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Ascension deputies seek clues in Prairieville car wash burglaries

Ascension Parish Sheriff’s deputies are looking for a person who made off with about $3,000 after breaking into the money machines at two car washes in Prairieville, Lt. Col Bobby Webre said. The person, captured on video by surveillance cameras, broke into the kiosk machines at Platinum Express car wash and the… Continue reading →

Clint Cointment concedes in Ascension Parish President race after check of voting machines; Kenny Matassa to become next president

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Ascension Parish president candidate Clint Cointment, right, embraces Sitman "Red" Loupe, left,  of the Kenny Matassa campaign outside the Secretary of State's Office warehouse near Gonzales, after the 192 voting machines used in Saturday's parish election were double checked, to verify the tally in the close Ascension Parish president race. The machines' vote count remained the same, and Cointment congratulated the Matassa campaign.

Businessman and surveyor Clint Cointment conceded his bid to be Ascension Parish’s next president Tuesday after a check of voting machines showed no changes in the results from Saturday night that left him 115 votes short of his goal. The result means Gonzales City Councilman Kenny Matassa will become Ascension’s next parish president.… Continue reading →

Donaldsonville gets decked out for old-fashioned holiday

Advocate staff photo by CHARLES CHAMPAGNE    Guests ride the trolley down Railroad Avenue on Saturday during the Avenue Evening Stroll in Donaldsonville.

Visitors celebrated an old-fashioned Christmas on Saturday in the heart of Donaldsonville’s Historic District during the annual Avenue Evening Stroll. Crowds gathered in Louisiana Square for a night of music and entertainment and strolled along Railroad Avenue for shopping, eating and togetherness in “the most special small town in Louisiana,” said Lee Melancon,… Continue reading →

Ministry on a mission close to home

Photo provided by Ed Holton -- The Helping Hands Ministry at First United Methodist Church in Gonzales provides minor home repair and wheelchair ramp construction for the elderly and disabled in Ascension Parish in collaboration with the Ascension Council on Aging. On Nov. 9, Helping Hands ministry volunteers constructed a wheelchair ramp for Gonzales resident Rosalie Scott.  Gathering are, in front, Tomy Zacariah and from left,  K.E. Mathew, Margaret Holton, Ed Holton, Jerry Mayfield and Dewey Grice. Scotts daughter, Denise Gordon, stands in the homes doorway.

Congregation members at First United Methodist Church of Gonzales have been conducting missionary work in other parts of the United States and overseas for years. But, here at home, the need is just as great. That’s why Ed and Margaret Holton, of Maurepas, revived the church’s defunct Helping Hands ministry… Continue reading →

Dutchtown gets first crack at cutting-edge smartboard

Advocate photo by Kate Stevens -- Marcus Stein, director of professional development with AXI Education Solutions, helps Dutchtown Middle School students Kiki Price and Timothy Huynh use their tablets to take a picture of their math problem and send it to the classroom’s new 102-inch technology board, the Promethean ActivWall with ClassFlow Connect. Dutchtown Middle School is the first school in the country to utilize the new Promethean ActivWall technology board.

Dutchtown Middle School students have a bigger and better way to learn, thanks to a generous donation from two corporations that recently picked Ascension Parish to nationally debut their latest advancement in interactive classroom technology. Promethean and AXI Education Solutions presented the brand-new, 102-inch Promethean ActivWall technology board with ClassFlow Connect software Nov. 17 during… Continue reading →

Gonzales celebrating with tree lighting, parade

Gonzales city officials will kick off the holiday season at 6 p.m. Tuesday with the annual Gonzales Christmas Tree Lighting event in front of City Hall and at the Gonzales Civic Center. Mayor Barney Arceneaux and other city officials will turn on the lights around City Hall, Jambalaya Park and the civic center before heading over to… Continue reading →

Around Ascension for Nov. 26, 2015

The Donaldsonville community is invited to a town hall meeting regarding Ascension Parish School Board’s District 1 from 6:15 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Monday at Donaldsonville City Hall. Administrators from each of the five schools on the West Bank have been invited to attend. Parents and guardians will have the opportunity to ask… Continue reading →

Ascension Athletics for Nov. 26, 2015

Advocate staff photo by JOHN OUBRE -- Dutchtown cheerleaders lead their team onto the field as they take on Zachary High Friday in a playoff game at Griffin Field.

