In 2017, the pages of The Ascension Advocate were filled with stories of life in the area.

We've pulled together a recap of the year as seen through our favorite stories. Here's a rundown of happenings from January to June. Next week we'll rundown July through December.


Gonzales city officials kicked off the new year by appointing its city clerk, city attorney and mayor pro tempore.

Longtime City Clerk Clay Stafford was reappointed. Erin Lanoux, named city attorney after Ryland Percy retired in 1015, was also reappointed. The council also voted for Kirk Boudreaux to continue to serve as mayor pro tempore. Stafford would leave his post later in the year.

A 14-year-old St. Amant Middle student with special needs was honored by two schools for his love of basketball. Austin Walls was the center of attention at a Jan. 9 basketball game between St. Amant Middle and Lake Elementary schools.

More than 1,500 yellow, rubber ducks floated across the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center's lake on Jan. 21 for the St. Amant Fire Department and St. Elizabeth hospital's Women's Advisory Council's scholarship fund for nurses.

Gonzales city officials approved the $217,800 bid to repair the flood-damaged City Hall. Since the flood in August, city employees worked in the back portion of the building, a space previous used as a city jail.


February means livestock show time. The Lamar-Dixon Expo Center barns were filled with 4-H and FFA students preparing to exhibit their animals.

St. Amant High School students returned to campus Feb. 13 after a six-month absence. Floodwaters in August 2016 forced the students out of their campus and they attended classes at Dutchtown High School. Temporary building were put in place until the buildings could be repaired.

School Board officials announced in February that plans were in the design phase for repairs at five flood-damaged schools. 


In March, the Ascension Parish School Board approved the low bid of $3.5 million for renovations to flood-damaged St. Amant Primary School. Repairs to schools was discussed at several meetings throughout the year.

Alzheimer's Services of the Capital Area expanded its services in Gonzales with the opening of Charlie's Place II Respite and Activity Center in March. The center provides care for residents with Alzheimer's and dementia-related disorders.

Donaldsonville residents gathered in March for a dedication ceremony at the newly renovated Crescent Park. the park's pavilion was dedicated in memory of councilman Emile Spano, who died in 2016.

Longtime Donaldsonville fire chief Chuck Montero retired in March.


A Leadership Ascension group donated a trailer and supplies to Holy Rosary Catholic Church as part of its Traveling Samaritan project.

City Council members announced in April plans to get state funds to improve areas of the city that repeatedly flood. 


A May 4 story highlighted the efforts made to raise money during the annual Ascension Relay for Life. Many of the organizers and usual participants in the Gonzales relay were still recovering from the August floods.

East Ascension High School seniors kept the pond jump tradition alive with a jump in the pond across the street on May 3.

Graduation ceremonies were held in May at area high schools.

Kade Lanoux won the Jambalaya Festival cooking championship at the 50th annual festival in Gonzales. 


The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3693 demolished its building in Gonzales. The floods damaged the old hall, which was used for meetings, bingo games and activities. Fundraisers were held throughout the year to pay for rebuilding.