Local News Archives for 2013-05

U.S. Senator Vitter Holds Town Hall Meeting in Ville Platte Wednesday Night


      U.S. Senator David Vitter conducted a Town Hall gathering Wednesday evening at the police jury meeting room in the courthouse. Vitter has conducted more than 250 such events every two years.

        Among those attending were Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine, Sheriff Eddie Soileau, Assessor Dirk Deville , police jurors and other public officials

     There were a wide range of issues brought up for discussion. Those issues include:


        Sequestration-Senator Vitter said sequestration cuts will unfairly impact the military more than other federal areas. Those cuts could affect operations at such installations as Fort Polk;


         Immigration Reform- Senator Vitter is opposed to the current immigration reform bill because it gives almost immediate amnesty to the 12 million aliens with no real enforcement of our borders. He feels the answer is in enforcement at the workplace;


         Popular vote to elect the President- the Senator is opposed to scrapping the electoral college vote which gives smaller states like Louisiana greater importance to presidential candidates;


Political Scandals- Senator Vitter felt there is a need for a special independent prosecutor to investigate the I.R.S. scandal and the Bengazi incident. Vitter said he was in favor of scrapping the complicated tax code and going to a flat tax or a fair consumption tax;


On Line Sales Tax- the bill which he opposed has passed the Senate and will probably pass the House of Representatives. Should the bill become law, Louisiana could stand to collect$400 million dollars that would be divided among parishes and cities;


Veterans- The Senator was in favor of funding the Veterans Administration to hire additional personnel rather than additional I.R.S. staffers to take care of the huge backlog of cases to help veterans;


            Farm Bill-He is in favor of the current Farm Bill and will help Louisiana farmers;


            Also there was plenty of discussion dealing with social security and the Affordable Care Act.

Evangeline Sheriff's Office Searching For Suspect

     Timothy Kordish is wanted by the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Department in reference to several active felony warrants involving: Indecent Behavior with Juveniles, Possession of Crystal Meth, Production and Possession of Counterfeit Money plus other charges. Kordish has been in the Alexandria, La area at his son's residence Steven Ryan Kordish, as well at his daughter’s residence in Lafayette, La. Kordish has made the statement to individuals that he has a weapon and will try to have suicide by cop if confronted. The last known information on Timothy Kordish he left Alexandria on the 23rd of May 2013 around 9:30 pm, in his son's vehicle, the vehicle was located at an oil well site in Evangeline parish abandoned.

Anybody with information on the whereabouts of Timothy Kordish is urged to contact their local police department or can contact the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office at 337-363-2161.

New Emergency Notification System in Louisiana

      The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness announced that the state has completed the implementation of the ALERT FM and SSSNet systems improving the way the state delivers voice and text emergency notifications. GOHSEP will use the new system to send emergency alerts. ALERT FM is an FM radio based emergency system that will help La. better keep citizens,schools, businesses and first responders informed of critical information during natural or man made disasters. Some 90 FM radio stations around the state including KVPI FM, Oldies 92.5,  are participating in the ALERT FM network across the state. Residents can get the free ALERT FM app for download to Apple and Android smart phones. The public can also purchase an Alert FM receiver. ALERT FM delivers emergency messages using the date subcarrier of local FM radio transmission towers. Using the ALERT FM, citizens will be able to receive a variety of local messages including weather bulletins, school closings, road closures and evacuations on their smart phone and on special receivers. The special receivers will cost $40 from select retailers or purchase them directly from alertfm.com.

Ville Platte Police make drug and vehicle burglary arrests

Chief Neal Lartigue reports the following arrests for narcotics, vehicle burglary and two burglaries. 



During a traffic stop on May 16, 2013, Deshawn Ceaser 32 of 187 Pelleay Rd, Church Point, was arrested and charged with no seat belt, possession of marijuana, possession of with intent to distribute crack cocaine, and possession of a controlled dangerous substance in the presence of a juvenile.  Ceaser was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail where he remains incarcerated on a $15,000.00 bond set by Judge Thomas Fuselier.


Three separate incidents led to the arrest of one suspect.  On March 16, 2013 the Ville Platte Police Department responded to an incident on North Soileau where a vehicle burglary took place involving a police unit. Detective Steven Deville was assigned the case and began his investigation.  On April 30, 2013 a burglary took place on McArthur Drive and the same house was burglarized a second time on May 18, 2013. Detective Rodney Daigle was assigned the two cases and began his investigation.  The multiple investigations led to the May 18, 2013 arrest of Artrell Denton for all three incidents.  Denton was charged with burglary of a vehicle and two counts of simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling.  Denton remains incarcerated on three bonds totaling $ 40,000.00 set by Judge John Larry Vidrine and a hold for probation and parole.



Chief Lartigue reminds residents that working together makes the city safer.  Call in anonymous tips to the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.

Ville Platte Police make arrests and warn about scams

Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue reports arrests for narcotics, burglary and reminds citizens that scams are still being conducted within the city.



