ST LANDRY, LA – The Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office needs the public assistance in locating a missing person.
On Wednesday, January 16, 2019 the reporting person (Esther Smith) reported that her friend Gary Smith (DOB 9-14-1956) was last seen at 1430 hours, January 16, 2019 at her residence on the 1500 block of Lone Pine Road in St Landry, LA. The reporting person stated the missing person (Gary Smith) arrived unannounced and disoriented at approximately 1300 hours wearing jeans and a blue shirt. He appeared to have been lost. He did not have on any shoes nor was he wearing his dentures. The reporting person stated that Gary has suffered in the past from 3 strokes and a heart attack.
Gary Smith (DOB 9-14-1956) is described as a tall male approximately 6'1, weighs about 140 lbs, brown hair with some grey, blue eyes and a fair skin tone. He was driving a 2018 Maroon Toyota Camry Louisiana License Plate #812BKG. A photo of Gary has been included below.
Gary Smith is originally from Walker, LA and may have just come to visit.
If anyone has any information or comes into contact with Gary Smith is asked to contact the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office Investigations Division at 337-363-2161.
The Evangeline Parish School Board met Wednesday night, and the first order of business was the swearing-in of board members. Members who were not present were sworn in before the meeting.
The first discussion of the night happened when board member Wanda Skinner questioned why the athletic director job description states that the director will assist with performance reviews. Superintendent Darwin Lazard said it's because the athletic director serves as an advisor to the principal at the school in regards to the athletic department. The director would not evaluate employees; that job would fall on the principal, with Lazard saying, "Any good leader would get input from a variety of sources." Skinner said, "I'm just making sure this is not a smoke screen where they're trying to get rid of someone and trying to get the athletic director to do the work." Lazard said it would "not be appropriate for the athletic director to hire or fire, that it doesn't fall within the jurisdiction of that position's authority. The recommendation of hiring and firing of teachers falls on the principal."
In other business, the board recognized Mamou Elementary teacher Kelli Schatzle who received first place in the state VFW Citizenship Education Teacher's Award for 2018-2019 in grades K-5th division. Schatzle involves her students in various charitable projects, such as Pennies for Pets and Change for a Chance, and writing letters to veterans. WWII veteran Maynor Fontenot wrote back and said he's been a veteran of the U.S. Navy for 70 years and Schatzle's letter was the first he ever received thanking him for his service. Schatzle said her upcoming community involvement with her students will be raising money for the nursing home in Mamou to buy them BINGO and Pokeno cards, puzzle books and jigsaw puzzles, etc. Schatzle will next be considered for the National VFW Citizenship Education Teacher Award.
In other action, the board approved:
• The low bid of $5,980.00 from Flynn Building Specialties, LLC for doors and frames for Ville Platte High School Special Education Department classroom/apartment.
• $22,790.00 for 60 touchscreen Chromebooks, 2 Chromebook charging carts, etc. for Ville Platte High School.
• $279,314.13 to First Student, Inc. for transportation services.
A teacher from Mamou Elementary has won the First Place award in Grades K-5th division for the Louisiana Veterans of Foreign Wards Citizenship Education Teacher's Award. The honoree, Kelli Schatzle, is a fourth grade teacher at Mamou Elementary. She has been an instructor at the school for five years. She taught Third Grade for three years and is in her second year of teaching in the fourth grade. Her grandparents are Robley and Shirley Duplechain of Cester Young's Appliance in Mamou. Kelli teaches community involvement through her citizenship unit in social studies. Some of her projects include: Pennies for Pets (a local animal shelter project) and Change for a Change (a local cancer foundation fundraiser). Her biggest project is "Letters to Veterans" every October. She was nominated by the local VFW post. She will be honored Saturday January 19 at the State VFW Conference in Alexandria and will go on to compete on the national level.
Public officials, business leaders and concerned citizens packed Café Evangeline Wednesday for a meeting sponsored by the Evangeline Chamber of Commerce to begin a concerted effort to revitalize downtown Ville Platte.
Chamber Executive Director Renee Brown thanked the huge crowd that showed up and said the plans are to "keep Ville Platte alive and growing." One of those efforts is to keep streets clean by adopting a street each month. She is asking a different group to commit to help clean up Main Street. The group from First Baptist Church and 4-H'ers has already agreed to the cleanup effort for February.
Brown called for groups and volunteers to help clean up and paint store fronts especially abandoned buildings in an effort she calls "curb appeal".
