Local News

Sheriff''s Department arrest two jail deputies

Deputies arrested and charged June 21, 2022 Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory reported to KVPI News that during the month of May, sheriff's office investigators began investigating reports of drugs and contraband being smuggled into the parish jail. They soon discovered that a number of deputies were utilizing outside contacts in order to have drugs and contraband delivered to the outside grounds of the jail at night and during the early morning hours. Those items were later brought into the facility by corrections deputies. After obtaining multiple cell phones that were confiscated from inside the jail, investigators were able to link jail deputies involved in orchestrating multiple transactions with prisoners and providing them with drugs and other items considered to be contraband. Two deputies have so far been arrested and charged: Hadden Quebedeaux age 18 of Ville Platte and Martin Richard age 25 of Opelousas were both charged with malfeasance in office, abuse of office, taking contraband into a penal facility and criminal conspiracy.. Sheriff Guilory said the investigation is still pending and more arrests are expected.

Evangeline Parish School Board Recognizes Teachers and Principals, past and present

Evangeline Parish School Board Meeting June 21, 2022 The Evangeline Parish School Board Wednesday night honored a number of special teachers and educators. Supervisor Grace Sibley announced to the board, the school district has proudly had eight teacher and principal of the year award winners in the last eight year who exceeded the district level competition and placed on the state level: Cheri Fontenot of James Stephens Montessori, the overall Elementary State Principal of the Year winner; Brandi Marcantel of Vidrine, Elementary Teacher of the year Semin Finalist; Christine Bacon of W.W. Stewart, elementary state principal of the year semi finalist; Liz Chatelain of Mamou, High School State Principal of the year Finalist; Heather Demoruelle of James Stephens Montessori, elementary state teacher of the year semi finalist; Lisa Celestine of Vidrine, the overall Middle School State Teacher of the Year Semi Finalist; Kayla Joseph Jones of Chataignier, the middle school state teacher of the year semi finalist and Emee Aswell of Ville Platte High, high school state teacher of the year semi finalist. Also recognized were National board certified teachers in the district: Angelle Fuselier, Casey Fontenot, Grace Sibley, Julie Landreneau, Melissa Coreil, Cheri Fontenot, Kimberly Daire Soileau, Sheryl Fuselier, Althea Young, Kay Fontenot, Kimberly Jorden Soileau and Nina David. Three students were recognized for getting their Associates Degree from LSUE when they graduated from high school in the dual enrollment program: Erin Fontenot from Ville Platte High, Shawn Gaspard and Nathaniel Reese Romero from Basile High. In other business, the school board recognized the Jobs for America (J.A.G.) program specialist Diana Johnson for achieving all five national standards in her local program. Superintendent of Schools Darwan Lazard informed the school board that he has met with the sheriff to develop plans to beef up security at all parish public school in the parish following the shooting at Uvalde, Texas. They are working on having a single point of entry at schools, more fencing and cameras at schools. Former Mamou High Principal Liza Chatelain has been selected as grants coordinator for the new reimagine grant in Evangeline Parish; It was announced that there will be only one meeting in July: on July 13.

Sheriff's Office make Drug Arrests

Drug Arrests June 21, 2022 Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory reported to KVPI News that a number of suspects were arrested on drug related charges after deputies executed a search warrant Sunday at a home on Crooked Creek Parkway. Agents arrived at the residence and detained a number of people. The owner of the home fled into the woods but was quickly captured without incident. The following suspects were arrested: Darold James Cole age 32 of Crooked Creek Parkway charged with possession with intent to distribute Methamphetamine, cultivation of Marijuana, Possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of Hydrocodone, Possession of Oxycodone, Resisting an Officer and Battery of a Dating Partner; Also, Rustin Ray Naquin age 39 of Crooked Creek Parkway charged with probation and parole violation and a warrant for failure to appear for court; Randy Ardoin age 58 of Harmony Road arrested for outstanding warrants; and James Woodruff age 25 of Jenus Road arrested on an outstanding warrant for Livingston Parish; Also on Monday, June 20, the sheriff department K-9 Unit conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle. K-9 Diego was deployed to conduct a free air sniff of the outside of the vehicle. The dog gave a positive alert and a search was conducted on the vehicle. Deputies arrested Justin Wade Carroll age 33 of Opelousas charged with possession of clonazepam.

