Local News

Ville Platte Rotary Club hears from Sam Gil

Rotary Club Meeting – 9-26-23 The program at the Rotary Club meeting on Tuesday was presented by Rotarian Eric Gil. Mr. Gil introduced his son, Sam Gil. Sam is a student at McNeese University. He experienced both COVID and the hurricanes that devastated the Lake Charles area as a student. Sam jumped right in, and served as a Freshman Senator in the Student Government Association. He went on to be a Representative and then the Speaker of the House. Sam introduced a Student of the Year Program, helped with mental health legislation, increased parking, and took advantage of the University being open to suggestions. During that time, McNeese lost 1000 students, which represented a 15% decrease to the annual budget. Sam became President his Junior year. He had a really good year and expanded the SGA's reach. As a second term President, Sam ran for President of the Louisiana Council of Student Body Presidents. While he was unsuccessful in that attempt, he successfully ran for the Louisiana Board of Regents. He defeated the candidates from LSU and the Southern System. He was responsible for a $3.45 billion dollar budget and 32 institutions. He is working on digital payment methods for the school. He represents over 214,000 students. Sam has worked for the Louisiana Governor, and he has served as a national officer for his fraternity, Kappa Sigma. Sam attributes much of his success to what he learned as a young man growing up in Ville Platte. He is very grateful to the people and for the experience, and he learned the value of building and fostering strong relationships and working hard for your goals. Sam remains committed to Sacred Heart High School, and his future plans are to attend law school and then potentially earn a PhD in either Public Policy or Higher Ed. Other Rotary News: • The program for the next meeting on October 3rd will be presented by Rotarian Annette Johnson • The District Governor will be visiting the Ville Platte Rotary on October 24th.

Ville Platte City Council Meeting

Ville Platte City Council - Meeting, Tuesday, September 12th The Ville Platte City Council met last night (Tuesday), and they were updated on the Animal Shelter. Planned improvements have been completed, but the shelter still failed the inspection. Problems include draining in the wrong direction, so trenches aren't draining. There are no doors on the back of some kennels for cleaning, and the shelter requested roofs on at least two of the kennels so that the jumping and climbing dogs can't escape. Back gates need to be repaired. The Mayor and City Council will work with the contractors to fix these problems. The Council was presented with the new City website. Megan Norris, showed the new functions and pages on the website. Parts of it are still under construction, but it will be very user friendly, contain valuable links to pay bills, keep informed of events and activities in Ville Platte and link to important related websites. The site is cityofvilleplatte.com Bill Fontenot provided the update for the City Engineer. The sludge removal project is under way, and the city is working hard to take care of the sewer problem. An Architect has been hired to prepare drawings for the park project. The Ville Platte Fire Department received a Class 2 Rating out of 10 (with one being the best) from the Public Fire Protection inspection. The department improved 2% to 86% since the last inspection. This is great news for both protection and insurance purposes. The Fire Department received a FEMA grant to replace breathing apparatus and communications equipment in the amount of $134,000. Fire Prevention week starts October 8th with a theme of Cooking Safety Begins at Home. They have officially closed on the new site for the station and work will start immediately. There is an Open House tentative scheduled for October 21st. There were 45 incidents in the month of August. John Deville provided the Police Department update. They responded to 657 calls in the last month that included 8 felony arrests out of 12, and 25 accidents. The Mayor announced that the Ville Platte Fire Chief Chris Soileau received his Fire Officer IV Firefighter and Emergency Responder Certification from the Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshall Public Safety Services.

Tournoi Elininations

Tournoi Eliminations September 11, 2023 Eliminations runs took place Sunday at the Tournoi track Sunday at the Industrial Park to select ten additional competitors for this year's Tournoi run. Here they are: #11- Brandi Snoke #12- Garrett Manuel, #13- Nick Miller, #14- William Fontenot, #15- Drew Vidrine, #16- Shane Lee, #17-Keith Saucier, #18- Cody Manuel, #19- Jody Trahan and #20 Shane Deville. There were no accidents with the horses. The new competitors join last year's Top Ten that include: Last Year's Champion- John Ross Guillory.. #2- Eric Guillory, #3 Marcus Guillory, #4 Cody Guillory, #5 Alex Haller, #6-Lisa Crane, #7 Paul Fontenot, #8-Bryan Fontenot, #9- Chuck Manuel and #10- Kent Saucier. The 2023 Tournoi Court include: Miss Tournoi- Shelbi Guidry, Ms. Tournoi- Gabrielle Alleman, Teen Miss Tournoi-Jilian Frederick and Jr. Tournoi Queen- Addyson Boutte. The Tournoi will be dedicated to the memory of Gary Brignac of Mamou and Jarrod Matte of Belaire Cove. The running of the historic running of the Tournoi will be held Sunday October 15 at 2:00pm at the Industrial Park after the Cotton Festival Parade. KVPI will be there to broadcast the entire event for those who cannot attend I n person.

