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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 →

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 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 →

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 →

Ridenour welcomed home after Air Force training

Photo provided by BOBBY RIDENOUR JR. -- Standing with Airman First Class Bobby Ridenour III after welcoming him home from Air Force technical school are, from left, Ridenour's grandfather, Bobby Ridenour Sr.; his father, Bobby Ridenour Jr.; his mother, Sharon Ridenour; his stepgrandmother, Debra Wascom; Ridenour; his aunt, Michelle Schroll; and his friend Allen Daigle.

Friends and family members welcomed Airman 1st Class Bobby Ridenour III home as they met him recently at the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport. Ridenour is a 2013 graduate of St. Amant High School and is home for the first time since graduating from Air Force technical school and follow-up training, during which he learned to become an… Continue reading →

Ascension Athletics: Invest time in making lifelong memories

Photo by Lyle Johnson -- Canaan Watts with his first squirrel.

Anticipation for the opening day of squirrel season usually makes my adrenaline flow pretty high. It’s usually a time for a break from the hustle and bustle of life for the enjoyment of an annual event that has been a treasure in my life since my youth. I remember when my daddy brought home a .22-caliber rifle… Continue reading →

Official: Work won’t hamper traditional pond jump

Photo provided by Lester Kenyon --  A pump continues to drain the pond on Worthy Road Oct. 8 while crews prepare to install a foundation wall for the parishs new administration building next to the pond. Officials said the ponds level will be restored to its normal level and will not prevent next springs East Ascension High School senior pond jump.

Parish officials don’t want fans of the annual East Ascension High school pond jump to worry about the future of the long-standing Spartan tradition. Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez said construction at the site of the pond jump and lowering of the water in the pond, which sits across the street from East Ascension High School, won’t… Continue reading →

Dutchtown hosts contest for 16 area marching bands

The field at Dutchtown High School will soon welcome 16 Louisiana high schools and 2,000 students as they file up, create formations and make music during the 10th annual Dutchtown High School Marching Contest. The event will be from 1:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Oct. 25. Tickets are $5 for the public, $3 for students and seniors,… Continue reading →

Wildcats takes 3 of 4 games against Denham

Photo provided by Chantelle stewart -- St. Amant Wildcats B team player  DMarius Aikens breaks through the tackle for yards in Saturday's win over Denham Springs, 34-6.

The St. Amant Wildcats won three out of four road games Saturday against the Denham Springs Southern Louisiana Youth Football Association team. The C team started the day with 33-0 win, and the B team followed with a 34-6 win. The A team lost 20-52 and the D team closed… Continue reading →