Jay Gielow, owner of Café Evangeline said he is working to bring back a "Farmers Market" to downtown Ville Platte near the Swamp Pop museum beginning in March on the third Friday of each month. There will be musical acts, vendors and he is asking shop keepers and business owners away from downtown to sponsor a "popup shop" booth at the Farmers Market. They will be charged $20 for the booth which will be used for marketing and pay for musical entertainment.
Ville Platte City Councilman Mike Perron said "This was a dream for me. I have been working hard to bring improvements to Ville Platte and finally we are all coming together."
Donald Bergeron, Police Jury Secretary Treasurer, reported that President Trump has designated "opportunity zones" in low income areas for tax investments and all of Evangeline Parish has been targeted as an Opportunity Zone.
Dr. William "Tojo" Ward referred the group to the efforts by the former mayor of Crowley who worked to revitalize her downtown area. He also referred to efforts now going on in Abbeville.
Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine welcomed the group's efforts and pledged the city's backing in their project. "We want to beautify and bring people to our downtown area again."
Dr. Gwen Fontenot, of the University of Louisiana and a member of the Evangeline Parish Foundation introduced Dr. Jeff Stuart, a U.L. Professor in Marketing.
Dr. Stuart, a native of Ville Platte, said he plans to work with Chamber and Foundation officials and bring some of his students to prepare a study on downtown Ville Platte and make recommendations for the committees to began acting on.
The Ville Platte City Council met Tuesday evening. Before the meeting, council members were sworn in for the new year. During the regular meeting, Mayor Jennifer Vidrine welcomed new councilpersons, Faye Lemoine of District A and Coach Lionel Anderson of District D.
Councilman Mike Perron brought up the issue of loitering. The mayor said that when the clubs close, people go to the Exxon and the Shell stations, and that's where some of the loitering occurs. Councilman Bryant Riggs suggested that business owners who experience loitering should pay for security to help curb loitering when police are unable to assist. The hiring of more police officers was addressed. Police Chief Neil Lartigue said, "I have a solution. You give me more men and more money in the budget and I'll have more people to spare." Chief Lartigue said the department can't compete with the bigger towns, budget-wise, so officers leave to go to the bigger towns where they will make more money. Mayor Vidrine said, "Our budget for the police department is exhausted to the hilt." Chief Lartigue said the police do resepond to loitering, but sometimes can't make it there right away if they're on another call. Mayor Vidrine added that the city is implementing a tip line for citizens to report suspicious or criminal activity anonymously. The city is looking at possibly using the app Tip 411.
In his report, Chief Lartigue announced that the department responded to a total of 410 calls for assistance, which required 386 reports, 13 citations, and 52 arrests which includes 12 felony arrests. Officers responded to 34 accidents in the month of December. Felonies and arrests were each down by 4 from November, but accidents were up by 7 from the previous month.
Fire Chief Chris Harrison reported that the department responded to a total of 17 calls for the month of December, which included 2 vehicle fires, 1 gas leak, and 1 bomb threat. There were no fatalities. For the year 2018, the department responded to 274 calls, among them were 33 structure fires and 17 vehicle fires. Chief Harrison said they are waiting on the contract for a new fire ladder truck which is mostly being paid for thanks to a federal grant. The city would only be responsible for 5% of the cost.
In other business, the council set a public meeting for Monday, February 11 at 5:30 PM to let citizens voice their concerns over a new internet service that wants to use local towers.
Mayor Vidrine asked the council members to make a list of all the things that need to be done in their districts. She said they are reorganizing and revamping how they take and perform tasks so that future work will run more smoothly.
Chamber of Commerce Director Renee Brown addressed the council to announce a meeting this (Wednesay) evening at Café Evangeline at 4:30 PM. The meeting is to discuss the beautification and revitalization of downtown Ville Platte. The public is invited.
New Library Director Margie Mealer asked for council members and the mayor, and any other prominent members of the community, to be recorded on video reading Dr. Seuss books in conjunction with Dr. Seuss month in March. Interested persons should contact Margie Mealer at the Ville Platte library before the end of February.
Mayor Vidrine announced that the city is cleaning out culverts to better the drainage issues in town. She also announced that the city spent $205,525.04 in December, which is $54,822.76 less than November.