Football game shooting suspect arrested

Football game shooting suspect arrested August 27, 2023 Ville Platte Police Chief Al Perry Thomas reports to KVPI News that that a 15 year old juvenile from Opelousas was arrested by City Marshal officials in connection with a shooting near the Jamboree football game Friday night. Chief Thomas said the suspect was picked up and his weapon, a 9 mm handgun, was also seized by authorities about 15 minutes after the shooting took place. No one was injured in the shooting. Police found that a broken mirror from a parked vehicle was damaged from the shots fired. The shooting took place between Harvey LeBas and Court Street and police believed it was a "retaliatory" shooting in connection with recent shootings. Two shots were fired outside the football stadium around 9:00pm. School officials cancelled the final game that was about to begin as a precaution. Players, coaches and fans quickly left the stadium after hearing the shots. In another matter, one person was injured in another shooting that occurred Saturday night at the corner of Lincoln and North Stagg street. The victim was injured in the leg, treated and later released. Police believe there are three suspects involved in this shooting. No one has been arrested in this case Chief Thomas said he will be attending a special meeting called by the city for Wednesday night at 6:00pm August 30 at 6;00pm at the Ville Platte Civic Center to discuss the rash of shootings and increased crime in the city. The public is invited to attend.

Evangeline Parish School Board Meeting

Evangeline Parish School Board Meeting – August 16, 2023 The Evangeline Parish School Board met on Wednesday night. Ville Platte Elementary School faculty and staff were recognized for outstanding academic growth on the 2023 LEAP State Assessment. This is a wonderful achievement for the entire community – faculty, staff, parents and students. Raises for Support Personnel were requested. Several speakers spoke in support of raises for the Cafeteria workers and support staff across the board, and there was significant discussion. Although the Board was generally in favor of raises, the matter was tabled until the Executive Committee meeting so that a detailed evaluation of the request and the budget could be undertaken. Then, the matter can be brought back to the Board. The revised 2022-2023 General Fund, Parish-wide Maintenance, Basile Maintenance, BHS Athletic Fund and CNP Program were presented by CFO Amy Lafleur. She also presented the 2023-2024 Consolidated Budget. The budgets will be reviewed in depth by the Executive Committee on Tuesday, August 22nd, and will be brought back to the Board for a vote on September 6th. The Board approved adding two secretarial positions at the Central Office. All the requisitions and invoices were approved as well as the Consulting Agreements. Superintendent Darwan Lazard let everyone know that the school year has gotten off to a relatively smooth and successful start. Most of the campus projects are complete with the exception of the air conditioning in the Mamou Gym, projects at James Stevens and Mamou Elementary, and the Ville Platte Athletic Track. There will be Ribbon Cuttings on Monday, August 21st, at Bayou Chicot Star Academy at 10:00, Mamou Star Academy at 11:00 and Reimagine Academy after that. Superintendent Lazard is hoping that Governor John Bel Edwards' schedule will allow him to be at Mamou and Reimagine Academy. Lastly, the French Immersion Program received two private donations from Ms. Chicken and Mr. Winky Aucoin for the programs at Ville Platte at Mamou for grades K-7.

Qualifying for the second day

Qualifying Second Day August 9, 2023 Only three candidates qualified on Wednesday to run for office in the October primary election, according to Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel Those candidates were: Rhonda Butler, incumbent for State Representative, 38th Representative District; Dr. Thomas Fontenot, incumbent Parish Coroner Kevin "Cabon" Fontenot, candidate for Police Juror in District 7. Qualifying will end Thursday at 4;30pm at the Clerk of Court's Office in the courthouse.

