Local News Archives for 2018-03

Turkey Creek Chief Injured in assault; Subject Arrested



Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office has in their custody a male subject identified as Zackery Shane Deville (White/Male, DOB 07/10/1993). Deville is being held at the Evangeline Parish Jail without bond.


Early during the evening of Wednesday March 27, 2018 Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office received a call of a Turkey Creek Police Officer being wounded by

an assailant as he attempted to effect an arrest.


The initial investigation completed revealed that Officer Robert Leggett (Turkey Creek Chief of Police) was attempting to effect an arrest on Zackery Shane Deville for Criminal Trespassing. As the arrest was being made Deville got into a physical altercation with Chief Leggett ultimately brandishing a knife and eventually stabbing Chief Leggett across his left cheek.


The victim was transported to Rapides Medical Center by AIRMED to be immediately treated. Victim was stable at time of arrival, later underwent an emergency surgery and is now in Intensive Care Unit.


An Affidavit and Warrant of Arrest was authored on Zackery Shane Deville for Attempted 1st Degree Murder and Criminal Trespassing. The Warrant of Arrest was approved and signed by 13th Judicial Judge Gary Ortego.


2018 Bud 'N' Boilin' Winner Announced

Classic Hits 92.5 KVPI-FM and your Budweiser distributor, Southwest Beverage, partnered again this year for the 2018 Bud "N" Boilin' contest. When the opening beer can click aired on KVPI, listeners called our contest line. Every fifth caller won a case of Budweiser and was entered in the grand prize drawing. Congratulations to the 2018 Bud 'N' Boiling' contest grand prize winner, Wendy Granger! She takes home a Budweiser ice chest, beer, a crawfish boiling kit, and crawfish! Thank you to everyone who participated. 


Below are all the qualifiers that won a case of Budweiser by qualifying for the grand prize drawing:


Scott Dupre, Wendy Granger, Michele Bergeron, Camille Fontenot, Bill Manuel, Danny LaHaye, Lana Brown, Angie Briley, Keith Ardoin, Trisha Fontenot, Danny Lemoine, Barry Ortego, Terry Gillory, Rita Fontenot, Mitch LaFleur, Beverly Vidrine, Gwen Fontenot, Keith Meyer, Liz LaFleur, Stacey Guillory, Robert Ramagos, Dwight Ortego, Mable Foreman, Cindy Dupre, Rebecca Ardoin, Dennis Fontenot, Patricia Fontenot, Merilyn Fontenot, Tony Guillory, Fred Freeman, Kevin McDaniel, Richard Madrigal, Julia Guillory, Mable Glover, Terra LaFleur, Pam Burnette, Charlene Amiot, Lisa Deshotel, and Jill Larson.

Fire Chief Chris Harrison guest speaker at Rotary Club Meeting




    The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from Ville Platte Fire Chief Chris Harrison at its meeting at the Family Life Center.

    Chief Harrison has been chief for the past four years and has been serving in the department for 24 years. He is the chief for the Ville Platte Fire Department and of Fire District Two which is all of Ward One outside of Ville Platte.

    The department is getting ready for a re-rating by the state fire insurance  rating commission. The rating determines fire insurance and homeowners insurance rates.. The rating is between a 1 and 10 with 1 the very best and 10 the worst. Currently the city has a 3 rating while Fire District has a 5 rating. Chief Harrison said only five departments in the state like Shreveport and Baton Rouge have a One rating.

   The Ville Platte Fire Department has 12 paid firefighters and 65 volunteers. There are a number of volunteers at fire stations in Chataignier, Faubourg and Belaire Cove.

   Chief Harrison shared the fact that fire equipment is very expensive. To outfit one firefighter, the turnout gear amounts $1900 plus the radio is $150. Airpacks that are used by firefighters to go into burning buildings cost $5200. The city is planning to purchase a new Ladder truck to replace its old unit with a price tag of $690,000.

