The Advocate Ascension Replica Edition
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Judge orders plaintiff in bail lawsuit challenge released from Ascension Parish jail in shoplifting case

Rebecca Marie Snow

A Gonzales woman accused of shoplifting who has challenged the constitutionality of how the bail system in Ascension Parish is applied to poor defendants facing misdemeanor charges has been released from jail. U.S. District Judge Shelly D. Dick on Thursday evening ordered Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley to release Rebecca M. Snow, 33, from jail immediately… Continue reading →

Full gallon jugs of water smash into two moving vehicles Thursday in Ascension Parish; deputies are investigating

Ascension Parish sheriff’s deputies are investigating reports that vehicles have been hit with gallon jugs full of water, causing damage and forcing drivers off the road, the Sheriff’s Office said. Jennifer Lavergne, 29, of Gonzales, said she was driving west on La. 621 between La. 431 and Roddy Road about 8:30 p.m. to… Continue reading →

Gonzales man accused of sexually assaulting woman staying with him and his wife to attend nearby church

Carl McKinley

A 56-year-old Gonzales man is accused of sexually assaulting a woman who was staying with him and his wife at their home so she could attend an area church. Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley said detectives arrested Carl McKinley, 38373 La. 30, late Tuesday on counts of third-degree rape and sexual battery after investigating a sexual… Continue reading →

Gonzales man sought in cyber-stalking case also accused of assaulting the victim in Baton Rouge workplace

Keith Carlin

The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office is seeking Keith Carlin, a Gonzales man wanted on allegations of cyberstalking and who is accused of assaulting the victim. According to a news release from Sheriff Jeff Wiley, deputies began the investigation Wednesday after receiving information that Carlin, 30, was sending harassing and threatening messages via text messaging. Deputies also… Continue reading →

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina state rolls out mobile pet shelter to save pets during disasters

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- La. Dept. of Agriculture & Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, at lectern, speaks Thursday at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center as he and other officials introduce the new mobile Disaster Pet Shelter, background, to be used in evacuating pets during emergencies.

An 18-wheeler outfitted with 55 stainless steel cages, air conditioning and running water — reportedly the only one of its kind in the country — is now ready for its mission of rescuing and evacuating pets caught in disasters. Officials with the state Department of Agriculture and Forestry and other organizations that together… Continue reading →

Lawsuit: Ascension Parish Court bail system discriminates against the poor, who may languish in jail for days or weeks

Rebecca Marie Snow

Ascension Parish’s bail procedures keep poor criminal defendants accused of traffic and other petty crimes in jail for days or weeks in violation of their constitutional rights, a new class-action lawsuit brought by public interest civil rights attorneys claims. The plaintiff — Rebecca M. Snow, 33, of Gonzales — is accused of shoplifting in Gonzales.… Continue reading →

Coast Guard officer gets life without parole for rape of child in Ascension Parish; molestation began when child was 6

Robert Guzman

A U.S. Coast Guard officer who had recently worked in procurement for a special anti-terrorism unit in New Orleans was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty Monday to raping a young girl over a five-year period. Chief Petty Officer Robert Guzman, 43, of Gonzales, admitted as part… Continue reading →

Katrina disaster response experts lead Gonzales animal rescue training

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Animal Rescue groups go through boat handling exercises during a disaster training exercise Sunday at Cabela's in Gonzales.

Throughout the week, disaster response experts who led animal rescue efforts following Hurricane Katrina returned to Louisiana to train emergency responders on how to rescue animals in future disasters. The weeklong event, held in Gonzales, coincides with the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Many rescued animals and emergency responders were housed at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center… Continue reading →

Sales tax collections jump more than $133K

Dutchtown weekend open house gets high marks from families

Advocate staff photo by DARLENE DENSTORFF -- Dutchtown Middle School student DeAndre Smith, left, and his parents, Shanita Smith and Chris Smith, watch a short video on an iPad on Saturday during the school's open house.

