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Former Iberville Parish teacher pleads not guilty to charges he had sex with students, fathered a child with one

Keavin Keith

The former Iberville Parish teacher indicted on having sex with several of his students was in court Wednesday and pleaded not guilty to five counts of carnal knowledge and 31 counts of prohibited sexual conduct between an educator and a student. Keavin Keith, 58060 Desobry St., Plaquemine, appeared alongside his attorney… Continue reading →

Battle ends between Pointe Coupee Police Jury and New Roads city officials over management of Civic Center

William H. Scott Civic Center in New Roads

The prolonged saga over an agreement between the Pointe Coupee Parish Police Jury and New Roads City Council on management of the William H. Scott Civic Center ended Tuesday night with the parish caving to the city’s demand that it be given the authority to hire temporary workers without prior approval of… Continue reading →

Video camera inside church captures two burglars in the act

A small video camera tucked away in the sanctuary of a Port Allen church on Saturday night captured the images of two males burglarizing the building, which was one of three Baptist churches burglarized in the town that night. Kevin Cyrus, a detective with the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, said… Continue reading →

School Board: Pointe Coupee’s new superintendent brings change, saves money

Newly hired School Superintendent Kevin Lemoine was able to shave off nearly $1.3 million in expenditures from the 2015-16 proposed $22.2 million budget for the Pointe Coupee Parish School District. School Board members rejected a previous spending plan, primarily from former superintendent Linda D’Amico, which included a projected deficit of nearly $630,000 for the upcoming school… Continue reading →

Around the Westside for July 22, 2015

School has started a few weeks early for students enrolled in Iberville Parish’s new Starship Program. The district’s new science, technology, engineering and mathematics program launched July 13 with a STEM camp for sixth through ninth grades geared toward helping the inaugural class prepare through project-based learning before school starts on Aug. 10. The Starship Camp… Continue reading →

Around the Westside for July 15, 2015

The West Baton Rouge Museum on Monday opened its new exhibition “Holding Out and Hanging On: 10 Years After Hurricane Katrina,” featuring the photography of retired LSU professor and first responder Thomas Neff. The exhibit, which runs through Sept. 13, features photographs and stories of Katrina’s survivors that Neff gathered in the days following the… Continue reading →

Port Allen man, 66, perishes in fire at his small trailer home

A 66-year-old man was killed Monday night after his small trailer home erupted in flames in what authorities say they suspect was an accidental fire. Deputy Chief Brant Thompson of the State Fire Marshal’s Office said his investigation into the blaze is still in the early stages, but they suspect Jesse… Continue reading →

Audit: More New Roads credit card spending questioned; about $13,100 in purchases by city officials lacked receipts in 2014

Advocate staff file photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- New Roads Mayor Robert Myer speaks in his office in November 2014 about discrepancies in his use of the city credit card.

The use of city-issued credit cards was called into question again in New Roads after an audit report released Monday revealed that 21 percent — roughly $13,100 — of the transactions made by city officials in 2014 lacked receipts explaining purchases and charges. The audit report, conducted by New Roads… Continue reading →

City Council joins parish in effort to get Congress to help with I-10, La. 1, traffic issues

The City Council on Wednesday night joined West Baton Rouge leaders in their effort to address the parish’s growing traffic headaches by urging the state’s congressional leaders to find a way for emergency improvements to be made along Interstate 10 and La. 1 in Port Allen. City Councilman Hugh “Hootie” Riviere… Continue reading →

Around the Westside for July 8, 2015

The West Baton Rouge Museum is set to receive the 39th annual preservation “Brick and Mortar Award” from the Foundation for Historical Louisiana for the preservation and restoration of the Arbroth Mercantile Plantation Store. The awards ceremony and banquet will be held at the City Club of Baton Rouge at 6 p.m. July 16.… Continue reading →

Shooting death case involving St. Gabriel police chief’s son to go to Attorney General’s office

The Louisiana Attorney General’s Office has been asked to step in and take over the investigation, and possible prosecution, in the shooting deaths of two brothers who were killed on Mother’s Day in which the suspected shooter is the 25-year-old son of the St. Gabriel police chief. Angela Stewart, the mother of Dominique… Continue reading →

Wasting no time, new Pointe Coupee superintendent sets ambitious agenda for improving parish’s schools

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- New Pointe Coupee Parish Schools superintendent Kevin Lemoine, left, talks Wednesday about physical changes occurring to the Livonia High School cafeteria, and possible procedural changes in the flow of students through the cafeteria, during a site tour with school principal Stacy Gueho, right, on Lemoine's first official day as the new superintendent.

