Local News Archives for 2017-11

Fr. Mitch Guidry spoke to Ville Platte Rotary Club

        Fr. Mitch Guidry, pastor of Our Lady Queen of All Saints, spoke today (Tuesday) on the Christmas season to the Ville Platte Rotary Club. Fr. Mitch said we are entering the season of Advent for Christians everywhere. He said it is a time for preparation.  “We should have faith, show faith, have others love us and love others and have hope,”,he commented. He said “We should not fear death or the end of times if we are prepared and have faith.” The age old tradition of giving gifts at Christmas time is a good thing said Fr. Mitch. He was the guest of Rotarian John Mayeaux.

       Also speaking at the noon luncheon were two guests from rotary clubs in the Houma area who are in charge of the RYLLA camp for teens each summer. The two are searching for a new home for the annual camp. This year the camp was located at Mountain Bayou Boy Scout Camp near St. Landry. They were visiting with Chicot Park officials to check the possibility of moving the camp there. The camp brings in about 65 young people and teaches them leadership skills.

        Ville Platte Rotary Club President Wayne Vidrine reminded club members that the annual Christmas social is set for Dec. 12 at La Veille Banque .

        Mayor Jennifer Vidrine reminded everyone that the annual Chamber Christmas Parade is set for Sunday Dec. 3 at 5:30pm with lineup at 5;00pm at the Ville Platte Boys and Girls Club. At the end of the parade, the Christmas lights will be lit for the beginning of the holiday season..

Cleco C.E.O. Spoke at Ville Platte Rotary Club Tuesday

     Bill Fontenot, Cleco Interim Chief Executive Officer, was the guest speaker at today’s (Tuesday) meeting of the Rotary Club of Ville Platte. He has been employed by Cleco for more than 30 years and has been serving in his current position for the past six month. He shared with club members what has been going on at the company since it was purchased by an investment group 18 months ago. Fontenot said the investment group has four Louisiana residents on its board of directors, is preparing to spend 30 million dollars on new software, will double the amount of tree trimming as before, has begun automated meter reading and investing in new technology.

    With the buy- out, the investors gave $136 million in bill credit to its customers, 7 million dollars to the Louisiana Economic Development Agency and 6 million dollars to charitable groups.

    Cleco is looking at natural gas to be the usable source for power generation for the company in the future, more than renewable sources such as wind and solar.

     Fontenot was the guest of his father, Rotarian Leonard Glen Fontenot.

     In other business, Club President Wayne Vidrine:

--announced that the annual club Christmas social is scheduled for Tuesday December 12 at La Veille Banque;

--told club members that $2200 will be donated to the Beaumont Rotary Club as part of that club’s Operation Warmth to provide coats for school age children impacted by the recent hurricanes;

--heard from Maggie Ortego that the “Choices” program will be taught by club members to 9th graders in several schools in the parish the week of December 4 to urge students to stay in school and graduate.

New State Police Troop I Commander Hails from Evangeline Parish

Lafayette – Louisiana State Police Troop I welcomed its newest Troop Commander this week following the appointment of Captain Wayne Vidrine by State Police Superintendent Colonel Kevin Reeves. The transfer followed Captain James Cormier’s retirement from Louisiana State Police.


Captain Vidrine was born and raised in Evangeline Parish where he currently resides. He is married and has three children, one son and two daughters. He began his law enforcement career with the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office in 1991. He graduated from the Louisiana State Police Training Academy in 1994 and was assigned to patrol. He was then transferred to the Bureau of Investigations in 2005. He has worked in several sections which include Narcotics, Gaming and various administrative positions for the past 12 years. Captain Vidrine was promoted to Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Captain while in the Bureau. For the last year and seven months, Captain Vidrine has served as the Criminal Investigations Division Commander of Region 2.


Upon his appointment as Troop I commander, Vidrine expressed his desire to continue to foster positive working relationships with local, state and federal agencies. Captain Vidrine said “I am honored to accept this position as Commander of Troop I, and plan to continue working with our community partners to reduce crime and fatal crashes. The safety of our communities and citizens is our highest priority.”


Troop I would like to congratulate Captain Wayne Vidrine on his transfer and new appointment as Troop I Commander.


Louisiana State Police Troop I consists of an eight parish region including Evangeline, St. Landry, Acadia, Lafayette, St. Martin, Vermilion, Iberia and St. Mary parishes with over 800 combined highway miles.

