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Local News Archives for 2017-08

SAVOY CANCER CENTER OFFERS TREATMENT TO THOSE AFFECTED BY HURRICANE HARVEY

Savoy Cancer Center in Mamou, Louisiana is now scheduling appointments to treat patients from areas affected by Hurricane Harvey.  Any patient receiving Chemotherapy, Radiation, or Infusions outside of Central Louisiana can receive continued treatment through their Cancer Center.  Please call (337) 468-3099 for more information.

OVER 100,000 RESIDENTS IN BEAUMONT TEXAS WITHOUT CONSUMABLE WATER

The Ville Platte Police Department and your local AT&T retailer are hosting drop off points for bottled water and baby supplies for victims of Hurricane Harvey.  Beaumont has lost all of their consumable water.  The hurricane waters have damaged their water pumps for their main line and their secondary line which means they have no clean water at this time.  They cannot repair the damage until the water recedes.  Beaumont has a population of over 100,000 people that will be affected by the water outage.  They are in critical need of consumable water.

 

You can drop off supplies at either the Ville Platte Police Department or the AT&T store next to Walmart in Ville Platte starting now and throughout the weekend.

 

If a business wishes to make a larger donation of supplies, we can arrange for the supplies to be picked up.

 

Along with bottled water we are hoping to collect baby wipes, diapers and blankets, soap and hand sanitizer.

 

For more information or to arrange a pick up time please call Connie at the Ville Platte Police Department.  337-363-1313

BLACK ELK ENERGY OFFSHORE OPERATIONS LLC CONVICTED OF WORKER SAFETY AND CLEAN WATER ACT VIOLATIONS IN CONNECTION TO OFFSHORE EXPLOSION

Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations LLC (BEE), a privately held limited liability company headquartered in Houston, Texas, was sentenced today on eight felony violations of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) and one misdemeanor count of violating the Clean Water Act before the Honorable U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

The charges stemmed from events causing an explosion in November 2012 on an offshore oil production platform that resulted in the deaths of three workers and injuries to several others. This case is also related to the recent conviction of Wood Group PSN in the Western District of Louisiana for their role in operations on the platform.

In accordance with a plea agreement, the Court ordered BEE to pay a $4.2 million monetary penalty. However, due to BEE’s bankruptcy, the $4.2 million agreed monetary penalty will be a general unsecured claim against BEE’s bankruptcy estate entitled to a pro rata distribution from the trust with other allowed unsecured claims against BEE. On Aug. 11, 2015, four of BEE’s creditors filed an involuntary chapter 7 bankruptcy case against BEE in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas. The case converted to a voluntary chapter 11 case shortly thereafter.  Under a Chapter 11 plan of liquidation confirmed on July 13, 2016, BEE’s assets were transferred into two trusts, and a trustee will administer distributions to creditors from funds in one of the trusts.

According to the court documents, beginning on Nov. 3, 2012, after pipeline repairs, BEE undertook platform repairs to include replacing equipment and installing a divert valve on the platform’s Lease Automatic Custody Transfer (LACT) unit and tying it into the sump line piping. The LACT system was the last point in the production process prior to the oil leaving West Delta 32 and entering the sales transmission pipeline.

Some of the construction projects on West Delta 32 required “hot work,” or welding, grinding, and/or any other activity that may produce a spark. Hot work on an oil production facility is a hazardous activity capable of causing injury or death. Title 30 of the Code of Federal Regulations requires that written permission, commonly referred to as a “hot work permit,” be issued by the welding supervisor or designated person in charge (PIC) before any hot work on a production platform begin. At a maximum, a hot work permit is valid for 12 hours. Once a hot work permit expires, all the precautionary steps should be complete before a new hot work permit is issued.

Starting on or about Nov. 8, 2012, Christopher Srubar, a co-defendant and Wood Group PSN employee and West Delta 32 PIC, issued hot work permits for the construction work related to the West Delta 32 projects. However, Srubar stopped issuing hot work permits and conducting all-hands safety meetings and instead delegated the permitting to the Wood Group PSN “C” operator. Neither Srubar nor the “C” operator conducted a daily pre-work inspection with the construction crew, staffed by Grand Isle Shipyards (GIS), nor did they designate a fire watch for the hot work areas. 

On or about Nov. 15, 2012, hot work commenced on the LACT unit with the knowledge of co-defendants Don Moss and Curtis Dantin. Moss and Dantin did not ask Srubar if he completed a safety check of the area. In addition, they did not complete a pre-work inspection or issue a warning to the GIS crews to step welding on the sump line piping. Instead, Dantin instructed some of the crew to begin the welding of the sump line piping for the LACT unit upgrade. The single hot work permit the “C” operator issued for Nov. 16 did not state that the LACT unit or sump line piping as areas that were safe for hot work. 

Workers started to make cuts to the sump line piping leading to the Wet Oil Tank, causing liquid to spill from the piping. At approximately 9:00 a.m., hydrocarbon vapors that escaped from the Wet Oil Tank ignited, causing a series of explosions in the three oil tanks on the platform. The fire and explosions resulted in the deaths of GIS employees Avelino Tajonera, Elroy Corporal, and Jerome Malagapo. Other workers were seriously burned and physically injured.

BEE admitted that its employees and agents were negligent in the manner in which they planned and executed the hot work on West Delta 32 platform, and that the acts of their agents and employees violated the regulations in 30 C.F.R. § 250.113 promulgated under the OCSLA.

Co-defendant GIS faces manslaughter charges, and Dantin, Srubar, and Moss face criminal violations of the Clean Water Act in the Eastern District of Louisiana.  The OCSLA charges against GIS, Moss, Srubar, and Dantin, were dismissed by the district court and are pending an interlocutory appeal by the government to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, argued on May 1, 2017.

