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All Point Blue Water customers that live on Abraham and King Blvd. are under a boil advisory until further notice due to repairs on a 3” main line.  Water was cut off earlier today, but has been restored.  If customers have any further questions, please contact their office at 337-363-5885.

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Rotary Club hears from Chamber Director Camille Fontenot

August 15, 2017

 

     The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from guest speaker Ville Platte Chamber Executive Director Camille Fontenot discuss activities going on at the chamber and Tourism Commission.

    Fontenot said both the chamber and tourism  are important to the financial well being of our community. She said she is working closely with Valerie Cahill, the owner of Hotel Cazan, who has experience and connections to international trade.

   She said the chamber is looking at doing a symposium with Evangeline Parish crawfish producers. She is looking at bringing in Ronnie Gonzales, from New Orleans who is involved in international trade to help our crawfish producers.

   Fontenot is looking at possibly creating a foreign trade zone for the Evangeline Parish Industrial Park to attract international businesses.

   A company from Florida is looking at leasing a large building in the Ville Platte area to store safety equipment for the oil industry. Fontenot said she has been in conversation with a number of possible sites for the company to look at.

    She said she has been working to keep Chicot Park open and to have private business and industry to partner with Chicot Park to attract additional visitors to the park.

   Fontenot reminded club members that the Mamou Cajun Music Festival is scheduled for Sept. 8 and 9. Also, lots of activities are planned in connection with the Tee Cotton Bowl including a banquet the night before, fireworks display, and a parade that Friday at 4;00pm. TV 10’s Passe Partout program plans to broadcast live at Ville Platte High the morning of the ball game Sept. 1.

  Camille Fontenot was the guest of Rotarian Peggy Tate.

   In other business, Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine informed club members that the new Tee Cotton Bowl uniforms are on display at City Hall along with the beautiful World Series trophy won by the Ville Platte 10 year old girls last month.

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Evangeline Parish - The Te Mamou Water District has announced that the water will be cut off on Snooks Road, Pine Point Road, Cousins Road and St. Johns Road for approximately 3 – 4 hours.  They have men working on the lines in that subdivision.  Residents in those areas will also be under a boil advisory until further notice.  They apologize for any inconvenience caused to its customers.

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Acting U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced today that a man from Duson pleaded guilty to wire fraud in connection to a scheme to defraud a Eunice pipeline company out of more than $2.6 million.

 

Richard Walter Borek Jr., 43, of Duson, La., pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick Hanna to one count of wire fraud. The plea will become final when accepted by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote. According to the guilty plea, Borek worked as the information technology (IT) manager for a Eunice pipeline company from 2012 to 2016. He conducted a scheme where he bought cell phones and electronic tablets using company funds from two nationwide cellular phone companies. He then sold them online to another company and kept the money for his own personal use. He also sold web hosting services and computer equipment to the pipeline company through his own company called Statix even though the web hosting services were being provided by another company and the computer equipment was never delivered to the pipeline company’s office. The loss from both schemes resulted in both cell phone companies charging the pipeline company $2,436,487 and Statix charging the pipeline company $236,234.14 for a total loss to the pipeline company of $2,672,721.14.

 

Borek faces 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, restitution and a $250,000 fine. The court set a December 7, 2017 sentencing date.

 

The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Myers P. Namie is prosecuting the case.

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The Ville Platte City Council and Mayor, Jennifer Vidrine held its monthly meeting Tuesday night in Ville Platte City Hall.  The Mayor announced that the lobby and drive-thru at City Hall will be closed on Wednesday due to staff development. 

 

The Ville Platte Girls 10’s Softball team who recently won their division in the World Series were celebrated by the Mayor.  Coaches Nick Lebas, Brian Bergeron, Joe Bordelon and Gene Latour brought the girls to show their giant trophy and World Series Rings.  The Mayor presented plaques to each girl.  Lebas spoke to the crowd and thanked the Mayor for the recognition.  The girls then enjoyed pizza and cake courtesy of Judge Gary Ortego, Judge Chuck West, Judge Greg Vidrine, District Attorney Trent Brignac and City Marshall Ronald T. Doucet. You can find additional pictures on our Facebook page.

 

The Mayor announced that the city has demolished six abandoned houses, towed away three vehicles, cut two overgrown grass lots.  Three more houses will be demolished and five more abandoned vehicles are scheduled to be towed.  She explained that letters go out to property owners giving them ten days to respond. If no action is taken by the owner, the City handles the demolition or clean up and then attaches the cost of the bill to the property tax bill of the owner.

 

The Council approved getting an appraisal for property that they would like to trade for another property to build single-family homes on.  City Attorney, Eric La Fleur explained that in order to make a trade, the two properties to have match in value.  That is the basis for the appraisal.  The Council also approved leasing space in the new Boys & Girls Club to Christian Academy and Adult Education.

 

Expenditures for the month of July was $172,480.56 that is down $36,430.43 from the previous month.  The mayor also said they will be doing street repairs in town according to urgency. 

 

Several City Departments as well as the Ville Platte Police Department will be getting new vehicles soon due.  They are currently working with fleet dealers to decide the appropriate vehicles.

 

The next council meeting will be September 19th.

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Grab your popcorn and call the Louisiana State Arboretum at 337-363-6290 for your group or organization to attend a Eclipse viewing on August 21, 2017 from Noon until 2:30 p.m. at the Nature Center.  NASA maps indicate that the sun will be obscured by about 75% beginning at 11:51 a.m. and peaking at 1:23 p.m.  Experts recommend that people do not look directly at the sun, even with a partial eclipse.  For more information about the eclipse, visit eclipse2017.nasa.gov

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The Evangeline Council on Aging will hold its Annual Meeting on September 13, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. in the dining room at Village de Memoire.  All interested parties as well as all members of the Council on Aging are invited to attend.  There are currently 4 vacant Board seats to be filled.  Those seats should be filled by people who reside in Police Jury District 2, 3, 4 and 9, one member from each district.  All nominations for Board members should be forwarded to Lisa DeRouen at 337-363-5161.

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     Two guests from the Lafayette chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association spoke at today’s (Tuesday) meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club.  Luewana Hannon and Adrienne Mullens were the special guests of Rotarian Peter Strawitz.

    Hannon said Alzheimer’s Disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the USA. She said “It is a degenerative disease that destroys brain cells.” The disease impacted her family directly since her father died from the illness. The association offers awareness to the public by speaking in meetings and leaving brochures about the disease. The organization also offers workshops to educate the general public on the ten warning signs of Alzheimer’s Disease.

   Mullens reminded club members that a fund raising two mile walk is scheduled for Saturday September 16 at Blackham Coliseum in Lafayette. All monies raised will go to research. She announced that 85,000 Louisiana residents will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s this year. She reported that one third of dementia cases could be eliminated through a change to a more healthier lifestyle.

   In other business, the rotary club:

--welcomed its newest member: Debbie Enicke;

--heard from Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine that there will be a Tee Cotton Bowl parade Friday September 1 at 4:00pm down Main street;

--received news from Maggie Ortego that there will be a free suicide prevention training program Aug. 30 and Aug. 31 at the Family Life Center.

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Governor, John Bel Edwards spoke to a crowd of officials from parishes across Louisiana and others in attendance at the Watershed Summit held at the Lite Centre in Lafayette Thursday.  He discussed issues about flooding in Louisiana and the effects on its residents and businesses.  Edwards spoke about the Acadiana Planning Commission and its mission to bring parishes together to tackle drainage and waterway issues in the State.  By working together in a collaborative effort, one parish will not due harm to another in its efforts.  The Governor was proud to announce that over $35,000,000 will be coming to the parishes included in the Acadiana Planning Commission due to federal funds received due to Hurricane Gustav.  He explained that some of the parishes would not have received any of the funds because they were not declared a disaster area at that time; however, he explained that all eight parishes will be able to share the money because they have formed as one body and will be working together.

 

KVPI News Director, Stephanie Ware, spoke with Evangeline Parish Police Jury President, Ryan Ardoin about the Summit.  He, along with fellow Police Juror, Eric Soileau and Secretary/Treasurer Donald Bergeron attended the Summit that began at 1:30 in the afternoon and did not wrap up until 8:30 p.m.  Ardoin said all eight parishes will share the money for “capital outlay and shovel on the ground projects.”  The Commission will determine what the “priorities” are.

 

Ardoin said there will be more money to come because the Federal government is recognizing just how badly Louisiana has been impacted from rain and flooding.  He said he learned from the Summit that there was $636,000,000 a day impact to the oil and gas industry alone due to flooding.  He said in Evangeline Parish some priorities will be tackling undersized bridges and culverts.  He also said that new technology is being looked at like gauges for our bigger waterways.  Ardoin stated: “Between Chester Granger, Public Works Director, myself, Engineer, Ronnie Landreneau and Donald Bergeron, we will need to sit down and discuss all of the priorities.  It takes a joint effort, not only here locally but on this multi-parish level.”

 

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The Evangeline Parish School Board held its bi-monthly meeting Wednesday night in the School Board Media Center.

 

The Board approved a request by Superintendent, Darwan Lazard to enter into an agreement with the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office to provide a School Resource Officer for Evangeline Central for 10 months effective for the 2017-18 school year.  After the Superintendent received the approval, he introduced the new Resource Officer as Tony Vidrine who has been with the Sheriff’s Office for five years, previously with the Federal Bureau of Prisons for twenty-five years, has a Bachelor of Criminal Justice and was a 1981 graduate of Ville Platte High School.  Vidrine, along with personnel from Central and officials from the Sheriff’s Office will be traveling to Alexandria to view how the CAPS program works, which is the program they are patterning Central after.  Lazard stated “This is going to be a better program at Central than we had before.  It is much needed.”

 

The Superintendent reminds everyone that school staff are due back at work on August 8th and students’ first day of school will be on August 10th.  He said there will be a New School Year Launch for ALL school employees on August 8th at Ville Platte High School.  The mandatory lunch will be at 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 and will run in two different groups.  Buses will be picking employees up in their school area due to parking restraints.  There will be a national spokesman attending.  Sam Glenn “The Attitude Guy” will be speaking and there will be door prizes like computers, cash and more.

The Superintendent announced he and Board Member, Arthur Savoy attended a Driver Orientation at First Student.  He says Principals and drivers were there and were able to communicate about needs for the upcoming school year.

 

Former Vidrine Elementary Teacher, Cheryl Tezeno was announced as the new Middle School Supervisor.  Lazard stated “Tezeno has been with the school system in Evangeline Parish for almost forty years, has worked with grades 6, 7 and 8 and knows the battles those grades face.”

 

It was announced that Principal Anita West will now become the Principal at Vidrine Elementary.  West was the former Pine Prairie High School Principal.

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According to a Release from Ville Platte Chief of Police, Neal Lartigue, multiple burglaries have recently been solved with multiple arrests.

 

On July 25, 2017 Officers with the Ville Platte Police Department were dispatched to the area of Pine Street for a report of someone riding a four wheeler on the roadway.  Upon arrival in the area Officers observed a four wheeler that then fled from them on South Chataignier going through both lanes of traffic. The driver then crashed the four wheeler as he went through a ditch on South Chataignier while attempting to reach Ash Street.  Upon crashing the four wheeler, the driver fled on foot.  After further investigation it was determined that the four wheeler was stolen from the Opelousas area where the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office had begun an investigation. On July 26, 2017 a male subject came into the Ville Platte Police Department to speak with investigators.  Although the suspect at that point was not under arrest, he fled the police department once he was confronted with the evidence.  A short foot pursuit ensued and Officers caught the suspect on East Washington Street.  Arrested was Daniel Gallow, 22 of 873 Railroad, Ville Platte.  Gallow was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail on charges of illegal possession of stolen things (felony), off-road vehicle on roadway, criminal damage to property (felony), safety helmet required, careless operation and resisting an officer.  Gallow remains incarcerated on a $36,250.00 bond.

