Local News

Sheriff's Department Arrests

Sheriff Arrests January 20, 2022 Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory reported to KVPI News that a number of suspects have been arrested on various charges this past week. On Monday January 17, deputies with the Evangeline Parish Sheriff Department assisted the Eunice Police Department in reference to a motor vehicle pursuit. During the pursuit, the suspect's vehicle made its way into Evangeline Parish , first in the Chataignier area and later into the City of Ville Platte. Deputies located the vehicle in the St. John Baptist Church parking lot where the pursuit continued through a number of streets driving extremely recklessly and committing multiple traffic violations. At one point, the suspect attempted to run over a deputy with his vehicle. One of the suspect's vehicle tires broke apart and the vehicle became disabled. He then fled on foot. One deputy was able to identify the suspect as Robert Smith age 30 of Ville Platte. The next day on Tuesday, deputies received a complaint about a motor vehicle theft. The victim told deputies she believed it was a Robert Smith who stole her vehicle. Detectives were able to find Smith. He was interviewed and admitted to taking the victim's vehicle. Smith was arrested and charged with aggravated flight, aggravated assault of a police officer, criminal damage to property and motor vehicle theft. Smith is being held in the Evangeline Parish Jail with a $61,250 bond. In another case, deputies were dispatched to Black Lake Road last Friday Jan. 14 in connection to a report of catalytic converter thefts. During the investigation, two suspects were identified as Billy Joe Byrd age 44 of Ville Platte and Brock Fontenot age 31 of Turkey Creek were each charged with theft and felony criminal damage to property. Bond on each was set at $27,500. In drug related cases, last Saturday January 15, the criminal patrol unit stopped a truck for a traffic violation. While speaking to the driver, deputies noticed the overwhelming smell of marijuana coming from the truck. Agents conducted a search and located marijuana and a used needle. Arrested was Mark Catoire age 53 of Pine Prairie cited for possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia and a traffic citation. On Tuesday, January 18 the sheriff office narcotics unit made contact with two subjects at the Best Inn motel in reference to a disturbance. While speaking to the subjects, agents said narcotics were in plain view. There were also multiple items that agents believe are stolen. The subjects were identified as Joshua Ray Swinnea age 33 charged with possession of Methamphetamine and possession of firearm with controlled dangerous substance and Donna Michelle Boyles age 35 of Columbia, Louisiana. She was charged with possession of Methamphetamine, possession of a firearm with controlled dangerous substance and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. On Wednesday, January 19, the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Department patrol division stopped a motorcycle for a traffic violation. Upon approaching the driver, the driver threw a bag of suspected narcotics on the ground that was recovered by a deputy. The license plate on the motorcycle was reported stolen. The deputy on duty discovered that the motorcycle was also stolen. The driver was identified as Charles Todd Menier age 51 of Ville Plate charged with criminal trespassing, possession of Methamphetamine, possession of stolen items, possession of a stolen motorcycle, obstruction of justice and three active warrants for failure to appear in court. As always, Sheriff Guillory and the sheriff's office is always seeking information on criminal activity and urges the public to contact their investigation department at 337-363-2161.

Sheriff Office investigating theft of Farm Equipment

Sheriff Guillory reports to KVPI that his deputies are searching for suspects responsible for the theft of lawn and farm equipment on Beaver road. The thefts occurred on December 30. Among the items stolen included: Kubota tractor, orange and black in color, model number L4200 S/N 10242 with multiple bush hog attachments and tractor equipment; Kubota side by side camouflaged and black in color with S/N 32090, Orange and Black chainsaw, orange and black pole saw and an orange and black weed eater. Anyone with information on these stolen items, please contact the Evangeline Parish Criminal Investigations Division at 337-363-2161. The property owner is also offering a cash reward for anyone with information leading to the finding of these items and or the arrest and conviction of the subjects responsible. As always Sheriff Guillory and the sheriff's office are always seeking information on criminal activity and urges the public to contact their investigations department at 337-363-2161.

Sheriff Office Drug Arrests

Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory reported to KVPI News the following drug arrests: On Thursday, January 13, the sheriff's office narcotics division executed a search warrant at a home on East Beech in Ville Platte. Upon entering the residence, there were several suspects detained without incident. A search of the residence was performed and illegal narcotics and a weapon was located. The following suspects were arrested and charged: Stacy Sylvester age 46 of Ville Platte charged with possession of Methamphetamine and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia; Joseph Paul Launey age 45 of Ville Platte charged with Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of a firearm in the presence of controlled dangerous substance, possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of drug paraphernalia. Also on Thursday the narcotics division conducted a traffic stop on a car in the L'anse Bleu area. Upon the car stopping, a passenger attempted to flee on foot but was taken into custody. Upon searching the suspect, he had a large amount of narcotics on his person. The suspect was identified as: Joseph Jermaine Charles age 33 of Ville Platte charged with Possession with intent to distribute Heroin over 8 grams, Possession with intent to distribute Methamphetamine over 23 grams, Possession with intent to distribute Marijuana over 35 grams, resisting an officer and probation violation

