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Sorrento still struggling to find insurance for police department

Advocate photo by Kate Stevens -- Sorrento Town Council members Patti Poche, left, Marvin Martin, second from left,  Donald Schexnaydre far right, and Mayor Mike Lambert, second from right, discuss the agenda at Tuesday's council meeting.

Solar panels may cut Lamar-Dixon Expo Center’s power costs by 10 percent

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Workers with Sunora Energy Solutions prepare Monday the grid of wires and support braces to hold solar panels on the roof of Barn 4 at Lamar-Dixon Expo Center near Gonzales. Ascension Parish government, which owns the expo center, is having six solar arrays like this one installed on barn roofs under a $1.25 million mitigation project being paid for by utility NRG Energy Inc. The parish hopes the panels, which create enough juice to power 39 homes for a year, will save 10 percent of the expo center's annual electrical costs.

Horizontal electrical wires and vertical metal support braces formed two rectangular grids on Monday on the south-facing roof of a livestock barn at Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Ascension Parish. The wires and braces were waiting for what sat in the big cardboard box along the edge of the barn’s roof: new Chinese-made solar… Continue reading →

Deputies search for man who flees drug deal, discards gun

Jyrah Bringier

The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office is searching for a convicted felon who fled from a suspected drug deal in Donaldsonville last week, leaving behind a handgun, Chief Deputy Tony Bacala said. Jyrah Bringier, 22, 128 Elizabeth St., Donaldsonville, remains at large and is wanted on counts of possession of a firearm by a… Continue reading →

Mark Peters bows out of Ascension Parish School Board race

Mark Peters, of Gonzales, one of three candidates for the District 3 seat on the Ascension Parish School Board, announced Tuesday he is withdrawing from the race. “We were unable to reach our fundraising goal and (I) will not continue to seek office,” Peters said in a statement. Peters runs a… Continue reading →

Woman kicked out of bar accused of trying to run over owner

Trenell Lewis

A Belle Rose woman was arrested Monday night after witnesses said she tried to run over a bar owner and another customer with her car after she was asked to leave, Assumption Parish Sheriff Mike Waguespack said. Trenell Lewis, 38, 164 Dupaty Lane, Belle Rose, was booked into the Assumption Parish Detention Center… Continue reading →

Four men arrested after tip that juveniles were being given drugs

Pictured from left, Jose Hernandez, Tevrion Carter, Adam Hopp and Simieon Hernandez

When Ascension Parish sheriff’s deputies went to a Gonzales home Friday, they found marijuana, a handgun, several juveniles and four men — two of whom admitted to having sex with the juveniles, Maj. Kevin Hanna said. Officers with the sheriff’s narcotic and juvenile division went to the home of Jose Josh Hernandez,… Continue reading →

National Weather Service issues flash flood warning in River Parishes

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for Ascension, Assumption, Iberville and St. James parishes until 5:45 p.m. Tuesday due to severe thunderstorms rolling through the River Parishes region. The storm had already dropped more than 3 inches of rain near Donaldsonville in Ascension Parish by 3:48 p.m. Tuesday, according to radar, and… Continue reading →

Sheriff: Big city crime trends finding their way to Ascension Parish

Photo provided by Ascension Parish Sheriff's OfficeAscension Parish sheriff's deputies conduct a search early Wednesday of a mobile home at 128 First St., Donaldsonville, as part of investigation into the slaying of Adoriji Wilson, 37, of Donaldsonville. The home was one of four searched near where Wilson was shot on the front porch of an Elizabeth Street home on June 1.

In Ascension Parish, the most rapidly growing crime category is burglaries of unlocked vehicles, but the Sheriff’s Office is finding itself dealing with a new, more dangerous trend. The number of homicides in Ascension remains in the single digits — and the rate of murder is below the state and national averages — but authorities say… Continue reading →

Man killed in shooting in Paincourtville; suspect surrenders

Matthew Jordan III

A 33-year-old man is dead after he was shot in the parking lot of a Paincourtville bar Sunday morning, the Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office said. The suspected shooter, Matthew Jordan III, 25, turned himself in to deputies several hours after the victim, Franky Joseph, 33, of Donaldsonville, died, Assumption Parish Sheriff Mike Waguespack said. The… Continue reading →

Bridge work, new jobs snarl traffic

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Vehicles travel on eastbound LA 70, crossing the Sunshine Bridge in Donaldsonville during rush hour, Friday, September 12.

