The holiday spirit filled the air Wednesday as the Ville Platte Elementary French immersion students led the Evangeline Parish school board meeting with the pledge of allegiance recited in French, then treated those in attendance to a couple of French Christmas carols.
Evangeline Parish School board members opened the floor for nominations for the election of new officers. The positions up for discussion were board President, board Vice-President and Executive Committee. It was decided that the positions would remain as is with board president Wayne Dardeau and Vice President Scott Limogis.
Gratitude seemed to be the theme of the evening as board members heard from VPHS principal, Melanie Miller, who wanted to personally thank board members for approving their most recent project.
In other news:
— Two Evangeline Parish middle school students were recognized for their acceptance into the intermediate honors band. Sebastian, a saxophone player from Bayou Chicot Elementary, and Joshua, a flute player from Basile High School.
— EPYB & Lil’ Dribblers use of facilities approved.
— Mamou High School was approved for removal of tiles containing asbestos from four entrances to the M.H.S gym.
— Pine Prairie High School received bid approval for aluminum bleacher stadium system.
— Next meeting date is set for January 17, 201
Grand Opening at School District Teacher Training Building
December 13, 2017
A large group of educators, public officials, family and friends attended the grand opening and ribbon cutting of the newly constructed Teacher Training and Technology Center tonight. Special Education Director Roxane West was the special emcee. The Mamou Elemenary French Immersion students did the pledge of allegiance in French as well as singing Christmas songs in French. Supt. Of Schools Darwan Lazard welcomed the large crowds that attended the meeting. Supervisors Linda Lafleur, Sherral Tezeno and Kelli Lafleur showed what some of their students were doing as far as technology is concerned. Assistant Supt. Of Schools Mike Lombas introduced all of the educators and officials who attended. KVPI FM 92.5 was there covering the event with a live remote.
On Tuesday, the Ville Platte City Council accepted a $5,000 donation from Cleco to the Ville Platte Girls-Boys Place. Mayor Jennifer Vidrine wants the public to know that this donation will go towards establishing a S.T.E.M (science, technology, engineering & math) program.
The City Council also approved the purchasing of 17 city vehicles, and 5 police vehicles. Mayor Vidrine tells the community to keep an eye out for city workers in their red, Dodge trucks with the Ville Platte City Crest on the side, and for police patrolling in their new Chevy Tahoes. The new city vehicles will come equipped with real-time tracking capabilities.
In other business , the City Council:
Approved Evangeline Bank to handle financing of the 22 vehicles being purchased by the city.
Voted in favor of giving Fire Fighters 2% pay increase.
Appointed City Counciman Mike Perron to be 2018 Mayor pro-temp.
Next meeting date is set for Wednesday, January 17, 2018.
Renewing the sponsorship of the transportation program provided by Evangeline Council on Aging.
Voted to adopt the 3rd Supplemental Bond Ordinance for phase 3 and final phase of the city's water project which will begin next year.
The Evangeline Parish Police Jury today (Tuesday) continued their long standing tradition of conducting their December meeting all in Cajun French. From all indications, it is the only meeting of its kind in Louisiana. Jury President Ryan Ardoin said the jury makes this effort to show their support for our parish’s rich Cajun French heritage. The jury meeting room was packed with a standing room crowd of visitors, family members and VIP’s. KVPI 1050 The Legend was there covering the entire meeting live for residents who could not attend in person.
Police Juror Eric Soileau conducted the meeting. Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel led the group in the invocation. The French Immersion students from Mamou Elementary did the pledge of allegiance and sand Christmas songs all in French.
Gilbert “Winky” Aucoin and his wife, Margaret “Chicken” Aucoin addressed the jury about the upcoming “Grand Hoorah” festival planned for April at Chicot State Park. Once again, this year, the festival will team up with the Dewey Balfa Folkroots camp and is scheduled for April 20-26.
Cary Porche with Folk Roots said the last time, the event was held at Chicot Park, there were 103 people enrolled for the week long camp representing 26 states and 11 countries. He expects that the same number of people to be there next year..
Also, Boisy Pitre of Prairie Rhonde was introduced who will be in charge of the traditional boucherie that will take place on Saturday April 21 during the festival.
John Vidrine spoke to the audience. He is a member of the Hoorah Dewey Balfa Ramblers who entertained the crowds after the meeting ended.
Becky Buller of Keep Evangeline Beautiful said parish residents are showing pride because she is seeing more clean areas than ever before. Her group is expected to introduce a new original song sung by local artist Kyle Veillon overt KVPI.
