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Slidell Police Capt. Nicky Mistretta recently graduated from the FBI National Academy Program in Quantico, Va. 

SMITH AVENUE CLOSURE: Crews have begun removal and replacement of concrete on Johnny F. Smith Avenue at the intersection of La. 11 in the Slidell area. This intersection on the avenue will be closed for the duration of the work, expected to take about three weeks. Drivers can detour around the area by taking La. 11 to Brownsvillage Road, to access Johnny F. Smith Avenue via Production Drive. Motorists are urged to use caution around work crews and to plan for delays.

HEATERS AVAILABLE: The St. Tammany Council on Aging has a limited number of electric room heaters available. Seniors 60 and older, with inadequate heat supply should contact the council for qualifications. There is no charge or financial limitation for this service. Contact Community Services at (985) 892-0377 for more information.

AFTER HOURS: Emerging Young Professionals of the East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce will hold a membership drive and networking social at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, at the Wine Market, 2051 E. Gause Blvd., Slidell. 

GADGET CLASSES: St. Tammany Parish Library reference librarians can help with tablet, cellphone, laptop or other technology at several branches on upcoming days. Free 30-minute sessions for adults will be held at the following times and locations:

  • 1 p.m. Wednesdays, Jan. 23 and 30, at Mandeville Branch Library, 844 Girod St.
  • 3 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, Pearl River Library, 64580 La. 41.

For more information, visit www.sttammanylibrary.org or call (985) 626-4293.

EMT CLASSES: Registration is open for Northshore Technical Community College's EMT program, with classes held 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, Jan. 23 to June 7, at 111 Pride Drive, Hammond. Tuition assistance is available. For information, contact Bobbie Fontenot at (985) 549-3171.

FBI GRADUATE: Slidell Police Department’s Capt. Nicky Mistretta recently graduated from the FBI National Academy Program in Quantico, Va. The 274th session of the academy, known for its academic excellence, offers 11 weeks of advanced communication, leadership and fitness training for selected officers having proven records as professionals within their agencies.

'CLOUD' INFORMATION: Learn more about what the cloud is, what it can do and which provider is best at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, at the Causeway Branch Library, 3457 U.S. 190. The free event is limited to adults; registration required at stpl.bibliocommons.com/events or call (985) 626-9779. For information visit www.sttammanylibrary.org.

BUSINESS AFTER HOURS: The East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce hosts a business-to-business gathering at 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, at Homewood Suites, 175 Holiday Blvd., Slidell. Admission is $10, members free. For information, visit www.estchamber.org.

TREES FOR RECYCLING: St. Tammany Parish government will accept Christmas trees to recycle for use in a cooperative effort with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to rebuild the Big Branch Marsh. Trees can be brought to the St. Tammany Parish Fairgrounds, 1515 N. Florida St., Covington, and the Old Levee Board Property, 61134 Military Road, Slidell, during daylight hours. Trees must be stripped of all decorations and the stands must be removed completely to be eligible for the program. Flocked trees cannot be accepted. For information, visit stpgov.org.

CREOLE PROGRAM: St. Tammany Parish Library presents a RELIC program in conjunction with the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. Meetings will be Mondays at 6 p.m. through Feb. 25, at the Slidell Branch, 555 Robert Blvd. Participants will consider issues such as why the Creole identity migrated among groups and how class, race and culture have influenced writers of the Creole experience. Books are provided for the free series. Registration is required. Register online at sttammanylibrary.org/adult-programs or call the library at (985) 646-6470.

RESIDENTS MEETING: The Hermadel Estates-Carolyn Park Residents Association will meet at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 30 at the Sons of Italy Lodge, 1619 East West Drive, Slidell. There will be a pot luck dinner followed by a business meeting. The Slidell Police Department and Councilman Val Vanney are slated to attend. For information, call Michael DeSandro (985) 201-5459 or Cindy Alberts (985) 707-7676.

AARP DRIVING CLASS: The Village Church — Lutheran will host an AARP Driver Safety Class at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5, 29180 U.S. 190, Lacombe. The class is geared to drivers 55 and older and who may qualify for a three-year auto liability insurance discount. The cost is $15 for AARP members and $20 for nonmembers; it must be paid by check or money order upon arrival. Bring driver’s license, pen, highlighter, snacks and drinks and AARP membership cards. To register, call John Carver (985) 373-7314. Seating is limited.

BUSINESS WORKSHOP: "Work Force Retention — The Good, The Bad and the Challenges" will be held at 8 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Feb. 6, in Bogue Falaya Hall of the Greater Covington Center, 317 N. Jefferson Ave. The free workshop, hosted by the city and the Economic Development Committee of the council, will provide information on human resources fundamentals and challenges. For information or to register, visit lsbdc.org/SLU.

BOOK SALE: The next Friends of the Library of West St. Tammany sale will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 15-16, at Hadden Hall, 106 S. Jahnke Ave., Covington. There will be books and CDs. The sale is cash or check only. For information, email anndreed@gmail.com.

SLIDELL NEWCOMERS: The 41st annual bal masque, “An Evening of Ziegfeld Follies” will be held Feb. 16, at the Northshore Harbor Center, led by Captain Judy Warnke and Co-captain Jody Mediamolle. Court maids are Linda Comeaux, Lou Denley, Diane LaVerde, Jean O’Rourke, Sandy Pecoraro, Susan Richard and Penny Weaver. The queen has been voted on by the membership and will be announced the night of the ball, which is open to the public. For more information, go to the Slidell Newcomers website or contact Judy Warnke at (630) 899-1459.

FOREIGN POLICY WORKSHOP: The Covington-Mandeville American Association of University Women is sponsoring the "Great Decisions" program, an offering of the Foreign Policy Association. Readers will discuss global issues shaping foreign policy. Sessions begin Tuesday, Feb. 19. The afternoon group will meet at 1 p.m., at the Fellowship Hall of Madisonville Presbyterian Church, 701 Pine St. The evening session will be held at 7 p.m., craft room of Windsor Senior Living Community, 1770 N. Causeway Blvd. in Mandeville. Sessions continue for eight consecutive Mondays, skipping March 4, Lundi Gras. Cost is $26, which includes the briefing book used. For information, contact Eileen deHaro at (985) 624-9553.

BOAT PARADE PARTICIPANTS: Boaters are being sought for the Krewe of Tchefuncte's annual Mardi Gras flotilla at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23. With the theme Masquerade as Greek Mythology, vessels should be decorated and their crews in costume. Judges will pick first-, second- and third-place winners, who will receive a plaque, anchor or paddle. Fee is $100. A registration form can be downloaded online and mailed at www.kreweoftchefuncte.org. Contact Iris Vacante at ivacante@townofmadisonville.org

GUMBO CONTEST: The Northshore Gumbo Cook-Off seeks teams to compete in the annual fundraiser at 11 a.m. March 9, benefiting area youth programs supported by Slidell Little Theatre and the National Association of Women in Construction. Up to 30 teams cook, with entertainment, awards and more. Team registration is $75. Choose from seafood or non-seafood. Applications and instructions are online at www.SlidellLittleTheatre.org; Facebook.com/NorthshoreGumboCookOff; email northshoregumbo@gmail.com or call (504) 415-3002. Admission is $10 for all-you-can-eat gumbo, and children younger than 10 free. Winners will be = announced at 2:30 p.m.