The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from new Mercy Regional Medical Center CEO Calvin Green. Green was former administrator at a medical facility in Many and has been a hospital administrator for 35 years.
The new company that purchased the hospitals in Ville Platte and Eunice from Lifepoint is Allegiance Health based in Shreveport. The two owners are former residents of Oakdale and Avoyelles Parish and own 10 rural hospitals throughout Louisiana. The medical group also owns medical facilities in Many, Arcadia, Lessville nd Winnfield.
Green said he is impressed with the staff at Mercy Regional in Ville Platte. His primary goal is to keep four groups of people happy and content: patients and their families, the 350- employees of the hospital, the physicians and medical staff and the community at large.
He is proud to announce that a physician will be locating here soon: Dr. Ellis Landreneau, a pediatrician who will move back home and open his practice in October along with his wife, a physician assistant.
Also, his staff is actively recruiting another former resident to move back home: Dr. Noah Miller, who specializes in Family Medicine who will complete is residency in another year.
Green said he wants to take a more active presence in the community on behalf of Mercy Regional Medical Center.
In other Rotary News:
- The Fall Rotary Social is planned for October 23 at Dr. Jerry Veillon's camp;
- A public hearing will be held October 18 in Lafayette by the the state Department of Transportation to get public comment on highway priorities. It was suggested to have a large group of citizens to attend to voice support for the four laning of US 167 from Ville Platte to Nuba;
SEPTEMBER 16, 2018
Seven additional riders qualified today (Sunday) to compete with the top ten riders from last year for the running of the Tournoi Sunday October 14. Steve "Buffy" Guillory told KVPI News that it was hot but fortunately no riders and their horses were injured in the competition. The seven that qualified are: Austin Trahan, Bryan Fontenot, Chuck Manuel, Cheyenne Crane, Cody Guillory, Bryce Johnson and Shane Trahan. We have both Father-son and a Mother-daughter teams. Shane is the son of Austin Trahan. Cheyenne is the daughter of Rider Lisa Crane who finished #7 last year and will be competing again this year. The seven new riders will compete with last year's Top Ten: 2017 Champ Eric Guillory, Marcus Guillory, Ryan Haller, Kent Saucier, Alex Haller, Keith Saucier, Lisa Crane, John Ross, Paul Fontenot and Shane Lee.
The Tournoi will be run at the Ward One Industrial Park at 2;00pm Sunday October 14 following the Grand Parade of Cotton. The Tournoi riders will be riding in the parade. KVPI will be covering the entire tournoi for those who cannot attend in person will be able to hear it on 92.5 KVPI FM.
The 2018 Tournoi will be run in honor of Gerald Fontenot, a 25 year veteran of the Tournoi. He was the 1967 Tournoi Champ, Fastest Time award in 1962 and he received the Sportsmanship award in 1968. In 1987, he received a plaque of appreciation for his years of service to the Tournoi.
The new Tournoi royalty will be attending the Tournoi: Miss 2018 La Tournoi is Taylor Grace Perrodin, the daughter of Brandy and Shannon Joubert and Rory Perrodin. She is a student at Pine Prairie High. The new Teen Tournoi Queen is Riana Perrodin, the daughter of Clarissa Daigle and Dustin Perrodin. She is a student of Pine Prairie High School.
Retired Tournoi riders will keep score and time. Also assisting with the scores will be Past Champion and Tournoi rider Winston Guillory.
The Evangeline Chamber of Commerce conducted a workshop geared to help local and area small businesses start a new business or to help grow their business. Chamber Director Renee Brown conducted the meeting and Chamber President Luke Deville welcomed a number of businesses who attended the Thursday after meeting.
Among the guest speakers who spoke to the group included: Seth Norris, C.P.A., who spoke about new tax changes impacting businesses; Destin Ortego with the Opportunity machine who talked about his services to help entrepreneurs and start up businesses get the training they need; Heidi Melancon with the U.L. Small Business Development Center and Larry Dents Jr. with TruFund who discussed finances for new businesses.
Those in attendance had a roundtable discussion and survey to decide on topics for future workshops such as marketing and using social media.
The group also discussed planning a chamber sponsored "Shop Local Christmas kickoff" promotion. Maggie Eades is the chairperson of the promotion. Chamber members will be polled to decide on a date in November for the kickoff date.
Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue reports the arrest of two.
On Monday September 10, 2018 at approximately 7:45 p.m. Ville Platte Police Officers responded to a report of Shots fired in the area of Edward Knotoe Thomas Street. Upon arrival Officers learned one individual was walking on the street and a second individual was in a car at the intersection of Edward Knotoe Thomas Street and South Soileau Street. It is also reported that a black female and a one year old child were also in the car at the time of the incident. Each of the two suspects fired a weapon and multiple bullet holes were found in the vehicle. No one was injured during the exchange.
After further investigation two arrests were made.
On Tuesday September 11, 2018 Officers and Detectives located one of the suspects who fled the area and was captured after a short foot pursuit from Young Street to South Soileau. Once Officers captured and searched the suspect they located a handgun in the front pocket of the suspect. The 16 year old black male was arrested and charged with three counts of attempted first degree murder, one count of possession of a firearm by a juvenile and one count of resisting an officer. The juvenile remains in the custody at this time.
On Wednesday September 12, 2018 Dequandray Thomas, 20 of 806 North Latour, apartment 52, Ville Platte was arrested and charged with one count of attempted second degree murder. Thomas was transferred to the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office Jail and remains incarcerated on a $100,000.00 bond.
Chief Neal Lartigue reminds everyone to report illegal activity immediately by calling 363-1313. Your call will remain anonymous.
The owners of the new Whistle Stop business Tuesday addressed the Mayor and City Council to clarify their intention with their request to sell alcohol at their store. They originally checked the wrong box on the permit, which would have allowed them to sell alcohol and have it consumed on the premises, as is done for restaurants. The Whistle Stop said that was a mistake, and that they only want to sell packaged alcohol that cannot be consumed at the site. The ARC and city council requested that the Whistle Stop provide security, discourage loitering, and provide signage to discourage customers from parking at the ARC. Concern was also given for the citizens who are sometimes in residence at the ARC. The Whistle Stop owners were eager to oblige and said they plan on being very considerate. The council approved the Whistle Stop's permit to sell packaged alcohol.
The Ville Platte Fire Chief, Chris Harrison, said the city received 39 calls, and there were no fatalities.
City Engineer, Ronnie Landreneau, reminded the council about the proposed L-GAP funds, which the city wants to use for a new Ville Platte welcome sign near Tobacco Plus. Mayor Vidrine said the idea is to have a wall with flags, a fountain, lights, and a motto. The city will later take suggestions from the public as to what type of motto to put on the wall.
In other action, a Ville Platte resident approached the council to ask what can be done about the city's drainage problems. The same citizen approached the Evangeline Parish Police Jury the night before, where he was told by the jury that they want to help by providing their equipment and labor, but that the city would have to reimburse them. Councilman Bryant Riggs seemed to take issue with the police jury, saying there's a difference between helping someone and charging them. He said it's a money issue and went on to say some people think the city doesn't have enough money for projects because they hear about council members getting raises, but he said that's a small amount compared to civil lawsuits. He said, "Our money is being spent on civil lawsuits." Councilman Mike Perron agreed with the citizen that something needs to be done about the drainage issue.
Mayor Vidrine said 16 more properties have been cleaned up or demolished since the last city council meeting. She and City Attorney Eric LaFleur spoke about revamping communications between city departments. They said the new system will be web-based and state-of-the-art. Mayor Vidrine also announced, with much glee, that the McDonald's driveway is fixed, and DOTD are working on the entrance to Popeye's.
In other action, the council approved alcohol permits for the following:
Mark's Corner & Drive Thru
Hebert's Boudin & Cracklin's, LLC
Cheap & Best, LLC
The Louisiana Cotton Festival
Mayor Vidrine wore a Sacred Heart Trojans jersey because she said she lost a bet when her alma mater, Ville Platte High, lost to the Trojans in the Tee Cotton Bowl. However, she said she was very proud of both teams.
In other business, Mayor Jennifer Vidrine read the expenditure report. Total expenses for the month of July, 2018, was $189,011.05 Total for the month of August was $208,903.51. Additional expenses were at the end of the quarter. Some expenses were paid to Acadian Ambulance to transport inmates, and two pump stations unexpectedly broke and needed repairs.
The council renewed their sponsorship of Evangeline Council on Aging Public Transit.
The council approved the hiring of 4 new people to the Ville Platte Police Department: a dispatcher and three parol officers.
The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from Michelle Bergeron, development director at The Refinery, formerly "Lighthouse Mission" of Opelousas.
Bergeron shared a video presentation of the newly constructed men's shelter on South Street in Opelousas. The facility can house up to 64 men who are homeless, who have no families, just out of prison or rehab and have no place to start over.
Bergeron said the home gives men their dignity back, gives them a second chance by feeding, housing and clothing them, educating and helping them find employment.
The home is a regimented faith based program where most residents satay an average of 9 months before getting on their own. Funding comes from private sources and public grants.
Bergeron was the special guest of Rotarian Nicole Wenger.
It was also announced that the Christian and Care Center is running short on food. Care and Share officials are asking for your generosity in making a food donation, monetary donations and donations of frozen food or wildgame. The center has a freezer to store the frozen food. The center helps the poor and needy in the Ville Platte area.
EPSO Inmate Attempts Suicide
Sheriff Eddie Soileau, of the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office has released the following:
At 0820 hours on Wednesday August 29, 2018 an inmate in Cell #1 of the Evangeline Parish Jail shook the cell gates to gain the attention of Jailors on Duty. The inmate advised the Jailors of another inmate attempting suicide.
Once inside Assistant Warden Sylvester Bradley and Deputy Jailor Barry Giglio discovered a white male inside the Cell hanging from the A/C vent by the use of a ripped towel applied around his neck. Deputy Giglio's extensive training allowed him to react and respond quickly without hesitation. He immediately grabbed the white male inmate from around his waist, slightly lifted him up, and then directed Assistant Warden Bradley to cut the towel from the A/C vent. Deputy Jailor Giglio immediately laid the white male across a nearby bunk and began to administer Chest compression which caused the white male to begin breathing again.
Acadian Ambulance arrived and transported inmate to Mercy Regional Hospital for further medical evaluation and treatment.
The Evangeline Parish School Board met Wednesday, September 05, 2018. During the meeting, CFO Amy LaFleur discussed the budget, which included the general fund, parish-wide maintenance, Basile maintenance, and the Basile High School athletic fund. The ending fund balance for the 2017-2018 school year is $13,005,388.54 (13 million, 5 thousand, 388 dollars and 54 cents). LaFleur said, "We closed with a good year." The board approved the proposed general fund budget for the 2018-2019 school year at $7,755,802.48 (7 million, 7 hundred 55 thousand, 8 hundred 2 dollars and 48 cents). Superintendent Darwan Lazard thanked LaFleur for a job well-done, year after year.
Lazard said he toured 10 of the 12 schools around the parish and said the new track at the Basile High School "is truly a marvel." The Mamou High School gym floor is under construction, and the school is selling cutouts of the old gym floor. Construction should be finished by October.
Lazard said the police brought drug-sniffing dogs to the schools, and there were no reports of drugs found.
Hubert Mabe with First Student said buses ran smoothly for the first week of school, and they are committed to the safety of the students.
The board approved the following:
The Child Nutrition Program plans to advertise for bids for large food service equipment and to advertise to receive bids for a cafeteria redesign at Mamou High School and Ville Platte High School.
Accept the low price quote for new auditorium seating at Mamou High School using the parish-wide maintenance fund.
Agreed to spend $15,511.92 for smart panels for four new classrooms at W.W. Stewart Elementary School.
In new business, the board approved the following:
$17,145.40 for new IPads for teachers to access online curriculum.
$11,395.00 for Chromebooks and cart for Pine Prairie High School Kindergarten classrooms.
Rotary Club Gets Emergency Medical Info September 4, 2018 The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from Karen Buroker, a registered nurse and Region Four Emergency Response Coordinator for the Acadiana Region. With Tropical Storm Gordon preparing to strike the Gulf coast tonight, Buroker shared with Rotary Club Members tips and advice to prepare for a storm. She shared special preparedness guides issued by the state. She urged residents to go online to get a game plane.org for lots of useful information. She urged families should prepare an emergency supply checklist that includes food, personal items, clothing and bedding, papers and valuables, safety supplies, prescriptions and medicines, first aid supplies and cooking equipment. She also urged that your plans should include a plan for your pets while you may be gone for several days. Karen was the special guest of Rotarian Bob Buroker. In other business, Club President Richard LeJeune announced that the club will prepare special Christmas baskets for ten needy families for the holidays. He is asking club members to turn in names for review.
Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue reports a juvenile arrest.