In other news, the police jury:
--advertising to receive bids for the construction of a new Chataignier Library Branch building;
--reappointed Randy Fruge and Albert LeJeune to another two year term on the Acadia/Evangeline Fire Protection District Board;
--approved a request for a trail ride in the Mamou area on Bieber road;
--heard from Secretary Treasurer Donald Bergeron report that sales tax collections in November amounted to $293,307.
Chief Neal Lartigue reports suspect located.
On December 1, 2017 the Ville Platte Police Department requested information on the identity of a suspect that robbed someone at an ATM at a local bank on West Main Street. Today Chief Neal Lartigue has issued an update to this investigation.
Spencer Charles Williams, 29 of 707 Young Street, Ville Platte has turned himself in to the Warden at the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office and was transported and booked into the Ville Platte City Jail on the charge of simple robbery..
Chief Lartigue reports that in an interview with Detective Alex Dunn, Williams admitted to taking money from the victim while the victim was parked at the ATM.
Chief Lartigue reminds residents to report any suspicious person or activity by contacting the Ville Platte Police Department at (337) 363-1313. Your call will remain anonymous.
Tune in Wednesday at 12:30 on Classic Hits 92.5 KVPI as we talk with Captain Wayne Vidrine, the new State Police Troop I Commander. Wayne and his family reside here in Ville Platte and he began his long law enforcement career with the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Department.
The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from two of the three Evangeline Parish Teacher of the Year award winners. Supt. of Schools Darwan Lazard told fellow club members that “we are blessed with great teachers in all of our schools.”
Supervisor Grace Sibley introduced Heather Demoruelle, Elementary Teacher of the Year winner. Heather teaches First and Second graders at James Stephens Montessori School. She is in her fourth year of instruction at the school. She explained her typical day is by engaging her students to help find out what they want to know and learn..
High School Teacher of the Year winner Lacy Hamilton Soileau is a teacher at Ville Platte High School. Lacy makes her history and civics courses interesting by doing role playing and dressing in period costumes. She and some of her students did three skits including one on “Checks and Balances” and “Equal Protection Under the Law”.
Middle School Teacher of the Year Yvette Jagneaux could not attend the meeting because of a family emergency.
Rotary Club President Wayne Vidrine reminded members that the annual Christmas party is planned for next Tuesday Dec. 12 at 6:30pm at La Veille Banque. There will no noon club meeting next Tuesday due to the Christmas party.
Club Member Maggie Ortego announced that rotary members will be teaching students in four classes at Ville Platte High this week the “Choices” program to encourage students to stay in school and not drop out.
Lt. Governor Billy Nungessor will be attending the rotary club meeting January 9 to discuss Chicot State Park.
1 SUSPECT ARRESTED FOR
Simple Robbery, Simple Battery and Theft under $1000
Walter L England
375 Ellis Street
On November 19, 2017 Pine Prairie Police received a complaint in reference to a simple robbery. Through Investigation, it was learned that Walter England age 36 of Leesville, La had pushed the female victim down and took her purse containing about $400 in cash and various other items before fleeing the area. An arrest warrant was issued and with the assistance of Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office, Walter England was arrested without incident on our warrant on charges of simple robbery, simple battery and theft under $1,000. During the booking process at Vernon Parish, England was in possession of illegal narcotics. He was booked in Vernon Parish on those charges and held on our warrant. He was transferred by Pine Prairie Police to the Evangeline Parish Jail on our warrant on November 29, 2017. He is being held at the Evangeline Parish Jail on a $15,000 bond and a detainer for Vernon Parish.
Fr. Mitch Guidry, pastor of Our Lady Queen of All Saints, spoke today (Tuesday) on the Christmas season to the Ville Platte Rotary Club. Fr. Mitch said we are entering the season of Advent for Christians everywhere. He said it is a time for preparation. “We should have faith, show faith, have others love us and love others and have hope,”,he commented. He said “We should not fear death or the end of times if we are prepared and have faith.” The age old tradition of giving gifts at Christmas time is a good thing said Fr. Mitch. He was the guest of Rotarian John Mayeaux.
Also speaking at the noon luncheon were two guests from rotary clubs in the Houma area who are in charge of the RYLLA camp for teens each summer. The two are searching for a new home for the annual camp. This year the camp was located at Mountain Bayou Boy Scout Camp near St. Landry. They were visiting with Chicot Park officials to check the possibility of moving the camp there. The camp brings in about 65 young people and teaches them leadership skills.
Ville Platte Rotary Club President Wayne Vidrine reminded club members that the annual Christmas social is set for Dec. 12 at La Veille Banque .
Mayor Jennifer Vidrine reminded everyone that the annual Chamber Christmas Parade is set for Sunday Dec. 3 at 5:30pm with lineup at 5;00pm at the Ville Platte Boys and Girls Club. At the end of the parade, the Christmas lights will be lit for the beginning of the holiday season..
