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Ascension Parish assistant Denise Graves recommended as interim superintendent during national search

A longtime Ascension Parish school system employee, who is also one of two assistant superintendents, has been recommended to be the district’s interim superintendent after Patrice Pujol retires March 1. Denise Graves, who serves as an assistant schools superintendent along with Steve Westbrook, was recommended by the School Board’s executive… Continue reading →

Ascension Sheriff: One of two men arrested in Prairieville home invasion knew about drugs, cash in home’s safe

Daryl Mitchell Jr.

Two 18-year-old men were arrested Friday in the Jan. 13 home invasion on Old Perkins Place Avenue in Prairieville, according to the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office. The homeowner told sheriff’s deputies she was leaving for work shortly after 7:30 a.m. when two men outside her house forced her back inside, a sheriff’s news release says.… Continue reading →

Assumption deputies: Woman arrested after shooting man in the face in domestic dispute

Frances Boudreaux, left, Heather Guillory

A woman shot a man in the face during a domestic dispute Monday night, and while investigating the shooting, deputies uncovered a methamphetamine lab in the home where the injured man was being cared for until help arrived, Assumption Parish sheriff’s deputies said Thursday. Frances Boudreaux, 31, who previously had been in… Continue reading →

CRISIS recommends regional projects to unclog traffic congestion in Capital City; biggest benefit would come from new Mississippi River bridge

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --Like a savior rising from the mist, the Old U.S. 190 Bridge ferries traffic Tuesday as the new I-10 Bridge crosses the Mississippi River in the background. The Capital Region Industry for Sustainable Infrastructure Solutions, a business group lobbying for  fixes to Baton Rouge gridlock, argued improving traffic capacity over the river presents the greatest benefit for the cost. Routing more traffic to the under-used 190 Bridge is one way the group says that goal can be accomplished. A new bridge is the other.

A business and industry group lobbying for major upgrades to the Baton Rouge region’s transportation grid on Tuesday identified $3 billion in key highway improvements it says would unclog the capital city’s perennially stalled roads. The cost-benefit analysis from CRISIS says multiple projects are needed, but the highest benefit would come from boosting highway capacity over… Continue reading →

Mentors speak to boys about their futures

Advocate staff photo by Darlene Denstorff -- FBI Supervisory Special Agent Deron F. Ogletree, center, plays a card game Friday with fifth-graders at Lowery Elementary School as part of the Young Men of Character program. He used the game to talk to the children about what happens when FBI agents investigate a crime.

An FBI agent, longtime health care administrator and the mayor-president of East Baton Rouge Parish encouraged fifth-grade boys at Lowery Elementary School to listen to their teachers, work hard in school and stay out of trouble. The speakers were part of the Young Men of Character mentoring program Friday at the school.… Continue reading →

Around Ascension for Feb. 4, 2016

Talent Visual Arts students from the first through 12th grades of the Ascension Parish Gifted and Talented Program are featured in “Through Younger Eyes,” an exhibit at the Gonzales Branch of Ascension Public Library through Feb. 27. Library hours are 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30… Continue reading →

Ascension Athletics for Feb. 4, 2016

Lyle Johnson

The Catholic High Bears took advantage of playing at home Saturday by taking the championship trophy at the conclusion of the 47th Greater Baton Rouge City Wrestling tournament. Twelve teams and their wrestlers made it into the championship round. The Bears won four of the individual titles and held off the St. Amant Gators for the team championship by… Continue reading →

Student’s legacy lives on in endowment fund

Claire Carline

The Ascension Fund recently announced the Claire Carline Memorial Endowment Fund, which will provide grants to Ascension Parish public school teachers to provide creative and innovative methods of learning in the classroom. The endowment was created at the request of friends of the Carline family in memory of Claire Alyssa Carline, who died in a car accident… Continue reading →

Motorcycle riding, safety tips on tap at state program

Motorcyclists can pick up riding and safety tips through a program offered by the Department of Public Safety. In an effort to increase motorcycle safety and awareness across the state, the department’s Motorcycle Safety, Awareness and Operator Training Program offers basic, intermediate, advanced and instructor training courses and promotes motorcycle awareness projects, a news… Continue reading →

Ascension leader issues flood insurance reminder

Photo provided by Lester Kenyon -- Only the top half of a fire hydrant on East Silverleaf Street in Gonzales was visible during a heavy rain event that hit Ascension Parish and the surrounding area in May 2014.

