Local News Archives for 2014-12

Appeals Court Ruled In Favor Police Chief Lartigue


DECEMBER 30, 2014


       An appeals court panel issued a ruling today upholding a lower court decision against a challenge against Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue. The ruling released this morning by a panel of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, Judges Gene Thibodeaux, Jimmie Peters and James Genovese.

      Linton Fontenot and Glenn LeLeux had filed a lawsuit challenging the residency requirements for Ville Platte Chief of Police Neal Lartigue. 13th Judicial District Court Judge Thomas Fuselier had ruled against the plaintiffs saying the challenge was too late.  The time period to challenge a candidate is during the qualifying period. No challenge was made.Both Fontenot and LeLeux , former candidates for chief of police,  filed an appeal with the Third Circuit.

    The Appeals Court affirmed the trial court ruling.

Evangeline Parish Police Jury Special Meeting

December 29, 2014

The Evangeline Parish Police Jury

The Evangeline Parish Police Jury opened up a public hearing tonight at 5:15 to allow anyone who would like to speak regarding the proposed amendments to the 2014 Budget and the proposed 2015 Budget.  No one chose to speak during public comments.

President, Ryan Ardoin, then opened the Special Meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and prayer.  The police jury approved the 2014 Amended Budgets and discussion began on the proposed 2015 Budget.  Police Juror, Bryan Vidrine, made a few adjustments in the budget by increasing funding to the Chip and Seal projects in Wards 4 and 5, as well as including funding for a “dog pound” which would cost approximately $700,000.00 to build.  The Jury then approved the 2015 Budget, along with the Acadiana Crime Lab Budget.  They also adopted the Capital Outlay Plan for 2015-2017, and they adopted the “Monitoring Plan Resolution”.

One of the items on the agenda was the discuss appointing an “Agent of Record” for Workers Compensation Insurance.  Phil Lemoine and Allan Farr both spoke before the Jury and told of their experience and offered ways to save the Jury money on their insurance.  There was much discussion between the Jury members as to whether an Agent of Record was needed and how it would benefit them compared to how things are now.  Juror, Bryan Vidrine said he did not think it was a service needed right now and that “Our staff does the work and I don’t see what anyone else is going to do different.”  Lamar Johnson suggested waiting 6-8 weeks to see other proposals.  Ultimately, Vice President, Ryan Williams made a motion to appoint Phil Lemoine as the Agent of record for the term of one year to start and a cap on commission of $2,500.00.  Juror, Rocky Rider, seconded the motion and the majority of the Police Jury passed the motion.

The Jury also awarded low bids to the following contractors in their respective category: J&J Exterminating, Guillory Oil Co., Inc., Jody Cloud, Louisiana CAT, Asphalt Products, and Coastal Culvert out of Eunice.  The low bid for Limestone will be announced January 12th.

Suspect Arrested in Ville Platte Shooting

Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue reports the following information and will update when more information is available.


On Tuesday December 23,2014 At approximately 10:30 pm Officers responded to a report of a shooting in the 600 block of North Chataignier. Upon arrival officers found a male  with a gunshot wound in the upper part of his leg. The victim was transported by Acadian Ambulance for medical treatment and later released.  Chief Lartigue stated that they have one suspect in custody and the investigation is ongoing.

If you have any information regarding this or any other illegal activity, you are asked to call the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.  Your call will remain anonymous.

Christmas Lighting Contest Winners


DECEMBER 22, 2014


    According to the Magnolia Garden Club, here are the results of the Christmas  Lighting  Contest in Ville Platte:

    The Overall Christmas Award  Winner was given to Dr. and Mrs. Dale Reed at 1568 East Main;

    The Christmas Spirit Award Winner for Overall Lighting was awarded to Billy Rich at 304 North Coreil;

    The Christmas Spirit Appreciation Award went to the Ludeau Family residence on LaSalle street;

    Also the Christmas Spirit award went to the Jay Aswell family residence at 1110 LaSalle street;

     The Civic Award winner was La Belle Maison at 523 West Main;

    Another Christmas Spirit Award went to the Kermit Miller residence at 210 Pecan Street and the Chris Briley home at 706 West Magnolia Street. Thanks to everyone who participated in the Christmas Lighting contest.

Two Suspects Arrested in Shooting

Chief Neal Lartigue reports two arrested for attempted second degree murder.