Justin Lafleur of "Beyond the Horizons" Clinc was guest speaker at Rotary Meeting

Rotary Club Meeting August 8, 2023 The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) had as their guest speaker, Justin LaFleur, the director of "Beyond the Horizons" substance abuse clinic in Mamou. Justin has been the director of the program for the past two years and has 12 years of experience. The program has 24 beds for a 28 day period for patients with alcohol and substance abuse issues. The program includes a 12 step program toward recovery. He cited a statistic the completion rate at "Beyond the Horizons" is 81 percent while the national completion rate for similar type programs is at 60 percent. He said some 50 percent of cases involving inmates in prisons today are drug related. The program works with families in the recovery process. He was the special guest of Rotarian Angela Fontenot. In other Rotary club news, the service project committee of Pat Duplechain and Mabel Forman will be in charge of securing and preparing care baskets for needy families during the holidays; Also, the Rotary District Governor will be making his official visit to the Ville Platte Rotary Club on August 29.

Murder Charges Filed Against Suspect in Connection with Shooting Death of Assistant City Marshal

Louisiana State Police Investigators have charged 23-year-old Vonteeko Lamar Anderson with 1st Degree Murder following the officer-involved shooting death of a Ville Platte City Marshal, Barry Giglio on July 31. Anderson was rebooked into the Evangeline Parish Jail on August 2, 2023, shortly after 6:30 P.M. Anderson was already being held in the jail following an investigative search preceding the Ville Platte shooting on Monday, July 31st. During that search, a weapon was found along with illegal narcotics. He was booked on the following charges: • Possession of a firearm with certain CDS offenses or while committing a crime of violence • Manufacture, distribute or possess with intent to distribute schedule I CDS At least two subjects were shot and transported to local hospitals with critical injuries; one of those subjects later died. One officer was shot and pronounced dead at the scene. Anyone with information and/or pictures and video is urged to share that information with LSP Detectives by calling 337-332-8080.

Parish Prisoner escapes from Parish Jail

Parish Jail Escapee July 23, 2023 Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory reports to KVPI News that a prisoner has escaped from the Evangeline Parish Jail. The inmate has been identified as Willie Javonne Price. He is a black male, approximately 5 feet,one inch tall, brown eyes, black hair with multiple tattoos. He is known to carry weapons. If you see, please notify the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Department at 337-363-2161 or 9-1-1.

Evangeline Parish School Board Meeting

Evangeline Parish School Board Meeting – July 12th The Evangeline Parish School Board met on Wednesday night. After approving the minutes to the previous meeting and the Policy Committee meeting, the Board moved to address each policy items from the Policy, Athletic & Curriculum Committee meeting individually. The Board approved leaving the policy regarding Personnel Transfers in place as is except that they added the deadline of June 30th, when possible. The Policy regarding Student Use of Personal Electronic Devices was also unchanged. There was significant discussion about the School Dress Code. A motion was made to add the school colors to the uniform polo shirt options and to allow t-shirts. Speakers presented information about the Parish income levels to request that spirit color shirts not be approved as a dress code option. Further, the dress code policy calls for a notice of 60 days prior to making any changes, so the argument was made that it is too late to make any changes for this school year. The Board voted to leave the Dress Code Policy in place as is. The Sales Tax Comparison chart was presented to the Board. Year-to-date collections total $9,600,694 – 121.53% of the budget for the fiscal year. The Employment Calendar for the2023-2024 school year was presented to the board reflecting the 4 day school week and all personnel classifications noted. The proposed MFP Budget for the current year was voted down by the Department of Education, so the budget will revert to the previous year of $40,494,154. The Department of Education did approve a one-time payment. The Department of Education will be issuing guidelines soon. The Board approved a motion to follow the DOE guidelines. Modified Block Scheduling was discussed for the 4 day school week. The ultimate outcome of this discussion was that it is too late to change the scheduling for the current year. This method of teaching requires additional training and personnel, so the schedules will remain as is for this school year. The Board approved low bid quotes from Trident Industrial for maintenance work to be done. The Board approved the proposed requisitions and invoices. The 2023 – 2024 Student Handbook and Reference Guide was presented to the Board. The Superintendent made the following personnel announcements: At Basile, Johnny Deshotel was appointed Principal and Tony Bertrand the Assistant Principal. Mr. Lazard thanked Mel Bordelon for her service at James Stevens Montessori. He announced the new Principal – Fran Prince Lemelle. Nicole Johnson was announced at the new Assistant Principal . Ms. Julie Guillory was announced to fill the vacancy at Mamou High School. The new Assistant Principal at Pine Prairie High school is Kelly Dunnigan.

