Local News Archives for 2012-12

Ville Platte Police planning a seminar and investigating scam artists

              Chief Neal Lartigue of the Ville Platte Police Department would like to make the citizens of the city aware that scam artists are continuing to target our area.  The elderly are especially vulnerable to these scam artists.  The scams range from people stating that they are with Medicare/ Medicaid on the phone to people taking copies of charge receipts that have account numbers on them.  Chief Lartigue stated that the detectives are currently working multiple cases of these types of scams.  “Be diligent when using your credit or debit card” Chief Lartigue said, “Make sure that you have the receipt and you haven’t left a receipt lying around.”  If you receive a call from anyone you are not familiar with you are asked to pay close attention.  “Most of the calls are coming from someone with an accent and they are asking for information that you should never give over the phone.” Chief Lartigue said, “If they ask you for any type of account information do not give them this information.”  Phone scammers are also asking residents to go to a local store and put money on some type of cash card or green dot card to collect something they have won.  “This is also a scam” Lartigue said, “You shouldn’t have to pay any amount of money for a prize or sweepstakes that you have won.” 


            Chief Lartigue has organized a business and personal affairs seminar to help businesses and citizens learn more about these types of dangers.  The public and business owners are invited to join Law Enforcement and other key speakers at the North Side Civic Center on January 14, 2013 at 11:00 a.m.  Topics scheduled for discussion are scams and how to protect yourself, what to do if you feel you are being targeted by a scam artist and general safety measures for citizens using internet or online purchasing.  For business owners the topics will also include NSF checks and forgeries.


            This seminar will last approximately an hour and will provide beneficial information for citizens and businesses for protection and reporting these incidents. 


            For more information contact the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.

Ville Platte Police Investigating Major Crimes

Chief Neal Lartigue with the Ville Platte Police Department reports several ongoing cases and asks for assistance from citizens.


On December 13, 2012 at approximately 6:30 p.m. officers responded to a reported armed robbery on Project Street.  Upon arrival officers learned that a male and a female from Lafayette met with two black male subjects at a local convenience store located on Tate Cove Road.  One black male entered the vehicle on the passenger side and the other black male entered the vehicle on the drivers side.  The vehicle traveled outside of the city limits to a home where one of the black male subjects became armed with a dangerous weapon.  The vehicle then traveled back into the city of Ville Platte and stopped on Project Street near an apartment in the Housing Authority.  The suspect’s exited the vehicle and shot one round into the vehicle.  The suspect ordered the victims to surrender their property.  The suspect’s left on foot with money and cell phones.  The suspects were described as black males with black zipper jackets with hoods.  If anyone may know who these suspects are or feel they may have seen these suspects, you are asked to call the Ville Platte Police Department and speak to Detective James who was assigned to the case. 


On December 15, 2012 at approximately 4:57 a.m. officers were dispatched to a residence on Jefferson Street regarding a home invasion.  Upon arrival officers discovered that two black male suspects kicked in the door and gained entry into the residence.  Once inside the suspects demanded money of the male and female in their bed.  When the male victim stood up he was shot in the upper thigh. The suspects took a watch and fled in the homeowners 2002 white suburban.  The suburban was recovered later during the investigation in the area of Lincoln Road and Laran Street.  The victim was transported to Opelousas General Hospital with non- life threatening injuries.  The female present in the residence was not injured in the incident.  Detective Daigle has been assigned the case and stated that they are searching for two black males possibly in their twenties.  One black male had on a white tshirt and dreadlocks and the second black male had an orange bandana.  If you saw someone fitting this description in the area of Jefferson Street or Lincoln Road in the early morning hours of December 15th or if you may know the identity of these two suspects you are asked to call Detective Daigle at the Ville Platte Police Department. 


On December 15, 2012 at approximately 9:15 a.m. officers responded to an alarm activation in the 800 block of West Lincoln.  Upon arrival they learned that a loan company had damage to their building and someone had gained entry. An undisclosed amount of money was stolen from the business.  Later the same day officers and Detectives were performing business checks and discovered two more businesses that had similar damage and had been broken into in the same area.  One occurred in the 700 block of West Lincoln and the second occurred in the 800 block West Lincoln.  No items were reported missing from these businesses at that time.  Anyone who may know who is responsible for these break ins or may have seen anyone suspicious in the area of West Lincoln near commercial buildings that were not open, are asked to contact Detective Deville at the Ville Platte Police Department. 


Chief Lartigue reminds residents that calling in your tips and information can help detectives follow leads and solve cases.  “We cannot stress this enough” Lartigue said, “calling in this information is vital and we keep reminding everyone that we keep the callers identity anonymous.”  Lartigue also stated “Our priority is to solve these crimes and remove these offenders from our streets.”  To speak to a Detectives about these cases and report any other illegal activity by calling the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313. Your call will remain anonymous.


Ville Platte City Council Meeting


    The Ville Platte City Council Tuesday approved increasing the rental fees for the Ville Platte Civic Center, Martin Luther King Center and the Grand Pavillion.

     City Clerk Shountilez Williams reported that a committee researched neighboring cities to compare their fees and charges. She announced that a majority of the communities contacted were charging more than the fees the city of Ville Platte is currently charging.  Among the cities contacted were Opelousas, Crowley and Thibodeaux. It has been a number of years since Ville Platte adjusted their rental fees.

      Effective December 12, all new bookings will be as follows: the Civic Center will go from $300 to $500 while the MLK Center will go from $175 to $300. The  new Grand Pavillion, which had no rental fee, will be charging $200 for its usage. Those people who had already booked either facility for next year will be “grandfathered” in at the old rate.