The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from Evangeline Parish District Attorney Trent Brignac. Brignac has been serving as District Attorney in the parish for the past ten years. He praised his staff and especially his assistant District Attorneys for the good work they are doing. The Assistants include Marcus Fontenot, Betsy Jackson, Nicole Gil and Chris Ludeau.
He told club members that their goal is "to get it right, the facts are correct and truth comes out."
He shared the information about human remains found in the Point Blue area while authorities were searching for a missing youth. A human skull was discovered and turned over to LSU forensics for possible identification. LSU will attempt to determine the age, sex and DNA of the person. Early indications show that there does not appear to be any signs of trauma.
Brignac also stated that juvenile crime is a major problem in our area. He said it is "frustrating" because there is no jail space for the offenders. New laws are aggravating the problem with 17 year olds who could be tried as adults under certain crimes will be considered juveniles.
The District Attorney also discussed the new state law that requires a unanimous jury verdict in major crime cases.
Brignac was the special guest of Rotarian Mitch Fontenot.
The Evangeline Parish Police Jury met Monday evening. The first order of business was to appoint officers for the new year. Ryan Williams remains president, and Rocky Rider remains Vice President. Ryan Ardoin was appointed Chairman of the Equipment Committee. After appointments, the jury got down to business, which included moving operations and bidding accounts from Investar Bank to Evangeline Bank.
Public Works Director, Chester Granger, mentioned in his report that he got into a scuffle over the weekend with someone who was tearing up a road. When Granger was called about this incident, he called 911 on his way there and requested a deputy meet him to make a report and assess damages.
Granger went on to report that on Shuff Road, after the bridge, there is a 90-degree turn, and the constituent there is requesting putting white stripes on the outer edge of the road and center line. The constituent says people are driving through his yard as they come off the bridge. Granger said he would get some prices and see where they can go with that.
Granger also said, with the new amendment that came in on January 1, there has been a request made by another parish that wants to use Evangeline Parish equipment. Granger expressed concerns, stating that there will need to be a major adjustment with how they handle requests and the loaning of equipment. The new amendment allows for government entities to share resources. Local governmental entities can donate goods and services to each other, without need for compensation in return.
In other business, the jury discussed lowering the speed limit on Fernwood Rd. in district #1 to 25 mph. They said they would need a public hearing.
The jury also discussed entering into a cooperative endeavor agreement for security at the front door of the courthouse for after-hours activities.
Kim Ortego, Operations Manager at Crooked Creek, announced to the jury that a special concert will take place at Crooked Creek this weekend, weather permitting. Performing will be Ashton Dupre and Kasey Guillory. Ortego said that end-of-year totals for campers in Crooked Creek is a little over 1,900.
In the closing report, Secretary Treasurer, Donald Bergeron, said the Sheriff's Posse is applying for a USDA grant for rescue equipment and requested the Chauncey Pitre Barn to use for meetings and to use as an address for the grant application. Bergeron expressed concern that maybe the Barn would not meet the required regulations for the grant application and said possibly the courthouse or another building would be better. Bergeron also stated, with regards to work orders, that sometimes police jury work is delayed by a couple of weeks, but the public doesn't realize that certain factors, such as the weather, can push projects back.
Bergeron also reported that the 2% sales tax collected in December for the month of November 2018 is $246,928.59. That is an increase of $1,450 from the previous year.
A new announcer has been chosen to continue KVPI's long association with Fred's Lounge in Mamou. General Manager Mark Layne announced that after reviewing applicants and their resumes, Mike Perron of Ville Platte has been chosen to be the new emcee at world famous Fred's Lounge in Mamou.
Mike Perron is a Ville Platte City Councilman. "We are very pleased to have Mike continue our weekly live remote broadcast at Fred's Lounge in Mamou. Mike has shown a genuine love for our Cajun music and culture and especially our French language," said Layne.
Perron will be taking over the emceeing duties from long time announcer Annona Balfa who has done a good job each week. She will continue her other duties at KVPI.
Congratulations Mike Perron, the newest member of the KVPI family of announcers.
CHATAIGNIER, LA – The Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office needs the public's assistance in locating a runaway juvenile.
On Friday, December 28, 2018 the reporting person (Minette Thibodeaux) stated her son Bryson Thibodeaux (DOB 1-19-2009) left his residence from the 3400 block of Chataignier Road without his father's permission or knowledge. He was last seen at 12:30 pm. It is unknown as to what Bryson was wearing when he left the residence. A photo of Bryson is included below. The reporting person stated her son has done this in the past but was always located shortly after. It is paramount that Bryson is located quickly due to his medical condition of Autism.
The Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office has teamed up with several agencies both local and afar in an effort to locate Bryson. The Cajun Navy arrived earlier and is on scene conducting a search in the Chataignier/Point Blue area along with the other agencies.
If anyone has any information or comes into contact with Bryson Thibodeaux is asked to contact the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office at 337-363-2161.
The Evangeline Parish School Board met Wednesday evening. There was an election of officers. Wayne Dardeau was elected Board President; Scott Limoges was elected Board Vice President; Georgiana Wilson, Wanda Skinner, Mike Fontenot and Karen Vidrine were elected to serve on the Executive Committee.
Cleco representative Gary Guidroz presented the Board with a check for $20,015.30 for participating in the Power Wise program, which updates the schools with LED lights and lighting technology. The Board will dedicate the funds for teacher/personnel/student incentives and classroom materials and instructional technology.
Bayou Chicot Elementary Honors Band students, Grace Bordelon and Collin Deville, were recognized for their achievement in making it to District Honor Band.
The Board also recognized 5 schools which achieved Excellence Honor Roll in our district, which is more than any other district in the state. Pine Prairie High School, Mamou Elementary, Vidrine Elementary, W.W. Stewart, and Bayou Chichot Elementary each received a certificate of recognition for their achievement. Pine Prairie High School also received the 2017/2018 Top Gain award.
Basile High School won the maintenance and safety award in the big school category; Evangeline Central won for the small school category. Each school's principal and custodian received a $25 Walmart gift card.
In other action, the Board approved the low price quote of $12,275 by Associated Food Equipment for a 40 gallon tilting skillet for Mamou High School. They also approved a low price quote of $5,778.51 by Sayes for door mats.
Superintendent Darwin Lazard announced that Cameron Iron Works invited James Stevens Montessori students to a Christmas party where the students were given gifts. Last year they invited Ville Platte Elementary.
Superintendent Lazard also announced that Evangeline Parish students are going to be in a training video that will be used nation-wide for the company Great Minds, which Louisiana has adopted to provide the science curriculum. Evangeline Parish is the first in the nation to get the training from the company.
KVPI News has received the following news bulletin from the Evangeline Parish School Board:
Today at 3:05pm, the principal at Ville Platte High School received an anonymous on-line threat regarding that campus. Law enforcement officials were immediately informed and are actively investigating the matter. Additional measures are being put into place by our law enforcement partners and school officials to ensure the safety and security of Ville Platte High School's faculty, staff, students and other stakeholders.
The Ville Platte City Council met Tuesday for their regular meeting of the month. The VPHS French Class led the Pledge of Allegiance.
CPA Vic Slaven presented the audit report ending June 30, 2018. The General Fund balance finished the year with total assets of $3,754,000. Liabilities were $216,000 and a fund balance of $3,530,768; that number just above the $782,536 is fund balance unassigned, which means it's the fund balance used to spend at the discretion of the council. The rest of it is restricted for specific purposes according to state statutes and laws. The city will have $782,000 to open up next fiscal year to spend. Current assets are $23,574,000. He went on to say there is no surplus to use at the city's discretion going forward in the utility funds.
In other business, Todd Morein addressed the council, saying he wants to provide another internet service to the area. Mayor Vidrine said a public meeting will be held at a later date so that citizens can voice their concerns. She also said that the council will determine a fair price for Mr. Morein's company to pay for use of the towers around the parish.
In other business, the council approved the hiring of a new full-time police officer, Justin Jack of Ville Platte. Mr. Jack will be hired upon completion of requirements. Chief Lartigue also reported that the police department made 56 arrests, which included 16 felony arrests, and responded to 27 motor vehicle accidents in the month of November.
Fire Chief Harrison reported that during the month of November, the fire department responded to 2 structure fires, 2 grass fires, 4 medical, 2 alarm activations, 5 service calls. There were no fatalities.
The council approved a 2% pay increase for the fire department. Mayor Vidrine announced a $6,074.43 decrease in spending for the month of November compared to October.
Councilman Jerry Joseph was named Mayor Pro Tempore; he replaced councilman Mike Perron, whose term is finished for Mayor Pro Tem.