Ascension Parish President Kenny Matassa is reminding parish residents to buy flood insurance as soon as possible. “Every resident and business owner in Ascension Parish is at some level of flood risk,” Matassa said. “Flood insurance is available to help reduce the financial impact of a flood whether your building is in a high flood risk area,… Continue reading →

Donaldsonville senior offered scholarship

Photo provided by Kim Guidry -- Tahj Brown

Donaldsonville High School sophomore linebacker Tahj Brown recently was offered an athletic scholarship to play football at Jackson State. The 15-year-old received the offer Jan. 20, a news release from DHS said. Brown has been playing football since he was 6 years old and said he realized he was a good athlete after a growth spurt… Continue reading →

Gala raises $125,000 for cancer patients

Photo provided by Scott Miller -- Sheriff Jeff Wiley, left, and State Rep. Johnny Berthelot were the auctioneers for the Gonzales Gala benefiting Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center.

Ascension Parish helped raise more than $125,000 to benefit local patients being treated at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Gonzales at the inaugural Gonzales Gala held Jan. 16 at Houmas House Plantation and Gardens. Guests at the sold-out gala enjoyed dinner, a live auction, musical entertainment and updates from speakers on the cancer center’s progress and… Continue reading →

Ascension youths graduate from National Guard’s youth program

Cadets from Ascension Parish were among the 201 cadets to graduate from the Louisiana National Guard Youth Challenge Program at Camp Minden during a ceremony at the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium on Jan. 23. Hannah Knowles, of Luling, was valedictorian and Bickham Crooks, of Gonzales, was salutatorian. Taylor Eschete, of Houma, was Cadet of the Cycle and… Continue reading →

Louisiana Tech University announces honor lists

Louisiana Tech University in Ruston recently announced its fall quarter president’s and dean’s honor lists. Students with at least a 3.8 GPA on a minimum of nine semester hours completed, with no grade lower than a B, are named to the president’s list. Dean’s honor list students must earn at least a 3.5 GPA with no… Continue reading →

St. Amant to welcome incoming freshmen

St. Amant High School will hold its Incoming Freshman Night at 6 p.m. Feb. 17. There will be a browsing session of many of the clubs and organizations available to students, followed by a brief presentation about the Freshman Academy and the transition to high school.… Continue reading →

Ascension Fund seeks educator grant requests

The Ascension Fund is accepting grant applications from all educators within the Ascension Parish public school system for the upcoming school year. Grants are open to all fields of study with the intent to support innovative and creative methods of learning for our students, a news release said. Two types of grants are offered: individual… Continue reading →

East Ascension tops St. Amant, secures district title

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- East Ascension's Blaire Laiche (5), left, celebrates with teammate Maylen Mire (1) after Laiche scored a goal in the second half against St. Amant Jan. 28 at East Ascension High School in Gonzales. East Ascension won 3-1.

The Spartan girls went into their match with St. Amant needing only a tie to secure their first district title in three years. They did a little better than a tie, posting a 3-1 win over the Gators. The Spartans were ranked ninth in the latest LHSAA power rankings. St. Amant was ranked… Continue reading →

Talented Central students put on Winter Showcase

Photo provided by Trey Veazey -- The Central Primary School Arts and Letters Guild presented its Winter Showcase, ‘Winter Lights,’ on Dec. 18. The showcase featured vocal, dance and theatrical performances.

The Arts and Letters Guild at Central Primary School in Gonzales presented its Winter Showcase, titled “Winter Lights,” on Dec. 18 to a capacity crowd. Featuring vocal, dance and theatrical performances, the company was made up of students from first through fifth grade who were selected for their high aptitude in the arts. Company members… Continue reading →

Poirrier tapped to lead AEDC directors’ board

The Ascension Economic Development Corp. elected Dwight D. Poirrier as chairman, Don Hanna as vice chairman and Dolores “Dee” LeJeune as secretary/treasurer at its Board of Directors meeting Jan. 20. Poirrier is an attorney who represents clients in governmental and business matters. He was a founding member of AEDC and has served on the board since 2006.… Continue reading →

Alexander leaves Ascension schools post

Photo provided by Jackie Tisdell -- David Alexander retired Jan. 22 as director of secondary education for Ascension Public Schools.