In his first week as Pointe Coupee Parish’s new school superintendent, Kevin Lemoine has already toured all five of the district’s campuses, met with principals and key staff and started crunching numbers for the district’s next fiscal year budget. And it looks like things won’t be slowing down any time soon for the 51-year-old educator.… Continue reading →

Around the Westside for July 1, 2015

The Plaquemine Main Street Program is geared up to host its 15th annual Fourth of July Hometown Celebration this Saturday with a variety of events kicking off at 2 p.m. and lasting until 9 p.m. The family-oriented festival, which will feature a boat parade, live music, games and rides for children, includes a free admission… Continue reading →

Pointe Coupee School Board halts pending lawsuit against the state, bids farewell to Superintendent Linda D’Amico

Advocate  Staff Photo by  Mark Saltz   August 4, 2009  Trax # 00018156a Super Search Linda D'Amico mugshot as the Pointe Coupee School Board interviews five finalist for the Superintendent job on August 4, 2009.

The Pointe Coupee Parish School Board on Thursday put the brakes on pending litigation to recoup more than $1 million from the state’s Recovery School District, which the school district intended to use for much-needed repairs at Pointe Coupee Central High School. The board made the unanimous decision after… Continue reading →

Around the Westside for June 24

Tickets are now on sale for a community appreciation prayer breakfast being held in honor of retiring Pointe Coupee Parish School Superintendent Linda D’Amico. The community prayer breakfast, at 7 a.m. Tuesday, is being hosted by the False River/New Roads Rotary Club. Tickets to the breakfast, taking place at the Scott Civic Center, are $250 for… Continue reading →

Addis girl, 1, electrocuted after touching exposed wires of air conditioning unit at apartment complex, authorities say

A 1-year-old Addis girl was electrocuted Monday while playing with other children outside the apartment complex where she lived, according to authorities in West Baton Rouge Parish. Yancy Guerin, chief investigator with the West Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office, said he believes Kristiana Tillman sustained the fatal injuries about 3 p.m. when she… Continue reading →

Boil water advisory issued for Port Allen residents

A boil-water advisory was issued Saturday afternoon for the residents of Port Allen until further notice. The water has tested positive for E. coli, said Chief Administrative Officer Adrian Genre. E. coli is a type of bacteria that normally inhabits the intestines of humans and animals, according to medical dictionaries, the ingestion of which through tainted… Continue reading →

Police: Victim, suspect argued before shooting

The New Roads Police Department is investigating the death of a man who was fatally shot Friday morning after getting into an argument with his suspected shooter. Authorities Friday afternoon had yet to release the name of the victim or the suspect, but Police Chief Kevin McDonald anticipates an arrest will be made.… Continue reading →

Around the Westside for June 17, 2015

The West Baton Rouge Museum is currently hosting “When the Cannon Fell Silent,” an exhibit commemorating the sesquicentennial of the end of the American Civil War. The exhibit, which runs through Aug. 16, features a collection of original Civil War prints that includes works published by Frank Leslie. Leslie commissioned 20 skilled artists to sketch… Continue reading →

Parents who waged unsuccessful fight to keep North Iberville High open file application to start new charter school

Advocate file photo by Arthur D. Lauck --  North Iberville High School shut down at end of the 2009 school year.

