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Classic Hits 92.5 KVPI wants to congratulate our 2018 Cajun Heartland State Fair ticket winners. We gave listeners a chance to qualify to win four sheets of ride tickets, and our winners are Rose Marcantel, Shirlene O’Connor, and Dana Launey. Keep listening to our station to find out how you too can be a winner in one of our many contests. To get more information about Cajun Heartland State Fair visit their Facebook page, or go to cajundome.com.

 

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    The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from Shelby Santiago with CASA (Court Appointed  Special Advocate) for Evangeline and St. Landry Parishes. CASA volunteers represent the interest of abused and neglected children during court and child protection proceedings. They are appointed by a local judge to serve as a child’s voice in court.

    CASA is in need of additional volunteers in both of Evangeline and St. Landry Parishes. In Evangeline Parish there are 80 foster children and only 10 CASA volunteers while in St. Landry parish, there are 105 foster children and 23 volunteers in neighboring St. Landry parish. CASA has a local office at 721 West Lincoln and their phone number is 337-506-2272. Also attending was Lorenzo Richard of CASA. They were the special guests of Rotarian Mable Forman.

    In other business, Club President Wayne Vidrine announced that the Installation of Officers banquet will be held June 12 at 6;00pm at the La Veille Banque location.

   The club also approved the following:

Approved naming Peter Strawitz as Vice President;

Naming Fr. Mitch Guidry as honorary club member;

Approved a motion of $125 to the Ville Platte Boys and Girls Club;

Appoved appointing a committee to look at re-establish a scholarship fund for students attending the Coreil Campus at Louisiana Technical College.

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     On 5-18-2018, Deputies of the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office and Officers of the Turkey Creek Police Department responded to Snoddy Lane in the Turkey Creek area in reference to a Shooting. Upon arrival, Deputies found that a male subject had been shot during a disturbance in which both subjects were armed. The shooter, identified as John Isaac Foret, had left the scene, but waited in a nearby area for law enforcement to arrive. Acadian Ambulance arrived on scene and requested that the coroner’s office be notified. The Evangeline Parish Coroner’s Office arrived on scene and pronounced the victim deceased. The deceased has been identified as Edwin Wesley Snoddy.

Mr. Foret was located and questioned briefly, but advised he wanted an attorney, with what was known at the time of the investigation.

Mr. Foret was released until more is learned. The investigation is still on going.

On 5-14-2018, the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office received a call for assistance on the 1100 block of Jake Ln. in the Mamou area.

Deputies arrived on scene and located a white male subject, unresponsive, lying in a drainage ditch behind a residence. Acadian Ambulance medics attempted life saving measures, but were unable to revive the subject. The Evangeline Parish Coroner’s Office arrived on scene and pronounced the subject deceased.

Detectives arrived on scene and began processing the area and questioning witnesses. At this time, a cause of death has not been determined and autopsy results are pending. One suspect was taken into custody, but his name has been withheld due to the current investigation status.

On Saturday, May 19, 2018 at approximately 2106 hours Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office Patrol Deputies were dispatched to a report of a Disturbance involving Shooting near the 7000 block of Chataignier Road.

The initial investigative interview by Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Investigators revealed that the wounded male subject identified as Daniel Breaux was upset with family members and had been causing a disturbances throughout the day. At some point he and his brother Derrick Breaux got into a physical altercation for him attacking their mother and pointing a gun at Derrick. Douglas Breaux tried to defuse it but was unable to. Daniel’s father Richard Rozas eventually shot a round towards the air to gain attention of the brothers fighting in an effort to get them to stop. Daniel continued and made an attempt to obtain a rifle. Out of fear Daniel’s father shot him once to the abdomen in an effort to prevent further actions by his son.

Daniel Breaux was transported to Mercy Regional Medical Center in Eunice by his girlfriend Jessica Vidrine for medical attention. He was later Air Med to Lafayette General Hospital for further evaluation and treatment. No updates on the victim’s condition has been released.

The incident is still being actively investigated. No arrest have been made at this time.

If you have any information regarding this matter, you are urged to contact the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division at 337-363-2161.

 

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SECRETARY OF STATE KYLE ARDOIN TAKES OATH OF OFFICE

 

BATON ROUGE, La.—R. Kyle Ardoin was formally sworn in today during a short ceremony at Louisiana’s Old State Capitol. Judge Yvette Alexander administered the oath of office to Ardoin who was flanked by his wife, the former Letti Lowe of Port Allen and his daughter, Abbigale.

 

Ardoin, a native of Ville Platte and a resident of Baton Rouge, ascends into the position of secretary of state during a critical time for the Department of State, especially in terms of elections. In attendance were family, friends, staff, elected officials and other familiar faces around state government.

 

“I stand before you today knowing the importance of the job that lies before me,” said Secretary Ardoin. “It’s a job that hits right at the heart of our nation’s democracy and our states’ rights. Elections. We are preparing for the mid-term congressional elections as we speak, with qualifying less than two months away,” he said. “At the same time, we are embarking on replacing our voting equipment in an effort to better secure our votes while providing voters with a quick and easy process in which to cast their ballot.”

 

Serving as first assistant secretary of state since 2010, Ardoin is well prepared to lead the agency and has the support of not only local election officials, but also his colleagues nationally. The National Association of Secretaries of State named Ardoin co-chairman of the coveted Elections Committee indicating he had the wholehearted support of both NASS President Connie Lawson of Indiana as well as his co-chair from New Mexico, Secretary Maggie Toulouse Oliver.

 

“Knowing that elections cybersecurity and technology upgrades are at the forefront of the work done in every state across our nation, I am honored to be able to engage at a national level keeping Louisiana ahead of the curve in terms of the integrity of our election process,” said Ardoin. “My intent is to provide for a smooth transition of power to a newly elected secretary of state this winter, handing over an agency that has not missed a beat or slowed down any of our efforts to provide excellent customer service.”

 

Secretary Ardoin will serve as Louisiana secretary of state until a special election can be held on Nov. 6, 2018 and Dec. 8, 2018 if a runoff is required. Ardoin has named to his executive team former Speaker of the House Joe Salter as first assistant secretary of state, Shanda Jones as undersecretary of management and finance and Meg Casper Sunstrom as deputy secretary for communications and outreach.

 

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Following the resignation of District 3 School Board member Darren Vidrine, the Evangeline Parish School Board approved the appointment of his wife, Karen Vidrine to fill his position. After taking the Oath of Office, Vidrine accepted a plaque on behalf of her husband, who was unable to attend the meeting. She then, took her seat among the board.

 

The board received an update from Maintenance & Operations Facilitator, Jason Hazelton, concerning their school maintenance and safety walk-through inspections. Two schools were recognized for having the best inspection scores for this quarter. Janitorial staff of big school winner, Pine Prairie High School, and small school winner, Chataignier Elementary, were recognized and awarded $25 Walmart gift cards. Hazelton stated, that the purpose of these inspections is to increase safety, while “pursuing positive relationships with state agencies”.

Hazelton was also proud to announce a 76.5% decrease in deficiencies noted on Fire Marshall inspections.

 

Lastly, Superintendent Darwan Lazard reminded the public, that due to past school cancelations, Evangeline Parish will have school on Memorial Day, May 28th. Lazard hoped to clear some confusion, by reminding the public that by law, students must receive 63,720 instructional minutes. Teachers are required 182 work days, and not all days will be instructional.

 

Other business:

 

- Board accepted two letters of retirement, one for Pine Prairie High School Assistant Principal, Delores Fontenot, and W.W Stewart Elementary School teacher, Angela Guidry.

 

Board received EPSB sales tax review from CFO Amy Lafleur, stating that in April 2018, $689,913.39 was collected, which is $90,326.47 less than April 2017.

 

Board received a special visit from Mamou High School’s new Social Media Team, who after the meeting, showed the public a video they put together.

 

Low bid of $73,000.00 from Tudor, Inc. was accepted for removal and replacement of first floor wood finish in the two-story red brick building at Bayou Chicot Elementary.

 

Low price quote of $10,945.00 from Jeanmard, Inc.  was accepted for metal pavilion for stem program at Chataignier Elementary School to conduct outdoor classroom activities and experiments.

 

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   The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from new Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce Director Renee Brown.

   Brown told club members that she is expanding the chamber to make it a parish wide organization to include businesses throughout Evangeline Parish.

   Her goal is to promote business in Ville Platte and throughout the parish. She is planning a business forum for large businesses and industry such as Cameron and Ville Platte Iron Works.  The chamber is also preparing a small business forum. She plans to bring in groups such as the La. Workforce Commission, One Acadiana and the Louisiana Economic Development Administration to assist local business.

   Brown said her plans are to have the chamber sponsor a job fair and invite neighboring parishes to attend.

    Since there is a great need for additional machinists to be hired by local industry like Cameron and Ville Platte Iron Works, she is encouraging  Coreil Campus at South Louisiana Community College begin a machinists program at the school.

  Brown said the chamber is in the process of updating  its website to include a job page and a new app that can be downloaded for businesses.

  She mentioned two new businesses that have just opened or getting to open: a new antique/ flea market business in the Lavergne Furniture business and a chef is looking to open a new restaurant in Ville Platte.

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Classic hits 92.5 KVPI wants to thank all who participated in our Mother’s Day Facebook giveaway.

 

Our “Queen for a Day” contest was a huge success. The rules were: 1) Like our Facebook page Classic Hits 92.5 KVPI. 2) Like and share our contest post. 3) Like business pages of our contest sponsors tagged in post. 4) Comment below a picture of the mother in which you are nominating, and in 100 words or less tell us why you believe your nominee deserves to win. We received dozens of heartfelt nominations, and it wasn’t easy, but our judges have picked our winner.

 

Congratulations to our KVPI Queen for a Day, Misty Tingle. Misty was nominated by her daughter, Paige Bordelon. Paige commented, “I’m nominating the strongest woman I’ve ever met! I’m beyond blessed to call her my mom and my best friend!! She’s the glue that keeps our dysfunctional family together! I truly believe it’s her daily prayers that keep our life balanced and I am so thankful for her! She definitely deserves to be treated like a queen!” Misty will receive the following:

 

- 30-minute head, neck and shoulders massage with Michelle Sonnier, licensed massage therapist, at her business Myohealth Massage Therapy, located at 103 Evangeline Street in Ville Platte.

- Wood/wrought iron planter from Blake’s Gifts, located at 512 Mcarthur Street in Ville Platte.

- $50.00 meal certificate to Main Street Pub and Grill located at 205 W Main Street in Ville Platte.

- $25.00 gift certificate for gifts, and a $25.00 gift certificate for Merle Norman products from Family Hair and Gifts, located at 611 E Lincoln road in Ville Platte.

- $25.00 gift certificate to Mae's Flower Shop located at 632 W Main Street in Ville Platte.

- $50.00 meal certificate to White Tail’s Bar & Grill located at 24399 us-190 in Krotz Springs.

-$50 gift certificate from Jacki Wyble at The Wyble Collection on West Main in Ville Platte.

- $20 gift certificate from Richardson Coffee House, located at 104 Cotton Street in Ville Platte.

 

Thank you to our sponsors, and those who entered our contest. Classic Hits 92.5 KVPI wants to wish all moms, a very Happy Mother’s Day.

 

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2018 Senior Day

May 10, 2018

 

      Seniors from all  over Evangeline Parish packed the Ville Platte Northside Civic Center today to attend the annual Senior Day event sponsored by the Evangeline parish Council on Aging.

     A Cajun band provided the music for those wanting to get on the dance floor, a cake auction, door prizes, a delicious jambalaya lunch and bingo games.

    Council on Aging Director Lisa Derouen thanked the many volunteers who helped out and the many seniors who attend the event.

    KVPI FM 92.5 was there covering it with a live remote broadcast from 10-12 noon.

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Faye Lemoine, Shady Acres resident, addressed the Ville Platte City Council once again Tuesday, on the status of the city’s water project, and the long overdue work that needs to be done in their subdivision.

 

Mayor Jennifer Vidrine, during March’s monthly meeting, told Lemoine that the ground was too wet to begin digging in her back yard. Two months later, Mayor Vidrine states that the ground is still too wet for the contractor to work.