 

Chief Neal Lartigue reports an update to a previous case where a purse and wallet were stolen from a vehicle.  The theft took place on July 3, 2017 on North Thompson Street.  During the investigation the suspects were identified and subsequently arrested.  On July 26, 2017, Marcus Arvie 17, of 204 East Jackson Street, Ville Platte and two juveniles were arrested on charges of burglary and theft.  Arvie was transported to the Ville Platte City Jail on a $12,500.00 bond and the two juveniles were released to the custody of their parents pending a court appearance.

 

The arrest of Marcus Arvie also ended in other charges for multiple recent burglaries. Arvie was arrested and charged in reference to burglaries from July 5, 2017 in the 1100 block of Parkview Street, on July 20, 2017 in the 900 block of Tate Cove Road, and on July 21, 2017 for multiple burglaries in the 2300 block of East Main Street.  Items such as Xbox controllers, games, a Wii system and credit cards were stolen.  These items have not been recovered along with a white Honda 450 ATV that was also stolen.  Arvie was charged with four counts of simple burglary, four counts of theft, four counts of criminal trespass and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile.  Arvie was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail on a $65,000.00 bond.

 

Marcus Arvie was also arrested and charged for an incident that happened on July 22, 2017 where a burglary and theft took place in the 400 block of East Wilson and again in the 2300 block of East Main Streets.  Arvie was charged with unauthorized use of a moveable, criminal trespass, simple burglary, theft, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.  Arvie was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail on a $20,000.00 bond.

 

Arvie was later transported to the Evangeline Parish Jail on all three bond amounts.

 

Chief Neal Lartigue is asking anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of any of these stolen items to contact the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.  Your call will remain anonymous.

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     State Senator Eric Lafleur was the guest speaker at today’s (Tuesday) meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club meeting.

    Senator Lafleur is the chairman of Senate Finance Committee. He said “it is the worst job in the world since the state has no money and you have to keep saying no to everyone.”

    Lafleur said the state ,during the eight years under the Jindal administration, used one time money to plug the holes in the state budget rather than addressing the issue by raising revenues or cutting expenses. He called it a “poor fiscal policy” and the former governor held the veto threat over the heads of lawmakers when they considered other means to balance the state budget.

   This year, a special non- partisan group of fiscal experts,  formulated a plan for the state to meet its budget on an annual basis and the legislature rejected all of its recommendations. The state balanced its budget with the passing of a temporary one penny sales tax. Louisiana has the highest sales tax rate in the country. One bright spot,  the legislature was able to fully fund the Tops scholarship.

  During the question and answer period, Senator Lafleur said there are no plans in the budget for road improvements in Evangeline Parish. He told club members that he was in favor of a new gasoline tax to help pay for infrastructure projects such as new road improvements.

  Lafleur was the guest speaker of Rotarian Vic Slaven.

  In the rotary club minute, Club President Wayne Vidrine reminded members that the Ville Platte club was organized in 1928 and in 1943, during the term of Club President Prof Lafleur, Chicot State Park was created.

 

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KVPI and The Coushatta Casino teamed up to send winners to see the ELVOLUTIONS Elvis Tribute Concert Saturday, July 29th at 8:00 p.m.  When listeners heard the “Hound Dog” Cue to Call over Classic Hits 92.5 they called our hotline at 506-2444.  After getting all of our qualifiers, our drawing was held today.  Four lucky listeners won a pair of tickets to the show.  Our winners were: Karrie Brooks, Truman Wilson, Caroline Fontenot and Lisa Daire.  Keep listening for more chances to win concert tickets and many other prizes on Acadiana’s Greatest Hits Station, Classic Hits 92.5.

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The Acadiana Planning Commission, FEMA and The Governor’s Office of Emergency Preparedness held a joint meeting in the Evangeline Parish Courthouse Wednesday to discuss Watershed Assessments that are being prepared by FEMA.  Watershed (as pictured) is an area or ridge of land that separates waters flowing to different rivers, basins, or seas.  The Pilot Assessment was performed for Vermilion Parish and that was the focus of the meeting for informational purposes.  Assessments for the 22 Watershed that were affected by the March and August 2016 flooding will be released on August 3rd

 

The Acadiana Planning Commission brings 7 parishes together: Lafayette, Evangeline, Acadia, Iberia, St. Landry, St. Martin and Vermilion.  Parish Presidents, State Representatives, Emergency Officials and officials from around these parishes attended the meeting and many said the focus is to work together so one entity is not ‘dropping water on another one’ in efforts to solve drainage problems.  These include in the Mermentau River, Vermilion River and Bayou Teche in our area. 

 

In the March flooding there were over 14,000 structures damaged; and in the August flooding there were over 78,000.  A representative from FEMA’s National Disaster Recovery Support Team said Louisiana “has had too much water moving over its land mass, too many times.”  This was the first meeting of many to come to discuss this problem and continue discussions on how to work together.

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    The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from State Representative Bernard LeBas.  He gave a review of the recent two sessions of the state legislature in Baton Rouge. A special session was called immediately after the regular session after lawmakers could not agree on a new fiscal year budget.

   LeBas commented that the budget that was approved in the special session was brought up during the final days of the regular session however some lawmakers were initially against it. He said 80 million dollars were put back in the highway account after being transferred by the previous administration to fund the state police.

   LeBas said our infrastructure needs improvements. “We have bad roads and we don’t have the money to fix our roads”, he said.  A gasoline tax is expected to be on the election day ballot to help with roads and infrastructure.

   LeBas is blaming “partisan politics” for the legislature not approving a “blue ribbon” committee recommendation to help stabilize the state’s budget.

   He said healthcare and education take a big share of the state budget every year. The popular TOPS scholarship program was fully funded this year by the legislature.

    Chicot State Park was brought up during his comments. “Chicot State Park is our biggest park and the most visited park in the state. We are fighting to keep it open,” said LeBas. Cuts in state funding meant maintenance personnel were let go. “Our Lt. Governor, Billy Nungesser, is 100 percent behind our efforts in keeping Chicot Park open and a draw for tourists.”

   LeBas said a new constitutional convention may be needed to help remove the many tax exemptions and tax rebates that many big businesses and corporations receive. LeBas was the special guest of Rotarian Susan Saunders.

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Ville Platte, Chief of Police, Neal Lartigue requests help in identifying suspects.

On July 22, 2017, Officers with the Ville Platte Police Department responded to a report of a burglary in the 400 block of East Wilson.  Upon arrival Officers learned that four black males had entered the residence during the night of July 21, 2017 and ransacked the residence The suspects stole multiple items including a laptop, iphone 6, 32 inch Samsung television, a Kicker amp and a Jenson amp, Xbox, Apple IPad Pro and prescription medicine.   The burglary remains under investigation.

 

Chief Neal Lartigue is requesting assistance in identifying these suspects.  If you recognize anyone in these photos you are asked to call the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.  Your call will remain anonymous.  You can view additional photos from the crime scene on our Classic Hits 92.5 Facebook Page.

 

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According to Ville Platte Chief of Police, Neal Lartigue, nine violations were issued for an animal attack on child.

On July 17, 2017 at approximately 3:00 p.m. Officers with the Ville Platte Police Department responded to an animal complaint at Mercy Regional Hospital.  Upon arrival Officer’s learned that a 12 year old female was attacked by two dogs while riding her hover board on in the area of East Desoto Street and North Chataignier.  Officer and Detectives made contact with the owner of the dogs at a residence on North Chataignier and learned that the homeowner had multiple pitt bulls, some of which had gotten away from the residence.  The homeowner willingly surrendered the animals and received nine violations in reference to the incident.   The juvenile was treated at Mercy Regional for injuries to her lower back and buttocks area.  Investigation of this incident is ongoing.

KVPI News has spoken with the mother of the young girl and we were advised that she is at home and recovering

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of a vicious dog that is not properly secured or is running free, please contact the Ville Platte Police Department so that these animals can be removed from the streets to help prevent attacks.

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

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Rep. Mike Johnson’s (LA-04) office will host satellite office hours in Ville Platte, Greenwood and Eunice next week. These events are open to the public and we encourage members of the community to stop by if they are in need of assistance with federal agencies.

 

Ville Platte Satellite Office Hours

WHERE:

Ville Platte City Hall

126 East Main Street

Ville Platte, LA 70586

WHEN:

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. CST

WHO:

Rep. Mike Johnson Staff 

Contact: 

Jerrie Ledoux

337-458-6078

 

Greenwood Satellite Office Hours

WHERE:

Greenwood Town Hall

9381 Greenwood Road

Greenwood, LA 71033

WHEN:

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. CST

WHO:

Rep. Mike Johnson Staff

Contact:

Leslie Quinn

318-840-0309

 

Eunice Satellite Office Hours

WHERE:

Eunice City Hall

300 South 2nd Street

Eunice, LA 70535

WHEN:

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. CST

WHO:

Rep. Mike Johnson Staff; 

Contact: 

Jerrie Ledoux

337-458-6078

 

Note: Rep. Mike Johnson will be in Washington D.C. for congressional business

 

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Congressman Johnson is currently serving his first term in the U.S. House of Representatives. He sits on the House Judiciary Committee as well as the Committee on Natural Resources. He was elected in December 2016 to serve Louisiana’s 4th Congressional District by the largest margin of victory in his region in more than 50 years.

 

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The Evangeline Parish School Board met Wednesday night in the School Board Media Center.  Superintendent, Darwan Lazard, announced he has recently interviewed two individuals for the position of Principal at Pine Prairie High School.  From those two candidates, his choice was Charles “Chuck” Johnson (pictured).  He comes back to the school with 24 years of experience with 10 years in Administration, 10 served at Evangeline Central and 8 at the Math, Science and Arts Academy in Iberville Parish.  Lazard stated “He comes not only with experience, but also success.”  Johnson spoke to the crowd saying he is “excited to come back to Pine Prairie.  His parents are still there and he is happy to once again be a part of the community.”  He “looks forward to growing the successes we had in the past.”

 

It was in the last School Board meeting that Melanie Miller was introduced as the new principal of Ville Platte High School.  There will be a Meet and Greet Thursday from 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. in the Ville Platte High Gymnasium.  The public is invited to attend.

 

Mike Holt from Yeager, Watson & Associates was asked to address the Board about the extreme repairs needed for the floors at Mamou High School and Bayou Chicot Elementary.  He explained that because of all of the flooding and a build-up of damage to the floors, there is now a “tripping hazard” in the main hallway at Bayou Chicot.  The Fire Marshall has actually written up a violation and the Board will need to remedy the situation.  After explaining the options, he stated that the repairs could be approximately $42,000-$43,000 to cover the 1,320 square foot area.

 

As to Mamou, Holt stated that again, because of all of the water damage, the gym floor is “gone”.  With the Board’s approval after the bidding process, he plans to raise the gym floor by six inches to handle any water in the future.   There was much discussion of the drainage problems in Mamou and how they can protect the school in the future.  Holt stated the project on the gym could be approximately $149,000.  The bidding process will now begin.

 

The Superintendent presented the new District Logo that will be used to represent the School Board.  He thanked the staff at the Gazette and others who helped them design the new Logo.

And finally, Kevin Nolten with the STEM INITIATIVE explained that they have a program that works with students at the K-12 level to help bring the next generation into the jobs of the future working through Economic and Workforce development.  The program has grown to a nationwide status and now Evangeline Parish will benefit from it.  Nolten presented a plaque to Lazard for the partnership.

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In other news from Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue, on July 18, 2017 while in the area of a local store on Main Street, Officers and Detectives came into contact with a suspect that was wanted on a warrant from the City Marshal’s Office.  While the suspect was being arrested on the outstanding warrant, narcotics and paraphernalia was found on her person.  

