Local News Archives for 2014-03

Ville Platte Police Investigating Armed Robbery and Homicide

Armed Robbery Suspects at large.


On March 27, 2014 at approximately 11:00 p.m. the Ville Platte Police Department received a phone call reporting an armed robbery in the 700 block of West Main Street.  Upon arrival officers learned that two masked male suspects entered the store and demanded the money from the register.  One male suspect was wearing a black jacket and the other male suspect was wearing a camouflage jacket. The suspects took an undisclosed amount of money and exited the store heading East on West Main Street. 


Chief Neal Lartigue is asking citizens to call in if they may have seen these suspects running in the area last night or know any information that may relate to this robbery. 

You can call in anonymously and help remove these criminals from our streets.  The Ville Platte Police Department phone number is 363-1313.


On March 28, 2014 shortly before noon the Ville Platte Police Department responded to a domestic disturbance complaint at 543 Prosper Street apartment 11.  Upon arrival officers found a male subject inside the residence with a stab wound.  The male subject was transported to Mercy Regional Medical center where he later succumbed to his injuries.


The name of the deceased is not being released pending notification of family.  No further information is available at this time and Chief Lartigue stated that this incident is still under investigation.

Ville Platte Police Make Arrests

Chief Neal Lartigue reports multiple arrests, one solving a case from December 2013.


On March 25, 2014 the Ville Platte Police Department made an arrest on a case that has remained open since December 2013.  Detective Steven Deville reports that the case involved money stolen from a local business by an employee.  Upon completion of his investigation Detective Deville was unable to execute the warrant since the suspect had gone into hiding.  The warrant was executed without incident on March 25, 2014.  Arrested was Donald L. James 42, of 119 Armand Street, Ville Platte.   James was charged with felony theft over $500.00.  James 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 March 20, 2014 the Ville Platte Police Department received a report of a break in at a local business on East LaSalle.  Upon arrival the officers discovered damage to the building and multiple items had been stolen.   Detective Chateuse James was assigned the case and video surveillance and completion of her investigation led to the arrest of Ricky Joseph 37, of 1211 West Hickory Street, Ville Platte.  Joseph was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and charged with simple burglary, theft over $1,200.00 and simple criminal damage to property.  Joseph remains incarcerated on a $7,500.00 bond set by Judge Thomas Fuselier.


On March 26, 2014 The Ville Platte Police Department responded to a call of an employee shoplifting at a business on Tate Cove Road.  Officers responded and gathered information and arrested Jeremy Granger 34 of 3405 Vidrine Road.  Granger was transported to the Ville Platte City Jail where he was charged with simple theft and has since bonded out on a $500.00 bond.



Chief Neal Lartigue reminds citizens of Ville Platte to be diligent and continue to report suspicious activity.  All calls to the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313 will remain anonymous

Rotary Club Hears from School Superintendent on Common Core


MARCH 25, 2014


   The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from Evangeline Superintendent of Schools Toni Hamlin explain the new Common Core standards used in parish schools and throughout the state.

   Hamlin said 45 states have adopted common core standards and objectives in their curriculum. Along with the standards will come new national tests beginning in the 2015-2016 school year. She said there have been a lot of misinformation about common core from some groups who are opposed to  national standards.

   In other business, Rotary Club President Bill Brunet

-- reported that there will be a retirement party for Brenda Saucier from 5-8pm today at La Veille Banque. Saucier is retiring from Hancock Bank;

--announced that there will be a 100th year celebration for the Ville Platte Gazette April 10 from 4-6pm at the Ville Platte Civic Center;

--recognized Sacred Heart High student Emily Claire Soileau, the daughter of Joey and Kim Soileau, who has been named the Rotary Club District Student of the Year;

--received news that a mobile pantry will be distributing food to needy individuals every fourth Wednesday of the month from 11:30-1:30 at the Ville Platte Civic Center beginning tomorrow;  T here are no costs to the individual;

--heard from Mable Forman announce that the Viet Nam Veterans are sponsoring a gun raffle at $3 a ticket, and the Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society is scheduled for April 3.

Rotary Club Hears From Caption Call Representative


MARCH 18, 2014


     The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from Toya King explain the Caption Call phone service for the hearing impaired. King said this no cost service is offered to residents who are deaf or who have a hearing loss. The program is funded through a federal surcharge on home phone service. To qualify for the Caption Call, a resident must have a land line, have a doctor certified that you are suffering with hearing loss and your home has access to internet service. If you qualify, the special phone will be installed that displays easy to read text. King was the special guest of Rotarian Mable Forman.

