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Around the Westside for July 1, 2015

The Plaquemine Main Street Program is geared up to host its 15th annual Fourth of July Hometown Celebration this Saturday with a variety of events kicking off at 2 p.m. and lasting until 9 p.m. The family-oriented festival, which will feature a boat parade, live music, games and rides for children, includes a free admission… Continue reading →

Pointe Coupee School Board halts pending lawsuit against the state, bids farewell to Superintendent Linda D’Amico

Advocate  Staff Photo by  Mark Saltz   August 4, 2009  Trax # 00018156a Super Search Linda D'Amico mugshot as the Pointe Coupee School Board interviews five finalist for the Superintendent job on August 4, 2009.

The Pointe Coupee Parish School Board on Thursday put the brakes on pending litigation to recoup more than $1 million from the state’s Recovery School District, which the school district intended to use for much-needed repairs at Pointe Coupee Central High School. The board made the unanimous decision after… Continue reading →

Around the Westside for June 24

Tickets are now on sale for a community appreciation prayer breakfast being held in honor of retiring Pointe Coupee Parish School Superintendent Linda D’Amico. The community prayer breakfast, at 7 a.m. Tuesday, is being hosted by the False River/New Roads Rotary Club. Tickets to the breakfast, taking place at the Scott Civic Center, are $250 for… Continue reading →

Addis girl, 1, electrocuted after touching exposed wires of air conditioning unit at apartment complex, authorities say

A 1-year-old Addis girl was electrocuted Monday while playing with other children outside the apartment complex where she lived, according to authorities in West Baton Rouge Parish. Yancy Guerin, chief investigator with the West Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office, said he believes Kristiana Tillman sustained the fatal injuries about 3 p.m. when she… Continue reading →

Boil water advisory issued for Port Allen residents

A boil-water advisory was issued Saturday afternoon for the residents of Port Allen until further notice. The water has tested positive for E. coli, said Chief Administrative Officer Adrian Genre. E. coli is a type of bacteria that normally inhabits the intestines of humans and animals, according to medical dictionaries, the ingestion of which through tainted… Continue reading →

Police: Victim, suspect argued before shooting

The New Roads Police Department is investigating the death of a man who was fatally shot Friday morning after getting into an argument with his suspected shooter. Authorities Friday afternoon had yet to release the name of the victim or the suspect, but Police Chief Kevin McDonald anticipates an arrest will be made.… Continue reading →

Around the Westside for June 17, 2015

The West Baton Rouge Museum is currently hosting “When the Cannon Fell Silent,” an exhibit commemorating the sesquicentennial of the end of the American Civil War. The exhibit, which runs through Aug. 16, features a collection of original Civil War prints that includes works published by Frank Leslie. Leslie commissioned 20 skilled artists to sketch… Continue reading →

Parents who waged unsuccessful fight to keep North Iberville High open file application to start new charter school

Advocate file photo by Arthur D. Lauck --  North Iberville High School shut down at end of the 2009 school year.

The closing of North Iberville High School in 2009 was a bitter pill for parents and community leaders who sued the Iberville Parish School District in an unsuccessful attempt to keep the school open. Now, they’re using a different approach to achieve essentially the same objective by applying to open a new charter school somewhere… Continue reading →

Port Allen Council majority stands firm in opposing payment of outstanding legal bills for firm that represented recalled mayor ‘Deedy’ Slaughter

Left, Demetric 'Deedy' Slaughter; Audrey McCain

A majority of the City Council on Wednesday refused to have the city pay more than $50,000 in outstanding legal fees to the Baton Rouge law firm that represented former mayor Demetric “Deedy” Slaughter in the wrongful termination lawsuit filed by the city’s chief financial officer, Audrey McCain. Councilmen Hugh “Hootie”… Continue reading →

Top officials in West Baton Rouge, Iberville looking to gubernatorial candidates for answers to traffic woes

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Drivers are greeted by slow-moving traffic on the Mississippi River Bridge for eastbound Interstate 10, Friday, July 25, 2014 in West Baton Rouge near exit 153 for north and southbound LA 1.