Mayor Vidrine concluded the meeting by announcing the retirement of councilmen C.J. Dardeau and Rev. Freddie Jack. Dardeau, who served as councilman for 41 ½ years, is one of the longest-serving councilmen in the state of Louisiana. Rev. Jack served for 20 years. Mayor Vidrine issued a proclamation and thanked them for their service. Rev. Jack said, "I've had the privilege to serve under 4 different mayors, and every year was a good year, even with the ups and the downs, the highs and the lows, I can't say anything bad. It's been quite an adventure. Now the season has come for me to move on to bigger and greater things. [...] I have plenty on the fire." Dardeau said, "I enjoyed serving with the city council and the mayor. I'd also like to thank the people of district 8 for voting for me for 41 years. I'm thankful to them for doing that." Mike Perron added, "Freddie, I want to thank you for always having my back." Perron said when he had his heart attack, Rev. Jack came to the hospital and prayed for him and he respects him. Perron added that he and Dardeau go back to his sixteenth birthday when Perron worked for Dardeau. Perron said, "He taught him me everything I know. He taught me how to be public servant, how to work with the people, how to run a business, how to be a butcher [...] everything that I am today I owe to this man right here." Mayor Vidrine added, "Don't be stranger! Y'all can still come and visit!" She then announced that new councilmen, mayor, and chief will be sworn in on January 8, 2019 at 4:00 PM.
The Evangeline Parish Grand Jury today returned indictments against two suspects on several charges.
Keisha Lane Matt age 38 of 1609 L.D. Verette road, Ville Platte was indicted on two counts: First Degree rape with the victim under age of 13. Count Two- Pornography involving juveniles under the age of 13. The alleged offenses occurred between January 2014 and August 2018.
The Grand Jury also indicted Christopher S. Landreneau age 35 of 1706 S. Midkiff Road, Midland, Texas. He has been charged with : First Degree rape with the victim under age of the 13; Count Two-Pornography involving Juveniles under age of 13; Count 3-Indecent Behavior with a juvenile under age 13. Counts 1 and 2 allegedly occurred around Jan. 1, 2013 and Count 3 allegedly occurred around July 1, 2016.
The Evangeline Parish Police Jury met today for their annual December meeting conducted all in Cajun French. Juror Eric Soileau conducted the meeting. Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel offered the opening prayer in French. The French Immersion students did the pledge of allegiance and sang Christmas songs. Grammy winner and Mamou native Steve Riley played the National Anthem on his accordion. The meeting room was packed with a standing room only crowd of public officials and visitors. This is the only meeting of its kind in Louisiana and the jury is sending a signal that they support and promote our Cajun French language and way of life. KVPI 1050 The Legend was there broadcasting the entire meeting for our listeners. Thank you to the Evangeline Parish Police Jury
St. Landry Parish – Shortly after 10:30 pm on November 29, 2018, Troopers from Troop I began investigating a two vehicle crash on US 167 near St. Amand Road. The crash ultimately claimed the life of 49-year-old Cynthia Fontenot of Ville Platte.
The preliminary investigation revealed Fontenot's 2003 Saturn Vue became disabled on the east shoulder of US 167 northbound. A family member began rendering assistance by attempting to push the vehicle forward on the shoulder. At that same moment, 40-year-old David Klier of Opelousas was traveling northbound in a 2000 Dodge Ram on US 167. As the family member pushed the disable vehicle, it entered into the northbound lane of travel into the path of the Dodge. As a result the Dodge struck the Saturn.
Fontenot was unrestrained and was ejected from the vehicle. She was transported to Lafayette General Medical Center with moderate injuries. On December 3, 2018, Troopers were notified by LGMC medical personnel that Fontenot succumbed to her injuries sustained in the crash. Klier was properly restrained and sustained only minor injuries. Impairment is not suspected to be a factor on the part of either driver. This crash remains under investigation.
The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) had a special treat compliments of the French Immersion first grade students from Ville Platte and Mamou Elementary Schools. The students who are into their second year of the Immersion program treated club members with Christmas songs such as "Jingle Bells" and "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" as well as the Pledge of Allegiance all in French. Accompanying the students were Ville Platte Elementary Principal Sally Moreau and Mamamou Elementary Principal Troy Fontenot. School Superintendent and Rotary member Darwan Lazard introduced the school officials in attendance. It was announced that the Kindergarten students in French Immersion will entertain at the police jury meeting next Tuesday at 2;00pm at the courthouse. The immersion students in the Second Grade will be appearing on TV 10 in the next few weeks.