As a follow up to the December 17th press release which involved the shooting of a man on East Beech Street, Chief Lartigue has stated that two men have been arrested. A warrant of arrest was issued on December 20, 2014 on the following suspects:

Kwan Divinski Anderson 30 of 1930 Marshal Frank Drive, Ville Platte was arrested and charged with attempted second degree murder.  Anderson was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and his bond was set at $200,000.00 by Judge John Larry Vidrine.  Anderson was later transported to the Evangeline Parish Jail where he remains incarcerated.


Willie A. Jones 23 of 516 Rev. E.D. Alfred Street, Ville Platte was arrested and charged with attempted second degree murder.  Jones was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and his bond was set at $200,000.00 by Judge John Larry Vidrine.  Jones was later transported to the Evangeline Parish Jail where he remains incarcerated.

Chief Lartigue stated that the case is still under investigation and more arrests are possible.  If anyone has any information regarding this case or any other illegal activity, you are asked to call the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.  Your call will remain anonymous.

Appeal Filed In Ville Platte Chief Residency Case

Police Chief Lawsuit Case Appealed to Court of Appeals

December 19, 2014


      The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals will be hearing the lawsuit asking the court to throw out the results of the December 6 election because the Ville Platte Chief of Police does not reside in Ville Platte. Police chief candidates Linton Fontenot and Glenn LeLeux are the plaintiffs against Police Chief Neal Lartigue who was re elected December 6.

    A hearing on the lawsuit was heard Thursday afternoon in 13th Judicial District Court with Judge Tom Fuselier presiding. No witnesses were called. The court heard from both attorneys: Walter Clawson representing the plaintiffs and Brent Coreil representing Chief Lartigue.

    Judge Fuselier ruled against the plaintiffs saying they waited too long to file their challenge. The law states candidacy challenges must be filed within 7 days after qualifying.

    Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel confirmed to KVPI News that an appeal has been filed in his office today. The appeal will be hand delivered to the Appeal’s Court in Lake Charles on Monday. Due to the Christmas holiday break, the case will probably be heard Monday December 29

Judge Dismisses Law Suite Against Neal Lartigue


DECEMBER 19, 2014


    13th Judicial District Court Judge Thomas Fuselier Thursday dismissed a lawsuit filed by Linton Fontenot and Glenn LeLeux against Ville Platte Chief of Police Neal Lartigue. Fontenot and LeLeux were candidates in the race for Chief of Police in Ville Platte in which incumbent Neal Lartigue won re-election. The lawsuit challenged the residency of Lartigue that he currently resides out of town. Judge Fuselier said the time had expired over challenging the residency requirements of a political candidate. The plaintiffs should have filed the challenge within seven days of the qualifying period. No witnesses were heard. The attorney representing the plaintiffs was Walter Clawson. The attorney representing Neal Lartigue was Brent Coreil.

Ville Platte Rotary Hears ABout Rotary Foundation


DECEMBER 9, 2014


     The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from Leonard Fontenot who spoke on Rotary Foundation and Paul Harris Fellows. A Paul Harris Fellow is a designation given to Rotarians who contribute $1000 to the Rotary Foundation. The Foundation is the giving arm of Rotary International that helps people all around the world. Their main emphasis is the total eradication of Polio around the world. Fontenot explained that the Ville Platte club assists  2 members  each year become a Paul Harris fellow by matching half of the cost or $500 to Rotary International.

       It was announced that the Sacred Heart Interact Club  raised about $300 in their recent fund raiser for Rotary International.

Ville Platte City Council Meeting

Ville Platte City Council Meeting

December 9, 2014

The Ville Platte City Council held its monthly meeting tonight (Tuesday) at City Hall.  

City Hall and the Council Room are beautifully decorated for the holidays.  Mayor, Jennifer Vidrine, reported her staff was responsible for the gorgeous Christmas decorating and as of tonight, there are 55 Christmas trees throughout City Hall.  She invited everyone to bring the family and come and walk through.  Feel free to take pictures for the holidays.  It is well worth the trip!

The Mayor was happy to report that November expenditures came in at $189,013.58, and that is down $21,038.37 from the month of October, when expenditures were $210,051.95.  

She was also pleased to announce that the Sales Tax Comparison is UP 19.2% from this time last year.  The Mayor thanked everyone for shopping locally and especially thanked business owners for having the type of businesses that make people want to stay in our area and shop.

More good news from the meeting…Helping Hands made a donation and presented a check to Mayor Vidrine for the Boys & Girls Club in the amount of $1,000.00; and Reverend Matthew Alfred, Jr. and members of his congregation at the Eastern Seventh District Baptist Association presented the mayor with a donation to the Boys & Girls Club for $1,225.00.  City Engineer reports that modified plans have been submitted to the Fire Marshall’s office in hopes that they will be able to open the Boys & Girls Club soon.

