Local News Archives for 2013-04

Evangeline Parish Authorities arrest two suspects on indecent behavior charges

 A spokesman for Evangeline Parish Sheriff Eddie Soileau told KVPI News , on April 22, 2013, 42 year old Archie West of Ville Platte, La. was brought into the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s office for investigation of possible child abuse that was occurring at his residence. Upon speaking to Archie West, he openly admitted to allegations of Indecent Behavior with a Juvenile that occurred at his residence on April 19, 2013. Archie West was booked into the Evangeline Parish Jail, on 2 counts of Indecent Behavior with a Juvenile and 2 counts of Contributing to the Delinquency of Juvenile, West is currently in the parish jail on a $100,000 bond according to Chief Investigator Mike Perry.


In another case, on April 23, 2013, 56 year old Kathryn Fontenot of Ville Platte, La. was brought into the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s office for investigation of possible inappropriate contact with children that was occurring at her residence. Upon speaking to Kathryn Fontenot, she admitted to the allegations of Indecent Behavior with a Juvenile that occurred at her residence between the end of February to the first part of April. Kathryn Fontenot was booked into the Evangeline Parish Jail, on 2 counts of Indecent Behavior with a Juvenile and 2 counts of Contributing to the Delinquency of Juvenile, Fontenot is currently being held in the city jail on a $100,000 bond.


Louisiana Creoles Recognized by Louisiana Senate

Louisiana Creole Renaissance & BASTILLE DAY STATE LEVEL COMMEMORATIVE sponsored by Senator Eric LaFleur, District 28.

SR 30 was passed during the recent 2013 Louisiana State Legislative Session.

The historic resolution was signed by about 100 racially diverse French Creoles last year at their first rally on Bastille Day, July 14, 2012 in Ville Platte, LA. People gathered from 5 parishes in the upper part of the French-speaking Triangle of Avoyelles, Evangeline, Pointe Coupee and St. Landry Parishes in celebration of their shared CREOLE culture which became a bill sponsored by Senator Eric LaFleur of District 28 represented before the 2013 Louisiana State Senate and was approved!

Louisiana's multi-ethnic Creole francophone culture was and remains Louisiana's oldest native multi-ethnic culture and is the basis of the "Cajun" French culinary and social customs which were all adopted and adapted from the only cultural reference point available to the earlies Acadians once they arrived in Spanish Louisiana. The Louisiana Creole culture also provides the linguistic basis for Louisiana's old non-standardized Colonial French Creole/Choctaw, Louisiana Afro-Creole and the "Cajun" French forms of Louisiana French.

It also guarantees the perpetuation of our multi-ethnic culture by associating it with the French Independence Day which espouses the democratic ideals of freedom, equality and brotherhood which we all treasure as Americans and which values were scorned in Colonial French and American Louisiana.


This historic resolution designates July 14, French Independence Day or Bastille Day as the Louisiana Commemorative Day for Creoles of ALL ethnicities in unison across our state and across the nation as well!

Chamber of Commerce announces Nominees for 2013 Man and Woman of the Year

      The Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce has released the nominees for the 2013 Man and Woman of the Year honors.

      Nominees for Man of the Year: Tim Fontenot-Fontenot Physical Therapy; Ronald Landreneau of Ronald Landreneau and Associates; Dr. William “ToJo” Ward, Chairman of the Parish Industrial Development Board; George “Butch” Buller-retired; Randy Deshotel, Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court; Mark Buller-New York Life; Ronald “T” Doucet-Ville Platte City Marshal and Dr. Thomas Fontenot, chairman of the Recreational District Board;.

     Nominees for Woman of the Year: Mary Foster-Galosso-Evangeline Parish Librarian; Gloria George- Admit Clerk at Mercy Regional Medical Center; Rita Fontenot-Belaire Cove Crawfish Cookoff Chairperson; Diana Johnson-Evangeline Parish Jag Coordinator and Kayla McFarlian Kincanon-Citizens Bank.

