe lines and the pumps needed to pump the water and to maintain sufficient pressure for normal use and for fire protection. 

This was a stock company but was primarily owned and operated by E. J. Frederick and M.P. Planche. They furnished the inspiration and often the financial backing and promotional activity for many other businesses in the Covington area.

St. Tammany Ice & Manufacturing Company also had the largest flowing water well in the State of Louisiana.   The building was located at 500 N. Theard Street, where “The Market” now stands across the street from the southern end of the new parish courthouse.

The Deep Water Well Supplying Covington

This new well was the largest flowing water well in the state of Louisiana. It was drilled in excess of 2000 feet and flowed 400 gallons per minute. The water was used for the plant and to supply the town of Covington with water for its water system. The St. Tammany Ice and Manufacturing Co. installed the water mains, the property connections, water meters and operated the entire waterworks system. 

Also fire hydrants were placed along the mains. The pumping plant had special fire pumps to increase the water pressure into the mains at time of a fire. On two corners in the center of town large reservoirs were dug underground and stored thousands of gallons of water to support the fire pumps in these area.

1917

It was located on Theard between 25th Ave. and 26th Ave. (Ruby on the map)

Dr. John R. Vercellotti of Covington recalls that “Jules Vergez had a better feel for the technologically advanced components (of installing electric wiring). The Vergez family lived right across the street from the St. Tammany Ice and Manufacturing Co., which became the first electricity-producer in the area. The company needed the electricty to make ice, and nobody else in the area was making electricity, so Jules talked them into letting him run a wire from the plant over to their house where it powered a single light bulb hanging down from the ceiling of his mother’s kitchen.”  As a result, Mrs. Vergez had the first residential electric light in Covington. “That was really something, and they always laughed about that,” Vercellotti said. 

Read more local history: tammanyfamily.blogspot.com

Local Events Non Profit Spotlight

National Library Week

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The St. Tammany Parish Library will join libraries across the country to celebrate National Library Week Monday, April 5, through Saturday, April 10!

The library will offer Food for Fines from Monday, April 5, through Saturday, April 17. Each non-perishable food item donated will reduce library fines by $1. Although the library is not currently charging overdue fees, Food for Fines can be used for old charges. All donated food items will be donated to our Northshore Food Bank in Covington, the Samaritan Center Food Bank in Mandeville and the First Baptist Church of Slidell Food Pantry.

National Library Week is a time to highlight the essential role libraries, librarians and library workers play in transforming lives and strengthening communities. The theme for this year’s National Library Week is “Welcome to your library,” which promotes the idea that libraries extend far beyond the four walls of a building and that everyone is welcome to use their services. Whether people visit virtually or in person, libraries are accessible and inclusive places that foster a sense of belonging and community through learning, discovery and exploration.

Pet of the Week

NHS Adoptable Pet of the Week

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Northshore Humane Society‘s adoptable pet of the week:

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If you are interested in CC or any of the adoptable pets of Northshore Humane Society, please email rescue@nshumane.org.

Local News Parish News

STPG Covid Update

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Bars in St. Tammany May now Operate at 50% Capacity as Percent Positivity Rate Drops

St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper announced that effective 5 p.m. today, March 18, 2021, bars located in St. Tammany may now operate at 50% capacity as the Percent Positivity Rate in St. Tammany has moved below 5% for two consecutive weeks, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.

“St. Tammany citizens have worked hard to adhere to best prevention practices, and many who are eligible are choosing to get the vaccine. These factors are impacting our positivity rates in a good way,” said President Mike Cooper.

The specific language in Proclamation Number 29 JBE 2021 COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Phase 3 of Resilient Louisiana states: “If a bar is located in a parish that has a percent positivity of 5% or less for two consecutive weeks, as determined and published by the Louisiana Department of Health, the bar may operate at 50% capacity, not to exceed 250 people, as determined by the State Fire Marshal. Should any parish that opts in subsequently exceed 5% positivity for two consecutive weeks, bars in that parish shall return to 25% capacity.”

Find current updates at the St. Tammany Parish Government website.

This Week at the Farmer's Market

This Week at the Farmers Market by Charlene LeJeune

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Covington Farmers’ Market weekly newsletter by vendor Charlene LeJeune:

Happy Tuesday, sweet friends! Our Wednesday vendors will not be at the market tomorrow due to the severe weather forecasted. We’ll be pleased to serve you next week. 

Always a delight at the market, Mr. Funny Money and the Muscle Tones will greet Saturday with lively tunes streaming from the gazebo. So grab a cuppa from the pavilion to enjoy as you shop. Brussels sprouts, strawberries, spring mix…you’ll find them all at Faust Farm’s table. While you’re over there, stop in at Bhakti Farms for a delicious breakfast sandwich and vegan goodies to take home. Remember to stock up on Naturally Well’s Elderberry Syrup. There’s a ton of pollen out there, folks! 