Rotary Club hears from Library Officials

Ville Platte Rotary Club Meeting June 14, 2022 Dr. William Holmes, the new Evangeline Parish Librarian and members of his staff were featured speakers at today's (Tuesday) meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club Meeting. Holmes is a native of Mamou and was previously employed at LSU Eunice teaching business and finance. He shared the following stats: the parish library system has 23,800 registered library card holders out of a parish population of 33,500; the library, last year during Covid, still had 31,000 patron visits to the various branches; 82,600 books were circulated last year while 16,500 E-books were circulated. He announced a major expansion to the main Ville Platte branch, an increase of 3000 square feet to the main branch. Plans call for additional parking, a new conference room, a new genealogy room and a children's and adolescent room. The work should be complete by next year. Also, the library board is in the process of constructing a new Basile library branch. The land is being purchased on Stagg street. Also speaking were Outreach coordinators Suzie Lemoine and Keesha Ford discussing the summer Reading program. The speakers were the guests of Rotarian Kermit Miller. Rotary Club President Jimmy Leblanc reminded club members that next Tuesday, June 21, will be the annual Rotary Club Installation Banquet at Café Evangeline at 6:00pm. There will be no noon luncheon.

Ville Platte City Council Meeting

Ville Platte City Council Meeting

June 13, 2022

 

 

     The Ville Platte City Council, Tuesday, introduced its new fiscal year budget. Mayor’s Assistant Dirk Deville presented the budget figures to the city council and to those in attendance. The proposed budget includes 152 million dollars in funds to replace the city’s old gas lines. Deville remarked the federal government is mandating local governments to update their old utility likes like gas lines. The city is losing about 33 percent from leaky gas lines. The city has called a special meeting and public hearing to adopt the new fiscal year budget for June 27 at 12 noon with a public hearing at 11;45am.

 

    Sonia Christopher representing a group of volunteers assisting with the city animal shelter gave a report to the mayor and city council. She and her group met recently to prepare a policy and procedures manual for animal shelter workers. She also distributed a minimum list of requirements for animal shelters issued by the state. Mayor Jennifer Vidrine commented that many of the comments being made on social media about the conditions at the shelter are exaggerated and not factual.

 

     City Engineer Ronnie Landreneau said the street improvement project is about 70 percent complete with some 25 streets included in the original project. All asphalt streets except for those needing rebuilding have been done. Those still waiting to be done include Desoto, a portion of Hickory and St. Marie Streets. The work came in under budget so additional streets will be done.

 

          Ryan Williams addressed the mayor and city council over action taken last month. The city council on May 27 approved a financing plan  with a firm known as Sustainability Partners to pay off its bond obligations. Williams said 23 million dollars of business was conducted with no input from the city’s legal advisor.

 

          Councilmen Bryant Riggs and Mike Perron disagreed with Williams assessment. Riggs and Perron said the action taken was good for the city and the residents.

 

             In other action, the city council:

 

--heard from Mayor Jennifer Vidrine report that some 100 students have enrolled in the Girls and Boys Place;

 

--received news that there will be a fireworks display on July 4;

 

--heard from Fire Chief Chris Soileau report there were four structure fires, two vehicle fires and five grass fires in May;

 

--received the May police report from Chief Neal Lartigue: 1134 calls, 14 citations, 10 felony arrests and worked 17 accidents including one fatality. The council approved hiring two new patrol officers.

   

KVPI Issues Statement on Website Article

KVPI would like to correct a posting regarding a police matter that appeared on our website on May 27, 2022. The posting was about an incident involving Mr. Rufus Searile and did not mention any specific date. Some readers may have concluded the posting was about a recent event even though the incident mentioned in the posting happened in May of 2016 . KVPI does not know what made an incident from May of 2016 reappear on our website on May 27, 2022 but we apologize to Mr. Searile for any inconvenience caused by lack of clarity in that website posting.

Evangeline Parish Police Jury Meeting

Evangeline Parish Police Jury Meeting June 6, 2022 The Evangeline Parish Police Jury tonight (Monday) in a committee meeting heard from its building inspector and electrical contractors needing guidance and policy on temporary permit applications. The parish building inspector's main concern is safety. A number of property owners are requesting 200 amp electrical service for smaller projects such as electric fencing and wells when all they need a smaller 100 amp service . However, the jury does not have a policy or ordinance to deal with these issues. Secretary Treasurer Donald Bergeron confirmed there is no ordinance on the books on regulating these projects. Jury President Bryan Vidrine said "Right now we are in limbo until we adopt some type of ordinance". The police jury has called a public hearing for 4:00pm to get public comment on a proposed ordinance. Also, the police jury has gotten complaints from at least one resident in the St. Landry community against the proposed installation of a new 5-G cell tower adjacent to his property. The home owner complained how the tower will impact the value of his property and concerns about the health effects of 5-G service. The jury voted to table discussion on the issue. Also in the executive committee, the police jury called a public hearing to get public comment on the proposed merger of the Lone Pine Fire District with the Ward Five Fire District. The hearing is planned for 4;30pm July 11. In other action the police jury: --approved moving the Lake Cove voting precinct from Berl Clark's store where it has been for the past 40 years and moving it to the Lake Cove Baptist Church in time for the Fall elections; --voted to call a public hearing on a proposed ordinance to regulate solar power farms in the parish. It was learned that at least two companies are interested in starting farms In Evangeline Parish; --received news from Secretary Treasurer Donald Bergeron that the 2 percent sales tax revenues brought in $336,060 for the month of May, down slightly from this time last year but still 19 percent higher year to date.