Top elected officials in West Baton Rouge and Iberville say they are looking toward Louisiana’s upcoming governor’s race for answers on how to ease growing traffic frustrations plaguing the west bank of the Mississippi River and the larger capital region. Any hopes something might happen sooner were dashed by the Louisiana House’s Continue reading →

Around the Westside for June 10, 2015

The Iberville Parish School Board will hold its next meeting at the St. Gabriel Community Center on July 13 while renovations are underway at the board’s meeting chambers inside the school district’s main office in Plaquemine. But the decision to relocate the meeting across the parish was met with some resistance Monday night from board members who… Continue reading →

Iberville School Board severs longstanding agreement with nonprofit St. Gabriel Health Clinic to provide services at two east bank schools

The Iberville Parish School Board voted Monday night to sever its more than 20-year arrangement with the St. Gabriel Health Clinic, activating the 60-day termination clause of its agreement with the nonprofit, which operates health clinics at two east bank schools. The board’s 7-1 vote came a month after a majority of… Continue reading →

Attorney says Port Allen still owes his firm $52,000 for representing former Port Allen Mayor Deedy Slaughter in wrongful termination lawsuit

Left, Demetric 'Deedy' Slaughter; Audrey McCain

The lingering effects of the wrongful termination lawsuit Chief Financial Officer Audrey McCain filed against former mayor Demetric “Deedy” Slaughter resurfaced Wednesday night when an attorney confronted the City Council about $52,000 in outstanding legal expenses he says the city owes his firm. Dennis Blunt, a partner with Baton Rouge law… Continue reading →

As jury is almost seated, Plaquemine man decides to plead guilty in execution style slaying of friend at fishing camp

Detrell Scott

A 22-year-old man accused of robbing and fatally shooting his friend unexpectedly flipped the script during trial proceedings Wednesday, deciding to plead guilty to the crime just moments before lawyers were about to seat the final members of the jury. Moments later, a state district court judge sentenced Detrell… Continue reading →

Port Allen budget proposal calls for pay raises, body cameras for police

Advocate staff file photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Port Allen City Hall

City leaders are mulling over an $8.4 million proposed budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year that includes the purchase of body cameras for Port Allen police, a 4 percent across-the-board pay raise for full-time employees and a proposal from the mayor to implement longevity pay increases for longtime city workers. The… Continue reading →

Around the Westside for June 3

PC School Board rejects charter application The Pointe Coupee Parish School Board last week unanimously rejected an application from a nonprofit group looking to create a new Type 1 charter school in the parish. The board’s May 28 decision was driven by a third-party review of the application from Educo Learning Inc. which highlighted a… Continue reading →

Changes at Pointe Coupee courthouse made to increase security after judge complains of courtroom clashes

Photo provided by GoogleMaps -- Pointe Coupee Parish Courthouse

Pointe Coupee Parish officials implemented several changes at the parish courthouse in New Roads this week in an effort to improve security. Anyone entering the courthouse, whenever court hearings are taking place, will only be able to do so at the courthouse’s front entrance. Visitors will have to show identification and sign in before they… Continue reading →

New Plaquemine police officer leaves force after three months; accused of having sex with 15-year-old girl when he was 17 years old

Chance Martinez

A former Plaquemine police officer was arrested and booked into the Iberville Parish jail Wednesday on two counts of misdemeanor carnal knowledge of a juvenile. Chance Martinez, 18, was accused of having sex with a 15-year-old female when he was 17 years old, a police release said Friday. The release… Continue reading →

Iberville sheriff: Teacher Keavin Keith might have been seen in public with student he fathered child with

