Local News Archives for 2012-10

Ville Platte Police arrests suspect on Car Theft Charges


Ville Platte POlice Chief Lartigue reports the recent arrest of two people for committing separate crimes on the same victim.


On October 16, 2012, the Ville Platte Police Department received a complaint of a stolen vehicle from West Main Street.  The victim advised that a female had taken his vehicle the night before and had not returned the vehicle.  On October 24, 2012 the female returned the vehicle and was arrested.  Regina Grant 32, of 140 Shade Tree Lane, Ville Platte was arrested and charged with unauthorized use of a movable.  Grant was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail where she remains incarcerated on a $7,500.00 bond set by Judge John Larry Vidrine.


On October 20, 2012, the same victim reported a rental car stolen from his residence by a different female who also physically attacked him.  Alyshia Howell 28, of 5073 Duralde Hwy, Eunice was arrested on October 20, 2012 and charged with unauthorized use of a moveable, 4 counts of resisting an officer, 4 counts of battery on an officer, aggravated assault, simple battery, theft, criminal damage to property, and aggravated battery.  Howell was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail where she remains incarcerated on a $25,000.00 bond set by Judge John Larry Vidrine.


Chief Lartigue reminds residents to report illegal activity anonymously by calling the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.

Evangeline Parish School Board Meeting


        Ville Platte-  The Evangeline Parish School Board, Wednesday, approved a request by Board Member Arthur Savoy to be reimbursed  for $4630 in legal expenses. The vote was 8-3 with board members Peggy Forman, Nancy Hamlin and Georgianna Wilson voting no.

         Savoy was found to be in contempt of court by U.S. District Court Judge Tucker Melancon some three years ago.  Judge Melancon, who was overseeing the school district’s desegregation case, felt Savoy was interfering with the appointment of a bookkeeper by speaking with members of a committee interviewing applicants.

        Savoy spent three days in jail and has paid $11,000 in fines and legal expenses. Since then, the state ethics board has cleared Savoy of any wrong doing and informed the school board that they could reimburse his legal expenses if they chose too.

      Board Member Georgianna Wilson said “ I can’t see spending money on reimbursing a board member  when we need the money on so many other things right now.”

     Board Vice President Jerry Thompson remarked “ Why should he have to pay legal fees after being found innocent by the Board of Ethics? It is not fair for him to shoulder the costs.”

      In other business, the school board adopted a resolution to re- finance $2.2 million dollars in school improvement refunding bonds. The bonds are being used for the Ville Platte High School renovation project. Business Manager  Amy Lafleur said the refinancing will mean a net savings of $139,097 to the school board.

    Also, LaFleur reported that the school board will be paying more of the employer’s share of the retirement contributions. She announced that the school district will pay an additional $784,613 in retirement contributions next year.

    Superintendent Toni Hamlin announced that Career Day for high school juniors and seniors was successful. The annual event took place Tuesday at the Mamou Recreational Center. Students from high schools throughout the parish attended the career day. There were 28 booths at the school board sponsored event  including military branches, colleges , technical schools and financial advisors.

    In other action, Demographer Mike Heffner reviewed a new revised reapportionment plan with the 13 board members. He is scheduled to meet individually with the three minority members before the next meeting to review their individual districts.

Jeff Davis Bank Aquires Guaranty Bank

Jeff Davis Bank Reaches Terms to Acquire Guaranty Bank


JENNINGS, La. – Jeff Davis Bancshares, Inc. (JDVB:OTC US) ("JD Bancshares") and Guaranty Capital Corporation (“GCC”), the holding company of Guaranty Bank based in Mamou, Louisiana, announced today the signing of a definitive agreement for JD Bancshares to acquire GCC and Guaranty Bank by merger. Completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of required regulatory approvals and the approval of GCC's shareholders. Additional information on the acquisition can be found on the Corporate Info tab of JD Bank's website at http://www.jdbank.com/about-us/corporate-info.html. The transaction has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2012.


Following the merger, JD Bancshares' subsidiary, Jeff Davis Bank & Trust (JD Bank), will add four branches to its footprint, as well as approximately $145.5 million in assets and $128.9 million in deposits. Upon combination of the southwest Louisiana-based banks, JD Bank will have approximately $704 million in total assets and $614 million in deposits.


Commenting on the merger, JD Bancshares Chairman Dan Donald stated, “The addition of Guaranty Bank's branches to our community bank platform is very exciting. Our expanded organization will be even stronger and better-positioned to provide great products and services for our customers, greater opportunities for our employees and greater value for our shareholders in the years to come.” Boyd Boudreaux, Chief Executive Officer and President of JD Bancshares and Jeff Davis Bank & Trust, echoed those sentiments, noting that, "The joining of these two community banks with very similar cultures will help us pursue our mission of offering an exceptional level of service to our customers, whilemaintaining a strong commitment to our local communities.”

Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce Meeting


OCTOBER 15, 2012


   The Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce today (Monday) heard from Dr. Natalie Harder, the new Chancellor for the South Louisiana Community College System.  The Coreil Campus of La. Technical College has been merged with other Acadiana Technical Colleges into the new South Louisiana Community College System as of July 1. The system has 7000 plus students across nine campuses in 7 of the 8 Acadiana parishes.

   Chamber Executive Director Camille Fontenot , who was a long time instructor at Coreil School, expressed concern over the changes going on at the local school. “I am not for what is happening at our local school. Welders are having to take English courses to gain credit. Our big welding shop has become a warehouse. We have no more accounting program. I have a fear we may lose our local school. “

   Dr. Harder said there has been a lack of attention at all the technical colleges, She said “The rumors are not true, we are not closing programs and campuses.”

   The chamber also heard from Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel who took office three months ago after being elected last year. He said there 11 of the 14 employees who were with his predecessor remains on the job.

   He announced that the police jury is planning to use  the library building once the new library is built  as an archives building to store old records from his office as well as records from other department in the courthouse. Deshotel also announced that his office is now providing birth certificates and starting next year, death certificates and pass ports as a service to parish residents.

   In other business, the chamber:

--received a report that there are 137 current paid up members;

--heard that the Chamber Open House Holiday social is set for December 5 at the Cock’s Tail restaurant;

--received news that the Christmas parade is scheduled for Sunday Dec. 9 at 5;00pm.

--the city wide garage sale is planned for November 3 at the Grand Pavillion.

Ville Platte Police arrest Wisconsin Man on Sexual Predator Charges

On October 11, 2012 a tip led Officers and Investigators in search of a sexual predator in the city limits.  The manhunt began at approximately 3:00 p.m. and resulted in the apprehension and arrest of Randy Joe Wolke Jr, 35 of 3795 Moeller Dr. Sturgeon Bay, WI.  Wolke was wanted in Minnesota on charges of a Sexual Predator violation offense. Wolke was transported to the Ville Platte City Jail and agreed to an extradition waiver in a court appearance with Judge John Larry Vidrine.  Wolke remains incarcerated at this time awaiting extradition.


Chief Lartigue commends officer and detectives for working fast to locate this offender and removing him from the city streets.  Chief Lartigue reminds citizens that these anonymous tips make a difference and help solve crimes.  In this instance a tip removed a sexual predator from our city.  Contact the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313 with any information you may have on illegal activity. Your call will remain anonymous

Ville Platte Police News

Chief Neal Lartigue with the Ville Platte Police Department reports the following arrests. 



On October 2, 2012 Joseph Semien of 1894 Darrel Rd. Ville Platte was arrested and charged with no turn signal and possession of drug paraphernalia.  Siemien was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail where he remains incarcerated on a $3,000.00 bond.


On October 2, 2012 Bridget Woods 46, of 1894 Darrel Rd. Ville Platte was arrested and charged with possession of crack cocaine and obstruction of justice.  Woods was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and has since bonded out on a $10,000.00 bond set by Judge Thomas Fuselier.


On October 3, 2012 Frederick Freeman31, of 309 Mars Rice Rd. Ville Platte was arrested and charged with no reflective gear and possession of cocaine.  Siemien was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and has since bonded out on a $10,000.00 bond set by Judge Thomas Fuselier.


On October 4, 2012 Morris Riggs Jr. 21, of 1505 Martin Luther King Dr. Ville Platte, was arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana.  Riggs was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and has since bonded out on a $10,000.00 bond set by Judge Thomas Fuselier.


October 10, 2012 Dericke John 29, of 120 East Washington St.Ville Platte, was arrested on a warrant and charged with child desertion.  John was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail where he remains incarcerated on a $5,000.00 bond set by Judge Thomas Fuselier.


An investigation stemming from a report filed in November 2011 uncovered numerous charges and warrants for one.  A local business reported to the Ville Platte Police Department that someone was cashing payroll checks from a local business and this person was not employed with their company.  The investigation has been ongoing since 2011 and the suspect was not located until recently.   After locating the suspect out of the parish, she was transported to the Ville Platte Police Department where the warrant was executed.  Marla Monice Mundy 41, of 606 Chenault St. Bunkie, was arrested on October 4, 2012 and was charged with two counts of monetary instrument abuse.  Mundy was transported to the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office where she remains incarcerated on a $10,000.00 bond set by Judge Thomas Fuselier.  Mundy also has a hold for other agencies. 