It was announced that there will be no noon luncheon next Tuesday due to the Christmas social planned for next Tuesday night December 11 at 6;00pm.
One of the longest Christmas parades in many years rolled down Main Street in Ville Platte tonight under clear skies. There were several units from Church and Youth groups along with political candidates who are gearing up to run next year. There were a lot of people especially children along the parade route wanting to catch a view of Santa Claus riding atop the Fire truck. Congratulations to Chamber Director Renee Brown and her group for a successful parade.
Congratulations to our grand prize winner, Katie Lafleur, who came in today to pick up her four grand prize tickets to enjoy a fantastic night out Friday at Cafe Evangeline for their sold out show featuring Tommy McLain, Steve Riley and C.C.Adcock.
The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from Sam Farr, with Pelican Truck Insurance in Denham Springs.
Farr discussed the different forms of transportation in the trucking industry. The commonly called 18 wheelers are tractor trailer rigs. Some of the rigs have sleeper space for the long haul driver.
Another part of the industry are hot shot companies. Hot shots are usually pickup trucks with trailers that deliver parts and materials in the oil industry for immediate delivery.
There are different types of trailers including refrigerated, dry van and flatbed that determine what kind of cargo they are hauling.
Drivers have to keep good logs and now the industry is making drivers use e-logs to avoid incorrect entries.
Farr was the special guest of his father, Rotarian Allen Farr.
In other news, club members were reminded that the Christmas social is set for December 11 at 6:00pm.
Also, Chamber Executive Director Renee Brown reminded club members that the Chamber Christmas parade is set for Sunday at 5;30pm down Main Street. There will be a Christmas social for chamber members immediately after the parade at Café Evangeline.
Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine said city work crews are working hard to get the Christmas lights up along Main Street in time for the Christmas parade.
The annual KVPI Turkey Shoot contest ended today with a lot of turkey winners. Our listeners called when they heard the shotgun blast cue to call for a chance to win a turkey for Thanksgiving. Congratulations to our turkey winners: Julia Guillory, Troy Guillory. Jeanette Dupre, Emily Wedlock, Rachel Marcantel, Kenneth West, Phyliss Stagg, Sonya Bordelon Jeanette Guillory,, Tony Godeau, Bridget Catoire, Angie Briley, Michael Fontenot, Vickie Deshotel, Tracy Veillon, David Ardoin, Debra Adams, Rita Comeaux, Rhonda LeJeune, Cindy Brown, Ricky Ben, and Tara Lafleur. Special thanks to our sponsors: Teets Food Store, Paul's Meat Market, Piggly Wiggly, Champagne's and Wal-Mart.
The 4-H Club took center stage at today's (Tuesday) meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club at the Family Life Center.
Evangeline Parish 4-H Club Agent Kim Deville expressed her thoughts that the 4-H program helps inspire school students become better public speakers and to become leaders in their schools and later in public life.
Two 4-H students shared their experiences with Rotary Club members: Sam Gil and Jose Deshotel. Both students expressed their appreciation for the 4-H program through its many workshops, educational programs and Jr. Leadership club. School students as young as Third graders can join the program.
Both Gil and Deshotel were involved in planning the annual 4-H Technology and Science Camp. The two students are also seeking state offices in the state 4-H club organization.
The visitors were guests of Rotarian Eric Gil.
Club President Elect Nicole Wenger announced that the annual Christmas social is scheduled for December 11 at the Knob Hill camp on Chicot Park road.
Rotary Club Director Renee Brown announced that the Chamber Christmas Social will be held December 2 from 5:30-7:30pm at Café Evangeline.
In a special ceremony today, Sacred Heart High Senior Karli Fontenot officially signed with the LSU Eunice Lady Bengals softball team. Karli is the daughter of Bridget and John Fontenot. She has been a star player with the Lady Trojans throughout her high school years. She has played shortstop at the school. Her brothers have excelled in sports. Kagan Jones signed with Nichols State and at LSU Alexandria and played at Kansas. Her other brother Caleb Fontenot played at McNeese and is playing with the Texas Rangers. KVPI Sports congratulates Karli Fontenot for her accomplishments.