Headlights on and the sun setting to the west, cars, pickups and 18-wheelers inched along La. 70, still wet from a passed rainstorm on a dreary Thursday night. The long, slow path ahead was marked by the parade of red tail lights rising up the Sunshine Bridge, covered by a gray… Continue reading →

Belle Rose man booked in stabbing injury

Skiler Rhodes

A Belle Rose man was arrested Wednesday in the stabbing of another man during a fight, Assumption Parish Sheriff Mike Waguespack said. The victim, whose identity was not released, was transported by AirMed from Paincourtville, where the fight took place, to Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton… Continue reading →

Texas Brine’s plans to discharge water into sinkhole draws concerns

Advocate graphic

Texas Brine Co.’s push for a five-year state permit to discharge salty groundwater with traces of benzene and toluene into the Bayou Corne-area sinkhole has drawn concerns from environmentalists and landowners near the swampland hole in Assumption Parish. The process has been underway for a year through short-term permits to help remove potentially… Continue reading →

H.O.P.E. grant, 4-H programs helping St. James students

Growing Donaldsonville group Answering the Call

Advocate photo by Aaron E. Looney --  Mildred Dorsey, center, offers suggestions to better the Donaldsonville community during a brainstorming meeting for the Answering The Call citizens group Sept. 2 at city hall. Terrilynn Jenkins-Gillis, left, and Rose Thomas Willis of Abounding Love Ministries in Baton Rouge also attend the session.

Wearing a shirt that read “Product of Donaldsonville,” Answering the Call organizer Tamiko Grancis Garrison said her small but growing group has set its goal of making the city a better and safer place to live, work, play and worship. Garrison said the community group originated because residents wanted to publicly praise and… Continue reading →

Around Ascension for Sept. 11, 2014

A forum for Republican candidates running for the 6th Congressional District will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday at La Quinta Inn and Suites, 2816 S. Cabela’s Parkway, Gonzales. The event, hosted by the Ascension Republican Women, will include complimentary refreshments. Reservations are recommended as seating is limited. Call (225) 644-5728, or email ARWr… Continue reading →

Repairs sought for leased hydrants

Funds OK’d for Sorrento building

The proposed Sorrento Community Center, eyed for more than five years as one of several federal recovery projects after hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008, appears to be moving closer to construction, Ascension Parish and Sorrento officials said. The project has come in twice over bid, most recently last month, but the Sorrento Town Council and the… Continue reading →

Ascension Athletics: Bulldogs, Tigers start season in win column

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- The St. Amant Gators warm up before their game against Warren Easton Friday before a home crowd.

Week 1 of football’s regular season didn’t turn out quite as well as was anticipated by coaches, teams and fans with only two of our teams in the winning column. One of the victorious teams was Ascension Catholic High. The Bulldogs pulled off a 41-21 victory but now look ahead to this week. The Bulldogs… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish pets available for Sept. 11, 2014

Photo provided -- A 2-year-old, domestic short-haired male is ready to be adopted.

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. Available… Continue reading →

Volunteer Ascension seeks volunteers

Volunteer Ascension is looking for residents willing to lend a hand at several upcoming events and programs. Available volunteer opportunities include: ASCENSION RECREATION SENIOR SOCK HOP: Dance held the last Friday of each month at Lamar-Dixon Expo Center’s Ascension gym. Four to six volunteers are needed. Visit CHILDREN’S VILLAGE/ASCENSION PARISH… Continue reading →

Art association names photo contest winners

Photo provided by JOANN EISWITH -- Photographers, from left, Emma Bauman, Abbey Scarton, Christian Brock and Delaney Madere are the student winners of the River Region Photography Exhibition 2014 held in August.

The People’s Choice Awards of the River Region Photography Exhibition 2014 were announced Aug. 29 during its closing reception. Hosted by the River Region Art Association, the exhibition was held Aug. 18-29 at the association’s Depot Gallery, 1008 W. La. 30, Gonzales, a news release from the organization said. Theresa Mullins won first place… Continue reading →

Library story time series set to begin in October

The Ascension Parish Library’s next series of story time programs for young children kicks off in October. Four types of story times are offered based on the needs of the developing child, a news release from the library said. Lap-sit story time focuses on the needs of babies from birth through crawling. The program… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish Police Bookings for Aug. 28- Sept. 4, 2014

The following people were booked into the Ascension Parish Prison from Aug. 28- Sept. 4. HAMMOND, JAYSON: 18, 182 Latino Drive, Donaldsonville, in for court. LANDRY, CHRISTOPHER: 22, 28330 M. McLine Road, Holden, failure to appear in court, improper lane use, operating a vehicle while license is suspended. NICHOLAS, DONALD RAY: 31, 1301… Continue reading →

