Split council hires two attorneys to represent it in lawsuit

The schism in the Gonzales City Council was apparent Wednesday when members hired two attorneys to represent the council’s opposing points of view in a lawsuit filed against it over a zoning issue. The council approved hiring attorney Robert Barnett, of New Orleans, to represent councilmen Gary Lacombe, Terance Irvin and Timothy Vessel … Continue reading →

Holley elected president of National Beta Club

Advocate photo by Kate Stevens -- East Ascension High School student Cole Holley was elected in June as 2014-15 National Beta Club Senior President, an office only five other Louisiana students have held since 1989.

Cole Holley plays on the East Ascension High School varsity baseball team, maintains a 4.3 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society. Somehow, Holley found time to make history. In June, Holley was elected as 2014-15 National Beta Club senior president, an office only five other Louisiana students … Continue reading →

Firm hired to review traffic flow

State highway officials have hired a firm to study the feasibility of building roundabouts at 10 intersections on the Joe Sevario Road-Roddy Road corridor. The $350,000 review of the north-south link on the eastern side of Ascension Parish will look at four-way intersections up to and including La. 42 and Airline Highway, a … Continue reading →

Around Ascension for Aug. 21, 2014

Treasures of the Arc, a resale shop operated by Community Opportunities — The Arc of East Ascension, has announced new hours of operation. The shop, at 108 E. Ascension St., Gonzales, is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. The agency provides services and support for … Continue reading →

Classes start at new RPCC campus

Advocate staff photo by ANGELA MAJOR -- Anna Sidwell explains a syllabus during the first day of her English class Monday at the new campus of River Parishes Community College in Gonzales. The new campus is in the Edenborne development off La. 44.

Classes began Monday on the new campus of the River Parishes Community College in Gonzales. The $17 million, 81,000-square-foot college building, in the Edenborne development off La. 44, will serve close to 1,600 full-time community college students this fall and as many high school students in dual enrollment classes. River Parishes Community College had outgrown its … Continue reading →

Schools strive to help athletes in classroom

The athletic directors of Ascension Parish’s four high schools shared with School Board members on Tuesday their goals for helping athletes achieve academic success. David Alexander, the board’s director of secondary education, said the district last year began a renewed effort to track data to help athletes reach goals set at … Continue reading →

Ascension Parish pets available for Aug. 21, 2014

This adult female dachshund 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 … Continue reading →

Area educators take mission trip to Honduras

Photo provided by Yvette Surla -- A  group of Ascension Parish volunteers meet with Honduran students and teachers on the first day of a summer mission trip.

Local volunteers built a house, aided Honduran teachers and helped to fund a clean water project during a summer mission trip to Honduras. A group of 35 parishioners from St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Prairieville joined area educators on a summer mission trip to Juticalpa, Olancho, Honduras. Yvette Surla said the trip was part … Continue reading →

Ascension Parish Police Bookings for Aug. 7-14, 2014

The following people were booked into the Ascension Parish Prison from Aug. 7-14. ANDREWS, TYRAN: 18, 4517 Jenkins Road, Darrow, disturbing the peace/simple assault, battery of a school teacher. CARONNA, BLAKE JOSEPH: 29, 43272 Church Point Road, Gonzales, theft. ESPINOZA, OSMAN R.: 28, 13607 Airline Highway, Gonzales, theft of goods under $500. … Continue reading →

Ascension Civil Court for Aug. 4-8, 2014

Court cases filed in Ascension Parish between Aug. 4-8. Neighbors Federal Credit Union v. Kristina Schubert, promissory note. Capital One Bank USA NA v. Corypaul Burgett, open account. Architectural Hardware Door Himmels v. Design Build Associates Inc, open account. Louisiana State Of v. Tamara Lagarde, forfeiture/seizure. Louisiana State … Continue reading →

Assistant chiefs honored as firefighters of month

Photo provided by James E. LeBlanc -- Gathering to honor the May and July St. Amant Volunteer Fire Department's firefighters of the month are, from left, Chief Officer James E. LeBlanc, Robbie Villenurve, Sean Gilbert, Assistant Chief Josh Wingerter, Assistant Chief Shane Stuntz, Jake Blanchard and Bradley Norwood.

Two St. Amant Volunteer Fire Department assistant chiefs were recently honored as firefighters of the month. Assistant Chief Josh Wingerter was named the May Firefighter of the Month and Assistant Chief Shane Stuntz received the award in July, Fire Chief James E. LeBlanc said. “It takes a certain type of individual to be a volunteer firefighter. … Continue reading →

Student’s quilt earns award at convention

Photo provided by Castle House Publishing -- Ascension Parish student Reagan Cambre wins third place for her T-shirt quilt at the 2014 National Junior Beta Convention held in Richmond, Virginia.

