Ex-gang leader talks about changing paths

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Talented Kidz Rock Dance performs July 24 at the Donaldsonville Teen Summit.

The Lemann Memorial Center was silent as former gang leader Arthur “Silky Slim” Reed talked about his experiences with gang violence and his work these days trying to prevent young people from going down the same path he followed. Reed said he knows firsthand what violence and drugs can do to a community and joined several others to speak about crime and violence consequences and prevention July 24 at the Donaldsonville Teen Summit.… Continue reading →

Changes coming to area schools

Illustration provided by the Ascension Parish School Board --New projects coming to Galvez Middle include a new administration building that will go up near the football field. The field itself was turned 90 degrees this summer to accommodate the new construction.

Galvez Middle is seeing some of the most ambitious construction projects in the Ascension Parish school district right now. And while not all of it will be ready in time for the opening of school on Aug. 6, students will have a lot to look forward to. One of the most striking changes that’s close to completion, said Chad Lynch, planning and construction director for the school district, was the turning of… Continue reading →

Pilot, captain, writer recounts tales from his very active life

Advocate photo by VON DE LEIGH HATCHER -- Author Pat Joffrion talks during a July 24 program at the Ascension Parish Library's Donaldsonville branch.

As a child, Pat Joffrion was a ball of energy, taking apart his mother’s appliances and attempting to parachute from a tree with a bed sheet. Joffrion eventually rerouted that energy into his writing, completing two novels. Joffrion, a pilot, U.S. Merchant Marine captain and author, talked about those adventures and his writings July 24 during a presentation at the Ascension Parish Library in Donaldsonville. Joffrion explained the background of his two books,… Continue reading →

Ascension Athletics: The Griffins Reloaded

James Moran

Last season a propensity for late-game heroics powered Dutchtown High’s Griffins on a run that earned a share of the District 5-5A title and an eventual berth in the state quarterfinals. The Griffins return most of last season’s major contributors for the 2014 season. District 5-5A is once again setting up to be a grueling slate for any team, but with a large crop of returners headlined by a trio of senior standouts… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish pets available for July 31, 2014

This adult female Schnauzer 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. Available this week are:… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish Police Bookings for July 17-24, 2014

The following people were booked into the Ascension Parish Prison from July 17-24. ADDINGTON, JOSHUA D.: 37, 1226 Dement Doryline Road, probation violation. BELL, RYAN KENDELL: 28, 130 Dville Village, Donaldsonville, probation violation. BURGETT, BRADLEY S.: 33, 17381 Penn Blvd., Prairieville, misdemeanor theft. DENNIS, CLIFTON: 39, 107 W. Eight St., Donaldsonville, misdemeanor flight from an officer, resisting an officer by refusal to I.D., disturbing the peace/violent & tumultuous manner/disorderly conduct. Green,… Continue reading →

Ascension Civil Court for July 14-18, 2014

Court cases filed in Ascension Parish between July 14-18. National Collegiate Student Loan Trust v. Nakia Thomas and Mark Simoneaux, promissory note. Dow Louisiana Federal Credit Union v. Daryl W. Mitchell and Frances Michelle Mitchell, executory process. Credit Acceptance Corp. v. Brandon Hathorn, executory judgment. Hyundai Motor Finance Co. v. Leslie Harper Rodrigue, sequestration. McDonough Robinson, Ronald Robinson and Ponchetta Robinson Williams v. Ascension Oaks Nursing & Rehabilitation,… Continue reading →

Galvez Middle cheerleaders raise money for St. Jude

Photo provided by JAMIE BERG -- Gathering in June at the Universal Cheerleaders Association camp are members of the Galvez Middle School cheer squad. The squad includes, first row from left, Josie Dubois, SheTaja Deverteuil, Kennedi Thompson, Kelsi Martine, Skylar Sirk and Sophie Gautreau; and second row, Kolbi Richardson, Carly Harrell, Averi Lambert, Layne Melancon, Alli Furlow, Macee Chenevert, Madison Guitrau, Madalyn Cummings, McKinzey Fowler, Amelia Roubique and Lexie LeBlanc.

Cheerleaders from Galvez Middle School attended the Universal Cheerleaders Association camp in June. The squad learned many cheers, dances and new stunts for the 2014-2015 school year, and held a performance at the camp’s “show-off” event, school officials said in a news release. For years, Varsity and UCA have teamed up with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to support its mission of finding cures for children with cancer and other illnesses. This year at… Continue reading →

Relay team breaks record at track meet

One of the Future Track Club’s relay teams broke a regional record July 13 at a meet in Birmingham, Alabama. The boys 7- to 8-year-old team recorded a time of 5:16:32 for the 4x4 relay. The team includes Broderick Davis, Thomas Walker, Mason Warren and Leonardo Fuentes. The win qualified the runners for a national meet, a news release from the club said. Other area athletes who advanced to nationals include Maerys Joseph… Continue reading →

St. Theresa awards outstanding students

Photo provided by JANIS AMENT -- Students at St. Theresa Middle School, first row from left, Allie Tureau, Kaelyn LeGaux, Randi Delaneuville; second row, Gracie Sinanan, Cameron Morin, Tyler Legendre, Alanna Linton, and Drue Gautreau; and third row, Cross Marchand, Emma Schexnaydre, Blake Peterson, Marigny Broussard and Miles San Soucie receive awards May 21 at St. Theresa of Avila Church.