  A new fire station for Ward One is due to be constructed on US 167 just north of Ville Platte. He advised club members that phone calls for fire department donations are not coming from his department. The fire department will not call for donations. They will contact businesses for one fund raising drive a year to purchase educational material to use in school classrooms.

   Chief Harrison was the special guest of Rotarian Kermit Miller.

Eunice Crawfish Etouffee Cook Off Big Success and KVPI was there

The 2018 Eunice Crawfish Etouffee Cook off was one of the best ever today. The weather was perfect and thousands poured into the Eunice Northwest Pavilion to enjoy the crawfish, great Cajun music and activities for the whole family. This was the 33rd annual cook off with over 40 cook off teams. The judges had to decide the best of the best in three categories: Amateur, Professional and Clubs and Organizations as well as best decorated booths. The event is sponsored every year by the Eunice Chamber of Commerce. The KVPI road crew was there broadcasting live on remote with Josh and Mark. As soon as we get the results of the cook off we will pass it on to you.

Turkey Creek Voters vote to make Police Chief Appointive Position

Turkey Creek Voters vote to Appoint Police Chief

March 24, 2018



         In the only election held in Evangeline Parish today (Saturday) , voters in the Village of Turkey Creek overwhelmingly by 67 percent voted to make the office of Police Chief an appointive position rather than an elective one.  Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel reported to KVPI News that the vote totals were as follows: 56 voting yes for the move to the appointive and 27 votes voting no. Some 30 percent of the eligible voters took part in Saturday’s election. The police chief was due to be on the election day ballot this fall. Now the chief will be appointed by the Turkey Creek Board of Aldermen.

       The next elections are scheduled in November for congressman, school board and several municipal elections.

Ville Platte High School Student Council Greets School Board

Evangeline Parish School Board members were met with a full house this Wednesday, as Ville Platte High School Student Council members, teachers, and staff were in attendance to deliver a presentation called “Highlights and Horizons,” a look at progress made and future plans.  


“When we highlight Ville Platte High School, there is no way we can highlight every person that contributes on the campus, but there are many, many contributing factors. Tonight, I felt appropriate that the most important factor be the one that present to you.” said Principal Melanie Miller. Student Council members took turns presenting a slide show to the board.


Some of the highlights included school programs, such as their CNA program, Jobs of America Graduates, Bulldog Band, FFA, JROTC, BETA, 4-H, and FBLA. Saving the big news for last, a brand new program, Digital Media and Entertainment/Bull Dog Productions will be coming soon for Sophomores and Juniors. This program will offer students the opportunity to learn music production, radio, publications, news reporting, journalism, and broadcasting. Also recognized was Yvette Jagneaux, Middle School District Teacher of the Year, and Mitzi Fontenot, High School District Teacher of the Year.


Superintendent, Darwan Lazard also had exciting news to share with the board. Lazard announced that 1,993 Chromebooks are now in the hands of Evangeline Parish students. “We are ahead of our one-year goal, and we are substantially into our year two goal,” says Lazard. “Our goal is to put a Chromebook -- in the hands of each of our students.”


Lazard was also very proud to announce that Ted Soileau, Instructional Supervisor of the Evangeline Parish School Board, and his division, reported back a clean state audit with no findings.


In other business:


- Mamou High School and Bayou Chicot Elementary Principals, and Assistant Principals contracts were renewed for 2 years. W.W. Stewart Elementary School’s Assistant Principal was approved for a 2-year contract renewal.

- The 2018-2019 school year calendar was approved.

- Low bid of $5,910 was accepted for new exterior doors for Ville Platte High School.


Toughest Monster Truck Tour Winners Announced


Classic Hits 92.5 KVPI-FM and the Cajundome in Lafayette, LA teamed up to send five lucky listeners to the "Toughest Monster Truck Tour" on Friday, March 23rd at 7:30 p.m. Each time the monster truck cue aired on KVPI, listeners called the request line to be entered in the drawing. Congratulations to the family four-pack winners: Joann Dupre, Rose Marcantel, Susan Ortego, Belton Orgeron, and Owen Riemer. Thank you to all those who participated in the contest. Keep listening to 92.5 KVPI for chances to win more giveaways!