Ville Platte City Council Meeting

Ville Platte City Council January 11, 2022 The Ville Platte City Council, tonight (Tuesday) received a report from former Scott Mayor Purvis Morrison to implement a "Land-Use" program in the city. Morrison will work with City Attorney Eric Lafleur to prepare a map after having several community meetings to get public comment. Land-Use is an updated form of zoning which permits buffers= areas for certain businesses. The mayor and city council will announce neighborhood meetings in the near future. Morrison has been successful in helping several municipalities grow and expand through "Land-Use" planning. Casey Ardoin, with the Certified Planning Accounting firm of Kolder, Slaven and Company complimented the mayor and council on its financial report. Ardoin said his auditing firm had "a clean opinion "of the financial records. Ardoin said "The audit went very well with the city running a surplus for the last two years. Things are looking good for the city". Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine announced that free Covid testing will go on at the Civic Center Mondays and Fridays from 9:00am to 2;00pm and Covid vaccines will be offered at the Health Unit Thursdays starting at 8:30am. She also announced City Hall will be closed Monday for Martin Luther King day. Fire Chief Chris Soileau announced the fire department responded to 22 incidents during December including six structure fires, a vehicle fire, extrications, a fire related death in Chataignier and helping work that tragic car accident on I-49 where four people lost their lives. For the entire year of 2021, the fire department worked a total of 230 incidents. In other action, the city council: --watched as Mayor Jennifer Vidrine announced her Mayor Pro Tem appointment for 2022: City Councilman Bryant Riggs replacing Faye Lemoine; --watched as Mayor Vidrine appointed Hilda Edwards as new interim City Clerk; --approved a request from the Swamp Pop Museum Director Sharon Fontenot to use the Ville Platte Civic Center Monday Feb 28 to sponsor the annual Swamp Pop Reunion Dance with the stars of Swamp Pop music. Tickets will be on sale at City Hall, Swamp Pop Museum and KVPI at $25 per person. The city also approved the sale of alcohol for the benefit dance. --heard from Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue that for December his department worked 766 calls, made four arrests including 2 felony arrests and worked 35 traffic accidents. For the year 2021, the city police responded to 8678 calls, 204 citations, 195 arrests including 117 felonies and worked 377 accidents.

Evangeline Parish Police Jury Meeting

Evangeline Parish Police Jury Meeting January 10, 2022 The Evangeline Parish Police Jury, tonight, (Monday) elected Bryan Vidrine as new jury president replacing Ryan Williams who was elected to serve as new vice president. Williams had served as president for the past four years. In his statement, Williams said "I want to thank all the jurors for working as a team. The year 2021 was the worst year in my life because I lost my son in an accident. I want to thank my family for their support and I want to continue being a public servant." 13th Judicial District Court Judge Gary Ortego publicly announced to the jury that he is seeking the office of Third Circuit Court of Appeals Judge representing District Three that was represented by the late Judge John Saunders. The district includes Evangeline and Allen Parishes and portions of St Landry, Acadia and Lafayette parishes. Ortego has been serving for the past eight years as Division A Judge in the 13th Judicial District Court. The jury approved new CDC Covid-19 employee guidelines . Jury Secretary Treasurer Donald Bergeron reported that the new Covid variant has been impacting office staff and road crews. The new guidelines permit an employee who tested positive can return to work after five days as long as they have no symptoms and they are not required to get a negative test before returning to work. Jurors reviewed the specific language for the tax rededication election day ballot. If voters approve the ballot measure, .62 mills of the 5.21 mills from the Library Tax and a portion of the $1.25 million dollar surplus from the Health Unit Tax will be rededicated for the housing and transportation of parish prisoners, not for the construction of a new parish jail. In a related matter, the jury voted to meet with the mayor of Ville Platte to look at the feasibility of converting the old city owned Heritage Manor nursing home into a parish jail. In other business, the police jury: ---Voted to transfer $337,634 from federal America's Rescue Plan funds to the general fund to help defray inmate housing expenses from March through September of last year; --in a close vote, the jury voted to revise its travel policy to include overnight accommodations for jurors. It took Jury President Bryan Vidrine to break the 4-4 vote to vote in favor of paying hotel stays. In the past jurors paid their own hotel rooms. --approved updating their cooperative endeavor agreement with EPAR (Every Paw Animal Rescue) after a review by its legal advisor. The changes in the agreement will permit the group to complete the construction of a parish animal shelter; --approved renaming Sandy Beach Drive "Lamar-Hill Drive" after the two late police jurors who represented the area: Lamar Johnson and Hill Johnson; --reappointed Steve Thibodeaux to another three year term and appointed Hunter Soileau to a five year term on the Evangeline Parish Fire District Two board; --received news from Secretary Treasurer Donald Bergeron that sales tax collections from the two percent sales tax amounted to $370,479 in November, that is a $128,000 increase over the same period a year ago.