After 31 years in public education, David Alexander retired Jan. 22 as director of secondary education for Ascension public schools. He is entering the private sector at the Pelican Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors as director of education. “I have been one of the fortunate ones who had a passion for a job that matched… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish calendar for Feb. 4-11, 2016

LIBRARY BOOK CLUB: noon to 1 p.m., Ascension Parish Library Donaldsonville branch, 500 Mississippi Road. LIBRARY BOOK CLUB: 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Ascension Parish Library Dutchtown, 13278 La. 73, Geismar; Gonzales, 708 S. Irma Blvd.; and Galvez branch, 40300 La. 42, Prairieville. LOSS AND GRIEF SUPPORT MEETING: 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., St. Elizabeth… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish school lunches for Feb. 4-11, 2016

Salisbury steak with gravy, mashed potatoes, seasoned peas, glazed carrots, apple halves/whole, whole-wheat roll, milk. SANDWICH: Chicken tenders. Roasted chicken, spaghetti and cheese, green beans, salad cup, fruity applesauce, cupcake. CHOICE: Taco salad or smackers.… Continue reading →

Ascension Council on Aging for Feb. 4-11, 2016

Chopped steak with gravy, mashed potatoes, Southern green beans, whole-wheat bread, margarine, mixed fruit. ACOA ANNUAL MARDI GRAS PARTY AND MARDI GRAS FLOAT CONTEST: 9 a.m., Gonzales Senior Center. Tuna salad sandwich or turkey and cheese sandwich on whole-wheat bread, vegetable soup, winter-blend vegetables, peach… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish police bookings for Jan. 21-28, 2016

The following people were booked into the Ascension Parish prison from Jan. 21 through Jan. 28. AUZENNE, CLINTON JOHN, JR.: 33, 38288 La. 621, Gonzales, probation violation. BENNETT, MARLON W.: 42, 39273 Cornerview Road, Gonzales, failure to appear in court, battery of a police officer. COCO, QUINCHADER SHERRELL: 21, 320 W. Bordelon St.,… Continue reading →

Ascension Civil Court for Jan. 11-15, 2016

Court cases filed in Ascension Parish between Jan. 11-15. Louisiana Federal Credit Union v. Taylor A. Lagrange, executory judgment. All Star Cabinets and Millworks Inc. v. Ronnie Howard Construction Inc, executory judgment. Karen Simoneaux v. Hanover American Insurance Co., damages. Neighbors Federal Credit Union v. Donald S. Robinson and… Continue reading →

Ascension Finance Committee recommends apparent low bid on new fire station on Bluff Road at Alligator Bayou Road

Advocate Staff Photo by David J. Mitchell -- A car turns from Alligator Bayou Road onto Bluff Road Monday afternoon in Ascension Parish in front of the future site of a new fire station for the Prairieville Fire Department. An Ascension Parish Council committee backed the low bid of $1.44 million on Monday night.  The fire department, which is supported with parish sales tax and millage revenues, has been adding or renovating stations the past few years to keep up with growth in the northern end of Ascension.

A fifth fire station for the Prairieville Fire Department took an important step toward reality Monday when a key Ascension Parish committee gave its blessing to the project’s contractor. Fire officials are eyeing a new station at the southwestern corner of Bluff Road and Alligator Bayou Road just west of Interstate 10.… Continue reading →

State Police cite but don’t fine Geismar plant in Sept. 3 explosion that left four injured

GONZALES — Louisiana State Police cited but did not fine Renewable Energy Group for a hydrogen gas explosion and fire in September at its Ascension Parish biodiesel plant that blew a worker off an I-beam and severely burned others. The explosion was the second to occur at the Geismar facility in a five-month period in… Continue reading →