Tara Soileau, 30 of 284 Lebois De Arc Rd, Ville Platte, was arrested on the outstanding warrant and faces charges of two counts of possession of schedule II controlled dangerous substance, violation of CDS and possession of drug paraphernalia.  Soileau was booked into the Ville Platte Police Department on a $15,000.00 bond.

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


 

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According to Ville Platte Police Chief, Neal Lartigue,

 

On July 18, 2017, Officers with the Ville Platte Police Department responded to a report of counterfeit money at a local business on East Main Street.  Upon arrival Officers learned that a black male had given the cashier a counterfeit fifty dollar bill to make his purchase.  Detectives were called to scene and began their investigation.  

 

Arrested was Kondwani Malveaux, age 23 of 611 East Beauregard Street, Ville Platte.  Malveaux was charged with monetary instrument abuse.  Malveaux was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail on a $25,000.00 bond set by Judge Gary Ortego.

 

Chief Neal Lartigue reminds business owners to pay close attention when accepting money for purchases.  Counterfeit money is circulating and paying close attention could prevent you from being a victim and also help catch those responsible as they try to use this counterfeit currency.

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The Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce held its monthly meeting Wednesday at Main Street Pizza.  Guest speakers included Dr. William Ward with Clinical Pathology Laboratory located at 503 Jack Miller Road, Suite C in Ville Platte.  They are in the same building as Dr. Aswell and Dr. Lafleur.  Ward explained that their suite has been updated and are open from 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.  The lab is a provider for most insurance companies and they offer excellent pricing for those paying for their own lab services.  Their office can be reached at 363-3310.

 

Also speaking at the meeting today was Amanda Thomas with SLCC.  She spoke of the services offered at the C.B. Coreil Campus here locally.  The programs offered include: Automotive, General Studies – Business, Medical Assistant, Practical Nursing – Fall 2018, RN Prerequisite courses and welding.  They are considering bringing a CDL program to the campus.  She explained that the ‘HISET’ program is also available at the campus.  This is a test you can take to gain your G.E.D. without having to take the G.E.D. courses.

 

The Chamber voted four new businesses in as members: Miller’s Sports & Signs, Hotel Cazan, The Grit House with a Twist and Clinical Pathology.

 

Director of the Chamber, Camille Fontenot, who sits on the Tee-Cotton Bowl Board, said the Bowl is coming along strong.  There will be photographers from all over, NFL players, a parade, fireworks display, a helicopter, and Passe Patout will be shooting their morning show from the event on September 1st.

 

Fontenot also announced that on July 29th, the main library in Ville Platte will host an event designed for our youth to meet the her as she wants to be the first woman astronaut who will go to Mars in 2033 – Alyssa Carson.  She is a 16-year-old from Baton Rouge.

 

The Chamber Board hopes to have a much bigger electronic sign up soon donated by the former Citizens Bank.  Investar is the new bank name and they have installed brand new signs.

 

Fontenot also announced that next month’s Chamber meeting will be held on August 16th at The Grit House with a Twist located in the same parking lot as Champagne’s and Brown’s Furniture.

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According to the Ville Platte Police Department, the following individuals have recently been arrested and booked into the City Jail:

 

Scottie Williams, age 25 of Court Street – Arrested for Simple Burglary, Theft and Contributing to the Delinquency of a Juvenile.  Bond was set at $16,500.

 

Willie Jones, age 26 of 915 Edward Knotoe – Arrested for Simple Burglary, Theft and Contributing to the Delinquency of a Juvenile.  Bond was set at $17,500.

 

Raejanae Alfred, age 19 of 543 Prosper – Arrested for Disturbing the Peace and Second Degree Battery.  Bond was set at $7,500.

 

Spencer Williams, age 29 of Young Street - Arrested for Simple Burglary, Theft and Contributing to the Delinquency of a Juvenile.  Bond was set at $16,500.

 

Derrick Tezeno, age 38 of NE Railroad – Arrested for Unauthorized Entry of a Dwelling, Criminal Trespassing and Criminal Damage to Property.  Bond was set at $25,000.

 

Rodney Ashely, age 47 of Beaumont, Texas – Arrested for Criminal Damage to Property and Disturbing the Peace.  Bond was set at $2,000.

 

All of the aforementioned cases remain under investigation and all bonds were set by Judge Gary Ortego.

 

Additional arrests in the area include:

 

Darren Valmont, age 22 of Bertimat Road – Arrested for Theft and remains incarcerated with a $1,000.00 bond;

 

Zachary James, age 20 of Rue Richaume – Arrested for DUI and out on a $1,000 bond;

 

Emanuel Malbrew, age 47 of Austin Road – Arrested for Criminal Mischief and currently incarcerated with a $200 bond;

 

Andrew Fontenot, age 46 of W. Main Street – Arrested for Discharging a Firearm Within the City Limits and out on a $2,500 bond; and

 

Tabitha Fuselier, age 33 of 1064 Copper Head – Arrested for Disturbing the Peace by Intoxication and currently incarcerated with a $200.00 bond.

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    The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from newly installed Club President Wayne Vidrine share his vision for the new club year.

     He told club members that he wants to continue with the current fund raisers for LSU-E and other groups and to promote additional members to become Paul Harris Fellows through donations to Rotary International. He also wants to follow through with the club sponsored “Choices” program in public schools to encourage students to stay in school.

    Vidrine wants to bring in additional members by revising the club by-laws to permit larger companies to sign up as corporate members.

    Chicot State Park will be a high priority for the new club president. Due to cuts in state funding, Chicot State Park has been facing “challenges” in making needed improvements to the facility. Vidrine said his goal will be to have the club use its energies to work with local and state officials such as the Lt. Governor to restore funding to “the crown  jewel of Evangeline Parish”. He cited a recent statistic that the tourism tax funds collected for the Tourism Commission from the park had dropped by one third of its former level. The Ville Platte Rotary club and Prof Lafleur were  instrumental in the establishment of Chicot State Park. Vidrine has plans to bring the Rotary District youth group known as Ryla to have summer camp at Chicot State Park in the future.

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VILLE PLATTE ROTARY CLUB MEETING

JULY 11, 2017

 

    The Ville Platte Rotary Club, today (Tuesday) heard from guest speaker Nickie Toups. Toups discussed her long association with nursing homes. She has worked in all facets of nursing home operations. She said her passion is to help senior ciitzens. For a number of years, she worked in 27 states helping nursing homes get in compliance with government regulations. Nursing homes are the second most regulated industry in the country according to Toups. She is currently the administrator of Eunice Manor. Toups invited members of the Ville Platte club to attend the Eunice Rotary Club Golf Tournament August 12 at Coushatta Casino Golf Course in Kinder. The event is for the benefit of the non -profit Eunice Community Health Center to help residents who are uninsured or under insured get medical care. Toups was the special guest of Rotarian Dan Poret.

   In other business:

--Rotarian Darwan Lazard was given the Paul Harris Fellow award by Leonard Glenn Fontenot and Club President Wayne Vidrine for his contribution to Rotary Foundation;

--Acknowledged Janice Helmer, outgoing secretary,  who was honored last month as Rotarian of the Year for her six years of service as Secretary to the club;

--the club heard from Assistant Supt. Of Schools  Michael Lombas asking local residents for donations of used furnishings for Immersion Program teachers coming in from France such as dinette sets and living room furniture to help defray travel expenses. French immersion will begin in the early grades at Ville Platte Elementary and Mamou Elementary schools.

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UPDATE July 11, 2017 4:50 p.m.

 

Escorted by her family and attorney, Dequince Brown bonded out of jail Tuesday afternoon.

 

UPDATE July 11, 2017

 

A bond hearing was set for Monday for Dequince Brown who has remained incarcerated after this incident.  KVPI News has spoken with District Attorney, Trent Brignac who told us that Brown’s attorney requested an expedited bond hearing and one was held this morning.  Bond was set at $75,000.00 by Judge Gary Ortego.  It is expected that Brown will bond out of jail at some point today. 

 

LOUISIANA STATE POLICE RELEASE UPDATE ON OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING IN MAMOU

 

Louisiana State Police Detectives continue their investigation into the July 6th officer involved shooting in Mamou.  This investigation is being conducted at the request of the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Department as it involved one of their Deputies.  The following are our preliminary investigative findings to this point:

 

At approximately 04:10 a.m., the Deputy was dispatched to a reported theft of an ATV and subsequently cleared that call.

 

Upon resuming patrol and still within the nearby area, the Deputy made a traffic stop on a 4-wheeler (ATV) on Retton School Rd @ Chad Ln.

 

The Deputy made contact with the driver of the ATV (Dejuan Guillory, B/M, 27 yoa), and his passenger (Dequince Brown, B/F, 21 yoa).

 

The Deputy asked Guillory and Brown for legal identification, which neither possessed.

 

During this initial interaction, Guillory struck the Deputy in the head, knocking him to the ground, dazing him with a possible loss of consciousness.

 

The Deputy was able to rise to his feet, draw his firearm and gave verbal commands for Guillory to lie on the ground.

 

Guillory laid down on his stomach and the Deputy attempted to handcuff Guillory.

During handcuffing, a struggle ensued.

 

Brown approached the Deputy from behind and began to choke and bite him.

 

During the struggle with Guillory and Brown, the Deputy shot Guillory with his duty weapon.

The Deputy returned to his unit and called for assistance.

 

The investigation is active and ongoing.  Investigative elements remaining in this case include ballistics, trajectory, toxicology, DNA analysis, autopsy report, and additional interviews.  It should be noted that the patrol vehicle was equipped with an in-car camera system which State Police has in its possession and will be conducting analysis of the device.  It should also be noted that evidence from the crime scene indicates that a handcuff was only applied to Guillory’s right arm.  The handcuff was significantly damaged and had to be cut off post autopsy.

 

We ask the community for patience as this investigation continues.  No further information will be released at this time.

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The Evangeline Parish Police Jury met Monday night in the Courthouse in Ville Platte.  It was announced that installation of additional new security cameras has begun in key locations in the courthouse to advance security for employees and those who visit.  A metal detector had previously been installed with a Sheriff’s deputy checking those who enter.  Also, purses and cell phones are not allowed into the courthouse.  Now, through a Homeland Security grant in the amount of $33,000.00 and the $7,827.00 contribution by the Police Jury, the new cameras will add additional eyes throughout the courthouse.

 

The Office of Community Development has announced that homeowners of Evangeline Parish who was affected by the August 2016 flooding are eligible to receive funds for repairs to their homes.  Even if you have begun the repair process, you are still eligible to receive the assistance.  The Police Jury asks that anyone wishing to receive the help, contact their office at 337-363-5651 and they will put you in touch with the proper office with Office of Community Development.

 

The 2016 Annual Audit Report was presented to the Jury by CPA, Vic Slaven who said it was “a pleasure to present it.”  He continued to say “It gets better and better every year.”  Upon reading the positive findings of the report, he said “My compliments to the Jury and I commend each one of you for a job well done.”

 

The Jury passed an Endorsement Resolution supporting the creation of a potential manufacturing plant in Evangeline Parish.  It was stated that the company has not purchased any property yet; however, they are interested in forming on the west side of the parish in Ward 2.  If the plant comes to fruition, it would be an approximate $10 million investment with approximately 20 employees earning between $40,000 - $50,000 a year. The Jury is exploring possible incentives to bring the plant here.

 

A local meeting with Acadiana Planning Commission, FEMA Disaster Recovery, FEMA Mitigation, Office of Community Development, GOHSEP and officials from Evangeline Parish will hold a tentative Water Shed meeting on July 26th at 1:00 p.m. to discuss flooding issues.

A public hearing is set for August 1st at 4:45 to discuss abandoning a portion of Howard Lane in District 3.

