News around Ascension

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Man accused in drive-by shootings gets plea deal

GONZALES – 20-year-old Ronald McClure – the last of four men accused in two April 2012 drive-by shootings in Geismar – was sentenced to two years of home incarceration and five years of supervised probation as part of a plea bargain with prosecutors.

According to court minutes, the sentence was handed down by Twenty-third Judicial District Judge Jason Verdigets at the Parish Courthouse Annex in Gonzales after McClure pleaded guilty to reduced charges of conspiracy to commit second-degree aggravated battery and illegal use of a weapon.

As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors dropped a string of charges against McClure, 36324 Timber Ridge Drive, Prairieville, including attempted manslaughter and eight counts of attempted first-degree murder.

Undeveloped woodlands to be used for more airport space

GONZALES – The Louisiana Regional Airport is planned to expand by about 30 acres, due to recent a land purchase, which closed this month.

The Ascension-St. James Airport and Transportation Authority purchased 28.3 acres of undeveloped woodlands south of the airport for $677,567.

The money to purchase the property came from a grant from the Aviation Division of the state Department of Transportation and Development that’s funded through revenue from a sales tax on aviation fuel.

Section 8 advertising approved

DONALDSONVILLE – The city’s Section 8 rental assistance program administrator told city councilmen there are no more applicants left on the waiting list for housing assistance, and requested permission to advertise for up to 75 more applicants.

The council voted 4-0 to approve the measure, with Councilman Charles Brown Sr. absent from the meeting.

Roberto Macedo, of Roberto Macedo and Associates, which administers the program, said he is required to publish a call for applicants in the city’s official journal, The Donaldsonville Chief.

Architect for new fire department approved

PRAIRIEVILLE – The Prairieville Fire Department is moving forward with a second new fire station in two years.

According to Fire Chief Mark Stewart, fire officials hope construction can start later this year on the station, which will be in the northern corner of Ascension near the intersection of Bluff and Alligator Bayou roads and west of Interstate 10.

The Fire Department has budgeted $1.54 million for construction – a contract for Domain Architecture was approved.

Stewart said the architectural firm already created a standard station design for the department, known as Ascension Parish Fire Protection District No. 3, and fire officials wanted to remain with the firm for the second station.

Driver Succumbs to Injuries after Crash in Ascension Parish

Prairieville – Shortly before noon on July 17, Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop A began investigating a serious injury crash that occurred on La. 44 north of La. 931 in Ascension Parish. The crash later took the life of 85 year old Clifford Rice of Gonzales, La.

The initial investigation by State Police revealed that the crash occurred as 48 year old Keith McLin of Livingston, was traveling northbound on La. 44 in a 2008 Dodge Ram. At the same time, Rice was traveling northbound on La. 44 behind McLin in a 2000 Dodge Caravan. McLin came to a stop as he prepared to make a left turn into a private drive. For unknown reasons, Rice failed to stop and ran into the back of McLin’s vehicle.

Rice was unrestrained and received serious injuries in the crash. He was transported to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. McLin was properly restrained and was not injured. Impairment is not suspected to be a factor in this crash. A toxicology sample was taken from Rice and will be submitted to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis. McLin was given a chemical breath test for intoxication and showed no detectable signs of impairment.

On July 19, 2015 at 11:51 a.m., Louisiana State Police Troop A was informed that Clifford Rice had succumbed to his injuries. He was pronounced deceased by doctors at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital.

Louisiana State Troopers want to inform motorists that all occupants of a motor vehicle must be restrained, regardless of seating position. While not all crashes are survivable, statistics show that the chances of surviving a crash rise significantly when properly restrained. Making good choices while in motor vehicles such as never driving while impaired, always ensuring every occupant is properly restrained, and avoiding all distractions can often mean the difference between life and death.

Man accused in rape of 14-year-old girl

EAST BATON ROUGE – A 21-year-old Prairieville man was arrested on July 11, and accused in the forcible rape of a 14-year-old girl on three separate occasions in an amusement park bathroom.

An East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to Women’s Hospital on Friday in reference to a sexual assault victim. The girl claimed that her ex-boyfriend, Justin Aydell, of 18231 Little Prairie Road, forced her to have sex with him three times, a Sheriff’s Office report says.

The victim said Aydell pulled her into a bathroom at an amusement park in East Baton Rouge Parish, forced her onto the floor and had sex with her while she screamed, tried to get away and told him to stop, the report states.

Aydell was booked into Parish Prison on a count of forcible rape.

Town attempts to recoup more than $77,000

SORRENTO – Sorrento has accused a St. Gabriel construction company of fraud over an unfinished 2012 sewer project that prompted an Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office investigation.

The town claims in a lawsuit that Design & Build Consultants LLC and its subcontractor, H&O Investments LLC, never did the sewer repairs under Main Street near Trabeaux and Braud streets, though the town paid the company $77,500.

Filed July 6 in 23rd Judicial District Court, the suit questions the validity of the contract between the town and the two companies and whether the town’s payment was legal.

Town officials had said they have been unable to find a written contract in their records.