Local News Archives for 2012-05

Veterans Sponsor Memorial Day Program at Courthouse Square


    The Veterans of Ville Platte sponsored their annual Memorial Day ceremony at the courthouse square this (Monday) morning. The guest speaker was Lt. Col. Mike Bumpas from the 122nd Air Support Operations Squadron at Camp Beauregard. He has had combat and combat support tours in the Balkans, Kuwait and Afghanistan. He was introduced by General Ben Soileau.

   Amanda McCormick Thibodeaux represented the Gold Star Wives of Evangeline Parish and  explained how Taps originated in the military.

    Also speaking at the event were J.D. Soileau with the Viet Nam Veterans of America Chapter 632, Patrick A, Guillory with the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 41 and Cecil Colligan with the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3803.

    Laurie Blanchard sang the National Anthem and God Bless America. Dr. Scott Parks presented special bagpipe music while members of the Louisiana National Guard handled the flag detail. Fr. Garrett McIntyre offered the invocation and benediction.

    The program was broadcast over KVPI 1050 AM

Ville Platte Mayor Praises Evangeline Supt. and School Board


Ville Platte-     Superintendent of Schools Toni Hamlin, Parish Administrator Darwin Lazard and the Evangeline Parish School were praised by Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine at the board’s meeting Wednesday.

                         Vidrine said she wanted to publicly thank the board and the central staff for their “hard work” in the renovation of Ville Platte High School and for achieving unitary status from the federal courts. “You have made Ville Platte High conducive to a learning environment. You have restored pride in our local schools,” she remarked.

                      The board has spent approximately six million dollars in renovating Ville Platte High School as part of its desegregation plan to the federal court and the U.S. Justice Department. The federal court last week granted unitary status after 47 years of federal oversight.

                         The school board showed their appreciation to Superintendent Hamlin by approving a two year extension of the superintendent’s contract. Her contract was due to expire in December. Boardmember Arthur Savoy commented “We want to thank the superintendent and her staff for doing a great job.”

                           Superintendent Hamlin thanked the board for their vote of confidence through the contract renewal.

                             The superintendent informed the school board that LEAP Test scores for 4th and 8th students showed parish test scores were the highest in the eight parish Acadiana region. The scores even exceeded the state average.

                             The test scores showed that 87 percent of 4th graders met state promotional standard while 77 percent of the 8th graders met state promotional standards.

                           Hamlin reported to the board on several changes in educational policy that begin in the new school year. One dealt with the role of principals in the selection of that school’s teaching staff. She commented that the new policy is already in place and has been in effect here. “Principals do the interviewing and make assignments at their respective schools so this law is already in effect in our parish schools,” said the superintendent.

                           In other action, the school board:

--appointed Troy Fontenot as new Mamou Elementary Principal;

--approved a two year contract renewal for Basile High Principal Georgeanna Courville and Basile High Assistant Principal Susan Bellon;


Two Pine Prairie Youths Killed in Car Crash

Two teenagers die in Allen Parish crash

On May 22, 2012, at 11:25 a.m., troopers assigned to Louisiana State Police Troop D responded to a two-vehicle crash on Louisiana Highway 10 about a mile east of Oakdale that claimed the lives of two teenagers from Ville Platte.

Preliminary investigation revealed that a 2004 Chevrolet pickup was traveling east on LA 10 around a curve when the vehicle ran off the right side of the road.  The driver, 17-year-old Kyle Landry of Ville Platte, overcorrected to the left and crossed the center line. The pickup he was driving then sideswiped a 2008 Mazda CX-7 that was traveling west.  The pickup then traveled off the roadway and struck several trees and rolled over.  

Landry and the sole passenger, 17-year-old Cade Guillory who is also from Ville Platte, sustained fatal injuries as a result of the crash and were pronounced dead at the scene by the Allen Parish Coroner’s Office.  Both were wearing their seat belts.

The driver of the Mazda, 20-year-old Lindsay Seal of Pineville, was wearing her seat belt and was transported to a nearby hospital with minor injuries.

A toxicology sample was obtained from the drivers and will be submitted to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis.  The crash remains under investigation.