    In other business, Rotarian Larry Lachney reported that the Sacred Heart Student of the Year is Interact Club President Emily Claire Soileau. The Interact club conducted bingo games at Heritage Manor Nursing Home and sold two more bricks for the prayer garden project. The student club is planning to collect flip flops and medical items to send to needy families in another country.

   In other action, the rotary club:

--heard from Rotary President Bill Brunet announce that the club will join with the Welsh Rotary Club to prepare a crawfish etoufee for the State Rotary Club convention;

--received news that the city will sponsor a city wide garage sale Saturday April 5 from 6:30am to 12 midnight at the Allen Ortego Downtown Park. Residents are urged to bring their tables, chairs and petty cash to sell their merchandise.

Ville Platte Chamber Hears from La. Hospice Officials


MARCH 17, 2014


     The Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce met today (Monday) for their regular meeting of the month. The guest speaker was Rose Campbell with Louisiana Hospice and Palliative Care. Campbell along with Paul Shexnayder and Fran Guillory explained the services that their agency offers to patients facing end stage illnesses. Campbell announced that Louisiana Hospice is the only local hospice agency serving a fifty mile radius of Ville Platte. Louisiana Hospice also provides a bereavement service and grief counseling after the death of the family member. The agency has just begun a grief support group that meets the first Monday of each month. Fran Guillory urged the public to get involved as a hospice volunteer. She said it “is fulfilling and rewarding.”

     Chamber Member Ben LeBleu gave an update report on the chamber sponsored July 4th celebration. LeBleu said a committee is finalizing plans to have a parade down Main Street, followed by a Classic Car Show and a Family Fun Day at the Courthouse Square.

    In other action the chamber executive director Camille Fontenot:

- notified  chamber members that workers are replacing the roof on the Chamber building approved by the city council;

--reminded chamber members that the annual Chamber Banquet is planned for May 1 at the Ville Platte Civic Center.  Volunteers are needed to help with the silent auction and decorations;

--announced that the chamber is sponsoring a bus trip to Angola on May 21;

--reported that the city is sponsoring a Community Treasures Garage Sale at the Allen Ortego Town Square Park April 5 from 7:00am to 2;00pm.

KVPI-FM Awarded 2014 Radio Station of the Year by Louisiana Association of Broadcasters

KVPI-FM Radio Station of the Year


    The Louisiana Association of Broadcasters awarded KVPI-FM the prestigious “Radio Station of the Year” award on Wednesday during their Prestige Awards luncheon held in Baton Rouge. KVPI-FM, Oldies 92.5, was recognized for its dedication to community service programming to Ville Platte, Evangeline Parish and all of South Central Louisiana.

     In 2013, KVPI-FM aired 53 “Let’s Talk about It” community service interview shows of 15 minutes or more. The shows ranged from the 4-H Livestock Show with County Agent Todd Fontenot in January to a special interview show featuring local ministers airing on Christmas Day.

     KVPI-FM was involved with many community events in 2013. Among the live remotes we covered include: 4-H Livestock Show in January, Swamp Pop Museum and the Mamou Mardi Gras in February; Boggy Bayou Festival, Autism Walk and the Folk Roots Festival in April; Election Returns and Senior Day remote in May; Live all day radio auction for Dixie Youth, Smoked Meat Festival  and the French Showcase in Chataignier in June; Mamou Cajun Music Festival in September; Cotton Festival, High School Career Day and the St. Edmunds Radio Auction in October; Swine Festival in Basile in November and the Food for Families Food Drive in December.

    The Louisiana Association of Broadcasters also noted that KVPI-FM continues its tradition of local Cajun French language programming including local newscasts, La Tasse De Café live call-in shows and the Tradio program all conducted in French.

    KVPI-FM continues to promote and support our unique form of South Louisiana rock and roll known as “Swamp Pop”. We program Swamp Pop music all day on Fridays. Every year, we co-sponsor a Swamp Pop dance for the benefit of the Louisiana Swamp Pop museum located in Ville Platte.

    During 2013, KVPI Sports was very busy covering local sports. We covered more than 175 local sporting events in 2013 including high school football, basketball, baseball and softball, LSU Eunice basketball, baseball and softball along with Dixie Youth baseball and Pony softball. Our coverage also included LSU football, baseball and basketball. Travel wise, KVPI-FM was again all over the state and the country. We followed the LSU Eunice softball team to Mississippi and Texas, LSU Eunice baseball team to Oklahoma and the Mamou and Ville Platte Pony softball teams to Texas. KVPI-FM followed the Fairview Lady Panthers basketball team to the state tournament where they won another state championship

Ville Platte Lady Bulldogs Honored During City Council Meeting


MARCH 11, 2014


    The Ville Platte City Council Tuesday recognized the Ville Platte High School Lady Bulldogs who ended up as the runner-up in Class 3-A basketball at the recent Top 28 tournament last week in Lake Charles. The team ended the season with a 32-2 record.