 

“I don’t know what I look like,” said Lemoine, “but I am not a fool”. Lemoine has attended City Council meetings over the past two years on behalf of Shady Acres, each time expressing frustration over the city’s slow-moving efforts. Lemoine stated, that while waiting for the past two years, they’ve flooded twice. “It’s a process.” stated District “F” Council member Bryant Riggs.

 

City Engineer, Ronnie Landreneau was absent, and therefore unable to comment on the matter.

 

Another issue revisited by the council was abandoned properties. Mayor Vidrine announced in her monthly report that 32 abandoned properties were recently added to their list. Letters will soon be sent to the property owners. Mayor Vidrine also reported that the city spent $205,694.73 in the month of April, which is $40, 626.69 less than the amount spent in March.

 

In other business:

 

Council approved official proclamation for May 2018 to be Older Americans Month. Staff of Chateau Des Amis in Ville Platte were in attendance to accept the certificate. 

 

Get- N- Go Drive Thru LLC, was approved for a consumption permit (license to drink on property).

 

The close out public hearing date for the LCDBG Sewer Project was approved for Tuesday, May 22nd at 5:00 pm.

 

Council approved the hiring of Erin Clark and Andrew Clark as full-time patrolmen for the Ville Platte Police Department.

 

Fire Chief, Chris Harrison reported for the month of April: 21 calls, 4 of which were structural fires. No fatalities.

 

Chief of Police, Neil Lartigue reported for the month of April: 594 calls, 528 requiring a report, 20 citations, 50 arrests, 20 felony arrests. No fatalities.

 

 

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The Rotary Club of Ville Platte met today (Tuesday) for their weekly meeting with Dr. Francisco “Nick” Cantu as the guest speaker. Dr. Cantu was the guest speaker of Rotarian Jackie Riche’.

   Dr. Cantu, a long time surgeon and family practice physician, announced that he is returning to Ville Platte to see patients at the Ville Platte Family clinic at his old medical office location. Dr. Cantu will be at the Ville Platte office on Tuesday and Thursdays while Nurse Practitioner Nicki Toussaint will see patients on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays.

   Dr. Cantu is a native of Mexico and is following in the footsteps of his father who was a physician back home in his hometown. Dr. Cantu first moved to Ville Platte in 1976 after an invitation from the Humana Company who owned Ville Platte Medical Center at the time.

    He told Rotarians that he still loves taking care of patients and seeing his old patients that he treated many years ago.

    In other business,

--Club President Wayne Vidrine announced that the annual Rotary Installation banquet is set for June 12;

--announced that the recipients of this year’s Rotary’s Rylla Youth scholarships are: Callie Ann Pitre and Darelyn Lachney, both 12 grade students. Each student will receive a $1250 scholarship.

--received news from Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine that registration is now going on at city hall through May to begin a new city basketball league that will take place all summer long. The fee is $50 for youth age 7-8 and $75 each for those age 9-14.

 

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District 7 Police Juror, Bryan Vidrine, proposed two ordinances during Monday’s monthly meeting; ordinance one, making it illegal to move/steal barricades, and ordinance two, making it illegal to drive through no wake zones during floods. There are no current ordinances set in place to deter these actions. Vidrine believes that enforcing hefty fines would help. Secretary-Treasurer, Donald Bergeron backed this idea, stating that both actions pose a danger, and added that he plans to look into it.

 

The jury also discussed two recent damage claims from drivers who hit a dirt pile on East Natchitoches road in Ville Platte. Public Works Director, Chester Granger stated there was” clear signage, that has met and exceeded the Department of Transportation standards”. The jury approved a motion to deny both damage claims.

 

During his Public Works Director report, Chester Granger informed the jury that the Department of Transportation Development inspected bridges in our area, and three bridges are currently closed due to failed inspections. The bridges on Natchitoches Rd and St. John Rd in Ville Platte, and the bridge on Bieber Rd. in Mamou are currently closed for repair.

 

In other business:

 

Secretary-Treasurer, Donald Bergeron, reported an $88,000 decrease in 2% sales tax collected in March of 2018, compared to March of 2017.

 

The jury approved the resignation of Gene Welch and the appointment of Michael Johnson as replacement on the Ward Four Water District board.

 

The jury approved the resignation of Danny Miller and the appointment of Felix Morein to the Te Mamou Water Board.

 

The jury approved a beer and wine permit for Chataignier Dollar General Store.

 

 

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Business and civic leaders gathered at the Ville Platte Civic Center Wednesday for their annual Banquet and Civic Awards Ceremony. Master of Ceremonies was Clerk of Court, Randy Deshotel. The national anthem was performed by Carleen Ballard. Fr. Richard Vidrine offered the invocation. Guest speakers for the evening were Jack and Joe Walker, owners of Slap Ya Mama cajun seasoning. They discussed business and marketing tips. 
 
Executive Director, Renee Brown, welcomed everyone and introduced the 2018 nominees. 
 
The nominees were as follows:
 
Business Person of the Year: Dr. Kirk Soileau- owner of Kirk Soileau, DDS; Donald Fontenot- Pine Prairie Energy Center, LLC; Luke Deville- Teet’s Food Store; Ross Lafleur- Kary’s Roux; Fr. Tom Voohries- Sacred Heart Church Parish & School. 
 
Business of the Year: Champagne Quality Food; Dry Max Systems; Industrial Service & Supply; Kary’s Roux, Pine Prairie Energy Center, LLC; Teet’s Food Store. 
 
Man of the Year: Wayne Vidrine; Luke Deville; Kenneth Ardoin; Horace Edward, Jr.; Michael Perron. 
 
Woman of the Year: Anita Fontenot; Angie Mayeaux Rozas; Maggie Thevenot Eades; Virginia Morein; Melanie Fontenot. 
 
The crowd was then greeted by Chamber President, Luke Deville, who presented an award for Farmer of the Year to Lauran Attales. 
 
Nominated winners:
 
Business Person of the year- Luke Deville with Teet’s Food Store. Luke helps manage his family’s business alongside his father, Chris Deville. 
 
Business of the Year- a tie between Industrial Service and Supply and Pine Prairie Energy Center, LLC. 
 
Man of the Year- Kenneth Ardoin. Currently employed as a bus driver for the School Board and is the owner of Ken’s Car Care. 
 
Woman of the Year- Maggie Thevenot Eades, owner of Cottage Couture Store and Café, which she recently explanded into a bed and breakfast. 

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     Lana Fontenot, Associate Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement for the South Louisiana Community College System was the featured guest speaker at today”s (Tuesday) meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club.

   Fontenot reported that South Louisiana Community College has now expanded to nine campuses in South Louisiana including Morgan City , Houma and here in Ville Platte at the C.B. Coreil Campus. The system serves over 13,000 students each year.

   She announced that two new course offerings will be offered at the Coreil Campus: a CDL program commercial truck driver course which is a seven week course and a Certified Nursing Assistant program. Also, the New Iberia campus will be offering a course to become a pilot  as well as oil and gas production.

   The system has constructed a new health and science building for its Lafayette campus and a new campus in St. Martinville.

    With dwindling state funding, the system is partnering more with business and industry to help with the costs. State funding has decreased for the past nine years. She was the special guest of Rotarian Richard LeJeune.

   Also speaking was Yvonne Normand of Opelousas with the Opelousas Rotary Sunrise Club. Normand praised the Ville Platte club’s Interact youth for their participation in the Interact Summer camp. Normand will be the District Governor for the 2020-2021 rotary year.

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      It was a busy day Sunday for volunteers working at the annual Radio Auction for the benefit of Ville Platte Youth Inc. and Ville Platte Girls Inc. The weather was perfect and the crowds of people filled the Ville Platte Civic Center to bid in person or listened to KVPI FM 92.5 and bid over the phone, There were plenty of sweet items, cakes and pies, hunting and fishing trips, merchandise and services, large and small all to benefit our young people. Everything was sold by the time the auction ended at 5:00 so there were no need for an auction..

     Heading up the on air duties again this year were Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel and Shane Darbonne, long-time coach and former president for girls softball. They did the announcing duties from 10:00am to 5;00pm. One thing of interest was the fact that they interviewed former players and coaches including Burke Pitre, Eugene Fontenot, Todd Ardoin and others who talked about the highlights during their time in the program.

     Dixie Youth President John Pitre and Girls President David LaHaye would like to thank the dozens of workers, parents and volunteers who worked all day Sunday. They would also like to thank the many businesses who donated merchandise for the auction and to everyone who bid on the items.  The radio auction is the largest fund raising event of the year for the two youth programs.

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    In a special meeting Thursday, the Evangeline Parish Police Jury voted to apply for 70 percent funding of the local match for a $1.9 million dollar Hazard Mitigation grant. Parish engineer Ronnie Landreneau informed the jury that the Acadiana Planning Commission informed him that they support the plan to have the state pay a majority of the local match. The deadline for the parish to file the pre application is Monday. The retention pond or a dry reservoir will be used to hold back water during high water events and will be constructed on the Northwest side of Ville Platte. Members of the jury thanked Landreneau for his work in getting this grant funding.

    Also, during the special meeting, the jury adopted a resolution requesting the state to make needed repairs to a number of state highways that are in bad shape. Police Juror Lamar Johnson is asking the state to make improvements to a 2.5 mile stretch of the Crooked Creek road (LA 3371). He said Crooked Creek Park is losing a lot of business because of the poor road condition.  Also, the jury is asking the state to make improvements to  George Soileau Road west of Mamou, LA 1159 and LA 106 between Bayou Chicot and Pine Prairie.

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Ville Platte, Evangeline Parish – A felony traffic stop led to an arrest on an outstanding warrant for a 42 year old Marksville woman, according to Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office.

 

Deputies say the stop occurred Thursday night, April 19, 2018. A Sheriff’s Deputy observed a white PT Cruisier believed to be occupied by the wanted suspect. The Deputy stopped the vehicle and identified the driver as Tonya Marie Walker, of the 5000 Block of Highway 107 out of Marksville, LA. 

 

Walker had an outstanding warrant which was issued by the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Department for Theft of a Firearm. She was taken into custody without incident and booked into the Evangeline Parish Jail. The other two occupants of the vehicle were released and the vehicle was towed. The stolen weapon a Smith and Wesson M&P15 was not found.

 

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The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday ) heard from members of the Sacred Heart Interact Club during their noon luncheon at the Family Life Center.

    The youth organization is sponsored by the local rotary club. Club Sponsor and School Development Director Kimberly LeJeune introduced the club officers and a report on the activities the group has been working on.

    LeJeune announced that there are some 72 students that are members of the club.

   She said the club with the assistance of the rotary club was able to raise $1240 recently to help raise funds to pay the medical expenses for Austin Stelly who received a robotic arm. He was able to raise some $24,400 for the medical procedure. After the operation, the student visited Sacred Heart to personally thank everyone who helped.

   The Interact Club sponsors regular scheduled bingo games at the nursing home and is now selling personalized bricks in the Sacred Heart Prayer Garden. The larger bricks are $200 while the smaller size are $100 each.

   Interact club members attended the Interact District Conference and several members received awards including Gabrielle Fontenot who was named Interactor of the Year.

   The group was the special guest of Rotarian Jimmy LeBlanc.

   Susan Saunders reported that the “Choices” program was taught in classes at Ville Platte High last week by rotary club members. It urged students in the 8th grade to stay in school and not drop out.

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Ville Platte PoliceChief Neal Lartigue with the Ville Platte Police Department reports one arrest after an incident of false imprisonment.

On April 22, 2018 at approximately 4:00 a.m.  The Ville Platte Police Department dispatch received information from Evangeline 911 that they received a report of a fugitive with a weapon inside of a residence in the 300 block of Huey P. Long Street in Ville Platte.  Officers arrived on scene and assessed the situation.  Detectives, Chief Lartigue and the Louisiana State Police Swat Team, Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office and Ville Platte City Marshal’s Office arrived on scene to assist.  Officers and Detectives learned that the fugitive had escaped from the custody of the Mamou Police Department in September 2017 and had been on the run ever since.  He was being held for Acadia Parish who has an active warrant for aggravated second degree battery. The suspect gained entry into the home on Huey P. Long Street armed with a shotgun and held a black male and a black female inside.  According to the report the suspect dated the female at one time but there was no current relationship. 

