The Daily Star (Hammond, La.)

The Daily Star (Hammond, La.) The Daily Star, Hammond, La.

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Mission: The Daily Star, Neighbors and other special sections are published to serve readers in Tangipahoa Parish and throughout the heart of the Florida Parishes. We are the only local daily newspaper serving these communities, and we offer award-winning local advertising, news, features, legal advertisements and commentary chronicling the daily lives of the people in our community. Our goal is to provide responsible journalism that you can count on. Mark Twain said the difference between the perfect word and the almost perfect word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug. We strive constantly to bring you the perfect word and, by doing so, the most complete local coverage of the people and events in our community. All news is important to us and to our readers. Please share your news with us and let us know how we can serve you better. Thank you for reading The Daily Star.


Tommy Harwell , first cousin of Trooper George Baker, remembers playing cops and robbers with George when they were kids living near the Lighthouse church. “George always wanted to be the cop,” he said.

Friends and neighbors line the road to Lighthouse church waiting for the funeral possession of Trooper George Baker.

Friends and neighbors line the road to Lighthouse church waiting for the funeral possession of Trooper George Baker.


Community honors State Trooper George Baker this afternoon as his funeral procession passes through downtown Albany on its way to his final resting place.


Community honors State Trooper George Baker this afternoon as his funeral procession passes through downtown Albany on the way to his final resting place.


Law enforcers, first responders and dignitaries have filled the University Center for the funeral of state Trooper George Baker. The service will be live-streamed on the Louisiana State Police page starting at 10:30 a.m. A note posted on the LSP FB page says the ceremony will start momentarily after attendees finish paying their last respects.

Trooper George Baker will be laid to rest Thursday following a private memorial service for his family, Louisiana State ...

Trooper George Baker will be laid to rest Thursday following a private memorial service for his family, Louisiana State Police troopers and uniformed law enforcement colleagues at 10:30 a.m. at Southeastern's University Center in Hammond. All attendees will be screened with temperature checks and the use of masks and social distancing between family units will be strongly encouraged. The service will be closed to the public, but a live stream link will be available at Law enforcement agencies are invited to participate in the procession from the University Center to the Lighthouse Baptist Church. The public is invited to show support for Trooper Baker and his family by lining the procession route. The procession start time is tentatively set for 12:15 p.m. State police will provide updates on social media. See for information about providing donations for the family via the Louisiana Troopers Charities – Trooper Baker.

A three-month investigation of illegal drug activity at a Shenk Road residence in Kentwood has led to four arrests and c...

A three-month investigation of illegal drug activity at a Shenk Road residence in Kentwood has led to four arrests and confiscation of heroin, marijuana, a handgun and $12,000 cash, according to Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards.
The findings of this investigation led the sheriff's office in an extensive investigation into an area that drug dealers refer to as the "Mack Hole" — a place that is also troublesome for the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics as heroin is believed to be supplied to individuals in both states from this location. Using a warrant obtained by collecting data and evidence, agents searched the residence of Keon "Blue" Mack, 34, on Shenk Road and found about 3 ounces of heroin, about 36 ounces of high grade marijuana, a 9mm handgun, and the cash that was hidden in a disabled vehicle on the property. The monetary denomination of the currency is consistent with street level narcotics sales, Edwards said. They also found
a large amount of stolen property inside the residence with numerous items of drug paraphernalia including packaging materials and digital scales.
The four people who were arrested when agents searched the residence are as follows:

Keon "BLUE" Mack, at left, on three counts of possession with intent to distribute Schedule 1 CDS, one count of possession of Schedule 1 CDS, one count of distribution of heroin, possession of a firearm while possessing CDS, possessing stolen property and possessing drug paraphernalia

Hosea Walker, 47 of Kentwood, at top right, possession of heroin

Claude Varnado, 61 of Kentwood, at center right, possession of crack cocaine

Ladd Mack, 26 of Kentwood, at lower right, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Two dirt bikes were stolen during the burglary of Gaines Wrecker Service, 12330 Louisiana Ave., in Roseland sometime Sun...