From the Covington La Farmers Market Facebook page

Northshore Greens celery is crisp and delicious and Becky has lots of salad greens, too. Northshore is also the place to get fresh herbs such as, rosemary, oregano, dill…  Nick’s table is loaded with delicious sweet potatoes, turnips, carrots and a special salad mix. Now, I told you that Vince had beets last week, plus all those lovely cruciferous veggies and satsumas. It seems he also has golden beets! WOW! Sprouts, shoots, microgreens! Yes, Sam is branching out to meet your needs. 

Next door at Happy Flour, you’ll find fabulous sourdough loaves of rosemary parmesan, cranberry walnut, whole wheat, black garlic, and just plain sourdough plus honey wheat and oatmeal honey sandwich breads. Jennifer at Bear Creek Road will be there with imaginative and tasty breakfast sandwiches plus flatbreads, sourdough, and blended butters! And, speaking of butter, Mauthe’s did have butter last week and will again this week (hopefully).

Mauthe’s has more than butter, but then most of you are already familiar with their low-temp pasteurized milk and yogurt. Huckleberry Fred’s is back full time with lots of goat’s milk and cheese. I’ve recently sampled the garden herb—yum-ee! Makes for a great spread on toast, or added to roasted/steamed veggies for extra flavor. I imagine it would taste wonderful over some of Nick’s carrots or Faust’s Brussels sprouts. Huckleberry is also the place to get home-ground yellow cornmeal, corn flour, and yellow grits.

From the Covington La Farmers Market Facebook page

Sweet, raw honey from Blood River always tastes great with the artisan breads from our bakers. Tiger Bait specializes in raw treats for your pets. Vincent & Mauricio now have cinnamon, ginger, and chocolate divinity! Heavenly for sure! There’ s a lot more to find at your Covington Farmers’ Market but ya gotta be there to enjoy. Hope to see ya there!

Lots of love,
Charlene LeJeune
Abundant Life Kitchen

The Covington Farmers’ Market is open each Wednesday, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Covington Trailhead, 419 N. New Hampshire and every Saturday from 8a.m. to 12p.m. on the side lawn of the Covington Police Station, 609 N. Columbia St. Call (985) 892-1873 for information or visit www.covingtonfarmersmarket.org

Check out our Facebook page – facebook.com/thecovingtonlafarmersmarket
On Instagram — @covingtonlafarmersmarket

Pet of the Week

NHS Adoptable Pet of the Week

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Northshore Humane Society‘s adoptable pet of the week:

Luca was found homeless in Covington by a kind individual who brought him to Northshore Humane Society. This beautiful, 1.5-year-old large breed mix is both playful and polite. He seems to be a very well-mannered pup who gets along great with everyone and is sure to transition nicely into any home. Come meet Luca today!

If you are interested in Luca or any of the adoptable pets of Northshore Humane Society, please email rescue@nshumane.org.

Local History

Local History: Historical Markers of St. Tammany – Part 4

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Covington History segment provided by local historical writer Ron Barthet. View Ron’s blog Tammany Family here.
This article has been broken up into 4 parts for ease of reading.

Historical Markers

According to the Historical Marker Project website, there are 45 historical markers in St. Tammany Parish. They share a variety of historical highlights across the area, giving us an idea of the people and places that contributed to early St. Tammany. Here is their list.

Historical Markers of St. Tammany – Part 1
Historical Markers of St. Tammany – Part 2
Historical Markers of St. Tammany – Part 3

Historical Markers of St. Tammany – Part 4

Courthouse Square and Historic Oaks Historical

Courthouse Square and Historic Oaks These graceful oaks were planted hundreds of years ago, predating the street plan of 1813. The WWI monument seen in the image on the right is all that remains at this site following the demolition of the old courthouse in 1958.As the parish (county) seat since 1819, Covington was the center of commerce, industry and government on the north shore for many years. The first courthouse was built on the east side of the Bogue Falava River at what is now called Claiborne Hill. The location was later moved to this site where a more permanent brick courthouse was built in 1885. It served until it was replaced by the “modernized structure” which ws completed in 1960. The St. Tammany Parish Justice Center was constructed just up the street in 2003.

The Covington Bank and Trust Building Historical

Probably the most significant economic development, not only for Covington but for the parish as a whole, was the establishment of the bank. The Covington Bank & Trust was established in these original quarters. It is the oldest commercial building in Covington.Two fires destroyed most buildings built before 1880. Rebuilt shortly after the Great Fire of 1898, the downtown buildings provide a beautiful example of turn-of-the-century commercial architecture. In 1909, there was a fireman’s parade, which included several fire companies. These organizations united to form the Covington Fire Department.

Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Bridge Historical

Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Marker (Photo credit: Historical Marker Database

The original 23.86 mile-long structure, which now carries the Southbound traffic, was designed by the firm of Palmer & Baker. When opened in 1956, the structure was the longest bridge in the world by more than 15 miles. In building the bridge, which took just fourteen months, assembly-line, mass-production methods were utilized for the first time in the construction of a bridge. It was designed to employ hundreds of identical, hollow concrete pilings, concrete caps, and pre-stressed deck sections manufactured at an on-shore facility and barged into place. Engineering News-Record acclaimed the project to be “a bold venture requiring unusual foresight, ingenuity and resourcefulness.”
Opened: August 30, 1956
Dedicated: October 18, 2003

War of 1812 Memorial, a War Memorial

These six men of the 2nd Division 13th Regiment Louisiana Militia fought at the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812 and are buried in unmarked graves Auguste Badeaux, Samuel Ott, William Cooper , Charles Parent, Jr. James Johnson and Lawrence Sticker

Civil War Earthworks Historical

One of two lines of fortifications excavated from January to March 1864 by Union forces “on fatigue duty” soon after their capture of Madisonville. Intended to defend the town from Confederate attacks coming from the surrounding countryside. The earthworks originally consisted of a trench protected by an “abatis” or barrier of felled trees with sharpened ends laid pointing out along its edge. The line meandered from approximately Rene and Covington Streets in a westerly direction to about this point on Johnson Street. Property records for the lot adjacent to this site mention “breastworks” on the land from the 1870s forward. Madisonville was occupied to obtain war supplies in the form of timber, lumber, logs, turpentine, tar and bricks for the federal Department of the Gulf.

Christ Episcopal Church Historical

Built 1846 by Jonathan Arthur of London for descendants of English settlers in British West Florida. Consecrated by Bishop Leonidas Polk, April 11, 1847. Christ Church is the oldest public building being used in Covington.

Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Historical

At 23.87 miles long, the Causeway is the world’s longest bridge over water. The first span was completed in August 1956. Due to increased traffic, a second span opened in May 1969. The Causeway piloted major construction of prefabricated, prestressed concrete bridges in the United States. It is supported by more than 9,000 pilings. Construction of the Causeway expanded the Greater New Orleans area to include the northshore of Lake Pontchartrain.

Columbia Street Landing Historical

An active harbor where schooners and steamers once docked. Established in the early 1800’s, providing a vital link to other river cities transporting cotton, lumber, bricks, whiskey and mail. Oyster luggers brought fresh oysters regularly through the late 1930’s. Many early settlers of the community arrived at this destination.

West Florida Republic and St. Tammany Parish Historical

St. Tammany Parish was among the Spanish-governed West Florida parishes and not included in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. Residents revolted against Spanish rule September 1810, creating the Republic of West Florida. The republic lasted 74 days, raising a new flag and electing a president, before being forcibly annexed by the U.S. in December 1810.

Madisonville Historical

Originally called “Cokie” (from Coquille) because of the abundance of shells in the area. Renamed for Pres. James Madison, c. 1811. Site of Navy Yard in early 1800’s. According to legend, Gen. Andrew Jackson, enroute to New Orleans in Nov. 1814, stopped here at the home of Gen. David B. Morgan.

Saint Peter Church Historical

L’Abbé Jouanneault built the predecessor of St. Peter Church on the Bouge Falaya in 1843. The first resident pastor was Fr. J.M. Giraud, appointed in 1863 to serve Covington, Madisonville, Bedico, and Abita Springs. In 1892 Fr. Joseph Koegerl, pastor, who was also Canon of St. Louis Cathedral, built a new church and rectory on Massachusetts St. The Jefferson Ave. church was erected in 1940 during the pastorate of Fr. Aemillian Egler, O.S.R. Two Benedictines have served the parish continuously since 1922.

Battle of Lake Pontchartrain Historical

On October 16, 1779, the British living between “Bayou La Combe and the River Tanchipaho,” surrendered to Captain William Pickles who had won a naval battle off this shore on September 10, 1779, and thereby ended the Revolutionary War in Louisiana.

Public “Ox Lot” Parking Historical

Unique to Covington’s downtown business district and a credit to our forefathers, our original town grid layout allowed for public squares in the middle of each block for the purpose of trade and commerce. Farmers would bring their oxen-laden carts to town loaded with wares and conduct business in these designated center block locations. Traditionally called “ox lots” and largely responsible for Covington’s designation as a national historic district, today’s use provides free public off-street parking for downtown visitors and employees.

Abita Springs Historical

Old Choctaw village which derived name from nearby medicinal springs. Last Choctaw burial and execution grounds, used until about 1880, located nearby.