Jury convicts Rollins on Three out of Five Counts

Rollins found guilty on three out of five Counts January 10, 2022 The Evangeline Parish District Attorney's Office announced the guilty verdicts of Simple Kidnapping, Domestic Abuse Battery with Child Endangerment, and Simple Battery, rendered against Nicholas Rollins in the five day Jury trial, which ended last Friday night at approximately 7:00pm. District Attorney Trent Brignac in his statement said " Our office has always believed and fought for the survivor, Katelyn Soileau, in this matter, and will continue to fight on behalf of her and other domestic abuse victims. In the near future, our office plans to retry Nicholas Rollins on the charge of Aggravated Assault with a Firearm, as the Jury was unable to reach a verdict on that particular count." District Attorney Trent Brignac would like to thank all of the jurors for their service to the criminal justice system. Brignac also complimented the efforts of Assistant District Attorneys, Jacob Fusilier and Deidra Godfrey, for their thorough preparation and presentation of the case.

Ville Platte City Council Special Meeting

Ville Platte City Council Special Meeting January 7, 2022 The Ville Platte City Council today (Friday) in a special meeting appointed Christina Sam, the wife of the late City Councilman Donald Sam to fill his seat for the remainder of his term. Third Circuit Court of Appeals Judge John Larry Vidrine administered the oath of office in front of the of the mayor, city council and family. Sam was in his fourth term in office representing District E. Mayor Jennifer Vidrine called his death a "tremendous loss to the city". In other business, the city council: Approved applying for a $509,000 application for a community development block grant to make improvements to all of the city parks and to create 4-5 small pocket parks in various parts of the city. Voted to move the start of the city council meeting to 4;00pm on January 11 rather than 5;00pm.

Sheriff Office Drug Arrests

Sheriff Arrests January 6, 2022 Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory reported to KVPI News the following subjects were arrested and charged in various cases: On December 30, the Sheriff's Office Narcotics Division conducted a traffic stop on a car on US 167 North. While speaking to the driver, she admitted to having narcotics hidden on her. She turned over the narcotics and gave consent to search the car. The passenger also admitted to having narcotics on him. The following subjects were arrested: Kimberly Campbell, age 37 of Turkey Creek charged with possession of Methamphetamine, traffic violation and four school attendance warrants, and Robert Lee, age 40 of Turkey Creek charged with possession with intent to distribute Methamphetamine; On January 4, the sheriff's department in conjunction with the La. Department of Probation and Parole executed an arrest warrant for a female. Once the female was searched, she was found to be in possession of ecstasy pills. The subject was identified as Chasity Noel McCauley age 38 of Ville Platte. She was charged with possession of ecstasy and a probation violation; On January 5 , deputies from the Narcotics Division conducted a traffic stop on a truck on US 167 South. Upon coming into contact with the driver, there were multiple signs of possible drug usage. K-9 Diego was used to conduct a sniff of the exterior of the truck and he gave a positive alert. A search of the suspect and vehicle yielded illegal drugs. Arrested was Joseph Troy Guillory age 52 of Opelousas charged with possession with intent to distribute Methamphetamine; possession of a firearm in the presence of controlled dangerous substances, possession of a firearm by a felon and four warrants for worthless checks. On January 5, the sheriff's office narcotics division in conjunction with the La. Department of Probation and Parole executed a search warrant on a residence in Ville Platte. When agents entered the home, they discovered narcotics which led to the arrest of Casey O'Neal Joseph age 30 of Ville Platte, charged with possession of Methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute synthetic marijuana, possession with intent to distribute Sublingual, possession with intent to distribute Ecstasy, possession of marijuana and possession of controlled dangerous substance in the presence of a minor. As always, Sheriff Guillory and the sheriff's- office is always seeking information on criminal activity and urges the public to contact their investigations Department at 337-363-2161.

Ville Platte Police needs your help in locating suspect wanted in Propane Thefts

Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue is asking for assistance in identifying a person of interest in recent propane thefts. If you can identify this person or recognize the vehicle you are asked to call the Ville Platte Police Department at 337-363-1316. Your call will remain anonymous.

