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Leads dry up in fatal crash case

Advocate file photo by ADAM LAU -- Louisiana State Trooper Joseph Barton kneels in prayer on Feb. 22, 2012, alongside Black Bayou in St. Amant  where a car left Stringer Bridge Road and plunged into Black Bayou the previous evening, killing two children. The driver and two other children survived.

Prosecutors have been unable to determine whether a mix of prescription drugs intoxicated a St. Amant woman and impaired her ability to drive when she drove off Stringer Bridge Road into Black Bayou one night in February 2012, drowning her two daughters trapped in the car. Twenty-Third Judicial District Attorney Ricky Babin said… Continue reading →

Ascension Sheriff’s Office warns of phone scam

The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office is warning residents to beware of a telephone scam in which callers falsely pose as sheriff’s office employees and demand payment for purported debts. Authorities have received several reports in which a caller claims to be from the Sheriff’s Office and threatens to arrest a victim if they don’t send over… Continue reading →

Racism, obstruction of government claims fly in Gonzales; councilman resigns, another up for recall

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Gonzales City Council member Timothy Vessel Sr. waits for the start of the council meeting on June 23.

A rift in Gonzales framed by allegations of obstructionist government on one side and racism on the other led to the resignation of a City Council member Tuesday and a second councilman headed to a Dec. 6 recall election. Gary Lacombe avoided finding out whether Gonzales voters would oust him from… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge man dies in I-10 crash in Ascension Parish

A 27-year-old Baton Rouge man died early Wednesday morning in a one-car crash on Interstate 10, west of La. 22 in Ascension Parish, according to Louisiana State Police. The initial investigation showed that Brandon Jamal Guillory was driving a 2001 Ford Crown Victoria eastbound on I-10, in the right lane, shortly after… Continue reading →

Gonzales Police search for man who stole $9,000 in lawn equipment

Leon J. Williams

City police officers are looking for a Gonzales man on allegations he stole $9,000 in lawn equipment earlier this month. Officers said Monday that Leon J. Williams, 55, 1612 Coontrap Road, Gonzales, is wanted on a count of felony theft. Officers said a lawn mower and trailer valued at $9,000 were stolen Nov.… Continue reading →

Assumption deputies search for clues in shooting, wounding of 19-year-old Napoleonville man

Assumption Parish sheriff’s deputies are investigating the shooting of a 19-year-old man between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. Monday on Telegraph Street, the sheriff said Tuesday. Quan R. Lewis, 19, showed up at Assumption Community Hospital’s emergency room in Napoleonville about 6 p.m. Monday with a gunshot wound in his chest, deputies… Continue reading →

Gonzales gets in the holiday spirit

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Sandra Alleman, left, tree lighting committe co-chairman, directs Charles Montet, with the Gonzales parks and recreation department, where  attach decorations to the city Christmas tree in front of City Hall Wednesday. The tree lights will be lit the week after Thanksgiving.

With Christmas only a few weeks away, the city is busy preparing for the holiday, and it is decorating with boughs of garlands, thousands of tiny light bulbs and a special 30-foot tall tree. With the flip of a festive switch, Gonzales officials will illuminate the city’s Christmas tree during the 23rd annual… Continue reading →

School Board runoff election down to 2 candidates

Robyn Penn Delaney, left, and Jevella Williamson, 2014 candidates for Ascension Parish School Board

It’s perhaps not surprising that Ascension Parish School Board District 1, on the west bank in the Donaldsonville area, generated a runoff race. The district, with a history of low-performing schools, had the most candidates of any School Board district for the Nov. 22 primary, with five contenders for the seat left vacant when incumbent Catherine Davis… Continue reading →

Around Ascension: Decking the halls with arts and crafts

The Depot Gallery of River Region Art Association will host an open market from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 28. Market items include photos, paintings, carvings, jewelry and unique handcrafted pieces. In addition, artists will be on hand to take special orders in time for Christmas, a news release from the Art Association said. After visiting the outdoor market, visitors… Continue reading →

Football playoffs end for parish teams

Photo provided by LYLE JOHSNON -- Jackson Gomez poses with his first duck ever on a trip with his dad Ryan Gomez.