 

Witnesses reported that the suspect was pacing back and forth in the residence and was refusing to allow anyone to leave or to surrender to law enforcement.  Louisiana State Police arrived on scene and began negotiating with the suspect.

After approximately five hours, the suspect surrendered to law enforcement and was taken into custody without incident.  No injuries were reported.

Abselon Hebert 23, (unknown address)   was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail on charges of two counts of false imprisonment, two counts of simple battery and a hold for a warrant issued by the Mamou Police department for criminal damage to property and simple escape, along with the warrant from Acadia Parish for aggravated second degree battery.   Hebert was transferred to the Evangeline Parish Jail and is being held without bond. 

Chief Neal Lartigue would like to acknowledge the quick response and assistance of the Evangeline Parish 911 Dispatch center and the Louisiana State Police Swat Team, Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Ville Platte City Marshal’s Office. 

In another case, Chief Neal lartigue reports one arrest for exploitation of the infirmed.

On  April 21, 2018 an arrest was made in reference to report of exploitation of an elderly woman in the 200 block of High School Drive.   Officers responded to the residence and notified Detectives who began an investigation in regards to a black male who repeatedly demanded money from an elderly woman for lawn services that were never performed or were already paid for.  The elderly woman had trouble remembering if she owed any money to the suspect so she would give him more money each time he returned to her residence and demanded payment.  The family became aware of the problem and notified authorities.  Detectives completed their investigation and arrested Howard Belton, 58 of 907 Edward   “Knotoe” Thomas Street apartment A, on charges of exploitation of the infirmed and criminal trespassing. Belton was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and then transferred to the Evangeline parish Jail on a $26,500.00 bond. 

Chief Lartigue reminds residents to report any suspicious or illegal activity to the Ville Platte Police Department by calling 363-1313.  Your call will remain anonymous.

 

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     The Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce released the nominees for this year’s Ville Platte man and Woman of the Year honors.

    The Women of the Year nominees included: Maggie Thevenot Eades who operates Cottage Couture store and cafe and expanded it to a Bed and Breakfast. She taught school as a Home Economics teacher, involved with Relay for Life as a volunteer and sponsor, Boys and Girls Club, Sacred Heart School and Foundation and involved in the Chamber of Commerce.

Anita M. Fontenot who is President of Southwest Fidelity Corporation, President of Percy J. Fontenot Inc., on the board with Investar Bank, Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center and the Community Foundation of Acadiana. She is involved with the Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce, Ville Platte Rotary Club, Cabot Corporation community advisory panel, Acadian Baptist Center Board of Directors, St. Landry/Evangeline United Way and Louisiana Finance Association. She received the 2015 Business Person of the Year by the Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce; 2016 Philanthropy Award for Evangeline Parish by Community Foundation of Acadiana and the 2016 Distinguished Citizen of the Year award by the Evangeline Area Council of the Boy Scouts.

Angela Mayeau Rozas is the Service Leader for the Ville Platte, Eunice and Opelousas Cleco offices. She has been involved with the Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce, Eucharistic minister for Our Lady Queen of All Saints for weekend end masses and homebound for the past 15 years and has served for two terms on the Parish Council for Our Lady Queen of All Saints;

Virginia L. Morein, principal at Sacred Heart Elementary after retiring from the parish public schools after 36 years. She is a member of Our Lady Queen of All Saints serving as Eucharistic Minister, past member of Come Lord Jesus group, many years spent in Adoration Chapel in the hospital and member of the Les Amis Sorority donating annually to the less fortunate at Christmas.

Melanie Fontenot, owner of Mel’s Total Fitness after working at Walmart Pharmacy for 13 years. She has been a volunteer at Ville Platte Girls and Boys Place; volunteer and supporter of the Relay for Life in Evangeline Parish, volunteer and supporter of Operation Christmas Child and supporter and organizer for the Breast Cancer Walk for Savoy Cancer Center in Mamou.

For Man of the Year, the nominees are:

Horace Edward Jr, retired after spending 25 and a half years at Centurylink as a phone tech and was also worked at Deshotel Supermarket. His community service work includes Usher and Treasurer at St. John Baptist Church, Second Harvest, Food for Family, Booster Club and assisting the elderly with home projects.

Luke Deville is helping manage his family business, Teet’s Food Store along with his father, Chris Deville. Luke has been involved with the Disabled American Veterans, Ville Platte Knights of Columbus, Ville Platte Rotary Club, Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce, Le Grand Hoorah Festival, Smoked Meat Festival and Relay for Life.

Kenneth Ardoin employed as bus driver for the school board and owner of Ken’s Car Care, He was director of Evangeline Parish Youth Basketball, Antioch Baptist Church Usher Board and Male Delegate and a member of the Eastern Seventh Assocation, Ville Platte Lower Elementary Field Trip Driver and assisting the elderly. He also assists the Lions club, Ville Platte High and Sacred Heart, Boys and Girls Club, softball and baseball teams.

Mike Perron employed by T&J Ford for 18 years, currently retired and is in his third term as Ville Platte City Councilman. He is President of the Woodman of the World for 22 years, on the board for Parks and Recreation, Swamp Pop Museum Board member, Village De Memoire board, Evangeline Community Action Board, volunteer fireman for 33 years, involved with the Food Pantry and is currently mayor Pro Tem.

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     It was the first time in several years the Dewey Balfa Cajun and Creole Camp has been at Chicot Park. This year, the camp was back teaming up with Le Grand Hoorah Festival opening weekend. From all indications, the entire weekend was a huge success. The event began Friday night with a large crowd of people enjoying music from Preston Frank and Balfa Toujours.

      The weather was perfect both Friday night and Saturday. The cooking teams were in force Saturday along with an old fashioned boucherie.

       The music began with a jam session followed by three members of a family who are students with the Brazos School of Music. Nonstop music continued on the bandstand and the wooden dance floor under the big tent was filled with dancers.

     There were a number of students from the nearby Dewey Balfa camp who came by from all over the country and several countries including Canada and Germany.

     The cooking teams included the Ville Platte Rotary Club and the Evangeline Parish Police Jury as well as delicious food prepared from the boucherie.

   The Classic Hits road crew was there broadcasting live Saturday morning.

    The camp continues every day through Thursday with nightly public dances. There will be a bus later this week taking some of the campers to visit some popular places in Evangeline Parish.

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Renee Brown, the new Executive Director for the Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce, announced that their 2018 banquet is set for Wednesday May 2nd at the Ville Platte Civic Center and guest speakers will be brothers, Jack Walker and Joe Willy Walker with Slap Ya Mama Cajun Products.

 

Voting for Business of the Year, and Business Person of the Year is currently underway. Business of the Year nominees are: Champagne Quality Food, Dry Max Systems, Industrial Supply & Sports, Kary's Roux, Pine Prairie Energy, and Teet's Food Store. Nominees for Business Person of the Year are: Dr. Kirk Soileau, Donald Fontenot with Pine Prairie Energy, Luke Deville with Teet's Food Store, Ross Lafleur with Kary's Roux, and Fr. Tom Voohries with the Sacred Heart Church and School.   Nominees for the Man and Woman of the Year award will be announced later on, and all winners will be announced the night of the banquet. Brown also stated that instead of a large silent auction, this year they will be auctioning off a few items in a small auction.

 

Executive Director, Renee Brown also shared her excitement for the move from Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce to Evangeline Parish Chamber of Commerce. She is ready to promote Evangeline Parish as a whole saying, “Together we can do more”. Some transitions currently taking place are new chamber and tourism webpages, the planning of parish-wide job fairs, and the planning of Business Before Hours/ Business After Hours networking opportunities. Brown also announced that the Chamber’s new office hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00am -5:00pm.

 

Also discussed, was a personal safety and active shooter workshop set to place in our area on or around June 7th with Cody Perron. He is currently looking for sponsors for this event.

 

Lastly, the Chamber heard from Jerrie LeDoux, Community Liaison for Congressman Mike Johnson (District 4). LeDoux told the Chamber that she has been collecting seasonings from District 4, and with a collection of over 30, LeDoux states that most of her seasonings come from Evangeline Parish. April 29th-May 5th is National Small Businesses Week, and Congressman Mike Johnson will present a certificate at this year’s Chamber banquet, claiming that small businesses are the “spice” of Evangeline Parish.

 

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Rotary Club meeting

April 17, 2018

 

    The Ville Platte Rotary Club met today (Tuesday) at noon at the Family Life Center for their regular meeting of the month. Club President Wayne Vidrine conducted the meeting.

   Rotarian Maggie Ortego informed the club members that their “Choices” program will be presented to 8th grade students at Ville Platte High School next Tuesday. Four teams of instructors will be visiting with students urging them to stay in school.

   Dr. Joey Soileau reported that the Rotary Club will have a cooking booth at Le Grand Hoorah festival at Chicot State Park Saturday. Members of the group are planning to sell BBQ pork sandwiches at the festival Saturday from 9-1.

   Club President Wayne Vidrine said log time Rotarian Leonard Glenn Fontenot and his wife Mary are being honored as Philanthropist of the Year by the Community Foundation of Acadiana for their civic work in the community.

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Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue reports that On April 13, 2018 Officers made an arrest in a case stemming back to 2016.  Detectives through their investigation followed leads and obtained evidence to issue a warrant of arrest where the suspect provided illegal narcotics that led to the death of a Ville Platte resident in July of 2016.  Jeffery Fontenot 32 of 169 Valerie Lane, Ville Platte was arrested without incident and booked into the Ville Platte City Jail charged with 1 count distribution and possession of a schedule II narcotic and second degree murder.  Fontenot was transferred to the Evangeline Parish Jail on a $90,000.00 bond. 

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Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue with the Ville Platte Police Department reports one arrest burglary of a business.

On April 11, 2018 at approximately 8:30 a.m. Officers with the Ville Platte Police Department responded to a report of a burglary at a business located in the 200 block of East Magnolia.  Upon arrival Officers learned that suspects cut a lock and entered the business at some point during the night of April 10, 2018.  The suspects stole two dirt bikes from inside the business and left heading in different directions.  Detectives through their investigation made one arrest and are seeking two others. 

Arrested was Corey Arvie, 23 of 205 David Street, Ville Platte.  Arvie was charged with simple burglary (felony), criminal damage to property and criminal trespassing.  Arvie was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail on a $60,000.00 bond and was transferred to the Evangeline Parish Jail where he remains incarcerated. 

Detectives are would like to speak with Dakollian Deville and Abselon Herbert in reference to this incident.   

Chief Lartigue reminds residents to report illegal or suspicious activity by calling the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.  Your call will remain anonymous.

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Stolen ATV’s Recovered

 

                On 4-2-2018, at approximately 10:31 p.m., the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office received a complaint in reference to a theft that occurred at 5391 Pine Point Rd. The complainant advised that four (4) ATV’s had been stolen. Deputies responded and conducted an investigation. After leaving the scene, deputies located a pickup truck pulling a trailer, which was carrying two (2) ATV’s which matched description of two (2) stolen. Deputies were able to stop the vehicle and detain the driver. Deputies were then able to confirm that the ATV’s were stolen from 5391 Pine Point Rd. The driver was then taken into custody and the ATV’s returned to the owner.

 

                The case was then transferred to the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation’s Division. Investigators followed up on the case and were able to locate two (2) ATV’s in the Elton, La. area, which were stolen out of the Ville Platte area. Investigators were able to obtain probable cause linking two (2) other subjects to the thefts and arrest warrants were obtained. Those subjects were later taken into custody and in turn revealed the location of another stolen ATV, which was subsequently recovered and returned to the owner.

 

                At this time, three (3) of the four (4) ATV’s taken from 5391 Pine Point Rd. have been recovered. Two (2) other ATV’s have been recovered during the investigation which were not connected. One is still at large and is pictured below. The ATV is believed to be located in the Lawtell, La. area. If you have any information please contact the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office.

 

                Suspect information has been withheld due to an ongoing investigation

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Arthur Sampson Jr., a local resident, proposed to the City Council Tuesday that April 23rd be declared as "Stop the Violence Day"; A day to honor the life of Kathy Weston.

