The Advocate Ascension Replica Edition
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Tornado watch until 8 p.m. for parishes between Baton Rouge and New Orleans

Updated at 6 p.m. The National Weather Service added the metro New Orleans area to an afternoon tornado watch Friday as a lone super cell continues to rake across south Louisiana, dropping baseball-sized hail and bringing high winds. Robert Ricks, forecaster with the New Orleans-Baton Rouge office in Slidell, said Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes… Continue reading →

Appeal in Ascension Parish murder case centers on a juror whose son had worked at the store where the victim was killed

Gladys Mobley told an investigator she thought of her son when St. Amant High School student Luke Villar was gunned down nearly 14 years ago while sweeping the front of a St. Amant grocery store. Mobley, now deceased, was a juror in the 2003 second-degree murder trial of Justin Granier —… Continue reading →

Two brothers accused of passing counterfeit $10 bills in Ascension Parish

Randal Bridges has charges pending from the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office on counts of monetary instrument abuse and theft. April 23, 2015.

GONZALES — A surveillance video and a Crime Stoppers tip led investigators to the identities of two brothers who were passing counterfeit money, said Lt. Col. Bobby Webre, of the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office. Earlier this month, the Sheriff’s Office began getting complaints from area stores and fast-food restaurants where people were passing counterfeit… Continue reading →

Woman killed in wreck on La. 30 in Gonzales

A passenger was killed Thursday morning in a one-vehicle accident that left the driver in critical condition, the Gonzales Police Department said. The identities of the victims were being withheld Thursday afternoon pending notification of the families. The crash happened about 11 a.m. on La. 30 near South Philippe Street… Continue reading →

Boy Scout trailer packed with camping gear stolen from behind Prairieville church

A Boy Scout troop trailer loaded with tents, lanterns and other camping gear accumulated and handed down over the years was stolen between Monday and Wednesday from the church property where it was stored, a parent said Thursday. The theft was reported to the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday after a trustee… Continue reading →

Sorrento Police Department to officially end once ordinance is adopted; town is selling off, donating police equipment, guns

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St. Amant students win art contest

Three students, in elementary, primary and high school grades, were recognized on Tuesday by the Ascension Parish School Board as the parish winners of a statewide contest. Magnolia McCarty, a fifth-grader at St. Amant Primary, is the primary-school winner for Ascension Parish in the Louisiana School Boards Association art contest. McCarty,… Continue reading →

Queen learns more about home, state during reign

Photo provided by Meredith Conger --  Miss Gonzales Jambalaya Lauren Blouin, left, and Teen Miss Gonzales Jambalaya Berkley Parent pose after being crowned the 2014 pageant queens at the Gonzales Civic Center. New queens will be crowned May 2.

For reigning Miss Gonzales Jambalaya Queen Lauren Blouin, spending a year touring the state as the official representative of the Jambalaya Festival has been enlightening. She learned a lot about her own home, and even more about how it stacks up against other places in the state she’s visited in her role as ambassador for the Jambalaya… Continue reading →

Around Ascension for April 23, 2015

The Chris LeBlanc Band featuring Luther Kent performs at 2 p.m. Sunday as part of the Music in the Park series in Jambalaya Park. The concert, which ends at 5 p.m., is free. The annual St. John’s Festival de la Prairie starts at 6 p.m. Friday on the grounds of… Continue reading →

Ascension Athletics for April 23, 2015

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- St. Amant shortstop Kara Gremillion gets ready to field a hot ground ball in the third inning of St. Amant's softball win over East Ascension in March.

Although rain and bad weather put a hamper on last weeks’ softball games, the St. Amant Lady Gators went on to finish the regular season undefeated at 25-0 and 10-0 in district play. The Gators are seeded first in 5A and will have faced Chalmette when this goes to press. The East Ascension… Continue reading →

Dutchtown band breezes into the Windy City

Photo provided by Dutchtown High School band -- Dutchtown High School band members enjoy a moment at the Cloud Gate sculpture, also known as 'the bean' at Millennium Park in Chicago. Gathering, from left are Zack Baham, Courtney Hare, Jacob Beatle, Earl Roy Lewis, Ian Johnson, Allen Babin, Damian Wellman, Tristan Evans and Cullen Phillips.

Spring break typically is a time for fun, sun and relaxation, but for the Dutchtown Sound High School band members, it was a time to pack their bags, hit the road and blow their horns for the Dixie Classic Festival on April 11 in Chicago. It was part of a six-day trip that included museums, shopping and… Continue reading →

Summer art camp registration underway

Registration is underway for River Region Art Association’s Summer Art Camp at the St. Amant Recreation Center, 45404 Stringer Bridge Road. The camp will be held in four weekly sessions and will cost $90 per session for youth ages 6 to 15, a news release from the association said. All supplies and a daily snack… Continue reading →

Playing dirty to help out local schoolteachers

The mud will fly Saturday at the Play Dirty Adventure Trail Run and Mini Muck event at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center. A portion of the proceeds from the event will go to the Ascension Fund, a nonprofit group that provides grant money to area teachers. The 3-­mile course will have competitors conquering 21 challenges before crossing… Continue reading →

Gonzales officials make March 21 St. Amant Day

Photo provided by Charlotte Guedry -- At his recent birthday celebration, Mayor Pro Temp Kenny Matassa, left, presented Penrose St. Amant with a proclamation making March 21 Penrose 'Penny' Clyde St. Amant Day in Gonzales.