Not Just October Open House at Evangeline Family Medicine

       Evangeline Family Medicine held an Open House Saturday morning in partnership with the Susan G. Koman Foundation to stress breast cancer awareness is not just in October because breast cancer strikes all year long. A large group of women attended the event and each received a big full of educational information. Kate Labue with Susan G. Komen urged women to get their mammograms. Brenda Viggers of Turkey Creek gave an inspirational talk on how getting a mammogram and finding cancer early saved her life. The staff of Evangeline Family Medicine gave her a bouquet of flowers. There was food for everyone and plenty of door prizes including movie tickets, gift cards and manicure and pedicure certificates. The grand prize winner was Shelsy Williams who won a 32 inch smart TV. The Classic Hits 92.5 KVPI road crew, Carly and Mark, was there  to cover it for our listeners.

Sheriff's Office arrests burglary suspect

Sheriff Eddie Soileau, of the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office has released the following:


Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division is relieved after finally capturing who they believe is the suspect involved in multiple cases of Thefts and Burglaries in the Turkey Creek area.


On Tuesday morning before day break, November 14, 2017 Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office Deputies apprehended a white male subject identified as Jeremy Clark age 34  safely and without incident at the residence on the 1100 block of Junction Road.


Deputies were initially called out for loud noises of ATV riding. After a brief investigation of the ATV riding, Deputies were led to the 1100 block of Junction Road where a ATV fitting the description of a recently stolen ATV was discovered along with the suspect Jeremy Clark inside the residence. A Search Warrant was immediately authored and executed on the residence along with an Arrest Warrant for the arrest of Jeremy Clark for Possession of Stolen Things both signed by 13th Judicial Judge Chuck West.


Clark is being held at the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office jail on a $15,000.00 bond and is still under investigation for other thefts in the Turkey Creek area.


As always the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the public for all information and tips received that led to the capture of Jeremy Clark.


Bomb Threat at Eunice Jr. High

      On Thursday November 16, 2017 at 12:18 pm, the Eunice Police Department responded to a bomb threat at Eunice Junior High School. A call was received concerning a note that had been located by a school employee. Upon officers’ arrival, all students and faculty members from both Eunice Junior High School, located at 751 W Oak Ave, and Eunice Elementary School, located at 451 S 9th Street, were moved to a secure predetermine location.

     Officers quickly completed a comprehensive sweep of the buildings for any suspicious objects, finding none. Students and faculty were cleared to return to their schools at 1:19 pm. The note was seized as evidence and the investigation is ongoing.

    Chief Randy Fontenot would like to express his appreciation to the students and faculty members for remaining calm and following their emergency plan. For the safety of the students, parents were not allowed to pick up their children until they were safely returned to the schools. This practice is followed at all such events so each student can be accounted for.


Evangeline Sheriff's Office searching for Armed Robbery Suspect

Sheriff Eddie Soileau, of the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office has released the following:


On Thursday, November 9, 2017 at approximately 4:40pm  an Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office Patrol Deputy was dispatched out for an Armed Robbery near the 2400 block of 7th Street (Eastside Subdivision) in Ville Platte, LA.    


The initial investigative interview by Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Deputy revealed that a male subject wearing a bandana partially over his face held the victim at gun point. The victim said the male subject took her purse by force and fled on foot. At some point, the male subject walks up to a vehicle being driven by Charles Herbert and leaves the scene with him, after which the male suspect exited the vehicle and fled on foot.  


The male subject was later identified as Kendell Pete, 18  of Ville Platte. The Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office is seeking assistance from the Public in locating Pete. Pete is known to frequent the area of the Eastside Subdivision and occasionally be at the residence of 2481 2nd Street in the Eastside Sub.


Anyone with any information is urged to contact the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office Investigation Division by phone at 337-363-2161. All callers with information will remain anonymous. Subject is considered to be Armed and Dangerous.


Kendell Pete has an active warrant for Armed Robbery w/Use of a Firearm signed by 13th Judicial Judge Gary Ortego.


Good Scores Reported at School Board Meeting Wednesday

      Supervisor Penny McDaniel had good news to share with the Evangeline Parish School Board Wednesday based on the just released early childhood performance profiles. The report card for the school district’s pre school program including Head Start and two day care centers showed an overall above average score of 5.26 out of a possible 7 score. “We are thrilled with the scores. In fact, the pre- school program at Vidrine had the highest score in the state,” McDaniel remarked.