The closing of North Iberville High School in 2009 was a bitter pill for parents and community leaders who sued the Iberville Parish School District in an unsuccessful attempt to keep the school open. Now, they’re using a different approach to achieve essentially the same objective by applying to open a new charter school somewhere… Continue reading →

Port Allen Council majority stands firm in opposing payment of outstanding legal bills for firm that represented recalled mayor ‘Deedy’ Slaughter

Left, Demetric 'Deedy' Slaughter; Audrey McCain

A majority of the City Council on Wednesday refused to have the city pay more than $50,000 in outstanding legal fees to the Baton Rouge law firm that represented former mayor Demetric “Deedy” Slaughter in the wrongful termination lawsuit filed by the city’s chief financial officer, Audrey McCain. Councilmen Hugh “Hootie”… Continue reading →

Top officials in West Baton Rouge, Iberville looking to gubernatorial candidates for answers to traffic woes

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Drivers are greeted by slow-moving traffic on the Mississippi River Bridge for eastbound Interstate 10, Friday, July 25, 2014 in West Baton Rouge near exit 153 for north and southbound LA 1.

Top elected officials in West Baton Rouge and Iberville say they are looking toward Louisiana’s upcoming governor’s race for answers on how to ease growing traffic frustrations plaguing the west bank of the Mississippi River and the larger capital region. Any hopes something might happen sooner were dashed by the Louisiana House’s Continue reading →

Around the Westside for June 10, 2015

The Iberville Parish School Board will hold its next meeting at the St. Gabriel Community Center on July 13 while renovations are underway at the board’s meeting chambers inside the school district’s main office in Plaquemine. But the decision to relocate the meeting across the parish was met with some resistance Monday night from board members who… Continue reading →

Iberville School Board severs longstanding agreement with nonprofit St. Gabriel Health Clinic to provide services at two east bank schools

The Iberville Parish School Board voted Monday night to sever its more than 20-year arrangement with the St. Gabriel Health Clinic, activating the 60-day termination clause of its agreement with the nonprofit, which operates health clinics at two east bank schools. The board’s 7-1 vote came a month after a majority of… Continue reading →

Attorney says Port Allen still owes his firm $52,000 for representing former Port Allen Mayor Deedy Slaughter in wrongful termination lawsuit

Left, Demetric 'Deedy' Slaughter; Audrey McCain

The lingering effects of the wrongful termination lawsuit Chief Financial Officer Audrey McCain filed against former mayor Demetric “Deedy” Slaughter resurfaced Wednesday night when an attorney confronted the City Council about $52,000 in outstanding legal expenses he says the city owes his firm. Dennis Blunt, a partner with Baton Rouge law… Continue reading →

As jury is almost seated, Plaquemine man decides to plead guilty in execution style slaying of friend at fishing camp

Detrell Scott

A 22-year-old man accused of robbing and fatally shooting his friend unexpectedly flipped the script during trial proceedings Wednesday, deciding to plead guilty to the crime just moments before lawyers were about to seat the final members of the jury. Moments later, a state district court judge sentenced Detrell… Continue reading →

Port Allen budget proposal calls for pay raises, body cameras for police

Advocate staff file photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Port Allen City Hall

City leaders are mulling over an $8.4 million proposed budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year that includes the purchase of body cameras for Port Allen police, a 4 percent across-the-board pay raise for full-time employees and a proposal from the mayor to implement longevity pay increases for longtime city workers. The… Continue reading →

Around the Westside for June 3

PC School Board rejects charter application The Pointe Coupee Parish School Board last week unanimously rejected an application from a nonprofit group looking to create a new Type 1 charter school in the parish. The board’s May 28 decision was driven by a third-party review of the application from Educo Learning Inc. which highlighted a… Continue reading →

Changes at Pointe Coupee courthouse made to increase security after judge complains of courtroom clashes

Photo provided by GoogleMaps -- Pointe Coupee Parish Courthouse

Pointe Coupee Parish officials implemented several changes at the parish courthouse in New Roads this week in an effort to improve security. Anyone entering the courthouse, whenever court hearings are taking place, will only be able to do so at the courthouse’s front entrance. Visitors will have to show identification and sign in before they… Continue reading →

New Plaquemine police officer leaves force after three months; accused of having sex with 15-year-old girl when he was 17 years old

Chance Martinez

A former Plaquemine police officer was arrested and booked into the Iberville Parish jail Wednesday on two counts of misdemeanor carnal knowledge of a juvenile. Chance Martinez, 18, was accused of having sex with a 15-year-old female when he was 17 years old, a police release said Friday. The release… Continue reading →