Chris Scott stood patiently Saturday morning waiting to speak to her daughter’s seventh-grade teacher. Scott’s daughter, Zayla Scott, 12, pointed out her desk and explained the meaning of the displays around the classroom. The mother and daughter were attending the second Dutchtown Middle School Saturday open house, a three-hour meet-and-greet for the school’s 860-plus students, their… Continue reading →

Around Ascension for Aug. 27, 2015

The Rev. Monick Williams

The Rev. Monick Williams will preach at Trinity AME Church, 1420 S. Darla Ave., Gonzales, at 8 a.m. Sunday . The public is invited to attend. The Women’s Missionary Society will conduct the worship service. Williams is an itinerant elder in the AME Church and holds a Bachelor of… Continue reading →

Ascension Athletics: Football is in the air

Advocate staff file photo by JOHN OUBRE -- East Ascension quarterback Kyran Irvin is chased out of the pocket and tackled by St. Amant's Caffre Jackson during the 2014 Spartan-Gator clash. The two teams meet in the jamboree this week.

Football jamboree time is upon us, and parish football fans are ready. Ascension Catholic will play Houma Christian at home in jamboree action Friday, with the junior varsity game starting at 6 p.m. followed by varsity play at 7 p.m. The season opener against Catholic of Pointe Coupee is set for 7 p.m. Sept. 3 at home.… Continue reading →

Broncos player named to All-American team

Photo provided by Mark Tureaud Jr. -- Kayden 'K.T.' Tureaud, 9, of Gonzales, was named an Offense-Defense All-American and invited to participate in the 10th annual Offense-Defense Bowl Week festivities taking place at Municipal Stadium in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Kayden “K.T.” Tureaud, 9, of Gonzales, was recently named an Offense-Defense All-American and invited to participate in the 10th annual Offense-Defense Bowl Week festivities taking place at Municipal Stadium in Daytona Beach, Florida. The honor came while attending an Offense-Defense Football Camp this summer in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Kayden, a running back for… Continue reading →

PotashCorp gives $30K to G.W. Carver Primary

Photo provided by Jackie Tisdell -- Celebrating a recent donation from PotashCorp to G.W. Carver Primary School, from left, are Ascension Public Schools Superintendent Patrice Pujol, PotashCorp human resources manager Garry Hiebert, G.W. Carver Assistant Principal Martha Babin, G.W. Carver Principal Latatia Johnson and PotashCorp human resources specialist Misty Bonfanti.

Representatives from PotashCorp, of Geismar, recently presented staff at G.W. Carver Primary School in Gonzales with a $30,000 check to purchase laptops for teachers to use in the classroom. “The laptops will enhance our curriculum and expose our youngest students to skills necessary to be college and career ready,” Principal Latatia Johnson said. Last year, PotashCorp… Continue reading →

Tryouts scheduled for national baseball team

A Texas-based baseball team is holding tryouts Saturday in Gonzales for its new Louisiana developmental and national teams. Team Citius, started by former Red Sox player Omar Washington, plans tryouts for teams to play in Perfect Game and national-level showcases and tournaments. Top players are expected to play in Perfect Game tournaments in Georgia and Florida, a… Continue reading →

Middle school teams in jamboree action Sat.

The East Ascension Parish Middle School Football Jamboree will be held Saturday at Galvez Middle School in Prairieville. The game schedule is: 9 a.m.: Lake vs. Central 10 a.m.: Prairieville vs. Gonzales 11 a.m.: Lowery vs. Dutchtown Noon: Galvez vs. St. Amant… Continue reading →

Gonzales Lassie League taking fall registration

Fall ball registration for the Gonzales Lassie League softball program will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Gonzales City Hall. The fee is $60. The fall season is for ages 4 to 14. Games and practices are held on Monday and Tuesday nights and a few Wednesdays, a news release… Continue reading →

St. Amant High earns 9 Ascension Fund grants

Photo provided by Mia Edwards -- Ascension Fund representative Mike Burtula, fourth from left, with St. Amant High School grant recipients, from left, Karen Murphy, Mia Edwards, Holly Eubanks, Tara Jones, Mark Lambert, Elizabeth Wallace, Nicole Tanner, Laney Gautreau, and Alicia Enloe, who received the grant for Melissa McCormick.

St. Amant High School recently received eight $1,000 grants and one $2,500 grant from the Ascension Fund, a news release said. The $2,500 School Impact grant will be used to assist and train teachers through Princeton Review to prepare students for the ACT. It is the third year in a row that the school has received this… Continue reading →

Academy introduces students to science, technology careers

Photo provided by Jolen Stein -- A group of Ascension Parish high school students recently attended BASF Tech Academy at River Parishes Community College in Burnside to learn about technical careers.