Ville Platte Police charge suspect with Attempted Murder

Ville Platte Police Neal Chief Lartigue reports arrest for multiple charges including attempted second degree murder. On May 16, 2022 at approximately 4:30 p.m. Officers with the Ville Platte Police Department were dispatched to the 1200 block of Martin Luther King Street in reference to an injured male subject. Upon arrival Officers discovered a male subject laying on the porch of a residence with an apparent stab wound to the neck and a laceration on his chest. The victim stated that Ashley Edwards had stabbed him during a confrontation. Acadian Ambulance transported the victim for medical treatment. Officers located Edwards on North Dupre Street where she fled in a vehicle that had been reported stolen. Edwards disregarded multiple stop signs, a four way intersection and a red light and damaged two patrol units during her flight from Officers. Edwards was stopped near East Hickory Street. Ashley Edwards, age 35 of 514 West Oak Street, Ville Platte, was transported to the Ville Platte Police Jail and booked on charges of attempted second degree murder, theft of vehicle, aggravated flight from an officer and battery of an officer. Edwards was transported to the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Jail where she remains incarcerated on a $ 310,000.00 bond. Chief Lartigue reminds citizens to report illegal activity by calling dispatch at 337-363-1313 or 911. You call will remain anonymous.

Evangeline Parish School votes to proceed with the planning of a new $1.1 million reconfiguration program

Evangeline Parish School Board Meeting May 18, 2022 After much discussion, the Evangeline Parish School Board voted to proceed with the planning phase of the "Reimagine Grant Program". Evangeline was one of only 36 applications approved for the $1.1 million dollar federal grant being administered by the state. There were a total of 80 applications in 17 parishes. Supt. of Schools Darwan Lazard explained the funds will be used to reconfigure the grade levels at Ward One area schools and create a model middle school in Chataignier by reopening the vacant Carver Elementary school. The school will house students in grades 5-8. The plans call for Ville Platte Elementary a K-4 school, Ville Platte High a 9-12 school, James Stephens would add grades 7 and 8 and Chataignier Elementary a "STEM " school teaching courses in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Boardmember Mike Fontenot was concerned over the high cost of remodeling the closed school. Supt of Schools Darwan Lazard said the board architect will have cost estimates in place by November for the board to review before deciding whether to implement the plan. A number of students from every school in the parish were recognized with a plaque for their scholastic achievements. Ville Platte Rotary Club President Elect Larry Lachney presented a $500 check to Supt. Lazard to be used for the Special Olympics program. In other business the board approved a motion by a vote of 12-1 to approve a new retention and recruitment pay proposal drafted by an employee advisory committee. The only board member voting against the proposal was Sheila Joseph. Boardmember Mike Fontenot asked the superintendent to have proposals like these sent to the board in advance so they could review them. Fontenot stated that the pay proposal was first seen by him when he came to the meeting. Supt. Lazard congratulated the winners in the "Teachers of the Year' and "Students of the Year' program. Board members will be invited to attend a special

Teachers of the Year speak at Ville Platte Rotary Club

Ville Platte Rotary Club Hears from District Level Teachers of the Year Honorees May 17, 2022 The Evangeline Parish District Level Teachers of the Year honorees were the featured guest speakers at Tuesday's meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club at Café Evangeline. Supervisor Grace Sibley introduced the three special instructors: Bernice Ardoin, Misti Fontenot and Emee Aswell. Bernice Ardoin was selected as Elementary Teacher of the Year. She has been a teacher at Pine Prairie High School for the past 18 years. Before she became a teacher, she was a journalist with the Ville Platte Gazette. She remarked "Teaching makes every profession possible". Misti Fontenot , a special ed instructor from Mamou High was chosen as Middle School Teacher of the Year. Emee Aswell, an English teacher from Ville Platte and a native of the Philippines is the High School Teacher of the year. She advanced all the way to the state semi-finalist. Evangeline Parish Supt of Schools Darwan Lazard called the speakers "excellent ambassadors for our school system". The speakers were the special guests of Rotarian Darwan Lazard. Also, the club members were treated to a musical feast from the members of the Evangeline Parish Jazz Esemble featuring students from Pine Prairie and Basile High Schools. Leslie Forman thanked the Rotary Club for being the recipient of the Rotary Club LSUE $2000 Scholarship; The Club also received news that its board approved donating to the Pregnancy Center and $500 to Special Olympics