Excessive speed is suspected to be a factor in the crash.  Speeding reduces a driver’s ability to steer safely around curves or objects in the roadway, extends the distance necessary to stop a vehicle, and increases the distance a vehicle travels while the driver reacts to a dangerous situation.  Troopers encourage motorists to observe the speed limit and to drive in a safe and prudent manner.

Evangeline Police Jury Elects New President


MAY 22, 2012


        In a special meeting Monday, the Evangeline Parish Police Jury elected a new President and Vice President.

        Jury President Eric Soileau resigned his office as president because of his work obligations. He has served for the past 2 and a half years. Soileau will continue to serve as juror from District 3.

        Bryan Vidrine , who had been serving as Vice President, was elected as new president. Ryan Ardoin was elected as new jury vice president.

        In other action, the police jury turned down a request to give pay raises to the Ward One City Court secretaries.

Evangeline Sheriff's Department Arrests

      On May 4, 2012, Detectives with Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Department executed a search warrant at 1864 Stagg Avenue in Basile.  During the search, Detectives located powder cocaine, marijuana and several item of drug paraphernalia throughout the residence.  Brittany Jo Fruge was arrested for possession with intent to distribute a schedule II controlled dangerous substance, possession of a schedule I controlled dangerous substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.  Fruge was booked in the parish jail on the above violations.  
     On May 09, 2012, Detectives with Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Department received information of someone attempting to sell stolen property from 617 E Jackson in Ville Platte.  Detectives with Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Department and Ville Platte Police Department responded to the residence where consent to search was granted by the homeowner.  Detectives located a craftsman generator in the rear of the residence which had been reported stolen from the Belaire Cove area on April 17, 2012.  After speaking to the homeowner, it was learned that Jeremy Joseph Morein was responsible for placing the generator at the residence.  On May 10, 2012 Detectives located Morein hiding under some debris inside the residence at 3799 Opelousas Road, Ville Platte Louisiana.  During the arrest, Morien was found to be in possession of 10 methadone pills, for which he did not possess a valid prescription.  Detectives observed, in plain view, several items identified as illegal narcotics and immediately secured a search warrant for the residence.  Morein was arrested and booked in the parish jail for 5 counts of possession of stolen property, 11 counts of possession of a schedule II controlled dangerous substance, possession of a schedule I controlled dangerous substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.  During the arrest Jimmy Paul Guillory was also arrested and booked in the parish jail for 10 counts of distribution of a schedule II controlled dangerous substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. 
     On May 16, 2012, Detectives with Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Department received information from Chief of Police Paul Allen in Chataignier related to possible child abuse which allegedly occurred on Mother’s Day.  A joint investigation between the two departments led to the arrest of Crystal Chantell Jack of Chataignier, after Detectives viewed surveillance footage from a local convenience store.  The footage depicted enough probable cause to make an arrest.  Jack was booked in the parish jail for cruelty to a juvenile.  Department of Children and Family Services were also contacted and the investigation continues. 
     On May 17, 2012 Detectives with Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Department responded to Drouet Park in Turkey Creek after receiving information of possible illegal drug activity.  Upon arrival, Detectives made contact with Elizabeth McQueen Whatley, who was found to be in possession with numerous prescription medications.  During the field interview, Detectives learned that Whatley had distributed hydrocodone and alprazolam pills.  Whatley was arrested and booked in the parish jail for two counts of distribution of a schedule III controlled dangerous substance and distribution of a schedule IV controlled dangerous substance.
      Sheriff Eddie Soileau would like to remind citizens to properly secure their equipment and to contact his office with information about illegal activities and to report all suspicious activity to his office.  He said all callers will remain anonymous.

Evangeline Schools Declared Unitary by Federal Judge


MAY 17, 2012


    Today is an historic day for Evangeline parish residents. A federal judge in Lafayette today (Wednesday) has given unitary status to the Evangeline Parish Public School System. The declaration took place 47 years to the month that Joanne Graham and other plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in federal court in 1965 claiming the Evangeline School Board was operating a racially segregated school system.

   U.S. District Court Judge Tucker Melancon at noon today granted “unitary” status to the school system which removes all federal supervision or oversight of the local public schools.

   The final green factor that was remaining dealt with facilities and in particular Ville Platte High. Judge Melancon commented that the Evangeline Parish School Board has spent some 6 million dollars in improvements to Ville Platte High.