On August 30, 2018 at approximately 11:00 a.m. The Ville Platte Police Department Officers and Detectives responded to a report of a black male juvenile carrying a gun near Ville Platte High School. Ville Platte High School officials placed the school on lockdown and contacted the Ville Platte Police Department immediately. Officers and Detectives arrived in the area of high school drive and Cotton Street and began their investigation. Information obtained led them to a residence on High School Drive. Upon arrival the juvenile would not open the door and parents were contacted to return to the residence to gain entry. Once the parent arrived, entry was made and a fourteen year old black male juvenile was taken into custody. Inside the residence a 9 millimeter gun was located and was found to have been reported stolen from the Mamou area. The juvenile was charged with one count of illegal possession of a stolen firearm, one count of illegal possession of a handgun by a juvenile and one count of possession of a firearm in a school zone.
Chief Lartigue stated that someone reporting what they saw provided Officers and Detectives with information that assisted them with removing a dangerous weapon from the streets of our city. Had this information not been reported in a timely manner, the outcome could have been much different. It is important for the community that suspicious activity gets reported quickly.
To report suspicious or illegal activity please call the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313. Your call will remain anonymous.
Sheriff Eddie Soileau, of the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office has released the following:
Home Burglary Reported on Friday Afternoon
On Friday, August 24, 2018, there was a Burglary committed in the Tate Cove area of Evangeline Parish.
The Burglary occurred on the 3000 block of Tate Cove Road at an unknown time.
The suspects entered the residence through the home's French doors. While the suspect/s was inside the home they only canvassed the Master Bedroom. Other than jewelry only one firearm was taken (nickel plated silver Ruger SR9C 9mm pistol). Also taken from the residence were a female wedding ring and a male class ring. Both items are valued at approximately $800.00 individually.
No suspect has been identified at this time.
Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office is asking that everyone remain Vigilant at all times and report any suspicious activity immediately to Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office Investigations Division @ 337-363-2161, your local Law Enforcement Agency, or in an Emergency dial 9-1-1. All callers shall and will remain anonymous.
LIBRARY REPORTS SUMMER READING STATS
AUGUST 29, 2018
The Evangeline Parish Public Library is proud to release the following statistics for this year’s Summer Reading Program . Library patrons checked out a total of 7, 803 books throughout the parish. Here are the top readers for each library Branch: Basile Branch-Ages 0-3- Rhen Fontenot, Brenlee Toups, Audrey and Avery LeBleu, Ages 4-7- Rhett Fontenot , Ages 8-11-Ross Bertrand and Ages 12-17 Amayah Bertrand; Mamou Branch- Ages 0-3- Rowan King, Ages 4-7- Kierstan Freeman, Ages 8-11- Damien Hebert, Ages 12-17 Cecilyah Cole; Pine Prairie Branch—Ages 0-3 Rosalee Melancon, ages 4-7- Annalise Melancon, Ages 8-11-Emily Freeman, Ages 12-17- Kenwin Hazelton; Turkey Creek Branch-: Ages 0-2- Ben Davis and Angelynn Davie, ages 4-7- Aston King, Ages 8-11 Laila King and Ages 12-17- Selina Soleau; Ville Platte Branch- ages 0-2- Marian Andrus, ages 4-7 Aidan Davis, Ages 8-11 Isabelle Andrus and Ages 12-17- Sara Duplechin. Congratulations to these Top Readers and to all the readers who took part in the Summer Reading program.
James “Spanky” Vidrine, manager with Union Tank Car of Ville Platte was the guest speaker at today’s (Tuesday) meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club. He was the special guest of Rotarian Dr. Hosea “Joey” Soileau.
Vidrine said the history of Union Tank Car can be traced 128 years ago with the formation of the rail industry with the Rockefeller family needing a rail system to transport oil. Union Tank is the largest rail tank car company in North America.
Union Tank is now owned by the Moorman Company, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway whose chairman is the famous billionaire Warren Bufffet. Nationwide, Union Tank has about 3-4,000 people employed.
Union Tank has three divisions: Leasing. The company leases tank cars at about $700 each per month; Manufacturing division with two locations: in Alexandria and a site in Texas. The facilities can produce 20-25 cars a day at a cost of $90,000 each to manufacture. He said the Alexandria site is a huge facility. The third division is the repair unit. Ville Platte is a repair site. There are 11 repair shops throughout the country .
All tank cars, by law, must be serviced, cleaned and refurbished at least every ten years. After 50 years, the tank cars must be scrapped.
The Ville Platte location was opened 51 years ago. The facility is employing about 141 workers with about 75 percent of the crew from the immediate Ville Platte area.
The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from Major Wayne Vidrine with the Louisiana State Police. Also with him at the meeting was Public Information Officer Brooks David.
Vidrine, a resident of the Ville Platte area, a 25 year veteran of the State Police has just been promoted from Troop I Commander to State Police Regional Command Inspector. Also, David who has been working for the past four years with the news media as public information officer has also been promoted to a new position.
Vidrine spoke on how state police and rotary have a lot in common on ethical and moral leadership. He gave two examples on leaders who were good at team building: Bill Gates of Microsoft and Steve Jobs of Apple.
He reported that state troopers are now using E tickets where tickets are generated electronically and are being sent directly to the District Attorney and courts, body cams worn by police officers and crash reports that can be sent immediately to accident victims.
It was also reported that unmarked state police vehicles are patrolling interstate highways in the state looking for drug dealers, speeders and those texting while driving.
The guest speakers were the guests of Rotarian Dr. Ted Ardoin.
Superintendent Darwan Lazard announced at Wednesday’s school board meeting that Mamou Elementary has made history by becoming a certified French immersion program; the first in Evangeline Parish.
“Mamou Elementary has accomplished something that I don’t think has been accomplished before.” Said Superintendent Lazard. He continued, “You do remember that they just completed their first year with a French immersion program, and they were only 1 of 3 schools in the state of Louisiana to be certified this year.”
Tuesday, Mamou faculty and staff and those involved in the French immersion program went to Baton Rouge to be recognized by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Nina David, curriculum coordinator for Mamou Elementary approached the podium to speak about the process of becoming certified, stating that typically schools aren’t approved after only one year. “I think they saw our effort, our desire, to excel in French immersion in our first year, because Mamou is the Cajun Capital of the world, and where else should it be?” said David.
Those involved with the success of the French immersion program (teachers, faculty, staff) were recognized by Principal Mitchell Troy Fontenot, who thanked them for their hard work, and stated “Evangeline is a model district for French immersion.”
When discussing how the first day of school went for Evangeline Parish public schools Superintendent Lazard stated, “we had a very good opening day”. As done in the past, Lazard and Assistant Superintendent Mike Lombas visited all 12 schools on the first day.
Public hearing to be held September 19, 2018 for replacement of sewer plant at Bayou Chicot Elementary School to be funded by a USDA loan.
Approved payment of $27,654.00 to remove and replace the first story wood floor finish at Bayou Chicot Elementary.
Approved requisition for $8,117.89 for appliances for new special education kitchen, lab, and classroom at Pine Prairie High School using idea funds.
Approved requisition for $11,395.00 for 30 Chromebooks and charging cart for Mamou Elementary School to provide technology in 3rd and 4th grade classrooms for LEAP 2025 instruction using Title I school-wide funds.
Thomas McFarlain, representing the Evangeline ARC and the special needs clients they serve, addressed the Ville Platte City Council Tuesday to request that the city stop a new bar called “The Whistle Bar” from opening across the street from their location at the corner of Lasalle and North-West Railroad Avenue.
“You are all aware of the day program and educational activities operating in the old Deville Lumber Company building for the last 20 odd years.” stated McFarlain. “There are 55 governmentally disabled men and women from Ville Platte, Mamou, and throughout the parish area that attend our program every day. They are instructed in various activities, such that they may improve their ability to participate in society and integrate into the society. In addition, there is a home for 6 disabled men on the property. These men reside there, just as we live in our homes, but need structure and normalcy of community living to provide progress in their lives as productive citizens of Ville Platte. Further, there is a respite program across the street that is used by 8 disabled individuals primarily on weekends. Their parents or guardians send them there as a get away from their homes, or other necessary absences from their homes for medical reasons or family emergencies. There they are transported to various events in or around Ville Platte and nearby cities to attend social activities. These developmentally disabled men and women that live on the property attend the day programs, and temporarily house disabled individuals that are referred to the Evangeline ARC by the state of Louisiana. These individuals need structured environments. A strict routine for their daily lives to progress as citizen’s. Changes or disruptions in their lives is detrimental to their health, aggravate their disabilities, and generally bring disruption to their lives.”
McFarlain then requested that the city reject Whistle Bar’s application. Mayor Vidrine offered to show fairness to Whistle Bar’s owners by inviting them to the next City Council meeting to explain the type of establishment they’d be opening.
Mayor Jennifer Vidrine announced during her monthly report that the council received an honorable mention at the LMA conference, recognizing Ville Platte for being the only city in the state to keep its citizens informed via automated phone calls from the mayor. Mayor Vidrine also announced that 6 more abandoned properties have been cleared, and plans are underway to enforce citations for land owners who don’t maintain their properties.
Council member Bryant Riggs announced to the council his plans to fix up Ville Platte Northside Park, by giving up a year’s salary, and seeking out grants and coordinating fundraisers for the project. “We have to have something for everybody, not just the kids, but also for the disabled, A.D.D, senior citizens, children of all ages, and adults of all ages. that’s what I vision.” stated Riggs.
Alex “Sonny” Chapman addressed the council regarding improvement plans for the entrances and exits of Tate Cove Road businesses, in particular McDonalds and Popeyes. Chapman stated that the driveways not being flush with the road poses safety issues, and is an inconvenience to drivers. According to Mayor Vidrine, McDonalds has agreed to make the needed fixes, but Popeyes parking lot entrance belongs to Stage, and further steps need to be taken.
Ville Platte Police Chief Neil Lartigue announced the hiring of Darius Thomas as a part time jailor. During his monthly report, Lartigue stated that for the month of July the Ville Platte Police Department responded to a total of 504 calls for assistance, 490 of which required assistance. Also reported were 17 citations, 69 arrests (26 felony arrests) and 26 motor vehicle accidents. There were no fatalities to report.
Glenn Fields, Executive Director of Louisiana Folk Roots, was the guest speaker today (Tuesday) at the weekly luncheon of the Rotary Club of Ville Platte. He was the special guest of Rotarian Renee Brown.
Louisiana Folk Roots has partnered with The Grand Hoorah to return Folk Roots back to Chicot State Park during the past two years.
Fields said Louisiana Folk Roots wants to introduce in Evangeline Parish and in other area parishes an after school music program to instruct young people how to play Cajun music with the help of local musicians.
Folk Roots, along with Prairie Heritage who sponsors the Grand Hoorah and Codofil are supporting and encouraging the launch of these instructional programs.
He plans to reach out after the holidays to local businesses and industry to assist in funding the cost of musical instruments.
It was announced that the Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce will have a Business after Hours event at The Hatchery in Vidrine at 5;00pm Wednesday. Also, there will be a ground breaking for the new Teet’s Food Store location Friday morning at 10:00am.
Mayor Jennifer Vidrine addressed the members of the Ville Platte Rotary Club during their noon luncheon today (Tuesday).
The mayor spoke a lot about economic development and new businesses coming to town: Café Evangeline just had their grand opening last week at the bank note location, La Bonnes Vie will be taking over the Flat Town Music building, Teet’s Food Store will be constructing a new store across the road from their current location, Domino’s Pizza will be opening at the old Mexican restaurant on Tate Cove Road, a Chicken King restaurant and an Urgent Care walk in clinic.
Mayor Jennifer also mentioned that McDonald’s promises to fix the bump at their entrance from Tate Cove road once their renovation work is completed. She also mentioned that the city will be installing new more powerful LED lights along Main Street. Also, the city is looking at purchasing additional street cameras in high crime areas. Currently the city has ten cameras.
The city is expected to get in 17 new vehicles that will have tracking devices. Also, the Fire Department has applied for a new $800,000 ladder truck to replace its old ladder truck. She is also seeking a grant from the state to revitalize the Main Street area.
The Evangeline Parish Police Jury was presented their 2017 audit report by CPA Vic Slaven during Monday’s monthly meeting. Slaven reported that the audit had the same findings as the previous year, but nothing serious. According to Slaven, the police jury ended the year with a positive fund balance of $1,685,000.
Evangeline Parish Tax Assessor Dirk Deville addressed the Jury with his decision to run for the October 2019 Sheriff election. “Some have asked why?” said Deville “It’s actually quite simple. When I was called on to assist the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Department in its recent fiscal recovery, the challenge was fresh and exhilarating.” Deville stated that if he becomes Sheriff he will be “committed and dedicated to making Evangeline Parish a safer, more secure and better place to live.”
Introduced and approved a resolution in support of Bryan Vidrine’s candidacy for Police Jury Association of Louisiana.
Reviewed and adopted the 2018 millages.
Appointed Stephanie Smith to Evangeline tourism board.
Reappointed RL Quam to Evangeline Parish Water District #1 for a five-year term.