 

Secretary/Treasurer, Donald Bergeron, reported Sales Tax Collection in June for the month of May was $320,300.55 and he thanked everyone for shopping locally.

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Louisiana State Police Detectives continue their investigation into the July 6th officer involved shooting in Mamou.  This investigation is being conducted at the request of the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Department as it involved one of their Deputies.  The following are our preliminary investigative findings to this point:

 

At approximately 04:10 a.m., the Deputy was dispatched to a reported theft of an ATV and subsequently cleared that call. 

 

Upon resuming patrol and still within the nearby area, the Deputy made a traffic stop on a 4-wheeler (ATV) on Retton School Rd @ Chad Ln.

 

The Deputy made contact with the driver of the ATV (Dejuan Guillory, B/M, 27 yoa), and his passenger (Dequince Brown, B/F, 21 yoa).

 

The Deputy asked Guillory and Brown for legal identification, which neither possessed.

 

During this initial interaction, Guillory struck the Deputy in the head, knocking him to the ground, dazing him with a possible loss of consciousness.

 

The Deputy was able to rise to his feet, draw his firearm and gave verbal commands for Guillory to lie on the ground. 

 

Guillory laid down on his stomach and the Deputy attempted to handcuff Guillory.

 

During handcuffing, a struggle ensued. 

 

Brown approached the Deputy from behind and began to choke and bite him.

 

During the struggle with Guillory and Brown, the Deputy shot Guillory with his duty weapon. 

 

The Deputy returned to his unit and called for assistance. 

 

The investigation is active and ongoing.  Investigative elements remaining in this case include ballistics, trajectory, toxicology, DNA analysis, autopsy report, and additional interviews.  It should be noted that the patrol vehicle was equipped with an in-car camera system which State Police has in its possession and will be conducting analysis of the device.  It should also be noted that evidence from the crime scene indicates that a handcuff was only applied to Guillory’s right arm.  The handcuff was significantly damaged and had to be cut off post autopsy. 

 

We ask the community for patience as this investigation continues.  No further information will be released at this time.

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I was on the air Wednesday when I was told that The Faith House in Ville Platte was being shut down due to “budget cuts”.  My tears immediately began.  It was an awful, awful tragedy in my heart.  I immediately began to think of women who need or will need the services of The Faith House.  Those women who are being abused by their mate or who will in the future be abused by their mate.  You see, there will always be someone being abused.  Someone will always need the help of The Faith House.  You may not know her today, but you may know her in the future.  She may be the one that comes to work with a bruise on her arm and jokes that she “ran into a door”, she may the one that you see in the grocery store and she’s sporting sunglasses and a ball cap to hide that black eye.  She may be your sister, mother, daughter, aunt, grandmother, and she could be your wife. 

 

Domestic violence is real, very real.  It has taken the lives of many thousands of women who did not or could not get the help they need.  The lives of the ones who did not escape it.

 

Please understand that abuse is not just slapping or punching a woman.  It comes in the form of isolation, cutting her off of any money, mocking and ridiculing, screaming and cursing and other verbal abuse.  And, don’t forget the sexual abuse.  These are factors in a woman’s life that she may not even recognize until it’s too late.  Then, when she needs help, it is organizations like The Faith House who step in and help her with assistance from the Court, reforming her life and the lives of her children, providing clothing and necessities and helping her start a new life.  When was the last time you had to ask someone for a bar of soap or deodorant?  People do not always realize that some women have to leave in the dead of night just to survive.  And, sometimes that means she leaves with nothing except the clothes she has on.

 

It takes bravery and help to escape domestic violence.  That help comes in the form of Faith House.  I have been an advocate of Faith House and have helped raise money and supplies for them for the past three years because I know that the need is real.  I’ve seen it and I have lived it.

 

Yes, believe it or not I know how it feels to be a domestic violence survivor.  I am not ashamed, I am totally blessed that others in my community knew about the abuse and stepped up to help us leave.  Our church provided me with guidance and Faith House opened my eyes to what I had been dealing with.

 

This state needs not only more resources for battered women, but we need to educate our daughters on the signs of abuse and how to not only recognize it, but to absolutely not stand for it and report it.  We are lagging very far behind other states in not only helping abuse victims start a new life, but protecting them from further abuse.

 

We have all watched as lawmakers have fought the battle of the budget every year and we always know someone’s going to “get the hatchet”.  Normally, we see colleges and universities, hospitals, etc., take it for the team.  But, this year strikes my heart and it should hurt yours.

 

I spoke with the Executive Director of Faith House, Bobbi Lacombe, and she said they tried to hold out as long as they could before they closed the Evangeline Parish office.  The St. Landry and Acadia offices closed 6 months ago.  She assured me that the resources are still going to be there for victims in Evangeline Parish.  They now will have to call the Lafayette shelter where they can assist you.  Advocates are available by phone 24-hours a day on the

 

CRISIS LINE at 1-888-411-1333

 

Lacombe said most of their funding comes from the United Way and that due to the recent devastating floods, reduction in oil field labor and other factors, budgets for non-profits are way down.  She said they saw a 50% reduction in donations and lost over $100,000.00 last year.  They are still waiting for July 1st to see what is allocated.  They could see more reductions but they are hopeful.

 

I read an article on the air this week about Phil Jackson being fired from the NY Knicks.  The man received $60 million dollars for three years of work.  That is a staggering $50,000 per day.  I don’t know about you, but to me that is a lot of money.   When we celebrate things in our society like professional ball, concerts, expensive cars, monetary items and celebrities, don’t you think it is incumbent upon us to also recognize those who go forgotten in our society?  Those who do not have a voice and may not even have a place to lay their head.  It’s time to get back to basic humanity.  I for one, will continue to fight against domestic violence and I welcome anyone who wants to come on the journey with me.

 

If you would like to donate to Faith House, you can donate online at faithhouseacadiana.com or you can mail them to Faith House, PO Box 93145, Lafayette, LA 70509.

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Due to the 4th of July holiday, most businesses and banks will be closed Tuesday.  The Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court and courthouse, Ville Platte City Hall and the Police Jury offices will be closed, but will re-open Wednesday.

 

The Solid Waste office and all dump sites in Evangeline Parish will be closed Tuesday as well.  Trash service will not run and will be pushed back one day so employees can celebrate the holiday.

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Jawaski Beverly, 23 of Cotton Street – arrested for Theft of Goods and currently incarcerated with a $500.00 bond;

 

Tylan Roberts, 20 of 220 Roderick – arrested for Theft of Goods and currently incarcerated with a $500.00 bond;

 

Templeton Guillory of ED Alfred – arrested for Theft of Goods and currently incarcerated with a $500.00 bond;

 

Emanuel Malbrew, 47 of Austin Road – arrested for Disturbing the Peace and out on a $200.00 bond; and

 

Ashley Henry, 25 of W. Magnolia – arrested for No Insurance, Driving Under Suspension, Expired Motor Vehicle Inspection, running a stop sign and currently incarcerated with an $1,100 bond.

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It’s summertime and that means children need to be kept busy and what better to keep them entertained with than activities and special performances at the Evangeline Parish Libraries.  As part of the Summer Reading Program, children and adults have been treated to performances by Storyteller and Actress, Daphne Thomas, Magician Mitch Richard, “Fun with Spanish” with Thelma Fontenot and this week “Geebo the Clown and Magician”. 

 

The room was packed as Geebo performed and interacted with children at the main branch of the library today.  Many children from the Ville Platte Boys and Girls Club were in attendance.

 

Originally from Lake Charles, Gregory Guillory began performing as “Geebo The Clown aka “El Payaso Loco” as a seasoned bilingual clown, juggler, face-painter, balloon sculpture and magician in Los Angeles, California in 1988.  He has also performed in other parts of the country.  He performed for Evangeline Parish in 2015 and was invited back.  The children are very interactive with his performances.

 

Geebo was perform Wednesday morning at Pine Prairie branch of the library at 10:00 a.m. and at the Mamou branch at 2:00 p.m.  On Thursday he will wrap up the week’s performances at the Basile branch at 10:00 a.m. and the Chataignier branch at 3:00 p.m.

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VILLE PLATTE ROTARY CLUB

JUNE 27, 2017

 

    The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from their guest speaker, new U.L.-Lafayette Athletic Director, Dr. Bryan Maggert. Maggert brought several members of his staff with him at the meeting. Ville Platte was the ninth and final stop in visiting every parish in the Acadiana region to help promote U.L. athletics. “Our goal is to make U.L. Acadiana’s university, “ he said.

    Maggert served in the athletic program for 22 years in the University of Missouri He is married and he and his wife are the parents of three children. He said he is proud to report that U.L. leads the state in student athlete graduation rate and in the Sun Belt conference.

    He urged club members to attend U.L. sporting events. U.L. has just completed spending 117 million dollars on a new baseball facility. The next project is to upgrade and enlarge the football stadium. He said he loves the culture of Lafayette especially the food.

   Among the members accompanying Maggert was long time U.L. Play by Play announcer Jay Walker.

   Maggert was presented a special gift basket by Hilda Edwards on behalf of Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine who could not attend.

   Maggert was a special guest of Rotarian Dr. Joey Soileau.

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On June 23, 2017 at approximately 10:30 p.m. Officers with the Ville Platte Police Department responded to a report of a stolen vehicle on Jean Vidrine Road.  The silver Ford Expedition was located the next morning outside of the city limits and the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Officer notified the Ville Platte Police Department Detective assigned to the case.  The vehicle had been abandoned in a field off of St. john Road.  This matter is still under investigation.

Chief Lartigue asks residents to call if they have any information regarding the persons involved with the stolen Expedition.  To report this any information or any type of illegal activity, you can call the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.  Your call will remain anonymous.

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According to Ville Platte Chief of Police, Neal Lartigue, on June 19, 2017 Officers with the Ville Platte Police Department responded to a disturbance call on West Oak Street.  Upon arrival Officer learned that a father and son had an argument which led to the father striking his son in the head with a hammer.  As the son stumbled and tried to stop his fall, his hand and arm went through a window of the home causing cuts and bruising.  He was transported to Mercy Regional and treated for his cuts and bruises on his arm and hand and was also treated for a concussion and bleeding on his head.  

 

Joseph Shawn Fontenot, 44 of 105 West Oak Street, Ville Platte was arrested and charged with aggravated battery.  Fontenot was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail on a $35,000.00 and was transported to the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office Jail.

 

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Ville Platte Police Chief, Neal Lartigue reports a recent pursuit with one arrest.

On June 21, 2017 at approximately 11:00 p.m. an Officer with the Ville Platte Police Department observed a vehicle traveling west in the east bound lane of West Main Street.  As the Officer attempted to make a traffic stop, the vehicle accelerated speed and a short pursuit began.  The vehicle described as a grey Jeep turned onto HWY 167 and traveled a short distance before coliding with a set of mailboxes.  The driver exited the vehicle and fled and was captured after a short foot pursuit.  

Cedrick Gallow 33, of 114 S. Soileau Street, Ville Platte, was arrested and charged with reckless operation of a motor vehicle, aggravated flight from an officer, improper lane usage, improper display of license plate, no driver’s license, failure to have proper paperwork in vehicle, and no insurance.   Gallow was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and was transferred to the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office jail on a $17,740.00 bond.

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

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Funeral services for Cajun musician, Belton Richard will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, June 26, 2017 at St. Elizabeth Church in Carencro with burial to follow in the Greenview Memorial Cemetery.  Visitation will take place Saturday from 11:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. and on Sunday from 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Melancon Funeral Home in Carencro.

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KVPI News has been briefed by Evangeline Parish Director of 911 and the Office of Emergency Preparedness about Tropical Storm Cindy.  The storm has now been downgraded and the warnings we were under have been lifted.  Here is what you can expect as far as rain potential over the next few days:

 

FRIDAY – 30-60% chance of rain

SATURDAY – 60-70%

SUNDAY – 50-60%

MONDAY – 30-50%

TUESDAY – 20-30%

WEDNESDAY – 20-40%

 

Stay tuned to Classic Hits 92.5 for weather updates and any weather events that may arise.