Louisiana Cotton Festival Kicks Off Tuesday with Contredanse and Heritage Manor King and Queen

     The Louisiana Cotton Festival kicked off Tuesday night with two traditional events: the Contredanse and the crowning of the King and Queen of Heritage Manor Nursing Home.
      The activities  took place at the Ville Platte City Center with a large crowd of well wishers and family members.
      The new Queen of Heritage Manor Nursing home is Andree LeBas age 70 who replaces last year’s queen, the late Florence Manuel. LeBas has one daughter and one grand daughter. She enjoys card games, exercising, social parties, music and community outings. She is a retired pharmacy tech.
     Selected as First Runnerup to the Queen is Sue Guillory. Sue enjoys working puzzles, bingo games, arts and crafts, religious activities and outings.
     The new 2012 Heritage Manor King is Pershing Jack DeVille age 80. He replaces last year’s king: Andrew Chapman. Deville has one son and two grandchildren. He served in the Korean War. He is a retired state employee and enjoys hunting and fishing.
      The first runnerup to the King: Roland Cloutier age 87. He is a retired jockey who raced in tracks throughout the state. He became a trainer and owner of race horses. He is a veteran of World War Two. He enjoys woodwork and race horses.
      Those in attendance enjoyed the traditional cajun swuare dance known as Contredanse featuring adult dancers and a youth group of dancers. Also participating in the event were the 2012 Cotton Pickers singers.
      Oldies 92.5 KVPI was there covering the event live for our listeners who could not attend the event in person.

Ville Platte City Council Considering Handling Animal Control Service Parishwide

       The Ville Platte City Council, Tuesday, is considering a request from the Evangeline Parish Police Jury to take over animal control throughout the parish. Mayor Jennifer Vidrine said the police jury is prepared to pay the city $20,000 a year to handle that service for parish residents.
      The mayor said a cost estimate will be prepared to determine how much it will cost to expand the current city animal shelter facility as required by law to handle parish wide service. Once that price is determined, she will present it to the police jury to cover the cost.
       Such an undertaking by the city would also require employing additional personnel. The city council voted to table any action on the police jury request until a cost estimate could be determined.
       In other business, the city council approved paying for new radios for the both the city police and fire department to access the new narrow band frequencies as required by the Federal Communications Commission. All emergency radios must be tuned in to the new frequencies by December 31. It will cost the city $13,000 for the radios for the police department and $12,000 for the city fire department.
     In other action the city council:
– set trick or treating hours for 5-7pm Oct. 31 Halloween night;
–received news that expenditures for the month of September amounted to $194,538, a decrease of $5700 over the month of August;
–approved a request from the mayor to institute a community garden in cooperation with the Southern University Ag Center and LSU Extension Service. The garden will be maintained by volunteers and local residents at a leased site near the Swamp Pop Museum at the corner of LaSalle and Railroad;
–announced that the dedication of the Town Square Park is set for Oct. 19 at 3:30pm when the park will be renamed Allen Ortego Town Square Park after the resident who donated the property to the city;
–approved a beer and liquor permit for the new Becky Lou’s Restaurant on Tate Cove Road, in the old Luke’s Meat Market.

Evangeline Parish School Board Recognizes Teachers of the Year

       The Evangeline Parish School Board, Wednesday,  recognized teachers of the year in elementary, junior high and high school divisions.
       In the Elementary Division, Maranda Cormier, instructor at W.W. Stewart Elementary in Basile was named as Parish Teacher of the Year. The teachers of the year in the individual schools include: Amanda Vidrine at Bayou Chicot Elementary, Timothy Comeaux at Chataignier Elementary, Elizabeth Jagneaux at Mamou Elementary, Kylie Andrus at Pine Prairie High School, Kara Buller at Vidrine Elementary and Heidi Buller at Ville Platte Elementary.
      In the Junior High Division, Carmen Langley instructor at Basile High School was chosen as Parish Teacher of the year. In the individual school, the following were chosen as teachers of the year: Becky Clark at Bayou Chicot Elementary, Jennifer Barbier at Chataignier Elementary, Debbie Soileau at Mamou High School, Marie Soileau at Vidrine Elementary, Kim Soileau at Ville Platte High School and Tanya Smith at Evangeline Central.
    The Parish High School Teacher of the Year is Alice LeJeune representing Ville Platte High School. Teachers of the year in each school include: Mindy Janot at Basile High School, William Emmons at Pine Prairie High School and Harikrish Pahshod at Mamou High School.
     Superintendent of Schools Toni Hamlin congratulated to all of the teachers of the year. “We appreciate all you do. Despite this being a stressful time for all teachers, you are still making a difference and impacting the lives of your students.”
     School Board President Wayne Dardeau also congratulated the teachers. He said “Next to being a parent, the most important work you can do is being a teacher.”


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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.

Admission charge is $3 adults,

$2 seniors and $1 for children under 12.
The museum is located on

Northwest Railroad Avenue.