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Local News Archives for 2017-09

St. Ed's Radio Auction Another Big Success on Clasic Hits 92.5 KVPI

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        Friends and supporters of St. Edmund’s High School packed the LSU E Student Union Wednesday night and many more were listening to 92.5 KVPI FM for the annual radio auction for the benefit of the St. Ed’s Athletic Booster Club.

       Once again, KVPI FM 92.5 was there broadcasting the four hour radio auction live from LSU-E. Some 130 items went on the auction block including popular hunting trips. The announcers were St. Landry Parish Judge Gerard Caswell and C.P.A. Mike Johnson. Supporters gathered in the nearby cafeteria to  hear the radio broadcast and enjoyed gumbo and refreshments while bidding.

    St. Ed’s Booster Club President Dr. Randy Miller expressed his appreciation and thanks to the club members, parents and supporters of the school for their hard work and support of the auction.

 

Rotary Club Hears from Barbara Charlie Thibodeaux in Pre Need Planning for Funerals

      The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from Pre-Need Funeral Specialist Barbara Charlie Thibodeaux. Barbara said she has been doing this type of work for the past 23 years and is currently employed at La Ville Funeral Home. She told rotary members that her mother died suddenly of a massive heart attack on an Easter Sunday several years ago and she and the rest of her siblings had to make the final arrangements while they were grieving. “I want to make sure others don’t have to face the tough decisions at a time of losing a loved one like I did.” Pre planning is vital and she said by  pre paying your funeral expenses, a person can lock in the cost at today’s prices. She was the special guest of Rotarian Darin Bordelon.

     The Rotary Club welcomed its newest member: Bob Buroker. It was noted that this is the first time a husband and wife were both members of the club: Barbara and now her husband Bob Buroker;

     Club President Wayne Vidrine read a letter of thanks from First United Methodist Church of Fulsheer, Texas for the generous donation from the local rotary club to help victims of the recent hurricane in the Houston, Texas area;

       Club members were reminded that Rotary is planning a social October 24 where spouses and potential new members will be welcomed.

Suspect arrested in Vehicle Breakins

Ville Platte Police Chief Lartigue reports multiple vehicle break-ins and two arrests.

 

On , September 9, 2017 Officers and Detectives with the Ville Platte Police Department responded to a report of a break in of a vehicle in a parking lot of a school on East Main Street.  Upon arrival Detectives learned that the suspect had broken a side window with a brick or rock and had stolen a Coach purse, a wallet and approximately $200.00 in cash. 

On Friday, September 15, 2017 Officers responded to a report of multiple vehicles that were broken into at the same location.  A witness heard glass breaking and observed a black female and a black male run from the area.  Officer’s in the area observed the black female and black male running from the area as the report was dispatched to them.  Officer’s located the suspects that fled and detained them. 

Officer’s determined that four vehicles were broken into at that location.  Side windows were broken, vehicles mirrors and door handles were damaged and cash and purses were taken. 

The black male juvenile was released to the custody of his parents until his court appearance.  Arrested was Nakaya Joseph, 17 of 116 East Lincoln Road.  Joseph was charged with 1 count criminal mischief, 4 counts simple burglary, 3 counts of criminal damage to property.  Joseph was transported to the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office on a total bond amount of $39,000.00.

Cyber Security discussed at Ville Platte Chamber Meeting Wednesday

     The Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce today (Wednesday) had Brian Miller with Premiere Data Systems as the guest speaker. Miller did a presentation on Cyber Security. He said the #1 threat facing businesses and individuals surfing the net is ransom ware. Malware is encrypted in a file which locks up your computer. The perpetrator demands bitcoins or  something in return to unlock your computer so you can access your files. Miller advised those who get infected with the ransom ware, do not pay what they are demanding. Have your data backed up and have a plan prepared. He offered the following tips: manage your passwords, back up your data on a regular basis, keep your anti -virus and firewalls updated, use caution in clicking on an unknown website or email and be aware of social media posts.

   In other chamber news, Library outreach director Suzie Lemoine announced that there will be 27 vendors with booths for the upcoming Library Book Fair Saturday Oct. 7.

  Chamber Executive Director Camille Fontenot announced that the chamber has been invited by Pine Prairie Energy to tour their 600 million dollar facility in Easton Tuesday Oct. 17 at 5;00pm. Plans are to have chamber members take a bus ride to the plant and be treated to a meal.

Shady Acres homeowners attend Ville Platte Council Meeting Tuesday

       A large group of citizens from the Shady Acres subdivision attended the Ville Platte City Council meeting Tuesday complaining the city is moving too slow in improving the drainage problems in that area of the city. Faye Lemoine said flooding took place in homes last August and again in April of this year. She felt the city  does not have place drainage as a high priority.

     Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine told Lemoine and the residents “You have my word as mayor that the flooding is a high priority. We have to follow procedures and sometimes it takes time to accomplish the plan of action.”

    Engineer Ronnie Landreneau , who lives in the same subdivision, is recommending the city bid out a part of the project to a contractor with the proper equipment to clean out all of the ditches in the area and remove and replace about a half mile of 12 inch pipe.

   Residents were also asked to attend police jury meetings to make sure jurors  are cleaning the area canals that the city water drains into. Mayor Jennifer Vidrine said the city is also working on other areas that are prone to flooding such as Railroad, MLK and Soileau Streets  .

   In other business, the mayor announced:

--the city spent $31,000 more in August than in July because of an insurance premium was due;

--the hiring of four new part time officers in the police department: three jailers and one dispatcher;

--that seven abandoned homes were torn down including the Dr. Dupre home on West Main and seven over grown lots were cleaned up;

--received news that a grant was approved to construct a subdivision of ten single family homes that will be sold to first time home buyers or rented;

--that the police reported for August that 641 calls came in, worked 38 traffic accidents and 35 people were arrested;

--the fire department announced that in August, they received 12 fire calls including one house fire.

Rotary Club Hears from Better Business Bureau Official

       The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from Robin Stokes with the Better Business Bureau of Lafayette. Stokes heads up the educational arm of the local bureau informing the public of scams going on in our area. She reported she visits local senior groups on a regular basis to warn them about scammers. Stokes was informed that a local Ville Platte senior lost $15,000 in a funeral scam over several years. The scammers had taken her money over several years.  The caller ID’s doesn’t help anymore as the scammers can use local number. Some of the more popular scams are that the person being called won a grant or they owe money to the IRS for back taxes. She advised those who get calls like this, to contact the Better Business Bureau and also report it to local police. Stokes said she does special seminars for investment frauds and cyber security and often visits schools. Rotarian Nicole Wenger was in charge of the program.

      In other business, Club President Wayne Vidrine announced that the Ville Platte club reached its goal of matching a $1000 anonymous donation to assist those victims from Hurricane Harvey. Earlier, the club had raised $2500 in donations from club members to help victims through a church shelter. With the newest donations, the club has now raised $4500 all for hurricane relief.

     Vidrine reported that the club has scheduled a Halloween social planned for October 24 where spouses and potential members will be invited.

Ville Platte Police make arrests for stolen ATV's

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Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue reports 3 arrests and recovered four wheelers

 

On Sunday afternoon  September 10, 2017, Officers and Detectives with the Ville Platte Police Department responded to a report of multiple black male juveniles riding on the roadway on four wheelers. Officers attempted to stop the two four wheelers near Alton Locks Drive, a short pursuit ensued as the juveniles traveled down multiple streets in the city.  After following and tracking them, Detectives located the four wheelers near Lornette Street in a field, the juveniles fled on foot and were apprehended a short time later.  Three black male juveniles were arrested and released to the custody of their parents pending a court appearance.

 One of the four wheelers that was located had been reported missing the morning of September 17, 2017 and was returned to the owner.  Detectives found the wiring system had been cut on the four wheeler. 

The pictured four wheeler was also located and at this time the Ville Platte Police Department is searching for the owner.  If you believe that this four wheeler belongs to you and you can provide paperwork or identifying information, please contact the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.

Ribbon Cutting and Open House held today at new 9-1-1 Office

The Evangeline Parish E-9-1-1 Office held a successful open house and ribbon cutting at its facility today at the Industrial Park. Many parish officials, first responders, and emergency officials gathered at its new site to congratulate Liz Hill and her staff along with Board chairman Pat Derouselle. KVPI FM 92.5 was there with Becky Vidrine covering the entire event.

Pine Prairie Police arrest suspect on Indecent Behavior Charges

1 SUSPECT ARRESTED FOR:

14:81 Indecent Behavior with juvenile

 

                On August 2nd, 2017 Pine Prairie Police received a complaint in reference to Indecent Behavior with a Juvenile.  During the investigation, it was alleged that Jimmie D Duhon age 47 performed indecent acts of a sexual nature with a juvenile subject while living in the Village Limits of Pine Prairie. During the 3 week investigation, an arrest warrant was issued for Mr. Duhon by Judge Chuck West with a $50,000 bond. Mr. Duhon was located by Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office on September 12, 2017 and held on our warrant. He was brought to Evangeline Parish Jail where he was booked on those charges where he awaits bond. We thank the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in locating Mr. Duhon.