On May 15, 2013 a traffic stop led to the arrest of Justin O’Neal Poullard, 24 of 1327 Martin Luther King Drive.  Poullard was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and charged with no seat belt, possession of schedule II with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.  Poullard remain incarcerated on a $20,000.00 bond set by Judge Thomas Fuselier.


Chief Lartigue would like to thank the Opelousas Police Department and their K-9 unit for their assistance with this traffic stop.  “Working with other agencies benefits everyone” Chief Lartigue said, “We appreciate the Opelousas Police Department’s K-9 unit for making themselves available when we called and helping with this incident.”



On May 13, 2013, the Ville Platte Police Department responded to a report of a burglary in progress on West Main Street.  Detective Patrick Hall was assigned to the case and upon completion of his investigation, arrested John Henry Jones, 62 of 124 East Wilson Street, Ville Platte.  Mr. Jones was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and charged with simple burglary and criminal damage to property.  Mr. Jones was transferred to the Evangeline Parish Jail on a $25,000.00 bond set by Judge Thomas Fuselier.


Chief Lartigue would like to warn citizens that there are still scams being conducted on businesses and people in the community.  A local business discovered that someone paid for their products with a counterfeit ten dollar bill recently and in another incident a man approached local businesses and people and asked for money for his sick kids.   “If someone approaches you with a sad story and it seems like they are trying to get you to give them money, call the police department and tell the dispatcher” Chief Lartigue said, “An officer can check on the situation and identify this person.”  Calling after the person has left or a day later will make it more difficult to locate this person and stop scam artists. 


To report a possible scam, illegal narcotic activity or any other criminal activity, call the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.  Your call will remain anonymous.

Ville Platte City Council approves new water meters Tuesday

  The Ville Platte City Council, Tuesday, approved the low quote of U.M.S. of Hammond of $1.1 million dollars to install new state of the art electronic reading meters for water customers in the city. The meter upgrade is part of the on- going city water construction project that has been going on for the past year. U.M.S. will install approximately 3000 meters in Ville Platte beginning in July.

     City Engineer Ronnie Landreneau said these meters will eliminate the need for meter readers. However, Mayor Jennifer Vidrine announced that no one will lose their jobs. Current meter readers will be given new responsibilities.

     The new meters will send a signal to a receiving antenna installed on the water towers. From there the signal information will be relayed to the host location in another state where all the information will be stored for the city. The new meters will be able to inform the city of water leaks and other emergency data.

      In connection with these new expensive meters, the city council is preparing to enact an ordinance setting a hefty fine for those found guilty of  tampering or damaging these new meters. A public hearing is planned for June 11 at 4:45.

     Mayor Jennifer Vidrine and the council was receptive to a proposal by Dr. Greg Ardoin to appoint a select committee to look at proposed zoning ordinances. Dr. Ardoin said the city is poised to grow. He felt Ville Platte could become like Lake Charles in the next few years by taking the proper planning measures right now.

     A number of teachers and students were recognized by Mayor Jennifer Vidrine and the city council. The following were each presented with a plaque and a basket packed with local products.

    The following teachers of the year were honored: Elementary Teacher-Aleah West of Pine Prairie, Jr. High Teacher- Kelly Bellard of Ville Platte High, and High School Teacher of the Year-Travis Fontenot of Pine Prairie High.

    The following public school students were honored: Gehrig Harris, 5th grade student from Bayou Chicot; Mallory Landry, 8th Grade student from Bayou Chicot and Benjamin Bertrand of Basile High School.

    The following  Sacred Heart teachers and students were honored: Elementary Tesacher of the Year-Charles Mire, Wanda Joubert, High School Teacher of the Year, George Brown, support person of the year and Paula Dianne Fontenot, administrator of the year. Elementary student of the year was Evan Miller, Ellis LaHaye was Jr. High student and Abbie Marie Fontenot, Sacred Heart High student of the year.

     Mayor Jennifer Vidrine publicly thanked the city work crews for their long hours in restoring gas service to city residents after a major gas line ruptured last week.

     In other business the city council:

--approved the hiring of two new paid full time fire fighters: Kirk Fontenot and Bryan Duplechain;

--heard from Arthur Sampson who complained that the city is not following proper procedure under the open meetings law dealing with citizens wishing to comment publicly on issues that the city may vote on. He also complained that the city was targeting African Americans with its abandoned property and cars. He says the city is not enforcing the same law on certain public officials that have abandoned cars on their property.

--approved retail liquor permits for the Smoked Meat Festival in June and a new business: Chataignier Street Grocery.

Evangeline Parish Police Jury Meeting

    The Evangeline Parish Police Jury Monday  discussed the possibility of calling a millage tax to help fund a parish wide animal control program. Since the parish has no source of funding, the police jury has asked  secretary treasurer Doug DeVille to prepare a cost estimate on how much it would cost to fund an animal control program throughout the unincorporated areas of Evangeline Parish. Once the costs are determined, the parish can decide on much property tax would be needed.  The issue is expected to be placed on the fall ballot for voters to decide on the issue.