Sunday, April 23, 2017, 46-year-old Kathy Weston was killed in the crossfire of a shoot-out, while leaving a store in Ville Platte. This case is still unsolved. The city of Ville Platte will have a presentation ready for the Weston family on April 23rd, following the Stop the Violence March, set to take place at 6:00 pm, with march beginning at Martin Luther King Park.

 

Council member, Bryant Riggs (District F) stated his concern about Kathy’s killer still walking the streets today. “They killed once, they can kill again. It could be one of us in this room.” Said Riggs. Mayor Jennifer Vidrine reminded the public that any information about this case can be reported to the Ville Platte Police Department at (337) 363-1313. A $1,000 reward for information is being offered.

 

The Council also heard from abandoned property owner, Monica Ardoin. Ardoin’s property at 325 South Soileau street has been condemned by the city. Like the rest of the abandoned property owners who’ve received a letter, Ardoin has 30 days to demolish the home and clean the property.

Ardoin expressed frustration over the situation, stating that she has always paid her taxes, and has kept her property as clean as possible, but due to her property being a popular place for illegal activities, and little police surveillance, she is forced to pay for the demolition of the home she inherited from her grandmother.

Mayor Vidrine stated that they are “more aggressive now than ever” on the issue of abandoned properties. Mayor Vidrine reported that 50 homes have been demolished so far, and on April 16th, five more homes will be added to that list.

 

The Council also received an update from City Engineer, Ronnie Landreneau, on the city’s water line project. Landreneau states that Phase 3 of the project is coming to a close, and that what’s left of Phase 3 is an estimated 2 months of cutting and fixing streets.

The final phase of the project, Phase 4, is anticipated to begin mid-summer.  Phase 4 will include Main Street and Lasalle. Landreneau stated that they expect to be “inconveniencing the public for some time on Mainstreet and Lasalle”.

 

In other business:

 

-Mayor Vidrine reported that the City of Ville Platte spent $62,343.92 less in March than in February.

-Fire Chief, Chris Harrison, reported for the month of March a total of 19 calls. Of these calls, 6 were structural fires. One vehicular fatality.

-Chief of Police, Neil Lartigue, reported for the month of March a total of 654 complaint calls, 575 of which required a written report. There were 77 arrests, 22 of which were felony arrests. 42 vehicular accidents. No fatalities.

-Council adopted a resolution to make April Fair Housing Month.

-Council approved the appointment of Desmond Thomas, and the reappointment of Tommy Jones and Shonda Jack to the Recreational Board.

 

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      On  Monday the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office was contacted by Louisiana State Police Troop E and advised that they were in pursuit of a stolen vehicle driven by Samuel Damien Lee of Ville Platte. LSP advised they were entering Evangeline Parish on U.S. 167 N. Deputies responded and joined the pursuit, which led them throughout the northern portion of Evangeline Parish. During the pursuit, Mr. Lee struck two (2) Louisiana State Police marked units. Mr. Lee came to a stop on La. Hwy 106 (Beaver Rd.) near Henry Cole Rd. Deputies and Troopers then took Mr. Lee into custody. Authorities are searching for a female who was with the suspect in the stolen vehicle: Ashley Denise Lamb. Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to please call the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office at 337-363-2161.
   No law enforcement officers were harmed during the pursuit.
   Mr. Lee was transported to Mercy Regional Medical Center where he was cleared by Emergency Room personnel.
   Mr. Lee is currently held in the Evangeline Parish Jail for several charges including Aggravated Flight from a Peace Officer, Aggravated Assault on a Peace Officer Involving a Motor Vehicle, and several arrest and bench warrants. Mr. Lee is currently held with No Bond.
Special thanks to Louisiana State Police Troops E and I, Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office, Pine Prairie Police Department, and the Ville Platte City Marshal’s Office.

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       Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue reports an armed robbery and search for suspect.

On April 5, 2018 at approximately 7:00 p.m. Officers with the Ville Platte Police Department responded to an armed robbery at a store located on the 700 block of Main Street in Ville Platte.  Upon arrival Officers learned that a black male wearing a black hoodie approached the register, pulled a gun and demanded that the cashier give him all of the money from the register.  The suspect then repeated his demands for the money from the second register.  After the suspect took the money from both registers, he fled the scene on foot. 

Through their investigation and surveillance footage Detectives identified the suspect as Johnathan Hakeem Williams 28 of 931 Rosa Ann Street, Opelousas is wanted for the charge of armed robbery. 

Williams should be considered armed and dangerous. 

Chief Lartigue is asking anyone with information on the whereabouts of Williams to contact the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.  Your call will remain anonymous.

 

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Eunice Rotary names Charles Feucht Citizen of the Year

April 4, 2018

 

    Long time pharmacy consultant Dr. Charles Feucht was chosen as 2017 Citizen of the Year by the Eunice Rotary Club at their noon luncheon today (Wednesday).

    Rotary Club member John Pucheu made the presentation to his long time friend and classmate.

    Feucht is married, has three children and seven grandchildren. He has a doctorate degree in pharmacy. He owns Acadiana Clinical Pharmacists Services providing consulting services to long term care and nursing homes. He is the President of the Louisiana Chapter of American Society of consulting pharmacists.

    He is an active member of St. Anthony Catholic Church as a Eucharistic Minister and past council president.

    He is very active at St. Ed’s school. He is the announcing voice of St. Ed’s football games.

   Feucht has served as past president of the Eunice Rotary Club. Pucheu mentioned that Feucht’s building skills aquired from his carpenter father helped a lot of organizations including remodeling the Liberty Theater and constructing sets at the Eunice Player’s Theater.

  In closing, Pucheu said “ Our honoree is the kind of Citizen of the Year who spent decades doing a lot of things that add up to being part of what makes our community great. Charles got things done.”

  The Eunice Rotary Club was founded in 1924 and began honoring Citizens of the Year in 1942.

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Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel Guest Speaker at Rotary Club

April 3, 2018

 

    The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel discuss the duties and services his office offers to the general public.

     The clerk of court is the chief election officer in the parish. He announced that qualifying for the fall elections will take place July 18-20. All of the municipal offices except for Pine Prairie will have an election as well as all 13 school board members in Evangeline Parish. Next year, voters will vote on offices from Governor all the way to the parish wide races such as sheriff and police jury races.

    Among the services his office now offers are birth certificates and death certificates.

    His office has civil and criminal departments. Civil matters include law suits, adoptions and divorces. His criminal department has two minute clerks that attend all criminal trials and hearings.

    The clerk of court’s office has made many improvements through the years. When he took office, Deshotel said the office only had two computers for the public, now they have six.

    The offices has digitized many records: for example all marriage records have been scanned into the hard drive going back to 1911 while mortgage records go back to the 1970’s.

    Attorneys and those in genealogy are encouraged to subscribe to the Clerk of Court’s website to access many of their records online for $20 a day or $75 a month.

    Randy Deshotel was the guest of Rotarian Maggie Ortego.

   In other business, Leonard Fontenot urged Rotarians to become Paul Harris Fellows. A club member receives that designation when he or she contributes $1000 to Rotary International, the giving arm of Rotary to help people in need all around the world. Currently the club has 30 Paul Harris Fellows.

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Brian Ardoin, a lifelong resident of Evangeline Parish, announced to the Police Jury Monday, his decision to run for the office of Evangeline Parish Sheriff. Ardoin, a retired State Trooper for Louisiana State Police, and a 22-year Marine Veteran, feels he possesses “practical experience at every level of our Criminal Justice system, to lead, inspire, and develop the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office” said Ardoin.

 

The Jury also heard from Monique Boulet and Melanie Bordelon, with Acadiana Planning Commission. According to Bordelon, this is the 12th council they’ve visited in the last month to help keep the public informed on what’s happening in their jurisdiction. Their main concern, the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and flood prevention. According to their website planacadiana.org, “The Acadiana Planning Commission (APC) serves the public sector through planning and implementation of Community, Economic, and Transportation Development throughout the Acadiana region.”

 

One issue that was deliberated during Executive Committee meeting at 5pm, but wasn’t brought up during the regular meeting at 6pm, was abandoned properties owned by the Police Jury. During last month’s City Council meeting, Mayor Jennifer Vidrine stated she felt “embarrassed” by how little the police jury has done to maintain these properties. District 7 Police Juror, Brian Vidrine, blames a lack of resources to clear properties. Secretary-treasurer Donald Bergeron added that these properties were inherited, and were already in poor condition. Brian Vidrine proposed that the Jury offer these abandoned properties to the city, so that they can use their resources to clean these properties. The Jury approved this action.

 

In other business, the Jury:

  • Was greeted by the new Tourism Director, Renee Brown, who shared her excitement to “help serve the people of Evangeline Parish”.
  • Approved resolution declaring April as Fair Housing Month.
  • Approved reappointment of Brenda Saucier to the Evangeline Parish Tourism Commission for one year.
  • Approved appointment of Gene Welch to the Ward Four Water District Board.
  • Approved appointment of Kyle Dupre to District One Cemetery Worker.

 

 

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OFFICER STABBING IN TURKEY CREEK LEAVES OFFICER CRITICALLY INJURED

 

Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office has in their custody a male subject identified as Zackery Shane Deville (White/Male, DOB 07/10/1993). Deville is being held at the Evangeline Parish Jail without bond.

 

Early during the evening of Wednesday March 27, 2018 Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office received a call of a Turkey Creek Police Officer being wounded by

an assailant as he attempted to effect an arrest.

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The initial investigation completed revealed that Officer Robert Leggett (Turkey Creek Chief of Police) was attempting to effect an arrest on Zackery Shane Deville for Criminal Trespassing. As the arrest was being made Deville got into a physical altercation with Chief Leggett ultimately brandishing a knife and eventually stabbing Chief Leggett across his left cheek.

 

The victim was transported to Rapides Medical Center by AIRMED to be immediately treated. Victim was stable at time of arrival, later underwent an emergency surgery and is now in Intensive Care Unit.

 

An Affidavit and Warrant of Arrest was authored on Zackery Shane Deville for Attempted 1st Degree Murder and Criminal Trespassing. The Warrant of Arrest was approved and signed by 13th Judicial Judge Gary Ortego.

 

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Classic Hits 92.5 KVPI-FM and your Budweiser distributor, Southwest Beverage, partnered again this year for the 2018 Bud "N" Boilin' contest. When the opening beer can click aired on KVPI, listeners called our contest line. Every fifth caller won a case of Budweiser and was entered in the grand prize drawing. Congratulations to the 2018 Bud 'N' Boiling' contest grand prize winner, Wendy Granger! She takes home a Budweiser ice chest, beer, a crawfish boiling kit, and crawfish! Thank you to everyone who participated. 

 

Below are all the qualifiers that won a case of Budweiser by qualifying for the grand prize drawing:

 

Scott Dupre, Wendy Granger, Michele Bergeron, Camille Fontenot, Bill Manuel, Danny LaHaye, Lana Brown, Angie Briley, Keith Ardoin, Trisha Fontenot, Danny Lemoine, Barry Ortego, Terry Gillory, Rita Fontenot, Mitch LaFleur, Beverly Vidrine, Gwen Fontenot, Keith Meyer, Liz LaFleur, Stacey Guillory, Robert Ramagos, Dwight Ortego, Mable Foreman, Cindy Dupre, Rebecca Ardoin, Dennis Fontenot, Patricia Fontenot, Merilyn Fontenot, Tony Guillory, Fred Freeman, Kevin McDaniel, Richard Madrigal, Julia Guillory, Mable Glover, Terra LaFleur, Pam Burnette, Charlene Amiot, Lisa Deshotel, and Jill Larson.

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    The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from Ville Platte Fire Chief Chris Harrison at its meeting at the Family Life Center.

    Chief Harrison has been chief for the past four years and has been serving in the department for 24 years. He is the chief for the Ville Platte Fire Department and of Fire District Two which is all of Ward One outside of Ville Platte.

    The department is getting ready for a re-rating by the state fire insurance  rating commission. The rating determines fire insurance and homeowners insurance rates.. The rating is between a 1 and 10 with 1 the very best and 10 the worst. Currently the city has a 3 rating while Fire District has a 5 rating. Chief Harrison said only five departments in the state like Shreveport and Baton Rouge have a One rating.