The U.S. Department of the Interior-Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-CID conducted the investigations.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Emily Greenfield and Nicholas Moses, and Senior Trial Attorney Kenneth Nelson of the Environment and Natural Resources Division prosecuted the case.

EVANGELINE PARISH SCHOOLS OPEN THURSDAY

Children should expect to return to the classroom Thursday in Evangeline Parish.  Superintendent, Darwan Lazard announced that busses will be running and all public schools in Evangeline Parish will be open Thursday.  

 

THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ISSUES TIPS ON AVOIDING FRAUDULENT CHARTIABLE CONTRIBUTION SCHEMES

The National Center for Disaster Fraud reminds the public to be aware of and report any instances of alleged fraudulent activity related to relief operations and funding for victims. Unfortunately, criminals can exploit disasters, such as Hurricane Harvey, for their own gain by sending fraudulent communications through email or social media and by creating phony websites designed to solicit contributions.

 

Tips should be reported to the National Center for Disaster Fraud at (866) 720-5721. The line is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Additionally, e-mails can be sent to disaster@leo.gov, and information can be faxed to (225) 334-4707.

 

The U.S. Department of Justice established the National Center for Disaster Fraud to investigate, prosecute, and deter fraud in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, when billions of dollars in federal disaster relief poured into the Gulf Coast region. Its mission has expanded to include suspected fraud from any natural or manmade disaster. More than 30 federal, state, and local agencies participate in the National Center for Disaster Fraud, which allows the center to act as a centralized clearinghouse of information related to disaster relief fraud.

 

The public should remember to perform due diligence before giving contributions to anyone soliciting donations or individuals offering to provide assistance to those affected by the tornadoes. Solicitations can originate from social media, e-mails, websites, door-to-door collections, flyers, mailings, telephone calls, and other similar methods.

 

Before making a donation of any kind, consumers should adhere to certain guidelines, including:

  • Do not respond to any unsolicited (spam) incoming e-mails, including clicking links contained within those messages, because they may contain computer viruses.
  • Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as members of charitable organizations or officials asking for donations via e-mail or social networking sites.
  • Beware of organizations with copy-cat names similar to but not exactly the same as those of reputable charities.
  • Rather than follow a purported link to a website, verify the legitimacy of nonprofit organizations by utilizing various Internet-based resources that may assist in confirming the group’s existence and its nonprofit status.
  • Be cautious of e-mails that claim to show pictures of the disaster areas in attached files because the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders.
  • To ensure contributions are received and used for intended purposes, make contributions directly to known organizations rather than relying on others to make the donation on your behalf.
  • Do not be pressured into making contributions; reputable charities do not use such tactics.
  • Be aware of whom you are dealing with when providing your personal and financial information. Providing such information may compromise your identity and make you vulnerable to identity theft.
  • Avoid cash donations if possible. Pay by credit card or write a check directly to the charity. Do not make checks payable to individuals.
  • Legitimate charities do not normally solicit donations via money transfer services. Most legitimate charities’ websites end in .org rather than .com.

NUTCRACKER BALLET AUDITIONS SET FOR SEPTEMBER 9 AND 10 IN LAFAYETTE

Lafayette Ballet Theatre invites area dancers to audition Saturday, Sept. 9, and Sunday, Sept. 10, for two performances of the full-length classical ballet, “The Nutcracker.” Auditions are divided into two different days according to age and skill level.

 

Saturday auditions are for advanced to professional dancers, ages 15 through adult. Saturday auditions will take place at Lafayette Ballet Theatre, 100 Pillette Road. Sunday auditions are for dancers ages 8 through 14. Sunday auditions are scheduled to take place in Burke -Hawthorne Hall, located on Hebrard Avenue, on the UL Lafayette campus.

 

Roles are available for beginner through advanced level dancers, male and female. To qualify for audition, a dancer must be at least 8 years old; have completed at least one year of ballet study; and be currently enrolled in an established dance program. Dancers are asked to arrive 30 minutes prior to scheduled audition time to register. Registration forms are available at www.lafayetteballettheatre.org.

 

(Click “Tickets” on the homepage, then select “Nutcracker Auditions” on the menu.) Audition times and locations are as follows: 

 

Saturday, Sept. 9, at Lafayette Ballet Theatre Studio, 100 Pillette Road

Ages 15-professional, advanced pointe work: 11:00 -1:30 p.m.

Ages 15 and up, no pointe work (advanced level character variations): 1:30-2:00 p.m.

Feel free to arrive early to warm up.

 

Sunday, Sept. 10, at Burke -Hawthorne Hall on the ULL campus (*new location)

Beginner/Intermediate Levels, ages 8-10: 1-3 p.m.

Intermediate/Advanced Levels, ages 11-14: 3-5 p.m.

Tumblers: 5-5:30 p.m. (No audition fee required for tumblers.)

 

All dancers (except tumblers) should wear ballet attire and be prepared to stay for the duration of the audition period as listed on the schedule. A $35 registration fee is required of all dancers ages 8 to 17 at the time of audition. There is no fee for tumblers participating in 5 p.m. audition. Please make checks payable to Lafayette Ballet Theatre (LBT) or bring exact change.

 

Lafayette Ballet Theatre, along with Principal guest artists of the Pacific Northwest Ballet will present two performances of “The Nutcracker” Saturday, Dec. 9, and Sunday, Dec. 10, at the Heymann Performing Arts Center.