Drug Arrests by Sheriff's Department

Drug arrests by Sheriff's Deputies May 16, 2022 Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory reported to KVPI News that the following suspects were arrested on narcotics charges: Last Friday, May 13, the Sheriff's Department Narcotics K-9 unit conducted a traffic stop. Narcotics agents made contact with the driver, permission was given to search and agents discovered illegal narcotics. Arrested was Chad Richard age 54 of Branch, Louisiana charged with possession of over 4 grams of methamphetamine and a traffic citation. Also, last Friday, the sheriff's department K-9 unit conducted a traffic stop. K-9 Diego was deployed to conduct a free air sniff and he gave a positive alert to the presence of narcotics. Agents conducted a search and located narcotics. Arrested was Nick Anderson Bischoff age 49 of Eunice charged with possession of more than five grams of Fentanyl. Early this (Monday) morning, the sheriff's department narcotics unit and patrol division executed a search warrant in the Chataignier area. Agents entered the home at around 1:20am and detained four people without incident. Agents conducted a search of the residence and located several different types of narcotics. Arrested were Marsha Huval age 61 of Chataignier charged with possession with intent to distribute Methamphetamine, possession of Heroin, possession of Fentanyl, possession of Oxycodone, possession of Hydrocodone and two counts of possession of Alprazolam. Also arrested was Atticus Wyatt Miller age 28 of Eunice charged with possession of Fentanyl and an outstanding warrant for St. Landry Parish.

Evangeline Police Jury approves entering into agreement with Law Enforcement District to build a new Jail

Evangeline Parish Police Jury Meeting May 2, 2022 After months of negotiations and various attempts to raise additional funding, the Evangeline Parish Police Jury Monday approved by a unanimous vote to enter into a cooperative endeavor agreement with the Evangeline Parish Law Enforcement District to construct a new parish jail at the Industrial park. The new jail will be funded through a 30-40 year bond. The sheriff through the law enforcement district will own and operate the new jail. Once the bond is paid off, the jury will have the option to lease the jail back from the district. Jury President Bryan Vidrine called this long term agreement "very good for Evangeline Parish citizens". The agreement calls for the sheriff to take over the cost of housing pre trial prisoners in out of parish prisons. The agreement calls for the sheriff, once the new jail is constructed, to house all parish prisoners and if there is any room, the new jail can house state Department of Corrections prisoners. The police jury will contribute $300,000 a year to the sheriff to help pay expenses. Also the parish will pay $2.5 million dollars to upgrade the sewerage and water service at the Industrial Park to connect to the new parish jail. Sheriff Guillory thanked every member of the jury for their vote of support on this measure. "This vote will save the parish a lot of money. We need a new jail", the sheriff remarked. His plans include adding a building that will house programs for inmates including a GED program, a ministry, substance abuse, anger management and a work release program. Several jurors personally thanked the sheriff including Ryan Ardoin and Lelia Thrasher. Ardoin said "We commend you on a job well done." In other action the police jury: --approved calling an election on the Nov. 8 ballot for the renewal of a millage tax for Evangeline Parish Water District #1; --received news from Secretary Treasurer Donald Bergeron that sales tax collections in March took in a record amount of taxes: some $747,905; --reminded residents to attend the National Day of Prayer program Thursday May 5 at 12 noon at the Hundredfold Coffee Shop in Ville Platte