The St. Amant Gators left too many opportunities on the field and gave up too many big plays as the Hahnville Tigers came roaring back in the second half to overpower the Gators 55-33. The Gators took the opening kickoff and was forced to punt. Hahnville took over at its own 47 and the Tigers hit on… Continue reading →

Ascension Motors Division places in competition

Photo provided by Allison B. Hudson -- Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office Motors Division Deputy 1st Class Steven Coriell competes Nov. 7 on one of the courses at the Gulf Coast Motorcycle Skills Competition in Gonzales.

The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office Motors Division placed in two categories at the 17th annual Gulf Coast Police Motorcycle Skills competition, held Nov. 3-7 at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales. The division placed fourth in the overall team category and fifth in the team slow ride. The competition, hosted by 10 area agencies, welcomed 28… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish singer set to guest with BR orchestra

Quiana Lynell

Quiana Lynell has been chosen as the headlining guest vocalist with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra Christmas concerts, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4 and 3 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Baton Rouge River Center. Lynell will perform tunes ranging from Handel’s “Messiah” to the jazz standard “Santa Baby.” Lynell has been a resident… Continue reading →

St. Amant FFA member awarded bronze emblem

Photo provided by Mandy Delaune -- Kathrine 'Katie' Costanza, of the St. Amant High School FFA chapter

Kathrine “Katie” Costanza, of the St. Amant FFA chapter, was awarded a bronze emblem in the National FFA Prepared Public Speaking Career Development Event, held in conjunction with the 88th National FFA Convention and Expo in Louisville, Kentucky, Oct. 28-31. The top four students received cash awards sponsored by Monsanto as a special project of… Continue reading →

Ascension training program featured in national video

The Ascension Parish school system’s career training program with the Pelican Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors Inc. recently was featured in a national video produced by the Foundation for Excellence in Education, a news release said. Ascension was one of three school districts across the country chosen for the national Course Access video campaign, which promotes… Continue reading →

Gonzales police host training exercise at school

Photo provided by Charlotte Guedry -- The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office and Gonzales Police Department took part in a training exercise at Pecan Grove Primary School in Gonzales on Nov. 20.

The Gonzales Police Department hosted a multijurisdictional training exercise, based on a school crisis incident, on Nov. 20 at Pecan Grove Primary School in Gonzales. Participants included the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office; Fire Protection Districts 1, 2 and 3; the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness; Louisiana State Police; Acadian Ambulance; the Louisiana Emergency Response… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish pets for Nov. 26, 2015

Pumpkin, a 1-year-old male orange tabby. He is reported to be litter box trained and good with kids and other animals.

The Ascension animal shelter, CARA’s House, 9894 Airline Highway, in Sorrento, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Animals can be adopted any day but Wednesday. The fees are $100 for dogs and $70 for cats. The fee includes vaccines, microchip and spay or neuter. Owner surrenders and strays can… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish calendar for Nov. 26-Dec. 3, 2015.

CLOSURE: All Ascension Parish Library locations will be closed in observance of Thanksgiving. INTRODUCTION TO MICROSOFT PUBLISHER 2013: 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Ascension Parish Library, Gonzales branch, 708 S. Irma Blvd. SCORE BUSINESS COUNSELING & MENTORING: 9 a.m. to noon, Ascension Parish… Continue reading →

Ascension Council on Aging for Nov. 26-Dec. 3, 2015

Closed. Chicken noodle soup, winter blend vegetables, green peas, saltines, margarine, banana marshmallow pie snack cake. BEADING CLUB: 9 a.m., Gonzales Senior Center and 10:30 a.m., Donaldsonville Senior Center. FAST EXERCISE: 9:30 a.m., Donaldsonville and 10:45 a.m., Gonzales.… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish Police Bookings for Nov. 12-19, 2015

