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‘We finally did it’ — construction to start on long-awaited Ascension DPW building in Donaldsonville

A long-awaited and much-debated building in Donaldsonville to house Ascension Parish public works equipment and employees appears to be a month from construction after the Parish Council backed a key funding agreement Thursday. The 8,155-square-foot facility is planned for 5 acres on Thibaut Drive and would be built next to a new city DPW building whose… Continue reading →

Gonzales man accused of dealing methamphetamine

Photo provided by the Ascension Parish Sheriff;s Office -- Jessie James

Ascension Parish sheriff’s narcotics detectives on Thursday arrested an accused methamphetamine dealer during a traffic stop at the intersection of La. 44 and La. 42. The detectives pulled over Jessie James, 37, of Gonzales, for driving recklessly, according to a news release from the Sheriff’s Office. They discovered James had multiple active… Continue reading →

Gonzales council gives nod to interim appointments after Vessel recall, Lacombe resignation

Two chairs at the council table were empty — one vacated by a recall, the other by a resignation — when the Gonzales City Council on Wednesday approved a temporary replacement for one of those positions and recommended that the governor appoint another person for the other slot. Retired city employee Barbara… Continue reading →

Sheriff’s Office: Pierre Part father arrested after he beats up ex-son-law; turns into ‘ugly scene,’ sheriff says

Ricky Aucoin Sr.

A Pierre Part man who drove to his ex-son-in-law’s home and beat him was arrested on a count of second-degree battery and was released on $10,000 bail, Assumption Parish sheriff’s deputies said Wednesday. Ricky Aucoin Sr., 53, 318 S. Bay Road, Pierre Part, showed up at the ex-son-in-law’s Pierre Part home shortly… Continue reading →

Judge dismisses three Gonzales councilmen from lawsuit to stop the depletion of city funds

A district court judge who sued the city of Gonzales and three councilmen earlier this year over a rezoning issue has dropped the councilmen from his suit, noting that two of them are no longer on the council. The city remains a defendant in the suit that asks that the city approve the… Continue reading →

Ascension Schools Superintendent Patrice Pujol one of four contenders for national award

 Patrice Pujol

Ascension Parish Schools Superintendent Patrice Pujol is one of four finalists in the U.S. for the 2015 National Superintendent of the Year award to be presented in February by the School Superintendents Association. In her 38 years in education, Pujol has served as a teacher, principal, director of secondary schools, director of school improvement… Continue reading →

Crusading for success this Christmas

Advocate staff photo by ANGELA MAJOR -- Dalton Flurry, left, and Trevor Serpas shop in the Wal-Mart toy department  Dec. 11 during the annual APSO Christmas Crusade for Children in Gonzales.

Volunteers crowded the aisles of the Gonzales Wal-Mart on Dec. 11 for the long-standing shopping night tradition that makes the Ascension Parish sheriff’s Christmas Crusade for Children a success year after year. For more than 20 years, Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley and his staff organize a Christmas gift program for area children.… Continue reading →

Tommy Martinez leads Christmas parade

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Viewers grapple for throws tossed from riders during the 2014 JFA Christmas Parade Sunday along Burnside Avenue in Gonzales.

Beads, candy and other trinkets flew from floats Sunday, as the annual Jambalaya Festival Association’s Christmas parade rolled through the streets of Gonzales. Marching bands, queens and dignitaries, along with firetrucks, were part of the annual tradition. Parish President Tommy Martinez was the grand marshal. The best of show float-decorating award went to Roland… Continue reading →

Around Ascension for Dec. 18, 2014

The Donaldsonville Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council invites teens to a Teen Town Hall meeting Monday to talk about issues affecting youths in the community. The meeting will be from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday in… Continue reading →

Ascension Athletics for Dec. 18, 2014

Photo provided by Lyle Johnson -- One of the crabs columnist Lyle Johnson caught Friday roadside fishing in Delacroix; a pretty big one at that.