Turkey Creek Police Arrests

Turkey Creek Police Arrests January 5, 2022 Turkey Creek Police Chief Steven Ardoin reported the following arrests to KVPI News: On October 16, officers with the Turkey Creek Police Department conducted a traffic on Kelsey Kelly of Rayne in reference to a minor traffic stop. During the interview, it was learned she did not have her drivers license in her possession. It was later learned that she gave police a fictitious name during the traffic stop and that her license was in fact suspended. A warrant was issued for Mrs. Kelly on resisting an officer, forgery, identity theft, maximum speed law and suspended license. On December 22, officers with Turkey Creek Police assisted Louisiana State Police Probation and Parole with a compliance check on Matthew Johnson of Turkey Creek. Upon arrival at his home, the suspect admitted to authorities to having marijuana in his possession along with Mrs. Mary Hebert also of Turkey Creek. A thorough search of the home was conducted and nothing else was located. Both subjects were ticketed for the marijuana and released to the custody of Probation and Parole Agents. On December 24, officers with Turkey Creek Police conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by Benny Soileau of Turkey Creek for a minor traffic violation. Authorities realized that the driver was extremely nervous with police and when asked to step away from his vehicle, he become more nervous. He gave consent for agents to search his vehicle and illegal narcotics were located. He was later placed into custody once a warrant was signed. On December 24, officers with the Turkey Creek Police Department conducted a stop on a vehicle driven by Logan Primeaux of Grand Cheniere for a minor traffic violation. Upon contact with the driver, the odor of marijuana was emitting from the vehicle. After a search, police located about six pounds of marijuana infused edibles located along with paraphernalia and loose marijuana. He was arrested for the marijuana and transported to the parish jail for booking. On Christmas Day, officers with the Turkey Creek Police Department conducted a traffic stop on Wyatt Guillory of Ville Platte for a minor traffic violation. Officers smelled a strong odor of marijuana emitting from the vehicle. After a search took place, the driver was charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, prohibited acts :Schedule Two Meth, possession of drug paraphernalia and illegal carrying of weapons. He was transported to the parish jail for booking. Also on Dec. 25 Turkey Creek police stopped a vehicle driven by Christian Ardoin of Katy, Texas on a minor traffic violation. Later, police ordered him out of the vehicle and a probable cause search was conducted where illegal narcotics were located. He was issued a summons for the illegal narcotics and released without incident. Two separate arrests were conducted by Turkey Creek Police on December 26. They conducted a traffic stop on the driver, Troy Blanchard of Arkansas for a minor traffic violation. After authorities smelled a strong marijuana odor coming from the vehicle, a probable cause was conducted where illegal narcotics were located. He was issued a summons for the illegal narcotics and released without incident. Also, on the same date, Turkey Creek Police conducted a traffic stop on Kerry Gautreaux of Glenmora for a minor traffic violation. After a brief conversation, the driver admitted to having narcotics inside the vehicle and the narcotics were recovered. He was issued a summons for the narcotics and released without incident. On December 29, Turkey Creek Police conducted a traffic stop on Ashley Linzay of Ville Platte for a minor traffic violation. Once again upon contact with the driver, police could smell the odor of marijuana inside the vehicle. After a probable cause search of the vehicle, illegal narcotics were located along with drug paraphernalia. The driver was issued a summons for the narcotics and paraphernalia and released without incident. Two more incidents were reported on December 30, officers with the Turkey Creek Police Department stopped a vehicle for a minor traffic violation. The passenger identified as Sarah Stiver of St. Landry. She admitted to police to having narcotics inside the vehicle. Officers retrieved the narcotics and issued her a summons. Th driver was issued a citation for the traffic violation and both subjects were released without incident. Also on December 30, Turkey Creek Police stopped a vehicle driven by Travon Malveaux of Ville Platte. Upon contact with the driver, police smelled a strong odor of marijuana emitting from the vehicle. A probably cause search was conducted and illegal narcotics were located. The driver was issued a summons for the illegal narcotics and released without incident.

City Council Discuss Removal of Unauthorized Business in Ville Platte

 

At Tuesday’s meeting of the Ville Platte City Council, Mayor Vidrine announced that street repairs for an initial 25 streets in Ville Platte will begin on or before March 31, 2022. Repairs for other roads will be announced at a later time.

 

Fire Chief Chris Soileau announced that there were no fatalities for November, but that December started off its first week with a fatal house fire in Chataignier. During the colder winter months, please remember to check on elderly relatives and make sure that your homes are equipped with working smoke alarms. If you or a loved one needs assistance of any kind, please contact your local fire department.

 

Dewey Guillory addressed the council on behalf of his neighborhood about an unauthorized commercial property at 228 Hickory Street. He alleges that an unnamed individual is going ahead with the creation of 2 new businesses: a wrecker and a used car dealership. Since renovations began, Mr. Guillory says that his property has decreased in value, damaging he and his neighbors financially. Councilwoman Williams says that authorization will not be given to the individual until he has a fence built around his businesses; however, Mr. Guillory asserts that though construction of such a fence has begun, it is inadequate. The council agrees that such a business should not be located in the middle of town, and assures residents that the issue has been turned over to their legal department to find a way to stop it.

 

The council also heard from Coach Sweetman in regards to population increase, new employment, and internet access. Over the past 30 years, Ville Platte has seen a steady decrease in population on-par with world trends. Mr. Sweetman says that “less residents equal less money.” To combat this, he suggests affordable apartment complexes targeting retirees and immigrants, and also recommends pushing tourism since there are dozens of empty buildings in town that could be turned into something great. He says that the first step is to get a 4G internet tower for more affordable and reliable internet. Mr. Sweetman lives in Ville Platte and wants to help the council better our community. Anyone who wishes to speak with him can email him at coach.sweetman@yahoo.com.

 

November and December have been good months for grant applications, with the city approved to apply for $400,000 from the state for park improvements. Ville Platte also received an NLC grant for a French-language mural on City Hall which will represent Ville Platte’s culture and history. The city plans to apply for an NLC water and drainage grant, but will first need to assess the amount needed for repairs and improvements. New street signs are coming to Ville Platte once the manufacturer receives their shipment of metal, and City Hall is still waiting on their new phone system.

