Local News Archives for 2016-12

Ville Platte City Property Tax Notices

Numerous City Property Tax notices have been returned to City Hall by the Post Office due to incorrect addresses, no mail box at the curve, incorrect street names, etc. If you have not received your City Property Tax Notice, please come by City Hall and pick them up. Then, go by the Parish Assessor's Office and correct the address. The City Property Tax notices are mailed according to the address at the Parish Assessor's office. City Property taxes become delinquent February 1, 2017.




Jennifer Vidrine, Mayor

City of Ville Platte


  Tim Fontenot had a Christmas gift for the City of Ville Platte. He announced today during a live KVPI broadcast at the city hall that the Tee Cotton Bowl is coming back. Fontenot, who founded the Ville Platte City championship rivalry was accompanied by the two football coaches will once again face each other: Ville Platte High School Coach Jory Randall and Sacred Heart Coach Josh Harper. It was announced the Tee Cotton Bowl will be played at Ville Platte High for the first game of the regular season next year. Tim Fontenot challenged supporters of both schools to come together and support the game. "We need your time, talents prayers and money", said Fontenot. His plans are to bring celebrities like Archie Manning and Curt Warner to attend the football event. The Tee Cotton Bowl has been featured on NFL Films and has been blessed by Pope John Paul the Second. Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine called the Tee Cotton Bowl good for the city and for both schools. Ville Platte High Coach Randall said agreeing to play the game "was a no -brainer four our team" . He said "It is a great endeavor and it is good financially for both schools. Sacred Heart Coach Harper said the Tee Cotton Bowl was a good rivalry and was pleased to help get the game back on the schedule. KVPI AM and FM covered the entire press conference for those who could not attend in person.

South Louisiana Community College Chancellor Speaks at Rotary Club Meeting


    Dr. Natalie Harder, chancellor of South Louisiana Community College system, was the guest speaker today (Tuesday) at the weekly luncheon meeting of the Rotary Club of Ville Platte. The system has school campuses in eight parishes including here in Ville Platte at C.B. Coreil campus. The system serves some 13,000 students.

    Dr. Harder asked rotary members to consider establishing an endowment scholarship to help students in need of financial assistance get the education they deserve.

    She shared unflattering statistics about the adult educational attainment in Evangeline Parish and in Ville Platte. For example, 37 percent of those 25 or older in Ville Platte have no high school diploma or GED while in Evangeline Parish it is 31 percent.

 At the Coreil campus, they have 100 students enrolled for the fall semester and the school is bringing back an auto mechanic class.

   Dr. Harder was the guest of Rotarian Anita Fontenot.

   In other rotary news, Rotarian Larry Lachney reported that the Sacred  Heart Interact club sponsored bingo games and brought gifts to residents at Heritage Manor Nursing Home last week.

  Club President Peter Strawitz announced there will be no club meeting next Tuesday due to the holidays.


The Evangeline Parish School Board held a special meeting tonight in that it was the last meeting for Superintendent, Toni Hamlin.  Assistant Superintendent, Darwin Lazard, was recently voted into the position and will take the lead at the beginning of January.  Hamlin resigned from her position after 10 years to spend more time with her family.  Board Vice President, Scott Limoges, pointed out that from his experience “it is rare for a Superintendent to stay in that position for that long.  Thank you for your service.”  President, Wayne Dardeau, presented Hamlin with a plaque and said a few words.  He thanked her many times for her work and said he was “proud of where she has brought the parish.”


Ms. Hamlin spoke to the Board and thanked them for working with her and taking recommendations from her staff.  She said she thought Mr. Lazard was the clear choice.  “He is capable, a man of integrity, and he will lead the Parish” Hamlin stated before she hugged him and became a little teary eyed.  She asked the Board to stay focused on why “we are here.”  We may not always agree, but if you stay focused on the future of the students, that’s what’s important.  Hamlin has been in education since 1972 when she became a teacher at Chataignier Elementary.  Of all of her positions, she stated the one closest to her heart was when she was in a Child Welfare position.


Stay tuned to Ms. Hamlin’s last Let’s Talk About It on KVPI Thursday at 12:30 p.m. when Mark will be talking with both Hamlin and Mr. Lazard about the future of Evangeline Parish Schools. 


