Stacy Gill

It’s easy to get caught up in the business of the holiday season. With so much going on — lists to make, shopping to get done, parties to attend, Christmas cards to mail, food to prepare — things that may save us time and money, like shopping online, seem like the smart thing to do. Yet, we all know, simpler and easier is not always better … or smarter, for that matter. There are pitfalls to beware, so over the next weeks, we’ll look at what some of those pitfalls are and what to watch out for when shopping online.

Don’t get caught in online scams. Make sure all online purchases are made on a secure website. To confirm a site is secure, check the URL address and make sure there is an S in https://, and look for the lock symbol before paying.

Pay with a credit card. Purchases made with a credit card provide the most protection. Using a credit card usually allows shoppers to dispute unauthorized charges or charges for items not received. Some card issuers have “zero liability” policies under which the card holder pays nothing if the card is fraudulently used. Check terms and conditions with your cardholder. Never send cash.

Watch out for look-alike websites. In a scam known as “cybersquatting,” crooks steal or slightly alter the website address of a well-known company to launch a copycat site that looks exactly like the real thing. The primary function of these fraudulent websites is to collect your credit card information in order to steal your identity or to sell fake or inferior counterfeit goods.

For information or to report a scam, contact the Louisiana Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 351-4889.

Farmers market

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Thursday, local farmers, including organic farmer Amy West from Wakefield, sell the latest in fruits, vegetables, jams and jellies, goat cheese, fresh eggs and more to the community. The farmers market is under the 4-H barn on Wilcox Street between U.S. 61 and North Commerce Street in St. Francisville. For information, call (225) 721-0591.

Teens and tweens events

Teens and tweens are invited to make snow globes from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 11 at the West Feliciana Parish Library, 5114 Burnett Road.

Dec. 13 is movie night at the library. “If I Stay” will run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

School revitalization project

The John S. Dawson Alumni Association and Foundation has developed a revitalization project for the John S. Dawson High School in West Feliciana Parish. To assist with the project, the JSDAA/F is applying for a Brownsfields Cleanup Grant through the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Copies of the JSDAA/F Revitalization Project and Brownsfields grant proposals are available for review and comments at the West Feliciana Parish Library, 5114 Burnett Road, in St. Francisville.

Residents are invited to attend the monthly JSDAA/F meetings at 11 a.m. on the second Saturday of each month at St. Francisville Town Hall, 11936 Ferdinand St. The next meeting is Dec. 13.

Book signing

The pictorial history book “St. Francisville and West Feliciana Parish” by Anne Butler and Norman C. Ferachi is the latest in the Images of America series and will be the feature of a book signing from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 13 at Barnes & Noble in Perkins Rowe, 7707 Bluebonnet Blvd., in Baton Rouge.

Butler and Ferachi will be signing copies of their book that depicts West Feliciana in over 250 images, some never before seen.

7 readings, 7 anthems

Seven readings with seven choral anthems, featuring the choir and oboe organ, piano and violin, will showcase a performance beginning at 7 p.m. Sunday at Grace Church of West Feliciana, 11621 Ferdinand St. Like choral anthems performed in the Church of England during the Christmas season, Grace Church in St. Francisville held its first choral anthem performance last year, which was enjoyed by many. Jacob Benda, director, organist and pianist, will lead this event.

Send your calendar events, news, photos and more by 3 p.m. Fridays to Stacy Gill at