The Advocate Ascension Replica Edition
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‘Business as usual’ says Sorrento councilman Randy Anny, attending first meeting since FBI seized his boat

Randy Anny

Town Councilman Randy Anny took notes, made motions and even a few suggestions Tuesday at his first council meeting since FBI agents seized his fishing boat emblazoned with “Who’s Ya Daddy” from his driveway. The agents visited his home just down Main Street from town hall a week ago… Continue reading →

Four armed men, three wearing masks, break into Gonazales house, rob six people inside

Kaleb Boudreaux surrendered to the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office in the armed burglary of a home March 2, 2015.

Ascension Parish sheriff’s deputies are looking for three of four men who broke into a house Monday and held the six occupants at gunpoint while they ransacked the house, stealing money and weapons, said Maj. Kevin Hanna, with the Sheriff’s Office. The four men armed with guns broke into the home… Continue reading →

Photo provided by ANNETTE BECNEL -- Students honor presidents -- In celebration of Presidents' Day, Dutchtown Primary hosted a 'President Dress-Up' day on Feb. 13. Students, first row from left, Eldon Board, Phillip Constantin, Dedrick Glover, Ian Surla and Maegan Duet; and second row, Olivia Duff, Marie Cruanes, Alexis Logarbo, Emma Lamoureaux and Rylie Berry dress as their favorite presidents. Students not only dressed as their favorite presidents but also researched information to share with their classmates, school officials said.

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Photo provided by KENDALL C. HEBERT -- Students read, receive books -- Gonzales Primary School prekindergarten students John Thompson and Alice Lopez, from left, receive in February donated books from Capital Area United Way. United Way partnered with the school to provide volunteers from Shell Geismar to launch a weekly reading program, school officials said. Many of the students received books. The students' teacher Moquita Winey is shown with her students.

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Photo provided by Kim Hammond -- St. Amant Middle Beta club competes-- St. Amant Middle School Beta Club members, from left, Jordan Allred, Annie Dupuy, Carley Oakley, Kaylynn Broussard and Ashtyn Turner compete Jan. 25 in the Living Literature contest at the District Beta Day at East Ascension High School. The club placed first in the banner competition with an entry created by sisters Kaitlyn and Aubrey O’Dell and first in the T-shirt design contest. Keondra Carter and Caleb Cretini designed the T-shirt. The Living Literature group won third place and Austin Arceneaux placed fourth in the speech category. The club members look forward to competing May 7-8 at the State Convention in Lafayette, a news release said.

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Photo provided by Ashley Whitcomb -- Author visits classroom -- Author Jennifer Smith Culotta reads her book ‘The Girl with the Red Rubber Boots’ during a February visit to first-graders at Galvez Primary School. The visit came during a lesson on authors. The students learned that authors write for several reasons: either to entertain, persuade or convince, or inform and teach you about something, a news release from the school said.

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Photo provided by Jennifer Bercegeay -- Mardi Gras royalty -- Gonzales Healthcare Center celebrated Mardi Gras on Feb. 16 with a ball and carnival court. Celebrating, seated from left, are, 2014 King Sno Sheets and Queen Bridgett Sheets and 2015 Queen Vera Melancon and King Sidney Touissant.

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Photo provided by Susan Minvielle -- Gonzales Middle student wins third in LSU Science Fair--Gonzales Middle School sixth-grade student Kittyanna Walker earned third place with her science project titled 'Does Student Preference in School Subjects Affect Their Grades' in the Behavioral Studies Category at Region 7 Science Fair held Feb. 24 on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge.