Drug Arrests by Sheriff's Department

Drug Arrests by Sheriff's Department April 29, 2022 A number of suspects were arrested by Evangeline Parish Sheriff's deputies this past week in their efforts to stem drug trafficking in Evangeline Parish. Sheriff Charles R. Guillory reported to KVPI News on the following arrests: On Wednesday , the Sheriff's Department Narcotics Unit conducted a traffic stop on a car for a traffic violation. Following a search, illegal narcotics were found. Arrested was Christopher Bolfa, age 33 of Ville Platte was charged with possession of PCP and he had three outstanding warrants for failure to appear in court. On Thursday, the sheriff's department Narcotics Unit conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle on Pine Point road. After a search of the vehicle, the following subject was arrested: Douglas Keith Fontenot age 24 of Ville Platte charged with possession of methamphetamine. Also on Thursday at 8:00pm, the narcotics unit and patrol division executed a search warrant on a residence on L'anse Bleu road in the Chataignier area. Agents made entry and detained four subjects with out incident. The residence and property were searched and illegal narcotics were located. Arrested were: Kyle Brent Godeaux age 44 of Ville Platte and Megan Elizabeth Bealleau age 37 of Ville Platte, both charged with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of a firearm in the presence of controlled dangerous substance, possession of a stolen firearm, possession of a stolen firearm, and possession of controlled dangerous substances in the presence of a minor. Godeaux was also charged with possession of a firearm by a felon; Belleau was also charged with a warrant for failure to appear for court. Lindsey Rose Deville age 34 of Ville Platte charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession with intent distribute fentanyl; and Jason Fontenot age 41 of Ville Platte charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and a warrant for failure to appear in court.

Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Department conducts a number of drug arrests

Drug Arrests April 27, 2022 Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory reported to KVPI News that his department recently conducted a number of drug arrests. On Wednesday April 20, the sheriff's department narcotics unit conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle on St. Landry Highway. Agents made contact with the driver and a brief roadside interview was conducted. K-9 Diego was deployed and gave a positive alert to the presence of narcotics. Agents searched the vehicle and located illegal narcotics. Arrested was Paige Nicole Prudhomme, age 29 of Ville Platte who was charged with possession of Methamphetamine and a traffic violation. Also on April 20, the narcotics unit stopped a vehicle in Pine Prairie on a traffic violation. The driver, Terra Faith Bellard age 19 of St. Landry, was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia; On April 20, the sheriff's office narcotics unit conducted a traffic stop on Veterans Memorial Highway. Agents, as they approached the car, could smell the overwhelming odor of marijuana. Arrested was Christian David Deville age 42 of Ozark, Arkansas cited for possession of marijuana and traffic violations. On April 22, the narcotics unit conducted a traffic stop in Ville Platte and once again, agents noticed an overwhelming smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle. Arrested was Dustin Johnson age 30 of Ville Platte, cited for possession of marijuana and traffic violations. On Monday April 25, the narcotics unit along with the patrol division, executed a search warrant at a home on Acadian Drive in the Bayou Chicot area. The warrant was prepared after receiving numerous complaints. Agents entered the home and camper trailer on the property and detained six people. Agents conducted a search of the property and discovered narcotics and a firearm. Arrested were::Sonny Joseph Gagnard age 30 of Woodworth was charged with possession of Methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in the presence of controlled dangerous substances; William Jagneaux age 52 of Ville Platte was charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of a firearm in the presence of controlled dangerous substances and an outstanding warrant, Ashley Nicole Fontenot age 34 of Ville Platte was charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in the presence of controlled dangerous substances; and Ashely Denise Lamb age 31 of Ville Platte was charged with two counts of possession of schedule four drugs and four outstanding warrants.

Grand Jury Indictments Announced

Grand Jury Indictments April 202, 2022 Evangeline Parish District Attorney Trent Brignac reported to KVPI News that the Evangeline Parish Grand Jury on March 30 and 31, returned indictments in five cases. In the first case, the grand jury returned the following indictments on Artay Joseph LeJeune age 27 of Jennings on the following charges: three counts of First Degree Rape, three counts of Oral Sexual Battery and two counts of Aggravated Assault with a Firearm. The charges stem from incident which occurred on or between Dec 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021. The grand jury also returned indictments against LeJeune on additional charges for three counts of First Degree Rape and three counts of aggravated assault in connections with incidents between December 15, 2020 and March 30, 2021 In another case, the grand jury on March 31, indicted Jeremy Jamar Breaux age 34 of Duson on the following charges: Second Degree Battery and Domestic Abuse Battery in connection with an incident which occurred on or about July 18, 2020. The grand jury, in another matter, indicted Jasquez Compton age 31 of Mamou on the following charges: First Degree Rape with a victim under the age of thirteen and Oral Sexual Batter with a victim under age 13 and three years younger than the offender. The charges are in connection with an incident which occurred on or between March 9, 2019 and February 1, 2022. In another case, the grand jury indicted Tony James Brasseaux Jr age 30 of Sunset on the charge of Sexual Battery. The charges stem from an incident which occurred on or about June 10, 2021. Arraignments on all of these cases are set before Judge Chuck West. Brignac would like to thank the members of the grand jury for their service and he also complimented his felony prosecutors: Stan Vidrine, Bo West and Jacob Fuselier on their efforts.

