Natchez author speaks at 'Reflections'

John Grady Burns, author of two books about floral design, decorating and collecting, spoke Nov. 5 at the “Reflections in The Garden” program.

His store, Nest, in Natchez, Mississippi, is known for flora expertise and event décor. He gave information about floral design and displaying collectibles to make them unique, beautiful and interesting.

'Reflections' is a lunch and learn program about horticulture and gardening sponsored by the Friends of LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden, a nonprofit organization of people interested in horticulture and supporting the gardens at Burden. More information can be found at

Amateur Radio Club operates from USS KIDD

Eight members of the Baton Rouge Radio Club spent Nov. 11, Veterans Day, operating their radio onboard the USS KIDD in honor of veterans who died fighting for our freedom.

More than 100 radio contacts with other amateur radio operators were made in 13 states and Canada. Amateur radio operators participating were Thornton Cofield, Bill Crummett, John Krupsky, John London, Dan Lott, Mary McDonald, Larry Henry and Dave Thomas.

For information about amateur radio, visit

BASF, United Way raise money for veterans

Capital Area United Way and BASF raised more than $20,000 for local veterans in need through their United4Vets campaign, which concluded Nov. 11. Money will promote and expand access to resources available to veteran and active service member populations via United Way’s 2-1-1 referral hotline.

United Way 2-1-1 is a free and confidential service that helps people find local resources they need 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Nearly 30,000 calls are answered by United Way 2-1-1 call specialists every year, and more than 200 of those identify as veterans. Examples of why people call 2-1-1 include food assistance, services for the elderly, disaster help, mental health counseling.

About 19 percent of the veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan suffer from either major depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the RAND Center for Military Health Policy Research. In addition, about 50 percent of returning service members who need mental health treatment seek it, but only about half receive adequate care. The RAND Center concluded that improving access to high-quality care through resources can be cost-effective and improve recovery rates.

BASF volunteers also organized the packaging and sending of more than 250 care packages to troops serving overseas. Employees contributed nearly $10,000 for the care packages, supplies and shipping costs. BASF is a longtime supporter of veterans and active service members through Capital Area United Way programs and events such as United4Vets, veteran career fairs and flood recovery assistance to local veterans.

Art League hears about Africa trip

Claire Yeargain and Sandra Roccaforte gave a presentation called “New Paintings and Old Artifacts” to the Baton Rouge Art League on Nov. 14 at the Bluebonnet Regional Branch Library.

They spoke about their travels to Kenya and South Africa and how travel enriches artists and art lovers. Roccaforte’s oil painting of a leopard was inspired by the animals she saw living in their natural habitat. She treasured her meetings with the Masai people and the beautiful handiwork that they made: spears, intricate bead work, bows and arrows. Seeing the major animal groups on a safari was a highlight of their trip.

Yeargain showed the ways animal motifs are used by many artists in different crafts, which include carved or blown glass animals and paintings on batik fabric.

For information on the Baton Rouge Art League, visit

Orchid Society installs officers, board

The Baton Rouge Orchid Society installed officers and board members for 2019 on Nov. 14: President Wesley Matthews, Vice President Kathy Conerly, Secretary Lata Johnson, Treasurer Jim Morrison and board members Dr. Hal Canning, Glenn Gawarecki and Ed Gaskell.

Members viewed a webinar on “Demystifying Dendrobiums” led by Ron McHatton, education director of the American Orchid Society. The genus Dendrobium is one of the largest in the orchid family, with many subdivisions that can be confusing. Some require cold temperatures that prohibit their growing in our area. Information was presented for types that will do very well in the local climate.

The society will not meet in December. The next meeting will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16, at the Burden Center, 4560 Essen Lane. The Green Growers group will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9, at 423 Nelson Drive. Orchids for Seniors will meet at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 28, at Independence Park, 7500 Independence Blvd.

Visit for more information and to subscribe to the monthly newsletter.

Manship senior picked for Carnegie program

LSU Manship School of Mass Communication senior Natalie Anderson is one of 35 students chosen from 18 universities around the world to participate in the prestigious Carnegie-Knight News21 multimedia reporting initiative, which will investigate federal disaster relief.

The Coushatta native will travel to Tempe, Arizona, this summer to research and report for the program. This is the third consecutive year that a Manship School student has been selected for the elite News21 Fellowship.

The 10-week News21 program was established by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to demonstrate that college journalism students can produce innovative, in-depth multimedia projects on a national scale.

Anderson serves as editor-in-chief at The Daily Reveille, LSU’s student newspaper, and previously worked in several reporting and management roles at The Daily Reveille. She has covered in-depth political stories as part of the Manship School’s Statehouse Bureau, and has reported for both The Advocate and The Natchitoches Times. Anderson also interned for The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, California, in the summer of 2018.

Compiled by Advocate staff writer George Morris. The “Community” column runs every Tuesday and Friday in The Advocate. Items should be submitted to “Community,” Advocate eatplaylive section, P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821, or emailed to Events should be submitted in a timely fashion. By submitting photos to The Advocate, you agree that they can be published in any of The Advocate’s print or digital publications.

Follow George Morris on Twitter, @GWMorris.