All French Police Jury Meeting held Today

Evangeline Parish Police Jury All French Meeting December 14, 2021 The Evangeline Parish Police Jury conducted their annual all French meeting today (Tuesday) at the courthouse. A large group of well wishers were in attendance to view this unique event. It is the only known governmental meeting to conduct a meeting in French in the state. District Six Police Juror Eric Soileau conducted the meeting in the place of President Ryan Williams. One of the highlights of the meeting were students from the French Immersion program who led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance and sang three Christmas songs in French. Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel led the group in the invocation all in French. Ville Platte native Amanda Lafleur Giambrone attended the meeting and praised the police jury for their efforts in supporting our Cajun French heritage. She urged the public wanting to learn how to speak and write in French to buy the new book by David Marcantel about the funny Cajun stories by Avoyelles Parish storyteller Marion Marcotte. The new book has the original French lines on one side of the page and the English translation on the other side. State Senator Heather Cloud reported that seven million dollars has been allocated by the state for the resurfacing of US 167 in Evangeline Parish. Also efforts are underway to get funding for LA 106 to Allen Parish. The police jury approved the following: --approved the reappointment of Greg Morein to the Mamou Fire Protection District Board and Allen LeJeune to the Acadia -Evangeline Fire Protection District Board for another two year term; --approve the appointment of Lucas Berzas to the Acadia -Evangeline Parish Fire Protection District Board replacing Randal Fruge; --received a report from Secretary Treasurer Donald Bergeron announcing that this parish received $368,057 in sales tax collections for November; Recognized the following guests in the audience: former Jury Secretary Treasurer Doug Deville, Jerrie Ledoux with the Congressman Mike Johnson's Office, Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel, Senator Heather Cloud, former Secretary Treasurer Dale Reed, Sheriff Charles Guillory, Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine, Evangeline Chamber of Commerce President Dr. Gwen Fontenot, Assessor Chris Guillory, Registrar of Voters Lucas Buller and Evangeline Parish Tourism Director Elizabeth West.

Ville Platte resident dies in Apartment Fire

Ville Platte Woman Dies in Duplex Fire EVANGELINE PARISH- State Fire Marshal (SFM) deputies continue investigating the circumstances surrounding a duplex fire in Ville Platte that claimed the life of a female resident. Around 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11, the Ville Platte Fire Department responded to a call at a 2-unit residential structure, or duplex, located in the 5600 block of Vine Street. While first responders were able to safely evacuate the occupant of one of the units, firefighters unfortunately located the body of a woman in the living room of the second unit. While official identification and cause of death are pending with the Evangeline Parish Coroner's Office, the victim is believed to be a 62-year-old resident of the unit where the fire began. Following an assessment of the scene, deputies determined the fire began on the couch where the victim was located. Deputies learned the woman, who was disabled, was also a heavy smoker. Based on witness statements, and evidence found at the scene, deputies cannot rule out improperly discarded smoking materials as a likely cause of the fire. The SFM always recommends smoking outdoors and ensuring all smoking materials are properly extinguished in the appropriate manner. Also, refrain from smoking when tired or under the influence of alcohol or medications that make you drowsy. In addition, all spark-producing objects, like lighters, should be kept out of the reach of children. Deputies were able to locate smoke alarms in the home, but they were not in working order due to the batteries being removed. Working smoke alarms are a proven tool to alert residents to a fire danger in order to escape safely. The SFM's Operation Save-A-Life partners with local fire departments to install smoke alarms for free for families that need them most. To learn more about Operation Save-A-Life, or to register for a smoke alarm installation, visit lasfm.org.

Food Net Food Drive

Despite the cold weather, Ville Platte residents as well as residents in Mamou, Pine Prairie and Basile braved the cold to help the needy and hungry this holiday season. It was the annual Food Net Food Drive held locally at the Ville Platte Civic Center pavilion for the benefit of the Ville Platte Christian Care and Share Center. KVPI covered the food drive with live on the scene reports with Misty, Deet and Mark for part of the day and viewed many people make food and monetary donations. Volunteers opened up at 5;00am until 8:00 tonight. DJ Jude Dardeau provided the holiday music. Even Santa Claus showed up to bring cheer to the volunteers and to the children who showed up. We hope to have a report on much food and money was raised by Care and Share Director Gene Fontenot during the La Tasse de Cafe radio show in the morning. Thank you and God bless you for caring and sharing.

Mamou Police investigate Shooting Incident

Mamou Police investigate Shooting incident December 7, 2021 On Monday, December 6, Mamou Police were dispatched to the 500 block of Second Street of Mamou to reports of multiple shots fired in that neighborhood. When the police arrived, they discovered a victim, an unknown black male, left the area on his own to seek medical attention for possible gunshot wounds. Officers began investigating the incident and received information that a suspect involved was in the 600 block of Second Street. Police located the suspect and detained him without incident. The suspect's residence was searched and a firearm was located in the suspect's room. With the help of the Ville Platte police department, officers discovered the victim was not injured by gunshot but that his vehicle was struck several times. His vehicle was taken into evidence. Mamou police made two more arrests. One person of interest, Vindezz Thibodeaux, is still at large. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact the Mamou Police at 337-468-5221. All callers will remain anonymous. Chief Brent Zackery , Assistant Chief Drew Fruge and the Mamou Police Department are committed to making Mamou a safer place to live. Anyone involved in criminal activity will be arrested and held accountable for their actions to the fullest extent of the law.