The following people were booked into the Ascension Parish prison from Nov. 12 through Nov. 19. ALSAY, DEXTER: 27, 400 W. 10th St., Donaldsonville, domestic abuse battery. ASHFORD, TAYLOR J.: 25, 39454 La. 929, Prairieville, prohibited acts/drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoids. CHAUVIN, DORNA M.: 22, 15315 La. 931, Prairieville, theft.… Continue reading →

Ascension Civil Cases for Nov. 26, 2015

Court cases filed in Ascension Parish between Nov. 2 and Nov. 6. Craig Haynes Jr. v. Tutorship, tutorship. Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance Inc. v. Lois M. Williams aka Lois Marie Williams, executory process. Credit Acceptance Corp. v. Paula C. Batiste and Charlie Williams, promissory note. Cavalry SPV I LLC,… Continue reading →

After losing by 115 votes, Clint Cointment not conceding Ascension Parish president race ... yet

Kenny Matassa

Kenny Matassa, the presumptive winner of a tight election for Ascension Parish president, on Monday called his campaign an uphill climb for funding and backers after his opponents got a much earlier start than him but said he felt relief when he learned he had won Saturday night. Matassa, who started his… Continue reading →

Gonzales property owners urged to take advantage of Louisiana Certified Economic Development Sites program

The nonprofit Ascension Economic Development Corp. is encouraging property owners in Gonzales to take advantage of a statewide program that promotes sites available for development. While there are currently 10 pieces of property in Ascension Parish listed in the Louisiana Certified Economic Development Sites program — more than any other… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish’s outgoing president works to complete projects before he turns over the keys

Advocate staff photo by David J. Mitchell -- Dio Martinez, 35, an insulator with contractor Apex Industries, paints glue Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, on a black insulation that covers the end of piping used in a new cooling system installed for the 4-H buidling at Lamar-Dixon Expo Center near Gonzales. The cooling system is part of a $5.7 million federally funded renovation of the 75,000-square-foot building that is nearing completion.

Outgoing Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez says he plans to take off most of December. Heading into the end of his fourth and final term as Ascension’s top executive, Martinez says he has some accrued vacation time to dispense with after years in parish government. But he may have a few ribbon-cuttings… Continue reading →

Kenny Matassa narrowly wins Ascension Parish president race; Clint Cointment does not concede

Advocate staff photo by  APRIL BUFFINGTON --   Ascension Parish President candidate Clint Cointment

Gonzales City Councilman Kenny Matassa narrowly won the Ascension Parish president race Saturday, inching ahead of businessman Clint Cointment with a 115-vote lead. But Cointment said Saturday night that he would not concede the election until the official count early this week. “I just want to make sure we do an official… Continue reading →

Lawler beats Edmonston in Ascension Parish council seat in Prairieville

Lawyer Aaron Lawler beat businessman Mac “Rooster Lips” Edmonston Saturday for a seat on the Ascension Parish Council. Lawler won 59 percent to Edmonston’s 41 percent, or 1,751 votes to 1,206. Turnout was 41 percent. Lawler and Edmonston were battling for the Prairieville-area Council District 7. The Republicans survived a… Continue reading →

Hallelujah! All four lanes of Sunshine Bridge to open on Thursday — after 2 years of repairs, repainting

Advocate file photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- The Sunshine Bridge near Donaldsonville.

Long-suffering commuters who have crossed the Sunshine Bridge each day for almost two years in stifling traffic are receiving a well-earned return to normalcy a few months early. State highway officials said Friday that a $25.1 million project to refurbish and repaint the Mississippi River bridge in St. James Parish finished early,… Continue reading →

Boil water advisory lifted for all of Assumption Parish Saturday

Ascension Council approves $132 million budget Thursday; amendments are expected

Advocate staff file photo by BILL FEIG -- Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley

GONZALES — The Ascension Parish Council agreed Thursday to a $132.5 million spending plan for the new year, setting aside $38.7 million on capital improvements for roads, major drainage, new lighting at parish parks and new soccer fields at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center. Among the road projects, the 2016 budget includes $5.2 million in… Continue reading →

There’s no brain-eating amoeba there, but Ascension Parish officials conducting ‘chlorine burn’ on west bank water lines