Bud n Boiling Contest Winner

Budweiser Bud n Boiling Contest Winner April 13, 2022 KVPI had our grand prize drawing this morning in our Bud n Boiling promotion from all of the listeners who qualified during the last two weeks. Congratulations to our grand prize winner: Amy Palmer. Amy has won a 24 pack of Budweiser beer, a sack of medium to large crawfish compliments of B&L Seafood in Mamou and a crawfish pot and boiling kit compliments of Vidrine Ace Hardware. We want to thank everyone who qualified. If you're a qualifier and have not picked up your 12 pack of beer, come in as soon as you can. Our special thanks to Southwest Beverage, Budweiser distributors for teaming up with Classic Hits 92-5 KVPI. Happy Easter everybody.

Rotary Club Meeting heard from Dr. Menache

Dr. Lawrence Menache, Oncologist was the guest speaker at Rotary April 12, 2022 Savoy Cancer Center Radiation Oncologist Dr. Lawrence Menache was the featured guest speaker at Tuesday's meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club. He has been in medicine for the past 32 years primarily in the Alexandria area. Dr. Menache praised the local health care team at Savoy Cancer Center for the quality of health care in a rural setting. He works alongside hematology oncologist Dr. Paul Zhang specializing in chemotherapy. Dr. Menache said he is excited about the new equipment being installed at Savoy Cancer Center. The new "Linear Accelerator" machine will be able to provide pin point accuracy for the treatment of tumors so only the affected areas are targeted. He also gave tips and recommendations on cancer screenings such as colonoscopies, Breast Cancer, prostate and lung cancers. In closing he said " Get your cancer screening and be a partner with your doctor." Dr. Menache was the guest speaker of Rotarian Angela Fontenot. Rotarian Larry Lachney reminded club members that the annual club Spring Social is planned for April 26 at the Knob Hill camp.

Ville Platte City Council Meeting

Ville Platte City Council Meeting April 12. 2022 Several concerned citizens attended Tuesday's meeting of the Ville Platte City Council to voice their concerns over conditions at the City Dog Pound. Jill Stevens and Melissa Gibson shared the following list of grievances: only six kennels out of 16 are holding dogs. The same dogs have been in those kennels for months and there is no place for new dogs to come in. They stated that medical and other supplies have been donated for the care of the dogs and are not being used by the care taker. The dogs are not being given even basic care. Fencing material was donated but they never been installed. They mentioned that the care taker at the pound could be given free training on the proper handling of animals at the shelter. Stephens, an architect, has drawn up plans for a proposed new city animal shelter that could hold 16 kennels. Mayor Jennifer Vidrine told Stevens and Gibson that she is planning to meet with a welder at South Louisiana Community College to help work on making improvements at the dog pound. She also announced that she will appoint an advisory committee to work with city officials to oversee the proper operation of the city dog pound and invited concerned citizens to contact city hall. She thanked both ladies for their concern and compassion. In other business, the city approved a new ordinance, fashioned after a similar one in Lafayette dealing with restaurants serving alcoholic beverages in outside patio areas. Also, the city council approved a request from Tri Comm Real Estate to erect a new cell phone tower at the old Cedillo store location on west main in Ville Platte; Mayor Jennifer Vidrine announced there will be an Easter Egg Hunt at the Martin Luther King Park Saturday at 1:00pm for children and a second egg hunt for adults. The public is invited. The Girls and Boys Club will open June 3 with registration for those 8-16 and will operate daily from June 6-July 22. Fire Chief Chris Soileau announced there were 14 calls in March including two structure calls, one vehicle call involving a fatality and seven alarm activations. Long time Ville Platte firefighter Robert Perron was recognized by Jerri LeDoux with Congressman Mike Johnson's office with a congressional commendation for his 50 years of dedicated service to the fire department. City Engineer Ronnie Landreneau announced the patching of streets have begun which will lead to the overlay of some 25 city streets. Also in the budget will be improvements to all three city parks with the addition of splash pads, walking trails and pavilions . Sarahi and her husband Steven Sawtelle announced to the city council their plans for a "Day of Prayer" at noon May 5 at Hundredfold Coffee Shop. They personally invited the mayor and council to attend their event. Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue announced the police department answered 720 calls for the month of March, made 12 arrests including 9 felony arrests and worked 18 vehicle accidents including one fatality. Also the city council approved the hiring of two new part time jailers; Two new businesses wishing a city occupational license were referred to the city's attorney for review and guidance. Kyle Marsh, a local law enforcement officer is planning to open a new business in his home for the manufacture and sale of firearms such as AR-15's. The business will be called "Evangeline Tactical". Also, Amanda Snoke and her husband , the owners of Sooner Auto, are planning to operate a food truck in the Ville Platte area and wanted guidance and info on getting a license to operate. Mayor Jennifer Vidrine reminded residents that Acosta Foundation is sponsoring a clean up day in Ville Platte on April 23.