Victim in Feb. 15 Gonzales two-vehicle crash dies

One of the people involved in a two-vehicle wreck Feb. 15 in Ascension Parish died Saturday. Joey McClendon, of Prairieville, died in a hospital Saturday night, Gonzales police said in a news release Tuesday. The two-vehicle crash occurred at the intersection of La. 429 and U.S. 61. Five people were taken to hospitals at the time.… Continue reading →

St. James School Board accepts Yuhuang Chemical’s $10.1 million bid to buy high school, deal depends on voters

Yuhuang Chemical site -- Advocate graphic

The St. James Parish School Board accepted Yuhuang Chemical Inc.’s $10.1 million bid Monday to buy St. James High School, but officials cautioned it would be several years before the River Road school closes and that the deal hinges on a bond issue headed to voters May 2. The only high school… Continue reading →

Reward for information in Ascension Parish double homicide increases by $20,000

Benny Booker

The reward for information leading to an arrest in a double homicide in Donaldsonville has increased by $20,000, according to the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff’s detectives still are trying to determine who shot and killed Chad Nichols, 37, and Benny Booker, 29, on Jan. 26 in front of Nichols’ home on Latino Drive in Donaldsonville.… Continue reading →

Attorneys spar over obstruction hearing in slaying of 12-year-old St. James girl

John Celestine has been arrested and booked in the death of Talaija Dorsey, whose body was discovered on Sunday by St. James Parish Sheriff Willy Martin.

Defense attorneys for the man accused in the July slaying of a 12-year-old St. James Parish girl failed in a bid Monday to have law enforcement officials offer pre-trial testimony about their case against John D. Celestine Jr. But Judge Alvin Turner Jr., of the 23rd Judicial District, did say he will… Continue reading →

Attorneys for Bayou Corne residents seek $12 million in fees from settlement

Attorneys who represented Bayou Corne residents in a class-action lawsuit over the Assumption Parish sinkhole are asking a federal judge in New Orleans for legal fees that amount to 25 percent of the $48.1 million settlement award. The request, if granted, works out to about $12.03 million in attorneys’ fees split among the few dozen lawyers… Continue reading →

Ascension deputies find ‘Toe’ Nash, booked on flight, failure to register as sex offender

Ascension Parish authorities located Gregory “Toe” Nash — a former professional baseball prospect and convicted sex offender — at a residence off La. 937 shortly after 8 p.m. Friday after receiving several anonymous tips on his whereabouts, Lt. Col. Bobby Webre said in a news release. Nash, 32, a Sorrento native, gained national attention as a “hidden… Continue reading →

Gun used in Donaldsonville slayings tied to 5 shooting injuries in New Orleans

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- New Orleans police say a 25-year-old man was shot twice in the body with non-life-threatening wounds mid-day on May 2, 2013, at the intersection of Aubry and North Dorgenois streets in New Orleans, seen Thursday afternoon. Ascension Parish sheriff's investigators say that shooting and three others in New Orleans in 2011 have been linked with a Jan. 26 double-homicide in Donaldsonville. The tie was made through a ballistic match of shell casings left at the various crime scenes.

Investigators believe a single handgun used in the slayings of two Donaldsonville men in January also was involved in a series of five shooting injuries in recent years in New Orleans. Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley said Friday his officers are in the painstaking process of trying to find and interview the five… Continue reading →

Prairieville man booked on numerous sex counts involving a child

Benjamin Tonguis of Prairieville was arrested Feb. 25, 2015 by the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office on multiple counts, including 16 counts of aggravated rape.

A Prairieville man was booked Wednesday on 16 counts of aggravated rape and other counts after he confessed to detectives he had committed sexual acts over several years with a now-13-year-old child, Sheriff Jeff Wiley said. The Ascension Parish sheriff’s Juvenile Division received information Wednesday that the child was possibly being raped… Continue reading →

Weekly evacuation assistance checks to continue for remaining Bayou Corne residents

Citing continuing risk from rising, flammable gas unleashed by the Bayou Corne sinkhole, the state Office of Conservation ruled Friday that remaining residents in the swampland community must continue to receive weekly $875 checks for evacuation assistance. The order says the checks from Texas Brine Co. should continue until the mandatory evacuation order in place since… Continue reading →

Sorrento Town Councilman Randy Anny’s boat, trailer seized during search at his home

Advocate staff file photo by ADAM LAU -- Sorrento councilman Randy Anny.