Wednesday, Evangeline Parish School Board Supervisor, Kellie Lafleur announced a massive cut in supplemental course education funds from the Louisiana Department of Education.
“Last year we were very fortunate to receive $160,000” said Lafleur adding, “We did get word last week that that number has been reduced to $88,323. This is going to significantly impact our LSUE dual enrollment, LSUE Academy, as well as South Louisiana Community College.” Lafleur explained that before, these funds would cover tuition and books, but this year Lafleur suggested allocating money to just tuition, and only offering one class, then reevaluate in the Spring to see if there is enough funding left to offer another class.
Superintendent Darwan Lazard added, “We had a very successful program, where students are able to earn college credits, but the funds that we get come from the state, which they cut significantly. I mean, when you lose $100,000, that’s nothing to blink at. We wanted everyone to know upfront that we won’t be able to offer as many classes as we have in the past.” Lazard stated that students utilizing Pell Grants won’t be affected.
Towards the end of the meeting, Lazard recognized Christine Bacon, W.W. Stewart principal retiring after 41 ½ years. Lazard described Bacon as “an icon in Evangeline Parish” stating, “she has worked hard for the children of this district for 41 ½ years. Most of that time she spent at W.W. Stewart, and most of the time she was there, she spent as principal.” Lazard then recognized a few new hires in the audience. Replacing Christine Bacon as interim principal is Danielle Young; Bacon’s assistant for over 7 years. Candance Manuel was recognized as interim assistant principal for Mamou High School. Quint West was recognized as the new principal for Pine Prairie High School. Katrina Ardoin was recognized as the interim assistant principal for P.P.H.S. Dr. Kimberly McCauley was recognized as the newest Mathematics teacher at P.P.H.S, receiving strong praise from Lazard for her expertise in Mathematics.
The board approved the adoption of the 2018 millage rates for the tax year 2018. All rates will remain the same as last year, except for the special parish-wide tax that increased from $9.99 to $10.35.
The board accepted a low-price quote of $12,394.26 from Associated Food Equipment & Supplies for a tilting skillet for W.W. Stewart Elementary School Cafeteria using SFS funds.
The board approved a motion to ratify ASE Environmental Services $5,250.00 for remediation/wipe down of the principal’s office and room #13 at Chataignier Elementary School using the parish-wide maintenance fund.
The board approved another motion to ratify ASE Environmental Services $6,300.00 for remediation/ wipe down of eight classrooms at Basile High School (Elementary Building) using Basile Maintenance Fund.
Sheriff Eddie Soileau, of the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office has released the following:
On Monday, July 30, 2018, there was an alleged home invasion in the Basile area of Evangeline Parish.
It happened on the 4800 block of Old Basile Highway at approximately 0915 hours.
The suspects allegedly broke into a home, restrained the home owner with an extension cord and stole several items to include 2 televisions and a firearm.
Deputies say the suspects may be driving a silver/light colored vehicle. Unknown make and model (possibly a Sports car).
One suspect is said to have been a black male wearing a t-shirt and baseball cap. Victim said there was also a second suspect believed to be a black male that he didn’t physically see but was able to hear his voice. No arrests have been made.
Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office is working to learn more information and is reaching out to the public for anyone with information on this crime or any other crime to contact the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division by phone at 337-363-2161. All callers remain anonymous.
The Rotary Club of Ville Platte heard from Realtor Lana Manuel Soileau at their noon luncheon meeting today (Tuesday). She was the guest of Rotarian Darin Bordelon.
Lana works for Keller-Williams Real Estate and is based in Opelousas. She and six real estate agents sell properties throughout Acadiana. She concentrates in Evangeline and St. Landry parishes.
In Evangeline Parish,, her firm has increased 89 percent in sales of property over the same period a year ago. However the average sale price has decreased because people are moving out of town and property values have decreased.
She said “Ville Platte is a great town and there is so much great potential right here if people could work together and re-grow this town.”
She shared with club members the advantages of listing your property with a full service real estate agent over selling it directly.
Lana credits social media for the great majority of her business.
In other business, the club heard from two students who just returned from the Rotary summer camp known as Camp Rylla: Callie Pitre and Darrelyn Lachney. Both received Rotary Club scholarships. Pitre plans to attend U.L. Lafayette majoring in psychology and Lachney will be attending LSU Eunice for nursing.
KVPI News has learned that a candidate for Mamou City Council in District 3, Eugene Manuel, has withdrawn from the race after a challenge from the incumbent.
District 3 City Councilman Charles Reed filed a petition Friday in 13th District Court asking the court to disqualify Manuel’s candidacy. In the petition, Reed argues that Manuel does not meet the residency qualifications.
A hearing was held in 13th District Court before Judge Gary Ortego this (Monday) afternoon. Judge Ortego announced in open court that the defendant, Eugene Manuel has formally withdrawn from the race through filing paperwork with the Clerk of Court’s Office.
Charles Reed, the incumbent still faces challenger Glyn Brunet in the November 6 election.
The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from “The Voice of the LSU Tigers” Chris Blair at their noon meeting at the Family Life Center. Blair has been the play by play announcer for LSU Sports for the past two years replacing long time announcer Jim Hawthorne.
Blair was the announcer for Georgia Southern for a number of years. He is a native of Kentucky. His family was in the radio business.
He told rotary club members that the football program under Coach Ed Orgeron should show much improvement this football season. He also felt the basketball program and baseball should also make major strides in the new school year.
Blair was the special guest of Rotarian Bill Brunet. Blair visited KVPI after the rotary meeting for a special interview and met with local residents in a Meet and Greet.
Five Arrested in Evangeline Parish Staged Crash
Today Louisiana State Police Detectives with the Insurance Fraud / Auto Theft Unit assigned to the Lafayette Field Office arrested five people for violations of Louisiana insurance fraud laws.
The initial investigation revealed in December 2015, a group of five people participated in a staged vehicle crash involving a passenger car and a rental vehicle near Ville Platte. The staged crash involved five adults and three children between the ages of 9 and 15. The goal of the staged crash was to generate fraudulent insurance claims for intentionally damaged property and fake bodily injuries.
At the conclusion of the investigation, State Police Detectives obtained arrest warrants on charges of insurance fraud, filing a false police report, and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile. On July 23, 2018, State Police Detectives arrested the following suspects and booked them into the Evangeline Parish Jail:
- Winston Dupre (66 yoa from Pollock, LA) - Insurance Fraud, Filing False Public Records
- Sheba Williams (32 yoa from Opelousas, LA) - Insurance Fraud, Filing False Public Records and Contributing to the Delinquency of a Juvenile (2counts)
- Lucinda Williams (26 yoa from Ville Platte, LA) - Insurance Fraud
- Delores Bias (24 yoa from Eunice, LA) - Insurance Fraud
- Melanie Malveaux (36 yoa from Mamou, LA) - Insurance Fraud, Contributing to the Delinquency of a Juvenile
Anyone having information concerning persons staging vehicle crashes, or committing other forms of insurance fraud, should contact the Louisiana State Police Insurance Fraud / Auto Theft Unit at (225) 925-3701 or email@example.com
Candidate Qualifications Ends in Evangeline Parish
July 20, 2018
Candidate qualifying ended at 4:30 Friday afternoon, according to Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel. Here are the candidates that qualified on Friday for the November 6 Primary Election:
Village of Chataignier- Chief of Police- Josh Clint Brasseaux; Alderman Joseph H. Simien; Alderman- Debra Fontenot;
Village of Turkey Creek- Mayor Phillip Cavins and Council Member- Joey Ducote;
Town of Mamou- Mayor: David Charlie; Chief of Police- Brent Zackery and Michael Thomas; Alderman District 2- Brook Chapman; Alderman District 3- Charles Reed;
City of Ville Platte- Alderman District D- Lionel Anderson; District E- Lucian J. McKinney Jr. and Alderman District F-Bryant Riggs;
Town of Basile- Alderman at Large- Catina Molitor Hebert;
School Board- District 10- Maggie Ortego.
Here is the full list of candidates who qualified for candidates seeking political office:
Secretary of State: Kyle Ardoin (Incumbent) , Heather Cloud (who has served as Mayor of Turkey Creek), Gwen Collins Greenup, A.G. Crowe, Rick Edmonds, Renee Fontenot Free, Thomas Kennedy III, Matthew “Matt” Moreau, and Julie Stokes.
Congressman-4th District: Mark David Halverson, Mike Johnson (incumbent) and Ryan Trundle;
Evangeline Parish School Board:
District 1- Lonnie Sonnier (incumbent), District 2- Dr. Bobby Deshotel (incumbent), District 3-Ted Patrick Soileau and Karen Vidrine; District 4- Wayne Dardeau (incumbent) ; District 5- Peggy Forman (Incumbent); District 6- Michael Fontenot (Incumbent); District 7- Sheila Joseph; District 8- Wanda Skinner (incumbent); District 9- Scott Limoges (Incumbent); District 10- Maggie Ortego and Arthur Savoy (incumbent); District 11- Nancy Hamlin (incumbent); District 12- Ellis Guillory (incumbent) and Calvin Leday Jr.; District 13- Chris Guillory and Georgianna Wilson (incumbent).
Ville Platte: Mayor –Kevin Lafleur and Jennifer Vidrine (Incumbent); Chief of Police-Linton Fontenot and Neal Lartigue (incumbent); Council Members-District A-C.J. Dardeau (incumbent) and Faye Lemoine; District B-Jerry Joseph (incumbent) ; District C-Mike Perron (Incumbent) ; District D-Lionel Anderson and Vashanski “Shanky “Thomas; District E-Lucian McKinney Jr. and Donald Ray Sam (incumbent); District F-Kathan Arvie and Bryant Riggs (incumbent).
Mamou- Mayor-David Charlie, Gerald Fontenot and Ricky Fontenot (Incumbent); Chief of Police-Michael “Gorilla” Fruge, Charles Perdices, Michael Thomas and Brent Zachery (incumbent); Alderman- At Large- Leisa Deshotel (incumbent); District 1-Freddie Matthew (Incumbent) and Derrell “Sheaky” Thomas; District 2-Brook Chapman and Clayton “Tiny” McGee; District 3-Glyn Brunet, Eugene Manuel and Charles Reed (Incumbent); District 4-Robin Young (incumbent).
Basile-Mayor Mark Denette (incumbent); Chief of Police-Allen Ivory Thomas (incumbent), Gregory James and Nicholas Richardson; Alderman-Alderman at Large-Travis Deshotel and Catina Molitor-Herbert; Alderman-District 1-Latoya Howze; Alderman District (Three to be Elected)-Kenny Burgess, Caleb Delafosse, Bron Dubroc, and Kristy Miller;
Chataignier-Mayor- Justin Darbonne and Jackie Malveaux Thomas (incumbent); Chief of Police-Joseph Clint Brasseaux; Alderman (Three to be Elected) -Carilyn “Tu” Arvie, John B. Brasseaux, Debra Fontenot and Joseph H. Simien;
Turkey Creek- Mayor-Phillip Cavins; Alderman- (Three to be elected)-Joey Ducote, Billy Neal King Jr and Kurry Stewart.
Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel reported to KVPI News nine additional candidates qualified for public office on Thursday.
Those candidates include:
Town of Basile: Alderman at Large- Travis Deshotel; Alderman District 2- Kristy Miller;
School Board: District 12-Ellis Guillory Sr. and District 13- Chris Guillory;
City of Ville Platte: Mayor Kevin Lafleur; Alderman in District F- Kathan Arvie;
Village of Chataignier: Mayor-Justin Darbonne and for Alderman-John Brasseaux.
Friday at 4:30pm is the deadline to qualify at the Clerk of Court’s Office in the Courthouse for the November primary election.
The Evangeline Parish School Board approved a low-price quote from EQ Solutions, in the amount of $40,300.00, for labor and materials for renovation and construction of an apartment and kitchen lab/classroom for special education students at Ville Platte High School. The request was made by Special Education Director, Roxanne West. West states that plans to bring this program to Pine Prairie High School within the year are already underway. West thanked the board for their support.
With school starting August 9th, Superintendent Darwan Lazard stated, “I’ve had this question asked of me, why are we starting so early? Well, we have a number of holidays, we have to get in. A certain number of work days. We also have to build in some days into the calendar in case we have snow in Ville Platte and Basile, as we had this past year. So, we want to make sure we are well prepared so that we can serve the students of Evangeline Parish.”
The board received a special presentation from Basile High School Assistant Principal Johnny Deshotel, highlighting the school’s academic and athletic achievements. A slide show presentation showcased their new school building, welding shop, and running track.
A public hearing will be held on August 1st to consider adoption of 2018 millage rates for the 2018 tax year.
CFO Amy Lafleur announced the Evangeline Parish School Board sales tax distribution amount for 2017-2018 is $2,284,396.84. That’s $186,973.98 less compared to the 2016-2017 year.
The board approved the Addendum to Pupil Progression Plan for 2018-2019. This is an academic improvement plan to identify students in grades 4th and 8th who have not met an acceptable level of performance in the core subjects and will be provided an individual academic improvement plan.