    In other news, the jury did not take up the issue of approving a cooperative endeavor agreement for the parish to provide gravel and grass shredding services for the new Ville Platte Recreational Park. The issue was on the agenda and the new recreational park director was due to speak when juror Eric Soileau  objected to discuss the issue. Soileau said the original agenda mailed to him did not contain the recreational park item. Soileau asked the agenda item to be tabled until next month because there were residents from his district that wanted to speak on the issue.

    In other action the police jury:

--received an annual report from Evangeline Parish County Agent Keith Fontenot and members of his  staff;

--approved combining all three Basile voting precincts for future elections: American Legion, St Augustine Hall into the Dr. Bobby Deshotel Community Center;

--approved a liquor license for Kay Crosby to sell liquor at the Y Drive Through Store;

--voted to advertise to accept the lease to reopen the courthouse snack shop;

--agreed to apply for grant funds from the Louisiana Community Development Block Grant program;

--received news that the parish has received $32,942 in sales taxes collected in April.

Older Americans Month Event at Chateau Des Amies

     Chateau Des Amies Apartment Complex held an Older Americans Month celebration this monring with a large group of residents in attendance.

      Deborah Clark, Chateau Des Amies community manager was the emcee. The guest speakers for the event included: Lisa Deouen , director of Evangeline Council on Aging, Ville Platte Fire Chief Ted Demourelle, Ville Platte Chief  of Police Neal Lartigue and Resident Association Member Margaret Jagneaux.

     Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine read the city’s proclamation for Older Americans Month. Other officials in attendance that were recognized include: Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel, and Chateau Des Amies Service Coordinator Landie Thompson.

     The oldest residents at Chateau Des Amies were recognized as Horace Dick age 89 and Lezas Foret age 97. The next oldest residents: Vorice Stephen age 87 and Roy Fontenot age 96.

       There was a balloon release by the Chateau residents. There was live music, food, prize drawings and various booths during the event.

Election Returns


      All three election day millage tax propositions were renewed Saturday in Evangeline Parish. Complete by unofficial election return results show that the parish wide 1.02 mill property mill called by the Evangeline Parish Police Jury for the Evangeline Council to continue provide needed senior services passed by nearly 90 percent of the vote. The vote totals were 1251 voted yes while 141 people voted no.

   The City of Ville Platte  4 mill property tax was renewed for another tens by 91 percent of the vote. The funds are dedicated for police and fire department salaries and equipment. The final vote tally showed 395 people voted yes and 37 voted no.

   Also the Evangeline Parish School Board called millage tax renewal for the Basile High Athletic program was approved by about 93 percent of the vote. The school district covers portions of Evangeline and Acadia Parishes. In Evangeline, the final tally was 110 voting yes and 23 voting no while in Acadia Parish, the final vote total was 60 voting yes and 11 voting no.

   KVPI FM was there covering the election returns live at the Clerk of Court’s Office. Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine and Evangeline Council on Aging Director Lisa DeRouen were there expressing their appreciation for the vote of support for the tax proposals.

Ville Platte Police warning citizens about scam

Chief Neal Lartigue is warning citizens of a phone scamming where someone calls collect and says that a family member of yours may be injured or dying and asks you to accept the charges.  Sometimes these calls are coming from institutional places such as prisons and penitentiaries. Once a collect call is accepted the caller then uses a three way system to obtain your phone information and then places calls that are billed to your account.  When you receive your next phone bill you could see charges in the hundreds of dollars.  “Never accept collect calls from someone you don’t know” Chief Lartigue said, “Institutions such as prisons will not call you collect if you have a family member incarcerated.”


According to a spokesperson at the Louisiana State Penitentiary the nurse or doctor would call only the person listed as a medical contact of an inmate and would never call that person collect.  If you are not listed as the medical contact then you would not receive a call. 


Chief Lartigue warns that the call may not be from a prison or penitentiary.  The call could be collect from someone saying that someone is hurt and needs your help.  Be warned that these people are trying to scare your or worry you into accepting the charges because you are worried about a loved one.  If someone were injured and needed help a police department or hospital would contact a family member.  None of these agencies will call anyone collect.


 “No agency, prison, penitentiary, police department, hospital or official department of any kind will call anyone collect.”  Chief Lartigue stated, “Hang up and check on your family member by calling directly.

Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet


     The Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce held its annual awards night banquet Wednesday night at the Ville Platte Civic Center. The emcee for the event was Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel.

      Selected as Ville Platte’s Man of the Year was Dr. William “Tojo” Ward, chairman of the Parish Industrial Development Board. The Ville Platte Woman of the Year was Rita Fontenot, chairperson of the Belaire Cove Crawfish Cookoff.

    The Ville Platte Business of the Year was selected to be Paul’s Meat Market and Grocery while the Business Person of the Year was Cody Vidrine, owner of Ace Hardware.

     Evangeline Parish County Agent Keith Fontenot announced that the 2013 Farmer/Rancher of the Year was Dave Morein, a soybean and rice farmer.

     Chamber Executive Director Camille Fontenot made a surprise presentation to Floyd Soileau, owner operator of Floyd’s Record Shop who after operating for more than 50 years closed its doors last year


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