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Gonzales Police: Former East Ascension teacher accused of having sex with 17-year-old student

Louis Carl Aguillard

A former 34-year-old assistant athletic trainer and health teacher at East Ascension High School was arrested Wednesday afternoon on allegations he had sex with a 17-year-old female student, city police said. Louis Carl Aguillard, 39340 Hunters Trace, Prairieville, was booked on two counts of prohibited sexual conduct between an educator and a… Continue reading →

St. Amant students earn scholarships

This spring, St. Amant High School DECA adviser Rae Broussard gave scholarships to General Cooperative Education Program participants Kelsi Brady and Tess Robertson. The program allows seniors to go to school half a day and go to work, according to a news release. Brady received the Employer’s Pick Scholarship. She plans to study at River Parish… Continue reading →

Duplessis teacher attends educators event in D.C.

Photo provided by Jackie Tisdell -- Duplessis Primary School TAP master teacher Shaneka Burnett traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend an event at the White House recognizing the National Teacher of the Year, State Teachers of the Year and 'great educators across the country' on May 3.

Duplessis Primary School’s Shaneka Burnett, a Teacher Advancement Program master teacher, recently attended a White House event in Washington, D.C., honoring the National Teacher of the Year, state Teachers of the Year and other educators. “It was breathtaking to be a part of such an elite group of educators, knowing we all had a common goal… Continue reading →

Volunteer group cleans up skate park

Photo provided by Lester Kenyon -- Devan Landry,  left, Josh Dowiatt and friends use power sprayers and graffiti removal cleaner to clean up the Ascension Parish Recreation Department's Skate Park in Gonzales on April 16.

The Ascension Parish Recreation Department’s Skate Park in Gonzales got a cleaning April 16 thanks to a group of volunteers led by parish Board of Adjustments member Branden Bennett, Josh Dowiatt and Devan Landry. “Today was productive,” Bennett said. “We had a lot of people show up to work and took it upon themselves to make… Continue reading →

Region’s Girl Scouts top 1 million boxes of cookies sold

Girl Scouts Louisiana East has completed another successful cookie sale, selling more than 1 million boxes of cookies in the council’s 23-parish territory, with the girls averaging 162 boxes each. The program continues to forge a prosperous path for young girls to develop leadership and business skills, said Chief Customer Experience Officer Alisha Moore. For the… Continue reading →

High school students produce PSAs

Photo provided by Jackie Tisdell --  An East Ascension High School team was recognized at an event earlier this month sponsored by the Capital Area Human Services agency. Schools were awarded mini-grants, and the students at East Ascension created suicide prevention public service announcements. Shown, from left are Conor Cannon, EAHS teacher Lori Yglesias, Mahogany Green, Luke Gorman, Capital Area Human Services Executive Director Jan Kasofsky, Faith Carmouche, Alyssa Lavigne, Maylen Mire and Jacky Mitchell.

High school students produced public service announcements on suicide, alcohol and underage prescription drug use prevention-designed messages to reach their high school peers and the general public through social media. The announcements were funded with Capital Area Human Services mini-grants awarded to East Ascension High School, McKinley High School and Scotlandville Magnet High School. Members of… Continue reading →

Gonzales hosts Blue Run to recognize abuse issues

Photo provided by Emily Blair -- Amy Colby, seventh from right, accepts the Big Impact Award from Child Advocacy Services CEO Rob Carlisle, to her right, at the Blue Run on April 16. Also pictured are members of the 23rd Judicial District Bar Association and participants of the 5K and 1-mile fun run.

In recognition of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month, Child Advocacy Services hosted its sixth annual Blue Run, featuring a 5K race and 1-mile fun run on April 16 at Gonzales City Hall. That morning, the lawn in front of City Hall bloomed with blue pinwheels placed by race participants, Gonzales law enforcement, CAS staff and… Continue reading →

Ascension Public Schools appoints new principals

Michelle Bourque

Ascension Public Schools has appointed new principals for Galvez Middle and Oak Grove Primary schools. Michelle Bourque will replace the retiring Sandra Waguespack at Galvez on July 1, and Eve Little Frederic will take over at Oak Grove Primary on June 1 for the retiring Troy Blank. Bourque is a native of Prairieville and has worked… Continue reading →

RPCC, Lift Tech display educational efforts at Capitol

Photo provided by Glen Duncan -- An instructor and student at the River Parishes Community College crane training facility demonstrate the use of a crane.