Our Lady Of The Lake Church Historical

Early in the eighteenth century, Catholic missionaries evangelized Choctaw, Chinchuba and other Indian tribes and sub-tribes on the northern shore of Lake Pontchartrain, among pioneer priests was Fr. Michael Baudouin, S.J., superior of the Jesuit Mission in Louisiana and Vicar General to the Bishop of Quebec, Canada. Fr. J. Outendrick was the first resident pastor when the Mandeville Congregation was organized in 1850. Fr. Adrien E. Rouquette, “Chahta-Ima,” also labored here and elsewhere in St. Tammany Civil Parish. The present church was dedicated in 1953 during the pastorate of Fr. Canisius Bluemel, O.S.B., one of several Benedictines serving here since 1890.

Walker Percy Historical

Covington resident, where he wrote, among others, Lancelot, The Second Coming, Love in the Ruins, The Thanatos Syndrome, The Last Gentleman, and The Moviegoer, which won the National Book Award for fiction, co-founder Fellowship of Southern Writers, graduate of the University of North Carolina, buried at St. Joseph Abbey, 3 miles north. Google Maps

This historical marker was placed in Bogue Falaya Park in Covington in August of 2018 to commemorate a new statue of Walker Percy .Also, several historical plaques were placed in front of the Madisonville library to spotlight Walker Percy’s many literary contribuitons. CLICK HERE to see those plaques, which accompany another statue of the famed Covington resident.  

CLICK HERE to go to webpage containing the above list. 

A new historical marker in Fontainebleau State Park

A new historical marker in Bogue Falaya Park, Covington

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This Week at the Farmer's Market

This Week at the Farmers Market by Charlene LeJeune

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Covington Farmers’ Market weekly newsletter by vendor Charlene LeJeune:

Top of the Tuesday to you, friends! What a lovely St Paddy’s Day we’ll have! Gorgeous skies, great music and delicious meals. Of course, you’ll want your eggs, and the Double K hens are ready to serve. As good as those little gals are, they still can’t produce honey. That’s where Jerry’s little buzzers come in. And, son of a gun, these days they’re even producing creamed cinnamon honey! 😉

Shrimp Salad is on Joy’s menu this week and she will have Crawfish Bisque and California Shrimp, Corn & Crab Bisque as Grab N Goes. Yummy egg rolls and spring rolls from Kandy just may suit your fancy tomorrow. Or perhaps you are more in the mood for one of her refreshing salads. If you had Johnny’s Beet & Bean burger last week, change things up a bit and go for the Mushroom Burger this week. You won’t be disappointed. Abeer has prepared all her usuals like hummus and tsatziki and baba ghanoush but the star of the menu is her Eggplant Moussaka. Jerome’s got a great line up of goat cheese & spinach quiche, crepes, and ratatouille. MMMM! Did I mention the chocolate cake?

Hear ye! Hear ye! Bring your dull knives and your scissors that no longer cut to the market ‘cause we have a specialist in sharpening joining our ranks. Yes, David will be at our Wednesday market for all your sharpening needs. As for sharpening, give your immune system an edge with Mignon’s juns and tonics.

Lucky us! The Lucky Dogs will be in the gazebo this Saturday market. No, Ed will not be serving coffee in the pavilion with Kayleigh this week since he is a Lucky Dog. So grab your coffee and turn around, wave to Ed, and enjoy the music while you shop. Faust Farms is back with spring mix, Brussels sprouts, and (of course) strawberries. Northshore Greens’ still has greens (lettuce and celery, etc.) plus their fragrant herbs. I noticed they even had dried herbs as well. 

Tomato Ann’s tomatoes are coming in like mad – flavorful cherry tomatoes, lovely heirlooms. She also makes a mean tomato basil soup. Kale, sweet potatoes, turnips are all nicely camped at Nick’s. I saw beets on Vince’s table, keeping company with the cabbage, cauliflower and satsumas. Gorgeous nutritious sprouts at Sam’s and he is still making his amazing green juice. 

Amanda’s fresh orange juice has become a staple at the market and she has added Orange/Mango, Strawberry/Pineapple/Orange and even has just plain Mango (really good). Stop by Mauthe’s for cow’s milk, yogurt, butter, and cream. And for milk with a flair (namely kefir) Nancy blends the most delicious strawberry kefir. You’ll benefit tremendously from her raw krauts and kombucha blends. Cameron prepares tempeh with varying ingredients each week to the delight of many a vegan. His new cultured “butters” are just as delightful.

No matter where you are at our market, you’ll find something to interest and tantalize. From grass fed beef, pork, lamb, duck, and chicken to mushrooms, honey, and eggs, there’s something for everyone. Won’t you join us for a simply fabulous morning?

Lots of love,
Charlene LeJeune
Abundant Life Kitchen

The Covington Farmers’ Market is open each Wednesday, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Covington Trailhead, 419 N. New Hampshire and every Saturday from 8a.m. to 12p.m. on the side lawn of the Covington Police Station, 609 N. Columbia St. Call (985) 892-1873 for information or visit www.covingtonfarmersmarket.org

Check out our Facebook page – facebook.com/thecovingtonlafarmersmarket
On Instagram — @covingtonlafarmersmarket

Art Event Local Events Non Profit Spotlight

STAA Schedules ‘Spring for Art’ For April 10, Opening to Feature New Works by Paulo Dufour

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From the St. Tammany Art Association:

The St. Tammany Art Association’s annual “Spring for Art” festival is set for Saturday, April 10 and will feature the new work of nationally-known local artist Paulo Dufour.