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Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce members heard from Rae Gremillion with Volunteers of America during their monthly meeting Wednesday.  She explained how Volunteers of America is helping communities in 15 parishes in Louisiana by providing resources to Type 3 Childcare Centers like Kids World in Ville Platte.  A Type 3 childcare center is one that is able to accept state and federal funds to assist poverty stricken families with childcare.  Volunteers of America focuses on providing the same curriculum, materials, resources and training that other childcare centers have in order to bridge the learning gap.  They are dependent on donations from businesses to help be able to provide the materials.

 

She explained the School Readiness Tax Credit that many people do not know about.  If you have a business and you contribute up to $5,000.00 to the America’s Partnership in Child Care program, the State will reimburse your business dollar-to-dollar for your donation.  If your business owes taxes, the State will deduct the amount of your donation from amount that you owe.  Even if your business does not owe state taxes or if your donation exceeds your tax bill, the State will reimburse you in the form of a refund.  Gremillion said their organization has never been able to get help from Evangeline Parish and it only helps the Parish by putting those funds into the Type 3 childcare centers.  Bridging the learning gap helps lower crime later in life as well as drop-out rates.  Only 54% of children entering kindergarten are academically and developmentally ready to succeed.  If your business would like to donate and receive the tax credit, please call 337-234-5715.

 

It was also announced that the new UL Athletic Director, Bryan Maggard, will be visiting Evangeline Parish on June 27th.  Maggard replaced Scott Farmer and will be visiting the KVPI studios, Chamber of Commerce and other area businesses.

 

Mable Foreman announced the 9th year of the Evangeline Parish Coalition will hold its Health Fair at the Northside Civic Center on July 29th from 10:00 a.m. until they run out of supplies.  Parents can come and bring their children to collect school supplies.  They will also be provided with lunch.

 

The next Chamber meeting will be held on July 19, 2017 at Noon

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According to Ville Platte Police Chief, Neal Lartigue, the following individuals have recently been arrested and booked into the City Jail:

 

John Poullard, 24 of MLK Drive – arrested for Simple Burglary and Theft.  Bond was set at $20,000 by Judge Gary Ortego;

 

James Jones, of High School St. – arrested for 1 count of Domestic Abuse Battery, Felony and 2 counts of Domestic Abuse Battery.  Jones was denied bond by Judge Gary Ortego;

 

Steven McKoy, 18 of East Wilson – arrested for transfer and possession of a stolen vehicle.  Bond was set at $5,000.00 by Judge Gary Ortego;

 

Christopher Bellard, 48 of Blake Street – arrested for Simple Criminal Damage to Property.  Bellard is currently incarcerated with a $1,400.00 bond;

 

Michael Brooks, 47 of N. Chataignier – arrested for Simple Battery and is currently incarcerated with a $1,000.00 bond;

 

Lillian Andrus, 51 of Kordish Lane – arrested for Disobeying a Traffic Light/No License/Expired License Plate and Open Container.  Andrus is out on a $500.00 bond;

 

Jessie Vories, 44 of East Pine – arrested for Wreckless Driving and out on a $200.00 bond;

 

Davinski Doucet, 34 of East Long – arrested for Domestic Abuse and Driving Under Suspension and out on a $1,500.00 bond;

 

Warren Green, 46 of Tate Cove – arrested for Hit and Run and incarcerated with a $300.00 bond;

 

Bryan Weston, 18 of W. Long – arrested for Simple Battery and incarcerated with a $1,000.00 bond; and

 

Precious Thomas, 26 of N. Latour – arrested for Criminal Damage to Property and out on a $700.00 bond.

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As of 10 am, Tropical Storm Cindy has weakened slightly, down to sustained winds of 50 mph. Landfall projections still show a Texas-Louisiana state line location, sometime after midnight tonight, as a weak tropical storm.

 

We are still expecting 3 to 5 inches of rain, with the possibility of 10 inches if a slow moving rain band moves across your area. For people along and south of the I-10 corridor, this rain could easily cause flooding of streets due to the poor drainage conditions with the tides running so high.

 

For the tides, the danger is increasing for communities near the coast. Tides are running about 1.5 feet above normal right now, and that could go as high as 3 feet above normal during the high tide late tonight. Vulnerable locations to this above normal tide include Sabine Pass and sections of Highway 87 north of them, low areas near Bridge City, Highway 82 west and east of Holly Beach, downtown Cameron, Pecan Island, Intracoastal City, Delcambre, Cypremort Point, and Burns Point.

 

Wind-wise, tropical storm force wind gusts will start this morning in south central Louisiana, and move into southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas this afternoon. Central Louisiana and east Texas will see the stronger winds more likely tonight. The entire region should see winds subsiding by midday on Thursday. Due to the wind gusts, expect to see scattered power outages and a few trees fall down.

 

There is a small tornado threat for southwest, central, and south central Louisiana today and during the day on Thursday as well.

 

 

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     The Ville Platte Rotary Club held its annual installation of officers and banquet Tuesday night at La Veille Banque.

     Club members and their spouses and special guests were treated to a country band comprised of Chauncey Guillory and his son, Casey Guillory, Guy Pucheu, Chuck Manuel and Dustin Bailey. Chauncey is the son of the late Swamp Pop singer Clint West and Casey is Clint’s grand son.

    Outgoing president Peter Strawitz introduced the members of the board and said he enjoyed his term in office. During the past year, membership remained steady, the club worked closely with the Sacred Heart Interact Club and the club took part in preparing meals at the Grand Hoorah festival and for Rylla students at the Mountain Bayou Boy Scout camp. The club continued providing scholarships to LSU-E and Coreil Campus and to encourage 8th grade  public school students to  stay in school through the “Choices” program.

    Rotary District Official Linwood Broussard officiated in installing the following new slate of officers: President-Wayne Vidrine, President Elect-Richard LeJeune, Vice President Nicole Wenger, Secretary-Susan Saunders, Treasurer-Vic Slaven, Outgoing President Peter Strawitz and board members: Dr. Joey Soileau, Dr. Jerry Veillon, Annette Johnson, Peggy Tate and Larry Lachney.

    President Wayne Vidrine announced that his priority will be to work for improvements at Chicot State Park. The park was first created with the assistance of the Ville Platte Rotary Club. Vidrine said he wants to make sure that the flooded out cabins at the park can be replaced so groups such as the Rylla students can use the local facilities.

    Nicole Wenger and Darwan Lazard were named as Paul Harris Fellows after making major contributions to the Rotary International Foundation. Leonard Fontenot was honored as being a major donor to Rotary International.

    Retiring club secretary Janice Helmer was named Rotarian of the Year. She served in that office for the past six years. Kim LeJeune  was honored with a plaque from Larry Lachney for her work as instructor for the Sacred Heart Interact Club. Also, Peter Strawitz received a plaque for his service as president for the past year.

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On Monday, June 19, 2017, Officers with the Ville Platte Police Department responded to a report of a disturbance at a local business on Tate Cove Rd.  Upon arrival officers learned that one of the subjects involved in the disturbance fled the area in a vehicle that he did not have permission to use.  A few minutes later the vehicle and subject were located and stopped on Main Street, by detectives and officers. 

Emanuel Malbrew, 48 of 280 Austin Road, Ville Platte was arrested and charged with unauthorized use of a moveable.  Malbrew was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and transferred to the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office Jail on a $15,000.00 bond.

If you have any information regarding illegal activity in the community, you are asked to call the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.  Your call will remain anonymous.

 

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KVPI News Director, Stephanie Ware, attended a Budget Meeting held at the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office Thursday morning.  In attendance was Sheriff, Eddie Soileau, Dirk Deville, Josh Fontenot and Mike Fontenot.  The Sheriff was presented with the Amended Budget for 2016-2017.  Amendments to the Original Budget included a significant amount of “back billing” that was never collected, including $483,000 for ‘State Inmate Holding”.  With all of the Amendments to the Original Budget, the Amended Surplus adds up to $843,186.00 for 2016-2017.  Soileau stated “I have never seen a number like that in nine years.”  The Sheriff adopted the Budget then moved on to the proposed Budget for 2017-2018. 

 

The Surplus for the projected year goes down significantly to $155,279.00.  Deville and Josh Fontenot explained one of the reasons for that is because they will be spending more money to “meet the needs of the Parish, put more deputies on the roads and meet the needs of each department.”  The Expenditures in the new Budget increase from $1,170,817 in 2016-2017 to $1,406,429.00 in 2017-2018 for Salaries and Payroll Taxes.  Josh Fontenot stated that they are “cutting the Surplus but providing more for the Parish.” 

 

The Sheriff stopped carrying liability insurance for deputies last year and as reflected in the new Budget, he will continue not to carry it due to the extremely high cost of doing so versus what insurance has ever paid out.  When Stephanie asked why they will not carry the insurance, Deville stated that they had previously paid out close to half-a-million dollars for the premiums and insurance had only paid out approximately $18,000 so he said they will be self-funded like the Police Jury.

 

When Soileau reflected on the Surplus for next year only being $155,279, he stated “I don’t like that number, but we will have to live with it.”  He then adopted the Budget for 2017-2018.

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Ville Platte Chief of Police, Neal Lartigue is urging business owners to use caution when accepting cash for purchases.  A local business had a customer make a purchase with counterfeit money Wednesday morning consisting of nine (9) counterfeit $50.00 bills and one (1) counterfeit $100.00 bill.  The suspect got away but police are investigating and reviewing video footage.  A similar occurrence took place in Breaux Bridge recently. 

 

If you have anyone try to present any type of counterfeit payment at your business or if you know anyone who is trying to pass counterfeit money throughout the community, you are urged to contact the police department at 363-2124.

 

 

 

 

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The Ville Platte City Council and Mayor, Jennifer Vidrine, held their monthly meeting Tuesday at Ville Platte City Hall. 

 

During the meeting, Councilman Mike Perron questioned Ville Platte Chief of Police, Neal Lartigue as to the status of all of the recent vehicle burglaries.  Chief reported that two different groups of juveniles have been traveling throughout Ville Platte, St. Landry Parish and Eunice burglarizing vehicles.  KVPI News was told there were seven juveniles in a vehicle when Eunice Police came upon them.  Two of the juveniles got away from Police and 5 were arrested.  Two others were stopped by Shreveport Police in a stolen vehicle.  One of those assailants got away and one adult is being held in Shreveport.  Chief Neal Lartigue has a Warrant to bring him back to Evangeline Parish of numerous charges.  We were told that the drivers of the vehicles were dropping the juveniles off to walk through neighborhoods and open unlocked vehicles in order to take items left in the vehicles.

 

Mayor, Jennifer Vidrine reminds the public that you are responsible and will be held accountable for the actions of your children.  There is a curfew according to state law.  No juveniles are allowed on the streets after 10:00 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on the weekends.  She is encouraging the public to report any juveniles you see out after those times to the Ville Platte Police at 363-1313.  Parents can and are being charged with ‘Improper Supervision of a Juvenile’ when they allow their children to roam the streets.

 

In other news:  Mayor Vidrine is asking that the Police in Ville Platte start being tougher on those who are loitering outside of businesses.  She said “Stop and arrest them.  Don’t just nod your head and drive by.”  She also stated: “The Exxon Station and The Shell Station are not night clubs.  Stop loitering in the parking lots after the clubs close.”  Chief Lartigue said his officers have been working very hard and reported there were fifty-seven (57) arrests in Ville Platte last month.  He said “for a town of this size, that’s a lot!”