Soccer season is well underway, and teams are getting ready for the Christmas break. I got a chance to talk with the St. Amant Gators boys coach, Adrian Garcia, about this years’ team. Garcia made his way here via Houma in an effort to move his family to the Ascension Parish area and took a job as assistant… Continue reading →

Longtime Jambalaya Festival supporters honored for service

Photo provided by Meredith Conger -- Attending the Jambalaya Festival Association Christmas party Dec. 6 in St. Amant, from left, Marcy Leblanc, Joey Cornett, Robert 'Hoss' Reine, Berkley Parent, Lauren Blouin, Mike Berthelot, Vanessa Blair, Tammy Guillory, Wally Taillon and Meredith Conger.

Two longtime Jambalaya Festival supporters were honored Dec. 6 during the Jambalaya Festival Association’s Christmas Party at the St. Amant Recreation Center. Jimmy Berthelot was honored for opening the doors of his Berthelot’s Hall for the group’s monthly meetings, and Brenda Taillon won the Nora Lee Ricca Award for her years of service to the organization.… Continue reading →

FFA members attend leadership conferences

Photo provided by Kiesha G. Nall -- Attending a recent leadership National FFA Organization conference in Lafayette are members of the East Ascension High School's FFA chapter, from left, Donquell Saylor, Daniel Stover, Steven Jackson and  Kevin Caster.

Six members of the East Ascension FFA chapter attended national leadership conferences recently in Lafayette. Students from FFA chapters across Louisiana attended the 212 Degrees and 360 Degrees Leadership Conferences held Dec. 5-6. The conferences are an activity of the National FFA Organization made possible by title sponsor Syngenta as a special project of the… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish Bookings for Dec. 4-11, 2014

The following people were booked into the Ascension Parish prison from Dec. 4-11. BENNETT, ROBERT: 33, 1408 Peytavin St., Donaldsonville, three counts failure to appear in court. BROWN, BILLY P., JR.: 31, 10079 El Scott, Apt. G, Baton Rouge, two counts fugitive-other Louisiana jurisdiction. BROWN, DARRYL: 18, 39011 Venus St., Darrow, disturbing… Continue reading →

Rotarians go caroling for Christmas cause

Photo provided by Jennifer deFrances -- East Ascension Rotary carols for a cause -- Members of the East Ascension Rotary Club and other volunteers gather Dec. 2 after collecting toys during a night of caroling in Ascension Parish neighborhoods. The toys were donated to the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office Christmas Crusade for Children program. Gathering are, first row from left, Zahra Walker, Sanai Price, Emma Ely, Nicholas Graham, Jules deFrances and Rylie Buturla; second row, Melinda King, Czarina Walker, Emma Woodring, Amy Colby and Lisa Bacala; third row, Lori Lambert, Sherrie Despino, Judy Firmin, Terri Kaaihue, Khari Price, Hanna Woodring, Gabriel Walker, Clint King, Karen Webre and Tony Bacala; and fourth row, Jerry Elie, Kevin Hanna, Jennifer deFrances, Ken Firmin, Traci Adams, Bridget Hanna, Cheryl Rice, Marilyn Lambert, Bobby Webre and Michael Buturla.

Members of the East Ascension Rotary Club warmed up their voices and got in the Christmas Spirit on Dec. 2 as they caroled for a cause. The Rotarians, joined by area schoolchildren, visited neighborhoods to sing Christmas carols to families in exchange for new, unwrapped gifts, which were then donated to the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office Christmas… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish pets available for Dec. 18, 2014

This 10-week-old female Lab/Curr mix.