The East Ascension Spartans and the Donaldsonville Tigers were the only two teams that made it to the second round of football playoffs. The Spartans (6-6) traveled to face a tough defensive C.E. Byrd team (12-0) and was defeated 37-20. Byrd’s defense held the Spartans scoreless for three quarters and their offense scored 30 unanswered points before… Continue reading →

Ten teachers awarded $500 grants from Eatel

Photo provided -- First row from left are Mae Stevens, Shondra James, Carla Duplechin, Rebecca Muskat and Rebecca Stewart; and second row, Rae Broussard, Kadee Dupuis, Janis Ament and Pam Gautreau.  Not pictured is Alice Bourque.

Ten Ascension Parish teachers have received $500 each in grant money from Eatel to support innovative teaching methods that are designed to engage students in their classrooms. Eatel’s annual “Reach a Kid, Teach a Kid” grants were judged this year by a committee comprised of Beryl Smith and Lyman Abadie, both of Eatel, Angelle Deshautelles, executive director… Continue reading →

BASF, Red Cross team up for safety effort

Photo provided by BASF -- BASF employees deliver BASF bags filled with American Red Cross and company information to area residents. From left are Jamie Boudoin, BASF lab technician; Julie Fay, BASF production manager; Kathy Brossette, BASF learning and development lean coordinator; and Geismar resident Sam Baker.

More than 35 BASF community ambassadors and Louisiana Capital Area American Red Cross volunteers walked door-to-door sharing safety preparedness information with area neighborhoods and business districts as a part of a BASF “Neighbor-to-Neighbor” event. The goal of the community event was to provide life-saving information to the community, a news release from BASF said. Volunteers… Continue reading →

Prairieville woman gets Name of Fame award

Photo provided by ERICA RODRIGUEZ -- Peggy Aime, left, a retired educator of Prairieville, was recently named the recipient of the 2014 Name of Fame award by the Louisiana Retired Teachers Association during the organization's statewide fall meeting Oct. 28 in Baton Rouge. With Aime is 2014 Name of Fame recipient Genevieve Gordon, of Many.

Peggy Aime, of Prairieville, a retired educator, was recently named recipient of the 2014 Name of Fame award by the Louisiana Retired Teachers Association during its statewide fall meeting Oct. 28 in Baton Rouge, a news release from LRTA said. Aime began her teaching career in language arts and taught grades four through eight at Gonzales Middle… Continue reading →

Awesome Art Exhibition winners announced

River Region Art Association selected the winners of the Awesome Art Exhibition 2014. Open to all ages, students and adults, the judged show was Oct. 11 and Oct. 12 at Gonzales City Hall. Oil paintings, watercolors, drawings, photography and three-dimensional items were some of the 183 pieces of artwork on display from artists throughout the areas, a… Continue reading →

How do local students stack up against record?

Photo provided by JENNY MUNSON -- Pecan Grove Primary students, from left, Derrick Renshaw, Oscar Zelaya and Kenzell Lomas prepare to stack cups Nov. 13 during Stack Up day.

Pecan Grove Primary students in kindergarten through second grade participated in the Stack Up day Nov. 13. More than 2,000 schools in 35 countries participate in cup stacking to try and break the Guinness World Record of the most people stacking at multiple locations in one day. The goal for this year was 600,000 stackers. Pecan Grove… Continue reading →

Middle school P.E. teacher honored at convention

Photo provided by DAN PERKINS -- Debbie Perkins, of Dutchtown, was honored as the Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year at the Convention of the Louisiana Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Nov. 5-7 in Baton Rouge.

Debbie Perkins, of Dutchtown, was honored as the Middle School Physical EducationTeacher of the Year at the 80th Convention of the Louisiana Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance on Nov. 5-7 in Baton Rouge. Perkins earned her bachelor of science in kinesiology from Southern University in Baton Rouge. She has worked in East Baton Rouge,… Continue reading →

Wildcats teams fall short in final games

Photo provided by CHANTELLE STEWART -- Wildcats C team's Brandt Blanchard (44) and #22 Walter Samuel (22) protect the way as Landon Stewart (15) runs for yards during a game Nov. 15.

