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   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

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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.

 

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        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.

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      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.

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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.

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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.

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   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.

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1 SUSPECT ARRESTED FOR

Simple Robbery, Simple Battery and Theft under $1000

Walter L England

375 Ellis Street

Leesville, LA

D.O.B. 1-13-1981

 

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.

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        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..

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     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.

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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.

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       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.

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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.

 

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      On Thursday November 16, 2017 at 12:18 pm, the Eunice Police Department responded to a bomb threat at Eunice Junior High School. A call was received concerning a note that had been located by a school employee. Upon officers’ arrival, all students and faculty members from both Eunice Junior High School, located at 751 W Oak Ave, and Eunice Elementary School, located at 451 S 9th Street, were moved to a secure predetermine location.

     Officers quickly completed a comprehensive sweep of the buildings for any suspicious objects, finding none. Students and faculty were cleared to return to their schools at 1:19 pm. The note was seized as evidence and the investigation is ongoing.

    Chief Randy Fontenot would like to express his appreciation to the students and faculty members for remaining calm and following their emergency plan. For the safety of the students, parents were not allowed to pick up their children until they were safely returned to the schools. This practice is followed at all such events so each student can be accounted for.

 

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Sheriff Eddie Soileau, of the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office has released the following:

 

On Thursday, November 9, 2017 at approximately 4:40pm  an Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office Patrol Deputy was dispatched out for an Armed Robbery near the 2400 block of 7th Street (Eastside Subdivision) in Ville Platte, LA.    

 

The initial investigative interview by Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Deputy revealed that a male subject wearing a bandana partially over his face held the victim at gun point. The victim said the male subject took her purse by force and fled on foot. At some point, the male subject walks up to a vehicle being driven by Charles Herbert and leaves the scene with him, after which the male suspect exited the vehicle and fled on foot.  

 

The male subject was later identified as Kendell Pete, 18  of Ville Platte. The Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office is seeking assistance from the Public in locating Pete. Pete is known to frequent the area of the Eastside Subdivision and occasionally be at the residence of 2481 2nd Street in the Eastside Sub.

 

Anyone with any information is urged to contact the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office Investigation Division by phone at 337-363-2161. All callers with information will remain anonymous. Subject is considered to be Armed and Dangerous.

 

Kendell Pete has an active warrant for Armed Robbery w/Use of a Firearm signed by 13th Judicial Judge Gary Ortego.

V

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      Supervisor Penny McDaniel had good news to share with the Evangeline Parish School Board Wednesday based on the just released early childhood performance profiles. The report card for the school district’s pre school program including Head Start and two day care centers showed an overall above average score of 5.26 out of a possible 7 score. “We are thrilled with the scores. In fact, the pre- school program at Vidrine had the highest score in the state,” McDaniel remarked.

      More good news came from Supt. Of Schools Darwan Lazard who announced the school performance scores were released from state Department of Education. “Evangeline Parish is still a B District. We have 9 - B schools and 2- C schools. We are very proud of our teachers and principals for the hard work they do every day in our schools,” said Lazard.

       The school board approved the lease of a huge  Xerox printer at a cost of $76,375 at the request of Assistant Supt. Of Schools Mike Lombas. He explained to school board members that the wave of the future is no longer textbooks The new 16 foot long machine will print 4 million pages a year for student modules. “It will save the school district a ton of money down the road over the cost of adopting textbooks”.

        In other news:

--it was announced that the grand opening and ribbon cutting of the new Teacher Training and Technology Center will be Dec. 13 from 4:45-5:45pm. The public will be invited.

--recognized the two winnners in the cleanest school contest for the past  quarter: Mamou Elementary and Basile High School. The custodians were each given $25 gift cards ;

--was announced that there will only be one board meeting in December and January: December 13 and January 17.

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    Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue reports two arrests for felony theft.

    On Tuesday, November 14, 2017, Officers with the Ville Platte Police Department responded to a report of theft on Tom Drive.  Upon arrival Officers learned that many items were taken from the home including two televisions, two PlayStation gaming consoles, home stereo system, clothing, purses, shoes, cell phones, towels and wash cloths, jewelry box and multiple miscellaneous items. 

     Assigned to the incident was Detective Sergeant Steven Deville.  Deville received information that a white female and a white male removed the items from the residence and placed them into a white Ford pickup truck and left the area.  A short time later Deville located the truck at a residence on Theophile Road.  After obtaining and executing a search warrant, most of the stolen items were located in the residence, truck and shed.  While searching the shed for items the two suspects were discovered hiding behind a headboard that was stored in the shed.   Two arrests were made and all items recovered were returned to the owner.

     Christopher Dan Aucoin 35, of 221 Hill Street, Eunice, was arrested without incident and booked into the Ville Platte City Jail charged with felony theft. Aucoin remain incarcerated in an $18,000.00 bond set by Judge Gary Ortego.

      Jamie Carter, 37 of 1058 Andrus Lane, St. Landry was arrested without incident and booked into the Ville Platte City Jail charged with felony theft. Carter remains incarcerated in an $18,000.00 bond set by Judge Gary Ortego.

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    The Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce, today (Wednesday), heard from Julie Spor, the owner of a new cleaning company “Sweet Tea and Suds Cleaning Company” headquartered out of St. Landry. She announced that she does residential and commercial cleaning throughout the area. She also announced that they are bonded and insured.

   The chamber also welcomed new members: Sweet Tea and Suds Cleaning, Premiere Data Systems of Opelousas, Buller Family Dentistry in Mamou and Judy Guillory.

   The new manager at the Ville Platte Wal-Mart, Connie introduced herself and said she wants to work with local groups in supporting the community.

   It was announced that Congressman Mike Johnson will have a Town hall meeting in Ville Platte Friday Dec. 15 at 1:30pm at the Boys and Girls Club which is located at the old nursing home facility. The public is invited to attend.

   Chamber members were urged to participate in the Chamber of Commerce Christmas parade Sunday Dec. 3 at 5;30pm with lineup at 5;00pm at the Boys and Girls Club.

    There will be no December Chamber meeting. The next chamber meeting will be Wednesday January 17 at 12 noon.

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     District 6200 Rotary District Governor Martha Collins of Houma visited the Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) during their noon luncheon. She earlier visited with the club’s board members. Also accompanying her at the meeting were her husband, former District Governor Mike Collins and Assistant District Governor Richard Hidalgo of Opelousas.

    Collins praised the local club for the projects they are doing for the local community such as scholarships, the Choices Program and the Interact Club. She urged members to contribute more to the Rotary Foundation to help people in need all over the world.  She gave one example dealing with polio cases. A few years ago, there were 1000 new cases of polio every day in the world. With the help of Rotary and other groups, the cases were reduced to just 14 cases a day in just two countries.

   She encouraged the Ville Platte club to apply for District grants to help with community projects up to $5000. Also, Rotary International grants are available for projects of $30,000 or more.

   In closing she told club members that there are 1.2 million Rotarians in the world, 35,000 clubs and is in over 200 countries.

   She said , “You should quit giving when there are no more hungry children, homeless veterans and no more polio cases.”

   In other business, it was announced that the Rotary Club will begin its annual Choices program to 9th graders in parish schools on December 4.

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       A Mamou man was arrested on November 4 and charged with attempted murder in connection with a shooting incident, according to Phyllis Soileau with the Mamou Police Department. The subject was identified as Diquon Richard, age 19 of 1074 Shorty Lane, Mamou. The police spokesperson said the dispute centered between the subject and 3 adults and 3 juveniles. It began at the Exxon station and moved to Savoy Medical Center. The argument led, according to the police,  to Richard getting a pistol from his vehicle and began firing shots at the the group. No one was injured. One bullet hit the hospital building. Richard was charged with attempted murder and his bond has been set at $125,000.

     Two women were charged with attempting to drop off drugs to a patient at a chemical dependency facility in Mamou. The suspects were identified as Terrika Richard age 31 of Decater, Georgia and Sharonne Tezeno  age 29 of 1425 MLK Drive, Ville Platte. Richard was arrested and charged with distribution of schedule 4 and schedule 2 drugs and entering contraband into a medical institution.  Tezeno was charged with two counts of being a principal to the charges.  Tezeno drove the car for Richard. Richard is accused of leaving drugs for a patient right outside the New Horizons Chemical Dependency facility in Mamou.

   In another case, three Ville Platte men and four juveniles were arrested last week in connection with the theft of two four wheelers. The adult suspects were identified as Dalonvo Alfred age 17, Derrick Clark age 19 and Kendall Clark age 17 all of Ville Platte. They were each charged with theft over $5,000, trespassing, obstruction of justice and four counts of contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile. Also arrested were four juveniles, ranging from 16-16 years old. Mamou Police in cooperation with the Ville Platte Police were able to recover two 4-wheelers: one stolen from Ville Platte and one stolen from a residence on Duos street.

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   After holding a public hearing prior to its meeting Tuesday, the Ville Platte City Council adopted an ordinance approving the sale of up to five million dollars in utility bonds to complete phase three and phase four of the city wide water line replacement project.. Phase three is ending and phase four, the final phase,  will concentrate on Main and LaSalle Street water lines next year.

  Also the city council adopted another ordinance to partner with the Louisiana Municipal Association and use their administrative hearing protocol in dealing with overgrown properties such as tall grass and overgrown vegetation.

    Mayor Jennifer Vidrine announced that the city is accepting nominations for a slogan for the new “Welcome Sign” to be erected on the east side entrance way in front of Tobacco Plus. The new welcome sign will also have a flag display and a lighted fountain.