Evangeline Parish Police Jury Meeting

Financing a new jail continued to be the topic of discussion at the Evangeline Parish Police Jury meeting on Monday, April 4. After the proposal to rededicate parish health unit and parish library funds was voted down on March 26th, the police jury has now been forced to go back to the drawing board to come up with another plan to fund either the construction of a new jail or the expansion of the current jail. Police Jury President Bryan Vidrine said, "If anyone has any other ideas on how we could move forward, I'm all ears. I know at one point we had talked about possibly adding on to the existing facility." Police Juror Daniel Arvie, asked if a previous deal was still on the table that would consist of the sheriff assisting with payment of some police jury expenses until the police jury could build a jail? According to Vidrine, that is not an option at this time. Vidrine suggested that the jury go back to the sheriff one more time to discuss what they can afford in terms of building a jail. If the sheriff can't work with those numbers, Vidrine said, "I think at that point we need to make a decision. Do we want to start talking with an engineer to start looking at expanding our jail?" Police Juror Kevin Veillon then added, "It's time to start moving forward before all the money is gone. It's time to move forward and do what we got to do." In terms of moving forward, Police Juror Lelia Thrasher stated, "My biggest concern is if an agreement is made for the sheriff to pay what the police jury can't pay, will that carry over to the next sheriff." Legal counsel for the police jury, Jacob Fusilier, said, "Statute explicitly requires the jury to pay operations." Fusilier shared that if a future administration refuses to abide by the agreement and it's challenged in court, he "can't promise that it will hold up." In closing, Vidrine said, "If we don't have an agreement by next month, we can't continue, because it's costing us $60,000 of our money that we could be using to go toward the jail each month. That's what we are spending outside the parish on inmates." If the police jury and the sheriff are unable to reach an agreement, Vidrine said they will move forward with hiring an architect to give them a price on expanding the current jail. In other business: Secretary Treasurer Donald Bergeron reported that a Fiber Cutting Ceremony will be held on April 11 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Evangeline Parish Courthouse. He also shared the 2 percent sales tax collections for roads and drainage projects were $362,056.30, which represents a year-to-date increase of 27.85 percent. Joseph W. Deville was appointed as a board member to the Evangeline Parish Water District #1.

KVPI Road Crew broadcasts at James Stephens Montessori School

The Classic Hits 92-5 KVPI road crew, Karlee, Mike and Ray, did a live remote broadcast at James Stephens Elementary Montessori School during their Career Day event this morning.. We got to meet lots of students and teachers. We want to thank the school for inviting us.

Rotary Club hears from Progressive Power and Tractor officials

Progressive Tractor and Power Sports Personnel Speak at Rotary Meeting March 29, 2022 Mitch Fontenot with Progressive Tractor and Implement and Bart Latour with Progressive Power Sports were the two guest speakers at today's (Tuesday) meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club. Mitch Fontenot gave a brief history of the beginning and growth of Progressive Tractor. The dealership began in Ville Platte when G&S Implement combined with Dixie Tractor. The company continued to expand by purchasing ag dealerships where currently the company has 24 dealerships in Louisiana and Arkansas. P.T.I. has a total of about 400 employees. The company has recently opened a construction rental company headquartered in Lafayette where companies can rent excavators and other pieces of equipment. Bart Latour is the general manager of Progressive Power Sports, formerly known as Boco's Incorporated. Progressive purchased the business from the Stromer family and they are continuing to sell four wheelers, side by sides, motorcycles and generators, and engines from Honda. Many of the same Boco's service and office personnel stayed on with Progressive Power Sports. Latour announced that plans are in the works to move soon to the former Morein Motor's dealership building. Latour said "We are excited to keep the dealership going here in Ville Platte." In other news, Rotarian Wayne Vidrine announced that information from State Representative Rhonda Butler revealed that Chicot State Park's North Landing should soon open up for campers and visitors. The park has 30 million dollars in the proposed state budget to make needed upgrades to its electrical system and camp sites. Also, it was announced the Rotary Club has schedule its annual Spring social for April 26.

