Local News Archives for 2015-07

Ville Platte Rotary Club Hears From Dr. Don Hines


JULY 28, 2015


    The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from Dr. Don Hines, a former state senator who is involved with a mission project in Guatemala. Dr. Hines is working with a group from Avoyelles Parish who is taking care of some 150  children in a small village in Guatemala.

    He gave a power point presentation showing that with the assistance of telemedicine, the children in this mission is able to get world class medical consultation through modern technology. For example, Dr. Hines stated that with a special stethoscope, the heart beat of a child in Guatemala can be heard at his medical office in Bunkie, Louisiana.

     He mentioned that the village in the mountains has  a year round temperature in the 60’s to 73 degrees year round.

     Dr. Hines said it is a great experience . He was the guest speaker of Rotary Member Peter Strawitz.

     In other business, the club was reminded that the Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a political rally at the Civic Center on August 27.

    Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine announced that the business office for Centurylink will close August 7. She is trying to get the company to change their minds and keep it open so local residents can continue to pay their bills in person.

Ville Platte Rotary Hears Update on Heritage Manor Construction


JULY 21, 2015


   The Rotary Club of Ville Platte met today (Tuesday) at noon and heard from Rotarian  Trey Prudhomme, administrator of Heritage Manor Nursing home.

    Prudhomme showed an artist’s drawing of the new Heritage Manor Nursing home that is due to be built in 2016. The ground breaking is scheduled for August 3 at the 13 acre site on West Main adjacent to Tate’s Men and Boys. The 66,600 square foot building will have a $16 million dollar price tag. The general contractor will be Ratcliffe Construction from Alexandria.

    The new nursing home will have 124 beds and with the exception of the Alzheimer unit will all be private room and private baths. Currently, Heritage Manor employs 101 employees and Prudhomme is looking at increasing the staff to 120.

    The owners of Heritage Manor Nursing Home have three options on what to do with the old building once the move is made: donate the facility to a non- profit agency, demolish the building and sell the property or turn the building into an evacuation shelter.

     The building was first constructed in 1963 and was known as Maison De Sante. The last improvements to the building were done in 1986.

     He reported that the private pay cost for nursing home care is about $4750 a month.

Evangeline Parish School Board Meeting July 15, 2015

The Evangeline Parish School Board
July 15, 2015

The Evangeline Parish School Board held its bi-monthly meeting tonight in the Media Center. Superintendent, Toni Hamlin on asking the Board to approve a CNP Plan associated with re-opening the cafeteria at James Stephens Montessori. The school has had its cafeteria closed for 4 years and meals have been “satellited in” from Ville Platte Elementary. Due to the change in requirements for school breakfasts and lunches and to the number of students who now attend James Stephens, the cost to re-open the school’s cafeteria will be much less than having to buy more vehicles to transport meals and having to build an addition to Ville Platte Elementary to accommodate the extra food and supplies. Some personnel will be shifted to accommodate the re-opening. The Board was happy to hear the news and stated that the staff at James Stephens will be happy as well.

Toni Hamlin congratulated Principal Cherie Fontenot for being named Elementary Principal of the Year for the whole state during the Cecil J. Picard Gala that was held in Baton Rouge. She stated she was very proud of Cherie since she has only been a principal for 4 years. She stated that Cherie is humble in being honored and always says “It’s all teamwork.”, but Ms. Hamlin added in agreement that it does take team work, but it still takes a good leader.

The Board approved a motion to raise the cost of lunches for the 2015/16 school year from $1.45 to $1.50.

Sales Tax collections for the month of June for 2014-2015 were up $12,690.00 from this time last year.

The Board approved a motion to purchase an air conditioning unit from the low bidder, May’s Heating and Cooling for the Mamou High School Auditorium. Toni Hamlin stated that now all of our schools have a least some form of air conditioning where events are held.