   He remarked “ I don’t think that there is a school operating in Evangeline Parish with a more important educational environment than at Ville Platte High School.”


Ville Platte Fire Fatality


       Ville Platte Fire officials along with the State Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating a house fire that claimed the life of a local man. Ville Platte Fire Chief Ted Demourelle said his department was called out at 2:02 this (Tuesday) morning for a house fire at  111 East Hickory Street. By the time, firefighters arrived at the scene of the burning structure , the home was totally engulfed in flames. The fire chief said one of two men in the home managed to escape the blaze by jumping out of a window. He received injuries and was taken to Mercy Regional Medical Center for treatment. After firefighters extinguished the early morning fire, they discovered the victim’s body in a bedroom used as a storage area.  Preliminary investigation is leading fire officials to believe the fire began in the attic area of the home. The wood frame rental home is owned by Herbert Tezeno. The identities of the victim and the injured person have not been released. The investigation continues by local and state fire officials. This is the first fire fatality of the year in Ville Platte, according to the fire chief.

Evangeline Parish Police Jury Meeting


Ville Platte-    The Evangeline Parish Police Jury Monday voted to enter into a cooperative endeavor agreement with the Evangeline Parish District Attorney over moving police jury offices away from the courthouse to the parish owned Medicaid building. The move would assist in giving the District Attorney more office space in the courthouse.

                          Parish Engineer Ronnie Landreneau estimated that the moving expenses would amount to $41,000. Assistant District Attorney and Jury Legal Advisor Marcus Fontenot said the district attorney would absorb all of the moving expenses and any improvements to the Medicaid building.

                         The Medicaid building, located next door to the parish health unit, is expected to be vacated by the state at the end of June. The parish owned facility has ample parking in front and in the rear of the building , according to Secretary Treasurer Doug DeVille.

                           Engineer Landreneau said the building improvements should not take any longer than 45 days for completion.

                           In other business, the police jury asked Thomas Drew of WTSO to prepare a long term lease agreement to take over the six parish owned sewer facilities. WTSO is a private firm headquartered out of Denham Springs that recently took over the operation of sewer systems in the Plaisance area.

                         The jury will retain ownership of the systems and keep the ability to set rates. The agreement would transfer control of the systems including all liabilities over to the private company.

                          The agreement will be referred to the parish legal advisor and discussed at the next executive committee meeting of the jury.

                         In other action the police jury:

--declared today May 14 as Catherine Briley day in Evangeline Parish in honor of the Sacred Heart High student from Grand Prairie who was a finalist on the Jeopardy Game Show Teen Challenge;

--voted to advertise for bids for the construction of a new Ville Platte branch of the Evangeline Parish Library. The contract will be awarded in June;

--approved a resolution calling a millage tax renewal election on November 6 for Evangeline Parish Water District #1 in Pine Prairie;

--voted to give a 10 percent increase in board of director fees to the Tee Mamou Water District Board;

--referred to their executive committee a proposal to renew the 2 percent sales tax for road improvements for another ten years.

Ville Platte Police Arrest Burglary Suspect

Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue reports that ongoing investigations into recent burglaries and an anonymous tip led to a recent arrest. 


On May 11, 2012 Nicole Dardeau LaJack 47, of 1080 Posas Lane, Ville Platte, was arrested and charged with simple burglary.  LaJack was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail where she remains incarcerated on a $7, 500.00 bond set by Judge Thomas Fuselier.


Chief Lartigue stated that a confidential tip led detectives to this suspect.  “Please keep calling in with information” Chief Lartigue said, “the department checks these leads and sometimes this information proves very useful.”  To call in anonymous tips or report a crime call 363-1313.



Ville Platte Places 4th in Cleanest City Contest


MAY 14, 2012


       Joyce Coreil with the Magnolia Garden Club announced that Ville Platte came out 4th in state competition for the Cleanest City Contest. The judging took place Friday at noon.

       The city of Scott came out First Place in the competition followed by Covington and Tallulah came in third place. Ville Platte was #4.

       Harrahan and Marksville who were also in competition did not place.

       Coreil would like to thank everyone who helped clean up around their homes and business

City and Chamber Sponsor International Trade Meeting Friday


MAY 11, 2012


        The City of Ville Platte and Chamber of Commerce  Friday sponsored a meeting for  businesses and industry to discuss export opportunities with Phillippe Gustin,  , Vanessa Parades and Christophe Pilut all with the Le Centre International de Lafayette.