Drug arrests conducted by Sheriff's Deputies

Drug Arrests March 28, 2022 Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory reported to KVPI News the following drug arrests by his department: On Wednesday March 23, the sheriff's department narcotics unit conducted a search warrant on a residence in the Maxime subdivision in the Mamou area. Agents entered the home and detained several suspects without incident. A search of the home led to over a pound of marijuana being recovered and several firearms. Arrested was Larry Ogden age 57 of Mamou charged with possession with intent to distribute over a pound of marijuana and possession of a firearm in the presence of controlled dangerous substance; A traffic stop was conducted on Tate Cove Road last Wednesday . The Narcotics Unit K-9 Diego was deployed who gave a positive alert to the presence of narcotics. This led to the following arrest: Jason Lynn Richard age 50 of Mamou charged with possession of heroin and possession of Methamphetamine; Last Friday, March 25, the sheriff's department conducted a safety check point for impaired drivers. Deputies deployed the drug dog ,Diego who gave a positive alert and a search of the vehicle was conducted. Arrested were :Jennifer Fontenot age 49 of Oakdale charged with possession of Methamphetamine and a traffic violation and Phillip Shawn Oge , age 45 of Oakdale , charged with a probation violation; Also while conducting the safety check point, a truck entered the area where the deputies made contact with the driver. Due to the overwhelming smell of marijuana, a search was conducted. The driver was arrested. He was identified as Trevor Burton Lamke age 23 of Veteran Memorial High , Ville Platte, charged with possession with intent to distribute over 30 grams of marijuana; On March 26, last Saturday at the safety check point, the drug dog, Diego was again called out. The dog gave a positive alert. Deputies conducted a search and located narcotics. The suspect was identified as Kelly James Deshotel , age 23 of Transco road, Mamou. He was charged with possession of Methamphetamine, possession of controlled dangerous substance in the presence of a minor and he had an active warrant for not appearing in court.

Evangeline Parish voters say no to re-dedication proposals in Saturdays election

Police Jury Propositions Voted down in Evangeline Parish March 26, 2022 Despite beautiful Spring weather, the voting turnout was very low in Evangeline Parish for the police jury rededication propositions. The final vote were: Library Tax rededication- 1666 or 65 percent of the vote no and 873 yes Health Unit Tax rededication- 1640 or 64.9 percent voting no and 885 voted yes. The proposals were to rededicate a portion of the Health Unit tax and a portion of the Health Unit funds to be used for the proposed construction of a new parish jail in the Industrial Park. It was reported that only 20 percent of the registered voters took time and voted in the election. Police Jury President Bryan Vidrine in a statement to KVPI during the KVPI Radio broadcast said , " The people have spoken. We will go back to the drawing board and find another plan."

Evangeline Parish School Board Adopts Redistricting Plan

Evangeline Parish School Board Adopts Reapportionment Plan March 22, 2022 The Evangeline Parish School Board Tuesday, in a special called meeting voted to adopt a new redistricting plan in time for the school board elections this fall. The vote was 8-3 with two members absent to adopt Plan A drawn by its demographer. Before the final vote for adoption, a substitute motion to table was offered to take more time and review an alternate plan. The vote to table failed with only two board members voting in favor: Wanda Skinner and Sheila Joseph. During the public hearing held prior to the special meeting, Arthur Sampson appeared before the board to introduce an alternate redistricting plan. The map was prepared by a demographer showing four majority black districts. Sampson said funding for the map drawing came from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. "We want to assure there are four black majority districts that are 60-65 percent in black population". Earlier while meeting with the board's demographer, some board members were concerned over the fact that the proposed plan drawn up by Heffner shows only a 55 percent black population in District 13 represented by board member Georgianna Wilson. Heffner cautioned it would be illegal to increase the black population because he would be forced to split too many precincts.

Early Voting Ends for March 26 Election

Early Voting March 21, 2022 A total of 305 voters cast early votes for the special March 26 election at the Registrar of Voters Office in the Courthouse this past week, according to Registrar of Voters Lucas Buller. On Friday, there were 59 people that voted and on the last day of voting on Saturday there were 39 early votes. On Saturday, voters parish wide will decide the fate of a proposition called by the Evangeline Parish Police Jury to rededicate a portion of tax funds from the Evangeline Parish Library and Health Unit to be used to help the sheriff construct and fund the operation of a new parish jail at the Industrial Park. The polls will open at 7:00am and close at 8:00pm. KVPI urges you to go vote and then hear complete election returns starting at 8:00pm on KVPI FM 92-5 live from the Clerk of Court's Office.

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Swamp Pop music

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

Saturday from 10:00a.m. to 3:00p.m. Come view the amazing artifacts, photos,records, Wall of Fame and hear the music.
 

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