Local News Archives for 2015-01

KVPI's Jenn and Steph Were Guest Speakers at Chamber Meeting

January 21, 2015


The Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce held its monthly meeting today at noon at Nick’s on Main.  There was a very nice turnout of Chamber members.  KVPI’s Jenn Meylian and Stephanie Ware of The 2 Non-Blonde’s Café were special guest speakers and they spoke about their broadcasting careers and the birth and growth of their morning show.  Winky Aucoin, Lyndsey Young and Tony Davoren with Prairie Heritage, LLC were also guest speakers and spoke about the upcoming event “Le Grand Hurrah” to be held at Chicot State Park on April 10th and 11th.  They are working very hard to make this a grand event and ask that everyone support their efforts in putting it all together.  It’s a great event for our area.

Executive Director, Camille Fontenot announced that the Christmas Parade was a great success and was happy that they were able to get the Coca-Cola truck this year.  She thanked those and City Hall and Mayor, Jennifer Vidrine, for helping with those efforts.  She also thanked Clerk of Court, Randy Deshotel, for the use of his beautiful home for the After Hours chamber event.  She announced that the Chamber Banquet is going to be held April 29th at the Ville Platte Civic Center.  At that time, the Man & Woman of the Year, Agriculturer of the Year along with other awards will be given.

Chamber Member, Susan Fisher with St. Landry – Evangeline United Way, announced that the Women with Heart event will be held at the Opelousas Civic Center on February 6th.  She also announced that the Harley Ambassadors will again be visiting Pine Prairie and Ville Platte High School on February 11th speaking with 4th, 5th and 6th graders about “real life and how to make smart choices”. 

The next Chamber meeting has been scheduled for February 25th.

Ville Platte Rotary Club Hears from Family Tree Spokesman


JANUARY 21, 2015


     The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from Kelli Landry, a case worker  with The Family Tree Information, Education and Counseling Center in Lafayette.  Kelly is involved in the “Healthy Start” program, a federally funded program designed to reduce infant mortality. The program targets high risk African American women who are pregnant or who have young children.

    The program is designed to help women in Evangeline, Lafayette, St. Martin, Iberville and Acadia parishes. She reported that the infant mortality rate in Evangeline Parish is at 9 percent which is three times the national average. She is currently going to the library, health unit and other public places to meet with women in need. The program also assists with depression screening, anger management and basic health.

     Rotary Club President Elect Mitch Fontenot reported on last weekend’s Mid Year Assembly for Rotary District 6200. He announced that the annual District Conference is scheduled for April 16-18 in Crowley and urged rotary members to attend.

Pedestrian Killed in Evangeline Parish


Evangeline Parish- On January 16, 2015, shortly before 5:00 a.m., Louisiana State Police Troop I responded to a crash on LA Highway 13 north of LA Highway 374 that claimed the life of a Eunice man.

The preliminary investigation revealed that 64-year-old Keith Stakes of Eunice, LA was walking in the southbound travel lane, when he was struck by a 1996 Chevrolet Silverado driven by 46-year-old Billy Hubbard of Ville Platte, La.

Stakes was transported to a local hospital where he later died as a result of his injuries.  Hubbard and his passenger were wearing seat belts and were not injured.   

Toxicology samples were taken from Stakes and were submitted to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis.  Hubbard submitted to a chemical test and was not impaired.  

This crash remains under investigation.

Evangeline Parish School Board Meeting January 14, 2015

The Evangeline Parish School Board held its bi-monthly meeting tonight in the School Board Media Room.  Attorney, Betsy Jackson, swore in School Board Members, President, Wayne Dardeau, Vice President, Scott Limoges, Peggy Foreman, Georgianna Wilson, Wanda Skinner, Arthur Savoy, Lonnie Sonnier and Ellis Guillory.  Board Members, Mike Fontenot and Darrin Vidrine were in attendance, but had previously been sworn in.

Supervisor, Linda Lafleur, addressed the board with proposed changes to the “Remediation” program for 4th and 8th grade students.  The Board approved the change of making the remediation period 4 days in May instead of the 6 days leading into June as it is now.  Normal Summer School will remain the same.