The board approved a revision of the “tuition reimbursement form” offering teachers tuition assistance through title I, title II, and special education funds. For staying in the parish for a minimum of 3 years, teachers will receive $2,500 (previously $2,000) in student loan reimbursements per year.
The board approved the renewal of the current student accident insurance plan.
The board approved a low bid from Leaser Construction, Inc. In the amount of $139,000.00 for removal and elevated replacement of Mamou High School gym floors using the parish-wide maintenance fund.
The board approved the adoption of the 2018-2019 student handbook and reference guide.
-Minor changes were made to handbook to include:
Testing schedule update
Dress code policy
FERPA, etc. Language update.
The board approved a contract renewal for Gregory Guillory, assistant principal presently assigned to Vidrine Elementary School, present 2-year contract renewed effective November 18,2018.
First Day of Qualifying 2018
July 18, 2018
Some 40 candidates have qualified with the clerk of court today on the first day of qualifying for the November primary election.
Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel reported the following candidates qualified today (Wednesday):
School Board Members: District 1-Lonnie Sonnier; District 2- Dr. Bobby Deshotel; District 3- Karen Vidrine and Ted Patrick Soileau; District 4- Wayne Dardeau; District 5- Peggy Forman; District 6- Michael Fontenot; District 7- Sheila Joseph; District 8- Wanda Skinner; District 9- Scott Limoges; District 10- Arthur Savoy; District 11- Nancy Hamlin; District 12- Calvin LeDay Jr. and District 13-Georgiana Wilson.
City of Ville Platte: Mayor- Jennifer Vidrine and Chief of Police- Neal Lartigue and Linton Fontenot; Aldermen- District A- C.J. Dardeau and Faye Lemoine; District B- Jerry Joseph; District C- Mike Perron; District E-Donald Ray Sam; and District D- Vashanski “Shanky” Thomas;
Town of Mamou: mayor- Ricky Fontenot and Gerald Fontenot; Chief of Police- Charles Perdices and Michael “Gorilla” Fruge; Alderman- District 1- Derrell “Sheaky” Thomas and Freddie Matthew; District 2- Clayton “Tiny” McGee; District 3- Glyn Brunet and Eugene Manuel; District 4- Robin Young;
Town of Basile: Chief of Police- Nicholas Richardson and Allen Ivory Jr. Alderman- District 1-Latoya Howze; District 2- Bron Dubroc; District 2-Kenny Burgess and District 2- Caleb Delafosse
Village of Turkey Creek: Council Member- Billy Neal King Jr. and Kurry Stewart;
Qualifying continues Thursday and ends Friday at 4:30pm at the Clerk of Court’s Office.
New Ville Platte Rotary Club President Richard LeJeune conducted his first meeting of the organization today (Tuesday) at the Family Life Center. The new slate of officers include: Le Jeune as Club President, President Elect-Nicole Wenger, Vice President Peter Strawitz, Past President-Wayne Vidrine, Secretary- Susan Saunders, Treasurer- Vic Slaven, Sgt.at Arms-Dr. Jerry Veillon , Song Master-Dr. Joey Soileau .
LeJeune said he wants the rotary club to get more involved in the community by introducing two new projects-Prepare Christmas baskets for ten needy families and to have club members bring two unwrapped toys to give to needy children of our area around the holidays.
The new club president urged members to consider becoming a Paul Harris Fellow by donating to Rotary International.
He also said popular community projects such as the Choices program in schools and scholarships to LSUE and Camp RYLLA will continue.
The club welcomed its two newest members: Renee Brown, director of the Evangeline Chamber of Commerce and Margie Mealer, new librarian for the Evangeline Parish Library.
Qualifying for the November 6 Primary election begins this Wednesday July 18-Friday July 20 at the Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court’s office.
Local voters will vote on a new Secretary of State and for Congressman in the 4th District that runs from Eunice and Evangeline Parish all the way to Arkansas line.
In local races, all 13 members of the Evangeline Parish School Board will be up for re -election in November.
Also, there will be municipal elections in Ville Platte, Mamou, Chataignier and Turkey Creek.
In each municipality, voters will vote on mayor, chief of police and for alderman. The only exception is Turkey Creek where the chief position is now an appointed office. Voters will vote on Mayor, chief of police and 6 aldermen in Ville Platte, Mayor, police chief and five aldermen in Mamou, Mayor, police chief and three aldermen in Chataignier and Mayor and three aldermen in Turkey Creek
If a runoff is needed, the general election is set for December 8.
Belle Maison Apartment representatives Rhett Holmes and Bryan Bates addressed the Ville Platte City Council Tuesday, with plans to develop a 9-million-dollar apartment complex that would provide affordable housing to working class citizens.
According to Holmes, the complex, which will be located at Tate Cove Road and East Lincoln Road, will require residents to have a job and pay rent. 56 apartments will be built, with rent ranging from $300 per month for a one bedroom, to $650-700 per month for a 3-bedroom apartment. Holmes stated that resident amenities will include: a playground, walking trail, garden, covered parking (90 spaces), but will not have a pool. Holmes stated that security is a top priority for Belle Maison Apartments, and plans to use adequate lighting, and quality security cameras (1 for every 3-4 apartments) to ensure resident safety. Before starting, Holmes stated that the Mayor would need to sign a letter, confirming that utilities are available and residents can live there.
Mayor Vidrine, opposing the idea, stated that she would rather focus on developing single family homes (rent to purchase) over adding apartment complexes to the city. Council member Mike Perron, who’s district would be receiving the apartment complex, stated that his constituents have expressed concern over potential trespassers on their properties. Council member Bryant Riggs disagreed, stating that the apartment complex is a step in the right direction, and that there is a need for these apartments.
Mayor Vidrine also announced that early December 2018, Domino’s Pizza will be opening a new location at the corner of LaSalle St. and Tate Cove Rd.
- Charles Guillory announced his candidacy to the Council for the October 2019 Sheriff election.
- During her monthly report, Mayor Vidrine announced that the city spent $183,472.29 for the month of June. Vidrine states that the city now will be saving more money, due to Acadiana Ambulances revised rates for inmate transportation to hospital.
- Police Department announced the hiring of Cedric Jackson, Daylon Maricle, and George Goldman as full-time patrol officers, and one part-time 911 dispatcher, Crystal Vidrine.
- Council approved the appointment of Danyon Charles as Gas Supervisor for the gas department for the city.
- Council approved the closing of Trojan Lane, August 18th, for “Sacred Heart Day”.
The Ville Platte Rotary Club held their weekly meeting today (Tuesday) at the C.B.Coreil Campus of South Louisiana Community College. The guest speakers included Carlene Jones, campus director, Darren Glover and Rev. Matthew Alfred. Coreil is one of ten campuses operated under the S.L.C.C. system.
Carlene Jones announced the school is ready to begin a new CDL program for truckers. The school is teaming up with trucking companies who are willing to pay for the student loans once the students pass their CDL course of instruction.
The school is also preparing to begin a Certified Nursing Assistant course for local students.
Jones said her school is working with local industry such as Ville Platte Iron Works and Schlumberger to help train workers for good paying industry positions.
Last year, the school had a student enrollment of about 100 students. The school offers courses of instruction such as welding, business and general studies.
The Coreil Campus speakers were the guests of Rotarians Vic Slaven and Annette Johnson.
In other business, the club welcomed two new members to the group: Renee Brown of the Evangeline Chamber of Commerce and new Parish Library Director Margaret “Margie” Mealer.
Mayor Jennifer Vidrine announced that Domino’s Pizza will be opening a restaurant in Ville Platte in December at the corner of LaSalle and Tate Cove Road.
The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from retired veteran Robert Reed of Mamou at their weekly meeting held at the Civic Center.
Reed was dressed for the July 4th holiday as “Uncle Sam”. Reed is a Mamou High graduate and his uncle was well known educator and Cajun revivalist Revon Reed. During his nine years in the Navy Robert Reed served in submarine duty for 2 and a half years. He served as “Yeoman” handling administrative duties. During his tours of duty, he was sent to the U.S. Embassy in Australia and on one tour his sub went into the Mediterranean Sea.
He explained that he served during the Cold War between the US and Russia. The subs were either armed with torpedoes or Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles.
Reed worked in the postal service after returning from the service. He was the special guest of Rotarian Peter Strawitz.
In other news, Ville Platte Mayor announced there will be a free fireworks display Wednesday night at 9:00pm at the Ville Platte Grand Pavillion.
The Evangeline Parish Police Jury, in a 5-3 vote Monday, approved Michael Anderson to replace Ronald Mcclauley on the Te Mamou Water District Board, despite the Board's wishes to have Marty Soileau fill that position.
Three Police Jurors: Bryan Vidrine, Sidney Fontenot, and Kevin Veillon voted for the Te Mamou Water System’s preferred appointee, Marty Soileau (formally nominated by Juror, Bryan Vidrine).
Five Police Jurors: Rocky Rider, Daniel Arvie, Lamar Johnson, Eric Soileau, and Ryan Ardoin voted to approve another candidate, Michael Anderson, nominated by Police Juror, Daniel Arvie. Arvie stated, "It's nothing personal," but never elaborated on the qualifications of his nominee, or why he was chosen over Marty Soileau. Anderson was not present at the meeting.
The decision came as a shock to Marty Soileau, who waited in the audience to address the Jury, and accept his position. Marty is the grandson of the late Aaron Soileau, one of the founders of the Te Mamou Water System. Gene Soileau, contractor for Te Mamou Water System, son of Aaron Soileau, and father to Marty, was present in the audience. Following the meeting, Gene told KVPI News Director, Carly Chaumont, that this was the first time the Police Jury has voted against the wishes of the Te Mamou Water System Board. Gene stated that his son had assisted him in reading water meters for over 25 years.
The Jury also received an update from Public Works Director, Chester Granger, concerning parish drainage, telling the Jury that upon inspection, most drainages were in “fairly good shape”.
In regards to drainage in the City of Ville Platte, the Jury’s attorney, Marcus Fontenot, explained that city drains require city maintenance, but drainage that enters and exits city limits, and is of benefit to the parish, can be handled by the Jury, as long as there is a cooperative agreement, stating the city will repay the Jury for expense costs. Police Jury President Ryan Williams stated, “We’ve been working with the city. I want to continue working with the city”.
In other business:
Engineer, Ronnie Landreneau, announced the completion of the Chataignier Library Branch, and the Jury approved a motion to accept it as complete.
The Jury approved a liquor license for Ronald Christ dba Mel’s Quick Stop.
The Jury approved the installment of cross section signs at Addison Cemetery road, located in Lamar Johnson’s District.
The Jury approved the reappointment of Sarah Maricle to Ward Four Water District for another five-year term.
Week of July 2, 2018
Election Results of the Evangeline Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors in accordance with its bylaws, hereby announces the new Board Members who were elected for a three (3) year term.
The Evangeline Chamber of Commerce's current Board of Directors and its Executive Director, Renee Brown, would like to extend a special thank you to the outgoing Board Members Anita Fontenot of The Hatchery and Annette Johnson of Kolder, Slaven & Co. for their years of exceptional leadership, service, and dedication to our great organization.
Evangeline Chamber of Commerce's Incoming Board of Directors:
Luke Deville of Teet's Food Store
Peter Strawitz of Edward Jones
Felicia Manuel of Ville Platte Iron Works
Linda Lebsack of the Friends of the Library
Mark Suellentrop of Cabot Corporation
Darin Bordelon of LaVille Funeral Home
Congratulations to all the nominees and our new Board Members. We are looking forward to working with you!
It was a 25th anniversary party that will be remembered for a long time. Larry and Sharon Lachney know how to throw a party: BBQ Rib Cookoff, Live DJ music, Live music by great local talent and the coldest refreshments around , a dunking booth for the benefit of St. Jude's Children's Hospital and of course they invited KVPI. Carly Chaumont and Mark Layne covered the event with a live 92.5 remote. We talked to Police Chief Neal Lartigue, Mayor Jennifer Vidrine, cookoff teams and musicians.Thank you, Larry and Sharon. We're looking forward to the next anniversary party.
The Ville Platte City Council approved their 2018-2019 budget, in a special meeting Thursday, following a public hearing. The budget was proposed June 12th, and was made available for public inspection at City Hall. Dana Quebedeaux, CPA, addressed the Council a second time to discuss questions concerning the budget.
Public concerns involving the 2018-2019 budget:
The salaries listed for the Council, and Mayor, shows a total salary amount (allowances/benefits included) without providing a breakdown of what the allowance money goes towards, and how much of it is being used. Quebedeaux offered to provide a salary breakdown for the Council’s next meeting.
The Council adopted the City of Ville Platte’s policies and procedures (a new requirement).
The Council adopted a resolution to move forward with applying for the FHWA Recreational Trails Program grant. This grant affords communities the opportunity to express their concerns over the recreational needs in their area. The City of Ville Platte chose to focus on sidewalks.