    The announcement of the Man and Woman of the Year as well as Business of the Year, Business Person of the Year and Agriculture Person of the Year will all take place Wednesday May 1 at the Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet at the Civic Center. Reservations can be made through the chamber office.

    Congratulations to all of the nominees!

Ville Platte Chamber Announces Nominees

       The Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce has released the nominees for Ville Platte Business and Business Person of the Year.

       The nominees for Ville Platte Business of the Year are: Pine Prairie Energy, Vidrine’s Ace Hardware, Rendezvous Dinner Club, Mercy Regional Medical Center, Kolder, Champagne, Slaven and Company, New Creations, Paul’s Meat Market and Grocery and Citizens Bank.

       The nominees for Ville Platte Business Person of the Year are: Janice Helmer with Evangeline Floors, Mark Suellentrop with Cabot Corporation, John DeVille with Rendezvous Dinner Club, Cody Vidrine with Vidrine’s Ace Hardware, Mary Foster-Galasso with the Evangeline Parish Library, Randy Chapman with the Evangeline Bank and Trust Company, Gary Soileau with Medicine Chest, Dwayne Kelly with Jardin des Fleurs and Garden Center and Pierre Vidrine with Ville Platte Rental Sales and Service.

      Congratulations to all the nominees. The winners will be announced Wednesday May 1 at the Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Banquet at the Civic Center. Also, Ville Platte’s Man and Woman of the Year will be announced.

Evangeline Police Jury Endorses Industrial Development Board Against Assessor's actions

       The Evangeline Parish Police Jury, in a special meeting Wednesday, voted to endorse and support proposed action taken by the Industrial Development Board in connection with  Pine Prairie Energy Company.

      Dr. William “Tojo” Ward, Chairman of the Industrial Development Board, told the jury that the board has voted to join Pine Prairie Energy in their legal fight against the Evangeline Parish Assessor. Dr. Ward also said the board has voted to engage the services of legal counsel, Tony Walker, to represent the board. Pine Prairie Energy has agreed to pay the board’s legal expenses.

     The case in point deals with the Evangeline Parish Assessor, whose legal counsel, is alleging that the Memorandum of Understanding between the Industrial Development Board and  Pine Prairie Energy to exempt the company from ad valorum property taxes for 15 years was unconstitutional.

    Pine Prairie Energy was billed for 2012 taxes and the company paid the taxes under protest. Since then, Pine Prairie Energy has filed a suit against the assessor and the sheriff, the parish tax collector. That case will be heard by 13th District Court Judge Tom Fuselier.

   Police Juror Eric Soileau remarked “We need to move forward and try to remove this black eye so potential industry  may want to relocate here.”

    Dr. Ward told the jury “This board has worked hard to promote economic activity in Evangeline Parish. Also, for two years the board has worked with Cleco who spent $100,000 to help prepare the Industrial Park as nationally certified to bring new industry to the Ville Platte area. Until this legal issue is resolved, we are dead in the water from ever attracting new industry to our parish.”

  Pine Prairie Energy, located in Easton, has paid over $16 million dollars in sales and inventory taxes and pilot payments. The firm stores natural gas in underground caverns. There are currently five caverns with a potential for up to 12 caverns at the site.

Drug Arrests by Ville Platte Police

Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue reports for narcotics and a home invasion.


On April 15, 2013 Trevin Williams, 19 of 617 North Fontenot Street, Ville Platte, was arrested during a traffic stop and charged with no seat belt and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.  Williams was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail on a $18,000.00 bond set by Judge Thomas Fuselier.


