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Donaldsonville man arrested after four-month undercover drug investigation

After a four-month undercover investigation, Ascension Parish deputies arrested a Donaldsonville man Thursday on multiple drug counts involving marijuana, cocaine and heroin, said Chief Deputy Tony Bacala. Romel Julien, 29, 306 W. Seventh St., Donaldsonville, was the target of the undercover investigation, Bacala said. Over the course of the operation, Bacala… Continue reading →

Smoke from small fire closes Donaldsonville Primary Thursday

A small morning fire inside a classroom at Donaldsonville Primary School on Thursday forced the evacuation and closure of the Ascension Parish public school for the day, parish school officials said. Johnnie Balfantz, public school spokesman, said Thursday that 570 prekindergartners to second-graders were taken to the cafeteria at Lowery Middle School… Continue reading →

State Sen. Dan Claitor’s mother dies from injuries in Saturday car accident

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Nancy Claitor, standing rear left, watches as her son Dan Claitor, right, signs in to qualify to run for office at the Secretary of State's office in this August 2014 Advocate file photo. Nancy Claitor died Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014, as a result of injuries she suffered in a car crash Saturday in Ascension Parish. Her grandson Sam Claitor is also shown.

The mother of Baton Rouge state Sen. Dan Claitor died late Wednesday after she was injured in a Saturday crash on Airline Highway in Ascension Parish, State Police said Thursday. Nancy M. Claitor, 80, of Baton Rouge, died at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge shortly before midnight… Continue reading →

Traffic stop turns up crystal meth, other illegal drugs.

Photo provided by Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office -- Gary D. Martin

Assumption Parish sheriff’s deputies arrested a Bayou L’Ourse man, who was out of jail on bail, on drug distribution and weapons counts after a traffic stop turned up crystal methamphetamine and other illegal drugs. The sheriff’s narcotics agents stopped Gary D. Martin, 58, in a white Ford Focus on Honey Lane… Continue reading →

15-year-olds admit to cellphone thefts

Ascension Parish sheriff’s deputies have arrested two 15-year-olds after they admitted to stealing a booksack full of cellphones owned by high school football players visiting Donaldsonville for a game Friday night. The sack of 15 cellphones had been taken from a Centerville High School bus at Floyd Boutte Memorial Stadium on Clay Street… Continue reading →

New Sorrento police chief misses town meeting

New Police Chief Fern Barnett could not attend Tuesday’s Town Council meeting, the last public forum before a Nov. 4 referendum that could eliminate her department, because she was busy baby-sitting. Mayor Mike Lambert read a typed letter from Barnett, who apologized for not making the meeting. “I was already committed to babysit… Continue reading →

Tax hike aims to bolster recreation

Advocate staff photo by David J. Mitchell Tyler Mercil, 11, looks on during an evening game at J. Leo Stevens Park off Cannon Road outside Gonzales Oct. 9. His team, the

On a recent October evening in what is normally football season, J. Leo Stevens Park in Ascension Parish was chock full of young baseball players and their parents, with the exception of one field, which had no working lights. In the fall baseball season put on by the Ascension Baseball Committee, no score… Continue reading →

Ascension Christian first-graders get classical training

Advocate photo by Kate Stevens -- Teacher Borislava Iltcheva-Farrell instructs Ascension Christian Elementary School students, from left, Avery Allred, Cole Vogel and Morgan Munson during a recent piano lesson.

Before actually playing the keyboards in Borislava Iltcheva-Farrell’s piano class at Ascension Christian Elementary School, three first-graders practiced their form and posture. After demonstrating they could keep their backs straight and their hands and elbows lifted off the table, students Avery Allred, Cole Vogel and Morgan Munson were ready to move… Continue reading →

Around Ascension for Oct. 23, 2014

Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez has set Halloween trick-or-treat hours for Halloween. Ascension Parish will observe trick-or-treat hours in unincorporated areas of the parish from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 31. The Ascension Parish Council voted on the scheduled hours at their Sept. 4 council meeting. Officials with the city of Gonzales said their… Continue reading →

Ascension Athletics: Can I get a Shout Out?