Citizens Call on City Officials to "Do More" at Ville Platte City Council Meeting

Shady Acres residents demanded answers during Tuesday’s meeting regarding when the city will address the subdivision's drainage issues.


6 months ago, resident Faye Lemoine addressed the Council, complaining that the city was moving too slow in improving the drainage problems in that area of the city. Then, Lemoine expressed concern over the city not prioritizing drainage, now, Lemoine says she is frustrated, and has had enough.

Louisiana’s rainy season is here, and Lemoine expressed her fear of the homes in their subdivision flooding for a third time. The first two floods took place August of 2016 and April of 2017.

Mayor Vidrine reported that everything is ready to go, but they are just waiting on the ground to dry from previous rain. Lemoine, unimpressed, said she will be back to speak on behalf of shady acres if immediate action is not taken.


6 months ago, during that same meeting, the City Council called on citizens to attend Police Jury meetings to ensure that the Police Jury is doing their part in the Keep Evangeline Beautiful Movement, by maintaining the properties they own. During Tuesday’s meeting, Mayor Vidrine said she is “embarrassed” by how little the police jury has done to maintain these properties. Not only are the properties unsightly, it could lead to lower home appraisals. Once again, Mayor Vidrine encourages the public to reach out to the Police Jury, and ask them to do their part. Their office number is (337) 363-5651, and meetings are normally held the first Monday of each month.


The Council also heard a mother’s heart felt plea for detective Dunn, and the Ville Platte Police Department to help find the person who slashed her son’s tires at their home on February 13th, and who is currently sending anonymous threats to her family and even her daughter, who is a minor. The mother, Wendy Johnson, said that detective Dunn was called in to review security camera footage, and to gather a police report. Johnson says detective Dunn left her property, forgetting to file the police report, and had to be called back. Johnson said too little has been done by police and detectives.

Police Chief Neil Lartigue declined to comment, due to it being an ongoing investigation. It has been 1 month and 1 week since the incident, and Johnson said she fears for the life of her children, and fears living in the city of Ville Platte.


In other business:

- Joe Manuel was recognized for his new job position as Captain of the Ville Platte Fire Department, along with Zachary Johnson, who will take Manuel's place as a full time firefighter. . 

-The police reported for March that 575 calls came in, 56 arrests were made (27 felony arrests), 17    citations, and 31 vehicular accidents.

- The Fire Department reported 18 calls came in, no fatalities.

- The board approved starting plans for removing all 9 Cyprus trees on Main Street, due to            overgrowth that’s causing sidewalk damage and powerline issues. These trees were donated by individuals to the city. Donors will be contacted. 

Mayor Vidrine announced that the 1 million dollar LCDBG grant went towards improvements at the sewer plant, including a state-of-the-art filtration system.

The city received a 20,349 grant for water improvement that has already been used on fixing broken equipment.


Jeffery Sylvester Guest Speaker at Ville Platte Rotary Club Meeting

     Evangeline Parish Farmer Jeffery Sylvester was the guest speaker at today’s (Tuesday’s) meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club.

    Sylvester farms some 5000 acres of rice, soybeans and crawfish. He and his wife, Cathy are the parents of six children. Louisiana is one of the leading states in rice production with Arkansas being the top producing state. He told club members that rice farmers are urging the Congress not to tinker with the Farm Bill and its safety net provisions.

   Sylvester said he feels that despite the comments by the President, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is good for American producers. He said Mexico is the number one rice buyer of Louisiana rice and Canada is the #4 buyer of our rice.  The price of rice has dropped because of the dumping of cheap Vietnamese rice on the world market.

   He reported that the crawfish industry is booming. Some 90 percent of all rice farmers are growing crawfish. He called it a “good money maker”.

   Sylvester was the guest of Rotarian John Mayeaux.