Joseph Pace 27, of 6221 Hwy. 167 North, Ville Platte, was arrested during the same traffic stop and charged with driving under suspension and no seat belt.  Pace was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and bonded out on a $700.00 bond


An investigation that began in December 2012 involving a home invasion has been solved by DNA evidence.  Detectives working the case recovered evidence from an incident where an unidentified male had kicked in the door and demanded money.  When the suspect was unable to get money from the two occupants of the residence, he fired several shots inside the home.  One of those shots hit the male resident requiring him to receive medical assistance.  Detective Rodney Daigle, who was assigned to the case, submitted the evidence to the Acadiana Crime Lab for analysis and that evidence led to the DNA match of a suspect that has been identified as Jared Freeman, 20 of 506 north Chataignier Street, Ville Platte.   On April 16, 2013, Freeman was arrested and charged with home invasion, aggravated criminal damage to property, attempted first degree murder, and unauthorized use of a moveable.  Freeman was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail where he remain incarcerated on a $500,000.00 bond set by Judge Thomas Fusilier.


 Chief Lartigue reminds residents to call in any information on illegal activities to the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313. Your call will remain anonymous and you can play a role in removing criminals from our streets.

Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce Meeting


    The Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce today (Monday) heard from Camille Breaux of the American Cancer Society to discuss the upcoming Evangeline Parish Relay for Life event. The planned fund raiser is scheduled for Saturday April 27 at the Ville Platte High Football Field from 6:00pm- 6;00am. There will be teams and groups raising funds for the American Cancer Society. This year’s goal is $40,000. Last year the Evangeline Relay for Life raised $37,000.

    Chamber Executive Director Camille Fontenot reminded chamber members of the annual chamber awards banquet on Wednesday May 1 at the Civic Center. She is urging chamber members and groups to turn in their nominations for Man and Woman of the Year, Business of the Year and Business Person of the Year.

   Fontenot also announced that the chamber will sponsor a “La Table Francais” event at the Dewey Balfa Folk Roots event Saturday morning at 10;00am at Chicot Park. The public is invited to attend to  converse in French. Coffee will be provided by the chamber.

   In other business:

--chamber members were notified that the Clerk of Court’s office has a new website for use by local and area residents;

--received news that the chamber of commerce has 150 members enrolled.

Evangeline Police Jury Gives Pay Raises

    The Evangeline Parish Police Jury Monday night approved setting a pay scale for its road employees and giving an across the board 75 cent an hour pay raise to all parish employees effective May 1.

    Some 150 employees will be seeing an increase in pay starting next month that will cost the parish $100,000 a year.

     The jury approved the following new pay scale: Supervisors: $14-26 an hour; Equipment operators- $10-18 an hour; Truck Drivers- $8-14 an hour; Tractor Operators-Minimum Wage to $12 an hour.

     After much discussion, the jury approved a new policy on the issue of having speed bumps. The policy gives each individual juror the right to install speed bumps in his district. A resident requesting a speed bump for their road must obtain the signatures of at least 85% of the property owners and residents on that street.  The jury must also the proper signage to warn motorists about the speed limit.

     Two jurors voted against the motion: Eric Soileau and Kevin Veillon. Soileau said he was concerned about the liability issue and possible lawsuits over the increased use of speed bumps in the parish.

     The police jury called a public hearing May 13 at 5:30pm at the courthouse to get public comment on a proposed ordinance that a cover or tarpaulin must be used by parish residents hauling garbage to a dumpster. The ordinance provides for penalties should there be no cover for the trailer or the back of a truck.

     In other action he police jury:

--voted to abandon a proposal to adopt a bounty for cayotes;

--approved the quote of I.S.S. of $11,462 for the purchase and installation  of a new audio system for the jury meeting room;

--approved giving permits for two trail  rides coming up in the parish;

--voted to approve a quote from J and J Exterminating for termite control for the courthouse at a cost of $3647.

Belaire Cove Crawfish Cookoff Big Success

    The Belaire Cove Crawfish Etoufee Cookoff was a big success Sunday for the benefit of the Belaire Cove Catholic Church.

    Here are the winners in the various categories: Most Original Booth-Rocky Rider Collision Center; Best Decorated Booth- Evangeline Feed Store; Washer Board Contest- First Place- Pat Nero and Charlie Crosby; Second Place- Michael  Brown and Bob Reed and Third Place Team- Zach Johnson and Bailey Fontenot.