Lyle Johnson

With great expectations and lots of adrenaline flowing, the 12th Spartan/Gator Tailgate Shout Out will pit the vocal cords of East Ascension and St. Amant high school fans for a Halloween week showdown. The event, a yell-fest and celebration of the long-standing cross parish rivals, starts at 6 p.m. Oct. 29 at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center’s Savoy… Continue reading →

FFA plans Boo at the Barn

A pumpkin patch, hay ride, games, a petting zoo and barnyard-themed candy stations are on tap Saturday for the St. Amant High School FFA Boo at the Barn. The Halloween event, set from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., will be held behind the high school, with visitors entering the shell parking lot on La. 431.… Continue reading →

Council on Aging to host Halloween party

Witches, goblins and ghosts are preparing for the Ascension Council on Aging’s annual Halloween Party. The party is set for 9:30 a.m. Oct. 31 at the Gonzales Senior Center. The party, which features a costume contest and dancing, is open to Ascension Parish seniors age 60 and above. Prizes will… Continue reading →

Breast Cancer awareness activities planned

Advocate photo by Aaron E. Looney -- Donaldsonville Mayor Leroy Sullivan Sr. issues a proclamation during the City Council's Oct. 14 meeting declaring the third Sunday in October as Breast Cancer Awareness Day. Pictured with the proclamation are, first row from, City Council Vice Chairman Lauthaught Delaney Sr., Ascension Parish Recreation Program Coordinator Ajia Mitchell, local breast cancer survivor Wanda August and Mayor Leroy Sullivan Sr.; and second row, City Councilmen Emile Spano, Reginald Francis Sr. and Charles Brown Sr. Not pictured is City Council Chairman Raymond Aucoin.

The Ascension Parish Recreation Department, River Road African American Museum and the Ascension Parish Breast Cancer Awareness Committee will host a week of activities acknowledging October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, said Parish president Tommy Martinez. Donaldsonville officials gathered Oct. 14 to proclaim the third Sunday in October as Breast Cancer Awareness Day in the… Continue reading →

East Ascension enjoys homecoming festivities

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  East Ascension High School band members, from left, Allison Provino, 17, Ryan Bourque, 15, and Jacobi Graham, 14, play at Friday's Homecoming pep rally.

East Ascension High School celebrated homecoming week with flair. Check out our photos or click here to watch a video of the festivities.… Continue reading →

Ascension Catholic celebrates homecoming week

Photo provided by Chuck Montero -- Ascension Catholic kicked off homecoming week with a powderpuff football game on Oct. 12.

Ascension Catholic celebrated homecoming week with a powderpuff football game, parade, pep rally and a bicycle ride.… Continue reading →

Group’s national VP says he found his place in FFA

Photo provided by MANDY SAVOY DELAUNE -- St. Amant High School FFA members greet a national officer during a recent visit. Gathering at the school are, from left, FFA Secretary Cory Alleman, State Area IV Vice President Calab Danos, John Hammatt Sentinel, Treasurer Jacob Smith, Central Region Vice President Steven Brockshus, President Megan Bordelon, Vice President Katie Costanza, State President Christen Wall and Reporter Blake LaBauve.

A national vice president of the National FFA Organization recently visited the St. Amant High FFA Chapter. Steven Brockshus, the National FFA Central Region vice president, of Iowa, talked to the students about his life as a fifth-generation dairy farmer and longtime FFA member. Brockshus was a member of the FFA in high school and college,… Continue reading →

Gonzales gardeners learn floral design crafts

Photo provided by Pat Mouton -- Hosting the recent meeting of the Gonzales Garden Club are, from left,  Loretta Ramirez, Rita Bourque, Pat Mouton and Barbara Guillot.

Gonzales Garden Club members recently met at Red Door Interiors in Baton Rouge for their October meeting, which included instruction in floral design and wreath-making. Floral designers Wanda Calkins and Erin DeBousier demonstrated craft techniques using wire cutters, pliers, scissors and glue guns with grapevine wreaths, swags, vases, floral stems and sprays, wires and ribbons. They guided… Continue reading →

Registration available for youth basketball

Registration for the 2014 Ascension Youth Basketball Association program is available online. AYBA offers teams for boys and girls ages 6 to 15. The online registration fee is $60 per child. To register, visit www.ayba.info for the link and instructions.… Continue reading →

Dutchtown senior tops in racing series

Photo provided by Michele Roach--Erin Roach, left, receives a first place certificate for a customized Cactus Saddlery barrel racing saddle and a customized horse blanket from Jana Jarreau Browning.Roach won the 2D division and placed second in the 4D division of the Tuesday Turn-N-Burn Sizzling Saddle Series held each week from early June through late September.

Erin Roach, a Prairieville resident and senior at Dutchtown High School, recently won a first-place award and a second-place award in a local 18-week-long barrel racing series. Roach, 17, and her horse, Priscilla, won first place in the 2D division of the weekly Tuesday Turn-N-Burn Sizzling Saddle Series. Roach and her other horse, Ivy, won second… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish pets available for Oct. 23, 2014

Photo provided -- A domestic, short-haired, female kitten, who is about 6 weeks old is available for adoption.