 

Want more information? Visit www.lafayetteballettheatre.org or call 337-262-0444

 

KVPI's Mark Layne Guest Speaker at Rotary Meeting

 

    The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from KVPI General Manager Mark Layne speak about new developments going on at KVPI and a brief history of the two Ville Platte radio stations.

    Layne said construction is complete on the new power upgrade. KVPI FM 92.5 has increased its signal strength from 8,000 watts to 25,000 watts to reach a wider audience of listeners in South Central Louisiana.

   He also shared the early history of KVPI. KVPI AM 1050 signed on in 1953 as a day timer. The station has to sign off at local sundown. The need for night time service for sports and emergency announcements showed the need for an FM station. KVPI FM signed on in 1966.

   The station has received numerous honors from Louisiana broadcasters for its community service for the past seven years in a row.

   In other business, the rotary club:

--agreed to make a donation from the club to help the victims of the hurricane in the Houston area;

--received news from Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine that so far the drainage is working good in Ville Platte and there have been no street flooding;

--heard from Supt. of Schools Darwan Lazard that none of the school building have suffered any flood damage from the recent rains.

--heard from Jessie Muse that the Tee Cotton Bowl is going forward with many planned activities weather permitting including the players banquet Thursday, the TV 10 Passe Partout broadcast early Friday morning and Meet and Greet Friday morning at Dr. Chuck Aswell home. There will be 12 cooking teams cooking for the Tail gating Friday afternoon.

Sacred Heart School Closing at 11;00am Today

SHS Parents,

Due to the anticipated road closures as a result of rising water, we will have an early dismissal for K-12 students at 11:00 A.M. today, August 28th. Updates for possible school closure will be sent via flocknote, email and local media. As soon as we receive confirmation on the availability of bus transportation, we will inform everyone as soon as possible according to Kim LeJeune.

 

FURTHER INVESTIGATION FINDS FORMER EMPLOYEE OF EVANGELINE SHERIFF USED A CHECK SUBSTITUTION SCHEME

KVPI News has received an update to a story we brought you when Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Department employee, Bobbi Jo Fontenot, was arrested when it was discovered funds were missing from the department.  Josh Fontenot, CPA discovered the theft.

 

In a statement from Sheriff Eddie Soileau, he states “An employee of the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Civil Department, Bobbi Jo Fontenot, through a check substitution scheme, was failing to document and deposit checks, for the most part, from automobile repossession companies, into their proper accounts.  Rather, she was holding those checks until enough cash deposits built up and when it was time to deposit the case into the appropriate account, whether the Operating Account, Ad Valorem Tax Account or some other account, she would deposit the checks she was holding in place of the cash, then would pocket the cash.  We have determined that she stole in excess of $13,000.00.  We are confident that we have identified most, if not all, of the monies she stole in this manner.

 

He said “Given the recent acquisition of the services of Mike Fontenot, CPA, I am pleased with the controls he has implemented in order to deter and prevent future occurrences of employee theft.”

 

Fontenot turned herself in and was booked on $20,000.00 bond in May on charges of Felony Theft.  She later posted bond and was released.

LOUISIANA OFFICIALS BRACING FOR HURRICANE HARVEY

Governor John Bel Edwards held a Press Conference Friday afternoon regarding Hurricane Harvey.  Edwards referred to the storm as “catastrophic” and reflected on how saturated the ground already is in Louisiana due to all of the rain over the last months.  Edwards said that everyone is in agreement with Harvey hitting Corpus Christi; however, after that, there is no agreement.  He said “worst case scenario, the storm heads back into the Gulf over the warm water and comes to Louisiana.  He said no one has ruled that out.  The Governor urged Louisiana residents not to become complacent just because the storm is currently affecting Texas.

 

Edwards urged all residents that as we move forward to please be careful and stay informed on road closures by using 511LA.org.  He said if you are going to travel, please do not drive on a road covered with water.  “Don’t try to drive through it.”  Last year, there were a lot of fatalities from people driving through water without knowing the depth.

 

Lake Charles Mayor, Nick Hunter spoke at the conference.  He said “We do expect to have flooding on our streets.  He said to expect those areas in the past that have flooded to flood during this storm.  We remember what Rita was like and that was a bad experience.  We cannot predict what is going to happen with this storm.  We encourage people to stay up-to-date with information on the storm.  He said “You can replace property but you cannot replace lives.”

 

The Governor’s office is working with State Police and local officials to make sure they are successful in their efforts.  He asked for the public’s patience during this time.  And said “Pray…not just for ourselves but for our neighbors in Texas.”  

HURRICANE HARVEY UPDATE FROM THE WEATHER SERVICE IN LAKE CHARLES

The National Weather Service in Lake Charles is still monitoring Hurricane Harvey, expected to be a category 3 or 4 hurricane when it makes landfall on the central Texas coast Saturday morning. Harvey will weaken to a tropical storm on Sunday, before slowly moving up the upper Texas coast early next week. It is too early to know for sure if it will move offshore, or stay inland as it moves up the Texas coast next week.
 
Heavy rain and flooding will be the most significant impact. Southeast Texas is expecting 10 to 20 inches of rain, southwest Louisiana 8 to 15 inches, central Louisiana 5 to 7 inches, and south central Louisiana 7 to 10 inches. Some of this rain is already beginning in southeast Texas and parts of southwest Louisiana today.
 
Due to the rains, major river flooding is expected. Pine Island Bayou near Sour Lake, and the Calcasieu River near Old Town Bay and Sam Houston State Park. Other river forecast points could be included as we go through this event.
 
Storm surge values of 1 to 3 feet above ground level are expected in southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana, and 1 to 2 feet above ground level in south central Louisiana. High tides will occur around 630 pm and 630 am, so expect to see the highest water levels during high tides. This could continue through the entire weekend.
 