A group of Ascension Parish high school students recently attended BASF Tech Academy, a new four-day program hosted at River Parishes Community College in Burnside, to learn about technical careers. “We plan to offer BASF Tech Academy annually to help students make the connection between their coursework in high school and how they can begin preparing… Continue reading →

LeBlancs continue aid to football jamborees

Photo provided by Jackie Tisdell -- Gathered Aug. 18 to mark a $1,000 donation to Dutchtown High School are, from left, DTHS Principal Carli Francois, Marcy LeBlanc, DTHS football coach Benny Saia and Randall LeBlanc.

Marcy and Randall LeBlanc donated $1,000 to each of the four high schools in Ascension Public Schools on Aug. 18, a news release said. It is the 18th year LeBlanc’s Food Stores has sponsored the annual football jamborees in honor of M. Paul LeBlanc, who died in 1998, and his wife, Janice LeBlanc, who died in 2010.… Continue reading →

Schexnaydre will not seek re-election to council

Ascension Parish District 2 Councilman Kent Schexnaydre announced Monday he is not seeking re-election. In a letter to Parish President Tommy Martinez, Schexnaydre said increased job demands have limited the time he will have to dedicate to his job as councilman. “There are many unfinished projects that still need to be addressed for infrastructure, drainage and… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish pets available for Aug. 27, 2015

This 7-week-old male domestic shorthair, gray tabby.

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. Available… Continue reading →

Ascension Council on Aging for Aug. 27-Sept. 3, 2015

Hamburger on a bun, lettuce/tomato/onion, mustard/ketchup, baked beans, cardinal citrus mold. HEARING TEST: 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Donaldsonville Senior Center. Sponsor is Billedeaux Center. PIYO: 9 a.m., Donaldsonville. ZUMBA GOLD: 10:30 a.m., Gonzales Senior Center. CAJUN NEEDLERS: 12:30 p.m., Gonzales. Smothered chicken leg quarter, Normandy-blend vegetables,… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish Police Bookings for Aug. 13-19, 2015

The following people were booked into the Ascension Parish prison from Aug. 13-19: HALL, WILL: 52, 716 First St., Donaldsonville, fugitive-other Louisiana jurisdiction, domestic abuse battery. JOHNSON, WALTER J.: 33, 6320 Riverside Drive, Metairie, felony theft, two counts armed robbery, attempted armed robbery/use of firearm, additional penalty. LOMBARD, BRANDON LANE: 22, 10474 Acy… Continue reading →

Ascension Civil Court for Aug. 10-14, 2015

Court cases filed in Ascension Parish between Aug. 10-14: Andres Anthony Barletta v. Emancipation, emancipation. Donovan Beauford v. Tutorship, tutorship. Neighbors Federal Credit Union v. John James Danna, promissory note. Ford Motor Credit Co. LLC v. Keely E. Watts, promissory note. Tequilla Williams and Tekara Williams v. Caroline… Continue reading →

Louisiana Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry says 'Probably this (brain-eating) amoeba has been in our water systems, and we didn’t know it’

Advocate staff file photo by SCOTT THRELKELD --  State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry.

Louisiana’s state health officer sought Monday to allay concerns over the discovery of brain-eating amoeba in an Ascension Parish water system this summer and five other systems in the past two years. Dr. Jimmy Guidry said state and government officials are working to improve disinfection in systems where Naegleria fowleri was found but argued the discoveries… Continue reading →

More than 60 percent of Louisiana residents still without access to fluoridated water

Seven years after the state mandated communities with more than 5,000 population to fluoridate their water systems, more than 60 percent of Louisiana’s residents still do not have fluoride in their drinking water. The state legislature passed the Community Water Fluoridation Act in 2008. But the mandate is conditional on the state providing funds for the… Continue reading →

Ex-Gonzales police officer once on sexual predator task force convicted of indecent behavior with juvenile

Owen Ockman

A former police officer who once served on a state task force hunting online sexual predators was found guilty Thursday of indecent behavior with a juvenile. The jury deliberated about two hours before delivering the verdict against Owen Ockman, 35, of 42116 Causeway Blvd., Gonzales, in the 23rd Judicial District courtroom.… Continue reading →

Gonzales caretaker accused of using elderly woman’s Social Security number to buy a 2011 BMW

Brelle T. Ford

Gonzales police arrested a 23-year-old personal care attendant after she was accused of stealing Social Security information from an 82-year-old woman that she used to purchase a BMW. Brelle T. Ford obtained the woman’s Social Security number and used it to obtain a $24,947.12 loan to purchase a 2011 BMW, the Gonzales Police Department news release… Continue reading →

State fire marshal: Suspected Ascension Parish arsonist dies from burn injuries; uncle still hospitalized

Larry Morrison, Jr.