The Evangeline Parish School Board met Wednesday evening at the media center. Superintendent Darwin Lazard announced that the District Performance Score (DPS) is 76.4. State Superintendent John White predicted dramatic drops, but Lazard commended the hard work of personnel, teachers, principals, and support staff who work along with the students. "We're not completely satisfied where we are, but we're happy where we are, and we are looking forward to continuing to climb to the top [...] We feel like we're headed in the right direction," he said, adding, "Probably few people in the state of Louisiana can explain the kind of magic dust that's used to calculate the formula, but we live and die by them." He went on to congratulate Mamou Elementary, Vidrine Elementary, and James Stephens Montessori for being recognized as top gains schools because they were able to raise their students at a higher level and higher percentage than many of the other schools in the state. He said the district graduation rate, under the new formula, is 80.5 B; under the old formula it would have been
School Board President Wayne Dardeau said the business with School Performance Scores and District Performance Scores is difficult to understand for the general public because of way they are scored, and the big concern the public has is Common Core. He, along with board member Scott Limoges, mentioned that citizens should pay attention to BESE Board candidates in the election next year because it's the BESE Board that comes up with the scoring system. BESE (Board of Elementary and Secondary Education) has the authority to create polices that govern the statewide operations of schools.
In other business, CLECO Energy Efficient Consultant, Gary Guidroz, announced that, through CLECO's Power Wise Program, they are giving the EPSB an incentive in the amount of $20,000 for 2018 due to the LED retrofits being installed in parish schools. Guidroz said the energy-efficiency program is offered to anyone with a CLECO account. EPSB Maintenance & Operational Facilitator Jason Hazelton said the LED retrofits are coming along nicely so far in Bayou Chicot Elementary. He was pleased with the work accomplished so far.
In other action, the board considered a motion to approve renewal of ISU Lemoine Insurance Agency as their insurance agent for a three-year term, but board member Mike Fontenot had some trepidation about being locked into a three-year term. The insurance agency agreed to a 30 day back-out clause. The board agreed to the three-year term with a 30 day back-out clause.
The school board won a drawing for a $2,000 CNC simulator for a machinist to learn how to program, provided by the Hayes Foundation. Powel Industries then donated $5,000 simulation software to help start the machinist program. Lazard said there's a need for machinists in Evangeline Parish, and this donation will help to fill those jobs.
In other business, the board approved:
• chrome books and carts for several schools in the parish.
• a motion to ratify an agreement with ABA School Consultants, LLC for psychologist services
• a motion to ratify an agreement with First Choice Therapy, Inc. for physical therapy services.
• Permission to accept low bid prices for large equipment for the Child Nutrition Program.
In closing comments, Superintendent Lazard congratulated Bayou Chicot Elementary band students, Grace Bordelon and Connor Deville, who made it to the district honor band. Their band teacher is John Hovard.
Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue reports arrest in rape case.
Chief Neal Lartigue with the Ville Platte Police Department reports an arrest in an aggravated rape case which dates back to 1995. The original report was filed in June of 1995 in which it was reported that a black male subject stopped at a residence and asked for water, then kicked in the door of the residence and raped the homeowner. The victim was 47 years old at the time of the reported attack and died in 2004 before the suspect was identified.
The Acadiana Crime Lab recently reported to the Detectives at the Ville Platte Police Department that they had a DNA match on the suspect which resulted in an arrest in the 23 year old case.
Allen Reed Richard, 57, last reported address of 501 West Wilson Street in Ville Platte, was arrested on November 10, 2018 and booked into the Ville Platte City Jail on 1 count of aggravated rape. Richard was then transferred to the Evangeline Parish Jail on a $350,000.00 bond.
Chief Neal Lartigue reminds citizens to report suspicious or illegal activity immediately by calling the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313. Your call will remain anonymous.
The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from Dr. Ellis Landreneau, a pediatrician, who just opened his temporary medical office in Ville Platte. Dr. Landreneau, a native of the Ville Platte, is the son of Ricky and Ginger Landreneau and the grandson of Jake and Jeannie Ardoin. Dr. Landreneau introduced his wife, Christina, a physician assistant.
His medical clinic, Evangeline Pediatrics, is open to take care of young people from birth to age 18. His temporary office is located next to the Wellness Center. His new office is due to be opened after the first of the year on West Main. Dr. Landreneau was the special guest of Rotarian Brent Coreil.
In other news, Vice President Nicole Wenger announced the annual rotary club Christmas social is planned for Dec. 11 at 6:00pm at the Knob Hill Lodge on Chicot Park lodge; Also the annual Chamber of Commerce Christmas parade is scheduled for Sunday Dec. 2 at 5;30pm.