   She announced work crews are stringing up the Christmas lights on city streets but they will not be lit until Dec. 1. The annual Chamber of Commerce Christmas parade is scheduled for Dec. 3 at 5:30pm.

   In other action the city council:

--heard that Thaddeus Arvie of Chataignier is proposing to paint a mural of Dr. Martin Luther King on the side of the Southside MLK center once the council approves the sketch drawing and the cost;

--received news that city expenses dropped from September to October by some $57,362;

--approved the hiring of Shannon Semien as a patrol officer with the Ville Platte Police Department;

-received a report from the city fire department that in October the fire department responded to a total of 28 calls  including seven structure fires.

  

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       One of the largest crowds of people in quite a few years jammed Sixth Street in Mamou to attend the Veteran’s Day parade and then gathered at the American Legion Post Home grounds for the flag raising and public speaking event.

    The weather was perfect for a parade with clear skies and mild temperatures. The crowds of people viewed one of the largest and longest parades in years with Parade Marshal Retired General Ben Soileau greeting the throng. There were veterans riding in classic cars, jeeps, ATV’s and other vehicles. Two bands performed during the parade: Mamou High and Basile High.

    At the public speaking event, there was a fly over by a crop dusting plane and a helicopter. American Legion Post 123 Commander Charles Perdices was the emcee. General Soileau was the keynote speaker. Also speaking were District Judges Gary Ortego and Chuck West. A representative for Congressman Mike Johnson read a letter to the crowd in attendance. Mamou elementary students were awarded medals for their essays and shoe box patriotic displays. The Mamou elementary students enrolled in French Immersion said the Pledge of Allegiance in French and English. Fr. Richard Vidrine, a veteran himself, gave the invocation. The Mamou High band performed a number of patriotic songs during the program. Former commander James Fontenot was given a plaque of appreciation for his service to the legion post.

   At the conclusion of the program, auctioneer Kevin Fontenot auctioned off several home- made cakes and pies as a fund raiser for the post home.

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Rotary Club hears from Nancy Tabb Marcantel

November 7, 2017

 

    The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from Nancy Tabb Marcantel, President of the Animal Rescue Foundation of Louisiana that has been helping rescue and save dogs for the past 20 years. Marcantel is a well know singer and performer but her first love is saving animals.

    She shared several rescue stories with rotary club members. One story dealt with sending a lab to the President of the New York Yankees. Five of the labs her group rescued became New York City police dogs.

    Another dog was sent to an autistic child who never spoke but a few weeks after the child got the dog, he began speaking to the dog.

    Another rescue dog saved the life of a two year old who fell into the backyard pool.

    She was the special guest of Rotarian Annie Fruge.

    Club President Wayne Vidrine and Rotarian Leonard Glenn Fontenot  installed Bob Buroker and his wife, Barbara as official members.

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       On Monday, November 6, 2017 the Evangeline Parish Police Jury held their monthly meeting.

Charles Guillory, Ville Platte District Manager at the Department of Probation and Parole, announced his retirement in an address to the jury, and his decision to run for Sheriff in the October 2019 election. Guillory stated that it’s time to retire and put his experience to work for Evangeline Parish. Guillory is a military veteran with 37 years of State Employment experience. Guillory graduated from Police Academy and is knowledgeable about Louisiana law.

        Business approved by Police Jury:

  • A resolution was adopted and approved committing parish funds of up to $14,485 towards Gustav/Ike Beacon Gully Drainage Project.
  • 2017 millages were reviewed and adopted.
  • The October 2, 2017 Public Hearing, Committee, and Regular Meeting Minutes were approved.
  • The reappointment of Vic Slaven to the Te Mamou Water Board was approved.
  • The replacement of Amy Fontenot on Tourism Commission with Judy Guillory was approved.
  • Jury selected Edie Guillory as new Administrative Assistant for Health Unit.
  • The Evangeline Communications budget for 2018 was approved.
  • The replacement of Bradley Ardoin on the Library Board with Sandra Salazar was approved.
  • The payment of bills on file in the Police Jury Office was approved.

        Public Works Director Chester Granger gave his report.

Granger led with most recent news of someone stealing limestone from their stock piles. The Sheriff’s department was notified and the situation was handled.

Granger discussed the purchasing of new equipment, and reported that 2% equipment in District 2 is doing beautiful work, and Ward 2 equipment in District 7 is doing well also. Granger reported an incident that happened with one of their drivers a week ago. The driver was uninjured and the truck, which had been turned over on its side, had moderate damage. The driver was under a 90-day probation period, and as of 9:00 am Monday morning the driver was dismissed. A major incident within a 90-day probation period calls for dismissal. District 1,8, and 9 areas of Region A will start looking for a replacement driver. Drivers must have CDL, and must pass drug test and physical.

Lamar Johnson from District 4 was not in attendance, but asked the jury to approve the cutting of a few trees. Lamar stated in a letter addressed to the jury that two trees in Pratt cemetery need to be cut and costs would come out of Ward 5 cemetery funds. He stated that two other trees also need to be cut, but are in different locations, and costs would come out of road funds. Johnson’s request was approved by jury members.

Secretary-Treasurer Donald Bergeron gave his report.

Bergeron reported that Secretary of State Tom Schedler, and Governor John Bel Edwards approved a 2% pay increase for state classified employees who work in a Registrar of Voters office.  Bergeron stated that there are currently two employees in their Registrar of Voters office who are classified. Police Jury will be required to pay a 1% increase to the two employees at the Registrar of Voters office, beginning January 1st.

Lastly, Bergeron reported sales tax collections for September were $267,208.91.

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Evangeline School District Officials Speak at Rotary Club Meeting

October 31, 2017

 

     Evangeline Parish Superintendent of Schools Darwan Lazard and Assistant Superintendent of Schools Mike Lombas were the special guest speakers at today’s(Tuesday) meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club.

    Superintendent Lazard told club members that the Evangeline School District has a five year goal to move from textbooks to all electronic devices in the hands of all 6001 students. He said Vidrine Elementary is taking the lead in this effort as they have adopted the Google platform.

    He reported at Chicot Elementary, Health and Fitness is emphasized and teachers were able to secure over $25,000 in grant funding.

    The school board was able to secure funding without additional taxes to construct a Teacher Training and Technology Center adjacent to the school board office. He reported that French Immersion is going well at both Mamou and Ville Platte elementary schools.

   Assistant Superintendent Lombas reported that high school students can take advantage of dual enrollment courses to gain college credit. In fact, 26 students in the new LSU-E academy are working toward receiving their Associates college degree when they receive their high school diploma. A total of 168 parish students are participating in dual enrollment courses with LSUE earning college credit.

   Lombas also announced that the school district has begun a career academy to encourage students to go into education. “We need to grow our own teachers. There are not enough teachers to fill the vacancies,” he said.

   Lombas praised the local school district. He said he has worked in a number of school systems in the state but “the best school district I have ever worked for is here in Evangeline Parish. Our public schools are heading in the right direction.”

  

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    Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue reports a Ville Platte man was arrested  in an ongoing investigation.

     On September 23, Officers responded to a report of an assault where Officers learned that the victim had been struck with a set of brass knuckles causing a laceration to the top of the victim’s head which required multiple stitches.  After further investigation a warrant was issued for Steveniski Frank, 26 of 520 East Jackson Street, Ville Platte  on a charge of aggravated second degree battery. 

On Saturday, October 28,  Officers responding to a call to have him removed from his mother’s home on East Jackson Street, located Frank walking away from the residence.  Upon arresting Frank on the warrant for aggravated second degree battery, they located a loaded sawed off shot gun and extra rounds inside a duffle bag being carried by Frank.  Officers and Detectives found that the serial numbers on the shotgun had been scratched off.  Frank was also charged with carrying of a firearm by a convicted felon, illegal carrying of a weapon, and firearm with obliterated number. Frank was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail on a $110,000.00 bond and transferred to the Evangeline Parish Jail where he remains incarcerated.  

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

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    After all the rain Friday, the third annual Louisiana Experience Festival began with lots of sunshine and a brisk northerly wind. The cool weather did not keep away festival goers. The festival grounds quickly filled up with visitors enjoying the live music, food booths and arts and crafts booths. Also again this year, there was another classic car show with even more vintage vehicles on display. The festival is held on the LSUE campus grounds and is sponsored by the Eunice Rotary Club. One new display this year was a huge Ag Village with tractors and implements, livestock show and even Smokey Bear was present. The Classic Hits 92.5 KVPI road crew, Josh and Mark, were there covering it with a live remote broadcast

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Ville Platte Man in Jail After Troopers Find Cocaine in Vehicle


Calcasieu Parish – A Ville Platte Man was arrested last night after Troopers found cocaine in the vehicle he was driving on Interstate 10 in Calcasieu Parish.

On Wednesday, October 25, 2017, shortly after 9:00 p.m., a Trooper assigned to Louisiana State Police Troop D stopped a 2013 Buick Lacrosse on Interstate 10 east for a traffic violation.  Troopers requested permission to search the vehicle but the driver, 39-year-old Eric Richard of Ville Platte, refused to give consent.

A State Police K-9 was deployed and indicated the presence of narcotics in the vehicle.  During a search of the vehicle, approximately 2 pounds of powdered cocaine with an estimated street value of $74,000 was located in the vehicle.  

Richard was charged with following too close, defective vehicle equipment and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.  He was booked into the Calcasieu Parish Correctional Center.

If convicted, Richard faces up to 30 years in prison and up to a $50,000 fine.