The event, scheduled from 6-9 p.m. will be somewhat restricted by Covid guidelines, but will mark a “reimagining” of the STAA “Art House” and its place in the cultural and economic life of Covington and St. Tammany.

Dufour’s creations, which span an array of blown and sculpted glass pieces, paintings and sculpture, represent the metaphysical and inform the emergence of STAA from the impact of the Covid pandemic.

“Spring for Art” will feature coordinated openings and events across downtown Covington, again with some restrictions, but it will signal the muted resumption of the city’s pre-Covid life, said Cathy Deano, newly elected president of STAA.

“We are reimagining the association in a way that will incorporate all of the arts, such as theater and poetry, for example, and be more of a community center for art that will engage more young people,” said Deano, also co-founder of Mandeville-based Painting With A Twist, which has 300 franchise units in 39 states. Deano was previously STAA president from 2006-2009.

STAA’s future also involves the association’s new executive director, Suzanne Freret, formerly Assistant Director of Advancement at Christ Episcopal School. Deano and Freret join STAA along with several new board members, Keith Villere, Cindy Petry and John Botsford. Elizabeth Stokes, Phoebe Whealdon and Lewis Dennis round out the list of directors.

Freret echoes the sentiment of Deano, “I envision a thriving organization, rich with community engagement, and offering conventional and unconventional events that will appeal to all ages,” said Freret. STAA artists and community membership will grow in the months and years ahead as STAA branches out in the community, said Freret, whose background includes significant experience in finance.

Dufour’s roots in the rich soil of south Louisiana run deep, from present-day Covington, to Baton Rouge, where he grew up as a son of Paul Dufour, an internationally known glass artist and professor at Louisiana State University.

The title of his show is “Mental Universes and the Obscurations of Light.” Dufour says the amorphous and sensuous work conjures up images ranging from the earthy colors of landscapes to primal skin vessels, suggesting the struggle of the human condition where real conflict and myth evolve.

The works give voice to the ongoing process of knowing oneself through exploring daily life, a process requiring each person to be open and aware of inner impressions that honor memories, dreams, and the synchronicity of life, said Dufour. Dufour has exhibited all over the United States from Seattle to Los Angeles and is in significant collections from Spain to Tennessee.

Dufour retired in 2016 from the St. Tammany Parish Talented Art Program where he taught in the public school system for 28 years.

STAA will schedule a question and answer session for patrons and Dufour and soon announce the date and time.

Supported 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 Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana Arts Council. Funding has also been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

St. Tammany Art Association is located at 320 N Columbia Street in historic downtown Covington. Gallery hours are Fridays and Saturdays, 10 am to 4 pm. Exhibitions are free and open to the public. www.sttammany.art

Current Exhibit Closing Next Weekend:

Local Events Local News

St. Paddy’s Free Concert at the River Postponed to Thursday, March 18th

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Due to the predicted rain on Wednesday, the free Chillin’ at the River concert has been postponed to Thursday, March 18th, 2021. Same time and place – the Bogue Falaya Park starting at 5:30 pm! Bring your lawn chairs, blankets and picnics. Four Unplugged and the City of Covington will still be celebrating St. Paddy’s, so don’t forget to wear your green!

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. Masks are required, sanitation and social distancing circles will be available.

Learn more about Four Unplugged:

City Updates Local News

City of Covington Cyber Attack Update

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The following are updates from the City of Covington Facebook page about the recent cyber attack on the city’s server. Sign up to receive updates from the city at www.covla.com

Monday March 15, 2021

The Louisiana National Guard Cyber Restoration Unit worked continuously over the weekend with City Information Technology (IT) personnel. There remains no timeline for system functionality. I am pleased to report that one member of the Guard shared that the City of Covington IT team is “one of top three we have ever worked with.” That’s nice … congratulations to IT Director Quenton Belanger, Police Chief Deputy Trey Mahon and IT-Man Aaron Hebert.

Police, Fire, Public Works, Cultural Arts and Events, Parks and Recreation and Facilities are all fully deployed and operational. Utility Billing and Finance (computer-based functions) remain severely hampered.

Continue to use 911 for all emergencies. Text CPDLA, space, then your message to 847411 for police non-emergencies. In a practical sense, this has permanently replaced calling 892-8500.

