Vets invited to town hall, benefits center

The American Legion will sponsor a town hall meeting Monday night and a veterans’ benefits center Tuesday through Thursday at American Legion Post 175, 2431 Metairie Road, Metairie.

The events are part of the American Legion’s nationwide tour of communities affected by Department of Veterans Affairs challenges in the aftermath of a scandal involving falsified appointment records and extremely long appointment waiting times.

The town hall meeting will run from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., letting veterans air their concerns about VA health care access, patient service, claims processing and more.

The benefits center will be open Tuesday from noon to 8 p.m., Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will offer one-on-one assistance for veterans and their families seeking assistance for those having problems trying to enroll in the VA, file claims, seek disability rating changes and the like.

Accredited American Legion service officers, legal representatives and VA adjudicators will be on hand.

The American Legion has conducted nearly two dozen such events nationwide in the past 13 months. The benefits centers have helped more than 4,000 veterans and led to the awarding of more than $1 million in retroactive VA benefits for qualified individuals.

Information on the events is available from John Raughter at (317) 630-1350 or

Citizens Police Academy set for August

The Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office will kick off a free 10-week Citizens Police Academy next month, Sheriff Lonnie Greco said.

Classes will begin Aug. 11 and meet every Tuesday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Crossroads Church, 308 Avenue J, Belle Chasse.

The program will include both classroom and interactive instruction. Attendees will receive information and instruction on use of force, defensive tactics, narcotics enforcement, criminal investigations, crime scene/evidence gathering techniques and more. They will be able to ride along with a deputy and engage in target practice.

“This academy will provide our citizens with a unique opportunity to put themselves in our deputies’ shoes. It will also allow students to forge unique and lasting relationships with our dedicated employees and staff ,” Greco said.

Anyone who is at least 18 years old, with no serious criminal history and who lives or works in Plaquemines Parish is invited to attend.

Class size is limited. Applications should be submitted by Aug. 7.

Details can be found at under the Information tab or picked up from the Special Services Division located behind Belle Chasse High School, at 8344 La. 23. Completed applications should be dropped off at the Special Services Division.

Additional information is available at (504) 391-2004.

Free community health fair slated for July 18

The LSU Health New Orleans Human Development Center will hold a free community health fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 18 at McMillian’s First Steps Child Care Development Center, 2601 S. Claiborne Ave., New Orleans.

The fair will feature stations for cholesterol, diabetes, blood pressure, BMI and developmental screenings, as well as information about hearing and nutrition, handwashing and more.

There also will be free sno-balls and snacks. Entertainment will include a Spacewalk, music and performances by Precious Jewels and Performance Squad.

The LSU Human Development Center, part of the School of Allied Health Professions, disseminates information to strengthen and increase the capacity of local communities to support and include individuals with developmental and other disabilities and their families in all aspects of life in the community.