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Ascension Parish Council welcomes back Teri Casso amid coronavirus bout

Michael Tortorich
The Ascension Parish Council meets virtually Aug. 20.

Perhaps the best news revealed during the Aug. 20 Ascension Parish Council meeting was the return of Chair Teri James Casso.

Casso and her husband, Coy, have been public with their ongoing battle with COVID-19. The District 8 representative was absent from the last council meeting due to her bout with the coronavirus.

District 3 Council member Travis Turner filled in as chair during the previous meeting, and continued to do so Thursday night.

During the meeting, Casso thanked every council member and Parish President Clint Cointment for being supportive during the trying time.

“I want all of you to know how grateful I am for all the support that you all have been to me personally, and your prayers and support for my husband,” Casso said.

She implored the public to take coronavirus seriously by being cautious and following guidelines such as social distancing and facial coverings.

Casso also praised the assistance of Council Secretary Cinnamon McKey.

“Cinnamon has been unbelievable,” Casso said. “I appreciate her more than I could ever say.”

At the time, Casso said she and her husband were both still in the recovery process.

In other matters before the council:

-- Chief Administrative Officer John Diez gave the Parish President’s report.

He said coronavirus has had an impact on parish employees, particularly in the Department of Public Works.

Diez reported 191 employees were sent home due to COVID-19, and 77 were DPW employees.

Due to the pandemic’s effects on personnel, the parish has fallen behind in keeping grass cut since March, Diez added.

He said keeping drainage clear is important during hurricane season. As of Thursday night, two storms were brewing offshore. 

Over the weekend, Hurricane Marco was projected to make landfall in southeastern Louisiana Aug. 24, while Tropical Storm Laura was expected to strengthen to a hurricane and hit the state around Aug. 26.