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Worker stringing cable electrocuted in Prairieville after coming into contact with overhead power lines

Updated at 5:42 p.m.A Mississippi man working in an elevated boom truck was electrocuted late Thursday morning in Ascension Parish when he apparently came into contact with overhead power lines along La. 73, authorities said. The electrocution and subsequent efforts to recover the victim’s body resulted in the shutdown of La. 73 between La. 42… Continue reading →

School Board praises Elie’s service

Ascension Parish School Board members and Superintendent Patrice Pujol on Monday praised longtime educator Jerry Elie on his many years of service as he retires as the principal of the district’s alternative school in Darrow. Elie worked in the school district as a teacher, coach and assistant high school principal before… Continue reading →

LaPlace man struck, killed by train

Bontrion Toliver

Jambalaya cook has recipe for success

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK --  Robert Reine hoists the golden paddle after he and his son Brett were announced as the winners of the 2014 Jambalaya Cook Off at the Jambalaya Festival in Gonzales. Reine hopes to repeat as champ.

Robert Reine doesn’t know exactly what made his winning pot of jambalaya different from the batches he’s cooked before, but he hopes to duplicate the recipe for the 48th Annual Gonzales Jambalaya Festival taking place this weekend. After all, Reine plans on retaining the World Champion Jambalaya Cook title he won at… Continue reading →

Ceremony pays tribute to fallen law officers

Advocate photo by Kate Stevens -- Members of the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office salute the seven law enforcement officers killed over the past year at Friday's Peace Officers Memorial ceremony in Gonzales. Gathering, from right, are Deputy Bill Lanoux, Deputy Ryan Blank, Deputy Justin Brown, Deputy Brad Gomez, Sgt. TJ Gaughf, Deputy Mark Durgapersad and Sgt. Tony Nethken.

Law enforcement officials urged each other to continue dedicating their lives to protecting the public even as recent civil unrest and violence against police officers trends in the news. The remarks came Friday during the Peace Officers Memorial ceremony at the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office training center in Gonzales, where officials gathered to… Continue reading →

Around Ascension for May 21, 2015

The Ascension Veterans Memorial Park’s annual Memorial Day Ceremony is planned for 10 a.m. Monday in the park on Irma Boulevard in Gonzales. There will be refreshments provided after the ceremony. Tractor Supply Company, 414 W. La. 30, Gonzales, is hosting a pet event May 30 to encourage adoptions… Continue reading →

Ascension Athletics for May 21, 2015

Associated Press photo by Kirk Meche -- St. Amant's Jadyn Rumfellow looks to slap the ball toward the third base line during the Class 5A LHSAA FastPitch 56 Softball Tournament at Frasch Park in Sulphur on May 2.

The school year has come to a close, Ascension Parish high school graduation ceremonies have ended and life for the graduates is taking a new turn. It’s a time for reflection, as well as a time to look to the future. This column covers sports, and if one might give it much thought, high school athletics are… Continue reading →

Ascension students receive LSU awards

Briana Garcia

LSU University College presented its annual Celebration of Excellence Spring Awards program on March 12 at the Club at Union Square. University College awarded $74,000 through 64 undergraduate student scholarships, seven LSU faculty teaching awards, two graduate teaching assistant awards and one LSU Advisor of the Year Award. Three Ascension Parish students were among those receiving… Continue reading →

Training aims to improve community relations

Deputies and supervisors with the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office recently completed diversity training that was held at the APSO Training Center, Sheriff Jeff Wiley said in a news release. Members of the patrol division, corrections division and a few other selected employees were required to attend a four-hour session, conducted by Sissy Franks, of Organizational Development Solutions,… Continue reading →

More than a million boxes of Girl Scout cookies sold

Girl Scouts proved their sales ability once again during this year’s Cookie Program, selling more than 1 million boxes of cookies in the council’s 23-parish jurisdiction, with the girls averaging 152 boxes each. The sale boasted a 2 percent increase over the previous year, with a total of 1,031,063 boxes sold, Vice President of Sales Alisha Moore… Continue reading →

DECA members hone skills, have fun in Fla.