The Board voted on officers for 2017 and kept Wayne Dardeau as President, Scott Limoges as Vice President and keep the Executive Committee the same, except for replacing Arthor Savoy with Georgianna Wilson.


The Ville Platte City Council and Mayor, Jennifer Vidrine, met Tuesday evening at beautifully decorated Ville Platte City Hall.  Adam Perkins, of Dufeche, Perkins and Associates presented a 3D look at what the changes will look like to Hargrove Park in Ville Platte will look like after all phases are complete.  The project will expand use of the park and will add picnic pavilions in two different sizes, a new playground, splash pad, park benches, sidewalks, walking trails, etc.  They are projecting to have some of the project completed in the Spring; however, the next phases will need to be planned out of next year’s budget.  They are going to be applying for a grant with the Louisiana State Forestry Department to purchase approximately 100 trees to put in the park.


The Mayor wants businesses to understand that the City of Ville Platte is on a “Purchase Order System” and is asking businesses to never allow any person to charge on any account on behalf of the City without a Purchase Order.  The charges will not be honored if there is no Purchase Order.


Vidrine was happy to announce that expenses for the month of October were $274,151.64, and expenses for the month of November dropped by $7,217.81 with a total of $266,933.83.


The Mayor also wants the public to know that as far as abandoned properties and “long grass”, the 30-day notice period has ended and that demolition by the City will begin in January.  If the City is forced to clean up your property, those expenses will be placed on your tax bill.

The City Council voted to conduct their January meeting the 17th to allow time for December bills to come in and the Expense Report can be prepared.


Spirits were high Tuesday as the Evangeline Parish Police Jury held its monthly meeting for December. The meeting was conducted in the French language as it has been for several years. There were quite a few recognized speakers at the meeting including, Senator, Eric Lafleur, Judge John Saunders and his wife Susan. Judge Saunder's grandson recited the Pledge of Allegiance in French. Clerk of Court, Randy Deshotel, spoke the opening prayer. Also in attendance was Judge Greg Vidrine, Gilbert "Winky" Aucoin, and Secretary/Treasurer to the Police Jury for over 30 years, Wilbert Ardoin. Turkey Creek Mayor, Heather Cloud, was recognized and thanked for the beautiful display of food provided by Ms. Sue's Cafe for those in attendance. City Engineer, Ronald J. Landreneau, made the crowd erupt in laughter during his Report to the Jury.


It was mostly business as usual as far as the Agenda was concerned; however, the Jury did vote to appoint Durwin Carter and Chester Granger to the E-911 Board. They also voted to County Agent, Todd Fontenot with the LSU Ag Center, Shane Trahan with DOTD and Elizabeth West with The Gazette to the PEMAC/CCC/LEPC Emergency Committee.

It was a very nice meeting and KVPI congratulates all who were involved.

Evangeline Parish Runoff Election Results - 2016

Stephanie Ware, News Director at KVPI, along with Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court, Randy Deshotel, covered the runoff elections from the courthouse Saturday night for two open seats in Louisiana.  Evangeline Parish voters cast their ballots in the race for U.S. Senator choosing John Kennedy over Foster Campbell with 69.97% of the vote compared to Campbell with 30.03%.  Kennedy received 1,975 more votes than Campbell in Evangeline Parish.  The run for office of U.S. Representative – 4th Congressional District had Mike Johnson win in Evangeline Parish over Marshall Jones by 2,312 votes.  Johnson received 74.29% of the vote compared to Jones ending the night with 25.71%. 


KVPI, along with Randy Deshotel, would like to thank everyone who came out and voted Saturday, all of the Commissioners manning the polls, and the staff at the Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court’s office.  KVPI would like to thank The Evangeline Bank & Trust Company for sponsoring our election coverage once again.

Mexican citizen sentenced to 10 months in prison for producing fake identification

SHREVEPORT, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that a Mexican citizen was sentenced Tuesday to 10 months in prison for manufacturing fake identification, immigration and Social Security documents.

Marco Antonio Damian-Presno, 32, of Puebla, Mexico, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge S. Maurice Hicks Jr. on one count of fraud and related activity in connection with identification documents. He was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and must forfeit items seized during the investigation.