 

Dana Quebedeaux presented the Amended 2016-2017 Budget to the Council and reported a $269,618 surplus for the City; however, also reported that the Police Department overspent by $480,408.00.  She explained that much of those expenses were for medical expenses for inmates in the City Jail.  She also reported that the insurance rates for next year have tripled.  The Mayor and Chief stated that was due to accidents, lawsuits, etc. 

 

Also:

City of Ville Platte Employees will be receiving a 3% pay raise effective on the June 29th payroll;

 

Nancy Duplechain has been named the new Swamp Pop Museum Curator filling the position of Janie Knighton who has retired;

 

The Mayor presented a check to Fire Chief Chris Harrison in the amount of $39,249.48 for the Fire Insurance 2% Rebate;

 

The July City Council meeting will be held on July 18th as the new fiscal year begins; and

 

Expenditures for the month of May were down by $13,496.14.

 

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VILLE PLATTE ROTARY CLUB MEETING

JUNE 13, 2017

 

     Evangeline Parish County Agent Todd Fontenot was the guest speaker at today’s meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club.

     Fontenot said farmers are facing problems with excessive moisture in their fields. “It has been a wet year” he said.

     The rice crop was affected because of the early rainfall and again the flooding rains in April and May. He estimates Evangeline Parish rice producers have lost about 1000 acres of rice. Some of the rice crop was under water for as long as 12 days. The crop can take up to 8 days of being under water. The excessive moisture has impacted the rice yields. It is also causing problems with rice diseases.

   Some of the soybean crop had to be replanted due to the excessive rains this year.  As far as crawfish production, it was a mixed year. Some crawfish producers had a good year.  The prices fluctuated and were good through Easter week.

   Fontenot also reported that the 4-H program is busy during the summer months with students attending 4-H University at the LSU campus next week. It was formerly known as 4-H Short Course. Also, parish students will be attending 4-H Summer Camp in July at Camp Grant Walker. Participation in the 4-H program is still good in the parish while the numbers have dropped overall statewide.

    Rotary club members were reminded that the annual installation banquet is set for Tuesday night June 20 at 6;00pm at La Veille Banque on Main street. There will be no noon meeting next Tuesday.

 

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Tune in Wednesday, June 14th after the Noon Report as Liz Hill and Stephanie Ware discuss the predictions for the 2017 Hurricane Season that began on June 1st and runs through the end of November.  They will talk about ways you can prepare yourself, your family, pets, and your business in case a storm heads to Evangeline Parish.  Classic Hits 92.5 on your radio dial and classichits925.com online.

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Chateau Des Amis is helping bring awareness to abuse of the elderly by sponsoring an event on Wednesday, June 14th at 9:00 a.m. in observation of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.  There will be a Community Walk and a Commemorative Plaque placed in front of the rose bushes for Awareness of Elder Abuse. 

 

According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, in the United States, experts have reported that knowledge about elder abuse lags as much as two decades behind the fields of child abuse and domestic violence. 

 

Unfortunately, they say they simply do not know for certain how many people are suffering from elder abuse and neglect. Signs of elder abuse may be missed by professionals working with older Americans because of lack of awareness and adequate training on detecting abuse. The elderly may be reluctant to report abuse themselves because of fear of retaliation, lack of physical and/or cognitive ability to report, or because they do not want to get the abuser in trouble.

 

Guest speakers will be providing educational information on the many types of elder abuse and ways to prevent it.  Refreshments will be served.  That’s Chateau Des Amis at 955 Dardeau in Ville Platte. KVPI will be covering the event.

 

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According to the Ville Platte Police department, a vehicle was stolen on or around May 24, 2017 from Eunice, Louisiana and was located on May 25, 2017 in Ville Platte.  Two suspects fled from authorities and a warrant has been issued for their arrest.

 

Alshamir McKoy, 18 of 401 N. Chataignier Street and Antwan McKoy 30, of 124 East Wilson Street are wanted for possession of a stolen vehicle.  Their bond is set at $15,000.00 each by Judge Gary Ortego.

 

Detectives are also searching for Crystal Renee Landry Edmunson 43, Corie Miller Road, Port Barre from an incident that happened in January 2017.  Edmundson is believed to have left the area and is evading arrest.  In January, Emundson was involved in a disturbance in the Ville Platte area and is wanted on charges of aggravated battery and domestic abuse battery.

 

If you know the whereabouts of any of these suspects, you are asked to call 363-1313.  Your call will remain anonymous.

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The Ville Platte Police Department reports update on thefts from vehicles. 

Over the past couple of weeks the Ville Platte Police Department has been stepping up extra patrol in the city in response to multiple reports of thefts from vehicles. The investigation is ongoing and as of today there has been one arrest and two search warrants have been executed.

 

According to Detective Sergeant Steven Deville, two houses that were searched on June 6, 2017 in which evidence was recovered from residences where juveniles were thought to be involved with the thefts. More arrests are expected as the investigation continues.

 

A suspect also believed to be involved was arrested on a trespassing charge. Arrested on June 2, 2017 was Brandon Jason, 20 of 216 Roderick Street in Ville Platte.  Jason was transported to the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s office and a $500.00 bond issued by Judge Chuck West.

 

Chief Neal Lartigue reminds residents to remain vigilant. The investigation is continuing and it is important to always be careful, pay attention to your surroundings, lock your vehicles, doors and windows.  Keep an eye out in your neighborhood and to report any suspicious activity or suspicious person immediately by calling the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.  Your call will remain anonymous.

 

 

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The investigation of multiple thefts from unlocked vehicles within the city limits has yielded another arrest.

The Ville Platte Police Department received a report that a male subject was at someone’s home watching a game on television and took the keys to someone’s vehicle.  Later that night the suspect took the vehicle from the homeowner’s residence using the stolen keys from the house he was visiting.  The suspect was later arrested in Shreveport with the stolen vehicle, an unspecified amount of narcotics and a gun. The gun that was located was recently stolen from a vehicle in Ville Platte.  Kelly Thomas, 25 of 304 West Lincoln Road, Ville Platte is currently incarcerated in Shreveport and will be facing extradition on charges of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, possession of a stolen firearm and carrying of a firearm by a convicted felon.  A warrant issued for Thomas has a $100,000.00 bond set by Judge Chuck West. 

According to Detectives the arrest of Thomas and earlier reported arrest are not the only ones expected.  Detectives are requesting information on other suspects as their investigation continues.

Chief Lartigue reminds residents to keep vehicles, homes and outside buildings locked to prevent easy access to criminals and to continue to be vigilant in watching your property and your neighbor’s property for suspicious persons.

To report any information regarding the recent thefts from vehicles or any other illegal activity, please call the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.  Your call will remain anonymous. 

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The Ville Platte Fire Department would like to congratulate Assistant Fire Chief, Blake Perron and Firefighter, Dwayne Soileau for their 25 years as Louisiana State Firemen’s Association members, and 25 years as Volunteers with the Ville Platte Volunteer Fire Department.   With this milestone, they both became lifetime members of the Louisiana State Firemen’s Association.  

 

Fire Chief, Chris Harrison said "Congratulations from the entire department.  The community appreciates your hard work and dedication to the fire service."  KVPI would like to thank the Ville Platte Fire Department for their dedication to the community.

 

Pictured left to right are Blake Perron, Dwayne Soileau and Fire Chief Chris Harrison.

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    The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from Deacon Barney LeJeune with Jacob Crouch Suicide Prevention Services.  Crouch was a student at U.L. excelling in sports and academics and three days before his graduation, he took his life. His family began this education service in his name. Deacon LeJeune said nearly everyone has been touched by suicide.

    He quoted some startling statistics: Suicide is the 10th largest cause of deaths in the United States with young people ages 15-24 it is the second leading cause of death. Evangeline Parish is leading the state in the number of suicide deaths with 29 suicides per 100,000 people with neighboring parish Avoyelles Parish coming in at number two.

    Among the greatest at risk are : recent divorcees, unemployment, life stress, rural residents with limited resources and experiencing a recent major loss.

    The warning signs include: coded messages like talking about dying, giving away personal property, getting their life matters in order, low self esteem, no hope for the future, changes in personality, behavior, sleep patterns and eating patterns. The warning signs occur on social media such as Facebook.

    He urges family members and friends to take these warning signs seriously, be sympathetic, and get help. Do not leave the person alone.

    The guest speaker was a guest of Rotarian Maggie Ortego.

    Rotarians were reminded of the annual Installation Banquet where the new officers will be installed at La Veille Banque June 20 at 6;00pm.

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Evangeline Police Jury Meeting

June 5, 2017

 

     The Evangeline Parish Police Jury Monday was presented a special plaque of appreciation from J.D. Soileau, President of the Viet Nam Veterans of America, Evangeline Chapter #632.  The award named the police jury as a“Friend of V.V.A. 2017”.  Soileau said the jury has permitted the restoration and maintenance work on the Viet Nam era “Huey” helicopter and the guns at the war monument on courthouse square. The monument includes the names of 12 local residents who were killed in Viet Nam. Soileau said “Thank you for keeping alive their memory for future generations.” Several members of the group were in attendance for the presentation.

    In other business the police jury:

--approved a resolution to be sent to state and federal officials requesting emergency funding for future flood protection in Evangeline Parish;

--approved the reappointment of Lance Chapman, Desmond Thomas and Barry Bordelon to serve another term on the Ville Platte Recreation Board;

--approved a recommendation from Public Works Supt. Chester Granger to name the “Green Valley” road bridge in Faubourg as the number one priority for bridge replacement in the parish. The estimated cost is $525,000 to replace the bridge;

--went into executive session behind closed doors to discuss personnel matters . No action was taken once the doors opened again;

--approved a recommendation from Parish Engineer Ronnie Landreneau to spend $60,000 to repair Water Well Two at the Ward One Industrial Park.

--received a report from Secretary Treasurer Donald Bergeron that the 2 cent sales tax revenues in April brought in $243,988, a nearly $30,000 increase from April of 2016.  

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Smoked Meat Cook Off Results

June 6, 2017

 

     Here are the results of the World Championship Smoked Meat Cook off that was held last weekend during the 2017 Smoked Meat Festival.

     Congratulations to the two Grand Champion Award Winners: Amateur Grand Champion Winning Team- Fontenot and Ludeau Law Offices-Head Chef Chris Ludeau and their winning Dish- Tippin Tasso Slides; The Professional Grand Champion Winning Team: Teet’s Food Store Team One-Head Chef Luke Deville with the winning dish- Sweet n Sour Duck Breast.

     In the Amateur Division, Tasso Category- First Place- Fontenot and Ludeau Law Offices, Second Place- Citizens Bank Team 2, Third Place- Mercy Regional Medical Center Team One.

    In the Smoked Game Category: First Place- Martinique Cookers; Second Place- Evangeline Bank Team #2 and Third Place- Mercy Regional Medical Center Team 1.

    In the Smoked Seafood Category: First Place- Cameron Team One; Second Place- Heritage Manor Team; Third Place- Citizens Bank Team Two.

    In the Smoked Poultry Category: First Place- Evangeline Bank Team 2; Second Place- Cameron Team One; Third Place- Martinique Cookers.

    In the Bar-B-Que/Smoker Category- First Place- Evangeline Bank Team One; Second Place- Cameron Team 2; Third Place- Mercy Regional Medical Team 1.

    In the Sausage, Andouille and Ponce Category- First Place- Woodman Life Team; Second Place- H-U-Want It Team; Third Place- Cajun Grillerz Team.

    In the Professional Division: Smoked Game Category- First Place- Teet’s Food Store Team 1; Second Place- Big Mamou Cajun Beef Jerky Team and Third Place- Papa Gators Team 2;

   In the Sausage, Andouille and Ponce Category-First Place- Teets Food Store Team 1; Second Place- Big Mamou Cajun Beef Jerky Team; Third Place-Papa Gators Team 2.