Troopers work to protect the citizens of our state from the illicit manufacturing, distribution, selling, and use of drugs by enforcing federal and state laws governing such activities. The general public may report narcotic and/or drug violations by calling the nearest State Police Narcotics office.  For local office phone numbers please visit our website, www.LSP.org.

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       A large group of Bayou Chicot Elementary teachers and parents Wednesday filled the Evangeline Parish School Board meeting room as the school was being showcased for their ability to secure health and wellness grand funding.  Chicot School Principal Mary Chris Fontenot and Food Supervisor Karen Soileau announced that some $25,000 in grant funding was awarded to the rural school through the hard work of two school teachers: Ann Soileau and Amy Andrus.

   The two instructors explained some of the projects that were funded: walk kits that let students walk around and listen to instructive pod casts through an “Eat, Move and Grow grant; they were able to get grant funds to install basketball goals for Jr. High students; involving school students to grow and appreciate home gardening by involving students to grow the largest cabbage head and win a $1000; a grab and go breakfast to encourage students to eat a healthy breakfast by giving them the option to grab a healthy breakfast kit and eat it in the classroom; received an award to take a school class on a fully funded class trip to a civil war site. Their big goals now are to secure funding to air condition the school gym, construct a school track and install an electronic sign for the school.             Supt. Darwan Lazard and members of the school thanked the two teachers and principals for their hard work. Principal Mary Chris Fontenot played an original song sung by seventh graders called “We Got Class” using the music from a Lady Antebellum song “You Look Good.” KVPI plans to play the song back during La Tass de Café Monday morning at 8:30am on KVPI AM and FM.

    In other action, Chief Financial Officers Amy Lafleur reported that sales tax collections are down $47,210 in September as compared to the previous September.

    Supt. Lazard, members of the staff and all of the school board were all wearing special shirts recognizing bus drivers. This week is “National School Bus Safety Week”. “This is our way of saying how much we appreciate their service to our students”, Lazard said.

      Technology Supervisor Connie Guillory reported that with the assistance of E-Rate funding, the Evangeline Parish School District was able to save nearly $500,000 in funding for technology such as internet access, Wi Fi and Wide Area Network.

    Supt. Lazard announces that businesses who hire school students in the new work based special education program will be able to get tax credits from the state.

    

 

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      The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from Vicky Dupre, with the Louisiana Dept. of Insurance’s S.H.I.P. program. SHIP stands for Louisiana Senior Health Insurance Information Program. The program offers free Medicare counseling. There are 816,000 Medicare recipients in Louisiana. Right now, it is Medicare Open Enrollment through the end of the December. Her agency offers free counseling for Medicare. Her counselors have no connection with any insurance company or product. She encourages seniors to call her office toll free at 1-800-259-5300 for information and advice. She was the special guest of Rotary Club member Lisa Deshotel.

    In other club news, Club President Wayne Vidrine announced that the Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser was given a tour of Chicot State Park by State Rep. Bernard LeBas and shown how the park needs additional financial assistance.

   Also, it was announced that that the rotary club will sponsor a Halloween social next Tuesday night Oct. 24 at 6;00pm at Dr. Aswell’s Camping Lodge near Chicot Park. Due to the social taking place, there will be no noon meeting next week.

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The 2017 Grand Parade of Cotton rolled down Main Street today at noon with a long line of marching units, floats and queens and dignitaries. Classic Hits 92.5 KVPI was there broadcasting live from the start of the parade at Investar Bank.

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   The weather was warm and the crowds of family, friends and well wishers packed along the side of the track Sunday afternoon for the 2017 running of the Tournoi. Here are the results of the running of the Tournoi:

   Congratulations to the 2017 Tournoi Champ-Eric Guillory who has won it for the sixth time in a row. No Tournoi champ has ever done that before. Eric and his horse, General Lee also won the fastest time award. Eric is a third generation rider: his father Kent Guillory won the championship in 1991 and Eric’s grandfather, Winston Guillory, -a three time champ in 1963, 1965 and 1971. Eric also won the champion saddle in memory of Alyssa Guillory donated by Mr and Mrs. John L. Soileau.
 

   Second place-Marcus Guillory, Third Place-Ryan Haller, Fourth Place-Kent Saucier, Fifth Place- Alex Haller; Sixth Place- Keith Saucier; Seventh Place- Lisa Crane; Eith Place- John Ross Guillory; Ninth Place- Paul Fontenot and Tenth Place- Shane Lee. The top ten this year are automatically qualified to run in next year’s running of the Tournoi. The sportsmanship award went to Bryce Johnson who fell off his horse while competing in the second round. Acadian Ambulance medics attended to him and said he is going to an area hospital to be treated for a fractured arm.

   Once again this year, we had  the mother-daughter team of Lisa Crane and Cheyenne Crane competing in the Tournoi.

     This year’s Tournoi was dedicated to the Late Jerry Dupre, past Tournoi board member. Once again this year’s emcee was Charlie Manuel. Miss Tournoi Queen is Holly Kay, Teen Tournoi Queen is Charley Bieber and Junior Tournoi Queen is Samara LaFleur.

     KVPI-FM 92.5 was there covering the entire Tournoi with Mark and A.J. from start to the announcement of the winners. KVPI has been covering Tournoi events since we signed on in 1953.

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      The turnout for Saturday’s election in Evangeline Parish as well as statewide was light due to the few local races to generate a lot of interest among the voters.

    There were no local elections in Evangeline Parish. Here are the parish results:

For Secretary of State:  Angele Davis was the top vote getter with 479 voters, followed by John Shroeder with 407 votes, Derrel Edwards with 358 votes, Neil Riser with 331 votes, Terry Hughes 51 votes and Joseph Little with 32 votes. Statewide, there appears to be a runoff in the works for State Treasurer between Derrell Edwards with 31 percent of the vote and the second place finisher John Shroeder with 24 percent of the vote. Angele Davis was third with 22 percent, Neil Riser with 18 percent, Terry Hughes with 3 percent and Joseph Little with 2 percent of the vote.

     In the amendments: Amendment #1 which offers an exemption of property taxes for construction sites passed by 66 percent of the voters statewide. Here in Evangeline Parish, 1119 votes for and 474 votes no;

      Amendmbet #2- offers homestead exemption for unmarried surviving spouse, 67 percent of the voters statewide said year. Here is Evangeline Parish, voters passed it 1119 votes for and 534 voters no;

      Amendment #3 dedicates any new taxes into a construction sub-fund. That amendment passed statewide by 53 percent of the voters. In Evangeline Parish, it was voted down 822 to 817.

      Special thanks to the Clerk of Court’s staff for their assistance in getting these numbers for our listeners.

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     One of the largest crowds ever jammed into downtown Mamou this morning to join with Savoy Cancer Center and its sponsors for the annual benefit walk/run. All of the funds raised from this 5K walk/run help indigent cancer patients.

     The weather was perfect as teams gathered on Sixth Street in Mamou across from Fred’s Lounge to begin the walk and run. There was a Zumba warm up and the cancer survivors were recognized.

     The Classic Hits 92.5 KVPI road crew, Becky Vidrine and Carly Chaumont covered the event live for listeners who could not attend. Classic Hits 92.5 KVPI was a corporate sponsor for the event.

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        The annual St. Peter’s/St. Theresa Fall Festival in Pine Prairie was another big success. The weather cooperated with clear skies and warm temperatures,

       The event began Friday night with fish fried dinners and a talent show held in the old church building. First place winner was Bryce Boyles of Alexandria won first place honors and Jolie Aucoin came in second place.

       On Saturday, the church hall building was full of young children enjoying breakfast with their favorite Disney characters including Mickey and Minnie Mouse and Donald Duck and the characters from Frozen. There were hayrides and train rides, bingo games, a silent auction, face painting and much more.

     There was a gumbo cook off and the grand champion winner was Donald Vidrine.

     A dunking booth was something new where celebrities were dunked.

     Live music was played with Fr. Maynes and a trio of musicians in the church hall.

    Classic Hits 92.5 KVPI was there covering it with a live remote today

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The 4-H Cotton Pickin' Pet Show took place this afternoon in the Civic Center pavilion with parish 4-H'ers showing off their prized pets . Some of the students dressed up for the event. I am sure the judges had a tough time in deciding who the winners would be. Classic Hits 92.5 KVPI was there doing special live reports with Becky Vidrine and Simon.

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     A large crowd of festival goers attended the first night of the 2017 Louisiana Cotton Festival Tuesday night at the Ville Platte Civic Center. The highlights of the night were the crowning of the King and Queen of Heritage Manor Nursing Home and the showcasing of the young Contredanse dancers. Cotton Festival Association Board President Pat Derousselle was the emcee. KVPI FM 92.5 was there covering it live for our lsiteners.

     The new 2017 Heritage Manor King is James Brown, age 80 of Plaisance. He has two children, three grandchildren and five great grandchildren. He loves fishing and hunting and playing his harmonica, fiddle and accordion. He replaces the late Eldridge Vidrine, last year’s King. The first runner up to the King was Allen Ardoin age 94 of Grand Prairie. He has one child, three grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. He was raised on a cotton and corn farm. He is a Navy veteran and operated the Evangeline Electric Fixit Shop for many years.

   The new Queen of Heritage Manor is Hazel Ortego age 91 of Grand Prairie. She was an LPN for 30 years. She has 3 children, 6 grand children and 12 great grandchildren. She was raised on a farm with her siblings. She replaces outgoing Queen Gertrude Soileau. The first runner up to the Queen was Marjorie Chapman, 80 year old resident of Mamou. She was a beautician for 27 years. She has 7 children, 19 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren. She was also raised on a farm.