Law enforcement officials who served a search warrant Tuesday at the home of Sorrento Town Councilman Randy Anny were focused on a boat that had been sitting idle in his driveway, the town police chief said. Police Chief Fern Barnett said she spoke with Anny after law enforcement officials on Tuesday arrived… Continue reading →

Ascension sheriff's office: Missing teen found

The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office is looking for Baylie Allen, 17, of Gonzales considered a runaway.

A missing teenage girl, believed to have runaway, was found on Wednesday, a spokesman with the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office said. Baylie Allen, 17, was located unharmed, the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office said in an email. No other information was provided. Allen left her grandfather’s home in Gonzales more than… Continue reading →

Prosecutors to seek jail time for Stanley White in 1994 infant death case

Advocate file photo by BILL FEIG -- Stanley White, who was convicted of negligent homicide in a 1994 crash that killed Rachel Deville's 2-month old infant, Brittney, but never served his jail sentence, heads back to court after 1st Circuit ordered judge to take a second look at state motion to have White serve out his sentence; the judge had originally suspended the sentence. White was sentenced to two-years' home incarceration.

Prosecutors say they plan to seek jail time for a Donaldsonville man sentenced to home incarceration for a 1994 alcohol-related crash that claimed an infant’s life after the dead child’s parents caught him at a local restaurant. Kurt Wall, director of the state Attorney General’s Office Criminal Division, said the parents… Continue reading →

DEQ gives Noranda 30 days to determine the scale of its yearslong mercury emissions in St. James Parish

The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality has given Noranda Alumina one month to say how it plans to determine the breadth and severity of possible unpermitted mercury air emissions from its St. James Parish facility. In a new compliance order signed Friday that threatens a host of fines, DEQ also directed Noranda to conduct and submit the… Continue reading →

Ascension’s chief deputy to run for House of Representatives in the fall

Outgoing Ascension Parish Chief Deputy Tony Bacala.

Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Tony Bacala plans to retire and run for the state House of Representatives, meaning the loss of an important figure inside a well-regarded Sheriff’s Office but adding a potent new candidate to a wide-open legislative race this fall. Bacala, a Republican, will run to replace state Rep.… Continue reading →

Ascension Idol-Voice contest announces top 20 finalists

Advocate staff photo by ANGELA MAJOR -- Faith Carmouche, a student at East Ascension High School, performs 'Yours Forever' by Dara McClean during the 2014 Ascension Idol-Voice competition at the Gonzales Civic Center. She was selected by the judges to be the overall winner of the competition. This year's contest is set for March 27.

The top 20 finalists for the Ascension Fund’s Ascension Idol-Voice contest have been named. The 20 middle and high school students will compete for the singing title March 27 during the nonprofit agency’s fifth annual fundraiser. Finalists were selected after a round of preliminary auditions. The event raises money for teacher and school grant programs in… Continue reading →

Ascension looks to refinance debt

As millions of homeowners have done during years of record low interest rates, Ascension Parish government is making early moves to refinance nearly $68 million in long-standing debt from past capital improvements. The loans have paid for a 300-bed, $11 million expansion of Ascension Parish Prison finished in 2009 and a variety of drainage projects, including the… Continue reading →

Students present at state livestock fair

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Sadie Melancon, who attends St. Amant Middle School, competes Feb. 19 with Ascension Parish in the market hog parish group event at the LSU AgCenter's State Livestock Show at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center.