      More good news came from Supt. Of Schools Darwan Lazard who announced the school performance scores were released from state Department of Education. “Evangeline Parish is still a B District. We have 9 - B schools and 2- C schools. We are very proud of our teachers and principals for the hard work they do every day in our schools,” said Lazard.

       The school board approved the lease of a huge  Xerox printer at a cost of $76,375 at the request of Assistant Supt. Of Schools Mike Lombas. He explained to school board members that the wave of the future is no longer textbooks The new 16 foot long machine will print 4 million pages a year for student modules. “It will save the school district a ton of money down the road over the cost of adopting textbooks”.

        In other news:

--it was announced that the grand opening and ribbon cutting of the new Teacher Training and Technology Center will be Dec. 13 from 4:45-5:45pm. The public will be invited.

--recognized the two winnners in the cleanest school contest for the past  quarter: Mamou Elementary and Basile High School. The custodians were each given $25 gift cards ;

--was announced that there will only be one board meeting in December and January: December 13 and January 17.

Police arrests two suspects for thefts

    Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue reports two arrests for felony theft.

    On Tuesday, November 14, 2017, Officers with the Ville Platte Police Department responded to a report of theft on Tom Drive.  Upon arrival Officers learned that many items were taken from the home including two televisions, two PlayStation gaming consoles, home stereo system, clothing, purses, shoes, cell phones, towels and wash cloths, jewelry box and multiple miscellaneous items. 

     Assigned to the incident was Detective Sergeant Steven Deville.  Deville received information that a white female and a white male removed the items from the residence and placed them into a white Ford pickup truck and left the area.  A short time later Deville located the truck at a residence on Theophile Road.  After obtaining and executing a search warrant, most of the stolen items were located in the residence, truck and shed.  While searching the shed for items the two suspects were discovered hiding behind a headboard that was stored in the shed.   Two arrests were made and all items recovered were returned to the owner.

     Christopher Dan Aucoin 35, of 221 Hill Street, Eunice, was arrested without incident and booked into the Ville Platte City Jail charged with felony theft. Aucoin remain incarcerated in an $18,000.00 bond set by Judge Gary Ortego.

      Jamie Carter, 37 of 1058 Andrus Lane, St. Landry was arrested without incident and booked into the Ville Platte City Jail charged with felony theft. Carter remains incarcerated in an $18,000.00 bond set by Judge Gary Ortego.

Ville Platte Chmber of Commerce Welcomes New Members

    The Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce, today (Wednesday), heard from Julie Spor, the owner of a new cleaning company “Sweet Tea and Suds Cleaning Company” headquartered out of St. Landry. She announced that she does residential and commercial cleaning throughout the area. She also announced that they are bonded and insured.

   The chamber also welcomed new members: Sweet Tea and Suds Cleaning, Premiere Data Systems of Opelousas, Buller Family Dentistry in Mamou and Judy Guillory.

   The new manager at the Ville Platte Wal-Mart, Connie introduced herself and said she wants to work with local groups in supporting the community.

   It was announced that Congressman Mike Johnson will have a Town hall meeting in Ville Platte Friday Dec. 15 at 1:30pm at the Boys and Girls Club which is located at the old nursing home facility. The public is invited to attend.

   Chamber members were urged to participate in the Chamber of Commerce Christmas parade Sunday Dec. 3 at 5;30pm with lineup at 5;00pm at the Boys and Girls Club.

    There will be no December Chamber meeting. The next chamber meeting will be Wednesday January 17 at 12 noon.

Rotary District Governor visits Ville Platte Club Today

     District 6200 Rotary District Governor Martha Collins of Houma visited the Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) during their noon luncheon. She earlier visited with the club’s board members. Also accompanying her at the meeting were her husband, former District Governor Mike Collins and Assistant District Governor Richard Hidalgo of Opelousas.

    Collins praised the local club for the projects they are doing for the local community such as scholarships, the Choices Program and the Interact Club. She urged members to contribute more to the Rotary Foundation to help people in need all over the world.  She gave one example dealing with polio cases. A few years ago, there were 1000 new cases of polio every day in the world. With the help of Rotary and other groups, the cases were reduced to just 14 cases a day in just two countries.

   She encouraged the Ville Platte club to apply for District grants to help with community projects up to $5000. Also, Rotary International grants are available for projects of $30,000 or more.