Photo provided by Rae Broussard -- St. Amant DECA Chapter visits Universal's Islands of Adventure, from left, Lillie Pastorick, De’Jaun Ferguson, Samantha Gautreau, Emily Cardwell, Paige Wilson, Victoria Stewart, Kearra Moton, Kaitlyn Biri and advisor Rae Broussard.

St. Amant High School’s DECA Chapter attended the DECA International Career and Development Conference on April 24 in Orlando, Florida. Louisiana DECA state officers and St. Amant students Victoria Stewart and De’Jaun Ferguson and St. Amant DECA adviser Rae Broussard led the delegation. Also attending were DECA members Emily Cardwell, Lillie Pastorick, Samantha Gautreau,… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish ProStart team is cooking up winners

Photo provided by Erica P. Burns -- Gathering April 29 at the Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation ProStart Student Camellia Brand Recipe Contest, from left, are LRAEF Program Manager Jennifer Jeansonne, Pearl River High School ProStart instructor Russell-Anne Howard, Pearl River High School ProStart students Savannah Walker and Briana Hale, L.H. Hayward and Company CEO Vince Hayward, Ascension Parish ProStart students Isabelle Rigby and Roycelle Cobb and Ascension Parish ProStart instructor Traci Martin.

The Ascension Parish ProStart team’s recipe for New Orleans-style red beans and rice-stuffed bell peppers won a runner-up prize in the Louisiana Restaurant Association ProStart Student Camellia Brand Recipe Contest. The dish was recognized at a special cooking demonstration and ceremony at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum on April 29 in New Orleans. ProStart is… Continue reading →

Highest honor given to select LSMSA students

Members of the Future Scientist Program at the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts were recognized during the ninth annual banquet April 25 at the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training. Ten seniors completed the FSP and will receive an Excellence in Science award at the senior recognition ceremony. This is the highest honor… Continue reading →

Ascension sheriff announces scholarships

Photo provided by Allison Hudson -- Sheriff Jeff Wiley recently presented scholarships to local high school students. Gathering, from left, are Britt Alexander, Tyler Broussard, Wiley, Parker Vige and Jade DelValle.

Ascension Sheriff Jeff Wiley recent presented students with scholarships from two programs designed to help students pay college expenses. Wiley awarded the Dawn Shivers Memorial Scholarship Program prizes to Parker Vige, East Ascension High School, $1,200; Britt Alexander, St. Amant, $500 and Tyler Broussard, St. Amant, $500. Wiley established a scholarship fund for graduating high school… Continue reading →

High-scoring math kids awarded big teddy bears

Photo provided by Melanie Fontenot -- Gathering recently at Oak Grove Primary School, from left, are Stephanie Decoteau, Isabella Ali, Jacob Midciff and Mary Foret. Isabella and Jacob won stuffed bears from Z Aesthetic Dermatology office.

Each year, Dr. Ann Zedlitz, known as “Dr. Z” with the Z Aesthetic Dermatology office, provides giant teddy bears to local students with the highest grade-point averages in math. Zedlitz said she feels that a solid math foundation is vital for children to succeed. “I want to encourage students at an early age that math is… Continue reading →

‘Faces’ photo exhibit on display at River church

Photo provided by Amy Crane -- ‘Bret with Olivia’ by Marlene Most is on display at River Community Church in Prairieville.