Chief Financial Officer, Amy Lafleur, gave the sales tax comparison and reported that collections for the month of December of the 2014-15 school year were $548,027.73 compared to $455,345.25 for the 2013-2014 school year.  That is an increase of $92,682.48.


Again, discussions turned to the PARC Assessment and the Common Core program as the Board was presented with two Resolutions from other parishes asking the State of Louisiana to grant a moratorium on sanctions being imposed if a school district is not ready in time for the PARC testing (St. Mary Parish School Board); and asking the State to remove itself from the Common Core Standards and charge the Louisiana Board of Education with developing a new standard (St. Tammany Parish School Board).  After discussions were had, the Board adopted the Resolutions.  They will have no effect on Evangeline Parish.


Superintendent, Toni Hamlin, congratulated newest Board Member, Mike Fontenot from the Mamou area for being with the Board.  She also announced the first Executive Committee meeting will be on Tuesday, January 27th at 2:00 p.m. in the Media Center.  Peggy Foremen has agreed to head that committee again this year.  This Friday will be a staff development day so educators can continue to receive up-to-date training.


Ms. Hamlin also congratulated Mamou High School for receiving two grants this week.  The School received a $5,000.00 grant from Lowe’s Home Improvement for beautification and improvement to the campus; and also a $1,000.00 grant from the new Walmart Express newly opened in Mamou.

Ville Platte City Council Meeting - January 13, 2015

January 13, 2015

Ville Platte City Council


The Ville Platte City Council held its monthly meeting this evening at City Hall.  Mayor, Jennifer Vidrine, officially welcomed the newest member of the City Council, Bryant Riggs, and presented him with his official name plate. 


Jumping forward to the end of the meeting, Mayor Vidrine and the council surprised Councilman, C.J. Dardeau with a cake, plaque and celebration for not only his 79th birthday for his 38 years as as a public servant.  His family was there to surprise him as well.


CPA, Vic Slaven reported good news to the Council and the Mayor by announcing his findings during the recent city audit.  The Mayor and Council were very pleased when he reported a surplus of $512,906.00.  The good news kept coming as the Mayor reported expenditures for the month of December were $164,491.08 compared to $189,013.58 for the month of November.  The city spent $24,522.50 less in December.  The Mayor thanked all of the City Hall staff and supervisors for doing such a great job and doing what they needed to.


The Summer Feeding Program will take place again this year for any child age 1 – 18.  It will start the 1st Monday in June and will take place daily at Ville Platte High School.  The City sponsors the program; however, spends no funds on it as they receive grant money to fund the program.  No one will be required to fill out any paperwork in order to take advantage of the program and there will be buses on both sides of town to pick children up to go and eat, and then bring them back.


The Mayor and City Council congratulated and presented a plaque to Carlton “Duece” Doucet for his 16 years of faithful service as a city employee.  “Duece” retired in November.


There were two donations presented to the Mayor for The Boys & Girls Club.  The first came in the amount of $200.00 from the Evangeline Community Theatre who are celebrating their third anniversary this month; and the second was in the amount of $100.00 from the Veterans Foreign War.  The Mayor reminds everyone that you can always go online and make donations at cityofvilleplatte.com.  Go to The Boys & Girls Club and it will allow you to make donations.  In order to gain a charter from The Boys & Girls Club of America, there is a requirement to have $150,000.00 in the bank.


There were some very happy employees in the council chamber this evening, as the council approved the holiday schedule for 2015, which included an extra holiday which is Christmas Eve Day.  That brings their total paid vacation days to 16.  They were also excited when the council approved a 3% pay raise for all employees, and that includes part-timers.  The Mayor stated: “For the last four years, we have been able to provide an increase and our employees are working hard.”  There was also council approval for Longevity Pay for those employees with the city five years of more of service.  That bonus comes in a separate check.


Prairie Heritage, Inc., was granted a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement for an event being scheduled at Chicot State Park called “HOORAH”.  The event is planned for April 10th & 11th


City Engineer, Ronnie Landreneau, reported that they have just about wrapped Phase II of the water project and are now patching the holes in the streets that were created to do the work.


Police Chief, Neal Lartigue, requested the council’s approval of hiring 3 new full-time officers and 3 part-time jailers.  The council unanimously approved same.