Ville Platte City Council Meeting

Ville Platte City Council Meeting July 12, 2023 The Ville Platte City Council met Tuesday at city Hall for their meeting of the month. An ordinance was introduced to update city utility rates. The plan is to adjust the rates monthly rather than yearly. A public hearing is scheduled for August 8 at 5;00pm at City Hall. In his comments, Ville Platte Mayor Ryan LeDay Williams announced the city has officially purchased the old Teche Electrical building on Railroad across from the Swamp Pop Museum. The city is advertising for bids to renovate the building. Mayor Williams also announced that the city is applying for funds to tear down dangerous and blighted buildings throughout the city. State Representative Rhonda Butler announced that the Ville Platte Fire Department was approved to receive $500,000 for their fire station project. City engineer Ronnie Landreneau gave update repots on the two park projects, work on the baseball field and the sewer lift stations. Fire Chief Chris Soileau reported that during the month of June the department responded to 24 incidents included three structure fires, two mobile, two grass fires, trash fire, four medical assistance, two alarms and two service calls. Police Chief Al Perry Thomas reported that for the month of June the police department responded to 670 calls, issued four tickets, made 46 arrests including 8 felony arrests and worked 21 traffic accidents. The chief got permission in his request to begin having "ride alongs" to encourage young people to pursue this profession. In other action, the city council: --Approved a liquor permit for the Louisiana Cotton Festival Oct. 10-15; --Congratulated all the Dixie Youth teams and players for all their success; --approved closing Constitution Drive located on the side of the Ville Platte Civic Center for the Louisiana Cotton Festival Oct 10-15.

Rep. Rhonda Butler guest speaker at Ville Platte Rotary Club

Rotary Club Meeting – 7-11-23 The speaker at the Rotary Club meeting on Tuesday, presented by Rotarian Bill Brunet was Louisiana State Representative Rhonda Butler. She has been out of session a month, but they are probably going to have go back for a veto override vote. Representative Butler talked about the success of this legislative session. She indicated that she and Senator Cloud were successful getting approval on about 95% of the projects they were working on. The focus was for infrastructure projects including roads, water and sewer. She worked on school projects and the courthouse renovation. $55 million dollars in funding was awarded to Evangeline Parish. There were two STEM programs for $3 million each awarded. Mamou got one of the programs. School funding is being directed to Junior High School programs to encourage these students to remain in school. Significant crime is coming from these ages, and the goal is to keep these students engaged in school. If the programs are successful, more funds will be available. An Economic Development Council is being developed for Evangeline Parish. This will create opportunities for funding and grants, and it will put the Parish on a State website. Internet is a key goal for the area. There is funding available. The market is now open for all competitors, not just a single provider. She will want to see maps for coverage and plans. The preference order for internet is hospitals, schools, businesses and then residences. Representative Butler is forming a Business Alliance Group again in order to get feedback from local leaders on projects proposed for the area. She will require business plans and models and a firm commitment as to what will be done for Evangeline Parish before backing anything. She also spoke about funding for the new Fire Station, and the Police Jury is getting a new building. These are all in the new Economic Development Plan. Other Rotary News • The program on July 18th will be presented by Brent Coreil.

Sheriff Office Drug Arrest

Sheriff Charles R. Guillory, of the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office releases the following: On July 6,2023 the Evangeline Parish Sheriff Departments Narcotics Unit, conducted a traffic stop on Tate Cove and East Jefferson. Agents made contact with occupants and smelled the odor of Marijuana. Agents then conducted a search of the vehicle and located a huge amount of illegal narcotics. Tommy Laron Ardoin age 35 114 East Lasalle Street Ville Platte, LA. 70586 He was charged with Possession with intent to distribute Crack Cocaine over 33 grams Possession with intent to distribute Cocaine over 148 grams Possession with intent to distribute Methamphetamine over 840 grams Possession with intent to distribute Ecstasy pills over 2,235 pills Possession with intent to distribute Promethazine over 5 ounces Money derived from drug proceeds over $1400.00 All subjects are innocent until proven guilty.