The Wildcats played three games Nov. 15. The C team played in the Super Bowl and the D and B teams played in playoff consolation games to determine who would clinch third place in the organization. The D team lost to the Walker Renegades, and the B team lost to the Central Wildcats. The C… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish community photo gallery for Nov. 27, 2014

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Robin Trahan, left, and Donna Jones take their photo with a camel at a Nativity scene Saturday during Donaldsonville's annual Avenue Evening Stroll.

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 pets available for Nov. 27, 2014

Photo provided by MEGAN CHOATE -- A 3-month-old, female terrier mix needs a permanent home.

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… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish Police Bookings for Nov. 12-19, 2014

CHEONG, ROY ANNA: 55, 14119 Adam Arceneaux Drive, Gonzales, possession of alcoholic beverages in motor vehicles, maximum speed limit, operating a vehicle while intoxicated. DELHOMMER, JASON C.: 28, 18745 Old Ferry Road, Maurepas, probation violation, contraband defined; certain activities regarding contraband in penal institutions prohibited, resisting an officer, distribution/possession with the intent to distribute… Continue reading →

Pecan Grove Primary to host Winter Carnival

Pecan Grove Primary will host its sixth annual Winter Carnival from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 13. The event will feature holiday music performed by students and book readings will be available throughout the morning. As part of the school’s #sitstrapsave awareness program, the Alliance Safety Council of Our Lady of the Lake Hospital will be… Continue reading →

Ascension Civil Court for Nov. 10-14, 2014

Court cases filed in Ascension Parish between Nov. 10-14. Avery Friedmann vs. Tutorship, tutorship. Annalise Juliette Albrecht vs. Minority, minority. Audubon Recovery LLC vs. Bridget Marks, open account. Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance Inc vs. James C. Stallings Jr., executory process. Keith Blackstock Jr. Bhf and Blackstock Ginny (individual… Continue reading →

Griffins finish strong at cross country meets

The Dutchtown Griffins closed out their 2014 season with a strong finish at the Metro Meet and Louisiana High School Athletic Association Cross Country State Meet at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches. The Metro Meet at Highland Road Park in Baton Rouge included 19 teams from surrounding parishes. The Griffins’ boys team finished in fourth place behind… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish calendar for Nov. 27-Dec. 4, 2014

THANKSGIVING (CLOSURE): All Ascension Parish Library branches will be closed for Thanksgiving. Regular operating hours resume Monday. JOLLY JINGLES HOLIDAY MARKET: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Lamar-Dixon Expo Center, 9039 S. St. Landry Ave., Gonzales. Also, see Santa from noon to 4 p.m. $3. Total… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish Council on Aging for Nov. 27-Dec. 4, 2014

Both centers are closed for Thanksgiving. Italian herb chicken breast, broccoli and cauliflower, candied sweet potatoes, white bread, chocolate chip crème pie, milk. BEADING CLUB: 9 a.m., Gonzales; 10:30 a.m., Donaldsonville. FAST EXERCISE: 9:30 a.m., Donaldsonville; 10:45 a.m., Gonzales. HOLIDAY SING-A-LONG: 10:45 a.m., Gonzales. Joan Bourgeois/Carl Craig,… Continue reading →

Overlay project begins in December on Old Perkins Highway

State highway contractors plan to start a nearly $830,500 road overlay project early next month on a key link to Highland Road and Interstate 10 for commuters living in southeastern East Baton Rouge and northwestern Ascension parishes. State highway officials said Monday that Barber Brothers Contracting Co. LLC will mill and do asphalt overlay, pavement patching, drainage… Continue reading →

Gonzales police: Couple arrested after police find meth lab in motel room

Monica Smith; David R. Smith

City police and Ascension Parish sheriff’s narcotics agents found a Harvey duo, convicted 21/2 years ago of operating a meth lab inside their Geismar bedroom, running another lab Sunday night in a Gonzales motel room, police said Monday. Authorities found five methamphetamine pots about 9 p.m. Sunday in the motel room of Monica… Continue reading →

Ascension officials exploring cause of subdivision road failure

Advocate staff photo by David J. Mitchell -- This section of Timberstone Drive, seen Friday, Nov. 21, in the Keystone of Galvez subdivision of Ascension Parish is failing. Parish officials plan to close Timberstone at Wynstone Drive 7 a.m. Monday to find out why. Though other sections of Timberstone and other roads in Keystone had problems with road construction that were repaired a few years ago before they became parish roads, parish officials said they believe this problem is due to some kind of utility leak.