Evangeline Parish Police Jury Ponders Leasing Crooked Creek Park

     The Evangeline Parish Police Jury, Monday, received two offers from local residents to lease Crooked Creek Park. Jury Secretary Treasurer Donald Bergeron said the jury is looking at exploring that option. The parish owned 300 acre park is about 40 years old and contains over 100 camping sites along with a fishing lake and a sandy beach. Bergeron said jurors plan to be cautious of any lease to make sure the taxpayer’s investment is protected. The jury agreed to formally advertise to lease the park and review the bids.

       In other business, the police jury approved the following appointments: Sandra Jacobs to replace Mayor Jennifer Vidrine on the Parish Library board and  Pam Hall to the Mamou Drainage Board; the following were re -appointed to serve another term: Charles Benny Fontenot and Wendell Brunet to the Vidrine Drainage board; Bryan Bieber and Darrell McGee to the Prairie Mamou Drainage Board; Clem Manuel and Paul Berzas to the Duralde Gravity Drainage Board; Ralph Celestine to the Mamou Drainage Board; Lynn Gooden and Nathaniel Thomas to the Evangeline Parish Communications Board.

      Also the jury approved picking up the election day expenses for the following polls that do not meet the minimum voter numbers: Lake Cove, Faubourg, Chauncey Pitre Ag  Arena, Veterans Home and Lincoln Road. The state mandates that a poll must have a minimum of 300 registered voters. If not, they should consolidate. The jury did request the state to consider paying the election expenses for Lake Cove under extra ordinary circumstances since the majority of voters are low income and it would cause a hardship for voters to travel to another precinct.

      In other action, the jury was notified that the security camera project is completed for the courthouse at a cost of $40,000; sales tax collections for July amounted to $266,692, a drop of $40,000 from the month before; and the Beacon’s Gully Bridge project is finally complete after eight years at a cost of $600,000.

Savoy Cancer Walk Discussed at Rotary Meeting

 

      The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from Casey Duos with Savoy Medical Center. Duos is a pharmacist with Savoy Medical but also works in chemo therapy at Savoy Cancer Center. She is the chair person for the annual Savoy Cancer Breast Cancer Walk Saturday Oct. 14. All of the funds raised from this annual benefit go to help indigent cancer patients with co-pay payments, prosthesis and wigs.

   The event will attract some 500 participants in the 5-K run/walk, activities, food and live music. They are still looking for additional sponsors from businesses and corporations.

   She was the guest of Rotarian Dr. Ted Ardoin.

   In other business, Rotary Club President Wayne Vidrine announced the names of four local student recipients of a local Rotary Club scholarship at LSU Eunice.

 

  Also it was announced that $600 has been collected so far in a fund raising drive to match a $1000 donation from an anonymous donor from the club to assist victims from Tropical Storm Harvey in the Houston Texas area. This is on top of $2500 collected earlier.

  

Ville Platte Police searching for shooting suspect

 

        Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue reports a search for suspect for attempted second degree murder

 

 

       On the date of September 11, 2017 Officers with the Ville Platte Police Department responded to a report of shots fired in the 100 block of East Oak. Upon arrival Officers observed a white male subject walking out of the residence with blood all over his clothing. The subject had a single gunshot wound underneath his left arm. Witnesses stated that the subject was in an altercation with four black males where he was struck repeatedly including being struck physically with a pistol. The subject had cuts and marks on his arm, face and head.  At some point during the altercation one of the black male suspects pulled out a pistol and shot the white male.

 

       The gunshot victim was transported by Acadian Ambulance to Mercy Regional Medical Center. The on call Detective responded to the scene and after further investigation an arrest warrant was issued for Lawrence L. Fontenot, 24 of 2930 Kenneth Street, Ville Platte.  Fontenot was charged with attempted second degree murder.  Fontenot’s bond is set at $100,000.00. 

 

      Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Lawrence L. Fontenot is asked to call the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.  Your call will remain anonymous.                                                                                                                                                                                       

Tournoi Eliminations Held Sunday

      The Tournoi eliminations were held Sunday at the Industrial Park Tournoi track. Unlike last year, the weather was perfect for the riders. Steve “Buffy” Guillory told KVPI News that the time keepers were retired Tournoi riders. Here are the six riders who will join the top ten riders from last year for this year’s running of the Tournoi: 1st- Marcus Guillory; 2nd- Kent Saucier; 3rd- Bryce Johnson; 4th- Jordan Sylvester; 5th- Shane Trahan and 6th- Chuck Manuel.