Gonzales officials honored its former legal advisor, proclaiming March 21 as Penrose “Penny” Clyde St. Amant Day in the city. St. Amant recently celebrated his 80th birthday, and Gonzales Mayor Barney Arceneaux wanted to do something special for St. Amant said city spokeswoman Charlotte Guedry. St. Amant, who was born in New Orleans, has been… Continue reading →

Girl Scouts take part in annual camping outing

Photo provided by Susan Gillis -- More than 150 Girl Scouts representing 27 different troops from the Prairieville Service Unit gathered March 27-29 at Camp Marydale in St. Francisville.

More than 150 Girl Scouts representing 27 different troops from the Prairieville Service Unit gathered March 27-29 at Camp Marydale in St. Francisville. The Girl Scouts, in kindergarten through 12th-grade, took part in the service unit’s annual outing, a news release said. Attending camp is an important skill-building experience for many of the scouts, the release… Continue reading →

Cancer Center names radiation therapy director

Tiffany Shelton

Tiffany Shelton has been named director of radiation therapy for Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Gonzales. Shelton has been a radiation therapist at Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center in Baton Rouge for 10 years, a news release said. “Tiffany brings with her a wealth of experience, dedication and leadership… Continue reading →

LSMSA group earns top rating

Photo provided by Crystal Evans -- Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts recently participated in the Louisiana Music Educators’ Association District II large ensemble performance assessment at Pineville High School. Taking part, first row from left, are, Alese Jones, Marissa Scott, Maram Azmi, Emma Jochim, Hanna Li, Marika Buchholz, Shona McCullough, Bethany Jenkins, Carrie Thomas and Dr. Al Benner; and second row, Jamin Kidd, Joshua Poche, Ian Sager, Marcos Cecchini, Bryce Cason, Brock Kappel and Mitchell Metzger.

Members of the mixed ensemble at the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts recently participated in the Louisiana Music Educators’ Association District II large ensemble performance assessment at Pineville High School. The group earned the top rating of superior in both performance and sight reading. They will participate in the LMEA state large ensemble performance… Continue reading →

Ascension Catholic athletes sign letters of commitment

Photo provided by Ascension Catholic High School -- Tucker Landry, Ascension Catholic High School senior, signed a letter of commitment to study and to play golf at Loyola University in New Orleans during an April 15 ceremony in Donaldsonville.

Ascension Catholic High School hosted a signing day event on April 15 in Donaldsonville with two student athletes declaring their intentions to play at the next level. Senior Zachary Capello signed a letter of commitment to study and run cross country and track and field at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Capello was recruited by… Continue reading →

Deadline nears for NAACP scholarship

April 28 is the last day to apply for the Ascension Parish Branch of the NAACP’s scholarship program. The group is providing four scholarships, one to a student from each of the parish’s four public high school. Counselors at Donaldsonville, Dutchtown, East Ascension and St. Amant high schools have scholarship applications available, a news release from… Continue reading →

St. Amant Wildcats gear up for new season

Registration begins Sunday for the St. Amant Wildcats’ football and cheer season. Interested players and cheerleaders can sign up from 9 a.m. to noon Sunday and May 17, June 6 and June 13 at Reynolds Lambert Park in Sorrento. The team is holding its camp at 6 p.m. May 26-29. Registration is $20 and will… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish calendar for April 23-30, 2015

UNIVERSAL CLASS/ATOMIC TRAINING: 10 a.m., Ascension Parish Library, Gonzales branch, 708 S. Irma Ave., Gonzales. GET CRAZY WITH QUELF: 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Ascension Parish Library, Dutchtown branch, 13278 La. 73, Geismar. BUSINESS PROGRAM: 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Ascension Parish Library, Donaldsonville branch, 500 Mississippi St., Donaldsonville. LOSS/GRIEF EDUCATION, SUPPORT MEETING: 6 p.m.… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish pets available for April 23, 2015

A gray, white and orange domestic longhair female adult. She's good with children  and other animals.