Ville Platte Rotary Hears Health Care Talk from Eric Gil


JULY 14, 2015


   The Rotary Club of Ville Platte heard from Rotarian Eric Gil report on major changes in the health care industry. Gil, an insurance agent, reported that individual health care policies can only be purchased during a sign up period between November 1 and Feb. 15. Individuals can visit their insurance agent or go to healthcare.gov to review the various policies.

   He urges insurance clients to find out what insurance company you’re dealing with, review the policy and know what it covers for example does it cover cancer cases, organ transplants, mental health, and rehabilitation. He strongly urged people to not choose a policy solely on price alone.

    He urged people to get Medicare supplements and to review your old health care policies. He said in many cases your old health care plans offer more coverage than the new updated policies.

     In other rotary news, Club President Mitch Elmand Fontenot said the board has decided to move its “ Shots for Tots” project targeting your pre- school age children in October rather than in October.

     In community news, Superintendent of Schools Toni Hamlin announced that Cherie Fontenot , last weekend, was named Elementary Principal of the Year for the entire state. She is principal at the James Stephens Montessori School.

    Also, Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine announced that crime cameras have been installed at various high crime areas of the city. The mayor said more cameras are planned to be installed in the future to help combat crime.

Ville Platte Rotary Meeting hears from New President


JULY 7, 2015


   The Rotary Club of Ville Platte took place today (Tuesday ) at noon with new Club President Mitch Elmand Fontenot conducting his first meeting as new president.

   Fontenot provided a power point presentation to rotary members on his goals and plans for the new rotary year. His mission is to make the local organization a more vibrant club, develop new projects and recruit new members. His goal is to raise the membership by ten percent or at least five new members.

   The new president outlined the planned projects for the new year and they include: LSU-Eunice Scholarship fund raiser, Coreil Vo Tech fund raiser, Rotary Youth Leadership Camp sponsorship, Interact Club for high school age students, the Choices Program where rotary members encourage students in school to make correct choices and to stay in school, new Shots for Tots program, do a joint service project with the Chamber of Commerce and to support Chicot State Park.

    It was learned by Superintendent of Schools Toni Hamlin that the first day of classes in public schools will be August 13.

Evangeline Parish Police Jury July Meeting

The Evangeline Parish Police Jury
July 6, 2015

The Evangeline Parish Police Jury met tonight in the Police Jury room at the courthouse. The topic of jail expenses and expenses from the tax department. Secretary/Treasurer, Donald Bergeron, informed the Jury that Sheriff, Eddie Soileau, sent a “stack of bills” to the Police Jury asking that they pay them or reimburse his office from payment of those bills. He also referred to a revised statute indicating that the Jury is responsible for certain bills related to jail expenses and the tax office. However, there was much confusion about the bills and whether the Jury is responsible for them, especially since the invoices were not put through the proper channels with the Police Jury, including being approved and being put through the P.O. system. Donald pointed out that the expenses from the tax office should already be covered because the Sheriff already gets a flat “cost” fee of $165.00 from each property tax sale. The Jury’s attorney, Marcus Fontenot, stated “while it is the responsibility of the Jury to support the tax collector, there needs to be an accounting given to the Jury accounting for all of the tax sale proceeds on each sale so we can ensure his office is not “double dipping”, and then there needs to a “checks and balances” system set up to ensure that proper procedures are being followed”. Juror, Lamar Johnson, inserted that he thinks “it’s crazy that the Sheriff is asking the Jury for money, like he wants two sources of funding.” Donald Bergeron said he does not understand the “jail expenses” that they are being asked to pay for since there is already a Jail Supply List that is approved every day. Juror, Bryan Vidrine, said as much as he wants to support those they need to be held to the proper procedures just like any other entity. Finally, Legal Council, Marcus Fontenot advised the Jury that they should not pay the bills because the proper procedures were not followed. The Police Jury agreed and voted to not pay the bills and didn’t think legally they could or should.

Jury President, Ryan Ardoin, said Evangeline Parish is officially part of the Acadiana Planning Commission and he thinks very positive things are going to come from it. They will help with grant money, adjudicated houses, building permits, etc.

The Quick Stop in Redell was granted a liquor permit.



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