   The Ville Platte Fire Department has 12 paid firefighters and 65 volunteers. There are a number of volunteers at fire stations in Chataignier, Faubourg and Belaire Cove.

   Chief Harrison shared the fact that fire equipment is very expensive. To outfit one firefighter, the turnout gear amounts $1900 plus the radio is $150. Airpacks that are used by firefighters to go into burning buildings cost $5200. The city is planning to purchase a new Ladder truck to replace its old unit with a price tag of $690,000.

  A new fire station for Ward One is due to be constructed on US 167 just north of Ville Platte. He advised club members that phone calls for fire department donations are not coming from his department. The fire department will not call for donations. They will contact businesses for one fund raising drive a year to purchase educational material to use in school classrooms.

   Chief Harrison was the special guest of Rotarian Kermit Miller.

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The 2018 Eunice Crawfish Etouffee Cook off was one of the best ever today. The weather was perfect and thousands poured into the Eunice Northwest Pavilion to enjoy the crawfish, great Cajun music and activities for the whole family. This was the 33rd annual cook off with over 40 cook off teams. The judges had to decide the best of the best in three categories: Amateur, Professional and Clubs and Organizations as well as best decorated booths. The event is sponsored every year by the Eunice Chamber of Commerce. The KVPI road crew was there broadcasting live on remote with Josh and Mark. As soon as we get the results of the cook off we will pass it on to you.

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Turkey Creek Voters vote to Appoint Police Chief

March 24, 2018

 

      

         In the only election held in Evangeline Parish today (Saturday) , voters in the Village of Turkey Creek overwhelmingly by 67 percent voted to make the office of Police Chief an appointive position rather than an elective one.  Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel reported to KVPI News that the vote totals were as follows: 56 voting yes for the move to the appointive and 27 votes voting no. Some 30 percent of the eligible voters took part in Saturday’s election. The police chief was due to be on the election day ballot this fall. Now the chief will be appointed by the Turkey Creek Board of Aldermen.

       The next elections are scheduled in November for congressman, school board and several municipal elections.

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Evangeline Parish School Board members were met with a full house this Wednesday, as Ville Platte High School Student Council members, teachers, and staff were in attendance to deliver a presentation called “Highlights and Horizons,” a look at progress made and future plans.  

 

“When we highlight Ville Platte High School, there is no way we can highlight every person that contributes on the campus, but there are many, many contributing factors. Tonight, I felt appropriate that the most important factor be the one that present to you.” said Principal Melanie Miller. Student Council members took turns presenting a slide show to the board.

 

Some of the highlights included school programs, such as their CNA program, Jobs of America Graduates, Bulldog Band, FFA, JROTC, BETA, 4-H, and FBLA. Saving the big news for last, a brand new program, Digital Media and Entertainment/Bull Dog Productions will be coming soon for Sophomores and Juniors. This program will offer students the opportunity to learn music production, radio, publications, news reporting, journalism, and broadcasting. Also recognized was Yvette Jagneaux, Middle School District Teacher of the Year, and Mitzi Fontenot, High School District Teacher of the Year.

 

Superintendent, Darwan Lazard also had exciting news to share with the board. Lazard announced that 1,993 Chromebooks are now in the hands of Evangeline Parish students. “We are ahead of our one-year goal, and we are substantially into our year two goal,” says Lazard. “Our goal is to put a Chromebook -- in the hands of each of our students.”

 

Lazard was also very proud to announce that Ted Soileau, Instructional Supervisor of the Evangeline Parish School Board, and his division, reported back a clean state audit with no findings.

 

In other business:

 

- Mamou High School and Bayou Chicot Elementary Principals, and Assistant Principals contracts were renewed for 2 years. W.W. Stewart Elementary School’s Assistant Principal was approved for a 2-year contract renewal.

- The 2018-2019 school year calendar was approved.

- Low bid of $5,910 was accepted for new exterior doors for Ville Platte High School.

 

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Classic Hits 92.5 KVPI-FM and the Cajundome in Lafayette, LA teamed up to send five lucky listeners to the "Toughest Monster Truck Tour" on Friday, March 23rd at 7:30 p.m. Each time the monster truck cue aired on KVPI, listeners called the request line to be entered in the drawing. Congratulations to the family four-pack winners: Joann Dupre, Rose Marcantel, Susan Ortego, Belton Orgeron, and Owen Riemer. Thank you to all those who participated in the contest. Keep listening to 92.5 KVPI for chances to win more giveaways!

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Shady Acres residents demanded answers during Tuesday’s meeting regarding when the city will address the subdivision's drainage issues.

 

6 months ago, resident Faye Lemoine addressed the Council, complaining that the city was moving too slow in improving the drainage problems in that area of the city. Then, Lemoine expressed concern over the city not prioritizing drainage, now, Lemoine says she is frustrated, and has had enough.

Louisiana’s rainy season is here, and Lemoine expressed her fear of the homes in their subdivision flooding for a third time. The first two floods took place August of 2016 and April of 2017.

Mayor Vidrine reported that everything is ready to go, but they are just waiting on the ground to dry from previous rain. Lemoine, unimpressed, said she will be back to speak on behalf of shady acres if immediate action is not taken.

 

6 months ago, during that same meeting, the City Council called on citizens to attend Police Jury meetings to ensure that the Police Jury is doing their part in the Keep Evangeline Beautiful Movement, by maintaining the properties they own. During Tuesday’s meeting, Mayor Vidrine said she is “embarrassed” by how little the police jury has done to maintain these properties. Not only are the properties unsightly, it could lead to lower home appraisals. Once again, Mayor Vidrine encourages the public to reach out to the Police Jury, and ask them to do their part. Their office number is (337) 363-5651, and meetings are normally held the first Monday of each month.

 

The Council also heard a mother’s heart felt plea for detective Dunn, and the Ville Platte Police Department to help find the person who slashed her son’s tires at their home on February 13th, and who is currently sending anonymous threats to her family and even her daughter, who is a minor. The mother, Wendy Johnson, said that detective Dunn was called in to review security camera footage, and to gather a police report. Johnson says detective Dunn left her property, forgetting to file the police report, and had to be called back. Johnson said too little has been done by police and detectives.

Police Chief Neil Lartigue declined to comment, due to it being an ongoing investigation. It has been 1 month and 1 week since the incident, and Johnson said she fears for the life of her children, and fears living in the city of Ville Platte.

 

In other business:

- Joe Manuel was recognized for his new job position as Captain of the Ville Platte Fire Department, along with Zachary Johnson, who will take Manuel's place as a full time firefighter. . 

-The police reported for March that 575 calls came in, 56 arrests were made (27 felony arrests), 17    citations, and 31 vehicular accidents.

- The Fire Department reported 18 calls came in, no fatalities.

- The board approved starting plans for removing all 9 Cyprus trees on Main Street, due to            overgrowth that’s causing sidewalk damage and powerline issues. These trees were donated by individuals to the city. Donors will be contacted. 

Mayor Vidrine announced that the 1 million dollar LCDBG grant went towards improvements at the sewer plant, including a state-of-the-art filtration system.

The city received a 20,349 grant for water improvement that has already been used on fixing broken equipment.

 

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     Evangeline Parish Farmer Jeffery Sylvester was the guest speaker at today’s (Tuesday’s) meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club.

    Sylvester farms some 5000 acres of rice, soybeans and crawfish. He and his wife, Cathy are the parents of six children. Louisiana is one of the leading states in rice production with Arkansas being the top producing state. He told club members that rice farmers are urging the Congress not to tinker with the Farm Bill and its safety net provisions.

   Sylvester said he feels that despite the comments by the President, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is good for American producers. He said Mexico is the number one rice buyer of Louisiana rice and Canada is the #4 buyer of our rice.  The price of rice has dropped because of the dumping of cheap Vietnamese rice on the world market.

   He reported that the crawfish industry is booming. Some 90 percent of all rice farmers are growing crawfish. He called it a “good money maker”.

   Sylvester was the guest of Rotarian John Mayeaux.

   In other news, Maggie Ortego reported that the rotary sponsored “Choices” program will be taught at four classes at Ville Platte High School on April 24 and 25.

  Larry Lachney announced that the Sacred Heart Interact Club did very well at the recent Interact Conference including Interactor of the Year award and first place in the T Shirt competition.

  

 

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Evangeline Parish – On March 18, 2018, shortly before 3:00 am, Troopers with Troop I were notified of a single vehicle crash on US 167 at the St. Landry Parish / Evangeline Parish line. Upon arrival, Troopers located a 2007 Chevrolet Silverado in the ditch against a fence off of US 167 inside of Evangeline Parish. Troopers investigated the crash, but were unable to locate a driver of the vehicle.

 

On March 19, 2018, shortly before 9:30 am, Troop I was notified by the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office of a body found on the Evangeline Parish side of US 167 near the St. Landry Parish line. The body was identified as 24 year old William Morein of Ville Plate. Further investigation revealed that Morein was the owner and suspected driver of the vehicle involved in the March 18th crash.

 

Troopers determined that Morein was not restrained at the time of the crash, and was ejected from the vehicle after striking a bridge rail while traveling northbound on US 167. After being ejected, Morein’s vehicle continued traveling northbound before entering the ditch. It is unknown if impairment is a factor in the crash. Standard toxicology samples were taken and submitted for analysis. This crash remains under investigation.

 

Drivers can effectively reduce the chances of being involved in a crash by ensuring that while behind the wheel of a vehicle you remain focused solely on the task of driving. Heed all posted speed limits and remain focused on the roadway at all times. While not all crashes are survivable, making good choices while traveling such as never driving while impaired, always ensuring every occupant is properly restrained, and avoiding all distractions can greatly increase your chances of surviving a crash.

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Chief Neal Lartigue continues searching for 7 fugitives.

On March 5, 2018,  the Ville Platte Police Department named 13 fugitives that were being sought.  In an update to that search, Ville Platte Police  Chief Lartigue told KVPI News stated that the investigations division has reported that six of the thirteen wanted suspects have turned themselves into law enforcement or have been captured.  The following suspects are still evading law enforcement and are active fugitives. 

 

Crystal Edmundson – Aggravated battery and domestic abuse battery.

Germaine Lafleur – Improper use Telecommunications and stalking

Raylan Melancon – Theft and unauthorized use of an access card

Felicia Poullard – Monetary instrument abuse

Abraham Charles – simple burglary, theft, criminal damage to property

Corneilas Fontenot – aggravated flight from an officer

Christian Jack – failure to return rental property

If you have information on the whereabouts of these fugitives, you are asked to call the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.  Your call will remain anonymous.

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Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue is requesting the public’s assistance in locating the driver involved in a hit and run.

On March 15, 2018 at approximately 8 p.m. Officers with the Ville Platte Police Department responded to a report of a man lying in the roadway on Chataignier Road near Pine Street in Ville Platte.  Upon arrival Officers determined that the victim was struck by a vehicle which fled the scene.

The victim was transported for treatment in Lafayette with possible life threatening injuries.  The victim remains in serious to critical condition at this time.

According to Detectives, the vehicle used in the hit and run appears to be a smaller model, dark colored SUV.   If anyone has any information regarding this incident, you are asked to call the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.  Your call will remain anonymous. 

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    The Ville Platte Rotary Club met today (Tuesday) and heard from Ryan Vidrine, owner of Flat Town Farm Supply.  Vidrine has been operating the business for the past three years. He reported that he has been installing grain bins in areas as far away as Shreveport, Jonesboro, Lake Charles and at the Port of New Orleans.

   His business has added several new lines of Ag equipment including the popular Vermeer lines of Hay equipment.

   Vidrine told Rotarians that he has launched his web site where he is offering over 80,000 products in his huge warehouse that can be shipped nationwide.

   Former owner Kip Manuel was in charge of the rotary program and introduced Vidrine to club members.

   In other business, Club President Wayne Vidrine announced that the Spring Fellowship meeting is set for April 10 and the Installation Banquet is planned for June 12.

  Rotarian Larry Lachney announced that the Sacred Heart Interact Club is doing a fund raising project where jars were placed at various businesses through town. The Rotary Club voted to donate $100 to the Interact Club’s fund raising efforts.