   Another major highlight was the presentation of the Contredanse dancers all comprised of young pre teen dancers doing the Cajun square dancing. The dancers this year are: Grace Bordelon, the daughter of Melanie and John Bordelon; Beau Fontenot, son of Shelly and Joey Fontenot; Kaden Ardoin, son of Nicholas and Erica Ardoin; John Bordelon, son of Johnny and  Melanie Bordelon; Stephanie Vidrine, the daughter of Caralire and Jason Vidrine; Peyton Fontenot, son of Ebony Fontenot; Marcus Sam, son of Donald and Christina Sam; Ashlynn Thibodeaux, the daughter of Daniel and Courtney Thibodeaux; Lillian Stanfield, the daughter of Justin and Destiny Lafleur; Susan Lafleur, the daughter of Justin and Destiny Lafleur; Hannah Arabie, the daughter of Dustin and Miranda Arabie; Deana Blankenship, the daughter of Bruce and Sharon Blankenship; Marlinskie Viltz, son of Wesley Winfrey and Sharin Wiltz; Joshua Williams, son of Vasean and Jamie Williams; Baleigh Williams daughter of Vasean and Jamie Williams; Kaislyn Lafleur, daughter of Michelle Brown and Jeremy Lafleur; Leslie Forman, son of Kim Leger and Shanendoah Forman; Bailey Edmund, daughter of Elizabeth Edmund and  Zoey Goudy, daughter of She’re and Julian Goudy. The dancers were under the direction of Anita Fontenot and Melanie Soileau.

     Among the festival royalty in attendance was Col. Cotton Bernard Lebas.

    The dancers danced to the music of Lennis Soileau and the Country Playboys.

  

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    The Rotary Club of Ville Platte , Tuesday, heard from club member, Brent Coreil review the articles of incorporation and the goals of the organization. Coreil is one of the longest serving members of the club having been a member for 43 years. Rotary was organized to help develop acquaintances in the community, support high ethical standards in our businesses and advance international relationships. The avenues of service include club service, vocational service, international service and youth service. Potential club members must be of good character and possess leadership qualities.

   Club member Larry Lachney announced there will be a Halloween social Tuesday Oct. 24 at 6;00pm at Dr. Chuck Aswell’s lodge near the arboretum. There will be no noon meeting that day.

   It was also announced that $2100 was collected by the rotary club for hurricane relief for victims of the storm in Southeast Texas. The club is looking at possibly donating the funds to the Beaumont Chamber of Commerce for use to help needy students with school supplies.

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Sheriff Eddie Soileau, of the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office has released the following:

 

Tuesday evening, September 12, 2017 Deputies discovered a male subject fitting the description of Matthew Deville who was wanted by Lafayette Police Department for 2nd Degree Robbery near the 3900 Block of the Whiteville Road. After a positive identification was made Deputies and the wanted subject ensued in a foot pursuit.

 

Shortly after, Deville was located inside the culvert of a ditch. He was ordered by Deputies on scene to exit the culvert in which he complied. Deville was peacefully detained and transported to the Evangeline Parish Jail where he was charged with Aggravated Battery of a Police Officer and Resisting an Officer.

 

Since then Deville has made bail, and was transferred to Lafayette to face charges of 2nd Degree Robbery.

 

 

 

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64th Louisiana Cotton Festival Schedule:

Tuesday, October 10, 2017
5:00 pm-- Doors open for live music & dancing then Contradanse & Crowning of Le Roi et La Reine of the local nursing home at 6:30pm, North Side Civic Center
(Admission: $5.00 for Adults and $2.00 for Children 5 years and under)

Wednesday, October 11, 2017
3:30 pm-- 4-H Cotton Food Fest, North Side Civic Center (judging begins at 4:00pm)

4:00 pm-- 4-H Cotton Pickin’ Pet Show, North Side
Civic Center Pavilion

5:00 pm--Family Night at the Carnival
(Admission to fairgrounds is FREE)
5:00 pm to 10:00 pm -- Bracelet hours at Carnival

Thursday, October 12, 2017
5:00 pm-- Family Night at the Carnival
(Admission to fairgrounds is FREE)
5:00 pm to 10:00 pm -- Bracelet hours at Carnival

Friday, October 13, 2017
Admission all day into fairgrounds
Adults & children 13yrs & over=$6.00
$2.00 for Children 12yrs to 6 yrs. old
5 yrs. and under =FREE

1:00 pm-- Carnival opens

1:00 to 5:00 pm-- Bracelet hours at Carnival

6:00 to 12 Midnight – ‘ Fais-Do-D0’ - Street Dance

6:00 to 7:45 pm – Travis Matte and the Kingpins

8:00 to 9: 45pm – Keith Frank and The Soileau Zydeco Band

10:00 to 12 Midnight – Category 6
Saturday, October 14, 2017
10:00 – 10:30 am – Contestants and Visiting Queens arrive

11:00 am – Contestant interviews (private event)

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Royal Reception (private invite)

1:00 pm – Family Day at the Carnival
(Admission to fairgrounds is FREE)
1:00 pm to 5:00 pm -- Bracelet hours at Carnival

5:30 pm -- Cotton Coronation - Crowning of King & Queen Cotton (Admission to Coronation- $5.00 for adults and children)

Sunday, October 15, 2017
8:30 am—Cotton Harvest Mass-Our Lady Queen of All Saints in Ville Platte 1220 West Dardeau Street

12:00 pm—“Grand Parade of Cotton”, Main Street running West to East

1:00 pm – Family Day at the Carnival
(Admission to fairgrounds is FREE)
1:00 – 5:00 pm – Bracelet hours at Carnival
3:00 pm—Running of the Tournoi-Industrial Park

6:00 pm— Cotton Festival 2017 Closes!

Cotton Fair is Gold Star Amusements

All Cotton Festival events are held at the North Side Civic Center –704 N. Soileau Street

 

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     Crowds of people, young and old, attended the 2017 Evangeline Parish Library book Fest Saturday to buy used books at incredible low prices,  visit with book authors , shop for arts and crafts and enjoy a tasty meal.

     The weather cooperated with cloudy skies that kept temperatures from getting too warm for those visiting the various booths in the front and in the courtyard. Book lovers were picking up their favorite books as low as ten cents. The book sale had over a thousand used books and was a major fund raiser for the Friends of the Library.

     Some 14 authors showed off their books to passers -by while children enjoyed face painting and a petting zoo. People enjoyed delicious foods like jambalaya, BBQ sandwiches and BBQ boudin.

    A special presentation was made to Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine by Library Director Mary Foster-Galosso. Mayor Vidrine recently retired after serving many years as a member of the Library board.

   KVPI FM 92.5 was there covering the event with a live remote during the morning.

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    Turnout has been low for early voting in Evangeline Parish where there are no local races or local issues to generate interest among voters. Registrar of Voters Lucas Buller announced 149 voters have voted so far through Thursday for the October 14 election for State Treasurer and to decide the fate of three constitutional amendments. Here is the breakdown: 22 voted Saturday, 26 voted Monday and again on Tuesday,  38 people voted Wednesday and 37 people voted Thursday. The early voting is going on today through Saturday at the Registrar of Voters office in the courthouse.

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Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue reports police are searching  for a suspect in stabbing incident.

On September 29, 2017 at approximately 8:45 p.m. Officers with the Ville Platte Police Department responded to Mercy Regional Hospital in reference to a stabbing.  Upon arrival Officers made contact with the victim who stated that as he was attempting to break up a fight between two male subjects, one of the male subjects swung and hit him in the neck area.  The victim stated that he then realized the suspect had a knife and he had been stabbed in the neck.  Officers notified Detectives and turned the incident over to them for investigation. 

 

Officers obtained the suspects information and an arrest warrant was issued for Sandress Calvin, 32 of 1214 Martin Luther King Drive, Ville Platte charge of aggravated battery. 

Chief Lartigue is asking anyone who knows the whereabouts of Sandress Calvin to contact the Ville Platte Police Department by calling 363-1313.  Your call will remain anonymous

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        Evangeline Parish public school student enrollment showed an increase in the final enrollments on October 2 according to Superintendent of Schools Darwan Lazard. The school superintendent told members of the school board Wednesday that there are 6001 students enrolled in parish schools  as compared to the earlier count of 5985 students.  Mamou High is the largest school with 818 students followed closely by Ville Platte High with 806. Bayou Chicot is the largest elementary school with 736 students.

       In other business, Lazard said he attended a meeting with school leaders and public officials to learn more about the new accountability program. He said most leaders are upset over the proposed changes. The current means of testing students are showing 43 percent of all schools in the state are rated with an “A” or “B” grade. In fact, 10 of the 11 schools in Evangeline Parish this past year were either ranked A or B. It was predicted that once the new accountability program kicks in, 45 percent of all schools in the state will drop to a “D” grade. The public will become upset with the drop in grades because they will not understand that the state is using a different instrument or a different form of evaluation to arrive at the grade.

      It was also announced at Wednesday’s meeting that the newly constructed Teacher Training and Technology building is substantially complete located next to the school board building on Tee Mamou road. The building will begin to be staffed today. The superintendent announced that a grand opening is planned in the near future for the general public to come and tour the new facility.

       In other action, the school board:

--approved the price quote of Joey West construction of $9,900 to make repairs to the Pine Prairie High stadium bleachers;

--approved payment of $80,945 for payment to Pat Williams construction for a new multipurpose building at W.W. Stewart Elementary in Basile.