‘Swamp People’ star offers $1,000 reward for information that leads to arrest in canal gate damage

Troy Landry of Pierre Part from the reality TV show 'Swamp People,' a show that follows several Louisiana alligator hunters. Photo provided by History

Troy “Choot ‘em” Landry, of “Swamp People” — the cable television show that follows Louisiana alligator hunters — is offering $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest of the person responsible for damage to a gate he owns on a canal south of Bayou Tranquil, the Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office reports.… Continue reading →

Superintendent of Ascension Parish schools announces retirement, School Board gets ready to launch search for replacement

Advocate staff file photo by John Oubre -- Superintendent Patrice Pujol gives remarks  during Donaldsonville High School's graduation ceremony in May 2014.

Ascension Parish School Board members will begin next week planning the search for a new superintendent after Patrice Pujol announced Wednesday she is retiring March 1. Pujol, who’s been with the school district for 39 years, the last six as superintendent, will become the president of the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching based in Santa… Continue reading →

School system tax revenues increase

Sales tax revenues for the Ascension Parish School System in December were a healthy $6.3 million, 11 percent higher than budgeted, but that level of sales tax income won’t be there forever. Diane Allison, director of business services for the school system, said at the parish School Board meeting on Tuesday that,… Continue reading →

Mayor answers questions about park

Rendering provided by City of Donaldsonville -- Plans for the renovation of Donaldsonville's Crescent Park include updating the park's greenspace, adding a brick walkway that will bear the city's logo and erecting both a new iron fence around the front of the park and a new pavilion. The project is part of the city's master plan to renovate its frontage along the Mississippi River.

Mayor Leroy Sullivan Sr. on Tuesday responded to questions raised by some residents about upgrades to Crescent Park and the removal of trees along the park perimeter. Councilman Emile Spano posed the questions, which he said were asked of him by constituents concerned about work at the park along Veterans Memorial Boulevard,… Continue reading →

Around Ascension for Jan. 28, 2016

“War Room” (PG) is the featured film for Ladies’ Movie Night at First Baptist Church, 1217 S. Burnside Ave., in Gonzales, at 6:30 p.m. Friday. There is no charge to attend. No child care is available. Seventh-graders and older are welcome. Email women@fbcg.net or call (225) 647-8575.… Continue reading →

Ascension Athletics for Jan. 28, 2016

Photo by Lyle Johnson -- The town fox makes an early morning appearance for us to take in.

Here’s a basketball roundup from recent court action. A SCENSION CATHOLIC: Hot-shooting Kaleb Winchester led the ACHS Bulldogs (5-14, 3-3) to a 76-73 win over the Ascension Christian Lions (1-20, 0-6) in a hotly contested thriller on Jan. 22. Winchester led all scorers in the game with 30 points without hitting… Continue reading →

Southeastern names Ascension students to honors list

Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond has named students from Ascension Parish among the 4,279 students on its honors list for the fall 2015 semester. The honors list is divided into three academic levels. To be named to the president’s list, students must have earned a 3.5 or better GPA. Students on the dean’s list have earned a… Continue reading →

Winners named in Ascension livestock show

Winners of the 2016 Ascension Parish 4-H/FFA Junior Livestock Show, held Jan. 14-16 at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales, are: MARKET GOATS: Grand Champion, Desiree Falgout; and Reserve Grand Champion, Damien Gautreaux.… Continue reading →

DECA members work at Christmas movie night

Photo provided by Rae Broussard -- Victoria Stewart, Jordan Hollier, Brennan Trahn, Catherine Carpenter, Volunteer Ascension member Gwendolyn Price, Alurah Williams, Alicia Braud, Paige Wilson, Lillie Pastorick and Natalee Williams, from left, gather for a photo during a movie night in Gonzales' Jambalaya Park on Dec. 12.

St. Amant High School’s DECA group sold cookies and hot chocolate at a movie night hosted by Volunteer Ascension on Dec. 12 at Jambalaya Park in Gonzales. The night featured Christmas movies as well as real snow for children to play in. DECA members participating included Victoria Stewart, Catherine Carpenter, Paige Wilson, Starla Strait, Alurah Williams, Lillie… Continue reading →