       Senator Eric Lafleur welcomed the group of businesses in attendance. He stated that Codofil, Council for the Development of French in Louisiana,  has recently been revamped in its mission: they continue to preserve and promote our French Language culture and they have been authorized to begin marketing a website to promote French Louisiana products and services. Those companies that meet the conditions will receive a Codofil mark to place on their label to certify their product comes from Louisiana.

      Lafleur remarked that he represents the largest French speaking district in Louisiana. There are currently 12 French speaking law makers in the state legislature. He announced that a new international school will soon open on the ULL campus in Lafayette. One of the requisites to attend the school, a student must be bilingual. The school will focus on tourism and petrochemical courses.

      Those in attendance viewed a short film from Congressman Charles Boustany who announced that a new trade agreement creating the International Trade Coalition that is comprised of the 12 parish area in South West Louisiana including Evangeline Parish.

      Gustin and his associates with the Le Centre International explained the benefits of exporting products and services to other countries. He said there are federal Step grant reimbursement funds to market in China and other countries.

      Among the local businesses who spoke were Kermit Miller with Jack Miller with American Inn, Evangeline Parish County Agent Keith Fontenot, Mark Suelentrop with Cabot, Larry Lachney with Papa Gators. Joe Willy Walker with Slap Ya Mama, Floyd Soileau with Floyd’s Record Shop . Gilbert Winky Aucoin with Louisiana Folk Roots and Mark Layne with KVPI.

      The group is planning to work on having an Evangeline Parish Trade Show in Canada or some other country in the next two years to sell their products and

Ville Platte Police Investigate Bomb Threat

On May 9, 2012, at approximately 11:30 the Ville Platte Police Department received a call from Evangeline 911 reporting that they received a call that there was a bomb at Ville Platte High School.  Officers and Detectives responded to the scene and secured the area. Students were evacuated for their safety. The Ville Platte Fire Department also responded to the scene and Acadian Ambulance was advised and were standing by for assistance if needed.  Hazmat was alerted and remained on standby in the event there was any type of explosive device was located.


The Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office brought in a canine used for bomb detection to search the building.  No bomb was located and at 2:05 p.m. a final sweep of the Ville Platte High School was completed and the building was determined safe.  Students were allowed to return to classes. 


Chief Neal Lartigue offers his thanks to the Lafayette parish Sheriff’s Office. “We appreciate the assistance of their officers and canine” he said, “They did an outstanding job and helped to ensure that the school was safe.”


Chief Neal Lartigue has issued a warning to citizens that calling in a bomb threat is considered an act of terrorism and these calls are not taken lightly.  “It takes our officers and detectives from their other duties and wastes a lot of valuable time that could be spent helping other citizens” Lartigue said. “This incident took approximately 3 hours from the time of the call to the determination that there was no actual bomb.  All of the agencies involved spent these hours away from other duties and calls for actual incidents where real assistance was needed. “


The investigation is ongoing at this time and anyone who may have information about this bomb threat is asked to call the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.  Your call will remain anonymous.


Ville Platte Adopts Five Year Strategic Plan

        The Ville Platte City Council Tuesday endorses and supports Ville Platte’s Louisiana Development Ready Communities Five Year Strategic Plan to help improve the city’s economic development.
         Pam McGee explained to the city council Tuesday that the five year plan, if followed will lead the city to be designated as a “Louisiana Development Ready Community.” Ville Platte was chosen as one of only eight communities to participate in the Ready Community Program.
         Assisting six community leaders were Cleco representative Roxanne Barnes and Stephen Broussard with the Louisiana Economic Development Department. The local community leaders were Mark Suellentrop, Camille Fontenot, Lez Williams, Suzy Lemoine, Janis Landreneau and Brenda Saucier.
         The lengthy five year plan was compiled from public hearings for the general public and the business community. Data was also received from surveys based on a community assessment to determine the city’s strengths and weaknesses.
          Three questions were asked at each meeting: Identify Ville Platte’s assets, identify barriers to the city’s success and what would our wish list be if we had a magic wand.
          The survey concluded that : 60 percent of our citizens think we have adequate local health clinics and health care professionals for basic health care. Another positive is 70 percent of citizens think Ville Platte has adequate fire protection.
           One of the negative findings was only 28 percent of students complete high school or the GED equivalent. Another negative is that 12 percent of the city housing is vacant.
             An external assessment by Site Selector Robert Pittman determined that the city needed more retail outlets and more lodging which make our community more attractive to outside