Two dirt bikes were stolen during the burglary of Gaines Wrecker Service, 12330 Louisiana Ave., in Roseland sometime Sunday night or early Monday, according to a report filed with the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office. One is a 2004 Yamaha 250 and the other is a 2020 Yamaha 450. Both blue and white. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-554-5245 with any information.


GRAND ISLE (AP) — Police say 17-year-old Oscar Gustavo Rivera Aguilar of Hammond drowned at Grand Isle on Saturday, with two other family members hospitalized after getting caught in strong currents.

Grand Isle Police Chief Laine Landry said police were called Sunday evening to waters near the Andy P. Valence Memorial Bridge. There, they searched for more than an hour before finding Aguilar's body, Landry said. He said a 15-year-old boy and a 47-year-old woman who were relatives of the deceased teen were rescued. The second teen was flown by helicopter to a hospital in New Orleans while the woman was hospitalized closer to Grand Isle.

Aguilar and his relatives were all part of a large family that traveled down for the Memorial Day weekend to fish and swim.

The coroner said on a normal day it’s safe to swim but conditions in the last few days have been conducive to strong undertows and rip currents, with strong southerly winds and two-foot tides.

Louisiana State Police

Louisiana State Police

May 25, 2020

Motorcyclist Killed in Livingston Parish Crash

Livingston Parish – On May 24, 2020, shortly after 5:00 p.m., Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop A began investigating a two-vehicle, fatal crash on Louisiana Highway 442 near Louisiana Highway 1036. This crash took the life of an Independence man.

The initial investigation revealed a 2019 Toyota Highlander, driven by 35-year-old Melissa Zapata of Independence, was traveling west on Louisiana Highway 442. Zapata attempted a left turn into a private driveway. This caused her vehicle to travel into the path of and collide with an eastbound 2006 Harley-Davidson motorcycle, operated by 58-year-old Jerry Viola of Independence.

Viola was wearing a DOT approved helmet; however, he sustained life-threatening injuries. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. Toxicology samples were obtained and submitted for analysis. This crash remains under investigation.

While the cause of this crash remains under investigation, distracted and inattentive driving continues to be a leading cause of crashes in our state. Louisiana State Police urges all motorists to stay alert while driving. A lapse in one’s awareness can have deadly consequences. If motorists witness hazardous situations or possible impaired drivers, they may dial *LSP (*577) to be connected to the nearest Troop to report that activity.

Contact Information:
TFC Brent Hardy
Louisiana State Police
Public Affairs Section

Louisiana State Police

Louisiana State Police

In his last act of selfless service, Trooper Baker was escorted to donate his organs, so others may live. EOW 05.24.2020

Trooper George Baker, 33, has died due to injuries sustained in the performance of his duties, the state police announce...

Trooper George Baker, 33, has died due to injuries sustained in the performance of his duties, the state police announced today. He was a 10-year law enforcement and military veteran and is the 30th trooper to lose his life in the line of duty in the history of the Louisiana State Police.
Trooper Baker and other state troopers were assisting the Hammond Police Department with a vehicle pursuit on May 20 when he was hit by a police vehicle and sustained critical injuries. A vigil of family, friends and his fellow troopers remained at North Oaks Medical Center from the very beginning until his death.

Survivors include his wife Heather, their young daughter Harper, his parents, his sisters, and his extended family.

Trooper Baker served as a trooper at Troop L since November 2017 and is the first Louisiana State Police line of duty death since Sr. Trooper Steven Vincent of Troop D in August 2015. Troop L has not lost a trooper in the line of duty since the passing of Trooper Rudolph H. Miller on Sept. 8, 1962. Trooper Baker had a lifelong wish to serve as a Louisiana state trooper. In preparation, he spent eight years in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve including one combat deployment in the Middle East. He began his law enforcement career with the Greensburg Police Department, where he worked for four years. He then served the St. Helena Parish Sheriff’s Office for three years before joining the Louisiana State Police.

“Trooper Baker passed today leaving our hearts heavy but full of pride as he exemplified our values of duty, selfless service, and personal courage,” said state police Superintendent Col. Kevin Reeves. Even after his death, Trooper Baker continues to show his commitment to community and selfless service by donating his organs so that others may live.

Arrangements are incomplete at this time, but Trooper Baker will be afforded full honors earned with a line of duty death, Reeves said.