Artworks and photos related to the theme “Favorite Faces” are on exhibit at River Community Church, 36367 Old Perkins Road, Prairieville. The artworks were submitted by members and friends of the church, both adults and children. Some artworks are available for purchase. The exhibit is on view through May 31, on Sundays from 9 a.m. to… Continue reading →

Dutchtown lacrosse club gives awards

Photo provided by Lorri King -- The Dutchtown High School lacrosse club includes, first row from left, Zach Miller, Sammy Latino, Austin Hurt, Parker Smith, Blaine Tucker, Rylan King, Ted Weller, Rivers King, Nick Leonard, Ian D’Antoni and assistant coach Brandt Latino; second row, head coach Tim Wilson, Carson Cook, Hunter Martin, Brandon Wolf, Baylen Dugas, Caleb Marcotte, Trevor Roussel, James D’Antoni, Nick Mueller, Baker Wusterbarth and assistant coach Jeff King; and third row, Matthew Hurt, Andrew Alexis, Manning Bergeron, Brennan Abbott, Ethan Henirick, Seth Howell, Rory McCracken, Zach Sherman and Erik Howard. Tristan and Quentin Lawson are not pictured.

The Dutchtown lacrosse club recently held its end-of-year awards banquet. The team celebrated another successful year, which included a ninth-place finish in the state after a tough playoff loss to Caddo Magnet, of Shreveport, in double overtime, a news release from the club said. Team members receiving honors selected by the coaches of the Central Louisiana… Continue reading →

Senior centers celebrate older Americans

Throughout May, senior centers in Gonzales and Donaldsonville are celebrating Older Americans Month. The centers, operated by the Ascension Council on Aging, held a picnic on May 15 in Donaldsonville and hosted informational talks and presentations. More than 150 senior clients from the Gonzales and Donaldsonville senior centers attended the picnic, said COA Executive Director Darlene… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish grads honored at LSU ceremony

Leslie Marie Burch

Natives of Geismar and Prairieville were among 43 graduating seniors in LSU’s spring 2014 class to receive the University Medal during a ceremony on May 14 in the LSU Union Theater. The event was part of the university’s 286th commencement exercises. The medalists were also recognized during the main commencement ceremony later that evening in the Pete… Continue reading →

Jambalaya queens gather to reminisce on days of royalty

Photo provided by Laurina Conger -- Gathering May 9 are the current and past Miss Gonzales Jambalaya queens, from left,Miss Gonzales Jambalaya 2015 Alyssa Hughes; Lauren Blouin, 2014; Stevi Girouard, 2013; Meredith Conger, 2012; Tabitha Babin, 2010; Chanie Frederic, 2009; Brittany Robert, 2005; Jace Templet Babin, 1996; Michelle Daigle Garbiras, 1995; Celeste Veillon Peytavan, 1987; Bridgett Landry Henderson, 1984; Deenie Wright Schexnaydre, 1981; Maria Mire Daigle, 1979; Bonnie Waguespack Simpson, 1976; Cheryl Piper Frederic, 1969 and Linda Collison Comeaux, 1968.

Past Miss Gonzales Jambalaya queens gathered May 9 at the home of Frank and Carol Frederic in St. Amant to reminisce about their days as local royalty. Queens who reigned when the Jambalaya Festival first began meet some of the more recent queens and the newly crowned Miss Gonzales Jambalaya Queen, Alyssa Hughes, and the Teen Miss… Continue reading →

Dutchtown High girls soccer camp set for June

Registration is underway for the Dutchtown High School Girls Soccer Camp set for June 22-26 at Dutchtown Middle School practice fields. The fee is $50 if received before June 12 and $60 for all others. The camp is for boys and girls ages 5 to 12. Registration includes a T-shirt and bag. Campers will need to… Continue reading →

Cheerleaders sought for flag football league

Hope Youth Development’s flag football program is looking for girls ages 5 to 12 to serve as cheerleaders. Interested girls can register from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Burnside Avenue soccer field next to Spartan Stadium. The fee is $40 for the five-week program that begins June 6. Flag football is… Continue reading →

Graduation: Dutchtown High School

Ryan Hoffman

Dutchtown High School commencement ceremonies were at 7 p.m. May 13 in Griffin Field. Valedictorian: Ryan Hoffman Salutatorian: Harry Riel Distinguished Honor Graduates: Ashley Elizabeth Aguillard, Shees Muhammad Ahmed, Elisabeth Grace Aldridge, Ashtan Tracy Andrus, Nawaf Nidal… Continue reading →