   In closing she told club members that there are 1.2 million Rotarians in the world, 35,000 clubs and is in over 200 countries.

   She said , “You should quit giving when there are no more hungry children, homeless veterans and no more polio cases.”

   In other business, it was announced that the Rotary Club will begin its annual Choices program to 9th graders in parish schools on December 4.

Mamou Police arrest local man on Attempted Murder Charges


       A Mamou man was arrested on November 4 and charged with attempted murder in connection with a shooting incident, according to Phyllis Soileau with the Mamou Police Department. The subject was identified as Diquon Richard, age 19 of 1074 Shorty Lane, Mamou. The police spokesperson said the dispute centered between the subject and 3 adults and 3 juveniles. It began at the Exxon station and moved to Savoy Medical Center. The argument led, according to the police,  to Richard getting a pistol from his vehicle and began firing shots at the the group. No one was injured. One bullet hit the hospital building. Richard was charged with attempted murder and his bond has been set at $125,000.

     Two women were charged with attempting to drop off drugs to a patient at a chemical dependency facility in Mamou. The suspects were identified as Terrika Richard age 31 of Decater, Georgia and Sharonne Tezeno  age 29 of 1425 MLK Drive, Ville Platte. Richard was arrested and charged with distribution of schedule 4 and schedule 2 drugs and entering contraband into a medical institution.  Tezeno was charged with two counts of being a principal to the charges.  Tezeno drove the car for Richard. Richard is accused of leaving drugs for a patient right outside the New Horizons Chemical Dependency facility in Mamou.

   In another case, three Ville Platte men and four juveniles were arrested last week in connection with the theft of two four wheelers. The adult suspects were identified as Dalonvo Alfred age 17, Derrick Clark age 19 and Kendall Clark age 17 all of Ville Platte. They were each charged with theft over $5,000, trespassing, obstruction of justice and four counts of contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile. Also arrested were four juveniles, ranging from 16-16 years old. Mamou Police in cooperation with the Ville Platte Police were able to recover two 4-wheelers: one stolen from Ville Platte and one stolen from a residence on Duos street.

Ville Platte approves funding for Water Project Next Year

   After holding a public hearing prior to its meeting Tuesday, the Ville Platte City Council adopted an ordinance approving the sale of up to five million dollars in utility bonds to complete phase three and phase four of the city wide water line replacement project.. Phase three is ending and phase four, the final phase,  will concentrate on Main and LaSalle Street water lines next year.

  Also the city council adopted another ordinance to partner with the Louisiana Municipal Association and use their administrative hearing protocol in dealing with overgrown properties such as tall grass and overgrown vegetation.

    Mayor Jennifer Vidrine announced that the city is accepting nominations for a slogan for the new “Welcome Sign” to be erected on the east side entrance way in front of Tobacco Plus. The new welcome sign will also have a flag display and a lighted fountain.

   She announced work crews are stringing up the Christmas lights on city streets but they will not be lit until Dec. 1. The annual Chamber of Commerce Christmas parade is scheduled for Dec. 3 at 5:30pm.

   In other action the city council:

--heard that Thaddeus Arvie of Chataignier is proposing to paint a mural of Dr. Martin Luther King on the side of the Southside MLK center once the council approves the sketch drawing and the cost;

--received news that city expenses dropped from September to October by some $57,362;

--approved the hiring of Shannon Semien as a patrol officer with the Ville Platte Police Department;

-received a report from the city fire department that in October the fire department responded to a total of 28 calls  including seven structure fires.


Crowds packed the parade route and the Legion home for Veterans Day today

       One of the largest crowds of people in quite a few years jammed Sixth Street in Mamou to attend the Veteran’s Day parade and then gathered at the American Legion Post Home grounds for the flag raising and public speaking event.

    The weather was perfect for a parade with clear skies and mild temperatures. The crowds of people viewed one of the largest and longest parades in years with Parade Marshal Retired General Ben Soileau greeting the throng. There were veterans riding in classic cars, jeeps, ATV’s and other vehicles. Two bands performed during the parade: Mamou High and Basile High.