For information on providing assistance to the Baker family during this tragic time, please visit and direct donations to the Louisiana Troopers Charities – Trooper Baker.

TPSS officials announce new graduation ceremony plans for late June.

TPSS officials announce new graduation ceremony plans for late June.

Contact: Tangipahoa Parish School Superintendent Melissa Stilley
(985) 748-2502

AMITE—Tangipahoa Parish School Superintendent Melissa Stilley announced Friday that the seven TPSS high schools will wait until late June to provide the Class of 2020 an opportunity for more traditional graduation ceremonies.

Stilley said the public has been very vocal in their preference to see a more traditional graduation ceremony for this year’s high school seniors, and she said her office, the School Board, and the seven high schools will do everything they can to offer larger scale, in-person programs after the state enters Phase II of the COVID-19 recovery period.

“I hope our seniors and their families know that we are listening, and we hear their wishes. While we don’t know exactly what a summer ceremony will look like, we are open and willing to meet their requests and do our best to provide our seniors an opportunity for a more traditional graduation ceremony later this summer,” Stilley said.

As a result, the previously-scheduled “drive thru” and “Graduation on the Geaux” ceremonies that were slated to begin next week have all been cancelled. “There will be no TPSS high school graduation ceremonies until the last part of June,” Stilley said.

Under the proposal agreed upon by the seven principals Friday, the district will plan to hold graduation ceremonies on the following schedule:

—Amite High Magnet School: June 19
—Hammond High Magnet School: June 23
—Independence High Magnet School: June 25
—Jewel M. Sumner High School: June 22
—Kentwood High Magnet School: June 26
—Loranger High School: June 24
—Ponchatoula High School: June 27

Specific details on those ceremonies will be released by the school closer to the date. Schools will have alternative plans ready for this date if there are any other governmental orders that prohibit more traditional ceremonies, Stilley said.

Students who need to receive their diploma prior to their graduation date should contact their principal.

“We know that there are seniors who are entering the military or going into a post-secondary program or the workforce who expected to receive their diplomas sooner than this June schedule. We are here to help them by making those arrangements before they transition to this new era in their lives,” Stilley said.

The Superintendent offered her sincere thanks to the high schools for being so flexible in adjusting their plans to suit the needs of their students.

“We are living in unprecedented times, and I am so grateful to our high schools for the countless hours they are putting into planning these ceremonies for our students,” Stilley said. “I am also appreciative of the community for working with us and offering us feedback on how we can make this experience better for our students. We as a district are committed to keeping our kids safe while keeping in focus our core value to be compassionate to the legitimate wants and needs of our students and their families. Everyone in our system is sensitive to the hard work that our graduating seniors have completed, and we share in their desire to celebrate this accomplishment publicly with family and friends before they pursue their future endeavors."



All 7 high schools in the Tangipahoa Parish School System will hold off on graduation ceremonies until late June to give the Class of 2020 the opportunity to have a more traditional graduation, according to Superintendent Melissa Stilley.

Hammond Fire Dept

Hammond Fire Dept

Hammond Firefighters are currently on the scene of a residential structure fire off Womack drive. Firefighters arrived on scene to find a fire in the kitchen area of the home. The fire was quickly extinguished, no injuries have been reported at this time. 


Ogden Carter with non-profit Crossroads Community Organization will be giving away milk at 299 Martin Luther King Jr. St. in Independence Friday (May 22) starting at 9 a.m.

Nathan Anding, 18, the Holden man suspected of leading law enforcers on a chase through northwest Hammond early Tuesday,...

Nathan Anding, 18, the Holden man suspected of leading law enforcers on a chase through northwest Hammond early Tuesday, has been arrested. Anding was apprehended on Bennett Road in Holden and was booked on charges of obstruction of justice, hit-and-run driving, negligent injury, driving without a license, switched license plates, domestic abuse battery, aggravated obstruction of a highway, aggravated criminal damage to property, resisting an officer and possession with intent to distribute Schedule I drugs — all of which were directly related to the chase or just before the chase, said city spokeswoman Lisa Lambert. Police believe Anding and Taylor Cox, 26, of Holden, were involved in a fight in the Walmart parking lot just before the chase began. She said Anding is being booked in Hammond this afternoon, and Cox, is being booked in Amite on related charges. Authorities believe Cox was in the Infinity SUV that Anding drove in an attempt to get away from police early Tuesday. The SUV crashed after hitting a tire deflation device that state troopers had placed on Wardline Road. A Hammond police car hit the two troopers as they were removing the device. One trooper remains hospitalized in critical condition. State police have asked for blood donations on behalf of Trooper George Baker.