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. The… Continue reading →

Ascension Civil Court for Oct. 6-10, 2014

Court cases filed in Ascension Parish between Oct. 6-10. Our Lady of Louisianake Ascen Comm Hosp Inc v. Kaiina L. Savoy, open account. Mark Saizon v. Bernard J. Capone, Ascension Parish Of and ABC Insurance Co., damages. Cusa Federal Credit Union v. Carl E. Green, promissory note. (individual on… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish Police Bookings for Oct. 9-16, 2014

The following people were booked into the Ascension Parish Prison from Oct. 9-16. CAPELLO, NICHOLAS: 24, 327 W. Jeansonne St., Gonzales, failure to appear in court. GEORGETOWN, QUINTELLER: 22, 23472 Gauthier St., Plaquemine, disturbing the peace / simple assault, aggravated battery. MCGEE, TY: 25, 3057 Elgin Drive, Baton Rouge, probation violation.… Continue reading →

Fur Baby Halloween costume contest Saturday

Companion Animal Rescue of Ascension will host the second annual Fur Baby Halloween contest starting at noon Saturday at Petsmart, 40451 Lowes Ave., in Gonzales. Judging starts at 1 p.m. Prizes will be awarded for first-, second- and third-place. All contestants will receive treat bags.… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish community photo gallery for Oct. 23, 2014

Photo by ROSE CHILDRESS -- The Dutchtown Sound competed in the Morgan City Marching Band Competition on Saturday, Oct. 18, and received all superiors –- the highest marks possible -– in all categories, which include drum major, auxiliary, percussion and overall band. Next, the band will host 15 other high schools at its stadium for the Dutchtown High School Marching Contest on Saturday, Oct. 25.

The Ascension Advocate this week includes photos from local civic, community and school groups and highlights recent events around Ascension Parish.… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish calendar for Oct. 23-30, 2014

LAP-SIT STORYTIME: 10 a.m., Ascension Parish Library Gonzales, 708 S. Irma Ave., Gonzales and Dutchtown, 13278 La. 73, Geismar. Also Oct. 30. ADVENTURE TIME!: 4 p.m., Ascension Parish Library Dutchtown branch. A teen program. DENTAL CARE GROUP’S ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Dental Care Group, 16270 Airline Highway, Suite B, Prairieville.… Continue reading →

Lambert wins Ascension School Board race after opponent withdraws

GONZALES — One of two candidates for Ascension Parish School Board District 6B has withdrawn from the race, leaving his opponent, Louis Lambert, as the winner. Chad Bourgeois, a Libertarian candidate, officially withdrew from the race on Monday, according to the Secretary of State’s Office. Lambert, of Prairieville and not affiliated with… Continue reading →

Henderson Bayou floodgate nears completion

Advocate staff photo by  APRIL BUFFINGTON --  Newly constructed Henderson Bayou Flood gates in Gonzales.

Mitchell Epps kept a worn, well-thumbed-through copy of Ascension Parish’s landmark drainage plan in the back office of his house during the last few years of his life. Created by Prescott Follett and Associates for Ascension Parish in the early 1980s, the plan was the basis upon which the old Ascension Parish Police Jury convinced voters to… Continue reading →

Donaldsonville sex offender surrenders to sheriff’s deputies

A Donaldsonville man convicted of forcible rape nearly two decades ago and accused of failing to register as a sex offender in Ascension Parish surrendered Saturday morning. The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested Dave Alexander, 51, 205 Bourg St., Lot 2, after he turned himself in at the Ascension Parish jail.… Continue reading →

Search on for Donaldsonville man who failed to register as sex offender, deputies say

Dave Alexander

Ascension Parish sheriff’s deputies are looking for a Donaldsonville man convicted of forcible rape nearly two decades ago who is now accused of failing to register as a sex offender. Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Tony Bacala said in a statement Friday that Dave Alexander, 51, 205 Bourg St., Lot 2, was last seen… Continue reading →

St. James Parish Council delays action on pay raises for constables, justice of the peace

The St. James Parish Council agreed Wednesday to delay taking any action on increasing the salaries of the parish’s 14 justices of the peace and constables. Council members tabled the topic until after Parish President Timmy Roussel presents his proposed fiscal year 2015 budget at the Nov. 5 meeting and until the… Continue reading →

Pierre Part man indicted for inappropriately touching 2 children

Kevin Landry

An Assumption Parish grand jury indicted a Pierre Part man on charges he inappropriately touched two children between the ages of 4 and 13 over a seven-year period, the sheriff said Wednesday. Kevin Landry, 46, 122 Mam & Pap Drive, was charged Tuesday with two counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile.… Continue reading →

