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Ascension Planning Commission finally says ‘no’ — denies a proposed Prairieville subdivision until flooding issues addressed

After months of criticism for not saying no to a new development that could stress existing infrastructure, the Ascension Parish Planning Commission on Wednesday denied an 86-home subdivision in Prairieville as neighbors suggested past home projects nearby already have caused severe flooding problems. The commission, which in the past has refused to… Continue reading →

Businesses honored at Chamber banquet

Advocate staff photo by Darlene Denstorff -- Gathering at the recent Ascension Chamber awards dinner, from left, are Michael Bonfanti, Bonfanti Investments; Shawn Nolan, Pinnacle Payroll Solutions of Louisiana; Haggai Davis, Gulf South Technology Solutions; Bridget Hanna, 2016 Ascension Chamber chairwoman of the board; Sherrie Despino, Ascension Chamber president/CEO; Sheriff Jeff Wiley, Ascension Parish Sheriffs Office; Jacob Waguespack, Faulk & Winkler, LLC and David Roscher, Guaranty Media.

Ascension Chamber of Commerce members were honored for their good deeds and dedication to the organization Feb. 2 during the group’s annual banquet at Houmas House Plantation and Gardens. The 2015 Ambassador, Individual, New Business, Small Business and Large Business of the Year awards were handed out by Chamber President/CEO Sherrie Despino and board Chairwoman Bridget Hanna,… Continue reading →

Local lawmen lead charge for Polar Plunge benefit

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Members of the Special Children's Foundation team take the plunge during last year's annual Louisiana Special Olympics Polar Plunge at Cabela's in Gonzales.

If you’ve ever met Maj. Ward Webb, you know what’s at the top of his to-do list this time of year. Webb, who is commander of the patrol and traffic division of the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, is diligent the beginning of each year with his efforts to raise money for the Louisiana Law Enforcement Polar… Continue reading →

Ascension Athletics for Feb. 11, 2016

Photo provided by Robert Welch -- Tyler Teague, left, and Teal Smith hold some of the bass that made up their 18.47-pound repeat winning stringer in the Fishing for Tucker Bass Tournament on Feb. 6.

On Friday night, The Pit in St. Amant was the scene of the third meeting this season between the Denham Springs Yellow Jackets and the Lady Gators in the Division I first-round playoff match. Their first meeting was a scoreless tie, then the Yellow Jackets stormed The Pit and came away with a 2-1 win in… Continue reading →

Sorority alumnae mark Founders Day

Photo provided by Tamiko Francis Garrison -- Gathered for the inaugural Founders Day celebration of the Ascension Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority on Jan. 24 are, front from left, Delta Sigma Theta state coordinator Doris Brown, 24th National President Cynthia M.A. Butler-McIntyre, chapter President Hollis Baker-Graves, Southwest Regional Director Pamela Rogers, Founders Day chair Dotty Hampton and co-chair Jevella Williamson; and back, State Rep. Edward Price, Gonzales City Councilman Terence Irvin, State Sen. Regina Barrow, Donaldsonville City Councilmen the Rev. Charles Brown and Reginald Francis Sr. and Ascension Parish Councilman Oliver Joseph Sr.

The Ascension Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority hosted its inaugural Founders Day program at the Clarion Inn and Conference Center in Gonzales on Jan. 24. The program celebrated the legacy of the sorority’s founders and commemorated 103 years of service. The sorority was founded Jan. 13, 1913, by 22 college women at Howard University.… Continue reading →

Miss La. offers advice to LSMSA students

Photo provided by Crystal Evans -- Gathered for a photo at Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts are, front from left, Lisa Benner, Shona McCullough, Kelsey Meshell, Erykah Wells, Miss Louisiana April Nelson, Ally Nguyen, Annie Noel and Lauren Sakryd; and back, Beth Fontenot, Maya Bochas, Lucy Rhymes, Jessica Hinote, Jeff Thomakos, Christina Arey, Jared Hulsey, Charlie Roppolo, Josh Savage, Josef Hofman and Aryiana Moore.

Miss Louisiana April Nelson spoke with musical theater cabaret students at Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts in Natchitoches on Jan. 15. Nelson offered advice for those wishing to pursue a musical career and shared her experiences as Miss Louisiana and her plans for the future, a news release said. The class is led… Continue reading →

Cub Scout Pack 942 announces derby winners

Photo provided by Jackie Tisdell -- From left are Cub Scout Pack 942 Pack Master Mark Lloyd, Pinewood Derby overall winner Hayden Edmonds and Assistant Pack Master Daniel Henderson.

Cub Scout Pack 942, located in the Prairieville area, held its annual Pinewood Derby race at the Gonzales Knights of Columbus Hall on Jan. 23. The Scouts partnered with a parent or adult mentor to design, carve, paint, weigh, refine and race a car. Parents and siblings also were allowed to build and race. Hayden Edmonds… Continue reading →

St. Amant Middle places at state dance competitions

Photo provided by Jessica Thomassee -- The 2015-16 St. Amant Middle School dance team garnered a number of awards at the American All Star Louisiana State Convention held Jan. 16-17 in Lafayette.

The St. Amant Middle School dance team attended the UDA Louisiana Dance Championship at Southeastern Louisiana University on Jan. 10, competing in hip hop, jazz, pom and solos. Reagan Calvert placed first, Aries Fournet third, Madelyn Thomassee fourth and Gabbi Wolfe fifth. The team took home second in hip hop and jazz and fourth… Continue reading →

Parish offers new map app

Photo provided by Lester Kenyon -- Shown is a screen shot from Ascension Parish governments website showing a new mapping application where the public can search parish maps and governmental services easily and effectively.