Councilman, Taranza Arvie, was recognized for his 8 years on the council and his service to the people of his district and Ville Platte.  Councilman Arvie commented saying “I never considered myself a politician, only a public servant.  I will continue to work in the community, and I thank you for allowing me to serve.”

The council approved a resolution to approach the Evangeline Parish School Board about “studying and exploring” having a French Immersion program put into our schools.  The mayor reported they have been working with Codofil to help promote French Immersion in Ville Platte.  She said “We are doing this to help keep our French culture going.”

Also, the council voted to approve a $50,000 application for a LGAP grant to move forward with the Master Plan at the Northside Civic Center.  This grant would be used for basketball courts and then they will move onto other aspects such as walking trail, water park splash pad and playground equipment.  They should know something about the approval sometime around the beginning of the legislative session.

It was announced that the new Mayor Pro-Temp will now be Councilman, Jerry Joseph.

The council approved the hiring of two full-time and two part-time police officers for the Ville Platte City Police Department.  They also approved the painting of a new mural inside the MLK Center reflecting black history makers.  They hope to have the mural finished by February, which is Black History Month.

Phase II of the Water Project is finishing up.  They are currently “killing old lines that are still leaking”, and dressing up areas from earlier projects.  

The Mayor announced there will be an Ethics meeting on Monday, December 15th at 10:00 a.m.  City Hall will be closed from 9:30 a.m. until Noon so employees can attend.   The mayor invites any governmental employee in the parish to attend and reminds employees ethics training is mandatory every year.  You can contact City Hall for more information.

The Mayor said on behalf of herself and the City Council, “Merry Christmas, and we hope you all pass a good time!”

Evangeline Parish Police Jury French Meeting


DECEMBER 9, 2014


    The Evangeline Parish Police Jury today (Tuesday) held their December meeting at the courthouse and it was conducted in the French language. There was a standing room only crowd of VIP’s, Public Officials and special guests watched as Police Juror Eric Soileau conducted the meeting. KVPI’s Jim Soileau led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance while Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel offered the opening prayer. The entire meeting was broadcast live over KVPI 1050 AM.

   Former Secretary Treasurer Wilbert Ardoin recognized guests include: former Secretary Treasurer Doug Deville, Turkey Creek Mayor Heather Cloud, Assessor Dirk Deville, City Marshal Rondl Doucet, Library Director Mary Foster Galosso, Chamber Director Camille Fontenot, City Judge Elect Greg Vidrine, Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine, former school board member J.D. Soileau, Ville Platte Police Chief Neil lartigue, State Rep. Bernard LeBas, State Senator Eric Lafleur and District Court Judge Elect Chuck West.

   Gilbert “Winky” Aucoin , who spearheaded the Folk Roots Festival at Chicot Park for the past several years, announced that he and a group of young musicians are forming a new cultural organization. The aim of the group is to have a yearly festival at Chicot Park in April something similar to what Folk Roots was doing. If the group is successful, they plan to help fund a French Immersion program and to support Cajun and Creole music in Evangeline Parish.

   Charles Larocque, Director of Codofil commended the police jury in their efforts to have an annual all French meeting. “You appreciate the value of our heritage. We must recover our language. We want to encourage our young people to stay here in Evangeline Parish and South Louisiana and not move to Houston, Atlanta and other major cities out of state,” he said. He announced that Codofil will have an office in Ville Platte at City Hall.

   The police jury approved a resolution offered by State Senator Eric Lafleur requesting the Evangeline Parish School Board to consider implementing a French immersion school. Lafleur said Evangeline Parish, despite having the largest bi-lingual population in the state , is the only parish in Acadiana without a French immersion school.

    The police jury:

--approved applying for a $100,000 grant in Community Development Block funds to provide additional security measures at the courthouse and the police jury offices.

--appointed Gerald Duplechain to replace Wade Riley on the Parish Library board and appointed Glen Holden to replace Johnny Deshotel on the Industrial Development Board;

--received a report from Secretary Treasurer Donald Bergeron that sales Tax collections increased 9.4 percent to $313,000 for November.

Stephanie Ware Named KVPI News Director

KVPI Names News Director

December 8, 2014


    KVPI General Manager Mark Layne announced today that Stephanie Ware has been named as News Director for KVPI AM and FM.

    Layne announced that Ware has been covering all of the governmental meetings for both radio stations for the past three months. In addition, she has been doing interviews with news makers and covered KVPI election returns.