Drug Arrested by Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Department

Drug Arrests June 28, 2023 Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory reported to KVPI News that a drug operation with the assistance of the Allen Parish Sheriff Department Swat Team on Tuesday netted two suspects arrested and a large quantity of illegal narcotics and weapons. The search warrant was executed Tuesday at a residence on Rev. E.D. Alfred Street in Ville Platte. Arrested were Terald Wayne Hudson age 45 of Opelousas and Gerald Wayne Hudson age 45 of Ville Platte. They were both charged with: three counts of possession of stolen firearms from Evangeline Parish, 9 counts of possession of firearms in the presence of controlled dangerous substance, possession with intent to district over 335 grants of schedule one marijuana, possession with intent to distribute over 161 grams of synthetic marijuana, possession with intent to distribute over 40 grams of crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute over 3 grams of cocaine, possession with intent to distribute over 82 grams of Fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute over 256 grams of MDMA, possession with intent to distribute over 23 units of Promethazine, possession of schedule four Amphetamine, possession of schedule two Hydrocodone, possession of schedule four Alprazolam and possession of Schedule 2 Adderall. The bond on Terald Hudson was set at $251,500 while the bond on Gerald Wayne Hudson was set at $238,000. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty.

Burglary suspects arrested by Sheriff's Deputies

On May 20, 2023, Deputies responded to the 5000 Blk. of Crooked Creek Parkway in reference to a residential burglary. Upon arrival, the victim reported that forced entry was made into his weekend home and multiple items were taken from inside the residence including a firearm. During the investigation, Detectives were able to identify a witness who advised that two suspects were observed exiting the residence on the date of the burglary. They were identified as Rachel Cason age 21 of Ville Platte and Adam Clark age 39 of Ville Platte. When interviewing the female suspect, she admitted that she and the other suspect gained entry into the residence by removing an air conditioner from a window. Once inside, they had stolen multiple items. After obtaining arrest warrants, both suspects were located on June 6, 2023 and booked into the Evangeline Parish Jail for One count of Simple Burglary, One Count of Criminal Trespass, and One Count of Simple Criminal Damage to Property. Bond was set at $30,000.00. As always, Sheriff Charles R. Guillory and the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office is seeking information on criminal activity and urges the public to contact their Investigation Department via phone at 337-363-2161 or through the agency's website at www.evangelineparishsheriff.org. Any person/s reporting information will remain anonymous. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.

15 Year old Youth to be tried as an adult on charges of Attempted Second Degree Murder

Youth to be charged and tried as adult in Attempted Murder Case May 10, 2023 Evangeline Parish District Trent Brignac reported to KVPI News that on April 20, a hearing was conducted. Before the court were the issues of whether a 15 year old should be continued in custody and whether there was probable cause that the juvenile has committed a crime that could subject him to the jurisdiction of the adult criminal court. At the conclusion of the hearing, Judge Marcus Fontenot found both that the juvenile should remain in custody and that probable cause existed that the juvenile committed the crime of Attempted Second Degree Murder. Thereafter, the juvenile court was divested of jurisdiction over the case and the case is now under the exclusive jurisdiction of the adult district court for all subsequent proceedings. District Attorney Trent Brignac commended the efforts of Assistant District Attorneys Deidra Godfrey and Julhelene "Betsy" Jackson for their preparation and presentation at the hearing. In another matter, District Attorney Trent Brignac reported that numerous cases were considered in the month of April as part of the regular scheduled docket. In separate criminal dockets before Judge Chuck West and Judge Marcus Fontenot, there were a total of 46 felony convictions and 22 misdemeanor convictions. Brignac commended the efforts of Assistant District Attorneys Jacob Fuselier, Stan Vidrine, Justin Bo West and Deidra Godfrey for their efforts in the prosecution of these cases.

Sacred Heart Star Pitcher signed to play for Baton Rouge Community College

Sacred Heart Baseball Standout Briggs Ardoin Signs with Baton rouge Community College. Sacred Heart High Star Pitcher Briggs Ardoin made it official and signed with Baton Rouge Community College. The signing event took place Wednesday at the Sacred Heart School Library with family, friends and team players in attendance. He completed his senior year of play with the Sacred Heart Trojans with a 19 and 5 record. Briggs told KVPI Sports his passion and first love is the sport of baseball. He has been playing baseball since age 4 at the Mamou recreational league. Ardoin said he is "ready to begin a new chapter in my life". He gives big props to his baseball coach, Coach Gary Ashworth, who was a big supporter. His fast ball speed has been clocked at 88 miles per hour. He is looking forward to achieving a business degree to become a certified public accountant. At Baton Rouge Community College, he will join former Trojan Isaac Leger. Coach Ashworth, in his term as head baseball coach, has had five signees in the past five years. Sacred Heart ended the season going to the state playoffs through the second round.