Winds will be from the east, gusting 25 to 25 mph along the coast tonight through Sunday night. This could be extended as well, depending on the track of Harvey next week.
 
The tornado threat is increasing for today and Saturday in southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana as rain bands move onshore across the region.

WITH HARVEY LOOMING SANDBAGS BECOME AVAILABLE TO ST. LANDRY AND EVANGELINE RESIDENTS

There are many different scenerios as to the path Hurricane Harvey and as he continues to strengthen residents in Texas and Louisiana are bracing for his visit.  One by one local municipalities are making sandbags available.  

 

For residents inside Ville Platte city limits, sandbags are available Friday until 3:00 p.m. at City Barn.  They will open again on Monday morning at 7:00 a.m.

 

KVPI has been told that the Parish of Evangeline will be handing out sandbags beginning Monday.  Residents will need to go to Parish Yard nearest to where they reside your area to get the sandbags.  According to Secretary/Treasurer Donald Bergeron:  They “made the decision yesterday based on National Weather forecast of 5-7" of rain "for our area between yesterday and next Friday". Today's most recent update "for our area" is 1 inch of rain forecast thru Sunday and a possible 5-7 inches of rain thru next Friday. Granger and the road crews are working overtime to clear as many drainage ditches as possible before then. We are prepared with sand and bags in the event the storm makes a turn for our area.”

 

For St. Landry Parish residents, the Yambilee Buildling sandbag operation located at 1939 West Landry Streeet in Opelousas is open today and over the weekend from 7:30 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. for those residents needing sandbags.  Please bring your shovel as this is a “fill yourself” site.

 

KVPI will continue to keep you updated as we wait for Harvey's departure.

VILLE PLATTE BOIL ADVISORY LIFTED

KVPI News has been informed by Mayor Jennifer Vidrine that the Boil Advisory that was previously issued in Ville Platte has now been lifted.  It is now safe to consume your drinking water.

SACRED HEART OPEN HOUSE ACTIVITIES RESCHEDULED

In a release from Sacred Heart Administration, KVPI News has been told that due to anticipated weather events, the high school football Jamboree between Sacred Heart and St. Ed’s has been rescheduled and moved up to Thursday, August 24th at 6:30 p.m. at Eunice High.  As a result, the 2017-2018 Meet the Trojan Faculty (Open House) and the Meet the Trojans have been postponed to Thursday, September 7th.  The times of the events remain the same beginning at 5:30 p.m.

PEDESTRIANS STRUCK BY VEHICLE AND CITED FOR VIOLATIONS

According to Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue, on August 22, 2017 at approximately 8:00 p.m.  Officers responded to a report of a vehicle accident in the area of North Chataignier and East Lincoln Road.  Upon arrival Officers learned that a Chevrolet Pickup had struck three people who were in the roadway.  The driver remained at the scene and stated that he was blinded by the headlights of an oncoming vehicle.    Acadian Ambulance was dispatched to the scene and transported three people to Opelousas General Medical Center with minor injuries.   The three pedestrians were cited for obstruction of a public passage and no reflective gear.

 

Chief Lartigue remind citizens that reporting suspicious and illegal activity will help remove criminals from our streets.  You can report information anonymously but calling the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.

 

DEBORAH ENICKE SPEAKS AT VILLE PLATTE ROTARY CLUB

The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from guest speaker Deborah Enicke. She discussed the services she provides as a certified legal nurse consultant. Enicke has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years. There are only 25 certified legal nurse consultants in Louisiana. She plays the go between the attorney and medical records in legal cases. She works for both plaintiffs and defendants. Her role includes: screening cases for merit, develop chronologies, medical records analysis, locate testifying experts and medical cost projections. She was the guest of Rotarian Renee Tate.

Ville Platte 10U All Stars Girls Honored Sunday night at Civic Center

 

      The Ville Platte 10 and under girls all- stars, who captured the USSSA World Series Championship Title last month in Gulf Shores, Alabama were honored by the City of Ville Platte and numerous sponsors with a special banquet.

     Head Coach Nick LeBas thanked the entire community for their support throughout the season. Also speaking were Assistant Coaches Gene Latour, Joe Bordelon and Brian Bergeron along with Team Mom Julie Bergeron. All of the girls and coaches received special gifts from the sponsors. James Shiver, who called all of the games for KVPI Sports received a gift. Also speaking was Shane Darbonne, President of Ville Platte Girls Recreational Association.

     In attendance at the banquet were Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine, Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel, Police Jurors Kevin Veillon and Brian Vidrine along with Fr. Mitch Guidry, pastor of Our Lady Queen of All Saints Church.

    The players included: Amelia Bergeron, Madalie Bertrand, Hailey Bordelon, Emily Jesclard, Denay Lachney, Alexis Lafleur, Sophee Latour, Lacie LeBas, Laila Lewis, Layla McElwee, Victoria Spears and Kenzie Stevens.

    After the presentation of gifts and talks, a highlights video from the World Series games was shown on a big screen for those in attendance

SCHOOLS ON LOCKDOWN ARE REOPENED AFTER ESCAPED INMATE IS RECAPTURED BY VILLE PLATTE POLICE

On August 18, 2017 at approximately 11:30 a.m.  Officers and Detectives with the Ville Platte Police Department were advised that an inmate had escaped from the Ville Platte City Jail.  Officers and Detectives began searching and schools nearby were put on lockdown for safety.  Approximately Thirty minutes after the search began the suspect was located at his residence at 119 East Pine Street where he was found hiding in the bathroom.