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    The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from Pat Derousselle, President of the Louisiana Cotton Festival Association. Next week’s festival will be the 64th annual festival. He announced that since the beginning of the year, 14 festivals have folded due to either lack of funding or participation. “I am happy to say, Cotton is still here and we plan to be here for a long time to come,” said Derouselle. He noted that Goldstar Amusements, that bring sits carnival to the festival each year has recently won a national award for safety for its riders.

   Derousselle announced that this year’s festival royalty includes: King Cotton- Lt. Governor Billy Nungessor; Col. Cotton-State Representative Bernard LeBas and Parade Marshal-Janie Knighten. The festival begins Tuesday Oct. 10 with the Contredanse and the crowning of the King and Queen of Heritage Manor Nursing home at the Civic Center; 4-H Cooking contest and Pet Show Wednesday Oct. 11 at the Civic Center and pavilion. The carnival rides open Wednesday. On Friday night, the street dance includes Travis Matte, Keith Frank and Category Six; On Saturday , the coronation of the Cotton Festival Queen 65 at 5:30pm; On Sunday Oct. 15, the day begins with the Cotton Festival Mass at Our Lady Queen of All Saints at 8:30am; the Grand Parade of Cotton  at 12 noon and the running of the tournoi at the Industrial Park at 2:00pm. He was the special guest of Rotarian Bill Brunet.

  Club President Wayne Vidrine announced the newest club member to join the group: Maggie Eaves. It was also announced that the next club social is scheduled for October 24.

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     October begins Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and on Monday, October 2nd, Bras on the Bayou celebrated their fourth year of fundraising. The event was held at the Steam Boat restaurant, in Washington. Within days of advertising, tickets were all sold out, but KVPI was lucky enough to grab a ticket. The night's festivities included door prizes, a dance off, a bra decorating contest, fine dining, inspiring stories, and fireworks to close out. The bra decorating competition and the parade of bras, modeled by men, raised $629.00 for cancer research. The winner of the bra decorating contest was crowned "Queen Ta Ta" and the inspiring design was "Take care of your pumpkins". Bras on the Bayou, and it's hard working volunteers, want to thank everyone who helped make this year's fundraiser a success

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      Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Camille Fontenot addressed the Evangeline Parish Police Jury Monday to show her concerns over the Industrial Park and the lack of jobs in our parish. She said “Evangeline Parish is dying for the lack of jobs and industry”. She noted the industrial Park is 40 years old and said the tall grass at some of the sites is not appealing for potential industrial clients. She proposed to the police jury to engage the services of an architect from Baton Rouge to prepare a master plan for the industrial park and secondly find the funds to construct a waste water plant to treat the industrial waste from the park. Funds are available through the State Department of Economic Development from Cleco for areas serviced by Cleco.

      Former District Attorney Brent Coreil also complained about some of the park sites such as the deserted National Guard armory site where the grass is not being cut and the windows are broken. He said we need to rejuvenate our site to make it presentable for future industries.

      The jury approved a motion to our local legislative delegation to inquire in to the possible funding sources and if the parish is eligible to be granted some of these funds through the Department of Economic Development.

      State Representative Bernard LeBas told the jury that he confirmed that Cleco has set aside $7 million dollars for economic development through the state for areas served by Cleco.

      Dr. William “ToJo” Ward, Chairman of the Evangeline Parish Industrial Board, was more upbeat. “Our Industrial Park is industry ready and we will eventually land an industry tenant. Industries like Cameron, Cabot are truly blessings to our parish.”

      In other business, Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine asked for the parish’s help in cleaning out drainage canals and laterals to help reduce flooding problems in the city.

      Jurors explained to the mayor that the parish does not have tax funds to help pay for the cost of using equipment and labor inside the city. They can legally go help out the city but the parish will have to charge the city for the work done.

      Mayor Jennifer Vidrine said the city does not have the large heavy equipment to do the work that needs to be done so she wanted the parish to step In under a cooperative endeavor agreement at no cost to the city.

      Jurors explained to the mayor that the jury can handle the drainage work of the city canals but going into road side ditches is another matter all together. The jury agreed to help with the city canals but it may take up to a year for the work to be done.

     In other action:

--advertised to lease new equipment like a limb cutter, track hoe and a mini-excavator;

--received news that the police jury was dismissed from any liability in the long running U.S. Justice Department investigation against the sheriff’s office and city police over the use of investigative holds used against suspects;

--re-appointed  Bryan Bieber to the Prairie Mamou Drainage Board and Nat Thomas and Lyn Gooden to the 9-1-1 Board; and appointed Hilda Thomas to the Evangeline Council on Aging;

-- heard from Secretary Treasurer Donald Bergeron announce that the jury is still reviewing and studying the possibility of leasing Crooked Creek Park to private groups. He said no decisions will be reached until sometime next year.

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        Friends and supporters of St. Edmund’s High School packed the LSU E Student Union Wednesday night and many more were listening to 92.5 KVPI FM for the annual radio auction for the benefit of the St. Ed’s Athletic Booster Club.

       Once again, KVPI FM 92.5 was there broadcasting the four hour radio auction live from LSU-E. Some 130 items went on the auction block including popular hunting trips. The announcers were St. Landry Parish Judge Gerard Caswell and C.P.A. Mike Johnson. Supporters gathered in the nearby cafeteria to  hear the radio broadcast and enjoyed gumbo and refreshments while bidding.

    St. Ed’s Booster Club President Dr. Randy Miller expressed his appreciation and thanks to the club members, parents and supporters of the school for their hard work and support of the auction.

 

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      The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from Pre-Need Funeral Specialist Barbara Charlie Thibodeaux. Barbara said she has been doing this type of work for the past 23 years and is currently employed at La Ville Funeral Home. She told rotary members that her mother died suddenly of a massive heart attack on an Easter Sunday several years ago and she and the rest of her siblings had to make the final arrangements while they were grieving. “I want to make sure others don’t have to face the tough decisions at a time of losing a loved one like I did.” Pre planning is vital and she said by  pre paying your funeral expenses, a person can lock in the cost at today’s prices. She was the special guest of Rotarian Darin Bordelon.

     The Rotary Club welcomed its newest member: Bob Buroker. It was noted that this is the first time a husband and wife were both members of the club: Barbara and now her husband Bob Buroker;

     Club President Wayne Vidrine read a letter of thanks from First United Methodist Church of Fulsheer, Texas for the generous donation from the local rotary club to help victims of the recent hurricane in the Houston, Texas area;

       Club members were reminded that Rotary is planning a social October 24 where spouses and potential new members will be welcomed.

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Ville Platte Police Chief Lartigue reports multiple vehicle break-ins and two arrests.

 

On , September 9, 2017 Officers and Detectives with the Ville Platte Police Department responded to a report of a break in of a vehicle in a parking lot of a school on East Main Street.  Upon arrival Detectives learned that the suspect had broken a side window with a brick or rock and had stolen a Coach purse, a wallet and approximately $200.00 in cash. 

On Friday, September 15, 2017 Officers responded to a report of multiple vehicles that were broken into at the same location.  A witness heard glass breaking and observed a black female and a black male run from the area.  Officer’s in the area observed the black female and black male running from the area as the report was dispatched to them.  Officer’s located the suspects that fled and detained them. 

Officer’s determined that four vehicles were broken into at that location.  Side windows were broken, vehicles mirrors and door handles were damaged and cash and purses were taken. 

The black male juvenile was released to the custody of his parents until his court appearance.  Arrested was Nakaya Joseph, 17 of 116 East Lincoln Road.  Joseph was charged with 1 count criminal mischief, 4 counts simple burglary, 3 counts of criminal damage to property.  Joseph was transported to the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office on a total bond amount of $39,000.00.

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     The Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce today (Wednesday) had Brian Miller with Premiere Data Systems as the guest speaker. Miller did a presentation on Cyber Security. He said the #1 threat facing businesses and individuals surfing the net is ransom ware. Malware is encrypted in a file which locks up your computer. The perpetrator demands bitcoins or  something in return to unlock your computer so you can access your files. Miller advised those who get infected with the ransom ware, do not pay what they are demanding. Have your data backed up and have a plan prepared. He offered the following tips: manage your passwords, back up your data on a regular basis, keep your anti -virus and firewalls updated, use caution in clicking on an unknown website or email and be aware of social media posts.

   In other chamber news, Library outreach director Suzie Lemoine announced that there will be 27 vendors with booths for the upcoming Library Book Fair Saturday Oct. 7.

  Chamber Executive Director Camille Fontenot announced that the chamber has been invited by Pine Prairie Energy to tour their 600 million dollar facility in Easton Tuesday Oct. 17 at 5;00pm. Plans are to have chamber members take a bus ride to the plant and be treated to a meal.

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       A large group of citizens from the Shady Acres subdivision attended the Ville Platte City Council meeting Tuesday complaining the city is moving too slow in improving the drainage problems in that area of the city. Faye Lemoine said flooding took place in homes last August and again in April of this year. She felt the city  does not have place drainage as a high priority.

     Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine told Lemoine and the residents “You have my word as mayor that the flooding is a high priority. We have to follow procedures and sometimes it takes time to accomplish the plan of action.”

    Engineer Ronnie Landreneau , who lives in the same subdivision, is recommending the city bid out a part of the project to a contractor with the proper equipment to clean out all of the ditches in the area and remove and replace about a half mile of 12 inch pipe.