Richard Fontenot was guest speaker at Ville Platte Rotary Club Meeting

The speaker at the Rotary Club meeting on Tuesday, presented by Rotarian Peter Strawitz, was Richard Fontenot, with the Louisiana Farm Bureau. Agriculture is a key industry in the state of Louisiana. The industry is very dynamic. In 2022, the state experienced a drought until August, and then there was about 60 days in a row when it rained. That year resulted in the most expensive harvest that Louisiana has ever experienced. The production was still strong, but some of the quality of the crop was lost. Rice and Crawfish generate about $73 million in value per year in Evangeline Parish. Crawfish used to be shipped from Gulfport to Texas. Now shipments go from Birmingham to Los Angeles and San Francisco. This year, however, was a disappointing crawfish year. The producers was getting the production, but not getting the return. This was the first year that buyers shut down purchasing. There were many contributing factors, including supply chain issues, workers and inflation. The rice production should be a little above breakeven. The LSU Ag Center is an Integral part of Louisiana Agriculture. One of the questions asked was about the continuation of the industry and bringing in new generations of agricultural workers. The Farm Bureau is working with the Ag Center, Educators and agencies to improve the programs available to young people. They are needed in every facet of the industry. Mr. Fontenot was also asked about solar farms being introduced to the area. The Farm Bureau is a strong proponent of personal property rights, and people should be able to make the decisions on what is best for their families. However, they do change the landscape and the possibility for future production. The Farm Bureau will continue to work to keep the agriculture industry in Louisiana strong and vibrant. Other Rotary announcements • If anyone is interested in becoming a Paul Harris Fellow, please let Annette or another Board Member know so that they can help with that. • The Evening Installation will be held on June 20th. There will be no lunch meeting that day. • A potential new member was introduced for the first time – Linda Sue Fontenot. She is being sponsored by Nicole Wenger. • Next week's program will be presented by Dr. Kirk Soileau, and the speaker will be Dr. Shawn Wilson, Secretary of the Louisiana DOTD.

Drug Arrests by Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Deputies

Sheriff's Office Drug Arrests May 5, 2023 Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory reports to KVPI News the following drug arrests: On Tuesday May 2, the sheriff's department narcotics unit conducted a check on a vehicle parked at a business located in Point Blue. Upon coming into contact with the occupants, agents could smell marijuana coming from the vehicle. Agents conducted a probable cause search and located illegal narcotics. Arrested was Steve Marcantel age 65 charged with possession of Methamphetamine and Possession of Pragabalin. Bond was set at $8,000; On Wednesday May 3, the sheriff's department narcotics units stopped a vehicle on Carbon Loop road. Agents made contact the driver who was acting extremely nervous. K-9 Diego arrived on the scene and conducted a search of the outside of the vehicle and returned a positive alert. Arrested was Dusty Brod Matte age 44 of Ville Platte charged with possession of Heroin, possession of Methamphetamine, possession of Fentanyl and he had an outstanding warrant. His bond was set at $50,000. Also on May 3, the narcotics unit stopped a vehicle on Pine Point road. Following a search of the vehicle, illegal narcotics were located. Deputies arrested Richard Campbell age 48 of Mamou charged with possession of Heroin, possession of Methamphetamine and possession of Fentanyl. The bond was set at $25,000. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty.