A man who caught fire while torching an Ascension Parish house died Monday, and his uncle — also burned while taking part in the arson — remains in critical condition, the state fire marshal said. Larry Morrison Jr., 28, of New Orleans, died at the Baton Rouge General Medical Center burn unit; his uncle, Joel… Continue reading →

Annual balloon festival returns to Ascension Parish

Advocate staff photo by ANGELA MAJOR -- Hot air balloons begin to rise  before the start of the 2014 Ascension Hot Air Balloon Festival at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center.

Planning is underway for Ascension Parish’s fourth Hot Air Balloon Festival set for Sept. 25-26 at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center. In addition to towering, colorful hot air balloons, this year’s festival will feature more carnival rides, an expanded Children’s Village and a balloon photo booth. Parish President Tommy Martinez, the… Continue reading →

Mayor’s youth council takes oaths

Photo provided by Tamiko Garrison -- The Mayor's Youth Advisory Council for the City of Donaldsonville includes, first row from left,  Jalon Chatman, Jimmia Williams, Kaitlyn Williams, Tamiko Stroud, Paige Joseph, Maerys Joseph and Lawrence Brown III; and second row, Whitney Eure, Catherine Eure, Kerrionne Brown, Darell Honora, Victoria Eure, Nina Smith and Whitney Baker.

A group of local high school students officially began the second year of a reborn program that involves local youth in government. Returning and new members of the 2015-16 Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council took their oaths of office during the Aug. 11 City Council meeting. MYAC’s mission is to serve as advocates… Continue reading →

Donaldsonville teachers get $1,500 in grants

Photo provided by Julia J. Lemann -- Celebrating the Ascension Fund grants on Aug. 6, from left, are Ascension Fund representative Malcolm Dugas, Donaldsonville Primary kindergarten teachers Vanessa Fennell and Sara Ward, Ascension Fund representative Sonny Graugnard, Donaldsonville Primary Principal Mary McMahan and Donaldsonville Primary Assistant Principal Tennille Lange.

Donaldsonville Primary School kindergarten teachers Vanessa Fennell and Sara Ward were awarded Ascension Fund grants totaling $1,500 on Aug. 6. Fennell received $500 from the Honeywell Inc. Endowment for “What’s That Word?” The funds will provide sight word readers and interactive sight word learning games for students. Ward was awarded $1,000 from the CF Industries… Continue reading →

Around Ascension for Aug. 20, 2015

Ascension Parish Library’s Teen Book Club for grades six through 12 meets on the third Thursday of every month, and this month’s meeting is at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 20 at the Galvez branch, 40300 La. 42, in Prairieville. Teens are not required to read a specific title — just come and discuss the… Continue reading →

Ascension Athletics: Ascension 5A schools prepare for season

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- East Ascension head coach Paul Bourgeois coaches against Catholic High during a 2014 game.

Ascension Parish’s three 5A teams are preparing for another season of competitive action. The Dutchtown Griffins (5-7, 2-3) hope to be a little more competitive than last season’s efforts. “We had some players that sort of took some things for granted that caused us to underachieve,” head coach Benny Saia said. “We were supposed to be… Continue reading →

Donaldsonville High Tigers in new district

Photo provided by Chuck Montero -- Donaldsonville High School head coach Benny Guilbeaux conducts warmup drills.

The Donaldsonville Tigers football team is not only starting a new school year and a new football season, but they will have to face moving to a new district as well. The team started the 2015 fall practice session moving to compete in District 6-3A. Their new district opponents will be University High, Parkview Baptist, West Feliciana,… Continue reading →

Freshman coach at Ascension Catholic is facing big challenges

Photo provided by Chuck Montero -- Ascension Catholic football coach Drey Trosclair.

New head coach Drey Trosclair was selected April 2 to lead the Ascension Catholic Bulldogs with his first head coaching opportunity. “It’s always been one of my goals to become a head coach, but to reach that at 25 years old, man, I’m really blessed,” Trosclair said. But the new head coach will have a… Continue reading →