Lake Elementary School student Reagan Cambre’s quilt helped her win third place at the 2014 National Junior Beta Convention held in Richmond, Virginia. In May, the seventh-grader attended the 2014 State Junior Beta Convention with fellow classmates in Lafayette. Reagan won first place in the quilting contest. She was awarded a scholarship by her school … Continue reading →

Art Association closes show with reception

Photo provided by JoAnn Eiswirth -- Attending the Aug. 1 Red Hot Art Show's closing reception at River Regional Art Association's Depot Gallery are, from left, Courtney Hawkins, Terry Farrell and Tom Walker.

Artists and art lovers gathered Aug. 1 at the River Region Art Association’s Depot Gallery for the closing reception of the annual Red Hot Art Show. Local musician Gaynell Moore entertained guests as they viewed artwork and submitted People’s Choice votes for the winning entries in the exhibition. First place ribbons for the exhibition were awarded … Continue reading →

Softball team seeks championship sponsors

Photo provided by Rubber Ducks -- The Rubber Ducks adult softball team includes, from left, Zane Michael, Ty Templet, Wet Delatte, Caleb Templet, Dillon Day, Jason Fernandez, Justin Boudreaux, Andy McKnight, Matt Richard, Jeremy Foster and Josh Brown.

The Rubber Ducks adult softball team is headed to a world championship tournament in Florida and is looking for sponsors. The team will represent Ascension Parish in the World Softball League/Worth World Championships on Sept. 11-14 in Panama City, Florida. The Rubber Ducks, which plays in the United States Specialty Sports Association, ended the regular … Continue reading →

Dutchtown High teacher wins honor society award

Mindy Rose

Mindy Rose, general cooperative education coordinator and teacher at Dutchtown High School, was the latest recipient of the Teacher of Honor Award from Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education. Rose has been with Dutchtown High since 2010, teaching family and consumer science, customer service and general cooperative education. She served as an adviser for the … Continue reading →

Band ignites gym with preview of new show

Photo provided by Carey Long-- East Ascension High School colorguard members, from left, Cherish Netter, Kieara Brown and Lindsey Boudreaux stand at attention next to the band at their 2014 Show-Off performance held on July 31 at the school.

After two weeks of band camp, the East Ascension High School Spartan Band and color guard performed in front of a large crowd on July 31 to show off parts of their new fall show. The color guard, instructed by Jodi Burgett and Tanna Barker, have incorporated many new elements into this year’s … Continue reading →

Running for office: Ascension Parish School Board

Nat Stephens

Nat Stephens, the chief of the Geismar Volunteer Fire Department, has announced his candidacy for Ascension Parish School Board, District 3. Stephens, 61, a Democrat, is a lifelong resident of Geismar. A process technician with Rubicon Chemical, Stephens holds a bachelor of arts degree in industrial arts education from Grambling State University. … Continue reading →

Ascension Council on Aging for Aug. 21-28, 2014

Sausage and pinto beans, steamed rice, steamed spinach, cornbread, grape juice, raisin cream pie, milk. PILATES: 8:15 a.m. and 9:15 a.m., Gonzales Senior Center. PIYO: 9 a.m., Donaldsonville Senior Center. BINGO: 10 a.m., Donaldsonville. The sponsor is Canon Hospice. CAJUN NEEDLERS: 12:30 p.m., Gonzales. Chicken salad, pickled … Continue reading →

Sorrento council terminates town’s last police officer

Advocate staff file photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Sorento Town Hall

Baton Rouge man accused in rash of Ascension auto burglaries

Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested a Baton Rouge man Tuesday in a rash of vehicle burglaries last month in the Geismar area, Maj. Kevin Hanna said. Tyree Davison, 18, was booked with 18 counts of simple vehicle burglary along with other related counts. The thefts of wallets, a gun, electronics, loose … Continue reading →

Sheriff: Body found in Donaldsonville is missing teen

Brandon Augusta

The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office on Monday confirmed that a body discovered Thursday on the levee in Donaldsonville is that of 15-year-old Brandon Augusta, who was reported missing Aug. 10, Chief Tony Bacala said. Bacala said Augusta’s death is a homicide, but he would not disclose how he was killed. The deputy … Continue reading →

St. Amant woman hit by truck after getting her mail

Using new technologies, Ascension assessor finds more properties

Knowledge is power — and, in Ascension Parish, it apparently also means a lot more tax revenue for local government. With a trove of new data collected earlier this year through an aerial imagery project, new electronically submitted building permits and an updated website, Ascension Parish Assessor M.J. “Mert” Smiley Jr. is adding … Continue reading →