    In other business, Mayor Jennifer Vidrine said expenditures for the month of November amounted to $213,981, no savings from the previous month. The mayor explained that the city had additional one time expenses such repair work at the fire station and converting police and fire radios over to a new frequency.

    The council approved scheduling a public hearing on January 8 to get public comment on a proposed new redistricting plan for the city’s six council districts in time for the next municipal elections.

      In other action:

--the council approved hiring Keith Serie and James Scott as new full time police officers;

--approved renewing the sponsorship of the Evangeline Council on Aging’s Transportation program for another year;

--received a report from Fire Chief Ted Demourelle that the department responded to 28 fire alarms in November  of which 10 were structure fires; Police Chief Neal Lartigue reported that his department responded to 554 calls in November, made 82 arrests and worked 57 traffic accidents;

--the mayor thanked all the city workers who worked long hours to decorate the city hall, park and streets for the holidays;

--announced that the new city ball park is complete on Lithcote road.

Evangeline Police Jury holds all French Meeting


Ville Platte-    The Evangeline Parish Police Jury Tuesday held their annual all French meeting.  Police Jury President Bryan Vidrine announced that the jury “supports our local Cajun and Creole culture” and “wants to keep the tradition going on for future generations”. The unique all French meeting has been taking place since the mid 1980’s.

                          The French program included the Pledge of Allegiance and the invocation. Emily Miller sang the National Anthem in French.

                           State Representative Mike Huval of St. Martinville commended the police jury for their efforts in promoting our Cajun and Creole culture in South Louisiana. He said “Keep on doing what you’re doing even if part of your conversation is in English”, said Huval.

                           A.J. Credeur, a police juror from neighboring Acadia Parish also complimented the Evangeline jury for promoting their French heritage. He said “Don’t ever be ashamed to speak French. I wish our parish would do what you’re doing. “

                          Margaret “Chicken” Aucoin of Louisiana Folk Roots announced the formation of a concerned group of citizens known as “Evangeline Parish Friends of French”. The goal of the group is to promote our French culture and language including French immersion. The police jury approved a resolution going in record supporting the efforts of the new organization.

                          Amanda Lafleur Giambrone, professor  of French at LSU and co-author of the “Dictionary of Louisiana French” also thanked the police jury for their efforts . “My heart is touched when I read and hear about your annual French meetings. This is our tradition.”

                        Brenda Monier spoke about the importance of having a French Immersion program in Evangeline Parish. “Our language will die if we don’t keep it going. We are looking to have a summer immersion for young people to attend. If there is enough interest from parents, we will look at trying to have a program in our schools.”

                       In other business, the police jury:

--approved adding the sales of vehicles in municipalities to be included in the new  parish wide 2 percent sales and use tax;

--reappointed Gene Morein as commissioner to the Te Mamou Water District for another five year term and reappointed Tiqua Manuel to another two year term to the Mamou Fire District #1 Board.

Local Food Drive Successful


   The Food for Families Food Drive in Ville Platte was another successful event. Local Drive Chairman Gene Fontenot reported to KVPI News that the drive netted 5 tons of food which is similar to what the drive raised last year. Also the drive collected about $2000 in monetary donations. Considering the poor economic conditions, Fontenot said he was pleased with the outcome. He thanks everyone who donated food and money as well as the many volunteers. All of the donations stay here locally at the Care and Share center to help needy local citizens.

Evangeline School Board Meeting



  Ville Platte-   The Evangeline Parish School Board received news Wednesday that they must find millions of dollars in funding a state directive to prepare for on-line testing of students in two years.

                          Superintendent of Schools Toni Hamlin said the program will initially cost the school board 2 million dollars in infrastructure such as wiring. In addition to that cost, the school district will have to purchase some 2000 new computers at a minimum cost of $600 each.

                           One funding source, the E-rate Priority Two program, was denied. The school board had applied through this federal funding source that is based on the number of free and reduced school lunch served daily.

                           The new on-line testing program goes into effect in the 2014-2015 school year for students in grades 3-11. Currently there are only two districts in the entire state that is prepared to implement the program.

                           The board’s newly appointed executive committee, which is in charge of financial matters, is due to meet in early January to begin reviewing funding options and sources. The committee is comprised of Ellis Guillory, Arthur Savoy, Jerry Thompson and Peggy Forman.

                           In another matter, the school board approved the adoption of a new reapportionment plan  as prepared by Demographer Mike Heffner. The new map  calls for minor adjustments in district lines based on the latest 2010 census.  The parish population decreased by 2000 residents since the 2000 census.

                        Two of the districts with the most population shifts are: District Five represented by Peggy Forman in the Bayou Chicot and Turkey Creek area that was 19 percent too high in the mean population  and District 13 in the City of Ville Platte area that was 14 percent too low.

                        The approved plan will be sent to the Justice Department for review. The next school board election is set for 2014.

                        In other action the school board:

--re-elected Wayne Dardeau as president of the school  board for another term and elected Scott Limoges as new Vice President replacing Jerry Thompson.



Ville Platte Police arrest a local man on multiple drug charges

Chief Neal Lartigue with the Ville Platte Police Department reports the following arrest for narcotics.


On November 29, 2012, Officers and Detectives of the Ville Platte Police Department executed a search warrant and made one arrest.  Roy John of 411 High School Drive, Ville Platte, was arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine in a school zone, possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana in a school zone, possession of counterfeit money, possession of a controlled dangerous substance in the presence of juveniles and manufacturing of crack cocaine.  John was transported to the Ville Platte City Jail where he was book remains incarcerated on a $40,000.00 bond set by Judge John Larry Vidrine and a hold for probation and parole.


Chief Lartigue would like to remind citizens that anonymous tips help officers and detectives follow leads and make arrests.  Please call in tips on any illegal activity to the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.  Remember that your call will remain anonymous.



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