Makenna Babin, 11, pulled the rope attached to her 900-pound Hereford heifer, but the cow would not move. “She not cooperating today,” she said. “Well, it does happen pretty often.” Iggy, Babin’s entry in the LSU Agricultural Center’s 80th annual State Livestock Show,… Continue reading →

Around Ascension for Feb. 26, 2015

Lawmen, Special Olympians and area volunteers will plunge Saturday into the chilly waters of the lake at Cabela’s in Gonzales for the annual Freezin’ for a Reason Polar Plunge for Special Olympics. Jumpers, many clad in costumes, collect donations for the chance to plunge into the lake to support Special Olympics Louisiana. Residents are invited… Continue reading →

Ascension updates emergency guidelines

Flooding from a 100-year hurricane would cause an estimated $1.6 billion in damage to Ascension Parish and its three municipalities, a new parish worst-case estimate says. Likewise, multiple levee failures on the Mississippi River and along internal parish levees would cause a similar level of damage across a wide swath of the parish. While Ascension… Continue reading →

Donaldsonville receives mostly clean audit

The city received a nearly clean bill of financial health Tuesday, as its contracted auditor released his firm’s findings to the City Council. Mike Waguespack, of Waguespack and Gallagher, said while the city received an unqualified, or clean, opinion, there were a handful of findings in the annual audit.… Continue reading →

Ascension Athletics for Feb. 26, 2015

Photo provided by Deborah Johnson -- Well, there it is: the lowly gaspergou that made it to a recent  pot.

St. Amant’s wrestling team finished in 11th place with 99.12 points in the AllState/LHSAA State Wrestling Tournament on Saturday in Kenner.… Continue reading →

St. Amant eighth-graders prepped for high school

Advocate photo by Kimberly Gagnet -- St. Amant High School students, from left, Alyssa Dardeau, Brandon Murchie and Garrett Hatfield at a booth Feb. 12 during the school's Incoming Freshman Night in St. Amant.

Eighth-graders got a sneak peak of what high school life will be like during a Feb. 12 program at St. Amant High School. St. Amant High School’s Incoming Freshman Night started with parents and students making appointments to meet with the school guidance counselors when they return to the middle schools. After that, the attendees were free… Continue reading →

Fire chief installs smoke detectors in local homes

Photo provided by CHARLOTTE GUEDRY -- Gonzales Fire Department District Chief Leo Graves recently visits with Gloria Webre after installing a smoke detector in her Gonzales home.

Gonzales Fire Department District Chief Leo Graves has installed smoke detectors in residents’ homes. His work is part of the state Fire Marshal’s Office program that provides the free devices. Residents must complete an application before the smoke detectors are installed, a news release from the Fire Department said. “This is something we are so… Continue reading →

St. Amant tennis teams tops at match

The St. Amant High School tennis team took on Lutcher High School during a Feb. 19 match. The St. Amant boys and girls won 4-1. In boys single matches: St. Amant’s L. Savoie defeated Lutcher’s R. Poche, 6-1, 6-0. T. Wahl, LHS, defeated B. LeBlanc, St. Amant, 6-4, 7-5. In doubles: K.… Continue reading →

St. Amant baseball sets alumni game

The St. Amant High School baseball program’s third annual Gator alumni baseball game is set for March 28. The event is scheduled to start immediately following the St. Amant varsity’s game against Assumption High, which is set for noon. A Home Run Derby will begin the festivities followed by a seven- to nine-inning game between… Continue reading →

Scouts compete for top honors at annual Pinewood Derby day

Photo provided by Janis Ament -- Competing Saturday in the Boy Scouts of America Pack 65 Pinewood Derby are, first row from left, Luke Reulet, Peyton Ledet and Jacob Duplessis; second row, Clyde Henry, Pat Ocmond, Cade Johnson, Reece Johnson, Jackson Sheets and Connor Cornett; and third row, Cole Mosley, Cade Gonzales, Reese Lambert, Alex Ocmond, Ainsley Lambert, William Travis and Dustin Cornett.