Evangeline Sheriff's Office Make Arrests

Sheriff's Office Arrests May 3, 2023 Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory reported to KVPI News the following arrests: A Ville Platte area man, Jonathan Sittig age 40 , turned himself to authorities Wednesday, May 3 on an outstanding warrant for Simple Battery. One other subject is still wanted: Jason Peschier age 45 of Ville Platte on a charge of Aggravated Second Degree Battery in the same case. He is described as a white male, six feet one inches tall, 235 pounds in weight with brown eyes and short blonde hair. If anyone has information on the whereabouts of the subject , please contact the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Department at 337-363-2161. The charges are in connection with a disturbance at a bar at the intersection of LA 13 and LA 10 in September of last year. The victim was attacked by multiple subjects at the bar and one of the subjects struck the victim with a pair of brass knuckles. With the use of surveillance video, deputies were able to identify the two suspects. In another cases, Ville Platte City Police on April 26, arrested a suspect wanted in connection with an incident at the Dollar General Store in Bayou Chicot. The sheriff's spokesman identified the suspect as Erica Joanne Roberts, age 33, of Ville Platte. She was arrested and charged with aggravated battery by Evangeline Parish authorities. The arrest was in connection with the Dollar Store incident in November of 2022. Deputies responded to the Bayou Chicot Dollar Store in reference to a theft. Upon arrival, deputies learned that the victim attempted to stop the suspect from leaving the store parking lot with stolen merchandise. The suspect struck the victim with the vehicle almost running over the victim. In another case, sheriff's deputies arrested Christopher Duplechain, age 51, of Basile was arrested on April 28 on a charge of Domestic Abuse Battery. He remains incarcerated in the parish jail awaiting a Gwen's Law hearing. The arrest was in connection with information gotten from the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services investigators involving a possible case of abuse in the family home. Upon completion of the investigation, it was determined that the father, Duplechain, struck his 14 year old daughter causing multiple injuries that required medical attention. They also determined that this incident was the culmination of a pattern of abuse over time and it ended with this incident. Also assisting in the investigation were representatives of the Hearts of Hope Child Advocacy Center. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.

Evangeline Parish Police Jury Meeting

Evangeline Parish Police Jury May 1, 2023 The Evangeline Parish Police Jury Monday discussed a recent visit from a private management group "Vista" that toured Crooked Creek Park. The group is interested in taking over the management and operation of the parish owned park. It was learned the group will propose either a profit sharing arrangement or a straight lease with the police jury. The group will be responsible for maintaining and make needed improvements including upgrading the reservations system. Police Jury President Bryan Vidrine announced to the rest of the jury that Secretary Treasurer Chester Granger will begin bidding out ten adjudicated properties each month. These are primarily blighted properties that have been turned over to the parish .in an effort to receive payment of back taxes on the property. The jury discussed tightening down on road use permits for loggers. It was discussed that some companies are abusing the permit by not turning in the permit after their project. Jurors discussed one area of roadway that received some $200,000 in damage due to heavy loads on the roads. Some jurors are in favor of limiting the permits to 60 days rather than 6 months. In other action the police jury: --from new parish County Agent Vince Deshotel who is replacing Todd Fontenot in Evangeline Parish. Deshotel , a Vidrine resident, was serving as County Agent in St. Landry Parish until he accepted this new assignment; --approved the purchase of the old probation and parole building across the street from the courthouse. The 6500 square foot building has a price tag of $130,000.; --approved calling for the tax renewal elections for Evangeline Council on Aging, Ward One Cemetery Tax. Fire District One and 9-1-1 on the November runoff election day ballot; --is considering engaging the services of a recruiting service to help find a new building inspector after its inspector Rick Harper retired.

Mark Layne of KVPI was guest speaker at Rotary Meeting

The speaker at the Rotary Club meeting on Tuesday, presented by Rotarian Scott Smith, was Mark Layne, the General Manager of KVPI. Mark let the Rotarians know that KVPI had been awarded the Small Market Station of the Year by the Louisiana Broadcasters Association. It was the 15th time that KVPI has been presented with this honor. This year's award is special because the small market category included mid-size markets like Alexandria and Lafayette for the first time. This year is also the 70th anniversary of KVPI. The station went on the air on November 22, 1953. The station signed on with Father Bourgeois from Sacred Heart. He blessed the station, and then the owner, Mr. Lionel DeVille, welcomed everyone in. Mark invited Floyd Soileau to speak. Floyd is the oldest living former employee of KVPI. Floyd told stories from when he worked at the station, and when he was starting the record shop. Floyd talked about the start of La Tasse de Café, KVPI's most popular program. Mark spoke about the station owners' commitment to this community. The call sign, KVPI, means Keeping Ville Platte Informed. He discussed the French programming, Cajun Music, French News, and the most popular day, Swamp Pop Fridays. There are no other stations covering local news, meetings, politics, and youth sports. KVPI consistently covers little league sports and area high school athletics, 4-H events, and other community activities. Conducting interviews is Mark's favorite part of the job, and he has interviewed politicians, actors, musicians, writers, educators, all sorts of people! KVPI has brought worldwide attention to Ville Platte, and Mark thanked the members of the Rotary for their support and discussed how important advertising is to the station. He expressed the hope that the community will continue to support this very important and vital resource. Mark ended with inviting everyone to the 70th anniversary celebration that will be held in November! Other Rotary announcements · The Rotary District Conference was held last weekend in Lafayette at the Hilton @ River Ranch. · The Spring Social was held April 18 at the Chicot Park Group Cabins. The event was catered by B&S, and a great time was had by everyone! · The Rotary Board meeting will be held next Tuesday at 6:00 at Joey's camp. · Next week's program will be presented by Dr. Joey Soileau.