Last week’s hack was one of perhaps 30,000 that occurred. More details are available at CBS News Report “Microsoft Hack” https://www.cbsnews.com/…/microsoft-exchange-server…/

Importance of Two-Factor Authentication: Lately we see more and more businesses asking us (as individuals) for two-factor authentication i.e. “text a code to your phone.” Regardless of this particular breach of security, one may now presume the bad guys have your personal information. It is just a matter of time before they make a play on your assets. The two-factor authentication is an important way to prevent them from using your information. -MMJ

March 12, 2021

Yesterday morning around 7:00am we discovered a significant hack into the City of Covington’s computer systems. All systems were locked down including Police, Fire, Public Works, Utility Billing and Finance.

By 11:00am yesterday the State Cyber Security Alliance was on site investigating and securing our systems. The Alliance consists of experts from the State Department of Homeland Security, LA State Police Department and New Orleans Field Office of the Secret Service. They were at City Hall in less than 240 minutes. Pretty impressive.

This morning members of the LA National Guard Cyber Restoration Team began arriving. They are working to get the City back up and running.

The Team’s priorities are first responders, utility billing and then key administrative functions.Regarding retrieval of information, we are currently in the process of diagnostics. We cannot offer an opinion on what was taken or is recoverable until we have a proper diagnosis.

At this point we can speculate it will be a week or so before we have basic operational functions.

The cyber security team has shared we are one victim of tens of thousands in America in this current wave of breaches … the bad guys found a vulnerability in a Microsoft program. – MMJ

Sign up for updates from the City of Covington www.covla.com or follow them on Facebook.

Non Profit Spotlight

YSB Crossroads & The Louisiana Bar Foundation: Tackling Juvenile Delinquency Together

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From the Youth Service Bureau:

Helping non-violent juvenile offenders turn their lives around is one of Youth Service Bureau’s main missions. YSB carries out this important work through Crossroads, our juvenile delinquency intervention program.

YSB Crossroads helps youth restore their relationship with the community through restitution to victims, community service, anger management counseling, Internet safety education, parenting education for their parents or legal guardians and – thanks to the Louisana Bar Foundation – Law Related Education.

Supported by a generous grant from the Louisiana Bar Foundation, Law Related Education puts juvenile offenders on a more positive track through better understanding of the law, legal system, and consequences of crime. Aimed at 10- to 16-year-olds who have committed non-violent offenses such as shoplifting, vandalism and others, these classes help juvenile offenders take responsibility for their actions and make better decisions.

Law Related Education incorporates classroom lectures, role-playing and testing. Juvenile offenders learn the legal definitions and potential sentences associated with assault, battery, vandalism, burglary, robbery, theft, drug possession, cyberbullying, cyberstalking and other offenses. Louisiana Bar Foundation funding enables YSB Crossroads to staff and administer the program and work closely with clients to improve their outcomes. YSB Crossroads is fortunate to have local attorneys teaching our Law Related Education classes – Shannon Christian (at our Slidell location) and Veronica Kittok (Covington location).

An eye-opening segment of the course is “No Kinda Life,” a video filmed at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola and the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women in St. Gabriel. “No Kinda Life” presents an unflinching picture of prison life, with inmates explaining how they became incarcerated and losses they suffered due to poor choices, including drug and alcohol use. The video is a powerful springboard for meaningful class discussion and group participation.

Together, the Louisiana Bar Foundation and YSB Crossroads are changing lives.

In the last fiscal year:

  • 97.7% of YSB Crossroads clients completed their community service
  • 96% successfully completed the YSB Crossroads program
  • 99.5% of those completing the program had not re-offended six months later

YSB Crossroads is deeply grateful to the Louisiana Bar Foundation for making this life-changing resource available to our community. The Louisiana Bar Foundation exists to preserve, honor, and improve our system of justice. YSB is humbled and excited to be a partner in that vital mission.

Visit Youth Service Bureau to find out more about what we do!

Click here to learn more about the Louisiana Bar Foundation.

Parish News

Parish President Mike Cooper Reflects on the One-Year Anniversary of COVID-19 Impacting St. Tammany

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From St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper:

“One year ago, St. Tammany, like much of the rest of the world, was faced with the reality of COVID-19. We came together as community and faced the uncertainty of a novel virus, loss of lives to this disease, and sacrifices we all had to make in order to protect the most vulnerable among us, as well as our frontline healthcare professionals. We did this to balance the health of our community with the health of our economy,” said Mike Cooper, St. Tammany Parish President.

President Cooper went on to say, “I am thankful and proud of the way we worked together and I am proud of where we now stand. Let’s continue to move forward by making individual choices to protect one another, and by utilizing the vaccine to protect ourselves as we mourn the lives of those we lost to this disease, celebrate those who have recovered, and thank the people who lovingly cared for them all.”

Watch the March 13, 2020 Press Conference

Pet of the Week

NHS Adoptable Pet of the Week

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Northshore Humane Society‘s adoptable pet of the week:

Jacoby

This fun-loving, 2.5-year-old boy was found homeless in Abita and has been searching for his second chance at Northshore Humane Society for almost six months now. He gets along great with other pups and even knows a few tricks. Jacoby is a 62 lbs. package of love and would make the best companion to anyone out there!