St. James man found guilty of trying to kill pregnant ex-girlfriend

Cowan Collins

An Ascension Parish jury has found a St. James Parish man guilty in the attempted slaying of his pregnant ex-girlfriend and their unborn child last year, prosecutors said Friday. Cowan L. Collins, 28, 1360 Golden Grove, Gramercy, was convicted of attempted second-degree murder and attempted second-degree feticide after one-hour of jury deliberation … Continue reading →

State calls for tests at second salt cavern after tremors

Days after work on the Bayou Corne sinkhole halted briefly due to increasing tremors, state regulators ordered Texas Brine Co. to stop production at a second salt dome cavern near the underground cavity that failed two years ago and spawned the sinkhole that has driven hundreds of people from their property. Louisiana Conservation Commissioner James Welsh ordered … Continue reading →

Lawsuit filed against former Sorrento officer over crash

Two Ascension Parish residents filed a lawsuit Tuesday over a high-speed car crash last fall with a Sorrento police officer who was later found to have been driving faster than 75 mph more than 700 times in the two months preceding the crash. Relying on information from a police car data recorder in … Continue reading →

2014 Ascension Balloon Festival will require no public funds

Advocate staff photo by Darlene Denstorff -- Martin McConnell, head of the Ascension Festival and Cultural Council, from left, Parish President Tommy Martinez and L'auberge Casino Hotel Senior Vice President and General Manager Mickey Parenton gather during a news conference Monday to announce L'auberge as the Ascension Balloon Festival's crown sponsor.

A positive response from area businesses and a $20,000 donation from a Baton Rouge casino means this year’s Ascension Hot Air Balloon Festival organizers won’t have to depend on public funds. The festival, organized by the nonprofit Ascension Festivals and Cultural Council Inc., announced Monday a $20,000 sponsorship had been secured from L’Auberge Casino Hotel. … Continue reading →

Council chairmanship changes hands

Chris Loar

There’s been a changing of the guard in the leadership of the Ascension Parish Council, and more changes are likely in parish government. Two-term Councilman Randy Clouatre, of St. Amant, replaces Councilman Chris Loar, of Prairieville, as the council chairman. Besides increased public profile, the council chairman runs council meetings, regulates public debate in those meetings … Continue reading →

City hopes to finish Crescent Park upgrades by July 4

Advocate staff photo by Darlene Denstorff -- State Sen. Troy Brown, right, talks Friday about his efforts to get an $870,000 capital outlay appropriation for improvements to Donaldsonville's Crescent Park. Donaldsonville City Councilman Reginald Francis Sr., Parish President Tommy Martinez and Mayor Leroy Sullivan, from left, look on from the park's pavilion, which will be rebuilt as part of the plans to renovate the park.

City officials are hopeful that next year’s Independence Day celebration will be held in an upgraded and renovated Crescent Park. Officials and the city’s Downtown Development District held a ceremonial groundbreaking Friday to mark the most recent phase of the funding approval process for the long-awaited park project. Sen. Troy Brown, … Continue reading →

Ascension Parish pets available for Aug. 14, 2014

This long-haired Chihuahua. Good with kids and other dogs.

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 … Continue reading →

Council chided over sale of property with grave sites

Two local women chided City Councilmen on Tuesday for the way they handled the sale of property that included 13 grave sites. Both Francesca Oatis and Jevella Williamson said they have relatives buried on the land and, since the sale, families no longer have unabated access to visit … Continue reading →

Ascension Athletics: Will the Lions roar?

Advocate photo by Lyle Johnson -- In the Ascension Christian weight-room last week are, from left, head coach Josh Puryear, assistant coach Kent Schexnayder and player Dylan Capiel.

Five years ago, a rag-tag bunch of ninth- and 10th-graders went out for the first Ascension Christian Lions football team. They weren’t sure if they’d even have enough players to put a team on the field. As a matter of fact, the first two years the team competed in a freshman schedule only because of a lack of … Continue reading →

Back to school event a ‘blessing’ to family

Advocate staff photo by Darlene Denstorff -- Gonzales barber Tony Smith, left, talks to Ray Davis, 8, during Sunday's Back 2 School N Style event at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center. In addition to free hair cuts and hair styles, children and their families could play games, dance and visit information booths.

June Williams, of Paulina, shuffled her three children through a series of informational booths and games Sunday as they waited for their turn to get free haircuts. Williams called the sixth annual Back 2 School N Style event “a blessing” and a fun family day. Her children, ages 5, 3 and 1, were among the more … Continue reading →