     Here are the winners in the Cook Off: First Place- Cabot Corporation; Second Place- Rocky Rider Collision Center and Third Place- Charles  and Donald Fontenot.

     Here are the winners in the raffle drawing- First place- Junior Perrodin, thw winner of a gas grill donated by Ray Matte at True Value; 2nd Place- Bill Manuel- winner of $100 donated by Rocky Rider Collision Center and Third Place- Paul Michot, the winner of $75 donated by Attorney Gary Ortego.

     Among the queens who were present at the event were Miss Ville Platte, Lainey Aymond and Junior Tournoi Queen- Darrelon Lachney.

    Oldies 92-5’s J.C. and Randy did a live remote broadcast Sunday morning at the cookoff.

Biking Down South Festival

    The first annual Biking Down South Festival took place this past weekend at the Ville Platte Civic Center and grounds sponsored by the Ville Platte D.A.V. Festival organizer Jerry Verette would like to thank everyone who supported the event. He blamed the low turnout on two factors: four festivals going on the same weekend within a 40 mile area and the misconception that the festival was a bikers rally . He explained that the festival was a family friendly event with many activities for the young people.

   He wants to thank all the volunteers who helped out including workers from the Eunice chapter of the Cajun French Music Association, Ville Platte Girl Scouts and the State Dept. of the Disabled American Veterans.

   Verette remarked that there will be a festival next year but it will be moved to the second weekend in April so it will not interfere with existing established festivals.

   Here are  the winners announced during the Veterans program:

Corporate Sponsor awards: Gold Award- Evangeline Bank; Silver Award- Blakes Pharmacy; Bronze Award-Attorneys  Chuck West and Jonathan Vidrine;

Donors Awards: Gold – Fontenot Physical Therapy; Silver Award- Mouton Accordians of Crowley; and Bronze Award- Jack Miller BBQ Sauce;

Winners of the Raffle Prizes donated by Cajun Harley Davidson:

1st place- Harley watch- Robert Launey

2nd Place- Motorcycle Tank Piggy bank- College Junction of Eunice

3rd Place- Harley  drink set- Bertha Hebert

Ville Platte Police Make Drug Arrest

Chief Neal Lartigue reports a narcotic arrest


On April 4, 2013 an arrest was made stemming from an undercover operation in which a male suspect bought narcotics from an under cover officer in January.  James Garlow, 37 of 304 East Wilson was arrested and charged with distribution of cocaine.  Garlow was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail on a $20,000.00 bond set by Judge John Larry Vidrine.  Garlow remains incarcerated with a hold for probation and parole.


Chief Lartigue reminds citizens that they can help officers and detectives remove illegal narcotics from our streets by calling your tips in to the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.  Your call will remain anonymous.

Drive By Shooting Suspects Arrested

On March 30, 2013 at approximately 4:30 am officers responded to shots fired in the area of East Wilson Street in Ville Platte. Chief Neal Lartigue with the Ville Platte Police Department said that witnesses were able to identify the suspects that were responsible for shots being fired from a vehicle. Detective Rodney Daigle was assigned the case and began his investigation. In the early morning hours of March 31st officers responded to another complaint of shots being fired from the same vehicle in the same area.
The investigation and positive identification led to the April 1st arrest of Reokenski Thomas, 29 of 710 North West Railroad, Ville Platte. Thomas was charged with assault by drive by shooting and was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail on a $50,000.00 bond set by Judge John Larry Vidrine.
Jared Freeman, 21, of 127 North East Railroad, Ville Platte was arrested and charged with assault by drive by shooting. Freeman was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail on a $50,000.00 bond set by Judge John Larry Vidrine.
Hilton Wilson 33 of 128 East Pine Street, Ville Platte was arrested and charged with assault by drive by shooting. Wilson was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail on a $50,000.00 bond set by Judge John Larry Vidrine. All three remain incarcerated at this time.


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