Keavin Keith

DNA results confirmed Friday that an Iberville Parish teacher who already admitted to having sexual relationships with three of his students did father a child with one of the girls when she was 15 years old, Sheriff Brett Stassi said. Keavin Keith, 30, was arrested late Monday and booked into the Iberville Parish… Continue reading →

Pointe Coupee gearing up for improved 911 service, but needs help from residents whose homes don’t have posted street addresses

The Pointe Coupee Parish 911 system is set to take what officials describe as a “quantum leap” into the future, thanks to a $300,000 upgrade that will allow operators to pinpoint call locations from cellphones. The upgrade comes at a time when the Pointe Coupee Parish Police Jury is launching a monthlong… Continue reading →

New info: DNA confirms teacher Keavin Keith fathered student's child, Iberville sheriff says

Keavin Keith

Latest info: DNA results confirmed Friday that an Iberville Parish teacher did father a child with one of the girls when she was 15 years old. ---- An Iberville Parish teacher who has admitted to police that he had sexual relationships with three students fathered a child with the first victim when she… Continue reading →

Dow Louisiana foundation to donate $200,000 for West Baton Rouge school system STEM program

Dow Louisiana Operations announced Wednesday the company’s foundation is committing $200,000 to the West Baton Rouge Parish school system to establish its own science, technology, engineering and mathematics academy this fall. West Baton Rouge’s STEM programs will be offered at Brusly and Port Allen high schools starting in August, exposing… Continue reading →

Union Pacific officials promise full investigation of Addis train derailment that prompted evacuation order

Photo provided by Addis Police Department -- Addis train derailment on Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Union Pacific Railroad officials plan to conduct a full investigation into what caused four rail cars transporting hazardous chemicals to topple off the tracks near Peter Messina Road on Tuesday afternoon, company officials said. The derailment prompted an overnight evacuation of houses in the surrounding neighborhoods that were located within… Continue reading →

Plaquemine police searching for pair who scammed elderly victim

The Plaquemine Police Department is requesting the publics help with the identification of two individuals responsible for committing an elaborate scam against an elderly victim. During the incident, the two suspects coerced the victim into withdrawing a large amount of cash money from a local bank and then committed a theft of the money as they distracted the victim. Anyone with information regarding the identification and/or whereabouts of the persons involved are urged to contact the Plaquemine Police Department at 225-687-9273.

The Plaquemine Police Department is seeking the public’s help in identifying two men they say are responsible for an elaborate scam targeting a senior citizen. Authorities say the pair persuaded the man into withdrawing a large amount of cash from a local bank and that one of the men distracted the victim while the… Continue reading →

Update: Evacuation, shelter-in-place orders lifted overnight for Addis subdivisions near tanker derailment

Photo provided by Addis Police Department -- Addis train derailment on Tuesday, May 19, 2015

esidents of two subdivisions within 1,000 feet of where four chemical tankers derailed Tuesday afternoon. The decision to impose a mandatory evacuation was made around 4 p.m., while crews worked to right the toppled rail cars, and affected residents of the… Continue reading →

Iberville teacher arrested, admitted having sex with students, sheriff says

Keavin Keith

Iberville Parish school officials said they were shocked Tuesday by the arrest of one of the district’s top teachers on 37 counts related to inappropriate sexual relationships with three students. Keavin Keith, 30, was booked into the Iberville Parish Jail on Tuesday on 30 counts of prohibited sexual conduct between an educator and a student,… Continue reading →

Iberville authorities zeroing in on ticket scam that kept relatives from seeing their loved ones graduate at Plaquemine High

The Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office on Monday was given the name of two individuals who school officials believe were involved with distributing the batch of counterfeit tickets that soured Plaquemine High’s graduation ceremony last week when relatives with actual tickets were locked out of the event to prevent overcrowding. Authorities would not release those… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge judge rules use of tax dollars to fund certain charter schools is proper

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Attorney Mark Beebe for the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools enters the 19th JDC for a hearing where the case concerning charter school funding was thrown out by State District Judge Wilson Fields. Of the flow of state money to 33 BESE-authorized charter schools, seven of those schools are in EBR, six are in Orleans, three in Lafayette and two in Jefferson. Plaintiffs plan to appeal.