Work crews will dig up Timberstone Drive in the Keystone of Galvez subdivision on Monday to see what is causing the road’s foundation to fail, Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez said. Martinez said some kind of leak appears to be damaging the foundation but no utility company is claiming responsibility.… Continue reading →

Gonzales police seeking man in armed assault in bar parking lot

Adrian Salas

Gonzales police officers continued to search Friday evening for a man seen hitting another man in the head with a pistol in a Gonzales bar parking lot earlier this month. The alleged attacker, Adrian Melo Salas, 24, 309 E. Verna St., Gonzales, is wanted on counts of aggravated battery, aggravated assault with… Continue reading →

Sorrento Council erred when it tried to remove police chief from serving as part-time commission secretary

Town Council members erred when they voted Tuesday to oust Police Chief Fern Barnett from her part-time position as the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission secretary, the mayor said Thursday. Mayor Mike Lambert said the council made the mistake when members Patti Poche, Marvin Martin, Wanda Bourgeois and Don Schexnaydre voted to remove… Continue reading →

Four booked on drugs, weapon counts in Ascension Parish

Photos provided by the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office -- From left, Landarrius Alvarez, John Johnson, Raelynn Johnson and Jonquill Muse.

Ascension Parish sheriff’s deputies arrested four people on drugs and illegal weapons counts Tuesday after detectives spotted their unoccupied car illegally parked in a handicapped parking spot at a convenience store off La. 30. Once the four got in the 2000 Ford Taurus and drove off, detectives pulled them over on… Continue reading →

St. James council presented with flood protection plan

Bank takes ownership of 29 acres of financially troubled cemetery in Ascension Parish

United Community Bank moved Wednesday to take possession of 29 acres of the financially troubled Oak Lane Memorial Park cemetery in Prairieville and is looking to resell the property after the bank posted the sole and winning bid for the property at a sheriff’s sale. The bank, which holds $3.3 million in… Continue reading →

Sorrento moving closer to deal with Ascension Sheriff

The Sorrento Town Council is closer to entering into a long-term contract with the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office after deciding for a second time not to pay newly elected Police Chief Fern Barnett the salary she claims she is entitled to under state law. Mayor Mike Lambert told the council on Tuesday that he hoped the… Continue reading →

St. Patrick Street underpass in Donaldsonville closed on Monday

The St. Patrick Street underpass will be closed to all traffic from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday and again in the first week of December for railroad overpass repairs, state highway officials said Tuesday. Workers will be doing routine maintenance on the Union Pacific Railroad bridge over St. Patrick, also known as… Continue reading →

Pirate-themed park opens in Gonzales

Advocate staff photo by  APRIL BUFFINGTON --  Area residents wait Saturday before the opening of Kidz Kove Park in Gonzales.

After four years of fundraising, Kidz Kove Discovery Park opened on Saturday in Gonzales. The park is a play area for children of all abilities but is designed for special needs children with physical or sensory developmental challenges.… Continue reading →

Methodist Church brings ‘Grace’ to Gonzales

Advocate photo by Von de Leigh Hatcher -- Meals are served Nov. 8 at the Second Saturday Grace program at First United Metholist Church of Gonzales. Several groups get together each month to serve meals and provide services for those in need.

Church members piled gift bags, blankets and books high at First United Methodist Church of Gonzales on a recent Saturday night for the third monthly “Second Saturday Grace” program, which welcomes residents with a hot meal, warm company and open hearts. As its name denotes, Second Saturday Grace occurs on the second Saturday of each month. It… Continue reading →

Around Ascension for Nov. 20, 2014

Volunteers are needed to become ambassadors at the River Road African American Museum. Ambassadors help with tours, special events and educational programs, a news release from the museum said. Ambassadors receive free admission to all museum events, professional development seminars, and meet people from around the world. The museum is interested in mature adults with a… Continue reading →

Ascension Athletics: Two teams advance in playoffs

Lyle Johnson

The East Ascension Spartans (6-5) used their home field advantage, topped only by Kyran Irvin’s outstanding offensive performance to topple the Golden Tors, of Sulphur, by a score of 52-14 in the first round of football playoff action. Irvin threw for two touchdown passes and ran for four more to… Continue reading →