   In the Tasso Category: First Place- Papa Gators Team 1; Second Place- Leroy’s Cajun Meats Team; Third Place-Teet’s Food Store Team 2.

   In the Smoked Seafood Category: First Place- Teet’s Food Store Team 2; Second Place-Leroy’s Cajun Meats and Third Place- Papa Gators Team 1.

   In the Smoked Poultry Category: First Place- Boucanee Couillons; Second Place- Teets Food Store Team #2; Third Place- Mercy Regional Medical Center Team 2.

   In the Bar-B-Cue/Smoker Category: First Place- Papa Gators Team 2; Second Place- Teet’s Food Store Team 2; Third Place- Teet’s Food Store Team  1.

   Overall, there were 89 total dishes that the out of town judges sampled: 51 dishes in the Amateur Division and 38 dishes in the Professional Category.

    The Smoked Meat Festival Association would like to thank all of the cooking teams and the judges for making this cook off another major success.

 

  

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       Despite the showers that came and went, the Louisiana Smoked Meat Festival went on with large crowds on hand at all of the events.

      Dozens of cooking booths were on hand all around the Ville Platte Grand Pavilion this morning as both Amateur and Professional cooks prepared highly secret smoked meat recipes in hopes of garnering the prized smoke house grand prize. There were 34 judges from out of town on hand judging about 100 dishes in various smoked meat dishes. Among the judges were long time Baton Rouge Advocate Columnist Smiley Anders and his wife.

       The opening ceremonies were very impressive as a team of Acadiana veterans and flag bearers representing the five branches of the military: army, marines, navy, air force and coast guard along with a special flag for the missing in action. Guest speaker was Col. Joey Strickland, Secretary of the Louisiana Office of Veterans Affairs. Special 50th anniversary pins were given to Vietnam Veterans in attendance.

     During the opening ceremonies, the Francis Reed distinguished smoker award for 2017 went out to Bob Reed of Cajun Grillerz cooking team.

     KVPI’s Carly Chaumont and Mark Layne were there covering the opening ceremonies and interviewing some of the cooking teams this (Saturday) morning.

     KVPI News will have all of the results of the cook off by Monday morning. Keep listening for all the details.

    Both Carly and Mark were able to meet with Country star headliners Aaron Tippen near his bus for a meet and greet after the broadcast.

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2017 Smoked Meat Festival Kicks Off

June 2, 2017

 

     The 25th annual Louisiana Smoked Meat Festival kicked off tonight with perfect weather, delicious food and great live music. The festival has moved a short distance to the civic center grand pavilion with a large dancing area and a new stage.

     Festival goers were able to bring their children to the carnival to ride the rides and enjoy the games. Adults were able to enjoy Wicked Waters and later tonight Hit and Run.

    The Classic Hits road crew were there covering it live with Josh and Mark. We spoke with many of those manning booths and cooking up food tonight. Be sure to look for Carly and Mark Saturday as we will be back at the festival from 10-1 including our live broadcast of the opening ceremonies for those who cannot attend.

    The schedule Saturday includes the Smoked Meat Cook off and judging   from 8-11am; 12;00 noon- Opening Ceremonies honoring all veterans; 3;00pm- Announcement of the winners in the cook off; 7-9pm- One Trick Pony; 10-12 midnight- Nashville Star Aaron Tippin. Admission is only $10 per person.

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Former Ville Platte Police Officer, Larry Paul Fontenot, and his attorney, Jacob Fusilier, entered into a plea agreement in open court today (Friday) with the Evangeline Parish District Attorney’s Office.  Fontenot was arrested in August of last year for malfeasance in office, extortion and video voyeurism for his role in intimidating two females during a traffic stop to exposing their breasts.  In the original complaint, he was also accused of taking pictures of their breasts and showing other officers.  The two females have settled a lawsuit filed against the Ville Platte Police Department for an undisclosed amount.

 

In the plea agreement, the bill was amended to One (1) count of Abuse of Office; and Two (2) counts of Intimidation by an Officer.  By pleading Guilty to all three counts, Fontenot was sentenced to Five (5) year hard labor with Five (5) years suspended and Five (5) years active and supervised probation.  For each of the two (2) counts of Intimidation by an Officer, Fontenot will receive Six (6) months in jail; Six (6) months suspended and One (1) year of probation.  The two years of probation will be served concurrently with the larger charge.

 

The plea agreement also comes with two special conditions: 1) Fontenot is not allowed to hold any type of law enforcement position; and he is to attend court ordered counseling approved by Parole and Probation.  That counseling could include Anger Management or Abusive Behavior.

 

Fontenot was also order to pay a $1,000.00 fine, plus additional court fees and costs.

 

Assistant District Attorney, Kelly Tate handled the case and presented it to The Honorable Chuck West who accepted the plea agreement into the record.

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Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue reports an arrest of a juvenile.

On May 28, 2017 at approximately 7:00 p.m. the Ville Platte Police Department responded to a report of theft at the Ville Platte Northside Civic Center.  Upon arrival Officers learned that numerous items such as sunglasses, cell phones and shoes were taken from the center.  The items belonged to contestants that were at the center participating in the Smoked Meat Festival Pageant.  Detectives investigating the thefts have recovered some of the items and have charged one juvenile at this time.  This incident is still under investigation. 

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Chief Lartigue reports an arrest of one, search for a male suspect and information on a missing boat.

On May 1, 2017 at approximately 3:30 p.m. the Ville Platte Police Department responded to a call of theft on West Main Street.  Upon arrival Officers learned that an aluminum boat, motor and trailer had been stolen from the yard of the residence.  On May 26th the Basile Police Department made apprehended one of the two individuals that were in possession of the boat.  Crystal Istre Jones, 41 of 302 9th Street in Mamou was arrested and charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Jones was transported and booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and booked on a $7,500.00 bond.   

Kirk Joseph Reed, 41 of 1702 Old Basile Highway, Basile remains at large and is wanted in connection with the theft of the aluminum boat. 

Chief Lartigue is requesting information on the whereabouts of Kirk Joseph Reed and the aluminum boat. If you have any information in regards to this or any other illegal activity, you are asked to call the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.  Your call will remain anonymous.

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Ville Platte Rotary Club

May 30, 2017

 

    The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from representatives of CASA of St. Landry and Evangeline Parishes. CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates. It is a nonprofit organization that works closely with the courts dealing with foster children.

    Madeline Rosette, director of the organization said the organization expanded its services to Evangeline Parish one year ago. She says her group is in need of additional volunteers to be an advocate with foster children.

   Jeremy Richard, lead advocate and supervisor, said in Evangeline Parish there are nine volunteers to work with 24 children. There are over 70 children in foster care in this parish so there is a great need for more volunteers to assist abused and neglected children. He said there is a need for more foster parents since these children are being moved to as far away as Lafayette and New Orleans because of a lack of foster parents.

   Craig LeBouef, chairman of the CASA board said the organization receives 80 percent of its federal funding directly from the state Supreme Court, The rest of its budget comes from groups like United Way and from fund raisers. Its current budget is $415,000. There are 15 members that serve on its board.

   Board Member Gloria Nye said the average age for a foster child is 5 years old. She said “a five year old child cannot speak for themselves in the courts . They need an adult to represent them and that is where CASA comes in” There are only 17 parishes that have similar programs in the state. She recommended to the Ville Platte Rotary club to consider an annual award to the Foster Parent of the Year to recognize foster parents who are doing a great job.

   In other business, the rotary club:

--recognized and welcomed one of its new club members: Scott Smith with Smith Air Conditioning;

--reminded club members that June 20 will be the annual installation banquet at La Veille Banque at 6:00pm;

--will be cooking a meal for the RYLLA youth at Lost Bayou Scout Camp near St. Landry Friday June 2 at 5:30pm. RYLLA is a rotary youth organization. The camp is hosting youth from Rotary District 6200 who will be attending camp all week.

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The newly formed Evangeline Parish Soccer League held the 1st Annual ‘Kick It’ Concert and Fundraiser sponsored by and held at Ville Platte Rental.  The festivities began at 3:00 p.m. Saturday.  Soccer players sold tickets for hamburger plate lunches and raffle prizes prior to the event.   DJ T-Rob played music for the crowd and Steph was LIVE on remote from the event over Classic Hit’s 92.5.  Recording artist, Ashton Dupre performed for the crowd and took pictures with the raffle prize winners.  There were soccer demonstrations and activities for the children to get familiar with the game.  There was also face painting and a bake sale. 

 

The Board members of Evangeline Parish Soccer would like to say a special thank you to every person who contributed to the event, including Ville Platte Rental and the staff.  They worked very hard preparing all of the hamburger lunches.  We also want to thank those businesses who donated items to be used in our raffle.  Mark Duplechain Body Shop, Candace Morein, Shop’s Meat Market, Teet’s Food Store, Jack Miller BBQ, Kary’s Roux, B&S Grocery, Slap Ya Mama, Bayou Chicot Grocery, Evangeline Drug Store, Ville Platte Fire Department and City Appliance.  A big thank you to Dynamic Environmental Services for cooking the hamburgers.  From ticket sales and the bake sale at the event, Evangeline Parish Soccer raised over $2,600.00.  We cannot say thank you enough!  We’ll see you all on the soccer field!

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On May 27th, a big fundraiser will be held at Ville Platte Rental to benefit the new Evangeline Parish Soccer league.  Children registered to play soccer sold hamburger plate lunch tickets and raffle tickets for the event.  All proceeds will go towards funding the league.  On the day of the event beginning at 3:00 p.m., Ashton Dupre will perform, there will be a bake sale, face painting, soccer demonstrations, karaoke and tons of things for the kids to enjoy.  Steph with KVPI will be LIVE on remote from the event along with DJ T-Rob.  The league welcomes those who would like to coach or referee to attend the event.  There will be another day of registration on the day of the event for those who were unable to attend the first one.  For more information, please contact President, Thomas Scully or Vice President, Stephanie Ware at 337-296-7474.  For updated information, log onto Evangeline Parish Soccer on Facebook.  Registration is $35.00 a child will be for those who reside in Evangeline Parish.  Late registration at the Draft will be $40.00.

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In follow-up to the story first reported by KATC, KVPI News has learned that Basile Police Officer and part-time Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Deputy, Nicholas Richardson was arrested today (Friday) and booked on charges of Felony Aggravated Assault with a Firearm; Simple Battery and Malfeasance in Office. 

 

The charges stem from an altercation that took place at the residence of Darrell and Mia Reed on May 17th.  Video surveillance shows Richardson getting out of his police cruiser, pulling his gun from his holster and quickly returning it during a heated exchange between the parties.

 

Also arrested was Richardson’s father, Grayling Richardson.  He was charged with Criminal Trespassing and Simple Battery.  Allegedly, later in the day he returned to the scene and verbally and physically assaulted the residents.

 

KVPI News has confirmed with Basile Police Chief, Alton Ivory, Jr., that Richardson has been put on Indefinite Suspension without pay.  Richardson only works part-time with the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office and we could not confirm the formal status of his employment there.

 

Nick Richardson’s bond was set at $18,000.00 by Judge Gary Ortego and both he and his father have bonded out of jail. (Photo courtesy of KATC footage)

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VPBGC, Inc. will be opening a new location at 220 South Thompson Street (formerly Heritage Manor) behind the Evangeline Parish Library.

 

June 1st will be Parent Orientation and Information Meeting at 5:30 p.m. for all REGISTERED MEMBERS.

 

The Summer session will begin Monday, June 5th through July 28th from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.  The Banquet is scheduled for Friday, August 4, 2017.

 

If anyone is interested in volunteering, please contact Dianna at 337-789-3873.