Jordan Semien, 26 of 119 East Pine Street was apprehended without incident and booked into the Ville Platte City Jail on the charge of simple escape.  Semien’s bond is set at $7,500.00

Chief Lartigue stated that there is no further information available at this time as the incident is under investigation.

Chief Lartigue reminds citizens to report suspicious and illegal activity to the Ville Platte Police Department by calling 363-1313.  Your call will remain anonymous. 

 

KVPI FM Now at 25,000 Watts Power

KVPI FM Power Increase

August 18, 2017

 

   After being off the air for more than 12 hours with a tower and engineering crew that worked for more than 13 hours, our wait was worth it. KVPI-FM is now operating at 25,000 watts from its former 8,000 watts. The tower crew, who battled rain delays and even working after dark,  was able to get the entire project done in one day removing the old antenna system and installing a new high power 10 bay system giving 92.5 KVPI FM the increase in power. Since the work involved going up and down the tower, our sister station KVPI AM had to go off the air as well. Both stations came back on at 9:30 last night.

  The results are promising. Our engineers informed us they are picking us up loud and clear at their homes in Scott and Alexandria. The tower crew chief was picking us at his home in Moss Bluff. Our signal is louder and fuller.

   We want to hear from our listeners especially those who live in the fringe areas of our listening area. Call us at 337-363-2124 and tell us who we’re sounding and where are you calling from.

   Thank you for your patience. It was worth the long wait!!

VILLE PLATTE MAN ARRESTED ON CHARGES OF ATTEMPTED SECOND DEGREE MURDER

According to Ville Platte Police Chief, Neal Lartigue, on August 15, 2017 at approximately 10:00 p.m. Officers responded to a report of shots fired North Fontenot and North Soileau Streets.  Officer’s arrived in the area and observed a black Camaro leaving the area at a high rate of speed.  Officer’s attempted to initiate a traffic stop on the vehicle but the vehicle did not stop until it reached Ortego Street.  Once the vehicle stopped a black male exited the vehicle with injuries to his leg.  The victim stated that he had been shot.  Officers secured the area, called for an ambulance and a Detective to respond to the scene. Officers received information that multiple shots were fired in the air and then towards the victim who was hit by one bullet in the calf area.  The victim was transported by Acadian Ambulance to Mercy Regional Hospital and was air lifted to Opelousas General for medical treatment of his injury. 

Nathan Thomas Jr. 18, of 1122 Edward Knotoe Thomas Street was arrested and charged with attempted second degree murder.  Thomas was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and was transported to the Evangeline Parish Jail on a $100,000.00 bond.

Chief Lartigue reminds you to report suspicious and illegal activity by calling the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.  Your call will remain anonymous.

 

 

EVANGELINE PARISH SCHOOL BOARD AND TWO MAMOU SCHOOLS COLLECT IN THE CASH FOR MY CLASS PROGRAM FROM SPRING MARKET

The Evangeline Parish School Board held its bi-monthly meeting Wednesday night in the School Board Media Center.  A representative from Spring Market in Mamou presented a check for $2,190.39 for the participation by Mamou Elementary and Mamou High School in the Cash for My Class program.  Spring Market donated a percentage of all eligible purchases to the two schools.  At the launch of the program only two schools were eligible to participate; however, now, any school in Evangeline Parish can participate.  Schools interested should contact Spring Market in Mamou.

 

Superintendent Darwan Lazard spoke to the Board about the 2016-2017 budget and upcoming budget.  He explained that previously CPA Vic Slaven had reported losses in the budget that could not keep happening and that because of that report, Lazard’s office and the district as a whole practiced very conservative fiscal practices and followed the guidelines put in place by the Board.  He said “We owe it to the taxpayers to be responsible in our spending.”  He noted, the Board receives less and less money from Baton Rouge and less and less money from the “Feds” so it is important to do the best we can to conserve.  Lazard said “It’s great to have a lot of great ideas to put in place, but not if you don’t have the money.”  CFO, Amy LaFleur made the exciting announcement that all major funds had surpluses for the 2016-2017 budget.  There will be an Executive Committee Meeting next Wednesday at 4:30 to discuss the proposed 2017-2018 budget.

 

Lazard reported that staff from Evangeline Central, Assistant District Attorney, Betsy Jackson, School Board Member, Mike Fontenot, and representatives from the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office will be traveling to Alexandria Friday to view the program they are mirroring Evangeline Central to.  As you will remember, the Board recently approved the hiring of a new Resource Officer at the school.  Please note, that only students of Evangeline Central will not have school Friday.  All other students in the Parish will have school.

 

The Launch Breakfast that was recently put on for all returning staff was a great success and Lazard reported that approximately $20,000 in door prizes was randomly given out to those in attendance over 2 different sessions.  Sam Glenn, a motivational speak kept the crowds entertained throughout the event.

 

Lazard announced a press release that KVPI Power will be increasing on Thursday from 8,000 watts to 25,000 watts which is highly exciting.  However, due to the work to be done on the towers, KVPI AM and FM will be off the air Thursday morning beginning at 9:00 until Thursday night.  KVPI thanked everyone for their patience through this upgrade.

 

Jesse Muse spoke about the Tee Cotton Bowl and assured everyone that everyone involved will be adhering to the rules of the schools and School Board during the event.  This event is for the children.

KVPI FM Increasing in Power

     We have good news and bad news for our KVPI listeners. The good news is that KVPI FM 92.5 will be increasing its effective power from 8,000 watts to 25,000 watts  tomorrow. The power increase will expand our listener range to a larger area of South Central Louisiana.