     These riders will join last year’s top ten riders: 2016 Tournoi Champ- Eric Guillory; 2nd place- Ryan Haller; 3rd place- Alex Haller; 4th place- Shane Lee; 5th place- Paul Fontenot; 6th place- Keith Saucier; 7th place-Lisa Crane; 8th place- John Ross Guillory; 9th place- Cheyenne Crane and 10th place- Logan Floyd.

    The three new 2017 Tournoi Queens were on hand Sunday to view the eliminations: 2017 Miss Louisiana Tournoi- Holly Kay of Natchitoches, the daughter of Robin and Keith Kay; 2017 Teen Louisiana Tournoi- Charly Marie Bieber of Mamou, the daughter of Charles and Michelle Bieber and the 2017 Jr. Tournoi Queen is Samara Lafleur of Pine Prairie, the daughter of Kasey and Jade Lafleur.

     The 2017 Tournoi will be run in the memory of the late Jerry L. Dupre. This year’s Tournoi will be run Sunday October 15 at 2:00pm right after the Cotton Festival parade at the Industrial Park Track. KVPI-FM 92.5 will be there broadcasting the event for those who cannot attend.

EVANGELINE PARISH SCHOOL BOARD HOLDS BI-MONTHLY MEETING AND CHEERLEADERS RECOGNIZED

The Evangeline Parish School Board met Wednesday night in the School Board Media Center.  The room was packed with supporters of the Cheerleaders from Bayou Chicot Elementary.  School Superintendent, Darwan Lazard introduced the cheering team and announced that three of the cheerleaders were recently selected as All-American Cheerleaders.  Jesa Vidrine, Mayzee Lafleur and Ainsley Dutton were chosen after attending UCA Camp this summer.  Only 10% of those who attend the Camp are actually chosen as an All-American.  The three are sponsored by Anne Soileau and Fallen Ortego.  The girls will not only be performing during the half-time show at the LSU game this Saturday night; but, they will also be performing in the Thanksgiving Day Parade in Orlando, Florida.

 

First Student Representative, Lance Enkey, gave an update to the School Board on how things are going since school started.  Enkey said there was a driver’s meeting held with principals from schools, drivers and some members of the Board and Administration attended.  He said he received a “ton” of feedback from the drivers and said it was a very productive meeting.  He said there are currently 89 routes being run daily in the Parish consisting of approximately 4,521 miles driven by approximately 25 drivers.  Each bus contains 4 digital cameras and they have implemented safety practices on the buses to ensure that no child is left on a bus at the end of the day.  A few of the drivers have already found children sleeping due to their safety practices.

 

School scores will be changing next year and will continue to change until the target year of 2025 when new standards in student scores will take full effect.  According to Roxanne West and Penny McDaniel with the School Board, ‘BASIC’ is no longer acceptable and the State is sending schools to achieve a “MASTERY” status by students in order to receive the points required to score schools.  The Superintendent said “Some schools that were at an ‘A’ last year may not come in at an ‘A’ next year due to the changes.  He said they are working very hard with children to achieve the new levels.

VILLE PLATTE POLICE AND AREA BUSINESS TEAM UP TO SEND SUPPLIES TO FLOOD VICTIMS IN TEXAS

Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue would like to thank everyone who donated items for the victims of Hurricane Harvey.   He has been working with Connie Lamke, also with the Ville Platte Police Department who teamed up with Kerri Courville – Area Manager (Central Louisiana Market) of AT&T- Live Mobile to collect donations of supplies such as water, diapers, wipes, soaps, shampoo, deodorant, undergarments etc.  Staff at both locations helped greet donors and gather donations. In three days over 150 cases of water were donated and enough supplies to fill and truck and trailer.  “We are thankful and proud to have been a part of this donation drive” Chief Lartigue said, “We will continue to be a drop off point for anyone who wishes to donate.”

 

Chief Lartigue has been hands on for this donation drive as well as helping personally, He recently made a trip to Beaumont to help rescue a family.  “Chief Lartigue has encouraged the department to get involved and help and continues to lead by example”, Connie Lamke stated, “He was on the road when the group photo was taken but kept in touch with me to make sure we had what we needed before our team left for Texas.”  Kerri, Connie and Chief Lartigue had a meeting at the Police Department before the trip to Texas to discuss routes, logistics and safety.

 

On Sunday Kerri and Casey Courville left Ville Platte headed for Texas with the supplies in tow.  As most of the interstate was still closed to traffic, it took many detours and extra hours of travel to reach their destination.  Kerri stated that they were met by friendly faces and much appreciation.  “We saw so many people helping and giving” Kerri said, “It was a humbling experience that I’m happy to have been a part of.”