     The coaching staff and the entire team along with parents were given a standing ovation by the city council, mayor and the audience.  Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine praised the team by saying “You made us all proud. You showed everybody what girl power can do. You put Ville Platte on the map and made a positive impact .”

      Head Coach Dot Doulet was presented large plaques from Mayor Jennifer Vidrine and the entire team posed for photos from audience members. The team was treated to pizza and drinks after the meeting.

      Mayor Vidrine announced that the team will be riding in a special parade Saturday at 5:00pm on the city fire truck from Citizen’s Bank down Main street to Mercy Regional Medical Center and then on to the Grand Pavillion at city park where a special reception will be held along with a DJ and music. The public is invited to attend.

    In other news, Police Chief Neal Lartigue demonstrated the new mini cameras that city police officers will be wearing when they go out on a call. The city approved the purchase of these small body cameras for each police officer.  Mayor Jennifer Vidrine said these cameras will provide extra safety for the officer and the public. The city will pay $150 each for these cameras.

   In other business, the city council:

--approved the Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce request to obtain a liquor permit for their annual Chamber banquet on May 1;

--received a report from Fire Chief Ted Demourelle that his department responded to 15 calls in the city, seven of which were structure fires during February;

--heard from Police Chief Neal Lartigue report that the police department responded to 641 calls, worked 27 traffic accidents, issued 39 citations and made nine felony arrests;

--received a report from Mayor Jennifer Vidrine that the city spent $54,395 more in February than it did in January due to quarterly payments that came due.

Ville Platte Rotary Club Meeting


MARCH  11, 2014


        Barbara Thibodeaux, pre need specialist with Ardoin’s Funeral Home, was the featured guest speaker at today’s (Tuesday) meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club. Thibodeaux advised Rotarians to make important decisions now instead of waiting at a time when the family is grieving . She said the average funeral expense  today is $7595-$8595. Also contrary to what is being advertised on TV commercials, not every single person will get a death benefit from Social Security.

       Rotary Club President Bill Brunet reminded club members that the annual Rotary Club convention is scheduled for March 28 and 29 in Port Allen. The Ville Platte club will join with the Crowley club in preparing a meal.

Evangeline Police Jury Approve Health Insurance Quote


MARCH 10, 2014


       Health insurance took center stage Monday during a meeting of the Evangeline Parish Police Jury Monday night. After much discussion following a presentation by David Broussard with Lemoine Insurance Agency, the jury approved renewing its group health insurance plan through Blue Cross at a 3.6 percent increase in premiums. Broussard said the jury’s share will increase by $1,000 a month. The coverage will change as a result of the Affordable Health Care Act especially in out of network benefits. Currently the parish pays 90 percent of an employee’s premium and 50 percent of the family  premium.

     Also, the jury approved adding Aflac as a supplemental plan for parish employees who want to purchase it through pre- tax dollars.

     Another issue facing the jury was the growing liter problem on both parish and state roads. The jury approved a resolution asking the governor to assist with funding or changing the regulations on using state inmates on litter abatement programs. Currently, the state has mandated that to use state inmates to clean up state highways, the governmental agency must have someone who has undergone a 30 day course of instruction and become certified in litter abatement.

     In other action the police jury:

--approved a resolution to award the low quote of Phillips General Contracting of  $221,700 for improvements to the Crooked Creek Pavillion; Also the jury approved another resolution to spend up to $25,000 on bridge work and improvements on Morgan Road. Both projects are being funded from the Ike/Gustav recovery fund;

--approved the low quote of Dale Trahan Backhoe and  Dozer of Rayne of $4.52 a foot to make drainage improvements to a section of Bayou Des Cannes;

--received news that the Evangeline Parish Soil and Water Conservation Service will be honoring Earl Fontenot Jr. who is retiring  after 47 years of service. A special reception for Fontenot will take place March 19 from 9-10 am at the LSU Ag Center.

Bomb Threat at Evasngeline Parish Courthouse

The Evangeline Parish Courthouse was evacuated shortly before noon today (Friday) because of a phoned-in bomb threat. The courthouse was vacated all afternoon while fire department personnel and other investigative officials began searching each office for a possible explosive. Evangeline Parish District Attorney Trent Brignac told KVPI that he is offering a $1000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the subject that called in the bomb threat. Brignac warns that that a person found guilty of such a crime facing a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.


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KVPI AM and FM are

proud members of the L.A.B.

KVPI is a member of the

LSU Sports Radio Network

Proud supporter of our own

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.