    “We’re proud of her talents in such a short time with us and we felt it was time  to give her the recognition she has earned by naming her  News Director for both KVPI AM and FM”, said Layne.

Election Results December 6

Run-Off Elections

December 6, 2014


Well, the elections are finally over and the voters once again have spoken.  Before we get to the results here locally, we would like to thank everyone who got out and voted in the primary and run-off elections.

Stephanie Ware and Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court, Randy Deshotel covered the elections tonight and here are the final results:

Bill Cassidy defeated Incumbent, Mary Landrieu, by receiving 6,336 votes in our Parish to Ms. Landrieu’s 4,101 votes

City Court Judge for the City of Ville Platte – Gregory Vidrine won with 2,956 votes over Betsy Jackson with 2,476 votes

Chief of Police for the City of Ville Platte – Incumbent, Neil Lartigue kept his position by receiving 1,688 votes over Linton Fontenot’s 1,246 votes

Chief of Police for the Town of Mamou – Robert McGee won with 580 votes to Katina Richard with 496 votes

Chief of Police for the Village of Turkey Creek – Robert Glenn Leggett won with 109 votes to Louis Dale Marcantel with 66 votes

Alderman District 3 for the Town of Mamou – Charles Reed won with 129 votes over Derryl T. Glyn Brunet with 127 votes

Alderman District E for the City of Ville Platte – Incumbent, Donald Sam won with 310 votes over Jerry Botley with 249 votes

Alderman District F for the City of Ville Platte – Bryant Riggs won with 282 votes over Shounda Smith Jack with 214 votes

Town of Basille – Millage Renewal for another 10 years – 1456 Yes’s and 88 voting against


The Duralde Gravity Drainage District No. 4   8.17 millage tax renewal passing with 87 votes for and 28 votes against it.

Thanks going out to Clerk of Court, Randy Deshotel and the entire staff in his office, as well as all of the commissioners who worked during this election year.

Appeals Court Order New Election in Turkey Creek


DECEMBER 3, 2014


     The Third Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled today in the law suit filed by Turkey Creek Mayor Heather Miley Cloud who lost in the November Primary election by four votes to her opponent Bert Keith Campbell. She had filed a lawsuit claiming fraud was involved in the election and she had documents from at least four residents who said they were paid to vote for Campbell. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals today reversed the trial court’s judgment dismissing the lawsuit. The Appeals Court also strikes the four illegal votes declaring a tie between the two candidates and ordered the trial court judge, Judge Joel Davis of Allen Parish, to set a new election date to be held. The Appeals Court Judges who ruled in the matter were Sylvia Cooks, Billy Ezell and Phyllis Keaty. The attorneys for Mayor Cloud are Anne Watson and Elbert Guillory of Opelousas while the attorneys for Campbell are Wendel Fuselier of Ville Platte.and Ray Rush of Oakdale.

Food Drive was a success despite cold weather

Food for Families Food Drive A Success

December 3, 2014


       Despite a cold wind blowing for most of the morning hours but improving weather conditions in the afternoon, the 2014 Food For Families Food Drive conducted by KLFY TV 10 and Food Net was a success throughout the Acadiana drop off points including Evangeline Parish. Here in Evangeline Parish the drop off points were the Civic Center Pavillion in Ville Platte and in Mamou at St. Ann Church parking Lot. On behalf of everyone at Christian Care and Center, thank you for your food and monetary donations. About 5 tons of food and over $1500 in monetary donations was collected in Ville Platte which is slightly less than last year. However Care and Share Center officials are expecting additional donations today for those who did not have the opportunity.

Opelousas Lighthouse Ministry Special Guests at Rotary Meeting


DECEMBER 2, 2014


    The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from Mike Fontenot and Johnny Carrier of the Opelousas Lighthouse Ministry, a faith based 32 bed homeless shelter for men.  Fontenot said 90 percent of the men that come to the shelter are referred from hospitals, prisons, additions or job loss. The facility is structured and has a strict set of rules. All men are required to do some of job while they reside at the shelter. The average length of stay ranges from 2-4 months. The goal is to return the men to become self sustaining. The facility includes a working garden and green house , computers and transportation support. The two were special guests of Rotarian Dr. Ted Ardoin.

    Rotarians were reminded that the Rotary Wheel  and Interact Club students will be participating  in the Chamber of Commerce Christmas parade this Sunday at 5;30pm.

    The annual Rotary Christmas social is planned for next Tuesday Dec. 9 at 6:00pm at Nicks on Main.


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