   Residents were also asked to attend police jury meetings to make sure jurors  are cleaning the area canals that the city water drains into. Mayor Jennifer Vidrine said the city is also working on other areas that are prone to flooding such as Railroad, MLK and Soileau Streets  .

   In other business, the mayor announced:

--the city spent $31,000 more in August than in July because of an insurance premium was due;

--the hiring of four new part time officers in the police department: three jailers and one dispatcher;

--that seven abandoned homes were torn down including the Dr. Dupre home on West Main and seven over grown lots were cleaned up;

--received news that a grant was approved to construct a subdivision of ten single family homes that will be sold to first time home buyers or rented;

--that the police reported for August that 641 calls came in, worked 38 traffic accidents and 35 people were arrested;

--the fire department announced that in August, they received 12 fire calls including one house fire.

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       The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from Robin Stokes with the Better Business Bureau of Lafayette. Stokes heads up the educational arm of the local bureau informing the public of scams going on in our area. She reported she visits local senior groups on a regular basis to warn them about scammers. Stokes was informed that a local Ville Platte senior lost $15,000 in a funeral scam over several years. The scammers had taken her money over several years.  The caller ID’s doesn’t help anymore as the scammers can use local number. Some of the more popular scams are that the person being called won a grant or they owe money to the IRS for back taxes. She advised those who get calls like this, to contact the Better Business Bureau and also report it to local police. Stokes said she does special seminars for investment frauds and cyber security and often visits schools. Rotarian Nicole Wenger was in charge of the program.

      In other business, Club President Wayne Vidrine announced that the Ville Platte club reached its goal of matching a $1000 anonymous donation to assist those victims from Hurricane Harvey. Earlier, the club had raised $2500 in donations from club members to help victims through a church shelter. With the newest donations, the club has now raised $4500 all for hurricane relief.

     Vidrine reported that the club has scheduled a Halloween social planned for October 24 where spouses and potential members will be invited.

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Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue reports 3 arrests and recovered four wheelers

 

On Sunday afternoon  September 10, 2017, Officers and Detectives with the Ville Platte Police Department responded to a report of multiple black male juveniles riding on the roadway on four wheelers. Officers attempted to stop the two four wheelers near Alton Locks Drive, a short pursuit ensued as the juveniles traveled down multiple streets in the city.  After following and tracking them, Detectives located the four wheelers near Lornette Street in a field, the juveniles fled on foot and were apprehended a short time later.  Three black male juveniles were arrested and released to the custody of their parents pending a court appearance.

 One of the four wheelers that was located had been reported missing the morning of September 17, 2017 and was returned to the owner.  Detectives found the wiring system had been cut on the four wheeler. 

The pictured four wheeler was also located and at this time the Ville Platte Police Department is searching for the owner.  If you believe that this four wheeler belongs to you and you can provide paperwork or identifying information, please contact the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.

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The Evangeline Parish E-9-1-1 Office held a successful open house and ribbon cutting at its facility today at the Industrial Park. Many parish officials, first responders, and emergency officials gathered at its new site to congratulate Liz Hill and her staff along with Board chairman Pat Derouselle. KVPI FM 92.5 was there with Becky Vidrine covering the entire event.

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1 SUSPECT ARRESTED FOR:

14:81 Indecent Behavior with juvenile

 

                On August 2nd, 2017 Pine Prairie Police received a complaint in reference to Indecent Behavior with a Juvenile.  During the investigation, it was alleged that Jimmie D Duhon age 47 performed indecent acts of a sexual nature with a juvenile subject while living in the Village Limits of Pine Prairie. During the 3 week investigation, an arrest warrant was issued for Mr. Duhon by Judge Chuck West with a $50,000 bond. Mr. Duhon was located by Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office on September 12, 2017 and held on our warrant. He was brought to Evangeline Parish Jail where he was booked on those charges where he awaits bond. We thank the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in locating Mr. Duhon.

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     The Evangeline Parish Police Jury, Monday, received two offers from local residents to lease Crooked Creek Park. Jury Secretary Treasurer Donald Bergeron said the jury is looking at exploring that option. The parish owned 300 acre park is about 40 years old and contains over 100 camping sites along with a fishing lake and a sandy beach. Bergeron said jurors plan to be cautious of any lease to make sure the taxpayer’s investment is protected. The jury agreed to formally advertise to lease the park and review the bids.

       In other business, the police jury approved the following appointments: Sandra Jacobs to replace Mayor Jennifer Vidrine on the Parish Library board and  Pam Hall to the Mamou Drainage Board; the following were re -appointed to serve another term: Charles Benny Fontenot and Wendell Brunet to the Vidrine Drainage board; Bryan Bieber and Darrell McGee to the Prairie Mamou Drainage Board; Clem Manuel and Paul Berzas to the Duralde Gravity Drainage Board; Ralph Celestine to the Mamou Drainage Board; Lynn Gooden and Nathaniel Thomas to the Evangeline Parish Communications Board.

      Also the jury approved picking up the election day expenses for the following polls that do not meet the minimum voter numbers: Lake Cove, Faubourg, Chauncey Pitre Ag  Arena, Veterans Home and Lincoln Road. The state mandates that a poll must have a minimum of 300 registered voters. If not, they should consolidate. The jury did request the state to consider paying the election expenses for Lake Cove under extra ordinary circumstances since the majority of voters are low income and it would cause a hardship for voters to travel to another precinct.

      In other action, the jury was notified that the security camera project is completed for the courthouse at a cost of $40,000; sales tax collections for July amounted to $266,692, a drop of $40,000 from the month before; and the Beacon’s Gully Bridge project is finally complete after eight years at a cost of $600,000.

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      The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from Casey Duos with Savoy Medical Center. Duos is a pharmacist with Savoy Medical but also works in chemo therapy at Savoy Cancer Center. She is the chair person for the annual Savoy Cancer Breast Cancer Walk Saturday Oct. 14. All of the funds raised from this annual benefit go to help indigent cancer patients with co-pay payments, prosthesis and wigs.

   The event will attract some 500 participants in the 5-K run/walk, activities, food and live music. They are still looking for additional sponsors from businesses and corporations.

   She was the guest of Rotarian Dr. Ted Ardoin.

   In other business, Rotary Club President Wayne Vidrine announced the names of four local student recipients of a local Rotary Club scholarship at LSU Eunice.

 

  Also it was announced that $600 has been collected so far in a fund raising drive to match a $1000 donation from an anonymous donor from the club to assist victims from Tropical Storm Harvey in the Houston Texas area. This is on top of $2500 collected earlier.

  

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        Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue reports a search for suspect for attempted second degree murder

 

 

       On the date of September 11, 2017 Officers with the Ville Platte Police Department responded to a report of shots fired in the 100 block of East Oak. Upon arrival Officers observed a white male subject walking out of the residence with blood all over his clothing. The subject had a single gunshot wound underneath his left arm. Witnesses stated that the subject was in an altercation with four black males where he was struck repeatedly including being struck physically with a pistol. The subject had cuts and marks on his arm, face and head.  At some point during the altercation one of the black male suspects pulled out a pistol and shot the white male.

 

       The gunshot victim was transported by Acadian Ambulance to Mercy Regional Medical Center. The on call Detective responded to the scene and after further investigation an arrest warrant was issued for Lawrence L. Fontenot, 24 of 2930 Kenneth Street, Ville Platte.  Fontenot was charged with attempted second degree murder.  Fontenot’s bond is set at $100,000.00. 

 

      Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Lawrence L. Fontenot is asked to call the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.  Your call will remain anonymous.                                                                                                                                                                                       

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      The Tournoi eliminations were held Sunday at the Industrial Park Tournoi track. Unlike last year, the weather was perfect for the riders. Steve “Buffy” Guillory told KVPI News that the time keepers were retired Tournoi riders. Here are the six riders who will join the top ten riders from last year for this year’s running of the Tournoi: 1st- Marcus Guillory; 2nd- Kent Saucier; 3rd- Bryce Johnson; 4th- Jordan Sylvester; 5th- Shane Trahan and 6th- Chuck Manuel.

     These riders will join last year’s top ten riders: 2016 Tournoi Champ- Eric Guillory; 2nd place- Ryan Haller; 3rd place- Alex Haller; 4th place- Shane Lee; 5th place- Paul Fontenot; 6th place- Keith Saucier; 7th place-Lisa Crane; 8th place- John Ross Guillory; 9th place- Cheyenne Crane and 10th place- Logan Floyd.

    The three new 2017 Tournoi Queens were on hand Sunday to view the eliminations: 2017 Miss Louisiana Tournoi- Holly Kay of Natchitoches, the daughter of Robin and Keith Kay; 2017 Teen Louisiana Tournoi- Charly Marie Bieber of Mamou, the daughter of Charles and Michelle Bieber and the 2017 Jr. Tournoi Queen is Samara Lafleur of Pine Prairie, the daughter of Kasey and Jade Lafleur.

     The 2017 Tournoi will be run in the memory of the late Jerry L. Dupre. This year’s Tournoi will be run Sunday October 15 at 2:00pm right after the Cotton Festival parade at the Industrial Park Track. KVPI-FM 92.5 will be there broadcasting the event for those who cannot attend.

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The Evangeline Parish School Board met Wednesday night in the School Board Media Center.  The room was packed with supporters of the Cheerleaders from Bayou Chicot Elementary.  School Superintendent, Darwan Lazard introduced the cheering team and announced that three of the cheerleaders were recently selected as All-American Cheerleaders.  Jesa Vidrine, Mayzee Lafleur and Ainsley Dutton were chosen after attending UCA Camp this summer.  Only 10% of those who attend the Camp are actually chosen as an All-American.  The three are sponsored by Anne Soileau and Fallen Ortego.  The girls will not only be performing during the half-time show at the LSU game this Saturday night; but, they will also be performing in the Thanksgiving Day Parade in Orlando, Florida.

