French lessons will be offered in the Gonzales area through the Francophilia Foundation, said a Gonzales Committee on Cultural Affairs spokeswoman.

Jean Xavier Brager, a native of Marseilles, France, and foundation founder, uses a communicative approach based both on full immersion and exposure to first-source documents, panel spokeswoman Karen Hatcher said.

“Jean engages students with tailor-made interactive activities geared toward each participant’s personal goals,” according to a news release on the program.

Ten 60-minute group sessions costing $20 per session will be offered at 5:45 p.m. starting Monday at the Gonzales Fire Station Training Center on Orice Roth Road.

For more information, email or call her at (504) 782-7957.

Food drive Friday

Gonzales Area AARP Chapter 1449 is hosting a food drive Friday at the Gonzales Walmart, 308 N. Airline Highway.

The food collected will be donated to the St. Theresa Food Pantry. Nonperishable food can be dropped off from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. near the west store entrance.

Library business seminar

The Ascension Parish Library is hosting a free seminar for small businesses Sept. 20 at its Dutchtown branch.

“Starting and Financing a Small Business” is designed for anyone who wants to learn what it takes to start and run a successful small business, according to a news release from the library system.

The program will focus on helping people learn how to determine the feasibility of their ideas as well as how to obtain small-business loans.

Leighton Bryant, business development consultant at the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southern University, will lead the seminar, which is to start at 6:30 p.m.

Advance registration is required. Call (225) 673-8699.

Parish turns to Facebook

Ascension Parish residents can now turn to Facebook to obtain emergency information from the parish’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, according to a news release from Parish President Tommy Martinez.

“With the popularity of Facebook and its usefulness for instantly communicating with the public, our OHSEP department made a strategic decision to use this forum as another avenue for getting out pertinent information to the public during emergency situations,” Martinez said.

Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Director Rick Webre said residents can access the page by logging into the parish site at, then clicking on the “like” button.

People already subscribed to Facebook, will find the information readily available.

Non-subscribers to Facebook, must sign up in order to access the information, he said.

While in Facebook, residents may also search for the information page by using “Ascension Parish Homeland Security.”

Residents can call the Community Information Line at 1-866-380-2303 during times of emergency, Webre said.

To submit news, contact Darlene Denstorff at (225) 336-6952, fax, (225) 644-5851 or e-mail to ascension@ Deadline: noon Wednesday.