Appreciation for arts vital to area culture

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Good Morning, Along the River – Kevin Chiri

Today may mark the River Parishes version of “American Idol,” just from the opposite viewpoint.

The River Region Chamber of Commerce is holding a luncheon and program today that may prove as interesting as the ever-popular “Idol” show.

The recently-formed Chamber is holding a Parish Presidents’ Forum at the St. James Parish School Board Public Relations Building in Lutcher.

Up to “perform” for the public will be all three River Parish presidents, with Albert “Punk” Laque of St. Charles, Nickie Monica of St. John and Dale Hymel of St. James.

But don’t worry fellas, no one is getting voted off by tomorrow!

While the event today is already past the deadline to attend, coordinators for the River Region Chamber said that there are still available seats for their next event on Wednesday, June 9, which will be an education summit with School to Career Coordinators for each parish.

For information on attending, call (504) 465-6059.

My continuing tour of local businesses brought me to a most interesting spot recently. Roussel’s Antiques, Gifts & Jewelry in LaPlace is a business which has been around for 30 years in the area. They now have locations in Ponchatoula, Boutte, Gramercy and the local store.

I met store manageer Earl Rodrigue in LaPlace, who headed up the local spot for Roussel’s owner Chris Roussel, and it became pretty apparent why this place has gotten so popular. Earl was about as friendly a guy as they come, and you could tell that each time someone new walked in.

But the thing that caught my eye is the amazing variety of gifts in the store, all the way to pretty neat furniture in the back.

Like I said last week, I may have to put my daughters and wife under lock and key to keep them from breaking me when they get a chance to shop there.

Riverside Academy in Reserve is still trying to recover from the devastating damage from the tornado that hit the local school last year.

So far they have replaced four classrooms, replaced one entire roof, remodeled four elementary classrooms, and remodeled eight other classrooms in the high school building. They have also done extensive work to other roofs, P.E. locker rooms, storage areas and their gymnasum.

But the students and administration still have much work to do and are in the midst of a capital campaign that could use your help.

Anyone who wishes to help out these fine bunch of kids and teachers at Riverside could do so by calling 536-4246.