The St. Bernard Chamber of Commerce’s 2014 Business Expo will provide local companies a chance to grow their business by showcasing their goods and services to potential customers and by networking with other business owners to build valuable relationships.

Set for June 28 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Frederick J. Sigur Civic Center grand ballroom, the Business Expo will feature nearly 70 local businesses from St. Bernard Parish and the surrounding area.

Visitors to the expo can expect to take a chance on door prizes and giveaways, which will be donated by the participating vendors and event sponsors. Visitors also will have an opportunity to sample local fare and purchase full meals from participating restaurants.

Admission is free.

To participate as vendors, business owners can contact Stephen Reuther, St. Bernard Chamber CEO, at (504) 277-4001 or

Sky lantern release

The Compassionate Friends of St. Bernard, a self-help organization for bereaved families who have lost a child of any age, invites all bereaved families to join them June 27 for a special event to remember their loved ones.

Set for 6 p.m. near the Compassionate Friends Memorial Garden in front of the St. Bernard Parish government complex, the event will include a wishing light sky lantern release.

Liz Lemoine, chapter leader, said the purpose of the event is to give families an outlet “to celebrate their family members who have gone too soon.”

“Each family will be provided with a wishing light (sky lantern) to be released at dusk,” Lemoine said.

Refreshments will be served between 6 p.m. and dusk. Participants are asked to bring their own chairs and bug spray.

The Compassionate Friends meet on the second Wednesday of every other month. For information, call Lemoine at (504) 421-3986; Kathy Nunez at (504) 913-5255; Suzanne Lyell at (504) 650-9650; or Michelle Boyd at (504) 413-9897.

Police academy graduates

Five St. Bernard Parish sheriff’s deputies, three working in the corrections division and two in communications, graduated May 23 from the Peace Officers Standards and Training, or P.O.S.T., basic police academy at the St. Charles Parish Regional P.O.S.T. Academy.

Graduates from the Sheriff’s Office included Lt. Joshua Correa, of the medical staff in St. Bernard Parish Prison; Deputies Frank Auderer III and Joseph Bowen, both of the corrections division; and Sgt. Tracy Canino and Deputy Alisha Casbon, both of the communications division. Bowen was awarded the Top Gun Award for best marksman in the graduating class of more than 20 officers.

The academy includes about 400 hours of training in basic police work, including firearms use, criminal investigation, patrol procedure, writing reports, driving training, physical fitness and other areas of police work.

Young Leadership Council

R.M. Iray Nabatoff, Community Center of St. Bernard executive director, was named one of 25 business, community and civic leaders in the New Orleans Young Leadership Council’s 2014 Role Model class.

Since 1986, the Young Leadership Council has honored individuals who actively contribute to the betterment of the Greater New Orleans region. Each year’s class of 25 honorees is selected by a committee composed of members of the YLC board of directors and past YLC Role Model Award recipients.

Honorees distinguish themselves by promoting a positive attitude and an unyielding desire to enhance the quality of life in the greater New Orleans area, striving to unite the community in collaborative efforts for its future prosperity, serving as exemplary role models to young talent and making significant contributions in their specific fields of endeavor.

Battle of New Orleans marker

At the April meeting of the Louisiana Battle of New Orleans Bicentennial Commission, officials from Valero Meraux Refinery presented the commission with a $2,500 check to pay for the production of a roadside historic marker for the location of the former Conseil Plantation.

Conseil, better known as the Villere Plantation, was owned by Jacques Philippe Villere, who was elected as Louisiana’s second governor and was the state’s first native-born executive.

In December 1814, the British army landed near the plantation and used it as the headquarters for its New Orleans campaign. The plantation fell into disrepair in the early 20th century and shortly thereafter burned down. The site of the plantation is within the Valero Refinery grounds in Meraux.

The marker will be placed outside of the refinery along St. Bernard Highway and will contain information about the plantation and its place in the Battle of New Orleans.

Kim Gritter writes about people, places and events in St. Bernard Parish. She can be reached at