If you are interested in Jacoby or any of the adoptable pets of Northshore Humane Society, please email rescue@nshumane.org.

Local History

Local History: The First Theaters In West St. Tammany

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

Plays and performances have always been a part of the west St. Tammany scene, with productions put on at the park pavilion and even in tents on vacant lots. According to a historical plaque in downtown Covington, a “five cent show or electric theater was well patronized” as early as July of 1907, and later, in May of 1908, there were two moving picture theaters downtown, The Covington Electric Theater and the New Rink Electric Theater, which billed itself as the largest moving picture theater outside New Orleans.

Victor Frederick soon opened the Air Dome, a 500 seat theater on Boston Street across from the Southern Hotel, and in September, 1912, a Mr. Ulmer opened the New Covington Theater on New Hampshire Street in the Warren Building opposite the train depot, the historical plaque goes on to report.

In the September 20, 1913, edition of the St. Tammany Farmer it was announced that a new theater was to be built on the corner of New Hampshire and Boston Streets on the Wehrli lot, opposite the St. Tammany Bank building and across from the old parish courthouse. It was going to be first class in every respect, according to the article.

Mr. C.E. Schonberg and Robt. L. Aubert constructed the new theater building from “modern plans” up-to-date in its furnishings and state-of-the-art equipment with “every convenience for the patrons.” The theater was to be fitted with regular opera chairs, with the regulation incline that “will give every one an unobstructed view of the pictures and stage,” the article stated.

The first week’s entertainment had already been scheduled with the film company. According to the news article, the theater was leased to Charles Sidney August Fuhrmann and Ed Barrenger who had purchased the latest improved Edison picture machine to show silent movies. 

click to view larger

A contest was held for the naming of the new picture show, with the winner getting a season pass and a $5 gold piece. Suggestions were mailed to Fuhrmann, with the suggested names judged by a panel of three persons. The name of the successful contestant was   Mrs. Edmund B. Stern who had submitted the winning name “Parkview,” and the judges included Judge Joseph B. Lancaster, D. J. Sanders, and D.H. Mason.

On opening night at the Parkview, the house was packed. Fuhrmann was given a round of applause after he presented to the gathered dignitaries the following remarks: 

“Ladies and gentlemen, as manager of this theater, I wish to thank you one and all, for your attendance to-night to witness our initial performance, which I trust you have appreciated. It is needless for me to say that we have spared no efforts to give you one of the most up-to-date and modern moving picture theaters that will be found in the parish of St Tammany. 

“We shall at all times endeavor to maintain perfect order and absolute cleanliness. We also wish to assure the public that smoking in the audience and spitting on the floors will positively be prohibited, that is, to the best of our ability. Only licensed films will be shown on our canvas and these will be of a strictly high class and moral nature. We will present a complete change in program each night and will operate regardless of weather conditions.

“Any organization or club desiring the use of our theater for a benefit entertainment,  we will be more than glad to quote such parties special prices on application.”

Fuhrmann’s plans included making the facility more of a “theater of the performing arts,” spotlighting not only professional entertainers who had been brought in from New Orleans, but also local talent. It was also used for lectures and educational presentations.

Performers who took the stage at the Parkview included poetry readers, pianists,  violinists, singers, and magicians. In addition to being a multi-talented showman, Fuhrmann also wrote skits and plays that were staged there.

He was considered a one-man chamber of commerce for St. Tammany Parish, with noted success in theater, baseball and art. In addition to being a theater operator, he managed a tri-state baseball team called the Majestics. He believed that every good town needed a good baseball team.

He welcomed local civic groups to use the Parkview to promote special causes and fund-raising events. In December of 1916, the Fire Department helped sell tickets to shows at the Parkview Theater for the benefit of raising funds for new equipment.  The fire department agreed to the purchase of 1000 adult tickets at five cents each and 500 children’s tickets at 2 and a half cents each. The Covington Fire Association would then sell the tickets for five and ten cents each.

In 1917, the looming threat of war chilled the local economy and there was some thought the theater would have to close. But the editor of the St. Tammany Farmer newspaper fought for the continued operation of the Parkview, giving his reasons in an editorial on May 26 .(Click on image below)

Meanwhile, over in Abita Springs, the Airdome of Abita Springs was offering dances and moving pictures to that community. An April 7, 1917, article in the Farmer stated that the Abita Airdome would be a place of amusement that will prove attractive to a large number of people. “The film service will be excellent and every effort will be made to please the patrons,” the article said. The theater had been remodeled and improved, and an Easter dance was being planned, along with a five-reel moving picture called “The Golden Claw.”

A two-reel Keystone comedy was also on the agenda. Included in the night’s entertainment would be a band from New Orleans providing music.