CITY UPDATE AT 11 A.M. -- City officials say the suspect vehicle involved in this morning's chase was a gray, 2007 Infin...

CITY UPDATE AT 11 A.M. -- City officials say the suspect vehicle involved in this morning's chase was a gray, 2007 Infinity SUV. According to a statement released by city hall shortly before 11 a.m., the chase began about 2:11 a.m. when a Hammond police officer noticed a suspicious vehicle in the 2700 block of West Thomas Street, which is in the vicinity of Walmart. The officer tried to stop it, but the vehicle speeded away, and the officer saw the occupants throwing things out both sides of the vehicle. More police officers joined in the chase, and more law enforcement agencies joined as they left city limits. There was no new update on the condition of the hospitalized state trooper.
Hammond police are handling the criminal investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call Hammond Detective Chase Zaffuto at 985-277-5740 or email to [email protected] or call Crime Stoppers of Tangipahoa’s anonymous tip line at 1-800-554-5245. Louisiana State Police is investigating the crash.

A Louisiana state trooper is listed in critical condition after being hit by a Hammond police this morning during a car chase on Wardline Road near its intersection with Kate Street, according to Troop L. Another trooper, also hit by the Hammond police car, was treated for minor injuries at North Oaks Hospital and reportedly has been released. Authorities said the troopers were dispatched about 2:15 am. to help Hammond police with a car chase and were putting a tire deflation device on Wardline near Kate, which is between Kintally and Milton roads west of Interstate 55. Authorities have not yet provided information about the reason for the chase, but reportedly the suspect vehicle hit the deflation device, the tires went flat and the suspect vehicle crashed further east on Wardline Road at Crapanzano Road. The Hammond police car hit the troopers while they were taking the device from the road, authorities said. The people in the suspect car ran off and, according to state police, they had not yet been identified. Anyone with information about the people who were being chased is asked to call Hammond police. Police Chief Ed Bergeron said city officials will issue a statement soon, but he was unable to talk with The Daily Star when reached at 10 a.m.


Check out these latest scams and be more clever than the scammers...
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Overpayment Tactic
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Power Restoration Charge
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: Rather than directing victims to call a 1-800 number, the scammers ask you to press 1 to collect more data in an attempt to get your personal information.

Utility companies are warning customers to be on alert for fraudulent phone calls, text messages and emails, as well as in-person scammers posing as company representatives.
Customers who suspect that they have been victims of fraud, or who feel threatened during contact with one of these scammers should contact their electricity company and local law enforcement authorities.


1010 CM Fagan Drive, Suite 105
Hammond, LA


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In today's paper it says to go home page of the paper for the gift card contest. I don't see any contest on the homepage. Please advise, thanks.
Do you need mask covers, or do you want to help sew them? We're reaching out nationwide to try to help!
Do y’all know who had paper towels in Hammond?
We want to help our local businesses- let us share your story on our page. Send me a short video or message about how you are working thru the current COVID-19 crisis. We will share on our page to let the community know. Let’s help each other and keep moving forward. Please share this and help us create a fantastic resource for our communities. Robin Blanchard General Manager
Is this how you get information to the community during this time?
Good morning. Do you have any updates ?
You need to make your post free without making people get subscription until this is over! Can't read any updates.
🚨BOLO🚨: Has anyone else been scammed or in contact with Cristy Creppel (Cristy Maise) or Maise Management? We’re in the process of opening a federal investigation. Feel free to PM me.
Is the dog park opened? Last time I heard they were under construction.
Anybody know what that explosion was? I'm off sable ln. but I've heard people on easant ridge and wvwn in Tickfaw heard it.
Come out and support the Loranger high school boys basketball team tomorrow night, Friday February 21St!