More Drug Arrests by Evangeline Deputies

DRUG ARRESTS BY SHERIFF'S OFFICE NOVEMBER 22, 2021 Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory reported to KVPI News the following drug arrests by his deputies: Last Tuesday, November 16, the sheriff's office narcotics unit executed a search warrant in the Mamou area. Agents had been receiving many complaints of drug activity from this home. When agents entered the residence, they located narcotics and weapons. Arrested was Joshua Scott Aucoin age 40 of Mamou charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of suboxone, possession of a firearm in the presence of a controlled dangerous weapon and possession of a firearm by a felon. Also, last Tuesday, the K-9 unit stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation. Upon coming into contact with the driver, he appeared to be extremely nervous. K-9 Diego was deployed and indicated the presence of narcotics. Following a search of the vehicle, Steven Cade Fontenot age 26 of Mamou was arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and a traffic violation. On Wednesday Nov. 17, the sheriff's office was searching for a wanted fugitive. They went to a residence on South Soileau where they had received information that the fugitive was staying at. Upon arrival, agents could smell marijuana coming from the house. The deputies applied and received a search warrant for the residence. Upon completion of the search warrant, agents located narcotics and guns. Arrested was Yvonne Savoy age 36 of Opelousas. She was charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of a firearm in the presence of controlled dangerous substance and possession of controlled dangerous substance in the presence of a minor. On Friday, Nov. 19, the criminal patrol unit stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation. While speaking to the driver, the agent noticed drug paraphernalia in plain view. This led to a search of the vehicle and the discovery of narcotics. Arrested were: Skylar Jones age 37 of Lafayette charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Also arrested was Nicole Danielle LeBlanc age 33 of Lafayette. She was charged with possession of clonazepam, possession of drug paraphernalia and monetary instrument abuse (counterfeit currency). Also on Friday Nov. 19, the sheriff's office narcotics division conducted a search warrant on an apartment at 713 Parkview Street. Agents had been receiving numerous complaints. When agents entered the home, they found narcotics in plain view and on the female attempting to run from the home, they also located a pistol reported stolen in August. Arrested was England Williams age 34 of Ville Platte charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of promethazine, possession of alprazolam, possession of controlled dangerous substance in a drug free zone, possession of a firearm in the presence of controlled dangerous substance, possession of controlled dangerous substance in the presence of minors, possession of a stolen firearm and she also outstanding warrants. As always Sheriff Guillory and the sheriff office is always seeking information on criminal activity and urges the public to contact their investigation department at 363-2161.

Evangeline Parish School Board Views ESSER Presentation

17 November 2021

 

At Wednesday’s meeting, the Evangeline Parish School Board viewed a presentation on the benefits of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief, better known as ESSER. The program was created to help close learning gaps created during the pandemic. It was designed to do the things that teachers do not have time to do in the classroom and assist them with progress and data reports.

 

ESSER employees track and monitor student growth while also helping with curriculum and lesson plans. They prepare materials for student acceleration and assist with testing and strategies so that teachers no longer have to do it all alone.

 

The program benefits not only teachers but also students by helping them meet learning milestones while also making the goals practical and realistic. In addition, they provide emotional support during challenging times. The board heard from many teachers, principals, and students who appreciate the support of these positions and hope to see them continue post-pandemic.

 

COVID-19 numbers have dropped in Evangeline Parish schools since Governor Edwards’ mask mandate ended, remaining consistent with reports from other districts. According to the board’s attorney, Mr. John Bolton, so long as they continue to enforce LDH quarantine guidelines, as they have continued to do, masks can remain optional.

 

Vice President Limoges proposed a new item to add to the agenda which would reaffirm masks as optional in the parish schools; however, since new motions require a unanimous vote, and the proposition was met with a downvote, the motion will be added to the next agenda for December 8th.

 

Next week, the demolition of the Bayou Chicot auditorium will begin.

Superintendent Lazard would like to wish everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving. All campuses and school board offices will be closed next week. They will reopen on Monday, November 29th.

Turkey Creek Arrests

Turkey Creek Police Arrests November 16, 2021 Turkey Creek Police Chief Steven Ardoin reported to KVPI News the following arrests: On November 4, Officers with the Turkey Creek Police Department conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle for a minor traffic infraction. Once contact was made with the driver, later identified as Jason Langley of Eunice. Police learned that he was giving a fictitious name but couldn't be confirmed with dispatch at the time due to systems being down. He was released on a citation for the traffic infraction and a warrant was later issued for his arrest on giving false information to a police officer. On November 6, officers with the Turkey Creek Police Department conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle for a minor traffic violation. Upon contact with the driver, a strong odor of presumed marijuana was emitting from the vehicle. When asked, the two occupants: Lamar Thomas and Kristy Thomas of Texas admitted to having marijuana within the vehicle. After a search of the vehicle, presumed marijuana was located and both subjects were issued a ticket for simple possession of marijuana. On November 13, Officers with the Turkey Creek Police Department conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle for a minor traffic violation. Upon contact with the driver, Jermaine Moore Jr. of Mississippi, officers could smell a strong odor of presumed marijuana emitting from the vehicle. Officers searched the vehicle and located approximately 136 grams inside the vehicle. Moore was charged with possession with intent to distribute Schedule One narcotics. Chief Ardoin would like to the public for their continued support and to please report all suspicious activity and all suspects are innocent until proven guilty.