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The Evangeline Parish School Board approved the installation of metal detectors in five Evangeline Parish schools during Wednesday night’s meeting.

 

Basile High School, Ville Platte High School, Mamou High School, Pine Prairie High School, and Bayou Chicot Elementary will be receiving metal detectors. This $23,681.75 project, a proactive measure, follows last month’s threats made against Evangeline Parish schools, which led to parish-wide school closures.

 

In order to make up the instructional minutes lost in February, Superintendent Darwan Lazard announced that Memorial Day (May 28th) will no longer be observed, and class will be held for all students.

 

Lazard extended his thanks to parents for being understanding, and to law enforcement, state police, and the FBI for a job well done.  

 

The board also heard from Maintenance & Operations Facilitator, Jason Hazelton, who recognized two Evangeline Parish schools with the “Cleanest School of the Quarter” award.  The “Big School Division,” award was given to Bayou Chicot Elementary custodians, and the “Small School Division” award was given to James Stephens Montessori custodians. $25 gift cards were also awarded to each custodian.

 

In other business:

 

The board accepted a price quote of $36,500.00 from Percille’s Construction, regarding the concrete slab needed for Pine Prairie High Schools new stadium bleachers; so far a $214,000 project.

 

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       Evangeline Parish Police Jury Secretary Treasurer Donald Bergeron was the guest speaker at today’s (Tuesday) meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club.

      Bergeron spoke about a regional drainage project that was approved by the Acadiana Planning Commission that will help relieve flooding problems in Evangeline, St. Landry and Acadia parishes.  The $2 million dollar water retention project will be the construction of a pond located Northwest of Ville Platte that will be used to retain water along Bayou Joe Marcel during a major flooding event. The water drains from Bayou Joe Marcel eventually into the Mermentau River. The police jury will have 36 months to complete the FEMA funded project for the jury.  Bergeron was the guest of Rotarian Bob Manuel.

      Also speaking at the meeting was Attorney Gilbert “Winky” Aucoin with Grand Hoorah festival. Aucoin was pleased to announce that Louisiana Folk Roots is coming back to Chicot State Park and will be joining with Grand Hoorah to sponsor a week long cultural immersion program. Folk Roots was at Chicot Park for ten years until organizers decided to move the yearly event to Lafayette two years ago.

     Aucoin said there will be 65 people coming from all over the United States and several countries for the week long immersion event. It will begin April 20 through April 27 with Cajun music, food, a boucherie and fun for the whole family. He is asking local Ville Platte residents to come out and support the festival.

  

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The Evangeline Parish Police Jury, during Monday’s monthly meeting, decided against renewing their insurance with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, and approved switching employees to United Healthcare.

 

Open enrollment dates are set for March 12th, 13th, and 14th at the Police Jury Office located at 1008 W Lasalle Street in Ville Platte. All Parish employees are required to set an appointment for open enrollment for healthcare. 

 

District 7 police juror, Bryan Vidrine, stated that by switching healthcare providers, insurance prices will be cheaper, and employees will see better benefits.

 

In other business:

 

Parish Engineer, Rodney Landreneau, announced that the Hazard Mitigation Program is now accepting applications for workers who follow FEMA guidelines.

 

Secretary-Treasurer, Donald Bergeron, announced that the Police Jury is currently accepting applications for a part time nurse (RN or LPN) to administer care to inmates.  

 

Public Works Director, Chester Granger, announced that they are accepting applications for a replacement CDL driver for District 1, 8, and 9.

 

The purchase of a $13,000 rail car for Louis Rd. in District #1 was approved.

 

 

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Baton Rouge, La. (March 5, 2018) – A second Ville Platte man is under arrest in connection with the theft of six cattle valued at $7,500 according to Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M.

 

Fifty-five year old Paul Lavigne was arrested March 2, 2018 in St. Landry Parish by LDAF Livestock Brand Commission inspectors. On December 5, 2017, the LDAF received a report of stolen cattle from a farm in the Lawtell community of St. Landry Parish. Following an investigation, brand inspectors determined Lavigne helped load and transport the cattle to a local livestock market.

 

On February 6, 2018, 35-year-old Dovinski Doucet was arrested in St. Landry Parish after brand inspectors determined Doucet sold the stolen cattle at a local livestock market.

 

“We cannot stress enough the importance of owners using registered brands or official ear tags on their livestock. By taking these security measures, it greatly aids in the recovery of stolen livestock as well as tracing livestock diseases,” said Strain.

 

Lavigne was booked into the St. Landry Parish Jail and charged with L.A.R.S. 14:25 accessory after the fact to commit L.A.R.S. 14:67 B (2).  If convicted, he could face a penalty of not more than a $500 fine, or imprisonment, with or without hard labor, for not more than five years, or both; provided that in no case shall his punishment be greater than one-half of the maximum provided by law for a principal offender.  

 

The St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Department assisted in these arrests. All LDAF brand inspectors are commissioned by Louisiana State Police and have authority in the performance of their duties.

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Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue reports arrest for simple burglary

 An arrest has been made in a burglary reported in November of 2017. According to the report a hot water heater was stolen from a house on Park Ave in Ville Platte.  After gathering information and evidence, Detectives issued a warrant for Casey Lane Tate 29 of 115 South Soileau Street, Ville Platte.  Tate was arrested on February 26, 2018 on the charge of simple burglary.   Tate was transferred to the Evangeline Parish Jail on a $7,500.00 bond. 

 Chief Lartigue reminds citizens to report suspicious or illegal activity, call the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.  Your call will remain anonymous.

 

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   The Ville Platte Rotary today (Tuesday) heard from Raymond Hebert, C.E.O. of the Community Foundation of Acadiana. This non- profit agency covers the eight parish Acadiana area including Evangeline Parish. The group provides services, civic leadership and stewardship by building legacies and improving communities.

    Hebert said a number of parishes have begun their own foundation under the Community Foundation umbrella. He announced that the Evangeline Parish Foundation began last year to assist and benefit Evangeline Parish citizens and groups. Anita Fontenot is a leader in the local foundation. An advisory board will soon be appointed to determine where the funds will be spent in the parish. Fontenot said the local group’s focus will be to support non profit organizations, churches, schools and public entities through the generosity of residents and businesses who want to make their community a better place to live, work and play.

   Club President announced the new slate of officers that will take office later this year:  Richard LeJeune-President,  President Elect-Nicole Wenger, Vice President-Maggie Ortego, Treasurer-Vic Slaven, Secretary- Susan Saunders, Sgt At Arms-Dr. Jerry Veillon and Wayne Vidrine-Immediate Past President.

  The club will hold a spring social on April 10.

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      Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue with the Ville Platte Police Department is seeking assistance in identifying burglary suspects.

      On Wednesday, February 21, 2018, Officers with the Ville Platte Police Department responded to a report of a burglary on South Soileau Street.  Upon arrival Officers learned that the suspects cleared out the entire contents of the Cottage Bed & Breakfast.  Officers notified Detective Clark who determined that the suspects gained entry and started removing items after 11:00 p.m. on Tuesday and into the early morning hours of Wednesday

    The following items are listed as stolen.  An antique bed, couch, coffee table, antique end table, antique rug, tufted antique chairs, antique crystal lamps, 46” flat screen tv, Centurylink modem, AC Unit, mattress, box spring with vintage bedding, handmade table cloth, microwave, espresso machine, cooktop, utensils, bathroom towels, linens, rug, and toiletries. The suspects also caused property damage to the interior of the residence while removing items. 

    Chief Neal Lartigue is asking for information regarding the whereabouts of the stolen items and if you can identify the truck in the picture that we have posted on our Facebook page , call the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.  Your call will remain anonymous.

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     KVPI News has learned that Eric Soileau of Reddell was sworn as the new President of the Louisiana Police Jury Association Thursday night during a meeting of the group at the Hotel Bentley in Alexandria.

    Soileau has been serving as a member of the Executive Board of the association for the past five years. He has been a member of the Evangeline Parish Police Jury representing District Six for the past 13 years.

    Soileau said his plans to work closely with the executive board and director to represent parish governments before the state legislature. Soileau wants to make sure parish governments continue to get their funding from the state and to prevent unfunded mandates from state and federal agencies.

   Soileau is the third Evangeline Parish Police Juror to serve as President of the Police Jury Association of Louisiana: Larry Buller and Bob Manuel both served in that position.

  He is a resident of Reddell and is employed at T’s Boy’s Meat Market. He is active in many local and civic organization including the Mamou Cajun Music Association. He is married to the former Cathy Deshotel for 39 and they have two children and four grandchildren

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Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce Meeting

February 21, 2018

 

     The Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce today (Wednesday) received a report on the infrastructure meeting held earlier this week by One Acadiana. It was determined that the top two priorities for infrastructure projects in Evangeline Parish would be: the four laning of US 167 from Ville Platte to Opelousas. A second priority would be drainage improvements after flooding events the past two years. It was announced that the police jury has recently been awarded special grant funds to build an 81 acre retention pond to hold water after flooding rains. This project will not only help Evangeline parish but also Acadia and St. Landry Parishes in alleviate flooding.

     Chamber members were notified some 4 or 5 applicants have applied so far for the executive director position. The application period continues through Friday. Interviews will begin next week and a new director will be selected by the chamber board.

   Pine Prairie Energy has made a donation to the Industrial Development Board in the amount of $10,000.

    Outgoing Chamber President Dr. Tojo Ward was given a plaque of appreciation by new Club President Luke Deville.

     The turnout was good at the organization’s new meeting headquarters: Cottage Couture.

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         The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from LSU-Eunice Chancellor Kimberly Russell give an update report on what is going on at the college.

   Russell and members of her staff were presented a $5100 check by Dr. Willie Buller to the LSU-E Scholarship Fund. Club members have been contributing to this scholarship fund since 1984. Over 100 students have been awarded scholarships as a result of this special fund through the years. The fund will award three new recipients this year and is one of the top five endowments the college receives.

   Russell spoke about new programs that have begun at the college: the LSU-E Academy where High School Jr’s and seniors can get a jump start on their college education. These high school students could actually end up graduating from high school with an associate degree. There are currently 65 students enrolled in the program, of which 20 are from Evangeline Parish.

  This fall, LSU Eunice will begin new courses for diagnostic medical stenography and surgical technology funded through state grants and local and area hospitals.

  LSU-E will launch a Pharmacy Technology program where students completing the program an Associate Degree.

   Also, the college is looking at expanding the school nursing program by partnering with Lafayette General Medical Center.

   The college is adding three new sports: Men’s basketball and Men’s and Women’s Soccer.

   Russell reported that enrollment is up 22 percent since 2015. The school has a 104.3 million dollar impact upon the area’s economy and employs 182 people.

 

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Evangeline Parish Police Jury Awarded Grant

 

        Evangeline Parish Police Jury President Ryan Williams announced that Evangeline Parish received a grant of $1.9 million Wednesday for flood control at a meeting of the Acadiana Planning Commission. A total of 20 projects were submitted from 7 Acadiana Parishes totaling $94.5 million. Evangeline Parish was one of nine projects that were approved by the Acadiana Planning Commission. This award stems from the Louisiana Resilient Recovery Initiative Governor John Bel Edwards announced in August of 2017. A total of $25 million for Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds for regional drainage projects in Acadiana was awarded.

       Evangeline Parish’s $1.9 million project as approved would create a water retention area located North West of Ville Platte. The purpose of the project is to create an area which will retain water flowing south from the most northern portion of Bayou Joe Marcel. The purpose of this retainage is to reduce the amount of water flowing south down Bayou Joe Marcel during large rain events. The goal of the project is to allow the water level in Bayou Joe Marcel to be maintained at the optimal level during a 100 year storm, thus preventing flooding in the areas drained by the canals. There would then be a controlled release of water after the flooding event. The reduction in downstream water during large rain events will benefit all areas south of the structure. The project timeline is setup to be completed within 36 months.

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On Monday, February 12th, the Ville Platte City Council was presented their audit (ending June 30,2017) for the first time by Vic Slaven CPA, who helped clear up some confusion surrounding the audit.