 

First Student Representative, Lance Enkey, gave an update to the School Board on how things are going since school started.  Enkey said there was a driver’s meeting held with principals from schools, drivers and some members of the Board and Administration attended.  He said he received a “ton” of feedback from the drivers and said it was a very productive meeting.  He said there are currently 89 routes being run daily in the Parish consisting of approximately 4,521 miles driven by approximately 25 drivers.  Each bus contains 4 digital cameras and they have implemented safety practices on the buses to ensure that no child is left on a bus at the end of the day.  A few of the drivers have already found children sleeping due to their safety practices.

 

School scores will be changing next year and will continue to change until the target year of 2025 when new standards in student scores will take full effect.  According to Roxanne West and Penny McDaniel with the School Board, ‘BASIC’ is no longer acceptable and the State is sending schools to achieve a “MASTERY” status by students in order to receive the points required to score schools.  The Superintendent said “Some schools that were at an ‘A’ last year may not come in at an ‘A’ next year due to the changes.  He said they are working very hard with children to achieve the new levels.

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Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue would like to thank everyone who donated items for the victims of Hurricane Harvey.   He has been working with Connie Lamke, also with the Ville Platte Police Department who teamed up with Kerri Courville – Area Manager (Central Louisiana Market) of AT&T- Live Mobile to collect donations of supplies such as water, diapers, wipes, soaps, shampoo, deodorant, undergarments etc.  Staff at both locations helped greet donors and gather donations. In three days over 150 cases of water were donated and enough supplies to fill and truck and trailer.  “We are thankful and proud to have been a part of this donation drive” Chief Lartigue said, “We will continue to be a drop off point for anyone who wishes to donate.”

 

Chief Lartigue has been hands on for this donation drive as well as helping personally, He recently made a trip to Beaumont to help rescue a family.  “Chief Lartigue has encouraged the department to get involved and help and continues to lead by example”, Connie Lamke stated, “He was on the road when the group photo was taken but kept in touch with me to make sure we had what we needed before our team left for Texas.”  Kerri, Connie and Chief Lartigue had a meeting at the Police Department before the trip to Texas to discuss routes, logistics and safety.

 

On Sunday Kerri and Casey Courville left Ville Platte headed for Texas with the supplies in tow.  As most of the interstate was still closed to traffic, it took many detours and extra hours of travel to reach their destination.  Kerri stated that they were met by friendly faces and much appreciation.  “We saw so many people helping and giving” Kerri said, “It was a humbling experience that I’m happy to have been a part of.”

 

Donations will still be accepted for another trip.  “We already have donations that have come in even after the team left for Texas and we will continue to accept donations at the Ville Platte Police Department and AT&T- Live Mobile.” Chief Lartigue stated, “Our focus will be on what is a continued need for our neighbors in Texas and we will keep the public informed as their needs change.”

 

Our parish residents have risen to the needs of victims with donations of huge proportions.  Staff at both drop off points were kept busy helping offload donations as they arrived.  “We were proud to be able to reach out and help those affected, “Chief Lartigue stated, “We’ve been there ourselves, our neighbors in Texas needed help and will continue to need help for some time.”

 

If you would like more information on donating or other ways to help, contact Connie at the Ville Platte Police Department, 363-1313.

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Acting U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced today that an Opelousas man pleaded guilty to possessing a pistol even though he was previously convicted of a felony and prohibited from possessing a firearm. Willie Jamal Reynolds, 28, of Opelousas, La., pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick Hanna to one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

 

The plea will become final when accepted by U.S. District Judge S. Maurice Hicks Jr. According to the guilty plea, police arrested Reynolds on June 3, 2017 for possessing a Smith and Wesson .40 caliber semiautomatic pistol. After further investigation, police found a 15-minute video online of Reynolds and a friend in the presence of numerous firearms. Reynolds is a felon after receiving a conviction in September of 2013 and is not allowed to possess a firearm. Reynolds faces up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. The court did not set a sentencing date.

 

This investigation and prosecution is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, which is a Department of Justice initiative to promote firearm safety and to reduce firearm crimes by preventing the possession and use of firearms by dangerous and persistent felons and others not authorized to possess a firearm. The ATF and the Opelousas Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Dominic Rossetti is prosecuting the case. 

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Starting Wednesday at 4:30pm, join us on 92.5 KVPI as we carry a new weekly radio show "LSU E News" with the latest news coming from LSU Eunice. This week's show will feature Travis Webb.

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On or about the evening of August 31st and the morning of September 1, 2017 items were stolen from a local business on East Main Street in Ville Platte.  Officers and Detectives report that a padlock was cut and the suspect entered the business grounds and stole a welding machine, 60 pound air compressor, aluminum tool box, and a 6 x 8 custom made trailer with a sheet metal roof.  

Chief Neal Lartigue is requesting that anyone that has information on these items or suspects to call the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.  Your call will remain anonymous.

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     The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine give a status report on projects going on in the city.

    Mayor Jennifer said work crews are continuing to clean drainage in Shady Acres, LaSalle and Chataignier streets to prevent future flooding events. She said there was no street flooding last week with Hurricane Harvey.

    She reported that a new software system will detect water leaks anywhere inside the city limits. Every week, homeowners will be notified if the software finds there is a leak on the home owners property instead of waiting until the end of the month when the water bill could be considerable.

   The city of Ville Platte will be getting a $1.6 million dollar grant for the Ville Platte Recreation complex for four additional fields.

   Work is progressing on cleaning up abandoned property and abandoned vehicles. She reported that in the last two weeks, 14 abandoned homes were torn down. The mayor said homeowners have 30 days to clean up their property once they have been notified by the city. For abandoned cars, they have three days.

   The city is building 10 single family homes on city owned property along Dossman Street using grant funds for rent or purchase.

   Also the city is looking at erecting a new welcome sign on East Main next Tobacco Plus with a fountain and flags.

   Mayor Jennifer said a group of citizens is urging the city to remove the reflective gear ordinance. The mayor feels it is a good ordinance to protect the safety of motorists and pedestrians walking at night.

   In other rotary business, Rotarian Dr. Willie Buller was named fund raising chairman to raise funds for flood relief victims. Already, $3,000 have been collected. An additional $1000 was given by an anonymous rotarian challenging fellow club members.

 

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KVPI joined with Tee Cotton Bowl organizers by taking the French News and La Tasse de Cafe on the road broadcasting live this morning at the Meet and Greet at the beautiful home of Dr. and Mrs. Chuck Aswell on West Main Street. Special thanks to Dr. Chuck for opening his home to us and the many people who showed up. There was a virtual feast of food. After our La Tasse de Cafe, Steph stayed on the air doing live remote breaks over 92.5 KVPI.

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Savoy Cancer Center in Mamou, Louisiana is now scheduling appointments to treat patients from areas affected by Hurricane Harvey.  Any patient receiving Chemotherapy, Radiation, or Infusions outside of Central Louisiana can receive continued treatment through their Cancer Center.  Please call (337) 468-3099 for more information.

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The Ville Platte Police Department and your local AT&T retailer are hosting drop off points for bottled water and baby supplies for victims of Hurricane Harvey.  Beaumont has lost all of their consumable water.  The hurricane waters have damaged their water pumps for their main line and their secondary line which means they have no clean water at this time.  They cannot repair the damage until the water recedes.  Beaumont has a population of over 100,000 people that will be affected by the water outage.  They are in critical need of consumable water.

 

You can drop off supplies at either the Ville Platte Police Department or the AT&T store next to Walmart in Ville Platte starting now and throughout the weekend.

 

If a business wishes to make a larger donation of supplies, we can arrange for the supplies to be picked up.

 

Along with bottled water we are hoping to collect baby wipes, diapers and blankets, soap and hand sanitizer.

 

For more information or to arrange a pick up time please call Connie at the Ville Platte Police Department.  337-363-1313

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Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations LLC (BEE), a privately held limited liability company headquartered in Houston, Texas, was sentenced today on eight felony violations of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) and one misdemeanor count of violating the Clean Water Act before the Honorable U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

The charges stemmed from events causing an explosion in November 2012 on an offshore oil production platform that resulted in the deaths of three workers and injuries to several others. This case is also related to the recent conviction of Wood Group PSN in the Western District of Louisiana for their role in operations on the platform.

In accordance with a plea agreement, the Court ordered BEE to pay a $4.2 million monetary penalty. However, due to BEE’s bankruptcy, the $4.2 million agreed monetary penalty will be a general unsecured claim against BEE’s bankruptcy estate entitled to a pro rata distribution from the trust with other allowed unsecured claims against BEE. On Aug. 11, 2015, four of BEE’s creditors filed an involuntary chapter 7 bankruptcy case against BEE in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas. The case converted to a voluntary chapter 11 case shortly thereafter.  Under a Chapter 11 plan of liquidation confirmed on July 13, 2016, BEE’s assets were transferred into two trusts, and a trustee will administer distributions to creditors from funds in one of the trusts.

According to the court documents, beginning on Nov. 3, 2012, after pipeline repairs, BEE undertook platform repairs to include replacing equipment and installing a divert valve on the platform’s Lease Automatic Custody Transfer (LACT) unit and tying it into the sump line piping. The LACT system was the last point in the production process prior to the oil leaving West Delta 32 and entering the sales transmission pipeline.