As a cautionary measure, Ascension Parish officials are disinfecting water lines in a west bank parish water district that had brain-eating amoeba elsewhere on its system this summer. The disinfection, known as a chlorine burn, is not being required by state regulators but is being done as a proactive step, parish officials… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish sheriff demands larger role for local law enforcement in monitoring any Syrian refugees in their communities

Advocate staff file photo by BILL FEIG -- Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley

In a Facebook post Wednesday, Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley denounced President Barack Obama’s decision to allow Syrian refugees into the U.S. and took exception to one point in Gov. Bobby Jindal’s executive order seeking to stop those refugees from coming to Louisiana — which law enforcement agencies will monitor the refugees already here. Jindal’s order,… Continue reading →

Both candidates for Ascension Parish president address potential nepotism, conflicts of interest, if elected

L-R Clint Cointment and Kenny Matassa ORG XMIT: BAT1405231542398569

The two candidates headed into Saturday’s runoff for Ascension Parish president say they have plans to address potential nepotism worries and conflicts of interest that could emerge if either is elected parish government’s top executive. Gonzales City Councilman Kenny Matassa and Gonzales-area businessman Clint Cointment, vying to replace outgoing Parish President Tommy… Continue reading →

Veterans honored at school luncheon

Advocate photo by Kate Stevens -- U.S. Navy Petty Officer Teressa Hill, second from left, is honored at Central Primary School’s Veterans Day Lunch Nov. 11. Hill eats with her children, CPS students Cadynce Hill, left, Triston Hill, second from right, and Zadyn Hill, right, and her fiancé Terrell Stepter.

Amara Lee Viccellio, a fourth-grade student at Central Primary School, doesn’t need to open her school books to learn about American history. She can just talk to her great-grandfather, Thomas A. Wintz, of Dutchtown, for a lesson. “He was in World War… Continue reading →

Annual Avenue Evening Stroll to showcase Donaldsonville area

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Sisters Crystal Thomas, left, and Dallas Thomas perform as a duo called 'Graceland' during last year's Avenue Evening Stroll in Donaldsonville.

Christmas music will play as shoppers stroll along Donaldsonville’s Railroad Avenue for the annual Avenue Evening Stroll from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday. The shopping and cultural event showcases the city’s downtown area and features artists, authors, crafters and vendors spreading holiday cheer. In Louisiana Square, the Donaldsonville Fire Department Association will host a children’s… Continue reading →

Around Ascension for Nov. 19, 2015

A fun-filled afternoon of Nintendo Wii, including games such as “Skylanders,” “Swap Force,” “Mario Kart” and “Wii Sports,” gets started at 4 p.m. Friday at the Galvez Branch of the Ascension Parish Library. This program is free and open to all teens in sixth grade and up. Call (225) 622-3339 for details.… Continue reading →

Ascension Athletics for Nov. 19, 2015

Advocate photo by BRIAN ROBERTS  --  Dutchtown High running back Fitell Bolding and quarterback Jared Sparks celebrate a Griffin touchdown at the Dutchtown versus Zachary game earlier this season. The two teams will meet again in the playoffs on Friday.

The Dutchtown Griffins traveled all the way to Ruston to face the Bearcats in Round 1 of the state playoffs and came away with a 31-17 win. The 15th-seeded Bearcats’ heads were sort of spinning early on — the 18th-seeded Griffins took the opening kickoff and drove for a touchdown as senior quarterback Jared Sparks took… Continue reading →

Dutchtown hosts career fair for seniors

Advocate photo by Whitney Christy -- Board certified orthodontist Dr. Bryan Hollis of Hollis Orthodontics concluded Dutchtown High School career program by giving a brief presentation on his own academic and professional career endeavors.