According to the July 12, 2016 guilty plea, Shreveport police arrested two undocumented aliens attempting to use fake driver’s licenses, resident alien cards and Social Security cards in April 2015.  The aliens told police their source was Damian-Presno. During their investigation, agents bought a number of fake documents from Damian-Presno including identification cards, driver’s licenses, resident alien cards and Social Security cards, which he made in his Bossier City, La., home.  On September 9, 2015, agents arrested Damian-Presno.  He told agents that he sold three or four cards a week.  Agents searched his home and seized cash, a computer, electronic storage devices, paper cutting devices and laminating devices. 

Homeland Security Investigations, Shreveport Police Department and Louisiana State Police conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike O’Mara prosecuted the case. 

Fr. Tom Voorhies Guest Speaker at Rotary Club Event


      The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from Fr. Tom Voorhies, pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church.  Fr. Tom spoke on the Christmas holiday season. December 6, the date of the rotary meeting, coincides with the Feast of St. Nicholas, who was the inspiration for the present day Santa Claus. He was a bishop in the 3rd century AD in Turkey. Legend has it that St. Nicholas had secretly donated three bags of money for the dowry of three poor daughters of a family which began the tradition of gift giving.

    Fr. Voorhies says the church celebrated Easter as the first and most important holiday and some 200 y ears later, began celebrating his birth. In the 12th century AD, St. Francis of Assisi began displaying a live manger scene.

    In the scriptures, Matthew focused on the Christmas story from a Joseph’s perspective while Luke concentrated on Mary’s story.

    Rotary club members were reminded that there will be no noon meeting next Tuesday since there will be a Christmas social event at Cazan Lodge Tuesday night at 6:00pm.

New School Superintendent Selected


         Three candidates applied for the Evangeline Parish Superintendent of Schools position to replace retiring Superintendent Toni Hamlin effective January 1.  After the questioning of the three candidates, all 13 members of the Evangeline Parish School Board unanimously voted to hire Assistant Superintendent Darwin Lazard as its new school superintendent.

       Lazard has served 9 years as Assistant Superintendent and a total of 24 years in education, all of it in Evangeline Parish schools. In fact it was a double celebration for he and his wife: who are celebrating their wedding anniversary.

      In the questioning phase, Lazard told board members he plans to promote high morale among teachers and to recognize employees for their accomplishments. He plans to maintain an open door policy and improve student learning. Unlike the other applicants, Lazard told the members of the board “I know Evangeline Parish. I know the difference between Lake Cove and Belaire Cove. I am one of you. I plan to be fair, make the tough decisions when need be and pull the people together. I will make you proud.”

     The other applicants included: Steve Benton, former superintendent of schools in Jackson County, Florida with 33 years of educational experience and Dr. Sandra Reed, a Mississippi educator who was principal at three different high schools.

      Assisting the school board during the selection process at the meeting was special educational attorney Bob Hammonds of Baton Rouge.

Ville Platte Police Department Arrest Report

According to the Ville Platte Police Dept, the following individuals have recently been arrested and booked into the Ville Platte City Jail:


Gilbert Lafleur, 26 of Ville Platte – Arrested for Interference with Law Enforcement; Possession of Marijuana and Synthetic Cannabis and is currently incarcerated with a $3,000.00 bond;


Anthony Freeman, 23 of Beaumont, TX - Arrested for Criminal Damage to Property; Misrepresentation During Booking; Disturbing the Peace by Intoxication; warrants out of Texas and currently incarcerated awaiting extradition.  Bond is set at $1,100.00.


Travis Perradin, 31 of Ville Platte – Arrested for Possession of Schedule I; warrant for City Marshall and currently incarcerated with a $2,500.00 bond;


Cedric Jardeiem, 25 of Opelousas – Arrested for Driving Under Suspension and out of jail on a $1,000.00 bond;


Vincent Fontenot, 55 of Ville Platte – Arrested for Disturbing the Peace and currently incarcerated with a $200.00 bond; and


Danny Castille, 30 of Ville Platte - Arrested for Disturbing the Peace and out on a $200.00 bond.


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