The Ascension Parish Animal Shelter, 9894 Airline Highway in Sorrento, is open from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday for viewings and pet adoptions. Animals can be adopted for $50. Animals can be dropped off from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Fridays. For information, call (225) 675-6557. The… Continue reading →

Volunteers keep parade for Christmas afloat

Donaldsonville Christmas Parade route

Murray Walker and volunteers with the Donaldsonville High School Alumni Association are making sure Donaldsonville has a Christmas parade this year. “Nobody was going to do it, so we decided to step in,” Walker said Monday. The parade rolls at 2 p.m. Saturday, starting at the ball park on Church Street, rolling down Marchand Drive to… Continue reading →

Ascension Civil Court for Dec. 1-5, 2014

Court cases filed in Ascension Parish between Dec. 1-5. Caystin Poche v. Tutorship, tutorship. J G Wentworth Originations LLC, structured settlement. Vernon Nicholas v. Bbt Construction Management LLC and Ahmad Trench, damages. Safeway Insurance Co. of Louisiana v. Lauren Smith and Allstate Insurance Co., subrogation. Deutsche Bank National… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish community photo gallery for Dec. 18, 2014

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Woodlawn's Jenna Lewis tries to keep the ball from St. Amant Friday at The Pit in St. Amant.

The Ascension Advocate this week includes photos from local civic, community and school groups and highlights recent events around Ascension Parish.… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish calendar for Dec. 18-25, 2014

INTRODUCTION TO MICROSOFT EXCEL 2013: 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Ascension Parish Library, Gonzales branch, 708 S. Irma Ave., Gonzales. REINDEER GAMES: 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., Ascension Parish Library, Gonzales branch. TEEN BOOK CLUB: 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Ascension Parish Library, Galvez branch, 40300 La. 42, Prairieville. INTRODUCTION TO MICROSOFT WINDOWS 8:… Continue reading →

Ascension Council on Aging for Dec. 18-25, 2014

Pinto beans with sausage, steamed rice, mustard greens, carrifruit salad, cornbread, oatmeal cookie, milk. PILATES: 8:15 a.m. and 9:15 a.m., Gonzales Senior Center. PIYO: 9 a.m., Donaldsonville Senior Center. BLOOD PRESSURE CHECKS: 10:30 a.m., Donaldsonville. St. Michael Hospice will assist. ZUMBA GOLD: 10:30 a.m., Zumba Gold, Gonzales. CAJUN NEEDLERS: 12:30 p.m., Gonzales.… Continue reading →

Sorrento to sell police department equipment, but 71-year-old police chief still won’t say if she’ll step down

The Town Council voted Tuesday to declare all remaining Police Department items, including office equipment, electronics and even police cruisers, as surplus, a move that will further weaken Chief Fern Barnett’s one-woman Police Department. Adding to Barnett’s situation, one resident publicly called for her resignation during Tuesday’s council meeting, claiming… Continue reading →

Three arrested in burglary of Prairieville business; admit to other burglaries, thefts in surrounding parishes

Matthew Peters, 18, of French Settlement, was arrested Dec. 16, 2014 for burglaries in Ascension Parish.

Two 18-year-olds and a juvenile arrested Tuesday in the burglary of a Prairieville business also are behind a string of other thefts in the area, said Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Tony Bacala. An anonymous tip led detectives to Derek Hayes, 18, and a 16-year-old juvenile who were involved in a… Continue reading →

Governor to name temporary replacement to fill vacancy on Gonzales City Council until special election is held in March

Gonzales Mayor Barney Arceneaux said Monday that the deadline would pass at midnight without the City Council naming a replacement to fill former Councilman Gary Lacombe’s seat, and now it will be up to the governor to make a temporary appointment. “What we’re going to do is let tonight go by”… Continue reading →

Assumption sheriff: Man lands in jail after driving into house, knocking it off the foundation

Joseph Dabadie, 23, of Hammond was arrested Dec. 12, 2014, after the car he was driving ran off a road in Pierre Part and struck a house, knocking it off its foundation. Assumption Parish Sheriff's Office.