Dutchtown High School seniors picked up career information at the school’s Nov. 9 career fair. The more than 450 seniors, all of which have the same revolving concerns regarding what their next step will be after graduation, could ask questions from various professional during the event. Micki LeBlanc, who coordinated the career fair, said the event… Continue reading →

Classroom Spotlight: St. John Primary School first grade

Photo provided by Janis Ament -- Tina Carpenter’s first-grade class at St. John Primary School includes, front row from left, Brody Waguespack, Brylee Morgan, Ava Haydel, Camilla Del Bosque, Chase Schwartz and Avery Rodrigue; second row, Caroline Brignac, Addison Haydel, Evan Gautreau and Layken Ledet; third row, Henry Faget, Juliette Young, Austin Richardson, Claire Cornett, Isabel Boudreau and Carter Englert; and fourth row, Cole Desormeaux, Drew Pizzo, Mackenzie McCoy, Gage Hoover, Camille Toussant, Alex Warthen and Raghnall Sutherland. In back are instructional assistant Jada Peterson, left, and teacher Tina Carpenter.

The Ascension Advocate’s Classroom Spotlight this week is Tina Carpenter’s first-grade class at St. John Primary School in Prairieville. The students were asked: Using science and math to build a robot, what would your robot do for you? ISABEL BOUDREAU: “It would clean up and help me and my… Continue reading →

Ascension athletes sign letters of intent

Photo provided by Grady Sevario -- Student signs letter of intent -- St. Amant High School senior Adam Sevario signed a national letter of intent to play baseball for Florida International University, coached by Turtle Thomas, on Nov. 11 in the school gym. Pictured, from left, are nephew Zander Picou, brother-in-law Brennan Picou, sister Bronte Picou, Sevario, mom Tara Sevario and dad Grady Sevario.

East Ascension’s Claire Weinberger signed to play softball at LSU. Weinberger, who plays shortstop and hit .582 with 28 RBIs and 15 stolen bases as a junior, will join former Spartan teammate and neighbor Bailey Landry. Landry attended Weinberger’s signing ceremony held Wednesday night at the school. Weinberger was one of three… Continue reading →

St. Amant High School students win at business conference

Photo provided by Rae Broussard -- St. Amant High School DECA members gather for a photo during the DECA Fall Competitive Excellence Conference in Forest Hill on Oct. 18.

St. Amant High School’s DECA chapter attended the DECA Fall Competitive Excellence Conference Oct. 18 in Forest Hill. Members in attendance with adviser Rae Broussard included Brennan Tran, De’Jaun Ferguson, Kayleigh Richard, Adison Gautreau, Madison Bercegeay, Saray Gamez, Krislyn Johnson, Lesly Gamez, Mary Stone, Joshua Dipuma, Dylan Stroughter, Victoria Stewart, Catherine Carpenter, Samantha Gautreau, Alurah Williams, Corinne… Continue reading →

Dutchtown finishes third in speech, debate tourney

Photo provided by Jenny Munson -- Dutchtown High School speech, debate and drama team members attending the 2015 Lafayette High School Heart of Cajun Country Speech/Debate Tournament are, front from left, Terrence Green, coach Shannon Ehrmann, Tina Turner, Caitlin Burke, Ann-Marie Boutte, Bailey Weidenbacher and Alex Simoneaux; and back, Courtney Brakebill, Kyle Munson, Kerrington Dixon and J’acy Mayeaux.

The Dutchtown High School speech, debate and drama team participated in the 2015 Lafayette High School Heart of Cajun Country Speech/Debate Tournament, held Nov. 6-7 at Lafayette High. The competition consisted of debates, speeches and dramatic performances in various categories. Members in attendance were Courtney Brakebill, Kyle Munson, Kerrington Dixon, J’acy Mayeaux, Terrence Green, Tina Turner,… Continue reading →

Monument pays tribute to Purple Heart vets

Advocate staff photo by DARLENE DENSTORFF -- World War II veteran Pershing Mire is honored for his service at the Nov. 11 Veterans Day program at the Ascension Veterans Memorial Park in Gonzales. Mire served in the U.S. Army and has been a longtime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Mire stands as members of three local high school choirs sing.

A monument honoring Purple Heart recipients was unveiled during a Veterans Day program Nov. 11 in Gonzales. The monument was seen for the first time at the end of the program, which was hosted by the Ascension Veterans Park Committee. Longtime park committee member Jack Watson was honored for his… Continue reading →