Bill Fontenot, Cleco Interim Chief Executive Officer, was the guest speaker at today’s (Tuesday) meeting of the Rotary Club of Ville Platte. He has been employed by Cleco for more than 30 years and has been serving in his current position for the past six month. He shared with club members what has been going on at the company since it was purchased by an investment group 18 months ago. Fontenot said the investment group has four Louisiana residents on its board of directors, is preparing to spend 30 million dollars on new software, will double the amount of tree trimming as before, has begun automated meter reading and investing in new technology.
With the buy- out, the investors gave $136 million in bill credit to its customers, 7 million dollars to the Louisiana Economic Development Agency and 6 million dollars to charitable groups.
Cleco is looking at natural gas to be the usable source for power generation for the company in the future, more than renewable sources such as wind and solar.
Fontenot was the guest of his father, Rotarian Leonard Glen Fontenot.
In other business, Club President Wayne Vidrine:
--announced that the annual club Christmas social is scheduled for Tuesday December 12 at La Veille Banque;
--told club members that $2200 will be donated to the Beaumont Rotary Club as part of that club’s Operation Warmth to provide coats for school age children impacted by the recent hurricanes;
--heard from Maggie Ortego that the “Choices” program will be taught by club members to 9th graders in several schools in the parish the week of December 4 to urge students to stay in school and graduate.
Lafayette – Louisiana State Police Troop I welcomed its newest Troop Commander this week following the appointment of Captain Wayne Vidrine by State Police Superintendent Colonel Kevin Reeves. The transfer followed Captain James Cormier’s retirement from Louisiana State Police.
Captain Vidrine was born and raised in Evangeline Parish where he currently resides. He is married and has three children, one son and two daughters. He began his law enforcement career with the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office in 1991. He graduated from the Louisiana State Police Training Academy in 1994 and was assigned to patrol. He was then transferred to the Bureau of Investigations in 2005. He has worked in several sections which include Narcotics, Gaming and various administrative positions for the past 12 years. Captain Vidrine was promoted to Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Captain while in the Bureau. For the last year and seven months, Captain Vidrine has served as the Criminal Investigations Division Commander of Region 2.
Upon his appointment as Troop I commander, Vidrine expressed his desire to continue to foster positive working relationships with local, state and federal agencies. Captain Vidrine said “I am honored to accept this position as Commander of Troop I, and plan to continue working with our community partners to reduce crime and fatal crashes. The safety of our communities and citizens is our highest priority.”
Troop I would like to congratulate Captain Wayne Vidrine on his transfer and new appointment as Troop I Commander.
Louisiana State Police Troop I consists of an eight parish region including Evangeline, St. Landry, Acadia, Lafayette, St. Martin, Vermilion, Iberia and St. Mary parishes with over 800 combined highway miles.
Evangeline Family Medicine held an Open House Saturday morning in partnership with the Susan G. Koman Foundation to stress breast cancer awareness is not just in October because breast cancer strikes all year long. A large group of women attended the event and each received a big full of educational information. Kate Labue with Susan G. Komen urged women to get their mammograms. Brenda Viggers of Turkey Creek gave an inspirational talk on how getting a mammogram and finding cancer early saved her life. The staff of Evangeline Family Medicine gave her a bouquet of flowers. There was food for everyone and plenty of door prizes including movie tickets, gift cards and manicure and pedicure certificates. The grand prize winner was Shelsy Williams who won a 32 inch smart TV. The Classic Hits 92.5 KVPI road crew, Carly and Mark, was there to cover it for our listeners.
Sheriff Eddie Soileau, of the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office has released the following:
Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division is relieved after finally capturing who they believe is the suspect involved in multiple cases of Thefts and Burglaries in the Turkey Creek area.
On Tuesday morning before day break, November 14, 2017 Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office Deputies apprehended a white male subject identified as Jeremy Clark age 34 safely and without incident at the residence on the 1100 block of Junction Road.
Deputies were initially called out for loud noises of ATV riding. After a brief investigation of the ATV riding, Deputies were led to the 1100 block of Junction Road where a ATV fitting the description of a recently stolen ATV was discovered along with the suspect Jeremy Clark inside the residence. A Search Warrant was immediately authored and executed on the residence along with an Arrest Warrant for the arrest of Jeremy Clark for Possession of Stolen Things both signed by 13th Judicial Judge Chuck West.
Clark is being held at the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office jail on a $15,000.00 bond and is still under investigation for other thefts in the Turkey Creek area.
As always the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the public for all information and tips received that led to the capture of Jeremy Clark.