   In other news, Maggie Ortego reported that the rotary sponsored “Choices” program will be taught at four classes at Ville Platte High School on April 24 and 25.

  Larry Lachney announced that the Sacred Heart Interact Club did very well at the recent Interact Conference including Interactor of the Year award and first place in the T Shirt competition.



Ville Platte Man Killed in Traffic Accident


Evangeline Parish – On March 18, 2018, shortly before 3:00 am, Troopers with Troop I were notified of a single vehicle crash on US 167 at the St. Landry Parish / Evangeline Parish line. Upon arrival, Troopers located a 2007 Chevrolet Silverado in the ditch against a fence off of US 167 inside of Evangeline Parish. Troopers investigated the crash, but were unable to locate a driver of the vehicle.


On March 19, 2018, shortly before 9:30 am, Troop I was notified by the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office of a body found on the Evangeline Parish side of US 167 near the St. Landry Parish line. The body was identified as 24 year old William Morein of Ville Plate. Further investigation revealed that Morein was the owner and suspected driver of the vehicle involved in the March 18th crash.


Troopers determined that Morein was not restrained at the time of the crash, and was ejected from the vehicle after striking a bridge rail while traveling northbound on US 167. After being ejected, Morein’s vehicle continued traveling northbound before entering the ditch. It is unknown if impairment is a factor in the crash. Standard toxicology samples were taken and submitted for analysis. This crash remains under investigation.


Drivers can effectively reduce the chances of being involved in a crash by ensuring that while behind the wheel of a vehicle you remain focused solely on the task of driving. Heed all posted speed limits and remain focused on the roadway at all times. While not all crashes are survivable, making good choices while traveling such as never driving while impaired, always ensuring every occupant is properly restrained, and avoiding all distractions can greatly increase your chances of surviving a crash.

Ville Platte Police searching for Fugitives

Chief Neal Lartigue continues searching for 7 fugitives.

On March 5, 2018,  the Ville Platte Police Department named 13 fugitives that were being sought.  In an update to that search, Ville Platte Police  Chief Lartigue told KVPI News stated that the investigations division has reported that six of the thirteen wanted suspects have turned themselves into law enforcement or have been captured.  The following suspects are still evading law enforcement and are active fugitives. 


Crystal Edmundson – Aggravated battery and domestic abuse battery.

Germaine Lafleur – Improper use Telecommunications and stalking

Raylan Melancon – Theft and unauthorized use of an access card

Felicia Poullard – Monetary instrument abuse

Abraham Charles – simple burglary, theft, criminal damage to property

Corneilas Fontenot – aggravated flight from an officer

Christian Jack – failure to return rental property

If you have information on the whereabouts of these fugitives, you are asked to call the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.  Your call will remain anonymous.

Ville Platte Police searching for driver in Hit and Run

Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue is requesting the public’s assistance in locating the driver involved in a hit and run.

On March 15, 2018 at approximately 8 p.m. Officers with the Ville Platte Police Department responded to a report of a man lying in the roadway on Chataignier Road near Pine Street in Ville Platte.  Upon arrival Officers determined that the victim was struck by a vehicle which fled the scene.

The victim was transported for treatment in Lafayette with possible life threatening injuries.  The victim remains in serious to critical condition at this time.

According to Detectives, the vehicle used in the hit and run appears to be a smaller model, dark colored SUV.   If anyone has any information regarding this incident, you are asked to call the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.  Your call will remain anonymous. 

Rotary Club Hears from Ryan Vidrine of Flat Town Farm Supply

    The Ville Platte Rotary Club met today (Tuesday) and heard from Ryan Vidrine, owner of Flat Town Farm Supply.  Vidrine has been operating the business for the past three years. He reported that he has been installing grain bins in areas as far away as Shreveport, Jonesboro, Lake Charles and at the Port of New Orleans.

   His business has added several new lines of Ag equipment including the popular Vermeer lines of Hay equipment.