A Hammond man was arrested and booked Friday night after driving his vehicle off the road and into a house, knocking the home off its foundation, Assumption Parish Sheriff Mike Waguespack said. Among the counts against Joseph Dabadie, 23, 808 Blackburn Road, are DWI third offense, Waguespack said in a… Continue reading →

Burglar sought in Gonzales area pharmacy break-in

The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office is looking for a person videotaped by surveillance camera who broke into a Gonzales pharmacy early Monday and stole prescription pills and cash, Chief Deputy Tony Bacala said. The person was in Ralph’s Pharmacy on La. 44 for only a brief time, Bacala said in a… Continue reading →

Attorney General’s Office: Gonzales man arrested, accused of possessing child pornography

Everett Carter of Gonzales was arrested Dec. 11, 2014 on 31 counts of possessing child pornography.

Authorities arrested a Gonzales man on 31 counts of possessing pornography involving juveniles, according to Attorney General Buddy Caldwell. Everett Carter, 55, 12093 Roddy Road, Apt. 2, was arrested Dec. 11 after a joint investigation of the state Attorney General’s Office, Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations and the FBI.… Continue reading →

Gonzales man claiming ties to violent ‘patriot’ groups booked in threat on city worker

Advocate staff photo by ELLYN COUVILLION --  Pictured is a sign in the window of the Gonzales home of Brandon Gibbs, at 413 W. Pine St., Apt. A, Gonzales, who was arrested last week, accused of making a threatening call to a Gonzales City Hall worker.

A Gonzales man claiming ties to the Oath Keepers and Sovereign Citizens movements that have had deadly run-ins with law enforcement landed in jail this month after he threatened to shoot any Gonzales employee who stepped foot on his property because the city had turned off his water, police said.… Continue reading →

Man accused in Ascension Parish fatal crash released on bond Friday

The man accused of crashing his car into a car of sisters on their way to school Tuesday, causing the death of the youngest sister, was released on bond from Ascension Parish Jail on Friday afternoon, the Sheriff’s Office said. Bail for Dwight Perrilloux III, 19, was set at $151,144. Perrilloux, of Reserve,… Continue reading →

Woman claims in suit state road condition led to her daughter’s deadly wreck

The mother of a 25-year-old Sorrento woman killed in a February head-on crash on La. 931 has filed a wrongful death suit against the state highway department over the safety of the two-lane highway in Ascension Parish. Rhonda Sehon claims the Nissan Maxima that her daughter, Ramsey A. O’Gwynn, was driving veered into… Continue reading →

Friends, parishioners mourn loss of priest who died from bicycle fall

Father Clarence Waguespack

The priest and staff of St. Joseph the Worker Church are preparing for an overflow of parishioners, friends and family for the funeral service Saturday of a beloved, longtime priest, who had only recently retired. “The church holds 500, (but) there will be twice that many here,” said the Rev. Al… Continue reading →

Festival of the Bonfires starts Friday in St. James Parish

Seventy pots of gumbo — seafood, chicken and andouille, and red bean — will be cooking Friday to start the annual Festival of the Bonfires in St. James Parish this weekend. The three-day festival at Lutcher Park celebrates the holiday season and St. James’ tradition of Christmas Eve bonfires on the Mississippi… Continue reading →

Woman indicted after getting $28,800 for trailer destroyed in Hurricane Gustav, but feds say she sold it a year earlier

A federal grand jury indicted a Napoleonville woman Thursday on charges she lied to a federal agent in 2012 about the loss of her trailer during Hurricane Gustav four years earlier. Cherkissa Jackson, 42, collected nearly $30,000 in post-hurricane federal assistance on the trailer that she said was lost in the storm, though… Continue reading →

Ascension police search for runaway teenager

Austin Boudreaux, 17, is being sought as a runaway. Dec. 11, 2014. Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office.