River Parishes Community College and business partner Lift Tech, of Gonzales, recently brought a large model of a crane to the State Capitol during a meeting of Louisiana’s community colleges to inform legislators of their efforts to educate and train technical workforce. Lift Tech founder and CEO Josh LeBlanc said his company offers crane operator training and… Continue reading →

Students receive Shivers Memorial Scholarship

Photo provided by Allison Hudson -- Maj. Ward Webb, left, and Lt. Col Bobby Webre, right, present the Dawn Shivers Memorial Scholarship to Antonia Asher.

The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office recently awarded its Dawn Shivers Memorial Scholarship to three students. Recipients are Antonia Asher, of East Ascension High School, $1,500; Courtney Daze, of Ascension Catholic High School, $500; and Grace Reames, of St. Joseph Catholic School, $500. Sheriff Jeff Wiley established the scholarship fund in honor of Dawn Shivers, a retired… Continue reading →

St. Amant student earns scholarship from sheriffs

Photo provided by Allison Hudson -- Maj. Ward Webb, left, and Lt. Col Bobby Webre, right, present the Louisiana Sheriffs Scholarship to Kole Guerin.

Sheriff Jeff Wiley recently announced St. Amant High School student Kole Guerin as the recipient of a $500 academic scholarship from the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Scholarship Program. The Sheriffs’ Scholarship is provided through the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Honorary Membership Program, which awards scholarships to graduating high school seniors from each parish where the sheriff is an affiliate.… Continue reading →

Ascension sheriff awards scholarships

Photo provided by Allison Hudson -- Maj. Ward Webb, left, and Lt. Col Bobby Webre, right, present a scholarship to Austin Kidder.

The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office has awarded $500 scholarships to high school seniors Kathrine Costanza, of St. Amant High School; Tyarise Stevenson, of Donaldsonville High School; and Austin Kidder, of Dutchtown High School. The scholarships were founded this year by Sheriff Jeff Wiley and can be used toward the cost of college tuition, fees or books.… Continue reading →

Entergy employees’ children receive scholarships

Entergy has awarded Entergy Community Power Scholarships of $5,000 each to local graduating high school seniors. Recipients are the children of Entergy employees and are recognized for their volunteerism and academic success. Local recipients include Lauren Little, of Prairieville, the daughter of Todd Little. “Through the Entergy Community Power Scholarship program, we’re recognizing the… Continue reading →

Prairieville grad honored during LSU ceremony

Second Lt. Wesley Garrett Bertolet, of Prairieville, was recognized during the LSU ROTC Spring Commissioning Ceremony on May 12 in the Union Theater. He received his first military salute from Sgt. 1st Class Michael Walker. The guest speaker was Lt. Gen. Terry L. Gabreski, vice commander, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish prison bookings for May 12-19, 2016

The following people were booked into the Ascension Parish prison from May 12-19. BAKER, GREGORY T.: 48, 45039 Butch Gore Road, St. Amant, two counts felony illegal possession of stolen things. CHMURKA, JOHN CYRIL: 30, 43099 Rose Road, Gonzales, violations of protective orders. DAVIS, COURTNEY T.: 27, 214 Opelousas St., Donaldsonville, failure… Continue reading →

St. Elizabeth recognizes dedicated nurses

Photo provided by Jon Hirsch -- Charla Johnson, right, Nursing Community Volunteer of the Year, receives her award from St. Elizabeth Hospital Chief Nursing Officer  Yvonne Pellerin.

Nurses from around Ascension Parish were honored during National Nurses Week, which was celebrated May 6 through May 12, the birthdate of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. St. Elizabeth Hospital joined with nurses throughout the United States in celebrating its nurses, a news release said. The theme of Nurses Week was “Culture of Safety… Continue reading →

Ceremony held to unveil new Kingdom Park in Donaldsonville

Photo provided by Jackie Tisdell -- Healthy Spaces for West Bank Faces team members, from left, include Chris Irvine, Scott Bradshaw, Charla Johnson, Trinette Reynard, Jackie Tisdell, Cindy Babin, Kevin Chenier, Rick Bergeron and Daniel Domangue.

A ceremonial ribbon-cutting was held May 15 to open the new Kingdom Park at The Church of Donaldsonville. The park-building project, helmed by Leadership Ascension’s Healthy Spaces for West Bank Faces, was held in conjunction with Donaldsonville Community Day. “This park is a dream that all of these leaders had that is now realized,” said the… Continue reading →

Registration to begin for football, cheerleading

Boys and girls ages 5 to 12 can register for Ascension Cougars youth football and cheerleading, based in Gonzales, from 10 a.m. to noon June 11 at Gonzales Middle School. Enter on the Darla Street side next to the cafeteria. Cost is $130 for football or $100 for cheerleading. Bring a copy of the child’s… Continue reading →

Ascension pets available for May 26, 2016

Photo provided by CARA -- Benson, a 1- to 2-year-old male lab and border collie mix.