Donaldsonville council allots tourist funds to three agencies

City councilmen voted 3-1 Tuesday to allot $105,600 in state hotel-motel tax revenues to three local entities. Donaldsonville’s share of the revenues, which is less than that of recent years, is a portion of Ascension Parish’s total tax revenues from lodging businesses. “With the new formula, the amount we get will… Continue reading →

St. James School Board seeks clarification on Aramark contract

St. James Parish School Board members on Tuesday sought clarification from two representatives from Aramark, the private company providing custodial services at parish schools, about who is actually performing the janitorial work and at what cost to the district. Board members also discussed a clerical error that led to them not receiving… Continue reading →

Jambalaya fuels Franco-American ties

Photos provided by KAREN HATCHER  -- Members of the Gonzales and Meylan twin cities delegation pose In front of the lake in Geneva, Switzerland, during a recent trip hosted by the Meylan, France, delegation. Gathering are, seated, from left, Sharon Giruoard, Carol Ann Frederic,  and Meylan resident Josephine Mangaretto; second row, Dane Giruoard, Stevi Giruoard, Michelle Reine, Tina Prejean, Ed Prejean, Carolyn Keller, Pat Shexnayder, and Meylan residents Mireille Adji-Anastasiou and  Cathy Huloux; and third row, Robert 'Hoss' Reine, Clement Templet, Meylan's Daniel Ducrocq, John Hebert, Gatis Eve Mire, Meylan resident Jean-Claude Bobillon, Drena Ourso and Ronnie Comeaux.

Every other year, the city of Meylan, France, pulls the large jambalaya pot out of storage in preparation for a delegation from its sister city in Gonzales. That’s when the Jambalaya Capital of the World sends its best Franco-American ambassadors — it’s jambalaya cooks, said John Hebert, one of the trip’s original organizers. The Gonzales Committee… Continue reading →

Six seats in contention for races

Vickie Auguste, candidate for 2014 Ascension Parish School Board race.

The Ascension Parish School Board race this fall has the potential to bring new faces to a majority of the board, with three open seats in contention and three incumbents facing challengers. Board members are elected from seven school districts, with four of the districts each represented by two board members, for a total of 11… Continue reading →

Around Ascension for Oct. 16, 2014

Registration is underway for Mayor Barney Arceneaux’s 28th annual Prayer Breakfast. The breakfast is set for 7 a.m. Nov. 4 at the Gonzales Civic Center. Baton Rouge Mayor President Melvin “Kip” Holden is set as guest speaker. Tickets are $5 and must be paid for at City Hall by Oct. 20. Call (225) 647-2841.… Continue reading →

Fire prevention work in Gonzales honored

Gonzales Fire and Rescue was recently presented a Life Safety Achievement Award for fire prevention accomplishments in 2013 by the National Association of State Fire Marshals Fire Research and Education Foundation in partnership with Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company. The award was announced by State Fire Marshal Butch Browning, president of the NASFM Foundation. “The heroic efforts… Continue reading →

St. Amant dance team contributes to nonprofit

Photo provided by Jessica Thomassee – St. Amant Middle School Dance team includes, first row from left, Madison Smith, Carley Oakley, Demi Guidry, Alexis Hymel and Gabriella Lewis; second row, Hadley Hebert, Kaitlyn Smith, Kenzie Elisar and Haylee Hue; and third row, Mckenzie Nassar, Aries Fournet, Gabby Wolfe, Alexis Molliere, Emma Hammond and Maddie Thomassee.

St. Amant Middle School Dance Team members are raising money for the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention’s Out of the Darkness Walk on Oct. 25. The girls have raised money through various fundraisers for the nonprofit group. The dancers will take part in the event, representing the school. The girls will sport their… Continue reading →

Donaldsonville homecoming festivities this week

Donaldsonville High School’s homecoming coronation ceremony starts at 6 p.m. Monday at the school gym. Festivities include an alumni basketball game at 5 p.m. Tuesday; a powder puff flag football game at 5 p.m. Wednesday and pep rally at 6 p.m. Oct. 23. A homecoming parade rolls at 1:30 p.m. Friday. The Tigers play Berwick… Continue reading →

Student 2014 Veterans Day Poster Contest underway

Ascension Republican Women has kicked off its 2014 Veterans Day Poster Contest for the middle and high school students in Ascension Parish. Public and private school students are eligible to enter the contest and entries are due by Nov. 6. Winners are eligible to win cash prizes and certificates. Each poster should include… Continue reading →