Graduation: St. Amant High School

Madison Elise Knott

The St. Amant High School Class of 2015’s graduation ceremony was at 7 p.m. May 14 at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center. Valedictorian: Madison Elise Knott Salutatorian : Alexis Layne Gardner Graduates: Destany Jane Abadie, Taylor Jordan Alberes#*, Jennifer Nicole Albert*, Brayden Cole Alexander,… Continue reading →

Graduation: Ascension Christian High School

Ascension Christian High School’s Class of 2015 graduated at 2 p.m. May 16 during a ceremony at Household of Faith Church in Gonzales. Valedicatorians: Christian Pilgrim and Allyson Cambre Salutatorian: Hannah Blanchard Graudates: Mary Madeline Anderson, Arlyn Diane Becnel, Jordyn Elizabeth… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish pets available for May 21, 2015

This young adult male terrier mix.

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.… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish calendar for May 21-28, 2015

TAI JI QUAN: Moving for Better Balance: 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Ascension Parish Library, Gonzales branch, 708 S. Irma Ave., Gonzales. SCORE: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Ascension Parish Library, Dutchtown branch, 13278 La. 73, Geismar. Free small business counseling and mentoring. TEEN BOOK CLUB: 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Ascension Parish Library, Galvez… Continue reading →

Ascension Council on Aging for May 21-28, 2015

Spaghetti with meat sauce, green beans with peppers, tossed salad with dressing, dinner roll and apple cobbler PILATES: 8:15 a.m. and 9:15 a.m., Gonzales PIYO: 9 a.m., Donaldsonville Senior Center AN HOUR OF SONG: 9:30 a.m., Gonzales Senior Center ZUMBA GOLD: 10:30 a.m., Gonzales CAJUN NEEDLERS: 12:30 p.m., Gonzales… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish Police Bookings for May 7-14, 2015

The following people were booked into the Ascension Parish prison from May 7-14. ARNOLD, DUSTIN C.: 37, 5079 Fryers Ave., Greenwell Springs, felony theft. CAREY, LEMARCO: 29, 10079 Elscott F., Baton Rouge, failure to appear in court, misdemeanor theft. FERRYGOOD, BRIANNA R.: 21, 21118 Jefferson Highway, Lutcher, felony theft. FREDERICK, TAYLOR: 32, 14054… Continue reading →

Ascension Civil Cases for May 4-8, 2015

Court cases filed in Ascension Parish between May 4-8. Midland Funding LLC v. Gregory Vaughn, executory judgment. Jonathan McKeough v. Ace American Insurance Co., Brand Energy & Infrastructure Services and Matthew LeBlanc, damages. Sharon Knapps v. Permanent General Assurance Corp. and Verna L. Gordon, damages. Nick Chowhardy v. Medical… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish economic leaders ear-marking west bank area for heavy industrial development

Photo submitted by BASF A chemical intermediates plant operates at BASF's Geismar chemical complex in Geismar. The site, BASF's largest in North America with nearly 1,400 employees, weathered a 2008-2009 recession in which global sales for the company dropped more than 20 percent. Chemical industry officials say the sector that was hard-hit by lower consumer purchases is about one-third of the way back to its pre-recession peak.

Ascension economic development officials have wrapped up months of largely closed-door planning efforts to turn a swath of agricultural fields on the parish’s west bank into a 17,000-acre heavy industry park. Under the long-range plan, the rural pocket of cane fields along the Mississippi River north of La. 1 and Donaldsonville would… Continue reading →

Defense attorney claims $175,000 in cash missing from Porsche SUV seized by Ascension deputies after 2014 shootout in Darrow

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley at a press conference in April.