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 →

Ascension Parish Council on Aging for April 23-20, 2015

Spaghetti with meat sauce, green beans with peppers, tossed salad, dressing, dinner roll and apple cobbler. 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. Ham and turkey chef salad over… Continue reading →

Ascension Civil Court for April 6-10, 2015

Court cases filed in Ascension Parish between April 6-10. Jefferson Capital Systems LLC v. Rebecca R. Adams, open account. Efcu Financial Federal Credit Un Fka and E Federal Credit Union v. Miles B. Rudolph, promissory note. Capital One Bank USA NA v. Gloria N. Sanford, open account. Capital One… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish Police Bookings for April 9-15, 2015

The following people were booked into the Ascension Parish prison from April 9 - 15. BELL, TEVIN: 20, 425 N. Marchand Ave., Gonzales, failure to appear in court, rioting, disturbing the peace/language/disorderly conduct. DOUBLIN, DONNIE: 48, 215 W. Second St., Donaldsonville, fugitive-other Louisiana jurisdiction.… Continue reading →

Paincourtville man out on bail on armed robbery arrested again, this time in theft of four-wheeler

Rodney Paul Rhodes II

A man free on reduced bail for charges he robbed a convenience store last fall was arrested again after he was seen stealing a four-wheeler from someone’s driveway, Assumption Parish sheriff’s deputies said Monday. Sheriff deputies tracked down Rodney Paul Rhodes II, 22, 5974 La. 308, Paincourtville, on Friday and arrested him… Continue reading →

Work proceeding on $6.47 million Ascension Parish governmental complex

Advocate staff photo by David J. MitchellEven under cloudy skies late Friday morning, work continued on a nearly $6.47 million Ascension Parish governmental complex being built on the site of the old East Ascension Hospital along Worthey Road in Gonzales. The roof is up and steel studs for the outer walls continue to be installed. The project, which will consolidate far-flung parish offices, began Aug. 7. Parish officials said Thursday they hope the project will be finished in early October.

Nail guns popped, power drills whirred and falling metal studs clanged Friday at the site of the future Ascension Parish governmental complex. Under moody but dry skies, contractors continued to raise the nearly $6.47 million building, which parish officials estimated this week is nearly 40 percent complete. The 33,500-square-foot, contemporary-style building… Continue reading →

Attorneys: Jury finds driver, DOTD shared the blame for 2009 crash that killed an Israeli woman

A unanimous Ascension Parish jury found a driver and the state highway department shared the blame in a May 2009 crash at the Burnside/Interstate 10 interchange in Gonzales that killed an Israeli mother of five, attorneys said. The jury awarded $1.05 million to the surviving husband and five children of Noha Salama, 49,… Continue reading →

Man arrested in fatal crash acknowledges drug use day before, but police said after wreck he didn’t appear to be ‘under the influence’

John Sanchez

The driver arrested in a fatal high-speed collision on Interstate 10 in February did not appear to Gonzales police officers to be intoxicated with alcohol or drugs at the time, though the man acknowledged he had taken some kind of drug one day earlier, a police report says. John D. Sanchez, 27, of… Continue reading →

Man, woman sought in counterfeit money incident in Ascension Parish

Ascension Parish sheriff’s deputies are looking for a man and a woman suspected of passing counterfeit bills at a convenience store earlier this month, deputies said Wednesday. The incident is one of several instances over the past few weeks when counterfeit bills were passed to convenience stores in Ascension Parish, deputies… Continue reading →

Group brings events for special needs people

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Gonzales' Morgan Essery, 10,  makes a catch during The Rock Church, Friendship House and River Region Art Association's three-day camp for people special needs in Gonzales.

Lisa Westerfield’s adult daughter Katie loves to paint and play basketball and wants to learn to play golf. She wanted to get a job when she left high school, her mom said, “but there just weren’t that many opportunities available to her.” Katie has Down syndrome, and along with many other area residents with physical… Continue reading →

George Washington Carver Park celebrates reopening

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- From left, State Reps. Johnny Berthelot and John Schroder, Gonzales Mayor Barney Arceneaux, State Senator Jody Amedee, and Gonzales Police Chief Sherman Jackson happily await the start of ceremonies April 9 at a dedication of new basketball courts at Gonzales' George Washington Carver Park.

The newly renovated George Washington Carver Park basketball court in Gonzales officially reopened April 9, with representatives from the New Orleans Pelicans and local and state officials there to celebrate the work. Funds for the project came from a donation by the Pelicans and proceeds from the Louisiana Legislature’s annual HoopLA charity basketball game. Sen. Jody… Continue reading →

Around Ascension for April 16, 2015

St. Mark Catholic Church’s annual Light Lane Festival kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday with food, music, rides and bingo. Saturday’s lineup includes a car show, jambalaya mini-pot contest, games, rides, food and music. Freestyle plays at 1 p.m., Krossroadz performs at 5 p.m., and Kenny Cornett and Killin Time takes the stage at 8 p.m.… Continue reading →

Sheriff says he’s stepping up efforts to curb rise in crime

Ascension Parish’s chief law enforcement official told city councilmen Tuesday that his office is taking an “in-your-face” approach to address the spike in violent crime in the parish seat. Sheriff Jeff Wiley said the resolve of his department remains strong to curb the recent spike in shootings. One trend Wiley said… Continue reading →