The owner of a Covington development and construction company has been charged with fraudulently obtaining a multimillion-dollar bank loan.

Raymond Grow II, owner and operator of Masters Built Construction LLC, was charged Wednesday in federal court with one count of making a false statement to a bank.

A court filing says Grow's company obtained a $3.4 million loan from First American Bank to pay for building a subdivision on a 22-acre parcel of property in Ponchatoula.

A woman and her husband are dead following an apparent murder-suicide at their home near Covington late Friday, according to authorities.

The Times-Picayune reports that he bodies of Caroline Crockett Darby, 42, and Adrian Darby, 46, were discovered in their home, said Melanie Comeaux, executive director of St. Tammany Parish coroner's office.

Caroline Darby was an administrative employee for the Covington Police Department. Adrian Darby worked offshore and he had been married to his wife since April 2, 1997, court records indicate.

The Covington City Council has appointed Council President Sam O'Keefe as acting mayor while Mayor Mike Cooper continues his recovery from emergency surgery.

Cooper underwent colon surgery Aug. 28. While successful, officials say he continues to recover at the hospital. He hopes to be discharged soon and to return to work at City Hall quickly.

Tuesday's appointment will last until Cooper is able to resume his duties.

A 45-year-old Covington woman has pleaded guilty for her role in a scheme stemming from her employment at a sleep study clinic.

U.S. Attorney Jim Letten says Angelina Leahy entered the plea Wednesday to one count of health care fraud.

Covington-based Smoothie King Franchises Inc. is being sold to a South Korean company.

Smoothie King currently has more than 600 units operating in 32 states, the Caymans and the Republic of Korea.

The purchase price was not disclosed in a news release on Monday.

Buyer SK USA Inc. is headed by Chief Executive Officer Wan Kim, a Boston University graduate who opened his first Smoothie King in 2003. Since then Wan's Smoothies Korea has opened more than 100 locations.

An employee at a Covington-area assisted living facility is being credited with preventing a major fire after lightning struck the building. St. Tammany Parish fire officials say Kory Buras ran back inside to grab a fire extinguisher after he saw lightning strike the building the other day. No one was hurt.

The St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services is offering free microchipping of dogs and cats tomorrow. Animal Services will chip up to four animals per resident. Proof of residency is required. 

COVINGTON, La. (AP) — St. Tammany Parish authorities are working to identify a woman's body found along Interstate 12.

The body was discovered Sunday afternoon near Covington.

WWL TV reports ( ) the identity of the body is unknown, but officials with the St. Tammany coroner's office said the body is that of a female.