Fisher Complains About Ville Platte City Police

         The Ville Platte City Council, Tuesday, heard from George Fisher, President of the Louisiana Chapter of the National Action Network. This is the civil rights organization founded and led by Rev. Al Sharpton.
          Fisher was complaining about the city police department and the police hiring procedures.
“We have a bad situation in Ville Platte,” said Fisher.
          He said one police officer on the force had worked in Oakdale and then Eunice before coming to work at the city police.. “Why did this officer leave Oakdale and Eunice? Was it investigated? Did he resign or was he fired” asked Fisher.
           Fisher brought up an incident where an 11 year old youth allegedly  had a gun pointed at him by a police officer.
            Fisher said he planning an event on June 17 where we will “police the police.”
            Mayor Jennifer Vidrine explained to Fisher that the proper procedure to file a complaint against the police department is to file a complaint directly with the police chief. If the complaintant is not pleased with the results, they can file a complaint with the police civil service board.
             Fisher said he will file a complaint with the U.S. Justice Department and State Police.
             Police Chief Neal Lartigue replied that his department does a background check on every new hire.
             It was learned at the meeting that due to privacy and insurance issues, very little information is released from previous employers.
             In other business, the city council gave a standing ovation to Sacred Heart High Student Catherine Briley for representing Ville Plattte well on a national game show. Mayor Jennifer Vidrine presented Catherine Briley who is currently participating on the popular TV game show, Jeopardy, a gift basket containing Ville Platte products.
             The mayor said “Catherine’s appearance made the nation take a second look at small town America. She put Ville Platte and Sacred Heart on the map.”
              She is expected to appear again on the game show on Thursday and Friday of this week.
A resolution is expected to be voted on by the State legislature in Baton Rouge later this week recognizing Catherine’s accomplishments.
              The council, by a 3-2 margin, voted not to approve a routine motion to approve the minutes of last month’s meeting. Those voting no were Freddie Jack, Taranza Arvie and Donald Sam while C.J. Dardeau and Mike Perron voted for the motion. Jack stated that they were voting against the minutes because the new Section 8 Housing Director was appointed without formal approval of the city council last month.
              In other action, the city council:
–authorized giving full time paid fire fighters a mandatory two percent increase in pay retroactive to January;
–approved the annexation of property where the new Evangeline Family Medicine Center will be located at 505 East Lincoln next to Smith Air Conditioning;
–introduced an ordinance to prepare a new program such as picking up litter for youth offenders;
–approved beer and liquor permits for the Cheap Store, 3-D Quick Stop and the Smoked Meat Festival;
–received good news from Mayor Jennifer Vidrine that sales tax collections increased 7.34 percent or $13,450 last month over the same period a year ago.

Ville Platte City Police Make Drug Arrests

Chief Neal Lartigue of the Ville Platte Police Department reports the following arrests:


On April 3, 2012 Greg Marcantel 48, of 1038 Breezy Lane, Ville Platte was arrested during a traffic stop and charged with Possession of Marijuana.  Marcantel was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail where be bonded out on a $2,500.00 bond.


On April 2, 2012 Shepard Thomas 55, of 310 Dr. Carver St. Ville Platte was arrested and charged with no reflective gear and possession of drug paraphernalia.  Thomas was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail where he bonded out on a $2,700.00 bond.


On April 2, 2012 Gladys Pleasant, 44 of 715 Dr. Carver was arrested for no reflective gear and possession of drug paraphernalia.  Pleasant was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail where she bonded out on a $2,700.00 bond.


On April 4, 2012 Kenneth Webb 22, of 504 Laran Street was arrested during a traffic stop and charged with possession with intent to distribute methadone, possession of marijuana, no seat belt and driving under suspension. Webb was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail where he remains incarcerated on a $15,000.00 bond set by Judge John Larry Vidrine.