Students at St. Theresa Middle School received awards May 21 at St. Theresa of Avila Church. The fourth- through eighth-grade students received the STA Award, the highest award given by administrators at the school. The award is given to one student per class who exemplifies the characteristics of a St. Theresa Middle School student, school officials said in a news release. The students who received the awards are polite, courteous, try hard, wear the proper uniform and treat… Continue reading →

St. Theresa, St. John name top teachers, paraprofessionals

Photo provided by JANIS AMENT -- The 2014 Teacher of the Year at St. Theresa Middle School is sixth-grade math and science teacher Gina Cancienne.

The 2014 Teacher of the Year at St. Theresa Middle School is sixth-grade math and science teacher Gina Cancienne. The 2014 Paraprofessional of the Year at St. Theresa Middle School is Edith ‘Duke’ Soulier, the director of after care at the school. At St. John Primary, first-grade teacher Mindi Gonzales was named Teacher of the Year for 2014. The 2014 Paraprofessional of the Year at St. John Primary School is Marie Midence, a… Continue reading →

St. John Primary awards exemplary students

Photo provided by JANIS AMENT -- The St. John Primary School Awards are presented by St. John Primary principal Kim Naquin, back left, and the Rev. Eric Gyan, back row, to students, first row from left, Anna Clare Hertel, Carr Villnerve, Nicholas Wadsack and Katelyn Sasser; second row, Katie Belle Klump, Audrey Soulier and Brycen Guitreau; and third row, Eric Gyan, Abby Lanoux, Caylee Sheets and Hannah Englert.

Students at St. John Primary received awards May 21 at St. John the Evangelist Church. First- through third-grade students received the SJP Award, the highest award given by administrators at the school, a news release from the school said. The award is given to one student per class who exemplifies the characteristics of a St. John Primary School student, the release stated. The students who received the awards are polite, courteous, try hard, wear the proper uniform and… Continue reading →

Ascension fire departments get insurance rebates

Photo provided by Office of the Parish President -- Gathering recently for a presentation of checks from the states fire insurance premium rebate program are, from left, Wanda Martin, president, Galvez-Lake Volunteer Fire Department; Alden Gautreau, president, 7th District Volunteer Fire Department; Jessie Bartley, treasurer, 5th Ward Volunteer Fire Department; Ascension Parish Council Chairman Chris Loar; Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez; James E. LeBlanc, fire chief, St. Amant Volunteer Fire Department/chairman, Fire District #1; Mark Stewart, fire chief, Prairieville Volunteer Fire Department; and Sarah Pinion, secretary, Sorrento Volunteer Fire Department.

Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez distributed portions of a fire insurance premium rebate totaling $455,369 to Ascension Parish fire departments last week. The rebate amounts are based on a formula that was established by the state legislature in 1989, Fire District 1 Chairman James LeBlanc said. The annual payments represent money collected from fees assessed on fire insurance premiums. The total amount Ascension Parish received was calculated per capita and category value determined from the total parish… Continue reading →

Jaguars place 4th in national contest

Photo provided by THE LOUISIANA JAGUARS --  Members of the winning Jaguars team, first row from left, are Carrington Hall and Cameron Dumas; kneeling, Shedrick Smith III, Jarvis Moll Jr., Garland Robertson Jr., Michael Douglas III, Terique Daley and Earnest London; and second row, assistant coach Jonathan Walker, Bradon Davies, Adrian Bowie Jr., Marques Anderson, Kamron Glover, Jacolby Lee, Jahnoi Daley, Brandon Bourgeois, assistant coach Adrian Steib Jr. and head coach Tyler Turner.The Louisiana Jaguars 8th grade AAU basketball team, coached by Tyler Turner, Jonathan Walker, and Adrian Steib Jr,  competed in AAU Nationals DII and achieved a 4th place national ranking. “It goes to show you that hardwork, sacrifice, dedication and team work pays off” an excited Coach Walker stated. They competed with over 100 teams at ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, FL. “The 4th place finish is great for the kids. They understand that learning the fundamentals are important. But our organization is bigger than basketball. We are developing the players to be successful on and off the court,” Turner said. The Jaguars finished the season with a 26-13 record.