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Seniors Attended Senior Day Event

May 25, 2017

 

    More than 200 senior citizens from across the parish attended the annual Senior Day event at the Ville Platte Northside Civic Center today (Thursday). The event is sponsored annually for more than 20 years by the Evangeline Council on Aging. A Cajun music group from the Opelousas area provided the Cajun music and the dance floor stayed busy the entire time. The Evangeline Parish Chapter of the Viet Nam Veterans of America once again cooked and prepared a BBQ dinner for all the seniors who were there. After lunch, the Council on Aging conducted Bingo games for the seniors. The welcome was provided by Lisa Deouen, Director of the Council on Aging,  Deacon and former director Gene LeBouef offered the invocation while Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel offered a prayer in Cajun French. The Viet Nam Veterans group led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. KVPI FM 92.5 covered the event with a live remote.

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Chief Neal Lartigue requests information on a suspect at large.

The Ville Platte Police Department is seeking information regarding the whereabouts of a suspect last known to be in the Ville Platte area.  Regilinsky Joseph is a 20 year old black male that is currently wanted for criminal trespass and violation of a protection order.  The warrant stems from a reported incident on May 20, 2017 when the suspect was trespassing at a residence on West Cotton Street and has since continued to harass the residents of the home and continues to violate the protective order issued against him.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Regilinsky Joseph, you are asked to contact the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313, your call will remain anonymous.

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According to the Ville Platte Police Chief, Neal Lartigue, the following individuals have recently been arrested and booked into the City Jail:

 

Samantha Charlie, age 17 of Monier Avenue – arrested for Simple Battery and currently incarcerated with a $1,000.00 bond;

 

James Jones, age 43 of High School Drive – arrested for Domestic Abuse Battery and two counts of Simple Battery and currently incarcerated with a $3,000.00 bond;

 

Jaron Thomas, age 29 of N. Coreil – arrested for Disturbing the Peace, Intoxication and Remaining After Forbidden and out on bond;

 

Tracey Arvie, age 24 of S. Soileau – arrested for Simple Battery and currently incarcerated with a $1,000.00 bond;

 

Timothy Kordisk, age 47 of Hwy. 167 – arrested for Remaining After Forbidden and currently incarcerated with a $500.00 bond; and

 

Robert Landry, age 30 of W. Hickory – arrested for Public Intoxication and Resisting an Officer and currently incarcerated with a $950.00 bond. 

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The official launch of French Immersion of Evangeline Parish public schools took place today (Wednesday) at Ville Platte High Auditorium.

    Louisiana Governor took time from his busy schedule to attend the event to congratulate the school board and Evangeline Parish for its actions to begin a French Immersion program. The governor is in the middle of a legislative session deadlocked over financial issues and a pending visit later in the same day from Vice President Mike Pence.

   Superintendent of Schools Darwan Lazard  was the emcee for the event. Providing Cajun music was Mamou native Steve Riley and Mamou High French musicians. Fr. Mitch Guidry, pastor of Our Lady Queen of All Saints gave the invocation and benediction. Ville Platte High student Lazcano Llopis offered the Lord’s Prayer in French while Jaccorey Frank led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance in French.

   Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine welcomed visitors to Ville Platte and presented special gift baskets to the governor, Consul General and Education Superintendent.

   Also speaking were Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser, Codofil President Bill Arcneaux, Gregor Trumel, Counsul General of France , Louisiana Education Superintendent John White,  State Representative Bernard LeBas and State Senator Eric Lafleur.

    A special presentation of $10,000 was made to Superintendent Lazard from the state officials to help with start up expenses to begin French immersion.

   French immersion will begin in the early grades at both Ville Platte Elementary and Mamou Elementary.

  KVPI AM was there covering the event.

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In an update to our story from May 12th, KVPI News has learned that former employee of the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office, Bobbi Jo Fontenot, turned herself into authorities Wednesday morning in the Evangeline Parish Courthouse.  She has now been charged with Felony Theft.

 

According to a Statement from Sheriff, Eddie Soileau, through the efforts of Josh Fontenot, CPA (Evangeline Parish Chief Deputy Assessor), a “check substitution scheme” was discovered within the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office.  An employee of the Sheriff’s Civil Department, Bobbi Jo Fontenot, was consequently arrested Wednesday morning on the charge of Felony Theft.

 

Soileau states: “We will continue our internal efforts in order to make a determination of how much money was taken and will continue to provide the information to the Louisiana State Police who have joined the investigation.  The Louisiana Legislative Auditor has been apprised on the situation as well.”

 

KVPI News has confirmed that bond was set at $20,000.00 by Judge Gary Ortego and Fontenot has since bonded out of the parish jail.  We will keep you updated as this investigation continues.

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According to the Ville Platte Police Department, the following individuals have recently been arrested and booked into the Ville Platte City Jail:

 

Jonathan Gallow, age 32 of W. Pine Street in Ville Platte was arrested for Felony Theft.  Bond was set at $20,000 by Judge Chuck West;

 

Jonathan Gallow was then again arrested on charges of Home Invasion, Aggravated Battery and Criminal Damage for allegedly entering a female’s home, attacking her and fleeing the scene.  The incident remains under investigation.  The subject was arrested and held without bond pending a Gwen Law Hearing ordered by Judge Gary Ortego;

 

Milton Jackson, age 43 of Houston, TX was arrested for Disturbing the Peace, Second Degree Battery and Unauthorized Entry of an inhabited dwelling.  Bond was set at $30,000.00 by Judge Gary Ortego; and

 

Lucius Bradley, age 36 of Manuel Street in Ville Platte was arrested for Domestic Abuse, Aggravated Assault, Child Endangerment and Aggravated Battery and ordered to remain incarcerated pending a Gwen Law Hearing by Judge Gary Ortego.

 

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      The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from Dottie Clark, a pre- need specialist with Ardoin’s Funeral Home. Clark said it was important for people to make arrangements now and to share with the specialist, information about their personal life. Clark said a funeral should be a celebration of that person’s life by including personal items and photos that meant a lot to that person. She reported that the average funeral cost is $15,000 so it is very important to plan and prepare for final expenses. She also gave important advice dealing with Medicaid and your property. Clark was the special guest of Rotarian Richard LeJeune.

   Also, the Rotary Club inducted its newest members into the club. Incoming Club President Wayne Vidrine welcomed the following new members: Jackie Riche’, Darwan Lazard, Annie Fruge and Renee Tate along with their sponsors.

   In other club news:

--Leonard Glen Fontenot announced two members have agreed to make a donation to the Rotary International. Their donation will be matched by the club making the members, Nicole Wenger and Darwan Lazard, eligible to become Paul Harris Fellows. They will both be recognized at the club’s installation banquet June 20 at 6;00pm at La Veille Banque location. Rotary District Officer Linwood Broussard will be be installing the new club officers at that time.

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         The Evangeline Parish School Board is inviting the general public to attend the official launch of French Immersion in Evangeline Parish schools. French Immersion will be introduced to students at Ville Platte Elementary and Mamou Elementary next fall. The Launch program will take place Wednesday May 24 at 8:30am at Ville Platte High School Auditorium at 210 West Cotton Street. Special guests include: Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, Louisiana Superintendent of Schools John White, Consul General of France Gregor Trumel, State Senator Eric Lafleur , State Representative Bernard LeBas, Codofil President Bill Arceneaux and Evangeline Parish Superintendent of Schools Darwan Lazard. Seating is limited. KVPI 1050 AM plans to broadcast the entire event live for those who are at work and cannot attend in person.

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     The Evangeline Parish School Board Wednesday heard from Superintendent of Schools Darwan Lazard deny rumors that plans were in the works to reduce the number of employees working for the school system. Lazard said it is true that the school budget is based on school enrollment. He confirmed to board members and the general public Wednesday that the student enrollment from October to February has decreased by 44 students. “The reduction rumors are not true. We do not have a R.I.F. (reduction in force) about to begin,” he said. The superintendent remarked “It is too premature to speculate since the state legislature is still meeting to decide on such matters as funding the public schools.” Lazard said “ However, we have to live within our means. We cannot live by drawing down our savings, “ he commented.

   The superintendent announced that the public will be invited to a special open house at Ville Platte Elementary May 24 at 8:30am to formally introduce the French immersion program to parish public schools.  In the fall, both Ville Platte Elementary and Mamou Elementary will begin a French Immersion program for students in the early grades with assistance from Codofil and the state. Expected to be in attendance at the event will be Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, the State Education Superintendent, along with Codofil representatives. KVPI plans to broadcast the event with a live remote for those who are at work and could not attend.

  Chataignier Elementary school Prinicipal Peggy Edwards along with members of her staff including David Ardoin and Melissa Coreil made a special presentation to board members on the programs going on at the school. The Pre-K -8th school has made great strides in overall test scores by having its school grade improve to a B ranking. The school has 340 students enrolled.

   In other business, the school board:

--received a report from County Agent Todd Fontenot and 4-H Agent Kim Deville; Deville said there are 22 4-H clubs in parish schools. She announced four 4-H students were awarded national trips to New York and Washington D.C.;

--received news from Supt. Lazard that a special fund received from the 2016 state legislature will be distributed to school employees at the following rate: $214.28 to professional staff and $96.43 to support personnel.

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The Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce Wednesday heard numerous speakers at their May meeting held at Main Street Pizza in Ville Platte.  Members of the Chamber heard and watched a presentation by General Manager, Mark Layne and News Director, Stephanie Ware of KVPI on their recent awards presented by the Louisiana Association of Broadcasters.  Nomination videos were shown to the crowd for both Radio Station of the Year and Morning Show of the Year.  For the 7th year in a row, KVPI was awarded Radio Station of the Year and for the first time ever the Association presented a Morning Show of the Year Award and it was presented to Stephanie Ware in The Non-Blonde Café with Steph in the Mornings on Classic Hits 92.5.  Layne spoke to the crowd and thanked all of the faithful advertisers and sponsors of KVPI.  Since the radio station’s formation in 1953, advertisers have kept the radio station going by always supporting KVPI’s community efforts.  Ware spoke to the crowd and said how “privileged” she feels knowing that people have so many avenues to listen to music and they are listening to KVPI all over the world.  She read a message that she received Wednesday morning during her show from a listener in Ontario, Canada.  The listener said “I know I can’t win the Nearly Impossible Question, but is the answer “Plan your next vacation?”  I love listening to you.” 

 

Members then heard from Samantha Guillory and Renee Brown with the Smoked Meat Festival.  They both reported many of the changes that have taken place this year.  The festival has been moved up a month as to avoid to terrible heat that has accompanied the festival in past years.  It is not only the 25th Anniversary of the festival but also the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War.  There will be recognition of many veterans at the festival and especially those from Evangeline Parish who perished in the war.  They are asking for anyone who knows any family members of Gerald James Guillory from the Pine Prairie area or Wilson Jack, Jr. from the Ville Platte area call KVPI at 363-2124.

 

There will be a carnival, new local merchant area, cooking areas, musical acts like Wicked Waters and Aaron Tippon performing on a brand new stage built by Mike Ardoin with the Lyons Club, pageants, “Chopped” contests, 2-step contests, bartending contests and more.  Tickets will be $10.00 to get in.

 

Don Taylor with American Benefits was also heard and announced that his company has teamed with Owens & Thomas Funeral Home and will be working within the community very soon.

Janice Fontenot with Troup d’ Evangeline announced their performances of The Odd Couple this Friday night at 8:00, Saturday at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at the Ville Platte Civic Center.

 

Jerrie Ledoux with Congressman, Mike Johnson’s office announced she will be the liaison to this area and said he has in his 100 days in office held 5 Town Hall Meetings and plans to be in Ville Platte by the end of the year.

 

Dr. Spencer Launey of Ville Platte Family Care was voted in as the newest member of the Chamber.

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

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

 

Come view the amazing artifacts, photos,

records, Wall of Fame and hear the music.
 

Admission charge is $3 adults,

$2 seniors and $1 for children under 12.
 

The museum is located on

Northwest Railroad Avenue.

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