In a special meeting Wednesday, the Evangeline Parish Police Jury approved a financial commitment resolution of $270,000 (a 52% cash match) per Delta Authority Grant requirements, to refurbish the existing rail spur at Industrial park, extend the spur by 102 feet, and build a second rail spur, totaling 785 feet.
According to the grant application, submitted by Secretary-Treasurer Donald Bergeron, the jury is seeking to “improve the Evangeline Parish Police Jury’s rail spur capacity for economic resilience of the Parish Industrial Park and to streamline Cabot Corporations rail storage operations”.
In order to be considered for the grant, the D.R.A is requesting that Cabot agree to use the spur for job retention, and job creation. Bergeron informed the jury that Cabot has no issue with agreeing to job retention, but can’t guarantee job creation.
According to the grant application, “Cabot is the third largest employer for the town of Ville Platte. In coordination with Louisiana Economic Development (LED) Cabot is moving towards expanding their Ville Platte operation which will likely result in the creation of 5 new full-time jobs in 2022.”
The grant application is due Friday, June 29th, and without Cabot signing to commit to job retention and creation, their only option is to send the application in as is, until Ville Platte Cabot discusses the matter with corporate. Until then, the Police Jury approved a 2nd motion to commit to job retention, and the hiring of one full-time employee to manage the spur.
The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from Rotarian Dr. Phillipe Vidrine. His topic was the growing opioid epidemic in our country.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the opium poppy has been around since 34 BC. The ingredients from the poppy have been used in legal drugs and illegal drugs. Opioid deaths have tripled in the fifteen period from 1999 to 2014. In 2016, one in five deaths for those ages 24-45 during the child rearing ages were caused by drug overdose.
The worst area in the country for drug overdoses are states in the Rust Belt. Louisiana is ranked #12 in the states with the highest number of opioid related deaths.
In 2012, in Louisiana for every 100 residents in the state, 118 prescriptions were written.
Addition to pain killers and opioids lead to drug abuse and overdoses.
Medical professionals like Dr. Vidrine are now required to take continuing education to prescribe non narcotics.
In closing, Dr. Vidrine said Addition is a treatable disease.
In other news, outgoing Club President Wayne Vidrine said “It was a great year for Rotary. We got a lot of things done.” He said incoming club president Richard LeJeune plans to continue supporting moves to improve Chicot State Park and reestablish a rotary scholarship at the Coreil Campus.
WEEKEND EVENT FATAL SHOOTING IN BEAVER LEAVES ONE DEAD AND ONE INJURED
On Sunday, June 24, 2018 at approximately 0115 hours Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office received a transfer call from 911 Dispatch. Patrol Deputies were dispatched to a report of a Shooting at the address of 1201 Joe Fontenot Road.
The initial investigation by the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office revealed that a male subject attending the event identified as DeLanzo Veal had been shot in his upper body and a second victim later identified as Katrina Thomas also suffered from a gunshot wound beneath her lower lip.
A verbal altercation occurred between the victim (DeLanzo Veal) and another male subject Brandon Perkins who was also attending the event. The altercation led to the victim (DeLanzo Veal) being shot multiple times. He was rushed to Oakdale hospital where he was later pronounced dead. The shooter fled the scene.
The second victim (Katrina Thomas) was also rushed to Oakdale Hospital for her wounds. She was treated and later released.
Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested Brandon Perkins after being questioned. He was charged with 2nd Degree Murder and Aggravated Second Degree Battery. He is being held at the Evangeline Parish Jail without bond.
Anyone with any information or videos is urged to contact the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office Investigation Division by phone at 337-363-2161. All callers with information will remain anonymous.
Evangeline Parish 4-H students were welcomed home Friday, after a successful week at 4-H University in Baton Rouge. Louisiana 4-H’ers competed for best in the state in more than 40 events, and Evangeline Parish 4-H’ers placed in the following 7 events:
Consumer Decision Making: Madison Fontenot, Drew Latour, James Wilson - 2nd place statewide
Environmental Conservation Illustrated Talk: Gabrielle Fontenot- 2nd Place statewide
Fashion Review Creative Choice: Iyana Freeman, Mena Newman Blue Ribbon (Top Ten)
Family Consumer Science: Emily Deshotel, Lily Guillory- 4th place statewide
Plant Science: Andrew J. Fontenot, Monty Fontenot, Evan Miller- 4th place statewide
Teens Driving Teens: Andrew T. Fontenot, Ethan Jose Deshotel- 2nd place statewide
The Next 4-H Food Star: Olivia LaComb, Makayla Jones, Abby Duplechain- 4th place statewide
7 Evangeline Parish 4-H’ers were also elected as State Board Members:
Sam Gil- State Science, Engineering, and Technology Board
Sam Hollier- State Science, Engineering, and Technology Board
Ethan Jose Deshotel- State Science, Engineering, and Technology Board
Gabrielle Fontenot- State Executive Board
Emily Deshotel- State Executive Board
Charley Bieber- State Shooting Sports Board
Iyana Freeman- State Fashion Board
KVPI would like to congratulate the students, faculty and staff of Evangeline Parish 4-H, on a job well done.
After a unanimous vote yes, The Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce approved a historic name change Wednesday, from Ville Platte, to Evangeline Chamber of Commerce.
Business owners and dignitaries gathered at Cottage Couture to celebrate the unification of the parish. Chamber Executive Director, Renee Brown, stated that she has received support from Mayors across the parish on this new endeavor saying, “everyone is excited and the feedback has been wonderful”.
The meeting was followed by a “Business after Hours” where sponsors, LA Folk Roots and JD Bank, welcomed guests and briefly discussed both businesses. Guests were also treated to LIVE Cajun music.
Businesses approved for new membership: Butler & Co. Tree Service, Tincy’s Corner LLC, Sisters on the Go, Gator’s & Papa Gator’s Cajun Foods, and Union Tank Car Co.
Cleco Incentive Program for businesses, to be held at the Chamber meeting room, Wednesday, June 27th, at noon.
Executive Director, Renee Brown, announced the new Shop Local Campaign currently underway, and plans for a September meeting with media and small businesses to plan for the Christmas holidays.
According to Ville Platte Police Chief, Neil Lartigue, the following individuals have been arrested and booked into the city jail:
Shaquille Robinson, 24, of E. Jefferson, was arrested on domestic abuse battery charges on June 14th, and is out on bond ($1,000).
Vonetta Comeaux, 48, of Laran St., was arrested on charges of disobeying a stop and first offense DWI on June 14th, and is out on bond ($1,200).
Chelsea Champagne, 31, of Cheyenne St. in Scott, was arrested on theft charges on June 15th, and is out on bond ($1,000).
Cody Brignac, 24, of Belaire Cove, was arrested on possession of schedule I controlled substance on June 17th, and is out on bond ($2,500).
Ebony Adams, 24, of MLK Dr., was arrested on theft charges on June 17th, and is out on bond ($500).
Charles Coreen, 28, of Hospital Dr. In Opelousas, was arrested on charges of resisting an officer, and possession of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoids on June 19th, and is currently incarcerated.
Jamie Arvie, 18, of David St., was arrested on disturbing the peace and battery, 2nd count, on June 19th, and is out on bond ($2,750).
Shekiah Poullard, 20, of w. Beauregard, was arrested on charges of disturbing the peace and battery, 2nd count, on June 19th, and is out on bond ($2,750).
Whitney ben, 17, of east church St. In Bunkie, was arrested on charges of disturbing the peace, and simple battery, 2nd count, on June 19th, and is out on bond ($5,500).
Lee Tezeno, 27, of Ramsey St. Was arrested on charges of disturbing the peace on June 19th, and is currently incarcerated ($200 bond).
The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from Liz Hill, Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness and 9-1-1 in Evangeline Parish.
Hill said the 9-1-1 staff has been in their new two million dollar facility at the Industrial Park for the past two years. The dispatchers service all six fire departments in the parish as well as police departments in Pine Prairie, Turkey Creek and Chataignier. The agency receives approximately 35-40,000 9-1-1 calls a year.
Some of the calls are unusual. For example, Hill referred to a call she received this week from a homeowner to complain that someone had stolen a washing machine with the clothes still in it..
All medical calls are transferred to Acadian Ambulance dispatchers to handle.
Hill said this hurricane season in the Gulf and Atlantic is expected to be about average with last year. However, her agency is prepared to handle all types of weather including flooding and icy winter conditions. She uses social media such as Facebook to keep residents informed on the latest weather advisories.
Liz Hill was the special guest of Rotarian Scott Soileau.
In other business, Dr. Phillipe Vidrine was awarded a Paul Harris recognition award by Rotarian Leonard Fontenot for his donation to Rotary International.
Rotarian Larry Lachney reported that his business, Gators Drive Thru will celebrate its 25th anniversary Saturday June 30 with a BBQ Rib Cook Off, food, live music and a live KVPI remote broadcast.
Jessica Williams, 25, of 306 West Long Street in Ville Platte has been arrested and charged with negligent homicide. Williams was transported to the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office Jail on a $125,000.00 bond.
On June 14, 2018 the Ville Platte Police Department Officers and Detectives began an investigation where a domestic disturbance appeared to have taken place leaving one man dead, possibly from a stab wound. Details of the death are not being released at this time pending a report from the Coroner’s Office.
Chief Neal Lartigue is asking anyone with further information to contact the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313. Your call will remain anonymous.
Investar Bank has helped establish the newly created Evangeline Parish Foundation, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Acadiana with an initial investment of $50,000. The bank challenged community leaders, both public and private to match this donation so the Foundation can being with $100,000 of seed funding.
The Foundation will get started by engaging with the University of Louisiana in Lafayette to conduct a community needs assessment to identify where the greatest needs lie which will take 3-6 months.
The Foundation will provide grant opportunities to Evangeline Parish non- profits and organizations that align with the results of the needs assessment. The Foundation will launch a one million dollar fund raising campaign.
At a special event at Investar Bank , Ville Platte Branch, held today (Thursday) Mark Suellentrop, was the emcee. Among the speakers: Raymond Hebert, CEO of Community Foundation of Acadiana. Hebert said “The Foundation will be something good for Evangeline Parish.” Also speaking were Anita Fontenot of the Foundation, Robert Lott, Investar Acadiana Market President and Matt Marcantel, Evangeline Market President of Investar Bank.
Among the guests were Mayor Ricky Fontenot of Mamou and Mayor Heather Cloud of Turkey Creek , School Superintendent Darwan Lazard and school supervisors along with Police Jury Secretary Treasurer Donald Bergeron and members of the Evangeline Parish Police Jury and Evangeline Parish Chamber President Renee Brown. Also attending was Dr. Tojo Ward with the Industrial Development Board.
The Evangeline Parish Foundation Board will be comprised of Mark Sullentrop, Rhonda Butler, Gwen Fontenot, Randy Deshotel, Donald Fontenot, Kitty Deshotel, Eugene Fontenot and Leonard Fontenot.
The Ville Platte City Council reviewed the 2018-2019 budget proposal, delivered by CPA, Dana Quebedeaux, at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. Before the budget is adopted, the proposal must be available for public inspection for a standard of 10 days. A copy of the budget can be found in the front lobby of City Hall. The budget will be formally adopted on Thursday, June 28th at noon, following a public hearing at 11:45 am. When evaluating the budget, Quebedeaux asks the public to keep in mind, that the Mayor’s proposal takes anticipated grants into account. As time progresses, the budget will be amended to reflect grants awarded/ not awarded. When giving her opinion on the proposed budget, Quebedeaux stated, “If you’re going to have an accurate budget, this is the budget it’s going to be”.
Mayor Jennifer Vidrine addressed the council with plans to adopt new tools and techniques from the city of Rayne to clean the cities culvert system. This tool, made of steel parts, allows for quicker, more efficient culvert cleaning. The tool will cost around $2,000. Mayor Vidrine states that the city is doing its part in flood prevention by digging the necessary ditches but encourages the public to call on Evangeline Parish Police Jurors to do their part by regularly cleaning city canals.
In other business:
The Council adopted two resolutions, one being a re-adoption of the previous years millage rate resolution, and the other being an overgrown property resolution, approving a $50,000 LCDA loan that is part of the LCDA “overgrown lot program”. This program would help to beautify the city of Ville Platte by tackling its issue of overgrown lots.
The Ville Platte Gazette was approved as the official municipal journal.
Mayor Vidrine announced that the city spent $262,309.63 in May, which is $56,614.90 more than the month of April. Vidrine credits this to payment of necessary bills and expenses.
Chief of Police, Neil Lartigue announced three new hires: part-time jailer, Jaquine Anderson, part-time dispatcher, Cheryl Fontenot, and full-time police patrol, Kyle Marsh. During his monthly report, Lartigue reported 625 calls for assistance, which required 592 reports, 28 citations, 28 arrests, which included 26 felony arrests. Officers also responded to 49 motor vehicle accidents. Lartigue reported one homicide with suspect in custody.