The Louisiana Jaguars eighth-grade Amateur Athletic Union basketball team, coached by Tyler Turner, Jonathan Walker and Adrian Steib Jr., won fourth place in the AAU Nationals DII at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Florida. “It goes to show you that hard work, sacrifice, dedication and team work pays off,” Walker said, adding that the team competed against more than 100 teams during the event. “The fourth-place finish is great for the kids,”… Continue reading →

Photographers’ work sought for exhibition

River Region Art Association is calling for photographers throughout the area to submit artwork to its Photography Exhibition 2014, to be held Aug. 18-29 at the association’s Depot Gallery, 1008 W. La. 30, Gonzales. The exhibit is open to youths ages 6 to 17 and adults. There is no entry fee and photographers are limited to three entries each. Take-in of the artwork is from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 16. Visitors to the… Continue reading →

Ascension Gators to hold baseball tryouts

Tryouts for the Ascension Gator Baseball’s competitive teams will be Saturday, Aug. 9 at St. Amant Park on Stringer Bridge Road. Times vary by team. The 8U team will be from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Call Brandon Reddicks at (504) 416-5363 for information. The 9U team will be from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Call Len Marie at (504) 239-2468 for information. The… Continue reading →

Tryouts planned for Lady Hawks softball

The Lady Hawks, a girls’ fast-pitch softball team in Gonzales, will hold tryouts for the 12-year-old and under team’s fall 2014 and spring 2015 seasons from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at Dutchtown High School’s softball field, behind the school, 13165 La. 73, Geismar. Sign in and warm ups will begin 30 minutes prior to the starting time each day. The team is looking to fill numerous… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish calendar for July 31-Aug. 7, 2014

ASCENSION NETWORKING BREAKFAST: 7:30 a.m., St. Elizabeth Hospital, 1125 W. La. 30, Gonzales. Ascension Business Connection will hold a networking event featuring Dr. Christina Smith, of Sozo Nutritional Health Consulting. She will give a presentation about how stomach health is connected to business health. (225) 621-2906. DOC MCSTUFFINS PARTY: 6 p.m., Ascension Parish Library, Galvez, 40300 S. Irma Blvd. Come celebrate the end of the summer reading program with the popular doctor in training, Doc.… Continue reading →

Ascension Council on Aging for July 31-Aug. 7, 2014

Hamburger on a bun, baked beans, cardinal citrus mold, milk. PILATES: 8:15 a.m., and 9:15 a.m., Gonzales Senior Center. PIYO: 9 a.m., Donaldsonville Senior Center. CAJUN NEEDLERS: 12:30 P.M., Gonzales. Smothered chicken leg quarter, Normandy-blend vegetables, seasoned potatoes, white bread, applesauce, milk. ZUMBA GOLD: 9 a.m., Donaldsonville, and 10:30 a.m., Gonzales. KARAOKE: 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Gonzales. CANASTA: 1 p.m., Gonzales.… Continue reading →

Retired Ascension deputy dies trying to rescue his dog

Sam Vitter

An Ascension Parish sheriff’s deputy who retired less than a year ago drowned Sunday morning after he dove into a pond, trying to rescue his Yorkshire terrier. Retired Lt. Sam Vitter, 56, of Prairieville, was looking for his dog after it escaped from under his backyard fence, said Lt. Col. Bobby Webre, an Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesman. The dog had escaped from under the fence several times, and as recently as… Continue reading →

Five booked in string of close to 20 burglaries in Prairieville

Trent Madere, Brandon Lea, Andrew McMullen and Brendan Gonzales

Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested four men and a juvenile in the burglaries of close to 30 unlocked vehicles earlier this month. The men are suspected of taking items ranging from loose change to a hunting bow and handguns, Chief Deputy Tony Bacala said. The burglaries happened in the Prairieville area, along Red Oak Drive, White Oak Drive and La. 427 and in the Perkins Oaks and Dutchtown Villa neighborhoods.… Continue reading →

Ascension council gives OK to West Bank Connector study funding

The Ascension Parish Council on Thursday approved a proposed contract with Iberville Parish to share the costs to conduct a feasibility study of a new highway on the west bank of the Mississippi. Contingent on action of the Iberville Parish Council, Ascension Parish would provide $125,000 toward the study, its share of funds to match state monies approved in the past legislative session for the study. Called the West Bank Connector,… Continue reading →

BR man surrenders, wanted in shooting at Gonzales house

A 24-year-old Baton Rouge man wanted for firing shots into a Gonzales home surrendered Thursday to Gonzales police. Royal Rosspeal Johnson was accompanied by his attorney when he surrendered to Gonzales detectives at 11:30 a.m., Detective Sgt. Steven Nethken said. Johnson was wanted on six counts of aggravated assault with a firearm, one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and one count of… Continue reading →

Council OKs lower tax rate plan

Leroy Sullivan

Spartans make offseason count

Advocate staff photo by  April Buffington --  East Ascension High's head football coach Paul Bourgeois talks with quaterback Kyran Irvin on July 14 during an early morning workout.

It’ll be another month before the East Ascension High School football players put on a set of pads, but that doesn’t mean the Spartans are spending their summer on the couch. Because of LHSA regulations, high school football teams are not allowed to participate in padded drills for another month. Spartans coach Paul Bourgeois is entering his fourth season at the helm of the Spartans, and with only seven returning… Continue reading →

All the right moves

Advocate staff photo by  April Buffington -- Britt Binning, 3, from left, Landri Troxclair, 3, and Kate Collette, 3, practice their routine Friday at the dance camp hosted by East Ascension dance team.

Girls sashayed, kicked and turned their way through the annual Spartanette dance camp last week at East Ascension High School. Girls 3 and older learned new dance moves and showed off those skills Friday night during a performance before family and friends. The camp is held by the East Ascension High School Spartanette dance team.… Continue reading →