The defense attorney for four men facing second-degree murder charges from an April 2014 shootout in Darrow claimed Tuesday that $175,000 of his clients’ cash is missing from their seized Porsche sport utility vehicle — an allegation Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley called “outrageous.” Attorney Peter John said the money… Continue reading →

Impassioned Facebook post leads Ascension Parish officials to ban animal rescue group from parish animal shelter

Advocate file photo by ADAM LAU -- Craig Templet, left, leads a dog to its holding pen past supervisor Mike LeBlanc and Megan Choate, from left, at Ascension Parish Animal Shelter in Sorrento in 2013.

An ongoing battle between an animal rescue group and the Ascension Parish Animal Control Center came to a head Monday after an impassioned Facebook post from an animal rights activist led to the group being temporarily blocked from the shelter. At the heart of the battle are two issues: taking of pictures of dogs and cats… Continue reading →

Bobby Jindal's butler -- a convicted murderer -- seeks to reduce life sentence; officials testify man not a threat to public

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Azaleas bloom in front of the Governor's Mansion.

Harrison Cage, Gov. Bobby Jindal’s personal butler and a longtime state prison trusty, asked a state district judge Monday to reduce his mandatory life sentence for a 1991 second-degree murder, as a state prison warden and the Governor’s Mansion coordinator testified they believe Cage is no longer a risk to the public.… Continue reading →

Belle Rose man accused of a variety of drug offenses

Dontrell Landry was arrested on May 12, 2015 by the Assumption Parish Sheriff's office on various drug-related counts.

A Belle Rose man was arrested Tuesday after officers with the Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Narcotics Division and SWAT team found heroin and three guns at his home, Sheriff Mike Waguespack said. Dontrell Landry, 31, of 276 La. 998, Belle Rose, who was home at the time of… Continue reading →

Road agency head urges Ascension officials to coalesce behind I-10 interchange at La. 74; some fear proximity of old Superfund site

The head of Baton Rouge’s regional road planning agency urged Ascension Parish leaders Tuesday to get behind a new Interstate 10 interchange at La. 74 that could be built as part of long-range “mega projects” being mulled by state highway officials. Though the future interchange at La. 74 would run past a… Continue reading →

Man pleads not guilty to attempted murder; he’s accused of pulling trigger on gun that malfunctioned, never fired during fight

A Port Vincent woman posed late last year as an in-home barber at a victim’s mobile home in a failed plot with an accomplice to rob the victim of cocaine and money. As the woman gave the victim a haircut, her armed accomplice broke through the door of the mobile home, demanding,… Continue reading →

East Acension seniors carry on longtime tradition

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG --  East Ascension High School seniors use a variety of floatation devices May 6 during the annual pond jump.

Every year, when the senior class is dismissed after taking final exams, seniors participate in a ritual that Jamie Andrews said may leave some other high schools in the area with pond envy. They run across the street to the property of the under-construction Ascension Parish governmental complex, jump into a pond on the… Continue reading →

Prairieville girls get ready to run

Photos provided by JENNIFER GROS --  Emma Romier, from left, Abigail 'Abby' Norris, and Coach Susan Templet work on a Girls on the Run practice activity while preparing for the 5K race May 9 by running laps at Prairieville Middle School in Gonzales. The girls got one letter in the word "confident" until they had the whole word written on their arms.

Several Prairieville Middle School students, all female and all wearing running shoes, sat in small groups working on posters May 7, requesting donations for animal rescue in Ascension Parish. The students, taking part in the first Prairieveille Middle School Girls on the Run Program, chose animal welfare as their service project, which, in addition to physical fitness… Continue reading →

Teens lauded for anti-drug messages

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --St. Amant student Xavier Foster, with hat, is interviewed after he and other students walked down the red carpet at the Malco Theater in Gonzales before a showing of their PSA they created for a contest between four local high schools to advertise the dangers of synthetic marijuana.

Donaldsonville High School’s team won a contest to produce a public service announcement warning teens about the dangers of synthetic marijuana. They, along with teams from each of Ascension Parish’s public high schools, got the red carpet treatment May 4 at the first Project Red Carpet PSA premier at the Malco theater in Gonazales.… Continue reading →