    The bad news is to accomplish the power increase, we will need to go off the air both on KVPI AM and FM starting at 9:00am Thursday so a tower crew can mount the new FM antennas for the power increase. The work will take the rest of the day so we do not expect to be back on the air until later Thursday night. So please bear with us while the work is going on.

   We think you will like the signal reach once the work is completed. Please share the news with your friends and neighbors of KVPI AM and FM being off the air for the rest of the day for the tower work.

   Thank you for your patience and consideration.

POINT BLUE WATER SYSTEM UNDER BOIL ADVISORY

All Point Blue Water customers that live on Abraham and King Blvd. are under a boil advisory until further notice due to repairs on a 3” main line.  Water was cut off earlier today, but has been restored.  If customers have any further questions, please contact their office at 337-363-5885.

Chamber Director Camille Fontenot, guest speaker at Ville Platte Rotary Club

Rotary Club hears from Chamber Director Camille Fontenot

August 15, 2017

 

     The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from guest speaker Ville Platte Chamber Executive Director Camille Fontenot discuss activities going on at the chamber and Tourism Commission.

    Fontenot said both the chamber and tourism  are important to the financial well being of our community. She said she is working closely with Valerie Cahill, the owner of Hotel Cazan, who has experience and connections to international trade.

   She said the chamber is looking at doing a symposium with Evangeline Parish crawfish producers. She is looking at bringing in Ronnie Gonzales, from New Orleans who is involved in international trade to help our crawfish producers.

   Fontenot is looking at possibly creating a foreign trade zone for the Evangeline Parish Industrial Park to attract international businesses.

   A company from Florida is looking at leasing a large building in the Ville Platte area to store safety equipment for the oil industry. Fontenot said she has been in conversation with a number of possible sites for the company to look at.

    She said she has been working to keep Chicot Park open and to have private business and industry to partner with Chicot Park to attract additional visitors to the park.

   Fontenot reminded club members that the Mamou Cajun Music Festival is scheduled for Sept. 8 and 9. Also, lots of activities are planned in connection with the Tee Cotton Bowl including a banquet the night before, fireworks display, and a parade that Friday at 4;00pm. TV 10’s Passe Partout program plans to broadcast live at Ville Platte High the morning of the ball game Sept. 1.

  Camille Fontenot was the guest of Rotarian Peggy Tate.

   In other business, Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine informed club members that the new Tee Cotton Bowl uniforms are on display at City Hall along with the beautiful World Series trophy won by the Ville Platte 10 year old girls last month.

TE MAMOU WATER DISTRICT ANNOUNCES WATER OUTAGE

Evangeline Parish - The Te Mamou Water District has announced that the water will be cut off on Snooks Road, Pine Point Road, Cousins Road and St. Johns Road for approximately 3 – 4 hours.  They have men working on the lines in that subdivision.  Residents in those areas will also be under a boil advisory until further notice.  They apologize for any inconvenience caused to its customers.

FORMER IT MANAGER PLEADS GUILTY TO DEFRAUDING HIS EUNICE EMPLOYER OF MORE THAN 2.6 MILLION DOLLARS

Acting U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced today that a man from Duson pleaded guilty to wire fraud in connection to a scheme to defraud a Eunice pipeline company out of more than $2.6 million.

 

Richard Walter Borek Jr., 43, of Duson, La., pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick Hanna to one count of wire fraud. The plea will become final when accepted by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote. According to the guilty plea, Borek worked as the information technology (IT) manager for a Eunice pipeline company from 2012 to 2016. He conducted a scheme where he bought cell phones and electronic tablets using company funds from two nationwide cellular phone companies. He then sold them online to another company and kept the money for his own personal use. He also sold web hosting services and computer equipment to the pipeline company through his own company called Statix even though the web hosting services were being provided by another company and the computer equipment was never delivered to the pipeline company’s office. The loss from both schemes resulted in both cell phone companies charging the pipeline company $2,436,487 and Statix charging the pipeline company $236,234.14 for a total loss to the pipeline company of $2,672,721.14.

 

Borek faces 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, restitution and a $250,000 fine. The court set a December 7, 2017 sentencing date.

 

The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Myers P. Namie is prosecuting the case.

VILLE PLATTE CITY COUNCIL HOLDS AUGUST MEETING

The Ville Platte City Council and Mayor, Jennifer Vidrine held its monthly meeting Tuesday night in Ville Platte City Hall.  The Mayor announced that the lobby and drive-thru at City Hall will be closed on Wednesday due to staff development. 

 

The Ville Platte Girls 10’s Softball team who recently won their division in the World Series were celebrated by the Mayor.  Coaches Nick Lebas, Brian Bergeron, Joe Bordelon and Gene Latour brought the girls to show their giant trophy and World Series Rings.  The Mayor presented plaques to each girl.  Lebas spoke to the crowd and thanked the Mayor for the recognition.  The girls then enjoyed pizza and cake courtesy of Judge Gary Ortego, Judge Chuck West, Judge Greg Vidrine, District Attorney Trent Brignac and City Marshall Ronald T. Doucet. You can find additional pictures on our Facebook page.

 

The Mayor announced that the city has demolished six abandoned houses, towed away three vehicles, cut two overgrown grass lots.  Three more houses will be demolished and five more abandoned vehicles are scheduled to be towed.  She explained that letters go out to property owners giving them ten days to respond. If no action is taken by the owner, the City handles the demolition or clean up and then attaches the cost of the bill to the property tax bill of the owner.

 

The Council approved getting an appraisal for property that they would like to trade for another property to build single-family homes on.  City Attorney, Eric La Fleur explained that in order to make a trade, the two properties to have match in value.  That is the basis for the appraisal.  The Council also approved leasing space in the new Boys & Girls Club to Christian Academy and Adult Education.

