Kids to mark new year 12 hours early at zoo

The Swing Setters, a troupe of professional jazz musicians specializing in interactive performances for kids, will headline the annual Zoo Year's Eve countdown to noon Dec. 31 at Audubon Zoo.

The celebration will feature activities from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. including live music, a dance party hosted by Super Star Events, games, prizes, juggling and more.

Free Zoo Year's Eve party hats and noisemakers will be available while supplies last. At noon, there will be a countdown and soft drink toast.

Also on hand for the festivities will be costumed characters including a Spidey superhero, a Polynesian heroine, ice princesses, trolls and troopers. Exhibitors will offer a variety of fun activities and games, and there will be "ice" skating on a rink made from high-tech plastic.

The skating will require an additional ticket, $5 for Audubon members and $7 for others. The rink will be open near the Capital One stage from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., offering youngsters an opportunity to try skating.

All skaters will be required to sign a liability waiver; guardians must sign for minors. Special skates will be available at no additional fee. Skaters cannot bring their own skates.

The rink, which measures 40 feet by 30 feet, has a capacity of about 35 people.

Zoo Year's Eve activities are included with membership or regular zoo admission.

Audubon Zoo is at 6500 Magazine St.

City to auction more abandoned vehicles

The New Orleans Department of Public Works will hold its fifth abandoned vehicle auction of 2016 on Thursday.

The auction will begin at 9 a.m. at the Almonaster Auto Pound, 10200 Almonaster Ave. Vehicle preview day and buyer registration is Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. No one will be admitted after 3:30 p.m.

Since May 2010, the city has held 31 vehicle auctions, selling 3,055 abandoned cars and contributing over $2 million to the city’s general fund.

As in prior auctions, the buyer will pay a $50 administrative fee, which gets the buyer a notarized title at the time of payment. Buyers no longer have to go to the Division of Motor Vehicles to apply for a new title. 

This auction will have 62 vehicles for sale, all of which have been discarded on neighborhood streets or left unclaimed by owners with excessive parking fines and fees.

The city will continue using the online bidding feature introduced in 2009. Residents interested in online bidding need to register with Proxibid prior to the auction by visiting www.brownsauction.com.

Online bidding allows residents to preview and prebid on any vehicle prior to the live auction, get vehicle information online and bid on vehicles from anywhere in the world as the auction proceeds live.

All prospective buyers must register before viewing. A refundable $50 fee is required to view and/or bid on any vehicle during the auction. The fee will be applied to any purchase made or refunded if no purchase is made.

Brown's Auction Co. of Lafayette conducts the auction.

Individuals interested in purchasing a car are encouraged to pre-register and to arrive early on Thursday, as many cars sell within the first few minutes of the auction.

Sheriff's Office to hold Citizens Police Academy

The Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office will host a Citizens Police Academy beginning next month.

The 10-week free course will be held every Tuesday evening, with classes lasting about two hours. The exact dates, times and location will be announced soon.

This will be the 15th academy presented by the Sheriff's Office.

“This academy will provide our citizens with a unique opportunity to put themselves in a police officer’s shoes," Sheriff Gerald Turlich said. "At the end of the session, we guarantee that attendees will truly understand and appreciate the importance of the law enforcement-public partnership.”

The program will include classroom and interactive instruction, as well as a variety of scenarios and the opportunity to ride along with a deputy and engage in target practice with some of the office's specialized weapons.

Citizens at least 18 years old, with no serious criminal history and who live or work in Plaquemines Parish are encouraged to attend. Class size is limited.

To obtain a registration packet, stop by the Sheriff's Office's Administration and Training Facility at 8022 La. 23 in Belle Chasse. The packet is also available at www.ppso.net under the information tab or on the office’s Facebook page.