On April 4, 2012 Brent Roberts 22, of 307 South Chataignier Street, Ville Platte was arrested and charged with obstruction of justice and two counts of resisting by flight.  Roberts was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail where he remains incarcerated on a $10,000.00 bond set by Judge John Larry Vidrine.


On April 5, 2012 Dana Bellard 38 of 147 Bellinse Rd, Port Barre was arrested during a traffic stop and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of crystal meth.  Bellard was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail where he remains incarcerated on a $10,000.00 bond set by Judge John Larry Vidrine.


On April 5, 2012 William Strong 36, of 512 3rd Street, Jennings, LA was arrested during a traffic stop and charged with prior to use signal 100 ft. before turn, no driver’s license, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of crystal meth. Strong was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail where he remains incarcerated on a $10,000.00 bond set by Judge John Larry Vidrine.


On April 5, 2012 Jordan Semien 22, of 119 East Pine Street, Ville Platte was arrested and charged with no reflective gear and possession of cocaine.  Semien was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail where he remains incarcerated on a $10,000.00 bond set by Judge John Larry Vidrine.


Daren Dennis 44, of 212 South Soileau was arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute schedule III narcotics, possession with intent to distribute a legend drug, possession of marijuana, resisting by flight, possession of prescription pills without a prescription.  Dennis was booked into  the Ville Platte City Jail where he remains incarcerated on a $25,000.00 bond set by Judge John Larry Vidrine.


April 17, 2012 Brent Roberts 22, of 307 South Chataignier Street was arrested and charged with distribution of crack cocaine.  Roberts was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail where he remains incarcerated on a $20,000.00 bond set by Judge John Larry Vidrine.



Chief Lartigue reminds residents to continue calling in tips to the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313. The tips are helping officers and detectives follow leads on crimes.  Your call will remain anonymous.

Ville Platte Chamber Holds Awards Banquet Thursday

Ville Platte Chamber Awards
May 3, 2012

       The Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce held its annual Awards banquet Thursday with its “Cinco De Mayo” theme. The Amazing Dr. Z provided a comedy hypnosis program for the large crowd attending the event.
        Chamber Executive Director Camille Fontenot announcd for the first time, the chamber selected two men who were chosen as Men of the Year for 2012. J.D. Soileau who is the president of the Evangeline Chapter of the Viet Nam Veterans group and Gilbert “Winky” Aucoin, President of Louisiana Folk Roots.
         Selected as Ville Platte Woman of the Year was Suzy Lemoine who was in charge of the Evangeline Centennial celebration last year.
          Renee Brown, the owner of the Cock’s Tail restaurant was chosen as Business Person of the Year and her restaurant was selected as Business of the Year.
          Evangeline Parish County Agent Keith Fontenot announced that Tom Ardoin of the Pine Prairie area was selected as the 2012 Farmer/Rancher of the Year.
          Pharmacist Shawn McGee was chosen as Humanitarian of the year for his uefforts in trying to save the life of a shooting victim near his home last year.
          Gilbert “Winky” Aucoin was the emcee. Lisa Trahan and L’Esprit along with DJ Quentin Manuel provided the musical entertainment.

Ville Platte Industrial Park Industry Certified Site


       In a special program at the Cock’s Tail Restaurant today (Wednesday) , Cleco Power’s Business Development Department announced that a 60 acre site at the Ward One Industrial Park is now certified in its Smart Sites program. The smart sites program develops Cleco communities by attracting business, creating jobs and supporting existing business development efforts. Cleco Smart Sites are certified by McCallum Sweeny Consulting and meet site readiness criteria. The Ville Platte site is located near I-49 and offers a skilled labor force and a competitive operating cost environment.

   Dr. William “Tojo” Ward, President of the Evangeline Parish Industrial Board said “This is a momentous day for Evangeline Parish. We are ushering in a new era of economic development. Evangeline Parish is open for business.”

    The certification does not guarantee an industry will re locate here but it gives the Ville Platte a huge competitive edge in attracting industry that is searching for a site.

     Industrial Site Consultant Mark Sweeny  echoed Ward’s comments: Congratulations to everyone in Evangeline Parish. It is the beginning of a new day for economic development.” Sweeny is responsible for consulting with such industries as Nissan, Boeing and Michelin.”

     Also speaking at today’s (Wednesday) event were Evangeline Police Jury President Eric Soileau and Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine.


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