The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office is looking for a Prairieville teenager believed to have run away from home, Sheriff’s Lt. Col. Bobby Webre said. Austin Boudreaux, 17, was last seen about 6 p.m. Dec. 5 when he walked out of his house off Duplessis Road in Prairieville, saying he had personal issues… Continue reading →

Man wanted in Ascension Parish arrested after employees in Baton Rouge jewelry store recognize him

Joshua Crisotomo of Vancouver, Washington was arrested by Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office Dec. 9, 2014 for burglaries in the parish.

Employees of an East Baton Rouge Parish jewelry store who recognized a customer Tuesday as a man wanted in Ascension Parish for burglaries tipped off the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, which led to the man’s arrest, said Chief Deputy Tony Bacala, with the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office. Joshua Crisostomo, 33, Vancouver,… Continue reading →

Mother, daughter arrested after deputies find drugs in car during traffic stop

Christina Grosse, 33, was arrested by Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office for possession of meth, Dec. 10, 2014.

A routine traffic stop Tuesday of a car with a headlight out led to the arrests of a mother and daughter after deputies found they had methamphetamine in the vehicle, Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Tony Bacala said. When deputies stopped the car in Prairieville, Terry Grosse, 54, and her daughter Christina Grosse,… Continue reading →

Developer of troubled Prairieville cemetery has criminal past

Advocate file photo by Heather McClelland --  George Bonfanti was the manager of new Prairieville cemetary, Oak Lane Memorial Park. Bofanti is pictured here June 25, 2009.

Ascension deputies seek help in identifying man they say attempted to break into a house, used a stolen ATM card

The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office is looking for this man, who tried to break into a Prairieville home on Nov. 30, 2014.

The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office is working to identify a man videotaped by surveillance cameras while attempting to break into a home and while trying to use a stolen ATM card at a convenience store, said Lt. Col. Bobby Webre, with the Sheriff’s Office. The man was videotaped Nov. 30 outside a… Continue reading →

Parish explores options for road work

Ascension Parish Paving Projects by Street

The train of big construction vehicles inched along one side of two-lane Manchac Acres Road one morning this month as contractors moved forward with a major rework of the parish road in northern Ascension. Workers with F.G. Sullivan Jr. Contractor are repaving 1.9 miles of Manchac Acres north of La. 42 and had… Continue reading →

Seniors enjoy Gonzales Senior Citizens Christmas party

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Prairieville's Calvin Braud, 79, dances with his friend Virley Lanoux, 83, of St. Amant, Tuesday at the 30th annual Gonzales Senior Citizens Christmas party,  at the Gonzales Civic Center. At left are Carnell Fontenot, 74, and his wife Delores Fontenot, 70, and  at right, Stanley Dixon, 77, and his wife Gwen Dixon, 75, all from Gonzales.

The 30th annual Ascension Parish Senior Citizens Christmas party was held Tuesday at the Gonzales Civic Center. Seniors enjoyed food, dancing and a visit from Santa.… Continue reading →

Senior gardeners bring beds to their level

Advocate staff photo by KATE STEVENS -- Judy and Leroy Cook inspect their green onions using the 'senior gardening' method.

Leroy Cook calls it “senior gardening,” a method of raising his garden beds waist-high to allow him and his wife, Judy, to continue gardening without as much physical wear and tear on their bodies. Lifelong gardeners, the Cooks realized they needed to scale back their favorite fruitful hobby as the years crept by,… Continue reading →

Around Ascension for Dec. 11, 2014

Gonzales Christmas Parade route

Calling all shoppers. Sheriff Jeff Wiley is looking for volunteer shoppers to fill the Christmas list of hundreds of area children in his Christmas Crusade for Children program. Anyone interested in helping out is asked to meet at the Gonzales Wal-Mart at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 11, near the grocery entrance. Volunteers will receive family… Continue reading →

Donaldsonville City Council tackles grave issue

City Council members voted Tuesday to settle a legal dispute with a local landowner over access to graves near a local cemetery, pending legal review. The issue stems from a February sale of the 198-foot-by-62-foot property along St. Patrick Street by the city to local resident Gary Crochet. Part of the property,… Continue reading →