Archive for April, 2009

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Tickfaw Italian Festival Kicks Off This Saturday

April 15, 2009

The always fun and exciting Tickfaw Italian Festival will kick off this Saturday, April 18th with a Spaghetti Cook-Off.  The Spaghetti Cook-Off will be held near the White Pavilion at the railroad tracks in Tickfaw.  Everyone is invited to watch the competing chefs.  So, bring a chair, soak up some sun and cheer the cooks!
 
On Wednesday, the First Guaranty Bank will host an open house at the Tickfaw City Hall (5pm).
 
The Tickfaw Italian Celebration and Festival will be held next weekend (April 24-26).  The festival will be held at Tickfaw’s Our Lady Of Pompeii Baseball Park.  The fun begins on Friday night at 6 pm.  Kenny Fife and the Bac Trac Band will provide entertainment until 9 pm.  Following Kenny will be the Van Broussard & Bayou Boggie Band, who will play until midnight.
 
A parade will be rolling though town at 10 am, so arrive a little early to get a great curbside seat.  The official Opening Ceremonies are slated for noon at the Festival grounds.  Saturday’s entertainment will be provided by Broken Silence (12pm), the energetic Bag of Donuts (2pm), Destiny (5pm), Rhythm Kings (7pm) and Todd O’Neal (9pm).
 
Sunday’s activities will begin with celebration mass at Our Lady of Pompeii Church.  An appearance by Miss Louisiana Blair Abene is scheduled at 10 am.  If you are a closet singer or a public one, you are sure to enjoy Karoke (11-2).  Donino’s will be providing the entertainment until the closing of the festival at 6 pm.
 
You know that the food will be great, with various booths offering Italian specialities.  The culinary delight of Italian sausage or down-home Louisiana alligator sausage will be available for your enjoyment.  The Boy Scouts of America will be serving that all-American favorite: hamburgers.  You can wash down the great food with a little beer or even a Daiquiri.
 
Arts and crafts booths will dot the landscape and carnival rides are available for kids of all ages.  The live entertainment will be performed on two separate stages.
 
Come celebrate the Italian immigrants who helped to make Louisiana the great state it is!
 
Yvonne Martin, The Martin Team

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Tangipahoa School Plan Needs YOU

April 8, 2009

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how the Tangipahoa School System Proposed a New Plan.  Your input regarding the plan is being requested by city leaders and the Tangipahoa School System.  The proposed plan is important to all of us, especially those with children in our school system and future students.  Please review the Educational Plan so that you can give your opinion and suggestions.  Public forums are being planned for April 18th and 19th.
 
Mayor Foster (City of Hammond) is calling for your input as well: “I am asking the public to let me know your thoughts, concerns and suggestions on the school system’s proposed desegregation plan, so that I can, as your representative, voice your needs to the school system and its designees.”  You can email the Mayor at schoolplan@hammond.org.
 
The education plan is an issue we must be involved in.  The new desegregation plan is not a choice, as the Tangipahoa School System is under a federal order to desegregate the parish school system.  The plan is currently still a draft, but the final plan must be submitted to the court on April 30.  The educational plan includes a new tax of 1 cent to fund the approximate $183.4 million in school improvements.  If the plan is approved, the tax will go to vote in October.
 
Be involved.  Send an email to the Mayor and attend the public forums.  Remember, this is a proposed plan.  However, the plan must be finalized for approval by April 30.  Time is running out.
 
Yvonne Martin, The Martin Team

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Attention Tangipahoa Homeowners

April 2, 2009

Tangipahoa Homeowners should know that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is providing help for delinquent and non-delinquent homeowners.  Last month, the Treasury Department announced its Making Home Affordable programs.  Making Home Affordable provides two options for homeowners, refinancing and loan modifications.  The programs are aimed at homeowners who are struggling to meet their mortgage obligations.  The Home Affordable Refinance program is for homeowners who have been making their mortgage payments on time but are struggling to do so.  The program allows qualifying homeowners to take advantage of today’s historically low fixed interest rates.  The program even allows homeowners who have seen a decline in values to participate.  Because the lender already has much of the homeowners’ information on file. the refinancing process should take less time and be less costly than conventional refinancing. 

The Home Affordable Refinance program is only available for home loans which are backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  The Home Affordable Loan Modification program is aimed at the at-risk homeowner as well as homeowners currently in the foreclosure process.  Loan modifications may reduce loan payments to 31% of the homeowner’s gross monthly income.  Loan modification includes reduction of payments, loan balance forgiveness and extension of the loan up to 40 years.  The Home Affordable Loan Modification program has been designed to work in conjunction with the FHA Hope For Homeowners program as well.  To apply for the Home Affordable Refinance or Loan Modification programs, homeowners must qualify under the guidelines of the Making Home Affordable program.

Tangipahoa homeowners should be aware that there are scams afoot which charge you for services in seeking loan modifications.  Please do not be taken in by those who prey on others.  Free help is available at HomeownerHope.org for homeowners seeking a loan modification.  At this site, you will find a questionnaire which helps to determine what federal and/or local programs are available.  The site also provides a free checklist and call log to assist you when you contact your lender.  In addition you can sign up for a free newsletter which will keep you up-to-date on any changes to programs which may assist you.

The Making Home Affordable website offers a free online tool to determine your eligibility for both refinancing and loan modification options available to homeowners.  Any Tangipahoa homeowner that has experienced a job loss, a reduction in their income, foresees their house payment increasing or is struggling with their current mortgage payment would be wise to check out the Making Home Affordable Refinance program.  If you are a Tangipahoa “at-risk” homeowner or if you are behind in your mortgage, you should contact your lender regarding a loan modification.  Lenders are receiving incentive funds from the government when they help you modify your loan.

Yvonne Martin, Keller Williams Realty