northshore

George Bonnett

As we all know, June marks the official start of hurricane season. In today's Northshore Focus, George Bonnett looks at two important support services that are on call in St. Tammany Parish this season.

The "Northshore Focus" on WWNO is made possible with support from The Northshore Community Foundation.

St. Tammany Emergency Preparedness

http://www.stpgov.org/departments_homeland.php

Red Cross

For many kids in St. Tammany Parish, summer is a time for long days spent playing outdoors, easy weekends at the baseball park, and — especially for kids with parents who both work — it means summer camp.

But the expense of camp leaves many families who are struggling financially with no option but to leave their kids unattended. Chassidy Groover of Covington knows what waited for her without an affordable summer camp option.

MarketUmbrella.org

I recently learned that Johnnie A. Clark, Jr. had died in his sleep at 90 years of age. For longtime farmers market shoppers, you may recall the retired postman turned farmer, who held court on Saturday mornings among his offerings of cut carrots and greens. A real gentleman, Mr. Clark could also be fire and brimstone when issues of social justice and dignity for ordinary people are at stake.

The state fire marshal say a fire broke out early Wednesday morning in the dormitory of the St. Joseph Abbey in St. Tammany Parish where 65 people were sleeping.

Fire Marshal Butch Browning said one person suffered smoke inhalation. Otherwise, he said everyone safely evacuated the building after alarms went off.

The abbey, founded in 1889, is about 50 miles north of New Orleans across Lake Pontchartrain.

Officials say construction of a $1.8 million pedestrian and bike path along West Causeway Approach that will help connect the east and west sides of Mandeville should be completed in two to three weeks.

Mayor Donald Villere tells The Times-Picayune plans are in the works to improve traffic signals around North Causeway Boulevard and Monroe Street to make it easier for bikers and pedestrians to cross the busy intersection.

City officials say the signals will ease traffic flow and remove a major hurdle for people who opt not to use motorized vehicles.

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.

As Hurricane Isaac neared southeast Louisiana, the sewer system in one lakefront community in St. Tammany Parish had to be shut down because floodwaters rose over sewage lift stations.

Officials say they believe most people had left Northshore Beach before Tammany Utilities began shutting down the sewage system there.

As bands of rain began crossing the parish Tuesday, calls to the parish's emergency operations center rose. Most were about downed trees.

Residents who live in the unincorporated areas of St. Tammany Parish and fail to mow the grass on their lots could face a penalty of $300 and a possible property lien.

The Times-Picayune reports the parish is funding a new grass-cutting initiative with $15,000 and a focus on chronic violators.

The owners of property with growth taller than 15 inches could get a letter from the parish giving them 10 days to remove weeds, grass or deleterious, unhealthy growth or the parish will take action.

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. 

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