Fire Chief, Chris Harrison reported for the month of May, 2 structure fires, 2 grass fires, 3 alarm activations, 4 service calls, and 1 search and rescue. In Fire District 2, Harrison reported 1 structure fire, 9 grass fires, 1 medical call, 1 vehicle situation, 3 service calls, and 7 search and rescues.
Mayor Vidrine announced that 5 abandoned property demolitions have been completed since the last meeting, and 9 are currently underway.
Tuesday, June 12th, Chateau Des Amis residents, citizens and city officials gathered at Ville Platte City Hall for a World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Program, put on by Chateau Des Amis.
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, “Elder abuse, including neglect and exploitation, is experienced by 1 out of every 10 people, ages 60 and older, who live at home.”
Pine Prairie Baptist Church Pastor, Daniel Holsumback provided a powerful testimony on the cycle of abuse, and how to put an end to that cycle. Guests were treated to an A cappella performance by Carleen Bellard.
Chateau Des Amis Community Manager, Debbie Clark, along with the Ville Platte Boys & Girls Club, presented certificates of recognition to community leaders who have greatly helped the elderly in our community. Those recognized were:
Ville Platte City Marshall, Ronald Doucet.
Ville Platte City Mayor, Jennifer Vidrine, who also accepted a certificate on behalf of Dianna Johnson and the Ville Platte Girls-Boys Place.
Mable Foreman with Ville Platte Home Health.
Lisa Derouen with Evangeline Council on Aging.
Clerk of Court, Randy Deshotel.
Pine Prairie Baptist Church Pastor, Daniel Holsumback.
Carleen Bellard with Evangeline Parish Community Action.
Mayor Vidrine reminds the public that elderly abuse is more than just physical abuse. No matter if it’s physical, sexual, emotional, neglect, abandonment, or financial abuse, Mayor Vidrine says, “We must take care of those who took care of us”.
The 2018 Outstanding School Support Personnel of the Year Awards were announced by Supervisor, Philip Buller, at Wednesday’s Evangeline Parish School Board meeting.
Buller stated, “School support personnel are the most important people in our system, but too often they go unrecognized.”
Nominees from Evangeline Parish schools were in attendance to find out the overall category winners for Elementary, Middle/Jr. High, High School, and District Offices. The winners are as follows:
Elementary: Twyonna Fontenot, Paraprofessional at Ville Platte Elementary.
Middle/Jr. High: Michael Anderson, Custodian at Ville Platte High School.
High School: Cathy Lafleur, Paraprofessional at Ville Platte High School.
District Offices: Mary H. Fontenot, Title I Director’s Secretary at the Media Center Office.
Superintendent, Darwan Lazard presented custom plaques to the winners. Winners/nominees will be recognized at a special luncheon tomorrow.
In other business:
Pine Prairie High School Assistant Principal, Andrew Dwyer, submitted letter of resignation effective August 1, 2018.
Mamou High School Assistant Principal, Brian Brumfield, submitted letter of resignation effective May 30, 2018.
Board approved motion to change the official journal of the School Board from Basile Weekly, to Ville Platte Gazette, effective July 1,2018.
Board approved 2018-19 teacher salary & pay date schedule, presented by CFO Amy Lafleur.
Board approved low price quote from Fontenot’s Siding and Patio Center in the amount of $15,376.00 for fascial repair on main building at Ville Platte Elementary School, using parish-wide maintenance fund.
Board approved low price quote from Demoruelle’s AC & Heating in the amount of $5,507.00 for office/conference room A/C at James Stephens Montessori School using parish-wide maintenance fund.
Ville Platte Rotary Club members today (Tuesday) were introduced to the new incoming director of the Evangeline Parish Library Board system: Margaret “Margie” Mealer. Mealer lives in Alexandria and has been in charge of the Children’s services for the Lincoln Parish Library in Ruston. She has 18 years of public library experience in Lincoln and Rapides Parishes. The search committee identified three strengths that she would bring to the director’s position: 1-computing, bookkeeping and budgeting skills, 2- a talent to train and motivate people and 3- temperament. She told club members that her office doors will always be open to the public.
Rotary Club President Wayne Vidrine presented a bouquet of flowers to retiring parish librarian and club member Mary Foster Galosso who will retire in August. Galosso said she enjoyed working with the library staff and many members of the rotary club through the year. The library system has six facilities, a staff of 23 people and 1.2 million dollar operating budget.
Also speaking was Susie Lemoine, outreach coordinator who reported that 106 young people have signed up for the Summer Reading program.
Rotary club member Susan Saunders was in charge of the program.
In other news, it was announced:
--the annual Rotary Club installation banquet is set for June 12 at 6:00pm at La Veille Bank. As a result of the banquet, there will be no noon meeting;
--Mayor Jennifer Vidrine reported that 103 young people have registered for the Boys and Girls Club this summer; Also over 90 young people have registered for the new summer basketball league in Ville Platte.
Evangeline Parish Police Jurors accepted a resolution Monday to authorize President, Ryan Williams, and Secretary Treasurer, Donald Bergeron, to move forward in completing an application for the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) Grant.
According to their website dra.gov, “The Delta Regional Authority works to improve regional economic opportunity by helping to create jobs, build communities, and improve the lives of the 10 million people who reside in the 252 counties and parishes of the eight-state Delta region.”
Parish Engineer, Ronnie Landreneau suggested that the jury use the grant to repair the 12,000 ft. of existing railroad tracks in the parish, while adding on new tracks.
Public Works Director, Chester Granger, reported that the bridge on Natchitoches Rd, and St. John Rd in Ville Platte are fixed, and no longer closed. A month ago, both bridges were closed due to failed D.O.T inspections.
In other business:
- Secretary-Treasurer, Donald Bergeron, announced a .0812% drop in April sales taxes in 2018 compared to 2017. In April 2017, $248,763.67 in sales taxes were collected. This April, $245,591.52 in sales taxes were collected.
- Police Jury approved a special December election for renewing a drainage tax for Vidrine Gravity Drainage District No. 7.
- The appointment of Ville Platte Gazette as the official newspaper for the city was approved.
- Reappointment of Gaynelle Coates to Library Board for 5-year turn was approved.
Mamou Police Chief Brent Zackery reported to KVPI News that his department made a number of arrests dealing with drugs.
After Mamou Police obtained a warrant for a resident at 521 East Street, they recovered illegal substances and arrests were made. Anthony Fontenot age 28 whose home was searched by police was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, possession of crystal meth, prohibited acts and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond was set at $47,000. Also arrested in that same case was Ladell Collins age 20 of 812 4th Street Mamou. Collins was charged with possession of a schedule two drug (Marijuana), prohibited acts and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond was set at $37,000.
On May 12, Mamou Police made a traffic stop and charged the driver and passenger with drug charges and other charges. The driver was Jacob Brett Perron of 1195 Yves Lane, Ville Platte. He was charged with possession and distribution of schedule two drugs, no insurance, no license plate light, and two counts of failure to stop at a stop sign. Bond set at $32,500. The passenger was identified as Eric Glenn Johnson age 27 of 203 South Coreil Street, Ville Platte. He was charged with possession and distribution of schedule two drugs: crystal meth. Bond was set at $30,000.
Police Chief Zackery said his department has been working the area around Savoy Heights where there have been reports of drug activity. As a result of a stakeout: Daniel Manuel age 58 of 909 Cherry Street, Mamou was arrested and charged with having a disorderly place, possession of drug paraphernalia, aiding and abetting others to enter or remain on premises where forbidden. His bond was set at $7500.
On May 10, Mamou Police arrested the driver of a vehicle, He was identified as Shelton Robinson age 32 of 101 Railroad, Mamou. At the time, the vehicle was blocking a roadway. He was charged with blocking a road way, having a suspended license, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting an officer and flight from an officer.
Chicot/St. Landry Stabbing
On Wednesday, May 23, 2018, the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office received a report of a stabbing that occurred on Hwy. 106 between Bayou Chicot and St. Landry communities. The complainant advised he was traveling on Hwy. 106 at approximately 11:40 p.m. when he observed a white male walking on the side of the roadway. The complainant stopped to offer assistance to the male subject. The complainant advised the subject requested a ride, which he obliged. The complainant advised after the subject entered the vehicle, they proceeded west bound on Hwy. 106. The complainant advised when they began traveling, the subject brandished a sharp edged weapon and began stabbing and cutting the complainant. The complainant advised the subject then exited the vehicle and fled on foot. The complainant then returned to his residence, where he contacted 911.
The suspect has been identified as a white male, late 20’s to early 30’s, approximately 5’6” – 5’8”. He was last seen wearing an Orange shirt w/cut sleeves and a pair of light colored blue jeans.
If you have any information regarding this matter, you are urged to contact the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division at 337-363-2161.
Janet Armand, Director of Nursing at Savoy Medical Center’s New Horizons Psych unit was the guest speaker at today’s (Tuesday) meeting at the Ville Platte Rotary Club.
The 34 bed unit offers a dual purpose: as a Chemical Detox unit for short stays and for the treatment of emotional and behavioral problems. They offer two levels of treatment for adult and geriatric patients including inpatient hospitalization and an intensive outpatient program.
New Horizons has two psychiatrists on staff from Alexandria along with a Nurse Practitioner.
She said referrals can be made be made by primary care physicians, social workers, nursing facilities and concerned family members. Payment options include Medicaid, Medicare, primate insurance and private pay.
She was the guest of Rotarians Jackie Riche and Steve Phillips.
A large group of veterans, family members, public officials and members of the general public gathered at the War monument on Courthouse Square this (Monday) morning to observe Memorial Day. The annual event is sponsored by the Veterans of Ville Platte.
J.D. Soileau, commander of the Viet Nam Veterans of America, Evangeline Parish Chapter conducted the program. Fr. Richard Vidrine offered the invocation and benediction.
Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel read the names of every Evangeline Parish soldier that died in combat from the Civil War through the Gulf War, Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine and State Representative Bernard LeBas also addressed the group assembled on courthouse square.
The program was carried live on KVPI 1050 AM The Legend.
Classic Hits 92.5 KVPI wants to congratulate our 2018 Cajun Heartland State Fair ticket winners. We gave listeners a chance to qualify to win four sheets of ride tickets, and our winners are Rose Marcantel, Shirlene O’Connor, and Dana Launey. Keep listening to our station to find out how you too can be a winner in one of our many contests. To get more information about Cajun Heartland State Fair visit their Facebook page, or go to cajundome.com.
The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from Shelby Santiago with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for Evangeline and St. Landry Parishes. CASA volunteers represent the interest of abused and neglected children during court and child protection proceedings. They are appointed by a local judge to serve as a child’s voice in court.
CASA is in need of additional volunteers in both of Evangeline and St. Landry Parishes. In Evangeline Parish there are 80 foster children and only 10 CASA volunteers while in St. Landry parish, there are 105 foster children and 23 volunteers in neighboring St. Landry parish. CASA has a local office at 721 West Lincoln and their phone number is 337-506-2272. Also attending was Lorenzo Richard of CASA. They were the special guests of Rotarian Mable Forman.
In other business, Club President Wayne Vidrine announced that the Installation of Officers banquet will be held June 12 at 6;00pm at the La Veille Banque location.
The club also approved the following:
Approved naming Peter Strawitz as Vice President;
Naming Fr. Mitch Guidry as honorary club member;
Approved a motion of $125 to the Ville Platte Boys and Girls Club;
Appoved appointing a committee to look at re-establish a scholarship fund for students attending the Coreil Campus at Louisiana Technical College.
On 5-18-2018, Deputies of the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office and Officers of the Turkey Creek Police Department responded to Snoddy Lane in the Turkey Creek area in reference to a Shooting. Upon arrival, Deputies found that a male subject had been shot during a disturbance in which both subjects were armed. The shooter, identified as John Isaac Foret, had left the scene, but waited in a nearby area for law enforcement to arrive. Acadian Ambulance arrived on scene and requested that the coroner’s office be notified. The Evangeline Parish Coroner’s Office arrived on scene and pronounced the victim deceased. The deceased has been identified as Edwin Wesley Snoddy.
Mr. Foret was located and questioned briefly, but advised he wanted an attorney, with what was known at the time of the investigation.
Mr. Foret was released until more is learned. The investigation is still on going.
On 5-14-2018, the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office received a call for assistance on the 1100 block of Jake Ln. in the Mamou area.
Deputies arrived on scene and located a white male subject, unresponsive, lying in a drainage ditch behind a residence. Acadian Ambulance medics attempted life saving measures, but were unable to revive the subject. The Evangeline Parish Coroner’s Office arrived on scene and pronounced the subject deceased.
Detectives arrived on scene and began processing the area and questioning witnesses. At this time, a cause of death has not been determined and autopsy results are pending. One suspect was taken into custody, but his name has been withheld due to the current investigation status.
On Saturday, May 19, 2018 at approximately 2106 hours Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office Patrol Deputies were dispatched to a report of a Disturbance involving Shooting near the 7000 block of Chataignier Road.