 

Slaven stated that while the numbers are correct on the audit, they are misleading because the audit does not take into account the transferring of funds. Slaven had this to say about the audit:

 

"The City does not have a four-million-dollar deficit. It does not. The city has a $160,000 spendable, unassigned, general fund balance going into the next fiscal year. Which means, if you don't monitor your revenue and expenses on a close basis to where you break out even to what you budgeted for, and you start over spending that budget again... You only have 160,000 dollars to play with. And then, once that's gone, you're going to be operating in a deficit spending budget situation, which is against state statutes. And if you don't fix that then they will send an administrator over here to make the decisions for you to make sure you comply with state statutes."

 

Slaven also noted that there were fewer reports in this year’s audit than last years.

 

According to Mayor Jennifer Vidrine, the police department has over spent their budget due to their insurance tripling in price from civil liabilities. They overspent their budget by $220,000.

 

In other business, the City Council:

 

  • Presented a plaque to city retiree, Carroll "Sexy" Fontenot.
  • In honor of Black History Month, Mayor Vidrine presented a plaque to the family of John Alfred, Sr., a Ville Platte man, who in the 1800's who was murdered for wanting to be involved with local government.

 

 

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Arrest Made in St. Landry Parish Cattle Thefts

 

Baton Rouge, La. (February 9, 2018– A Ville Platte man is under arrest in connection with the theft of six cattle valued at $7,500 according to Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M.

 

Thirty-five year old Dovinski Doucet was arrested February 6, 2018 in St. Landry Parish by Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Livestock Brand Commission inspectors.

 

On December 5, 2017, the LDAF received a report of the stolen cattle from a farm in the Lawtell Community of St. Landry Parish.  Following an investigation, brand inspectors determined Doucet sold the stolen cattle at a local livestock market.

 

“We advise livestock owners to use registered brands or official ear tags on their livestock which greatly aids in recovery of stolen livestock as well as tracing livestock diseases,” said Strain.

 

Doucet was booked into the St. Landry Parish Jail. If convicted, he could face a penalty, with or without hard labor, for not more than ten years, or may be fined not more than ten thousand dollars, or both.

 

The investigation is ongoing and additional arrests are expected.

 

All enforcement personnel are commissioned by Louisiana State Police and have authority in the performance of their duties.

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Ville Platte Police Chief Lartigue is advising businesses to be aware of counterfeit money

 

On February 7, 2018, Officers with the Ville Platte Police Department responded to a report of counterfeit money at a business located on Tate Cove Road.  Upon arrival Officers learned that a customer attempted to make a purchase with a ten dollar bill that was counterfeit.  The customer had received the ten dollar bill from someone and had no knowledge that the bill was not real.

Chief Lartigue reminds business owners to be vigilant in checking money at their place of business.  Some people assume that only large bills are the ones being counterfeited when that is not always the case.

Chief Lartigue reminds business owners to call the Police Department if you have a suspicion that someone is trying to use a counterfeit bill at your place of business. 

To report suspicious or illegal activity of any kind, please contact the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.  Your call will remain anonymous.

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The Evangeline Parish School Board heard from Elementary Supervisor, Linda Lafleur, at the boards meeting Wednesday as she recognized the 2018 students of the year. The outstanding student award for the work-based learning program is Carlondus Ardoin from Mamou High School. The outstanding student award for High School JAG is Tereek Seriale. District winners include 5th grade, Prisha Makey from Ville Platte High School, 8th grade, Ethan Bergeron from Basile High School, and 12th grade, Cort Fuller from Pine Prairie High School.

 

The board then heard from Title I Director Mary Ann Fontenot, and Title I Supervisor Penny McDaniel who recognized two Evangeline Parish Elementary Schools for receiving excellent on their early child performance scores. Vidrine Elementary scored highest in the state with a score of 6.69/7. W.W. Stewart received an excellent score of 6.19/7. The parish received an overall score of 5.26/7. Only one-third of schools in the state received excellent scores. Staff members from both schools were recognized.

 

Lance Enkey then approached the podium to deliver his transportation update. Enkey reports that in an effort to battle the nationwide opioid epidemic, changes have been made to the State Law D.O.T testing process. Four semi-opiates were added to the drug screen.

The board then heard from Maintenance & Operations Facilitator, Jason Hazelton, who provided a PowerPoint presentation showcasing some of the work Hazelton and his crew of 6 have completed at Evangeline Parish Schools. Since the 1st of 2017 till now 2,858 work orders were processed and completed.

 

Amy Lafleur approached the podium next to discuss the Evangeline Parish sales tax comparison. As of January, the sales tax collection is down by $91,002.71 compared to last January.

 

Next, the board approved an instructional minutes recovery plan, proposed by Superintendent Darwan Lazard for school days missed. The first proposal applies to Basile schools only. The second proposal applies to Mamou High School, Mamou Elementary, Vidrine Elementary, Evangeline Central, Pine Prairie High School, Bayou Chicot Elementary, Ville Platte High School, Ville Platte Elementary, James Stephens Montessori, and Chataigner Elementary. The proposal for Basile schools includes February 14th (Ash Wednesday) and 19th (President’s Day) as instructional days rather than holidays, and 5 minutes of instruction will be added to each day beginning February 8th. The second proposal, for the ten schools, includes February 19th as an instructional day, rather than a holiday. Also, 5-11 minutes of instruction added to each day (depending on amount needed for each school) beginning February 8th. In the event that another instructional day is needed, both proposals include Memorial Day, May 28th, as a possible instructional day.  

 

Lazard then asked the board to adopt a resolution calling on the Governor and State of Louisiana legislative leaders to create a task force on teacher shortages. The motion was approved.

 

Lastly the meeting went into executive session to discuss workers compensation case 2018-001 and Superintendent evaluation.

 

Other items approved by board:

-          Permission to conduct structural assessment of James Stephens Montessori gymnasium                   building at a cost of $5,400.

-          John Deranger, technology coordinator, 2-year contract renewed effective 7/1/2018

-          Connie Fontenot, accountant, 2-year contract renewed 7/1/2018.

-          Ted Soileau, career/technical/transportation/textbook supervisor, 2-year contract renewed                 effective 7/1/2018.

-          Peggy Edwards, principal presently assigned to Chataigner Elementary School, 2-year                     contract renewed effective 7/1/2018. 

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    Authorities are announcing that a $1000 reward is being offered for any information leading to the indictment and conviction of the persons responsible for the murder of Kathy Weston.  Kathy Weston was shot and killed on April 23, 2017 while walking near the intersection of North Chataignier and East Jackson on her way to a grocery store in Ville Platte. Anyone with information, please call the Evangeline Parish District Attorney Investigator at 337-363-3438 or the Ville Platte Police Department at 337-363-1313.

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               The Family Life Center hall was packed today (Tuesday) at the weekly Ville Platte Rotary Club meeting. Superintendent of Schools Darwan Lazard was in charge of the program. He invited the three district level “Student of the Year” award winners along with their parents to attend the noon luncheon.

    The winners who spoke to club members:  Prisha Makey, Fifth Grade student from Ville Platte High; Ethan Bergeron, 8th Grade student from Basile; and Cort Fuller, 12th Grade student from Pine Prairie. These three students will represent the Evangeline Parish School in regional competition.

    Supervisor Linda Lafleur reported that that the students must have a 3.2 grade point average or higher. They go through extensive interviews and write an essay. The school level and district level winners were honored at a special gala event at the Civic Center sponsored by the school board.

    In other business, Club President Wayne Vidrine said the police jury approved a motion endorsing the rotary club’s support for the state to construct a dorm style building at the group camp location at Chicot State Park.

   Vidrine read a letter of thanks from the Beaumont Rotary club for the local club’s donation to assist in the Hurricane Harvey recovery.

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Evangeline Parish Police Jury Meeting

February 6, 2018

 

   Evangeline Parish Police Jurors were notified Monday that a local project to prevent flooding events is in the running to be funded through a regional hazard mitigation drainage program. Secretary Treasurer Donald Bergeron informed jurors that the local project calls for an 81 acre retention pond to be located in the northern part of Ward One at a cost of $1.9 million dollars.  It will address drainage problems in the Mermentau watershed. The project is ranked in the top three to be funded out of a $25 million fund. The final deciding vote on the project will come Feb. 14.

    The Crooked Creek Recreation Area Park is drawing a lot of campers to the  parish owned park. The Park manager informed the police jury that the month of January drew $7,000 in receipts. The Tourism Commission and the Pine Prairie Prison company, GEO, has donated a total of $4,000 toward the purchase of playground equipment for the park. More special events such as cook-offs and zydeco dances are planned.

   In other business, the police jury:

--approve the low bid of F. Phillips General Contractor for the construction of the new Chataignier Library Branch Building;

-reappointed members of the parish tourism commission for another term: Hattie Johnson, Judy Guillory, Brenda Saucier, Suzy Lemoine, Daryl LeJeune, Belle Deshotels and Rhonda Butler;

--adopted a resolution to the Lt. Governor requesting the construction of new group cabins at Chicot State Park;

--reappointed Phil Lemoine as the jury’s insurance consultant;

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     The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from Shane Darbonne, director of the Ville Platte Wellness Center as their guest speaker. He spoke on the importance of getting a flu shot.

    Darbonne said the United States is facing one of the deadliest flu strains ever. Most flu shots are effective against four strains of the virus. The “A” strain is the one that has been deadly especially with young children.

   The injectable flu shot is much more effective than the nasal spray. The shots should be taken annually for everyone including pregnant women and children as young as 6 months old. The flu shots have shown to be 36-40 percent effective against most strains of the flu. It takes about two weeks to become effective.

   This year, cases of the flu began as early as August. The flu shots remain effective for about six months.

    Darbonne urged employers to have their staff get their flu shots and to wash your hands often.

    He was the special guest of Rotarian Ronnie Landreneau.

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        Evangeline Parish Sheriff Eddie Soileau reports to KVPI News: Late Friday night, January 26, parish deputies were dispatched to the 2400 block of of Veterans Memorial Highway in the Duralde area regarding a gunshot victim. Deputies arrived and found an adult female shooting victim, who had been shot by an unidentified male subject. During the initial investigation, investigators were able to identify two male subjects as Persons of Interest that are wanted for questioning. A motive for the shooting has not yet been determined. The shooting victim, whose identity has not been released,  suffered a wound to her right cheek. Anyone with information on this shooting or any other crime is urged to contact the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division by phone at 337-363-2161. All callers with information will and always remain anonymous.

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Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue reports search for suspect in attempted 2nd degree murder.

 On January 4, 2018 at approximately 8:30 p.m. Officers with the Ville Platte Police Department responded to a report of assault in the 900 block of Reed Street, Ville Platte.  Upon arrival they learned that the victim had left the area and located him a short time later at a nearby store where he was sitting on the ground and had blood on his shirt.  Officers learned that he had been stabbed multiple times in an altercation on Reed Street over a cell phone and money. 

The victim was transported to Mercy Regional Medical Center and then airlifted to Lafayette General Medical Center with severe to critical injuries.  

After further investigation an arrest warrant has been issued for Trever Travez Larnett 24, of 930 South Chataignier Street Ville Platte.  Larnett is wanted for disturbing the peace by fighting and attempted second degree murder. 

Chief Lartigue is asking anyone with knowledge of the whereabouts of Trevor Larnett to contact the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.  Your call will remain anonymous.

 

Police Chief Neal Lartigue is asking for assistance in identifying armed robbery suspects.

On January 24, 2018 at approximately 4:30 p.m. Officers with the Ville Platte Police Department responded to the 400 block of North Latour Street for a report of an armed robbery.  Upon arrival Officers learned that two black males wearing hoodies, armed with hand guns robbed Ms. Kathy Oliver of a money bag containing cash and checks.  When Ms. Oliver refused to give the suspects the money bag, one of the suspects hit her in the face with a hand gun and took the money bag when she fell to the ground. 

If you observed two black males in hoodies hanging around the area before 4:30 yesterday, or can identify these suspects, Chief Lartigue is asking that you assist the department in removing these criminals from our streets.  Call the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.  Your call will remain anonymous. 