Ville Platte Rotary Hears from Three New Members Tuesday


JANUARY 13, 2015


     The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard special classification talks from three new members of the organization. All three were born and raised in Ville Platte, moved away and now have moved back to their home town.

     Chris Ludeau, an attorney has been practicing law for the past two years in Lafayette. He is a graduate of the LSU Law School and Sacred Heart High School.

     Nick Monier, a 28 year old attorney, is a graduate of Sacred Heart, LSU and Loyola. He opened his practice last year here in Ville Platte. His grandfather is well known Ville Platte Barber Allen Monier.

     Nicole Wenger, a native of Ville Platte, graduated from UL-Lafayette and moved to the West Coast where she met her husband. After moving several more times, her family moved back  two years ago to Ville Platte where they provide emergency services to homes damaged by fire, water and mold. Her grandfather is the late Van Ortego, long time post office employee.

     Rotary Club President David Mayeaux showed off the new Rotary Club road signs that will be placed at various entrances into Ville Platte.

    He also announced that the annual Mid Year District Conference for the Rotary District 6200 is scheduled for this Saturday in Lafayette.

Evangeline Parish Police Jury January Meeting

Monday, January 12, 2015

Evangeline Parish Police Jury


The Evangeline Parish Police Jury held its monthly meeting this evening in the courthouse.  The Jury unanimously agreed to keep Ryan Ardoin as President of the Jury and Ryan Ledet Williams as Vice President of the Jury for the 2015 term.  They also agreed to continue to hold their monthly meetings on the second Monday of the month at 6:00 p.m. in the Police Jury room.  Committee meetings will be held the 1st Monday of the month at 5:00 p.m., also in the Police Jury room.


The Jury also voted to appoint Todd Welsh as the replacement for the deceased Louis B. Johnson in Waterworks District #1, and after receiving a recommendation from Mamou Gravity Drainage Board #5, agreed to appoint Kerry G. Fontenot to replace Minerva Baker on the Board.


There was much discussion regarding a recommended pay increase for the staff at the Police Jury Office, which includes 5 full-time and 1 part-time employee.  Secretary/Treasurer, Donald Bergeron stated “Last year, the Police Jury was unable to fund pay raises for the staff.  I instructed the staff to look at incoming bills and any place they thought we could cut back, and bring it to our attention.  The staff worked hard and was able to cut spending through contract negotiations, a cut in insurance rates and questioning bills.”  The discussion included giving raises to all of the road crews as well, but not all of the information was available to grant those during this meeting.  The Jury voted to reward the office staff with $1.00/hr. raise, as well as to Region A & B for the road crews.  Regions C & D will be discussed during the next meeting, and if the Jury elects to give those raises as well, the Jury would make the raises retroactive.

President, Ryan Ardoin, also brought of the issue of a Police Jury ordinance that requires the Jury to be responsible for stray, nuisance and/or possibly dangerous animals when alerted to same.  The Jury agreed to get with other parishes and towns who currently have animal shelters in order to gain information regarding the legality of specifics required for a facility, the expense to build and maintain a facility in our area so there can be animal control.


Stemming from the last meeting, the Limestone bid has been awarded to Jody Cloud Trucking in Turkey Creek.


And, finally, according to Secretary/Treasurer, Donald Bergeron, the 2% sales tax collected in the month of December for the month of November was $321,456.38, an increase of 49.18%.


Rotary Club Hears from 4-H Agent Todd Fontenot


JANUARY 6, 2014


    The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from LSU Ag Center 4-H Agent Todd Fontenot discuss the 4-H program. The 4-H Program is a youth development program with 800 members enrolled from the 4th grade through the 12th grade. The young people learn  important life skills. He explained for example that the livestock program teaches 4-H students to be responsible for their animals, build self confidence and self esteem.

    He announced that the parish livestock show is January 22-24 where some 120 exhibitors will be participating at the Chauncey Pitre Ag Arena. The Jr. Market Animal Sale will be held Saturday January 24.

    Todd Fontenot was the special guest of Rotarian Bill Brunet.

     In other rotary news, it was announced that the club currently 54 members. Vice President Mitch Fontenot announced that the District 6200 Rotary Mid Year Assembly will be held January 17.


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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.

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