Ascension Civil Court for Aug. 25-29, 2014

Court cases filed in Ascension Parish between Aug. 25-29. Courtney Simmons v. Progressive Casualty Insurance Co and Barron Hamilton, damages. Graceland Rentals LLC v. Pamela Spears, damages. Neighbors Federal Credit Union v. Melissa McKenzie and Bryan Tumey, promissory note. Southeastern Louisiana University and Louisiana System Board of Supervisors… Continue reading →

Gonzales woman wins Texas Rotary Club prize

Photo provided by Jeff Lester -- Gathering in August in Amarillo, Texas, as part of the Rotary Club of Amarillo's Hold Up program are, from left, Mary Sanders, LeaAnn Fulton, Karen Hicks and Benita Swanson.

Gonzales resident Benita Swanson’s stop at the Interstate 40 Travel Center in Amarillo won her prizes thanks to a Rotary Club of Amarillo program. Swanson and friend Mary Sanders, from Hemphill, Texas, were stopped Aug. 13 at the center by Amarillo Police Department officers as part of the club’s Hold Up program, which included complimentary one-night lodging,… Continue reading →

Playhouse winner gives prize to expecting couple

Photo provided by JENNIFER MAYER -- Casas for CASA playhouse raffle winner Susan Himes, center, gave the playhouse to her stepdaughter and son-in-law, Kristin, left, and Garland Caronna, right, who are expecting their first child in March.

A St. Amant couple is the owner of a custom-built playhouse thanks to Capital Area Court Appointed Special Advocate Association’s annual playhouse fundraiser, Casas for CASA. Kristin and Garland Caronna are benefitting from the luck of Susan Himes, Kristin’s stepmother, a news release from CASA said. Himes, of Geismar, purchased the winning ticket drawn in the… Continue reading →

Gonzales boy headed to Citrus Bowl event

Photo provided by MARK TUREAUD JR. -- While attending an offense-defense football camp this summer, Kayden 'KT' Tureaud, 8, of Gonzales, was named an Offense-Defense All-American and invited to participate in the Ninth annual Offense-Defense Bowl Week festivities at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida.

Kayden “KT” Tureaud is bowl bound Jan. 2. While attending an offense-defense football camp earlier this summer, Kayden, 8, of Gonzales, was named an Offense-Defense All-American, and was invited to participate in the ninth annual Offense-Defense Bowl Week festivities at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida. Kayden, a running back for the Prairieville Broncos,… Continue reading →

Gardeners Association to offer workshops

The Ascension Parish Master Gardeners Association, under the direction of the LSU Agricultural Center, will present a three-part fall series of educational workshops for novice and advanced gardeners. Plant Survival in a Winter Wonderland will start at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 23 at the Galvez Branch; “Shady Characters” for Our Gardens will begin at 6:30… Continue reading →

Ten students chosen for Duke talent search

Photo provided by Stacey King -- Central Middle School students taking part in the Duke University Talent Identification Program Seventh-Grade Talent Search, first row from left, are Cart Causey, ANiya Claiborne, Emma Cockrum, Seyan Coco and Sydnie Duncan; and second row, Sofia Lavidalie, Sadie Noble, Ali Stafford, Tylar Steely and Eden Wiltz.

Ten Central Middle School seventh-grade students were selected to participate in the Duke University Talent Identification Program Seventh-Grade Talent Search. Seventh-grade students with strong intellectual abilities are invited to participate if they achieve a qualifying score at or above the 95th percentile on a recent grade-level test, a news release from the school said. Carter Causey, A’Niya… Continue reading →

Rotary raises $14,000 for Ascension Fund

Photo provided by Jon Hirsch -- Ascension Fund Executive Director Jennifer deFrances, left, accepts a donation from Rotary Club of Gonzales member Fritz Englade Jr.

The Rotary Club of Gonzales’ annual Stake in Education raised $14,000 for the Ascension Fund. Stake in Education Coordinator and Rotarian Fritz Englade Jr. presented the donation to Ascension Fund Executive Director Jennifer deFrances during a recent meeting. “The Gonzales Rotary Club has been a longtime supporter of the Ascension Fund,” Rotary President Tim Pujol… Continue reading →

300 attend chamber’s Business Expo event

Advocate staff photo by Darlene Denstorff -- Gathering Sept. 3 during the Ascension Chamber of Commerce Business Expo are chamber representatives and sponsors, from left, Mike Waguespack, Waguespack Insurance; Jenny Heroman, Eatel Corp.;Chris Geraci, United Community Bank;  Jon Hirsch, St. Elizabeth Hospital;Sherrie Despino,  Ascension Chamber of Commerce;Jessica Szomi, DLFCU;and Matt Pryor, Pujol, Pryor and Irwin Attorneys at Law, and announcer for the event.