 

Expenditures for the month of July was $172,480.56 that is down $36,430.43 from the previous month.  The mayor also said they will be doing street repairs in town according to urgency. 

 

Several City Departments as well as the Ville Platte Police Department will be getting new vehicles soon due.  They are currently working with fleet dealers to decide the appropriate vehicles.

 

The next council meeting will be September 19th.

LOUISIANA STATE ARBORETUM FOR HOST ECLIPSE VIEWING ON AUGUST 21ST

Grab your popcorn and call the Louisiana State Arboretum at 337-363-6290 for your group or organization to attend a Eclipse viewing on August 21, 2017 from Noon until 2:30 p.m. at the Nature Center.  NASA maps indicate that the sun will be obscured by about 75% beginning at 11:51 a.m. and peaking at 1:23 p.m.  Experts recommend that people do not look directly at the sun, even with a partial eclipse.  For more information about the eclipse, visit eclipse2017.nasa.gov

EVANGELINE COUNCIL ON AGING TO HOLD ANNUAL MEETING

The Evangeline Council on Aging will hold its Annual Meeting on September 13, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. in the dining room at Village de Memoire.  All interested parties as well as all members of the Council on Aging are invited to attend.  There are currently 4 vacant Board seats to be filled.  Those seats should be filled by people who reside in Police Jury District 2, 3, 4 and 9, one member from each district.  All nominations for Board members should be forwarded to Lisa DeRouen at 337-363-5161.

Alzheimer's Disease Discussed at Ville Platte Rotary Meeting

     Two guests from the Lafayette chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association spoke at today’s (Tuesday) meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club.  Luewana Hannon and Adrienne Mullens were the special guests of Rotarian Peter Strawitz.

    Hannon said Alzheimer’s Disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the USA. She said “It is a degenerative disease that destroys brain cells.” The disease impacted her family directly since her father died from the illness. The association offers awareness to the public by speaking in meetings and leaving brochures about the disease. The organization also offers workshops to educate the general public on the ten warning signs of Alzheimer’s Disease.

   Mullens reminded club members that a fund raising two mile walk is scheduled for Saturday September 16 at Blackham Coliseum in Lafayette. All monies raised will go to research. She announced that 85,000 Louisiana residents will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s this year. She reported that one third of dementia cases could be eliminated through a change to a more healthier lifestyle.

   In other business, the rotary club:

--welcomed its newest member: Debbie Enicke;

--heard from Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine that there will be a Tee Cotton Bowl parade Friday September 1 at 4:00pm down Main street;

--received news from Maggie Ortego that there will be a free suicide prevention training program Aug. 30 and Aug. 31 at the Family Life Center.

EVANGELINE PARISH REPRESENTED AT WATERSHED SUMMIT IN LAFAYETTE, PARISH TO SHARE 35 mil IN FEDERAL RELIEF FUNDS

Governor, John Bel Edwards spoke to a crowd of officials from parishes across Louisiana and others in attendance at the Watershed Summit held at the Lite Centre in Lafayette Thursday.  He discussed issues about flooding in Louisiana and the effects on its residents and businesses.  Edwards spoke about the Acadiana Planning Commission and its mission to bring parishes together to tackle drainage and waterway issues in the State.  By working together in a collaborative effort, one parish will not due harm to another in its efforts.  The Governor was proud to announce that over $35,000,000 will be coming to the parishes included in the Acadiana Planning Commission due to federal funds received due to Hurricane Gustav.  He explained that some of the parishes would not have received any of the funds because they were not declared a disaster area at that time; however, he explained that all eight parishes will be able to share the money because they have formed as one body and will be working together.

 

KVPI News Director, Stephanie Ware, spoke with Evangeline Parish Police Jury President, Ryan Ardoin about the Summit.  He, along with fellow Police Juror, Eric Soileau and Secretary/Treasurer Donald Bergeron attended the Summit that began at 1:30 in the afternoon and did not wrap up until 8:30 p.m.  Ardoin said all eight parishes will share the money for “capital outlay and shovel on the ground projects.”  The Commission will determine what the “priorities” are.

 

Ardoin said there will be more money to come because the Federal government is recognizing just how badly Louisiana has been impacted from rain and flooding.  He said he learned from the Summit that there was $636,000,000 a day impact to the oil and gas industry alone due to flooding.  He said in Evangeline Parish some priorities will be tackling undersized bridges and culverts.  He also said that new technology is being looked at like gauges for our bigger waterways.  Ardoin stated: “Between Chester Granger, Public Works Director, myself, Engineer, Ronnie Landreneau and Donald Bergeron, we will need to sit down and discuss all of the priorities.  It takes a joint effort, not only here locally but on this multi-parish level.”

 

SCHOOL BOARD ENTERS INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH EVANGELINE PARISH SHERIFF TO PROVIDE RESOURCE OFFICER AT EVANGELINE CENTRAL

The Evangeline Parish School Board held its bi-monthly meeting Wednesday night in the School Board Media Center.

 

The Board approved a request by Superintendent, Darwan Lazard to enter into an agreement with the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office to provide a School Resource Officer for Evangeline Central for 10 months effective for the 2017-18 school year.  After the Superintendent received the approval, he introduced the new Resource Officer as Tony Vidrine who has been with the Sheriff’s Office for five years, previously with the Federal Bureau of Prisons for twenty-five years, has a Bachelor of Criminal Justice and was a 1981 graduate of Ville Platte High School.  Vidrine, along with personnel from Central and officials from the Sheriff’s Office will be traveling to Alexandria to view how the CAPS program works, which is the program they are patterning Central after.  Lazard stated “This is going to be a better program at Central than we had before.  It is much needed.”