 

 

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Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue reports recent arrests to KVPI News:

On January 12, 2018 the Ville Platte Police Department received a call that a vehicle parked at a pawn shop on Chataignier Road may be stolen.   A black male went into the pawn shop to pawn some tools from the truck and while looking at the tools the pawnshop owner noticed a business name and phone number on the truck.  After calling the number the store owner found out that the truck had been stolen from  Lake Charles.  The suspect became nervous and fled the area with another black male and a black female inside the vehicle.  A concerned citizen followed the truck while informing the police department of their current location as Officers worked to intercept the stolen truck.   The vehicle was stopped in the 300 block of East Long Street.  The male suspect fled on foot and a male and female were detained at the scene and brought in for questioning.

A short time later the male suspect that fled on foot was apprehended in an apartment in Ville Platte. 

The detained suspects were interviewed and later released.

Arrested was, Perkins Lafleur III, 30 of 2002 Tulip Street, Lake Charles.  Lafleur was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail on the charge of illegal possession of stolen goods.   Lafleur was transported to the Evangeline Parish jail on a $25,000.00 bond set by Judge Ortego.

 On January 14, 2018 Officers with the Ville Platte Police Department responded to a report of a disturbance on North Soileau.  Upon arrival Officers learned that a male suspect at the residence had threatened a female relative with a knife.  The suspect also threatened to harm himself.  Acadian Ambulance was called to the residence to assess the situation.  After treatment at Mercy Regional Medical Center, Derek Matthews 27, of 605 North Soileau Street, Ville Platte, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault.   Matthew’s bond was set at $25,000.00 by Judge Ortego.

  On January 19, 2018, Officers responded to a disturbance call in the area of Soileau Street and Magnolia Street.  Upon arrival Officers learned that two black males were involved in an altercation and one of the males pulled a gun on the other male.  Officers obtained the identity of the suspect as Daequan Antoine  21, of 1102 Tate Cove Road, Ville Platte.  Antoine was taken into custody without incident and the gun was located.  Antoine was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail on the charge of felony aggravated assault.  Antoine’s bond is set at $25,000.00 by Judge Ortego.   Antoine was also booked on an outstanding warrant from 2017 for criminal damage to property.  The bond on that warrant is $11,500.00 set by Judge Chuck west.

Chief Neal Lartigue reminds residents to report suspicious or illegal activity by calling the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.  Your call will remain anonymous.

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      Parents, family members, public officials and others packed the bleachers at Mamou Elementary School tonight (Tuesday) for a “French Day” program to salute the French Immersion program at the school. The emcee was School Librarian Nina David. School Principal Troy Fontenot welcomed the crowd. The Mamou French Immersion students did the Pledge of Allegiance in French. Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel and Lelia Bordelon conducted the invocation in French. The Cajun musicians that entertained the group were Jamie Berzas on Accordian, Mark Young on guitar and vocals and Christian McGee on fiddle. The two French immersion teachers, Miss Christiane and Miss Emilie, gave a power point presentation on their home town areas in France. They spoke about their hometown food, sporting events and festivals and events. A highlight of the program was retired teacher Deidra Fruge  reading a Cajun story book for the Immersion students. Nina David reported that the school received a grant that she wrote that pays for the purchase of Cajun and French story books. She is asking members of the public to sign up at the school to read stories to the students. Superintendent of Schools Darwan Lazard told the group “This is a dream come true for all of us.” She said this was the first program he urged the school board to approve when he became superintendent a year ago. He said the program here in Evangeline Parish has just started and yet other school systems are coming in to see how the program is working. He stated that the Ruston School district visited recently our local French immersion program. He commended the teachers, school leaders, school board for their support. KVPI 1050 AM was there broadcasting live on remote the entire program for our listeners.

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         After below freezing weather earlier in the week, the weather cooperated with those attending the 2018 Evangeline Parish 4-H Livestock Show and Sale Saturday at the Chauncey Pitre Ag Arena.

        4-H’ers from all over the parish showed their animals Friday and Saturday morning with special judges brought in from Texas. Many of these 4-H’ers will advance to show their animals at the District Livestock Show in Lake Charles in two weeks.

       The Market Animal Sale began at 1:00pm with Auctioneer Col. Ricky Duhon of Basile. His young assistant auctioneer was Hosea Deshotel, a 14 year old from Eunice.

       Just before the sale began, Evangeline Parish County Agent Todd Fontenot recognized three active 4-H’ers who are graduating this year: Tara Fontenot of Basile,  Jamerson LeDay and Morgan McDaniel , both of Ville Platte High.

       The annual cake auction donated by Keith Saucier took place. The cake was purchased and bid out six different times finally bringing in over $2200 to the 4-H Livestock Show program.

       Classic Hits 92.5 KVPI was there covering it live with Josh and Mark.

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Superintendent Darwan Lazard announced this evening at the Evangeline Parish School Board meeting that all Evangeline Parish schools, except for Basile Highschool and Basile Elementary, will  reopen tomorrow. Due to the cities low water pressure, both Basile Highschool and Elementary will be closed tomorrow and are anticipated to reopen Monday. In an effort to motivate teachers and students to return to the classrooms tomorrow, Mr. Lazard announced a jean day for students and teachers across Evangeline Parish. In other news, there will be only one School Board meeting next month and it is scheduled for February 7th at 6:00 pm. 

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   The Ville Platte City Council and Mayor Jennifer Vidrine met Tuesday for their meeting of the month at City Hall. Todd Morein with Universal Communications made a presentation to provide high speed internet service throughout the city. His proposal would include attaching his equipment to the city’s Water Towers. The council voted to take his proposal under consideration and report back at a later date.

   Five retired city employees were honored with a plaque of appreciation during the meeting by the mayor and council for their many years of service to the city. The honored retirees included: Marcus Johnson with the Gas Dept; Donna Veillon, tax collector, Kenneth Green in the street department; Joe Matte and Carroll Duos, both in public works department.

   In other business, the city council approved longevity pay for full time city employees who have been with the city for more than five years. Also, fire department employees began receiving this month their mandatory 2 percent increase in pay.

   Mayor Jennifer Vidrine commended Fire Chief Chris Harrison for applying and  receiving a $7500 grant for the fire department to be used for a new vehicle. The city is also applying for grant money to purchase a new ladder truck and new pumper truck.

   Also, Public Works Director Don White was commended for his early repair work on the city water system last year that has keep the city water system from losing water pressure during the recent hard freezes we have had.

   In other action, the city council approved a resolution to apply for the sale of 2.9 million dollars in bonds for road and drainage improvements.

   The council approved moving the dates for their February meeting to Feb. 12 due to the Mardi Gras holiday and move the March meeting date due to a conflict with the National League of Cities Conference.

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KVPI News has learned that Sacred Heart Elementary and High School as well as all Evangeline Parish public schools will be closed again Thursday because of the continued icy conditions on parish roads.Supt. of Schools Darwan Lazard stated that supervisors, principals and custodians of parish public schools are asked to checked campuses at 2;00pm Thursday. All other employees are not required to report to work.

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There will be no parish wide curfew in Evangeline Parish tonight, according to Police Jury President Ryan Williams. After an inspection of roads around the parish, it was determined that a curfew is not needed tonight.

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KVPI News has received word that due to possible severe winter weather conditions Tuesday, all public schools in Evangeline Parish as well as Sacred Heart Elementary and High School will be closed. Keep listening to KVPI and our social media for the latest word on the weather and weather announcements.

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BAYOU CHICOT, LA – The Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office needs the public’s assistance in locating a runaway juvenile.

 

On Thursday, January 11, 2018 the reporting person (Jodi Sylvester) stated her son Adyn Joseph Fontenot (DOB 8-2-2004) left her residence from the 1000 block of Jeremy Cole Drive at around 7:00 pm. The reporting person stated her son was upset for being disciplined and runaway, and has still not returned.  

 

Adyn Joseph Fontenot (DOB 8-2-2004) was last seen wearing his school uniform which includes a grey colored polo shirt, khaki pants, grey jacket, and black shoes.

 

If anyone has any information or comes into contact with Adyn Joseph Fontenot is asked to contact the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division at 337-363-2161.

                                                                                                               

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       Louisiana Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser was the guest speaker at Tuesday’s meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club. Nungesser spent the night at Chicot State Park inspecting the condition and upkeep of the park. He met earlier with local, parish and state officials over the future of Chicot State Park. He was introduced at the meeting by State Representative Bernard LeBas.

      Nungesser explained that his Tourism Department had taken major cuts in funding from 167 million dollars in 2008 to just $99 million dollars in 2017. The department has 250 fewer employees in that nine year period. He mentioned that former Governor Bobby Jindal had taken 54 million dollars from the state tourism dollars that was to be used for repair and maintenance.

     The Lt. Governor is proposing working with private business and industry to begin public/private partnerships to help support the state parks around the state. He explained that Centurylink has agreed to help sponsor the Poverty Point nature area.

    For Chicot Park , he is asking for applications or resumes to hire a new Park Manager to oversee the park. Nungesser said Chciot Park needs a manager who will live at the park with a salary range of $50-70,000. He wants to hire someone who has a love and passion of the park. He is asking local residents “to help me find the right person”.

   Nungesser is also looking at possibly of having a real estate developer sell home sites at an unused part of the park and lake; and  to sell and market the canoes and kayaks and look at rebuilding the flooded cabins at the park.

   Rotary Club President Wayne Vidrine thanked the Lt. Governor for showing his concern over the condition of Chicot State Park. Vidrine called the park “the crown jewel of Evangeline Parish.” The club pays  the scholarship of two high school students each year to attend Camp Rylla , the rotary club summer camp, now being held at Chicot State Park. Nungesser was presented a special basket of local products presented by Ville Platte Mayor Pro Tem Mike Perron.

     In other action, the rotary club:

--received a report that Club President Wayne Vidrine and Eric Gil traveled to the Beaumont Rotary Club recently to present a donation on behalf of the Ville Platte club for “Operation Warmth”. The club will deliver 440 coats to victims of last year’s hurricane.

--announced the winners in the annual football pool .

  

Louisiana Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser was the guest speaker at Tuesday’s meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club. Nungesser spent the night at Chicot State Park inspecting the condition and upkeep of the park. He met earlier with local, parish and state officials over the future of Chicot State Park. He was introduced at the meeting by State Representative Bernard LeBas.

      Nungesser explained that his Tourism Department had taken major cuts in funding from 167 million dollars in 2008 to just $99 million dollars in 2017. The department has 250 fewer employees in that nine year period. He mentioned that former Governor Bobby Jindal had taken 54 million dollars from the state tourism dollars that was to be used for repair and maintenance.

     The Lt. Governor is proposing working with private business and industry to begin public/private partnerships to help support the state parks around the state. He explained that Centurylink has agreed to help sponsor the Poverty Point nature area.

    For Chicot Park , he is asking for applications or resumes to hire a new Park Manager to oversee the park. Nungesser said Chciot Park needs a manager who will live at the park with a salary range of $50-70,000. He wants to hire someone who has a love and passion of the park. He is asking local residents “to help me find the right person”.

   Nungesser is also looking at possibly of having a real estate developer sell home sites at an unused part of the park and lake; and  to sell and market the canoes and kayaks and look at rebuilding the flooded cabins at the park.

   Rotary Club President Wayne Vidrine thanked the Lt. Governor for showing his concern over the condition of Chicot State Park. Vidrine called the park “the crown jewel of Evangeline Parish.” The club pays  the scholarship of two high school students each year to attend Camp Rylla , the rotary club summer camp, now being held at Chicot State Park. Nungesser was presented a special basket of local products presented by Ville Platte Mayor Pro Tem Mike Perron.

     In other action, the rotary club:

--received a report that Club President Wayne Vidrine and Eric Gil traveled to the Beaumont Rotary Club recently to present a donation on behalf of the Ville Platte club for “Operation Warmth”. The club will deliver 440 coats to victims of last year’s hurricane.

--announced the winners in the annual football pool .

  

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The Louisana Swamp Pop Museum is operated by the City of Ville  Platte is open to the public every Friday and

Saturday from 10:00a.m. to 3:00p.m.

 

Come view the amazing artifacts, photos,

records, Wall of Fame and hear the music.
 

Admission charge is $3 adults,

$2 seniors and $1 for children under 12.
 

The museum is located on

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