 

Donations will still be accepted for another trip.  “We already have donations that have come in even after the team left for Texas and we will continue to accept donations at the Ville Platte Police Department and AT&T- Live Mobile.” Chief Lartigue stated, “Our focus will be on what is a continued need for our neighbors in Texas and we will keep the public informed as their needs change.”

 

Our parish residents have risen to the needs of victims with donations of huge proportions.  Staff at both drop off points were kept busy helping offload donations as they arrived.  “We were proud to be able to reach out and help those affected, “Chief Lartigue stated, “We’ve been there ourselves, our neighbors in Texas needed help and will continue to need help for some time.”

 

If you would like more information on donating or other ways to help, contact Connie at the Ville Platte Police Department, 363-1313.

OPELOUSAS MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO POSSESSING A FIREARM AFTER BEING ARRESTED FOR A FELONY

Acting U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced today that an Opelousas man pleaded guilty to possessing a pistol even though he was previously convicted of a felony and prohibited from possessing a firearm. Willie Jamal Reynolds, 28, of Opelousas, La., pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick Hanna to one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

 

The plea will become final when accepted by U.S. District Judge S. Maurice Hicks Jr. According to the guilty plea, police arrested Reynolds on June 3, 2017 for possessing a Smith and Wesson .40 caliber semiautomatic pistol. After further investigation, police found a 15-minute video online of Reynolds and a friend in the presence of numerous firearms. Reynolds is a felon after receiving a conviction in September of 2013 and is not allowed to possess a firearm. Reynolds faces up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. The court did not set a sentencing date.

 

This investigation and prosecution is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, which is a Department of Justice initiative to promote firearm safety and to reduce firearm crimes by preventing the possession and use of firearms by dangerous and persistent felons and others not authorized to possess a firearm. The ATF and the Opelousas Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Dominic Rossetti is prosecuting the case. 

LSUE News Begins Wednesday on 92.5 KVPI FM

Starting Wednesday at 4:30pm, join us on 92.5 KVPI as we carry a new weekly radio show "LSU E News" with the latest news coming from LSU Eunice. This week's show will feature Travis Webb.

VILLE PLATTE POLICE CHIEF NEAL LARTIGUE REQUESTS INFORMATION ON RECENT BURGLARY AND THEFT

On or about the evening of August 31st and the morning of September 1, 2017 items were stolen from a local business on East Main Street in Ville Platte.  Officers and Detectives report that a padlock was cut and the suspect entered the business grounds and stole a welding machine, 60 pound air compressor, aluminum tool box, and a 6 x 8 custom made trailer with a sheet metal roof.  

Chief Neal Lartigue is requesting that anyone that has information on these items or suspects to call the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.  Your call will remain anonymous.

Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine Talks to Rotary Club

     The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine give a status report on projects going on in the city.

    Mayor Jennifer said work crews are continuing to clean drainage in Shady Acres, LaSalle and Chataignier streets to prevent future flooding events. She said there was no street flooding last week with Hurricane Harvey.

    She reported that a new software system will detect water leaks anywhere inside the city limits. Every week, homeowners will be notified if the software finds there is a leak on the home owners property instead of waiting until the end of the month when the water bill could be considerable.

   The city of Ville Platte will be getting a $1.6 million dollar grant for the Ville Platte Recreation complex for four additional fields.

   Work is progressing on cleaning up abandoned property and abandoned vehicles. She reported that in the last two weeks, 14 abandoned homes were torn down. The mayor said homeowners have 30 days to clean up their property once they have been notified by the city. For abandoned cars, they have three days.

   The city is building 10 single family homes on city owned property along Dossman Street using grant funds for rent or purchase.

   Also the city is looking at erecting a new welcome sign on East Main next Tobacco Plus with a fountain and flags.

   Mayor Jennifer said a group of citizens is urging the city to remove the reflective gear ordinance. The mayor feels it is a good ordinance to protect the safety of motorists and pedestrians walking at night.

   In other rotary business, Rotarian Dr. Willie Buller was named fund raising chairman to raise funds for flood relief victims. Already, $3,000 have been collected. An additional $1000 was given by an anonymous rotarian challenging fellow club members.

 

KVPI French News and La Tasse De Cafe went on the road for the Tee Cotton Bowl Friday morning

KVPI joined with Tee Cotton Bowl organizers by taking the French News and La Tasse de Cafe on the road broadcasting live this morning at the Meet and Greet at the beautiful home of Dr. and Mrs. Chuck Aswell on West Main Street. Special thanks to Dr. Chuck for opening his home to us and the many people who showed up. There was a virtual feast of food. After our La Tasse de Cafe, Steph stayed on the air doing live remote breaks over 92.5 KVPI.

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