The initial investigative interview by Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Investigators revealed that the wounded male subject identified as Daniel Breaux was upset with family members and had been causing a disturbances throughout the day. At some point he and his brother Derrick Breaux got into a physical altercation for him attacking their mother and pointing a gun at Derrick. Douglas Breaux tried to defuse it but was unable to. Daniel’s father Richard Rozas eventually shot a round towards the air to gain attention of the brothers fighting in an effort to get them to stop. Daniel continued and made an attempt to obtain a rifle. Out of fear Daniel’s father shot him once to the abdomen in an effort to prevent further actions by his son.
Daniel Breaux was transported to Mercy Regional Medical Center in Eunice by his girlfriend Jessica Vidrine for medical attention. He was later Air Med to Lafayette General Hospital for further evaluation and treatment. No updates on the victim’s condition has been released.
The incident is still being actively investigated. No arrest have been made at this time.
If you have any information regarding this matter, you are urged to contact the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division at 337-363-2161.
SECRETARY OF STATE KYLE ARDOIN TAKES OATH OF OFFICE
BATON ROUGE, La.—R. Kyle Ardoin was formally sworn in today during a short ceremony at Louisiana’s Old State Capitol. Judge Yvette Alexander administered the oath of office to Ardoin who was flanked by his wife, the former Letti Lowe of Port Allen and his daughter, Abbigale.
Ardoin, a native of Ville Platte and a resident of Baton Rouge, ascends into the position of secretary of state during a critical time for the Department of State, especially in terms of elections. In attendance were family, friends, staff, elected officials and other familiar faces around state government.
“I stand before you today knowing the importance of the job that lies before me,” said Secretary Ardoin. “It’s a job that hits right at the heart of our nation’s democracy and our states’ rights. Elections. We are preparing for the mid-term congressional elections as we speak, with qualifying less than two months away,” he said. “At the same time, we are embarking on replacing our voting equipment in an effort to better secure our votes while providing voters with a quick and easy process in which to cast their ballot.”
Serving as first assistant secretary of state since 2010, Ardoin is well prepared to lead the agency and has the support of not only local election officials, but also his colleagues nationally. The National Association of Secretaries of State named Ardoin co-chairman of the coveted Elections Committee indicating he had the wholehearted support of both NASS President Connie Lawson of Indiana as well as his co-chair from New Mexico, Secretary Maggie Toulouse Oliver.
“Knowing that elections cybersecurity and technology upgrades are at the forefront of the work done in every state across our nation, I am honored to be able to engage at a national level keeping Louisiana ahead of the curve in terms of the integrity of our election process,” said Ardoin. “My intent is to provide for a smooth transition of power to a newly elected secretary of state this winter, handing over an agency that has not missed a beat or slowed down any of our efforts to provide excellent customer service.”
Secretary Ardoin will serve as Louisiana secretary of state until a special election can be held on Nov. 6, 2018 and Dec. 8, 2018 if a runoff is required. Ardoin has named to his executive team former Speaker of the House Joe Salter as first assistant secretary of state, Shanda Jones as undersecretary of management and finance and Meg Casper Sunstrom as deputy secretary for communications and outreach.
Following the resignation of District 3 School Board member Darren Vidrine, the Evangeline Parish School Board approved the appointment of his wife, Karen Vidrine to fill his position. After taking the Oath of Office, Vidrine accepted a plaque on behalf of her husband, who was unable to attend the meeting. She then, took her seat among the board.
The board received an update from Maintenance & Operations Facilitator, Jason Hazelton, concerning their school maintenance and safety walk-through inspections. Two schools were recognized for having the best inspection scores for this quarter. Janitorial staff of big school winner, Pine Prairie High School, and small school winner, Chataignier Elementary, were recognized and awarded $25 Walmart gift cards. Hazelton stated, that the purpose of these inspections is to increase safety, while “pursuing positive relationships with state agencies”.
Hazelton was also proud to announce a 76.5% decrease in deficiencies noted on Fire Marshall inspections.
Lastly, Superintendent Darwan Lazard reminded the public, that due to past school cancelations, Evangeline Parish will have school on Memorial Day, May 28th. Lazard hoped to clear some confusion, by reminding the public that by law, students must receive 63,720 instructional minutes. Teachers are required 182 work days, and not all days will be instructional.
- Board accepted two letters of retirement, one for Pine Prairie High School Assistant Principal, Delores Fontenot, and W.W Stewart Elementary School teacher, Angela Guidry.
- Board received EPSB sales tax review from CFO Amy Lafleur, stating that in April 2018, $689,913.39 was collected, which is $90,326.47 less than April 2017.
- Board received a special visit from Mamou High School’s new Social Media Team, who after the meeting, showed the public a video they put together.
- Low bid of $73,000.00 from Tudor, Inc. was accepted for removal and replacement of first floor wood finish in the two-story red brick building at Bayou Chicot Elementary.
- Low price quote of $10,945.00 from Jeanmard, Inc. was accepted for metal pavilion for stem program at Chataignier Elementary School to conduct outdoor classroom activities and experiments.
The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from new Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce Director Renee Brown.
Brown told club members that she is expanding the chamber to make it a parish wide organization to include businesses throughout Evangeline Parish.
Her goal is to promote business in Ville Platte and throughout the parish. She is planning a business forum for large businesses and industry such as Cameron and Ville Platte Iron Works. The chamber is also preparing a small business forum. She plans to bring in groups such as the La. Workforce Commission, One Acadiana and the Louisiana Economic Development Administration to assist local business.
Brown said her plans are to have the chamber sponsor a job fair and invite neighboring parishes to attend.
Since there is a great need for additional machinists to be hired by local industry like Cameron and Ville Platte Iron Works, she is encouraging Coreil Campus at South Louisiana Community College begin a machinists program at the school.
Brown said the chamber is in the process of updating its website to include a job page and a new app that can be downloaded for businesses.
She mentioned two new businesses that have just opened or getting to open: a new antique/ flea market business in the Lavergne Furniture business and a chef is looking to open a new restaurant in Ville Platte.
Classic hits 92.5 KVPI wants to thank all who participated in our Mother’s Day Facebook giveaway.
Our “Queen for a Day” contest was a huge success. The rules were: 1) Like our Facebook page Classic Hits 92.5 KVPI. 2) Like and share our contest post. 3) Like business pages of our contest sponsors tagged in post. 4) Comment below a picture of the mother in which you are nominating, and in 100 words or less tell us why you believe your nominee deserves to win. We received dozens of heartfelt nominations, and it wasn’t easy, but our judges have picked our winner.
Congratulations to our KVPI Queen for a Day, Misty Tingle. Misty was nominated by her daughter, Paige Bordelon. Paige commented, “I’m nominating the strongest woman I’ve ever met! I’m beyond blessed to call her my mom and my best friend!! She’s the glue that keeps our dysfunctional family together! I truly believe it’s her daily prayers that keep our life balanced and I am so thankful for her! She definitely deserves to be treated like a queen!” Misty will receive the following:
- 30-minute head, neck and shoulders massage with Michelle Sonnier, licensed massage therapist, at her business Myohealth Massage Therapy, located at 103 Evangeline Street in Ville Platte.
- Wood/wrought iron planter from Blake’s Gifts, located at 512 Mcarthur Street in Ville Platte.
- $50.00 meal certificate to Main Street Pub and Grill located at 205 W Main Street in Ville Platte.
- $25.00 gift certificate for gifts, and a $25.00 gift certificate for Merle Norman products from Family Hair and Gifts, located at 611 E Lincoln road in Ville Platte.
- $25.00 gift certificate to Mae's Flower Shop located at 632 W Main Street in Ville Platte.
- $50.00 meal certificate to White Tail’s Bar & Grill located at 24399 us-190 in Krotz Springs.
-$50 gift certificate from Jacki Wyble at The Wyble Collection on West Main in Ville Platte.
- $20 gift certificate from Richardson Coffee House, located at 104 Cotton Street in Ville Platte.
Thank you to our sponsors, and those who entered our contest. Classic Hits 92.5 KVPI wants to wish all moms, a very Happy Mother’s Day.
2018 Senior Day
May 10, 2018
Seniors from all over Evangeline Parish packed the Ville Platte Northside Civic Center today to attend the annual Senior Day event sponsored by the Evangeline parish Council on Aging.
A Cajun band provided the music for those wanting to get on the dance floor, a cake auction, door prizes, a delicious jambalaya lunch and bingo games.
Council on Aging Director Lisa Derouen thanked the many volunteers who helped out and the many seniors who attend the event.
KVPI FM 92.5 was there covering it with a live remote broadcast from 10-12 noon.
Faye Lemoine, Shady Acres resident, addressed the Ville Platte City Council once again Tuesday, on the status of the city’s water project, and the long overdue work that needs to be done in their subdivision.
Mayor Jennifer Vidrine, during March’s monthly meeting, told Lemoine that the ground was too wet to begin digging in her back yard. Two months later, Mayor Vidrine states that the ground is still too wet for the contractor to work.
“I don’t know what I look like,” said Lemoine, “but I am not a fool”. Lemoine has attended City Council meetings over the past two years on behalf of Shady Acres, each time expressing frustration over the city’s slow-moving efforts. Lemoine stated, that while waiting for the past two years, they’ve flooded twice. “It’s a process.” stated District “F” Council member Bryant Riggs.
City Engineer, Ronnie Landreneau was absent, and therefore unable to comment on the matter.
Another issue revisited by the council was abandoned properties. Mayor Vidrine announced in her monthly report that 32 abandoned properties were recently added to their list. Letters will soon be sent to the property owners. Mayor Vidrine also reported that the city spent $205,694.73 in the month of April, which is $40, 626.69 less than the amount spent in March.
In other business:
Council approved official proclamation for May 2018 to be Older Americans Month. Staff of Chateau Des Amis in Ville Platte were in attendance to accept the certificate.
Get- N- Go Drive Thru LLC, was approved for a consumption permit (license to drink on property).
The close out public hearing date for the LCDBG Sewer Project was approved for Tuesday, May 22nd at 5:00 pm.
Council approved the hiring of Erin Clark and Andrew Clark as full-time patrolmen for the Ville Platte Police Department.
Fire Chief, Chris Harrison reported for the month of April: 21 calls, 4 of which were structural fires. No fatalities.
Chief of Police, Neil Lartigue reported for the month of April: 594 calls, 528 requiring a report, 20 citations, 50 arrests, 20 felony arrests. No fatalities.
The Rotary Club of Ville Platte met today (Tuesday) for their weekly meeting with Dr. Francisco “Nick” Cantu as the guest speaker. Dr. Cantu was the guest speaker of Rotarian Jackie Riche’.
Dr. Cantu, a long time surgeon and family practice physician, announced that he is returning to Ville Platte to see patients at the Ville Platte Family clinic at his old medical office location. Dr. Cantu will be at the Ville Platte office on Tuesday and Thursdays while Nurse Practitioner Nicki Toussaint will see patients on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays.
Dr. Cantu is a native of Mexico and is following in the footsteps of his father who was a physician back home in his hometown. Dr. Cantu first moved to Ville Platte in 1976 after an invitation from the Humana Company who owned Ville Platte Medical Center at the time.
He told Rotarians that he still loves taking care of patients and seeing his old patients that he treated many years ago.
In other business,
--Club President Wayne Vidrine announced that the annual Rotary Installation banquet is set for June 12;
--announced that the recipients of this year’s Rotary’s Rylla Youth scholarships are: Callie Ann Pitre and Darelyn Lachney, both 12 grade students. Each student will receive a $1250 scholarship.
--received news from Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine that registration is now going on at city hall through May to begin a new city basketball league that will take place all summer long. The fee is $50 for youth age 7-8 and $75 each for those age 9-14.
District 7 Police Juror, Bryan Vidrine, proposed two ordinances during Monday’s monthly meeting; ordinance one, making it illegal to move/steal barricades, and ordinance two, making it illegal to drive through no wake zones during floods. There are no current ordinances set in place to deter these actions. Vidrine believes that enforcing hefty fines would help. Secretary-Treasurer, Donald Bergeron backed this idea, stating that both actions pose a danger, and added that he plans to look into it.
The jury also discussed two recent damage claims from drivers who hit a dirt pile on East Natchitoches road in Ville Platte. Public Works Director, Chester Granger stated there was” clear signage, that has met and exceeded the Department of Transportation standards”. The jury approved a motion to deny both damage claims.
During his Public Works Director report, Chester Granger informed the jury that the Department of Transportation Development inspected bridges in our area, and three bridges are currently closed due to failed inspections. The bridges on Natchitoches Rd and St. John Rd in Ville Platte, and the bridge on Bieber Rd. in Mamou are currently closed for repair.
In other business:
Secretary-Treasurer, Donald Bergeron, reported an $88,000 decrease in 2% sales tax collected in March of 2018, compared to March of 2017.
The jury approved the resignation of Gene Welch and the appointment of Michael Johnson as replacement on the Ward Four Water District board.
The jury approved the resignation of Danny Miller and the appointment of Felix Morein to the Te Mamou Water Board.