Election Returns

Election Returns November 14, 2021 Evangeline Paris voters voted in like fashion with statewide voters on Saturday when three of the four proposed constitutional amendments were voted down. Amendment #1 which would streamline sales tax collections was voted down in Evangeline Parish 973 No and 867 voting yes. It was also voted down stateside. Amendment #2 dealing with Tax Reform was approved in Evangeline Parish, 937 voting yes and 896 voting no. Voters in the state approved this amendment Amendment #3 which would give new taxing authority for new levee districts was turned down by parish voters: 1252 voting no and 546 voting no. It was also turned down statewide. Amendment #4 which would tap more dedicated money to fix deficits was turned down by Evangeline Parish voters: 1424 voting no and 379 voting yes. It was also turned down statewide by voters. In the only local issue on election day in Evangeline Parish , voters narrowly turned down a 12.45 mill millage tax renewal for the Town of Mamou. A total of 68 people voted yes and 71 people voted no. Special thanks to Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel for sharing this information to KVPI News.

Standing room only crowd during Police Jury Public dealing with a new Parish Jail

Police Jury Public Hearing November 9, 2021 A standing room only group of concerned citizens attended a special called public hearing by the Evangeline Parish Police Jury on proposals under consideration to secure the necessary funds to construct a new parish jail. John Mayeaux, with Sisung Securities Corporation made a power point presentation on the options the jury is considering to fund a new parish jail . The new facility with 200 beds will cost approximately 20.4 million dollars and take 2 to 2.5 years to construct. Mayeaux explained the jury can not continue to sustain the payment of some $300,000 from the general fund each year to pay for the cost of inmates being housed in other parishes. Among the options under consideration by the police jury to raise the necessary capitol include: rededcate a portion of the parish library tax, rededcate a portion of the parish health unit tax or use the sheriff's sales tax funds. Getting the most attention is a proposal by Sheriff Charles Guillory to raise the funding by merging the 9-1-1 office with the sheriff's office. The sheriff would become its new executive director and O.E.P. Director with no extra salary saving the parish the executive director salary. It is estimated the sheriff could save $250,000 annually through the merger. Former District Attorney Brent Coreil agrees a new jail needs to be constructed but a short term solution would be to use a vacant building across the street from the courthouse that is for sale. Coreil is against the proposal by the sheriff to build a new parish jail in the Industrial park near homes, a church, a school and industrial sites. Coreil praised the 9-1-1 staff. The staff is handling all emergency calls except for Mamou police and the sheriff's office. Coreil said "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" in regards to 9-1-1.. Sheriff Guillory said his goal is to keep our communities safe. "We're arresting people. We need a new jail. " His proposal is an option for the jury to consider. He told the jury "If my plan is so awful, remove it from the list of options.". The sheriff also reported that the GEO prison is too expensive to buy in Pine Prairie. Evangeline Parish District Attorney Trent Brignac remarked that Evangeline Parish does have a crime problem and the sheriff is doing a good job. He cautioned that inaction by the parish will cause the state to come in and take over operation. 9-1-1 Executive Director and Office of Emergency Preparedness Director Liz Hill has been serving in that capacity for the past 27 years. She wanted to correct a hot topic, dealing with her salary which is $72,384. She emphasized that 9-1-1 has always had clean audits, it has never been in a deficit and has a fund balance of $974,871 from saving for more than 20 years. She said in closing "You cannot buy experience." Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine appealed to the jury to keep 9-1-1 intact as it is now "Let's not rob Pete to pay Paul." Larry Johnson of Pine Prairie said he was in favor of the sheriff's plan to consolidate services as a cost saving move. "We need to support our police,". He urged the police jury to adopt the sheriff's option. Police Juror Ryan Ardoin blamed the marked increase in crime to people turning away from God. He said "Fatherless homes and sin is rampant in this parish. Our people need to repent.". Jury President Ryan Williams said the jury will review the options and make a decision on which way to go.