The Ascension animal shelter, CARA’s House, 9894 Airline Highway in Sorrento, is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday (closed from noon to 1 p.m. daily for lunch). It is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday for adoptions only. The fees are $100 for dogs… Continue reading →

Council on Aging for May 26-June 2, 2016

Ham with white beans, brown rice, coleslaw, mustard greens, cornbread, variety snack cake ACOA OUTDOOR PICNIC: 9:30 a.m., Donaldsonville Senior Center. Celebrating May as Older Americans Month Chicken salad sandwich on whole-wheat bread, lettuce and tomato, potato salad, citrus gelatin ZUMBA GOLD: 9 a.m., Donaldsonville Birthday… Continue reading →

Jambalaya Fest brings the heat to Gonzales

Advocate staff photo by JOHN OUBRE -- Lee Elisar, at left, along with cooking helper Kirk Elisar pose with their awards on during the 2015 Gonzales Jambalaya Festival. Lee plans to defend his title at this year's festival.

Lee Elisar thinks it would be “crazy” if he repeats his win last year at the 49th annual Jambalaya Festival in Gonzales next weekend. At 23, he was the youngest jambalaya cook champion in the nearly half-century-old competition. “I grew up around cooking,” Elisar said of his upbringing. Both his father and his uncle have competed… Continue reading →

Ascension Athletics for May 26, 2016

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --St. Amant High athlete Kourtney Gremillion was honored Monday as one of The Advocate's Star of Stars.

Louisiana College in Pineville was the scene of the 2016 LHSCA All-Star Softball Games this past weekend. The West Squad took the first game on Friday night 4-1 in a somewhat low-scoring contest as the West team scored one run in the first inning, two in the fourth and added an insurance run in the fifth inning. The… Continue reading →

Parish officials plan to host MLB event again

Photo provided by Lester Kenyon -- Participants shown at the fourth annual Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit and Run competition, from left, are  Jayden Larvadain, Mason Mistretta, Landon Daigle, John Robert Daigle and Kamryn Schexnayder.

Ascension Parish Recreation Department officials said they look forward to holding another Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit and Run competition next year following the success of this year’s event held April 29 at the South Louisiana Fairgrounds. The MLB Pitch, Hit and Run gives boys and girls, ages 7 to 14, the chance to showcase their… Continue reading →

Ascension calendar for May 26-June 2, 2016

BOOKLOVER’S SUMMER KICKOFF: 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Ascension Parish Library Gonzales branch with local author Erica Spindler. SILLY OLYMPICS: 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Ascension Parish Library Dutchtown branch. CUPCAKE LINER FISH MAKE-AND-TAKE CRAFT: 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., Ascension Parish Library Donaldsonville, 500 Mississippi St. ANXIETY REDUCTION GROUP: 4 p.m. to… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish civil cases for May 2-6, 2016

Court cases filed in Ascension Parish between May 2-6. Aria Melancon v. Tutorship, tutorship. Adleigh Melancon v. Tutorship, tutorship. Ids Property Casualty Insurance Co. v. Orealean L. Pitre, damages. Acadian Ambulance Corp. v. Sherrill Lane, open account. Cascade Capital LLC and Santander Consumer USA Inc v. Tyler Perkins,… Continue reading →

Torch run kicks off Special Olympics

Advocate staff photo by Darlene Denstorff -- Members of the St. Amant High School volleyball team and others who took part in the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Louisiana Special Olympics on May 19 stand behind Nathan Gwin, an East Ascension High School special education student who took part in the event.

Jaren Vargas, 14, was red-faced and winded standing in the parking lot of the ARC of East Ascension, but his ear-to-ear smile told the story of his morning. “My legs gave up, but I kept going,” Jaren said of his experience in the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Louisiana Special Olympics.… Continue reading →

Two spray parks to open in Ascension Parish

Two spray parks in Ascension Parish will open at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Parish President Kenny Matassa said the parish’s spray parks at the South Louisiana Fairgrounds, in Donaldsonville, and the Oak Grove Community, in Prairieville, will open just in time for Memorial Day. Hours for both spray parks will be from 10 a.m. to 8… Continue reading →

Battle brewing between St. James Parish president and District Attorney: ‘This is a vendetta, politically motivated’

Timmy Roussel

District Attorney Ricky Babin appeared before the St. James Parish Council recently to ask for a midyear budget increase of $108,000 in the face of looming state budget cuts. But, as part of that request, the top prosecutor for St. James, Ascension and Assumption parishes also was indirectly sending the council… Continue reading →

