St. Tammany Parish

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

St. Tammany Parish has one of the highest rates of suicide in the state. It’s a problem that advocates are trying to solve and officials are trying to understand.

Former St. Tammany Parish District Attorney Walter Reed has been indicted on federal corruption charges. The longtime law enforcement officer is vigorously denying any wrongdoing.

St. Tammany Parish District Attorney-elect Warren Montgomery will be inaugurated today, ending the long tenure of Walter Reed.

The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. at the St. Tammany Parish Courthouse in Covington.

NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune reports Montgomery won a runoff December 6 to take the 22nd Judicial District's district attorney post. The district covers St. Tammany and Washington parishes.

Reed held the post for the last 30 years. He announced he would not seek a sixth term amid a federal investigation.

A new levee board created to build flood protection projects in St. Tammany Parish is meeting for the first time today.

The nine commissioners of the St. Tammany Levee, Drainage and Conservation District will meet in Mandeville.

Nola.com/The Times-Picayune reports the board is made up of gubernatorial appointees from communities throughout the parish.

The board was set up by the Legislature this year. It will work as other levee boards do in Louisiana — looking after the parish's flood control needs. As a political subdivision of the state, it has taxing authority.

David Schexnaydre / Flickr

The Tammany Trace — the popular paved cycling and hiking path that follows a narrow, asphalt ribbon through St. Tammany Parish — will celebrate its 20th anniversary this weekend with a two-day festival.

A state district judge in Baton Rouge has refused to block a lawsuit filed by St. Tammany Parish officials working to stop a proposed oil drilling and fracking project.

Parish officials filed the lawsuit in June. They argue that the well is proposed for an area zoned residential, and that the parish has the authority to ban hydraulic fracturing.

The state Department of Natural Resources' Office of Conservation wants the suit thrown out.

But the judge told attorneys yesterday that the case has enough merit to be heard.

There’s more controversy surrounding the work duties of St. Tammany District Attorney Walter Reed.

Hospital board records contradict Reed's statements that he had a personal contract with St. Tammany Parish Hospital.

The board's records show it authorized a $30,000-a-year retainer as an agreement with the public office, not Reed himself.

Reed's spokesman, Morgan Stewart, says the documents may be incomplete.

He says former board chairman Paul Cordes asked Reed in the mid-1990s to personally represent the board. Cordes died in 2005.

St. Tammany Parish has declared a state of emergency parish-wide as a preventative measure in advance of the effects of Tropical Storm Karen, the parish announced today.

Parish President Pat Brister signed the executive order declaring the emergency at 10:45 a.m.

The parish has begun implementing parts of its storm plan, but has not called for any evacuations.

Dr. Fredro Knight has been appointed medical director for St. Tammany Parish Fire Protection District 4, which operates in the Mandeville area.

The Times-Picayune reports he will oversee all aspects of the districts emergency medical services.

Knight currently is emergency department director at the Louisiana Heart Hospital in Lacombe and the LSU Bogalusa Medical Center.

He also is medical director for St. Tammany Parish Fire Protection District 1 in Slidell.

A 26-year-old man who escaped from the St. Tammany Parish jail has been arrested along with his girlfriend in a hotel in Hattiesburg, Miss.

Authorities say Anthony Lance Alexius walked away from his work detail in the kitchen of the parish jail at approximately 11:15 a.m. Sunday.

Officials believe he was picked up by Melissa Ann Beck outside the kitchen.

Alexius and Beck were arrested without incident Sunday night and were booked by Hattiesburg police as fugitives.

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