Sheriff Office Drug Arrests

Sheriff Office Drug Arrests November 5, 2021 Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory reported to KVPI News the following drug arrests: On October 10, the Sheriff's Office Criminal Patrol Unit conducted a traffic stop on Main Street. When agents approached the car, they could smell marijuana. The driver gave consent to search and the following action occurred: Shontee Edwards age 20 of Ville Platte was cited and released for possession of marijuana and a traffic violation. A separate Traffic Stop the same night led to another person being ticketed: Joshua Clint Roberts age 29 of Ville Platte cited and released for possession of marijuana and a traffic violation. On October 28, the criminal patrol unit attempted to conduct a traffic stop on Beacon Road. The suspect fled but was captured. This led to the following action: Matrekus Vidrine age 39 of Ville Platte was charged with possession with intent to distribute Hydrocodone, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of Oxycodone and possession of Controlled Dangerous Substance in the presence of a minor. Also charged was Ashley Nicole LeJeune age 32 of Mamou charged with possession of with intent to distribute marijuana and possession of controlled dangerous substance in the presence of a minor. On October 29, the sheriff's office narcotics unit executed a search warrant in Mamou. When the agents entered the residence they saw narcotics in plain view. The following suspects were arrested: Keith Thomas age 30 of Mamou charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of controlled dangerous substance in the presence of a minor, probation violation and outstanding warrant. Also arrested was Leola Gail Wilson age 38 of Mamou charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. On October 29, the criminal patrol unit conducted a traffic stop on Tate Cove road. Upon coming in to contact with the driver, there were narcotics in plain view. Arrested was : Brendan Emanual Coward age 21 of Ville Platte was charged with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of a firearm in the presence of controlled dangerous substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. On November 1, the criminal patrol unit conducted a traffic stop on a car. During the stop, agents found narcotics Arrested was Erica James age 34 of Coushatta cited and released for possession of marijuana and a traffic citation. On November 1, a traffic stop was conducted by the criminal patrol agents. While speaking to the driver of the car, he admitted to being in possession of narcotics. Upon a search of the car, the following actions took place: Tyrone Weathersby age 53 of Sacramento, California charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana and a traffic violation. Another traffic stop led to the following arrest: Jacques Morris age 33 of Bunkie charged with possession of a firearm by a felon and a traffic violation. Also arrested on the same date, Ronnie Hawkins age 41 of Arcadia cited and released for possession of marijuana and a traffic violation. On November 2, the narcotics unit executed a search warrant in the Point Blue area. Upon entering the residence, agents located narcotics and weapons. This led to the following arrest: Saben Kade Fontenot age 20 of Church Point charged with possession of Promethazine. Also arrested was Robbie Fontenot age 56 of Ville Platte charged with cultivation of marijuana, possession of suboxone, possession of hydrocholoride, possession of methamphetamine, possession of psilocybin and possession of a firearm with obliterated numbers. As always Sheriff Charles Guillory and the sheriff office is always seeking information of criminal activity and urges the public to contact their investigation department at 363-2161.

Jennings man arrested by Pine Prairie Police

Pine Prairie Police received a complaint from a parent stating that their juvenile daughter was sexually assaulted by a male subject while she was living in the home in Pine Prairie. An investigation began by police and it was found that the male subject, identified as Artay Joseph Lejeune Jr. (26 years old) had sexually assaulted the juvenile over a period of 6 months. Based on evidence, an arrest warrant was obtained for Lejeune for 4 counts of First Degree Rape, 3 counts of Oral sexual battery and 2 counts of aggravated assault. Once the arrest warrant was signed by Judge Ortego, the warrant was sent over to the Jennings Police Department on November 4th, 2021 where Lejeune was arrested by Jennings Police without incident. Lejeune was then transferred over to Pine Prairie Police where he was booked into the Evangeline Parish Jail on said charges and is currently being held without bond. Chief Deshotel wants to thank his officers for their hard work in this matter and the Jennings Police Department for their assistance in taking Lejeune into custody.

New Evangeline Parish Grand Jury Returns Indictments

A new Grand Jury was empaneled on Wednesday, October 27,2021, in Evangeline Parish, Louisiana. After meeting for two days on October 27,2021 and October 28,2021, the Grand Jury returned indictments on three cases. On October 27,2021,the Grand Jury indicted Ronald James Johnson, age 51, of Mamou, on the charges First Degree Rape (two counts) and Molestation of a Juvenile with a Physical or Mental Disability. The charges stem from incidents which occurred on or between June I , 2021 and June 16, 2021 . Arraignment on this case is set for November 18,2021 , before the Honorable Judge Chuck West. On October 21 ,2021, the Grand Jury also indicted Jean Baptist Andrus, Sr., age 75, of Ville Platte, on the charges of Indecent Behavior with a Juvenile and Contributing to the Delinquency of Juveniles. The charges stem from an incident which occurred on or about August 18,2021 . Arraignment on this case is set for December 2,2021, before the Honorable Judge Gary Ortego. On October 28 ,2021,the Grand Jury indicted Tyler Doughty, age 38, of Ville Platte, on the charges of Sexual Battery and Indecent Behavior with a Juvenile. The charges stem from an incident which occurred on or about May 14, 2021 . Arraignment on this case is set for December 2,2021, before the Honorable Judge Gary Ortego. Assistant District Attorneys, Jacob Fusilier and Stan Vidrine, represented the State in these matters and presented the cases to the Grand Jury. District Attorney, Trent Brignac, wishes to thank the members of the Grand Jury for their service, and also compliments the felony prosecutors, Jacob Fusilier and Stan Vidrine on their effort.

New Savoy Medical Center C.E.O. guest speaker at Rotary Meeting

New Savoy Medical Center C.E.O. speaks at Rotary Meeting November 2, 2021 New Savoy Medical Center C.E.O. Lance Armentor was the guest speaker at today's (Tuesday) meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club. He replaces former C.E.O. Gene Burge who has retired after 39 years with the hospital. Armentor, a resident of Lake Charles said his wife, Samantha is from the Ville Platte area and graduated from Sacred Heart High School. He and his wife are the parents of five children. He was the former Vice President of Operations at Oschner Medical in Lake Charles. His plans include bring additional specialists and services to Savoy Medical Center. He introduced Otis Johnson who will oversee the new "Beyond Horizons" Rehab unit. The 24 bed unit will begin accepting patients in 30 days. The new program is scheduling an open house Thursday at noon. It will be located on the second floor of Savoy Medical Center. Also attending the meeting were Savoy Medical Center Chief Operating Officer Danny LaHaye and Marketing Director Jackie Riche'.

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