    At the public speaking event, there was a fly over by a crop dusting plane and a helicopter. American Legion Post 123 Commander Charles Perdices was the emcee. General Soileau was the keynote speaker. Also speaking were District Judges Gary Ortego and Chuck West. A representative for Congressman Mike Johnson read a letter to the crowd in attendance. Mamou elementary students were awarded medals for their essays and shoe box patriotic displays. The Mamou elementary students enrolled in French Immersion said the Pledge of Allegiance in French and English. Fr. Richard Vidrine, a veteran himself, gave the invocation. The Mamou High band performed a number of patriotic songs during the program. Former commander James Fontenot was given a plaque of appreciation for his service to the legion post.

   At the conclusion of the program, auctioneer Kevin Fontenot auctioned off several home- made cakes and pies as a fund raiser for the post home.

Nancy Tabb Marcantel Guest Speaker at Rotary Club

Rotary Club hears from Nancy Tabb Marcantel

November 7, 2017


    The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from Nancy Tabb Marcantel, President of the Animal Rescue Foundation of Louisiana that has been helping rescue and save dogs for the past 20 years. Marcantel is a well know singer and performer but her first love is saving animals.

    She shared several rescue stories with rotary club members. One story dealt with sending a lab to the President of the New York Yankees. Five of the labs her group rescued became New York City police dogs.

    Another dog was sent to an autistic child who never spoke but a few weeks after the child got the dog, he began speaking to the dog.

    Another rescue dog saved the life of a two year old who fell into the backyard pool.

    She was the special guest of Rotarian Annie Fruge.

    Club President Wayne Vidrine and Rotarian Leonard Glenn Fontenot  installed Bob Buroker and his wife, Barbara as official members.

Evangeline Parish Police Jury Hears from Sheriff Candidate

       On Monday, November 6, 2017 the Evangeline Parish Police Jury held their monthly meeting.

Charles Guillory, Ville Platte District Manager at the Department of Probation and Parole, announced his retirement in an address to the jury, and his decision to run for Sheriff in the October 2019 election. Guillory stated that it’s time to retire and put his experience to work for Evangeline Parish. Guillory is a military veteran with 37 years of State Employment experience. Guillory graduated from Police Academy and is knowledgeable about Louisiana law.

        Business approved by Police Jury:

  • A resolution was adopted and approved committing parish funds of up to $14,485 towards Gustav/Ike Beacon Gully Drainage Project.
  • 2017 millages were reviewed and adopted.
  • The October 2, 2017 Public Hearing, Committee, and Regular Meeting Minutes were approved.
  • The reappointment of Vic Slaven to the Te Mamou Water Board was approved.
  • The replacement of Amy Fontenot on Tourism Commission with Judy Guillory was approved.
  • Jury selected Edie Guillory as new Administrative Assistant for Health Unit.
  • The Evangeline Communications budget for 2018 was approved.
  • The replacement of Bradley Ardoin on the Library Board with Sandra Salazar was approved.
  • The payment of bills on file in the Police Jury Office was approved.

        Public Works Director Chester Granger gave his report.

Granger led with most recent news of someone stealing limestone from their stock piles. The Sheriff’s department was notified and the situation was handled.

Granger discussed the purchasing of new equipment, and reported that 2% equipment in District 2 is doing beautiful work, and Ward 2 equipment in District 7 is doing well also. Granger reported an incident that happened with one of their drivers a week ago. The driver was uninjured and the truck, which had been turned over on its side, had moderate damage. The driver was under a 90-day probation period, and as of 9:00 am Monday morning the driver was dismissed. A major incident within a 90-day probation period calls for dismissal. District 1,8, and 9 areas of Region A will start looking for a replacement driver. Drivers must have CDL, and must pass drug test and physical.

Lamar Johnson from District 4 was not in attendance, but asked the jury to approve the cutting of a few trees. Lamar stated in a letter addressed to the jury that two trees in Pratt cemetery need to be cut and costs would come out of Ward 5 cemetery funds. He stated that two other trees also need to be cut, but are in different locations, and costs would come out of road funds. Johnson’s request was approved by jury members.

Secretary-Treasurer Donald Bergeron gave his report.

Bergeron reported that Secretary of State Tom Schedler, and Governor John Bel Edwards approved a 2% pay increase for state classified employees who work in a Registrar of Voters office.  Bergeron stated that there are currently two employees in their Registrar of Voters office who are classified. Police Jury will be required to pay a 1% increase to the two employees at the Registrar of Voters office, beginning January 1st.

Lastly, Bergeron reported sales tax collections for September were $267,208.91.


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