Sheriff Department Arrests

Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office Arrests April 14, 2023 Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory reported to KVPI News about recent arrests. A Ville Platte man was arrested on March 24 in connection with a possible stabbing. Deputies responded to the North Landing of Miller's Lake in reference to a possible stabbing. During the investigation, it was discovered that the suspect, Jonathan Deshotel age 19 of Ville Platte got into a verbal altercation with the victim. The altercation turned physical and the suspect presented a knife, cutting the victim in the right arm. The suspect then obtained a pair of jumper cables and strangled the victim. Deshotel was later apprehended and arrested for aggravated battery. He is currently being held in the Evangeline Parish Jail with a $50,000 bond. In another case, deputies responded to the Dollar General Store on Chataignier road in reference to a theft. During the investigation, it was learned that the suspect, Sholanda Thomas age 36 of Ville Platte had stolen multiple items from the store and fled the scene in an unknown direction. The suspect was later identified by detectives through the store video camera system. Thomas was later arrested for misdemeanor theft and issued a summons. Also, on March 14, detectives received a complaint of a suspect obtaining the victim's credit card information and making multiple purchases at local stores. During the investigation and using store video surveillance cameras, detectives were able to identify the suspect, Rickey Joseph age 52 of Mamou. The total amounts of the purchases were for approximately $509. He was later arrested and charged with misdemeanor theft and monetary instrument abuse. His bond was set at $52,500.

Sheriff Guillory was featured speaker at Rotary Meeting

Rotary Club Meeting – 4-4-23 The speaker at the Rotary Club Tuesday, presented by Steve Phillips, was Sheriff Charles Guillory. The Sheriff gave an update on the latest news in the Parish. The Evangeline Sheriff's Department has received $150,000 in grants in the last couple of years. The most recent was a $50,000 grant for litter abatement. The program will be implemented in the next couple of weeks. In the last 2½ years , the Sheriff's Department has responded to 6,000 calls and made 1,113 arrests. 532 of those arrests were drug related. The Sheriff said that if he could get rid of anything in the world, it would be drugs. The Department has seized numerous vehicles that have yielded about $50,000 which will contribute to the drug enforcement fund. About 700 guns have been seized. They broke ground on the new jail. It will be a 48,000 square foot State of the Art facility with central control. It will include 10 maximum security cells, and there will be capacity to hold 10 juveniles awaiting adjudication. It costs about $300.00 daily to handle juveniles. Sheriff Guillory prefers to refer to the new facility as a Rehabilitation Center, and it is scheduled to take about 18 months for completion. Other Rotary announcements · The Rotary District Conference will be held Friday and Saturday, April 21st and 22nd. in Lafayette at the Hilton River Ranch. The Food Fest is Saturday and should be a lot of fun! · The Spring Social will be held April 18 at the Chicot Park Group Cabins. The meal (Boston Butt BBQ with all the fixings) will be catered. · New Member presentations for the 3rd time – Mayor Williams and Donald Bergeron. New Member presentation for the 2nd time – Christ Aguillard. · Next week's program will be presented by Dan Poret.

Ground Breaking held for new parish jail Tuesday morning

Ground breaking for new parish prison held March 21, 2023 The ground breaking for the new Evangeline Parish Jail facility was held this (Tuesday) morning at the new proposed site at the Ward One Industrial Park. Sheriff Charles Guillory welcomed the large group of public officials and the general public in attendance. Fr. Tom Voorhies, pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church offered an opening prayer. Also speaking was architect Alex Deshotel whose firm is designing the new parish jail facility who announced that the jail will house 200 inmates including men, woman and some juveniles. They expect to go to bid in the next three months for a general contractor. The construction phase is expected to take about 14-16 months. Based on that time line, the new parish jail should have a ribbon cutting in the next 18 months. Other speakers included State Representative Rhonda Butler and Police Jury President Brian Vidrine. The ground breaking included the sheriff, the architect and several members of the police jury. The closing prayer was offered by Rev. Freddie Jack of the St. John Baptist Church.


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KVPI Video Of the Week

The Beatles' "All You Need Is Love

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