It’s easier to search parish maps and governmental services thanks to a new tool offered by Ascension Parish government “From Realtors and engineers to citizens looking for their school or fire district, this mapping application provides an amazing variety of useful and in depth information at the user’s fingertips,” said Parish President Kenny Matassa. The… Continue reading →

AgCenter to offer symposium on growing fruits

The LSU AgCenter is conducting a Backyard Fruit Production Symposium for homeowners who would like to learn more about growing fruits in the home garden. The symposium will be presented by local extension agents Mariah Bock from St. James and Assumption parishes, Craig Roussel from Ascension and St. James parishes and Raj Singh, LSU plant pathology… Continue reading →

Free heart screenings offered for youths

Free heart screenings will be offered to youths April 2 at the Heart Hero Hustle sponsored by Ascensions 4-H and the Louisiana Pediatric Cardiology Foundation at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center. The event, which will be held near the gym and pond area at the center, will have a fun run and walk, food face-painting and superhero- and… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish school registration days set

Ascension Public Schools will hold kindergarten and prekindergarten registration from 9 a.m. to noon April 4-8 at the following locations: APRIL 4: Central Primary, Oak Grove Primary and Prairieville Primary. APRIL 5: Donaldsonville Primary and St. Amant Primary. APRIL 6: Duplessis Primary, Dutchtown Primary and Spanish Lake Primary.… Continue reading →

Educators tapped to leadership roles in Ascension schools

Photo provided by Jackie Tisdell -- Dutchtown High Associate Principal Kathleen Lapiparo, Gonzales Primary Principal Jaimee Williams and Lowery Elementary Principal Dawn Love, from left, are Ascension Public Schools’ new Instructional Leadership Partners.

Dutchtown High School Associate Principal Kathleen Lapiparo, Gonzales Primary Principal Jaimee Williams and Lowery Elementary Principal Dawn Love are the new instructional leadership partners for Ascension Parish Public Schools. “Ascension Public Schools is fortunate to have these three educational leaders to fill critical school support roles for the district. Kathleen, Jaimee and Dawn are all proven, effective… Continue reading →

School Board welcomes new athletic directors

Photo provided by Jackie Tisdell -- East Ascension High School Athletic Director/head football coach Darnell Lee, left, and Donaldsonville High School Athletic Director/head football coach Brian Richardson clasp hands following the Ascension Parish School Board meeting on Feb. 2.

The Ascension Parish School Board welcomed its two newest high school athletics directors and head football coaches during its Feb. 2 meeting, a news release said. Brian Richardson, a 1992 graduate of Donaldsonville High School, was selected by DHS on Jan. 19. He has a bachelor of science degree and master’s degree in administration and supervision from… Continue reading →

McKay, Landry to speak at GOP Roundtable

Scott McKay and Melissa Landry will speak at the February Ascension GOP Roundtable, sponsored by Ascension Republican Women, on Feb. 18 at Galvez Seafood, 40306 La. 42, Suite 9, in Prairieville. A meet-and-greet begins at 11:30 a.m., followed by the program at noon. The event is open to the public and guests are welcome. McKay, the… Continue reading →

Gonzales Lassie League player registration open

Registration for Gonzales Lassie League softball will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 20 and Feb. 27 at Gonzales City Hall. Cost is $40 per girl and proof of age is required. Girls must be between the ages of 4 and 19 to register. The league consists of five age groups: 6… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish calendar for Feb. 11-18, 2016

BABYTIME: 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Ascension Parish Library Gonzales, 708 S. Irma Blvd. and Dutchtown branch, 13278 La. 73, Geismar. BILINGUAL STORYTIME: 11 a.m. to noon, Ascension Parish Library Gonzales branch. LOSS AND GRIEF SUPPORT MEETING: 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., St. Elizabeth Hospital, Sister Vernola conference room, 1125 W. La. 30, Gonzales. For… Continue reading →

Ascension Council on Aging for Feb. 11-18, 2016

Meatball hoagie with Creole sauce, buttered cabbage, mixed vegetables, apple. PILATES: 8:15 a.m. and 9:15 a.m., Gonzales Senior Center. PIYO: 9 a.m., Donaldsonville Senior Center. ZUMBA GOLD: 10:30 a.m., Gonzales. CAJUN NEEDLERS: 12:30 p.m., Gonzales. Seafood salad or chicken salad, potato chowder, broccoli cuts, low-sodium crackers,… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish police bookings for Jan. 28-Feb. 4, 2016

The following people were booked into the Ascension Parish prison from Jan. 28 through Feb. 4. ANARIBA, CARLOS F.: 24, 18705 Little Prairie Road, Prairieville, domestic abuse battery/pregnant victim. BABIN, DEREK JAMES: 34, 35374 Terry Road, Geismar, bond revocation, failure to report accident, failure to yield-accident, careless operation, hit-and-run driving. Bova, Damian… Continue reading →

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 →

Ascension deputies: Man arrested after child’s burns become infected over lack of follow-up care

Joseph Babin

Ascension Parish sheriff’s deputies arrested a Gonzales man Monday on a child cruelty count over allegations he did not care for his son’s burns for two months, allowing the wound to become infected. Deputies found Joseph Babin, 30, at a home in Galvez on Monday after a two-month search, Sheriff’s Office Maj. Kevin… 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 →