The jury approved a beer and wine permit for Chataignier Dollar General Store.
Business and civic leaders gathered at the Ville Platte Civic Center Wednesday for their annual Banquet and Civic Awards Ceremony. Master of Ceremonies was Clerk of Court, Randy Deshotel. The national anthem was performed by Carleen Ballard. Fr. Richard Vidrine offered the invocation. Guest speakers for the evening were Jack and Joe Walker, owners of Slap Ya Mama cajun seasoning. They discussed business and marketing tips.
Executive Director, Renee Brown, welcomed everyone and introduced the 2018 nominees.
The nominees were as follows:
Business Person of the Year: Dr. Kirk Soileau- owner of Kirk Soileau, DDS; Donald Fontenot- Pine Prairie Energy Center, LLC; Luke Deville- Teet’s Food Store; Ross Lafleur- Kary’s Roux; Fr. Tom Voohries- Sacred Heart Church Parish & School.
Business of the Year: Champagne Quality Food; Dry Max Systems; Industrial Service & Supply; Kary’s Roux, Pine Prairie Energy Center, LLC; Teet’s Food Store.
Man of the Year: Wayne Vidrine; Luke Deville; Kenneth Ardoin; Horace Edward, Jr.; Michael Perron.
Woman of the Year: Anita Fontenot; Angie Mayeaux Rozas; Maggie Thevenot Eades; Virginia Morein; Melanie Fontenot.
The crowd was then greeted by Chamber President, Luke Deville, who presented an award for Farmer of the Year to Lauran Attales.
Business Person of the year- Luke Deville with Teet’s Food Store. Luke helps manage his family’s business alongside his father, Chris Deville.
Business of the Year- a tie between Industrial Service and Supply and Pine Prairie Energy Center, LLC.
Man of the Year- Kenneth Ardoin. Currently employed as a bus driver for the School Board and is the owner of Ken’s Car Care.
Woman of the Year- Maggie Thevenot Eades, owner of Cottage Couture Store and Café, which she recently explanded into a bed and breakfast.
Lana Fontenot, Associate Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement for the South Louisiana Community College System was the featured guest speaker at today”s (Tuesday) meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club.
Fontenot reported that South Louisiana Community College has now expanded to nine campuses in South Louisiana including Morgan City , Houma and here in Ville Platte at the C.B. Coreil Campus. The system serves over 13,000 students each year.
She announced that two new course offerings will be offered at the Coreil Campus: a CDL program commercial truck driver course which is a seven week course and a Certified Nursing Assistant program. Also, the New Iberia campus will be offering a course to become a pilot as well as oil and gas production.
The system has constructed a new health and science building for its Lafayette campus and a new campus in St. Martinville.
With dwindling state funding, the system is partnering more with business and industry to help with the costs. State funding has decreased for the past nine years. She was the special guest of Rotarian Richard LeJeune.
Also speaking was Yvonne Normand of Opelousas with the Opelousas Rotary Sunrise Club. Normand praised the Ville Platte club’s Interact youth for their participation in the Interact Summer camp. Normand will be the District Governor for the 2020-2021 rotary year.
It was a busy day Sunday for volunteers working at the annual Radio Auction for the benefit of Ville Platte Youth Inc. and Ville Platte Girls Inc. The weather was perfect and the crowds of people filled the Ville Platte Civic Center to bid in person or listened to KVPI FM 92.5 and bid over the phone, There were plenty of sweet items, cakes and pies, hunting and fishing trips, merchandise and services, large and small all to benefit our young people. Everything was sold by the time the auction ended at 5:00 so there were no need for an auction..
Heading up the on air duties again this year were Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel and Shane Darbonne, long-time coach and former president for girls softball. They did the announcing duties from 10:00am to 5;00pm. One thing of interest was the fact that they interviewed former players and coaches including Burke Pitre, Eugene Fontenot, Todd Ardoin and others who talked about the highlights during their time in the program.
Dixie Youth President John Pitre and Girls President David LaHaye would like to thank the dozens of workers, parents and volunteers who worked all day Sunday. They would also like to thank the many businesses who donated merchandise for the auction and to everyone who bid on the items. The radio auction is the largest fund raising event of the year for the two youth programs.
In a special meeting Thursday, the Evangeline Parish Police Jury voted to apply for 70 percent funding of the local match for a $1.9 million dollar Hazard Mitigation grant. Parish engineer Ronnie Landreneau informed the jury that the Acadiana Planning Commission informed him that they support the plan to have the state pay a majority of the local match. The deadline for the parish to file the pre application is Monday. The retention pond or a dry reservoir will be used to hold back water during high water events and will be constructed on the Northwest side of Ville Platte. Members of the jury thanked Landreneau for his work in getting this grant funding.
Also, during the special meeting, the jury adopted a resolution requesting the state to make needed repairs to a number of state highways that are in bad shape. Police Juror Lamar Johnson is asking the state to make improvements to a 2.5 mile stretch of the Crooked Creek road (LA 3371). He said Crooked Creek Park is losing a lot of business because of the poor road condition. Also, the jury is asking the state to make improvements to George Soileau Road west of Mamou, LA 1159 and LA 106 between Bayou Chicot and Pine Prairie.
Ville Platte, Evangeline Parish – A felony traffic stop led to an arrest on an outstanding warrant for a 42 year old Marksville woman, according to Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies say the stop occurred Thursday night, April 19, 2018. A Sheriff’s Deputy observed a white PT Cruisier believed to be occupied by the wanted suspect. The Deputy stopped the vehicle and identified the driver as Tonya Marie Walker, of the 5000 Block of Highway 107 out of Marksville, LA.
Walker had an outstanding warrant which was issued by the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Department for Theft of a Firearm. She was taken into custody without incident and booked into the Evangeline Parish Jail. The other two occupants of the vehicle were released and the vehicle was towed. The stolen weapon a Smith and Wesson M&P15 was not found.
The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday ) heard from members of the Sacred Heart Interact Club during their noon luncheon at the Family Life Center.
The youth organization is sponsored by the local rotary club. Club Sponsor and School Development Director Kimberly LeJeune introduced the club officers and a report on the activities the group has been working on.
LeJeune announced that there are some 72 students that are members of the club.
She said the club with the assistance of the rotary club was able to raise $1240 recently to help raise funds to pay the medical expenses for Austin Stelly who received a robotic arm. He was able to raise some $24,400 for the medical procedure. After the operation, the student visited Sacred Heart to personally thank everyone who helped.
The Interact Club sponsors regular scheduled bingo games at the nursing home and is now selling personalized bricks in the Sacred Heart Prayer Garden. The larger bricks are $200 while the smaller size are $100 each.
Interact club members attended the Interact District Conference and several members received awards including Gabrielle Fontenot who was named Interactor of the Year.
The group was the special guest of Rotarian Jimmy LeBlanc.
Susan Saunders reported that the “Choices” program was taught in classes at Ville Platte High last week by rotary club members. It urged students in the 8th grade to stay in school and not drop out.
Ville Platte PoliceChief Neal Lartigue with the Ville Platte Police Department reports one arrest after an incident of false imprisonment.
On April 22, 2018 at approximately 4:00 a.m. The Ville Platte Police Department dispatch received information from Evangeline 911 that they received a report of a fugitive with a weapon inside of a residence in the 300 block of Huey P. Long Street in Ville Platte. Officers arrived on scene and assessed the situation. Detectives, Chief Lartigue and the Louisiana State Police Swat Team, Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office and Ville Platte City Marshal’s Office arrived on scene to assist. Officers and Detectives learned that the fugitive had escaped from the custody of the Mamou Police Department in September 2017 and had been on the run ever since. He was being held for Acadia Parish who has an active warrant for aggravated second degree battery. The suspect gained entry into the home on Huey P. Long Street armed with a shotgun and held a black male and a black female inside. According to the report the suspect dated the female at one time but there was no current relationship.
Witnesses reported that the suspect was pacing back and forth in the residence and was refusing to allow anyone to leave or to surrender to law enforcement. Louisiana State Police arrived on scene and began negotiating with the suspect.
After approximately five hours, the suspect surrendered to law enforcement and was taken into custody without incident. No injuries were reported.
Abselon Hebert 23, (unknown address) was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail on charges of two counts of false imprisonment, two counts of simple battery and a hold for a warrant issued by the Mamou Police department for criminal damage to property and simple escape, along with the warrant from Acadia Parish for aggravated second degree battery. Hebert was transferred to the Evangeline Parish Jail and is being held without bond.
Chief Neal Lartigue would like to acknowledge the quick response and assistance of the Evangeline Parish 911 Dispatch center and the Louisiana State Police Swat Team, Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Ville Platte City Marshal’s Office.
In another case, Chief Neal lartigue reports one arrest for exploitation of the infirmed.
On April 21, 2018 an arrest was made in reference to report of exploitation of an elderly woman in the 200 block of High School Drive. Officers responded to the residence and notified Detectives who began an investigation in regards to a black male who repeatedly demanded money from an elderly woman for lawn services that were never performed or were already paid for. The elderly woman had trouble remembering if she owed any money to the suspect so she would give him more money each time he returned to her residence and demanded payment. The family became aware of the problem and notified authorities. Detectives completed their investigation and arrested Howard Belton, 58 of 907 Edward “Knotoe” Thomas Street apartment A, on charges of exploitation of the infirmed and criminal trespassing. Belton was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and then transferred to the Evangeline parish Jail on a $26,500.00 bond.
Chief Lartigue reminds residents to report any suspicious or illegal activity to the Ville Platte Police Department by calling 363-1313. Your call will remain anonymous.
The Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce released the nominees for this year’s Ville Platte man and Woman of the Year honors.
The Women of the Year nominees included: Maggie Thevenot Eades who operates Cottage Couture store and cafe and expanded it to a Bed and Breakfast. She taught school as a Home Economics teacher, involved with Relay for Life as a volunteer and sponsor, Boys and Girls Club, Sacred Heart School and Foundation and involved in the Chamber of Commerce.
Anita M. Fontenot who is President of Southwest Fidelity Corporation, President of Percy J. Fontenot Inc., on the board with Investar Bank, Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center and the Community Foundation of Acadiana. She is involved with the Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce, Ville Platte Rotary Club, Cabot Corporation community advisory panel, Acadian Baptist Center Board of Directors, St. Landry/Evangeline United Way and Louisiana Finance Association. She received the 2015 Business Person of the Year by the Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce; 2016 Philanthropy Award for Evangeline Parish by Community Foundation of Acadiana and the 2016 Distinguished Citizen of the Year award by the Evangeline Area Council of the Boy Scouts.
Angela Mayeau Rozas is the Service Leader for the Ville Platte, Eunice and Opelousas Cleco offices. She has been involved with the Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce, Eucharistic minister for Our Lady Queen of All Saints for weekend end masses and homebound for the past 15 years and has served for two terms on the Parish Council for Our Lady Queen of All Saints;
Virginia L. Morein, principal at Sacred Heart Elementary after retiring from the parish public schools after 36 years. She is a member of Our Lady Queen of All Saints serving as Eucharistic Minister, past member of Come Lord Jesus group, many years spent in Adoration Chapel in the hospital and member of the Les Amis Sorority donating annually to the less fortunate at Christmas.
Melanie Fontenot, owner of Mel’s Total Fitness after working at Walmart Pharmacy for 13 years. She has been a volunteer at Ville Platte Girls and Boys Place; volunteer and supporter of the Relay for Life in Evangeline Parish, volunteer and supporter of Operation Christmas Child and supporter and organizer for the Breast Cancer Walk for Savoy Cancer Center in Mamou.
For Man of the Year, the nominees are:
Horace Edward Jr, retired after spending 25 and a half years at Centurylink as a phone tech and was also worked at Deshotel Supermarket. His community service work includes Usher and Treasurer at St. John Baptist Church, Second Harvest, Food for Family, Booster Club and assisting the elderly with home projects.
Luke Deville is helping manage his family business, Teet’s Food Store along with his father, Chris Deville. Luke has been involved with the Disabled American Veterans, Ville Platte Knights of Columbus, Ville Platte Rotary Club, Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce, Le Grand Hoorah Festival, Smoked Meat Festival and Relay for Life.
Kenneth Ardoin employed as bus driver for the school board and owner of Ken’s Car Care, He was director of Evangeline Parish Youth Basketball, Antioch Baptist Church Usher Board and Male Delegate and a member of the Eastern Seventh Assocation, Ville Platte Lower Elementary Field Trip Driver and assisting the elderly. He also assists the Lions club, Ville Platte High and Sacred Heart, Boys and Girls Club, softball and baseball teams.
Mike Perron employed by T&J Ford for 18 years, currently retired and is in his third term as Ville Platte City Councilman. He is President of the Woodman of the World for 22 years, on the board for Parks and Recreation, Swamp Pop Museum Board member, Village De Memoire board, Evangeline Community Action Board, volunteer fireman for 33 years, involved with the Food Pantry and is currently mayor Pro Tem.