 

The Superintendent reminds everyone that school staff are due back at work on August 8th and students’ first day of school will be on August 10th.  He said there will be a New School Year Launch for ALL school employees on August 8th at Ville Platte High School.  The mandatory lunch will be at 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 and will run in two different groups.  Buses will be picking employees up in their school area due to parking restraints.  There will be a national spokesman attending.  Sam Glenn “The Attitude Guy” will be speaking and there will be door prizes like computers, cash and more.

The Superintendent announced he and Board Member, Arthur Savoy attended a Driver Orientation at First Student.  He says Principals and drivers were there and were able to communicate about needs for the upcoming school year.

 

Former Vidrine Elementary Teacher, Cheryl Tezeno was announced as the new Middle School Supervisor.  Lazard stated “Tezeno has been with the school system in Evangeline Parish for almost forty years, has worked with grades 6, 7 and 8 and knows the battles those grades face.”

 

It was announced that Principal Anita West will now become the Principal at Vidrine Elementary.  West was the former Pine Prairie High School Principal.

VILLE PLATTE POLICE CONTINUE TO ROUND UP THEFT SUSPECTS

According to a Release from Ville Platte Chief of Police, Neal Lartigue, multiple burglaries have recently been solved with multiple arrests.

 

On July 25, 2017 Officers with the Ville Platte Police Department were dispatched to the area of Pine Street for a report of someone riding a four wheeler on the roadway.  Upon arrival in the area Officers observed a four wheeler that then fled from them on South Chataignier going through both lanes of traffic. The driver then crashed the four wheeler as he went through a ditch on South Chataignier while attempting to reach Ash Street.  Upon crashing the four wheeler, the driver fled on foot.  After further investigation it was determined that the four wheeler was stolen from the Opelousas area where the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office had begun an investigation. On July 26, 2017 a male subject came into the Ville Platte Police Department to speak with investigators.  Although the suspect at that point was not under arrest, he fled the police department once he was confronted with the evidence.  A short foot pursuit ensued and Officers caught the suspect on East Washington Street.  Arrested was Daniel Gallow, 22 of 873 Railroad, Ville Platte.  Gallow was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail on charges of illegal possession of stolen things (felony), off-road vehicle on roadway, criminal damage to property (felony), safety helmet required, careless operation and resisting an officer.  Gallow remains incarcerated on a $36,250.00 bond.

 

Chief Neal Lartigue reports an update to a previous case where a purse and wallet were stolen from a vehicle.  The theft took place on July 3, 2017 on North Thompson Street.  During the investigation the suspects were identified and subsequently arrested.  On July 26, 2017, Marcus Arvie 17, of 204 East Jackson Street, Ville Platte and two juveniles were arrested on charges of burglary and theft.  Arvie was transported to the Ville Platte City Jail on a $12,500.00 bond and the two juveniles were released to the custody of their parents pending a court appearance.

 

The arrest of Marcus Arvie also ended in other charges for multiple recent burglaries. Arvie was arrested and charged in reference to burglaries from July 5, 2017 in the 1100 block of Parkview Street, on July 20, 2017 in the 900 block of Tate Cove Road, and on July 21, 2017 for multiple burglaries in the 2300 block of East Main Street.  Items such as Xbox controllers, games, a Wii system and credit cards were stolen.  These items have not been recovered along with a white Honda 450 ATV that was also stolen.  Arvie was charged with four counts of simple burglary, four counts of theft, four counts of criminal trespass and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile.  Arvie was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail on a $65,000.00 bond.

 

Marcus Arvie was also arrested and charged for an incident that happened on July 22, 2017 where a burglary and theft took place in the 400 block of East Wilson and again in the 2300 block of East Main Streets.  Arvie was charged with unauthorized use of a moveable, criminal trespass, simple burglary, theft, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.  Arvie was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail on a $20,000.00 bond.

 

Arvie was later transported to the Evangeline Parish Jail on all three bond amounts.

 

Chief Neal Lartigue is asking anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of any of these stolen items to contact the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.  Your call will remain anonymous.

State Senator Eric Lafleur Speaks at Ville Platte Rotary Meeting

 

     State Senator Eric Lafleur was the guest speaker at today’s (Tuesday) meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club meeting.

    Senator Lafleur is the chairman of Senate Finance Committee. He said “it is the worst job in the world since the state has no money and you have to keep saying no to everyone.”

    Lafleur said the state ,during the eight years under the Jindal administration, used one time money to plug the holes in the state budget rather than addressing the issue by raising revenues or cutting expenses. He called it a “poor fiscal policy” and the former governor held the veto threat over the heads of lawmakers when they considered other means to balance the state budget.

   This year, a special non- partisan group of fiscal experts,  formulated a plan for the state to meet its budget on an annual basis and the legislature rejected all of its recommendations. The state balanced its budget with the passing of a temporary one penny sales tax. Louisiana has the highest sales tax rate in the country. One bright spot,  the legislature was able to fully fund the Tops scholarship.

  During the question and answer period, Senator Lafleur said there are no plans in the budget for road improvements in Evangeline Parish. He told club members that he was in favor of a new gasoline tax to help pay for infrastructure projects such as new road improvements.

  Lafleur was the guest speaker of Rotarian Vic Slaven.

  In the rotary club minute, Club President Wayne Vidrine reminded members that the Ville Platte club was organized in 1928 and in 1943, during the term of Club President Prof Lafleur, Chicot State Park was created.

 

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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

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