‘Man for the people’ Donaldsonville City Councilman Emile Spano dies

Emile Spano, a longtime chief deputy Ascension Parish assessor and Donaldsonville councilman known for his meticulous attention to detail and dogged constituent service, died Sunday night at home, family and colleagues said Tuesday. He was 68. Known for his keen record-keeping ability, passion for solving problems and natural ease with people, Spano was remembered as a… Continue reading →

Ascension School Board chooses 6 semi-finalists for superintendent position

Six semifinalists, two from Louisiana and others from Massachusetts, Texas and Iowa, will interview with Ascension Parish School Board members via Skype next week, as the interview process begins in the search for a new schools superintendent. Assistant Superintendent A. Denise Graves has been acting superintendent since former Superintendent Patrice… Continue reading →

State Cemetery Board recuse themselves in dispute over graveyard license; governor to appoint ad hoc board

The Louisiana Cemetery Board has asked Gov. John Bel Edwards to make temporary appointments to the entire seven-member body after members recused themselves in a dispute over the license of an Ascension Parish cemetery with a troubled financial history. Once appointed, the future ad hoc members will have to consider whether National Information Services Inc. should be… Continue reading →

Mexican national living in Gonzales accepts plea deal in killing of his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend in 2014

A Gonzales-area man pleaded guilty this week to fatally stabbing the ex-boyfriend of his girlfriend during a fight nearly two years ago inside the mobile home he shared with the girlfriend and her children, prosecutors said Friday. After facing a manslaughter count and potentially a 40-year prison sentence, Jesus Andrade Monterrossa, 27,… Continue reading →

Prairieville man said to be impaired booked in fatal crash

State Police arrested a Prairieville man following a crash at 3 a.m. Friday that killed one of his passengers, State Police said. Jot Willeford was traveling westbound on La. 429 in St. Amant in a 2008 Chevrolet Silverado pickup when he entered the intersection at La. 22 and lost control of the vehicle, State Police said… Continue reading →

Sheriff’s Office: Homeowner shoots, kills man who broke into trailer home near Port Allen

Kelly Cline

A homeowner shot and killed a Port Allen man who authorities believe was in the middle of a home invasion armed robbery of the homeowner’s residence Thursday night, West Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputies said. Sheriff’s investigators believe Kelly Cline, 32, 1431 U.S. 190, Port Allen, was shot once with a handgun after… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish Council moves forward with plan to hire outside firm to review new subdivision plans

Ascension Parish government officials defended a plan Thursday to hire an outside engineering firm to review new subdivision plans as both faster than the old in-house method and not any more expensive. Chief Administrative Officer Ken Dawson told the Parish Council, which backed budgeting the change Thursday, that a financial evaluation showed… Continue reading →

Ascension council to consider allowing Uber, Lyft to provide app-based ride sharing in parish

The Ascension Parish Council is considering whether to open the roads in the parish to app-based ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft. The council will consider an ordinance at 6 p.m. Thursday in Gonzales that would clear the way for the services, including by requiring permits for the companies, company registries of… Continue reading →

Sorority hosts Woman in You seminar

Nearly 200 people turned out for The Woman in You, hosted by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority’s Ascension Alumnae Chapter, on April 9 at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales. The health and wellness seminar for women in Ascension Parish and surrounding areas featured a variety of speakers, vendors and community programs. It was sponsored by Louisiana… Continue reading →

ARC spring dance shines under Hollywood stars

Photo provided by Elaine Stevens -- Stephanie Hass donated the cake to the ARC of Ascension’s spring dance.

The ARC of Ascension held its annual spring dance April 15 at the Knight’s of Columbus Hall in Gonzales. This year’s theme was “Hollywood Stars of the ARC.” Member of Chapter 1449, the ARC’s outreach organization, volunteered time and services to the event. Those in attendance were the Rev. Ulysse Stephens, A. Jones, Andrew Lewis, Ruby… Continue reading →

Galvez students learn ‘how to’ writing skills

Photo provided by Ashley Whitcomb -- Galvez Primary School first-graders, from left, Landon Hooper, Piper Hudson and Cade Hebert sample the hot chocolate their class made during a recent lesson on ‘how to’ narrative writing.

First-graders at Galvez Primary School recently received lessons in “how to” narrative writing. The students practiced making hot chocolate while writing down the steps on how to make it, then worked together to turn the steps into a narrative writing, a news release said. Together, the class created a criteria checklist to use when they complete their… Continue reading →

Ascension Catholic’s powerlifters recognized

The Donaldsonville City Council recognized the state champion Ascension Catholic High School girls powerlifting team at the council’s April 26 meeting. The team won its second consecutive Division V state title this spring in Monroe, where Ascension Catholic earned 50 points, besting Sterlington’s 44. Nine competitors placed in the top three at state. Elizabeth Latino and… Continue reading →