Admission to the Abita theater show was ten cents for children and 15 cents for adults. Attending the dance cost extra.

From August of 1920

Meanwhile, down in Mandeville, the Hip Theater was gaining the attention of the community. 

By 1926, the Parkview had become inadequate to handle the crowds at many of the entertainments, so something had to be done. A group of businessmen in Covington decided they needed a bigger, newer motion picture theater, and that led to the building of the Majestic Theater, located on New Hampshire Street, half a block south of Boston Street. Fuhrmann painted murals on all the interior walls of the Majestic, scenes from St. Tammany Parish, trees draped with moss, moonlight on the waterways, etc. Theater patrons marvelled at his artistic ability.

The opening of the new theater was a grand event, attended by hundreds of people, surrounded by 300 automobiles.

The entrance to the Majestic Theater in 1940. Photo submitted by Mike Pittman, Remember Covington The Way It Was Facebook Page.

The Majestic Theater

And today…

The building which once housed The Majestic Theater

The building which once housed The Majestic Theater
The Majestic was home to not only the latest motion picture releases, but it continued the Parkview tradition of vaudeville, talent nights, and dance revues by local dance schools. 

Fuhrmann believed that the local theater should be used as a “springboard” for local talent, which should be encouraged and given a stage upon which to perform.

To keep interest up and let people know of coming events at the Majestic, he and his daughter would ride around town in a sound truck, broadcasting the latest about what was coming to the theater. 

Longtime Covington resident Norma Core recalled the days of the Parkview Theater and the Majestics grand opening in this late 1970’s interview with Bryan Ireland:

 In the late 1930’s another theater was opened by Fuhrmann, this being the “Deluxe,” located on New Hampshire Street, just north of Gibson Street. 

The Deluxe was plush, elegant and well-appointed, showing the latest Hollywood blockbusters and MGM musicals as well as new Technicolor films. One of the biggest showings was that of “Gone With The Wind.” 

The building that housed the Deluxe Theater

Pat Clanton, Fuhrmann’s daughter, remembers as a young girl she and her friends dressing up in Antebellum costumes and serving as ushers for the showings. “People were excited about going out to see Gone With The Wind,” she said. “They talked about it for weeks before it came. It was really special.”

Movies usually only played for two or three nights, but “Gone With The Wind” played for an entire week, with tickets being sold with assigned seat numbers printed on each one. 

In addition to his Covington shows, Fuhrmann also operated theaters south of Covington, the Madison in Madisonville, and the Lake Theater on the Mandeville lakefront at Girod Street. They continued to run for years through World War II. 

Charles Sidney August Fuhrmann

Pictured on an outing in September of 1912 are from left to right, H. K. “Nat” Goodwyn, former editor of the Farmer, Sidney Fuhrmann, Margaret Howell, Alton (Buck) Smith, Maizie Howell, Burton White and Clara Faulk. 

Furhmann died in 1963, and years later he was honored by the City of Covington with the main auditorium at the Greater Covington Center being named after him. That facility on Jefferson Avenue is also a center for the performing arts, as well as the city’s administrative offices.

See also: The Park Drive In Theater

Parish News

St. Tammany Parish Government Buildings Will Open to the Public Under New Phase III Guidelines

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From St. Tammany Parish Government:

St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper announced that St. Tammany Parish Government buildings will officially reopen to the public Wednesday, March 10, 2021, at 8 a.m. All visitors will undergo COVID-19 screenings and will be required to wear a mask when inside Parish buildings, in addition to while visiting Parish-owned playgrounds like the Kids Konnection and the playground at Camp Salmen Nature Park, in keeping with the mask mandate.

“We are ready to welcome citizens back to our buildings. We ask that everyone be prepared to undergo screenings, and please wear a mask,” President Cooper said. “We want to build on our forward momentum and for that reason, we still need to take responsibility to slow the spread of COVID-19, by continuing to take necessary precautions.”

Parish Government employees will resume on-campus work at full occupancy. Parish-run litter abatement crews utilizing staff working to fulfill Community Service obligations will continue but with increased capacity. The Department of Animal Services will welcome volunteers back to the Shelter.

While appointments are no longer required to complete Parish business, they are recommended.

Agencies located in the St. Tammany Parish Justice Center will operate as follows:

The 22nd Judicial Courts (applies to St. Tammany and Washington Parishes) – Everyone is required to wear a mask before entering the St. Tammany Parish Justice Center. Members of the public who are noticed with a scheduled in-person Court appearance or have an appointment with an agency located in the Courthouse will be admitted. No children will be allowed to enter the Courthouse except as pre-approved by the Judge of the division or the agency permitting them access to their office.

The St. Tammany Parish Assessor’s Office — Remains open to the Public by Appointment only. Citizens can visit STPAO.org, to make an appointment or they can call at (985) 809-8180

The complete Phase III Executive Order may be viewed here.