Some of the construction projects on West Delta 32 required “hot work,” or welding, grinding, and/or any other activity that may produce a spark. Hot work on an oil production facility is a hazardous activity capable of causing injury or death. Title 30 of the Code of Federal Regulations requires that written permission, commonly referred to as a “hot work permit,” be issued by the welding supervisor or designated person in charge (PIC) before any hot work on a production platform begin. At a maximum, a hot work permit is valid for 12 hours. Once a hot work permit expires, all the precautionary steps should be complete before a new hot work permit is issued.

Starting on or about Nov. 8, 2012, Christopher Srubar, a co-defendant and Wood Group PSN employee and West Delta 32 PIC, issued hot work permits for the construction work related to the West Delta 32 projects. However, Srubar stopped issuing hot work permits and conducting all-hands safety meetings and instead delegated the permitting to the Wood Group PSN “C” operator. Neither Srubar nor the “C” operator conducted a daily pre-work inspection with the construction crew, staffed by Grand Isle Shipyards (GIS), nor did they designate a fire watch for the hot work areas. 

On or about Nov. 15, 2012, hot work commenced on the LACT unit with the knowledge of co-defendants Don Moss and Curtis Dantin. Moss and Dantin did not ask Srubar if he completed a safety check of the area. In addition, they did not complete a pre-work inspection or issue a warning to the GIS crews to step welding on the sump line piping. Instead, Dantin instructed some of the crew to begin the welding of the sump line piping for the LACT unit upgrade. The single hot work permit the “C” operator issued for Nov. 16 did not state that the LACT unit or sump line piping as areas that were safe for hot work. 

Workers started to make cuts to the sump line piping leading to the Wet Oil Tank, causing liquid to spill from the piping. At approximately 9:00 a.m., hydrocarbon vapors that escaped from the Wet Oil Tank ignited, causing a series of explosions in the three oil tanks on the platform. The fire and explosions resulted in the deaths of GIS employees Avelino Tajonera, Elroy Corporal, and Jerome Malagapo. Other workers were seriously burned and physically injured.

BEE admitted that its employees and agents were negligent in the manner in which they planned and executed the hot work on West Delta 32 platform, and that the acts of their agents and employees violated the regulations in 30 C.F.R. § 250.113 promulgated under the OCSLA.

Co-defendant GIS faces manslaughter charges, and Dantin, Srubar, and Moss face criminal violations of the Clean Water Act in the Eastern District of Louisiana.  The OCSLA charges against GIS, Moss, Srubar, and Dantin, were dismissed by the district court and are pending an interlocutory appeal by the government to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, argued on May 1, 2017.

The U.S. Department of the Interior-Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-CID conducted the investigations.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Emily Greenfield and Nicholas Moses, and Senior Trial Attorney Kenneth Nelson of the Environment and Natural Resources Division prosecuted the case.

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Children should expect to return to the classroom Thursday in Evangeline Parish.  Superintendent, Darwan Lazard announced that busses will be running and all public schools in Evangeline Parish will be open Thursday.  

 

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The National Center for Disaster Fraud reminds the public to be aware of and report any instances of alleged fraudulent activity related to relief operations and funding for victims. Unfortunately, criminals can exploit disasters, such as Hurricane Harvey, for their own gain by sending fraudulent communications through email or social media and by creating phony websites designed to solicit contributions.

 

Tips should be reported to the National Center for Disaster Fraud at (866) 720-5721. The line is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Additionally, e-mails can be sent to disaster@leo.gov, and information can be faxed to (225) 334-4707.

 

The U.S. Department of Justice established the National Center for Disaster Fraud to investigate, prosecute, and deter fraud in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, when billions of dollars in federal disaster relief poured into the Gulf Coast region. Its mission has expanded to include suspected fraud from any natural or manmade disaster. More than 30 federal, state, and local agencies participate in the National Center for Disaster Fraud, which allows the center to act as a centralized clearinghouse of information related to disaster relief fraud.

 

The public should remember to perform due diligence before giving contributions to anyone soliciting donations or individuals offering to provide assistance to those affected by the tornadoes. Solicitations can originate from social media, e-mails, websites, door-to-door collections, flyers, mailings, telephone calls, and other similar methods.

 

Before making a donation of any kind, consumers should adhere to certain guidelines, including:

  • Do not respond to any unsolicited (spam) incoming e-mails, including clicking links contained within those messages, because they may contain computer viruses.
  • Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as members of charitable organizations or officials asking for donations via e-mail or social networking sites.
  • Beware of organizations with copy-cat names similar to but not exactly the same as those of reputable charities.
  • Rather than follow a purported link to a website, verify the legitimacy of nonprofit organizations by utilizing various Internet-based resources that may assist in confirming the group’s existence and its nonprofit status.
  • Be cautious of e-mails that claim to show pictures of the disaster areas in attached files because the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders.
  • To ensure contributions are received and used for intended purposes, make contributions directly to known organizations rather than relying on others to make the donation on your behalf.
  • Do not be pressured into making contributions; reputable charities do not use such tactics.
  • Be aware of whom you are dealing with when providing your personal and financial information. Providing such information may compromise your identity and make you vulnerable to identity theft.
  • Avoid cash donations if possible. Pay by credit card or write a check directly to the charity. Do not make checks payable to individuals.
  • Legitimate charities do not normally solicit donations via money transfer services. Most legitimate charities’ websites end in .org rather than .com.

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Lafayette Ballet Theatre invites area dancers to audition Saturday, Sept. 9, and Sunday, Sept. 10, for two performances of the full-length classical ballet, “The Nutcracker.” Auditions are divided into two different days according to age and skill level.

 

Saturday auditions are for advanced to professional dancers, ages 15 through adult. Saturday auditions will take place at Lafayette Ballet Theatre, 100 Pillette Road. Sunday auditions are for dancers ages 8 through 14. Sunday auditions are scheduled to take place in Burke -Hawthorne Hall, located on Hebrard Avenue, on the UL Lafayette campus.

 

Roles are available for beginner through advanced level dancers, male and female. To qualify for audition, a dancer must be at least 8 years old; have completed at least one year of ballet study; and be currently enrolled in an established dance program. Dancers are asked to arrive 30 minutes prior to scheduled audition time to register. Registration forms are available at www.lafayetteballettheatre.org.

 

(Click “Tickets” on the homepage, then select “Nutcracker Auditions” on the menu.) Audition times and locations are as follows: 

 

Saturday, Sept. 9, at Lafayette Ballet Theatre Studio, 100 Pillette Road

Ages 15-professional, advanced pointe work: 11:00 -1:30 p.m.

Ages 15 and up, no pointe work (advanced level character variations): 1:30-2:00 p.m.

Feel free to arrive early to warm up.

 

Sunday, Sept. 10, at Burke -Hawthorne Hall on the ULL campus (*new location)

Beginner/Intermediate Levels, ages 8-10: 1-3 p.m.

Intermediate/Advanced Levels, ages 11-14: 3-5 p.m.

Tumblers: 5-5:30 p.m. (No audition fee required for tumblers.)

 

All dancers (except tumblers) should wear ballet attire and be prepared to stay for the duration of the audition period as listed on the schedule. A $35 registration fee is required of all dancers ages 8 to 17 at the time of audition. There is no fee for tumblers participating in 5 p.m. audition. Please make checks payable to Lafayette Ballet Theatre (LBT) or bring exact change.

 

Lafayette Ballet Theatre, along with Principal guest artists of the Pacific Northwest Ballet will present two performances of “The Nutcracker” Saturday, Dec. 9, and Sunday, Dec. 10, at the Heymann Performing Arts Center.

 

Want more information? Visit www.lafayetteballettheatre.org or call 337-262-0444

 

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    The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from KVPI General Manager Mark Layne speak about new developments going on at KVPI and a brief history of the two Ville Platte radio stations.

    Layne said construction is complete on the new power upgrade. KVPI FM 92.5 has increased its signal strength from 8,000 watts to 25,000 watts to reach a wider audience of listeners in South Central Louisiana.

   He also shared the early history of KVPI. KVPI AM 1050 signed on in 1953 as a day timer. The station has to sign off at local sundown. The need for night time service for sports and emergency announcements showed the need for an FM station. KVPI FM signed on in 1966.

   The station has received numerous honors from Louisiana broadcasters for its community service for the past seven years in a row.

   In other business, the rotary club:

--agreed to make a donation from the club to help the victims of the hurricane in the Houston area;

--received news from Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine that so far the drainage is working good in Ville Platte and there have been no street flooding;

--heard from Supt. of Schools Darwan Lazard that none of the school building have suffered any flood damage from the recent rains.

--heard from Jessie Muse that the Tee Cotton Bowl is going forward with many planned activities weather permitting including the players banquet Thursday, the TV 10 Passe Partout broadcast early Friday morning and Meet and Greet Friday morning at Dr. Chuck Aswell home. There will be 12 cooking teams cooking for the Tail gating Friday afternoon.

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SHS Parents,

Due to the anticipated road closures as a result of rising water, we will have an early dismissal for K-12 students at 11:00 A.M. today, August 28th. Updates for possible school closure will be sent via flocknote, email and local media. As soon as we receive confirmation on the availability of bus transportation, we will inform everyone as soon as possible according to Kim LeJeune.

 

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KVPI AM and FM are

proud members of the L.A.B.

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

Northwest Railroad Avenue.

Main Office:
337-363-2124
Ville Platte Broadcasting Company