Louisiana education officials are declaring as a “major victory” a state judge’s ruling Friday that they are properly using tax dollars to fund the operations of certain types of charter schools. Baton Rouge Judge Wilson Fields found the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Louisiana Department of EducationContinue reading →

Familiar divide on Port Allen council crops up Wednesday in votes related to rocky tenure of Deedy Slaughter

There was a familiar divide among City Council members Wednesday night on several legal matters related to the contentious 11-month tenure of former Mayor Demetric “Deedy” Slaughter. The first was the council’s 3-2 vote to award Chief Financial Officer Audrey McCain $112,500 in a settlement of the wrongful termination… Continue reading →

St. Gabriel police chief’s son arrested on unrelated gun charge in wake of double fatal shooting

Kevin Ambeau Jr.

The 25-year-old son of St. Gabriel’s police chief was arrested Wednesday after investigators found a stolen gun in the trailer where he’s suspected of fatally shooting two brothers he and his cousin got into physical altercations with on Mother’s Day. The stolen gun authorities confiscated from Kevin Ambeau Jr., the police chief’s son,… Continue reading →

Around the Westside for May 13, 2015

Plaquemine residents can soon expect savings of about $60 a year on their electrical bills thanks to a rate reduction city officials adopted in April. The rates were reduced as the result of the June closure of the Plaquemine steam plant and three other power plants operated by the Louisiana Energy and Power Authority.… Continue reading →

Pointe Coupee taps Lemoine as next school superintendent

Advocate file photo by BILL FEIG - Ronald Kevin Lemoine

Ronald Kevin Lemoine, acting superintendent of the special school district for the Louisiana Department of Education, is set to step in as Pointe Coupee Parish’s next school superintendent He was chosen to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of superintendent Linda D’Amico. The Pointe Coupee Parish School Board voted unanimously Monday… Continue reading →

St. Gabriel police chief’s son fired shots that left 2 men dead late Sunday, sheriff says

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Authorities continue to investigate Monday morning the scene of a double homicide at a trailer park late Sunday night in St. Gabriel. State Police crime scene investigators gather evidence from bullet exit holes in the back wall of a mobile home Monday morning.

Authorities say it appears the son of the city’s police chief was trying to defend his girlfriend’s home Sunday night when he fatally shot two brothers allegedly trying to get inside to confront a man with whom they had two fistfights earlier that night. But exactly why the fights started is… Continue reading →

Ventress cylist dies of injuries from Sunday accident near New Roads

A 62-year-old Ventress man died Wednesday from injuries he suffered in a Sunday afternoon motorcycle crash in Pointe Coupee Parish, State Police said. Donald R. Major was driving a 2009 Yamaha motorcycle at 1:45 p.m. Sunday on La. 415 when the crash occurred, said Sgt. Jared Sandifer, a State Police spokesman. Major was on La.… Continue reading →

Four arrested for allegedly helping suspect in Pointe Coupee slaying evade authorities; man later shot deputy U.S. Marshal

Michelle Farris

The Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested four more people late Tuesday accused of helping a man wanted for murder evade authorities for several weeks before he fatally shot a deputy U.S. marshal at a motel in Baton Rouge in March. “They just kept hiding him and financing his escape… Continue reading →

Kenny Payne named interim police chief as Plaquemine officials mourn the death of Orian Gulotta

Kenny Payne, Orian Gulotta

The Board of Selectmen unanimously appointed Kenny Payne to serve as the interim police chief in the wake of police chief Orian Gulotta’s death. Payne, who served as Gulotta’s second in command since 2002, will lead the Police Department until the city holds a special election Oct. 24 to fill the position… Continue reading →