Some 300 people attended the Ascension Chamber of Commerce’s third annual Business Expo Sept. 3 the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center’s Trade Mart building. The networking event included more than 85 local businesses ranging from restaurants and health care to banks and insurance companies. Carlico Café and Don’s Seafood provided food and drink tastings, and Jambalaya Festival… Continue reading →

St. Theresa student wins poster contest

Photo provided by Janis Ament --  St. Theresa Middle School student Margaret Giesler's winning Knights of Columbus poster contest entry.

Margaret Giesler, a sixth-grade student at St. Theresa Middle, won first place at the international level of the Knights of Columbus Substance Abuse Awareness Poster Contest. She picked up her prize in the 8- to 11-year-old drug awareness and abuse poster category. Giesler won first place in Louisiana in her division to qualify for the… Continue reading →

La. Jaguars visit, donate to St. Jude

Photo provided by DANTE' M. PERKINS -- Jaguars with Breanna Bercegeay, a cancer survivor and Dutchtown Middle School cheerleader, first row third from the left, are Drelon Monroe, Colbee Harris, Jordan Jackson, Jamil Truxillo and Devin Baker; and second row, head coach Anthony Dempsey, Kash Foley, Dillion Davis, Eldred Jackson Jr., Julian Shattuck, Gary Smith Jr. and assistant coach Dante Perkins.

The Louisiana Jaguars visited St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital during their recent trip to Memphis, Tennessee, for the Amateur Athletic Union Nationals. The Jaguars donated $500 toward the hospital’s research efforts. Members of the team also toured the facility and met patients and their families. The team met Breanna Bercegeay, a cancer survivor and Dutchtown Middle… Continue reading →

St. Amant cross-country teams compete

Photo provided by TANYA WHITNEY -- St. Amant High School cross-country managers Tyler Cusimano and Sarah Averett, from left, wait to record times for the Gators at the 2-mile point Saturday during the 2014 St. Michael’s Bayou Boogie at Highland Park in Baton Rouge.

The St. Amant cross-country teams competed Saturday in the 2014 St. Michael’s Bayou Boogie — the first meet of the season for the boys and girls teams — at Highland Park in Baton Rouge. Both teams include first-year runners who are freshmen and sophomores. Everyone finished their specified course, a news release from St. Amant High School… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish calendar for Sept. 11-18, 2014

SMALL-BUSINESS COUNSELING: 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Ascension Parish Library Dutchtown, 13278 La. 73. Free. Call (225) 381-7130 to make an appointment. (225) 673-8699. PROSTATE CANCER SCREENING: 5:30 p.m., St. Elizabeth Hospital, rear parking at Medical Plaza II, 1125 W.est La. 30, Gonzales. Screenings include a PSA blood test and a brief… Continue reading →

Gonzales mayor faces third veto decision after split council passes amended budgets

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --Gonzales Mayor Barney Arceneaux adds clarification during budget discussion in the City Council meeting Monday night. After vetoing the budget twice before, the council passed the amended budget 3-2.

Updated at 9:20 p.m. Mayor Barney Arceneaux for the third time since April is faced with the decision of whether or not to veto city budgets after the City Council again voted 3-2 Monday to pass the budgets with the same amendments that prompted Arceneaux’s two earlier vetoes. And the political battles between both… Continue reading →

Evacuated home near sinkhole burglarized, two arrested

Nicole Gros

The Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested a man and a woman in the burglary of an evacuated Belle Rose area home near the sinkhole. Billy Rodrigue, 40, and Nicole Gros, 34, both of 118 Gerald St., Pierre Part, were booked into the Assumption Parish Detention Center on Friday. In late August, the… Continue reading →

Assumption man accused of trying to strangle, run over woman

Herman Knockum

Deputies booked a Belle Rose man with assault and battery after he attempted to strangle a woman, and when she escaped, he tried to run her over with his car, Assumption Parish Sheriff Mike Waguespack said. Herman Knockum, 48, 237 La. 1003, Belle Rose, was booked into the Assumption Parish Detention Center on… Continue reading →

St. James councilman pleads to lesser charge in fatal crash

State prosecutors said Monday they did not have enough evidence to bring a negligent homicide charge against St. James Parish Councilman Terry McCreary in a September 2013 fatal crash that led to the death of a 74-year-old Paulina man. McCreary, 64, pleaded no contest Monday to careless operation in the Sept. 5, 2013, crash in Lutcher, prosecutors… Continue reading →