Boy Scouts of America Pack 65 held its annual Pinewood Derby Race on Saturday at St. Theresa School in Gonzales. Scouts raced their homemade cars on a Scout-approved track. Reese Lambert won first place overall, with Alex Ocmond, second and Cade Gonzales, third. In the Tiger Cubs division, Jackson Sheets won first place; William Travis,… Continue reading →

River Region seeks art submissions for show

River Region Art Association is looking for area students to enter artwork in the March Into Art Youth Show 2015. The exhibition will be March 20-28 at the RRAA Depot Gallery, 1008 W. La. 30, in Gonzales. Entries are judged by age divisions and by categories of paintings, drawings and three-dimensional. Entry fees are $1… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish community photo gallery for Feb. 26, 2015

Photo provided by ANNETTE BECNEL -- Students celebrate Valentine's Day -- Jude Fuselier, from left, Donald Fuslier, Jenny Fuselier, Eli Fuselier, Liz Faab and Richard Faab celebrate Valentine's Day early on Feb. 13 at Dutchtown Primary School. Grandparents ate lunch with their grandchildren and visited their classrooms during the celebration, school officials said.

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 Feb. 26 - March 5, 2015

STORYTIME: 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Ascension Parish Library, Gonzales branch, 708 S. Irma Ave., Gonzales; and Dutchtown branch, 13278 La. 73, Geismar. FOR THE BIRDS!: 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Ascension Parish Library, Galvez branch, 40300 La. 42, Prairieville. Make a bird feeder and a bird nest starter to help feathered friends get a… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish pets available for Feb. 26, 2015

A gray and white male 9-month-old domestic shorthair that neutered and up to date on vaccines.

The Ascension Parish Animal Shelter, 9894 Airline Highway, 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 shelter… Continue reading →

Ascension Civil Cases for Feb. 2-6, 2015

Court cases filed in Ascension Parish between Feb. 2-6. June Wells and Kenneth R. Wells v. Dolgencorp LLC dba General Dollar and XYZ Insurance Co., damages. Karippelile Mathew v. Louisiana Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Co and Alvin Dragg, damages. Spinks Construction Inc. v. Devere Construction Co. Inc. and Edenborne… Continue reading →

Ascension Civil Cases for Feb. 9-13, 2015

Court cases filed in Ascension Parish between Feb. 9-13. Kelly Sue Fernandez v. Bell Rhonda Susan and Safeco Insurance Co., damages. Hsbc Bank USA National Association and Sg Mortgage Securities Trust v. Richard K. Roche II aka Richard Roche II, Sharesma A. Desonier aka Sharesma Desonier, executory process. Adb… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish Police Bookings for Feb. 12-19, 2015

The following people were booked into the Ascension Parish prison from Feb. 12 - 19. JACOBSON, NICHOLAS B.: 23, 17449 Bud McMorris Road, Livingston, driving on roadway laned for traffic, possession of marijuana, or synthetic cannabinoids, misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated. LANDRY, MONIQUA M.: 27, 1209 McKinley St., Donaldsonville, four counts failure… Continue reading →

Ascension Council on Aging for Feb. 26 - March 5

Roasted turkey with gravy, smothered potatoes, green peas, whole-wheat bread and pineapple tidbits. PILATES: 8:15 a.m. and 9:15 a.m., Gonzales. PIYO: 9 a.m., Donaldsonville Senior Center. TRIP IN TIME: 9:30 a.m., Gonzales. Amanda Quirk to host activity. ZUMBA GOLD: 10:30 a.m., Gonzales Senior Center. CAJUN NEEDLERS: 12:30 p.m., Gonzales.… Continue reading →

Man admits to stealing horse so he could ride it to Mardi Gras parade, Assumption police say

Maison Rivere, arrested Feb. 20, 2015 by the Assumption Parish Sheriff's Office, in the theft of a horse to go to a Mardi Gras parade.

A Napoleonville man was arrested Friday after confessing to taking someone’s horse in a failed attempt to ride it bareback out of town to see a Mardi Gras parade, Assumption Parish Sheriff Mike Waguespack said. The horse, which he let go after it bucked him off repeatedly, was returned to its owner,… Continue reading →