   Vidrine told Rotarians that he has launched his web site where he is offering over 80,000 products in his huge warehouse that can be shipped nationwide.

   Former owner Kip Manuel was in charge of the rotary program and introduced Vidrine to club members.

   In other business, Club President Wayne Vidrine announced that the Spring Fellowship meeting is set for April 10 and the Installation Banquet is planned for June 12.

  Rotarian Larry Lachney announced that the Sacred Heart Interact Club is doing a fund raising project where jars were placed at various businesses through town. The Rotary Club voted to donate $100 to the Interact Club’s fund raising efforts.

Evangeline Parish School Board Puts Student Safety First

The Evangeline Parish School Board approved the installation of metal detectors in five Evangeline Parish schools during Wednesday night’s meeting.


Basile High School, Ville Platte High School, Mamou High School, Pine Prairie High School, and Bayou Chicot Elementary will be receiving metal detectors. This $23,681.75 project, a proactive measure, follows last month’s threats made against Evangeline Parish schools, which led to parish-wide school closures.


In order to make up the instructional minutes lost in February, Superintendent Darwan Lazard announced that Memorial Day (May 28th) will no longer be observed, and class will be held for all students.


Lazard extended his thanks to parents for being understanding, and to law enforcement, state police, and the FBI for a job well done.  


The board also heard from Maintenance & Operations Facilitator, Jason Hazelton, who recognized two Evangeline Parish schools with the “Cleanest School of the Quarter” award.  The “Big School Division,” award was given to Bayou Chicot Elementary custodians, and the “Small School Division” award was given to James Stephens Montessori custodians. $25 gift cards were also awarded to each custodian.


In other business:


The board accepted a price quote of $36,500.00 from Percille’s Construction, regarding the concrete slab needed for Pine Prairie High Schools new stadium bleachers; so far a $214,000 project.


Rotary Hears Police Jury Project and Folk Roots Event

       Evangeline Parish Police Jury Secretary Treasurer Donald Bergeron was the guest speaker at today’s (Tuesday) meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club.

      Bergeron spoke about a regional drainage project that was approved by the Acadiana Planning Commission that will help relieve flooding problems in Evangeline, St. Landry and Acadia parishes.  The $2 million dollar water retention project will be the construction of a pond located Northwest of Ville Platte that will be used to retain water along Bayou Joe Marcel during a major flooding event. The water drains from Bayou Joe Marcel eventually into the Mermentau River. The police jury will have 36 months to complete the FEMA funded project for the jury.  Bergeron was the guest of Rotarian Bob Manuel.

      Also speaking at the meeting was Attorney Gilbert “Winky” Aucoin with Grand Hoorah festival. Aucoin was pleased to announce that Louisiana Folk Roots is coming back to Chicot State Park and will be joining with Grand Hoorah to sponsor a week long cultural immersion program. Folk Roots was at Chicot Park for ten years until organizers decided to move the yearly event to Lafayette two years ago.

     Aucoin said there will be 65 people coming from all over the United States and several countries for the week long immersion event. It will begin April 20 through April 27 with Cajun music, food, a boucherie and fun for the whole family. He is asking local Ville Platte residents to come out and support the festival.


Evangeline Parish Police Jury Approves New Health Care Provider and Sets Open Enrollment for Employees

The Evangeline Parish Police Jury, during Monday’s monthly meeting, decided against renewing their insurance with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, and approved switching employees to United Healthcare.


Open enrollment dates are set for March 12th, 13th, and 14th at the Police Jury Office located at 1008 W Lasalle Street in Ville Platte. All Parish employees are required to set an appointment for open enrollment for healthcare. 


District 7 police juror, Bryan Vidrine, stated that by switching healthcare providers, insurance prices will be cheaper, and employees will see better benefits.


In other business:


Parish Engineer, Rodney Landreneau, announced that the Hazard Mitigation Program is now accepting applications for workers who follow FEMA guidelines.


Secretary-Treasurer, Donald Bergeron, announced that the Police Jury is currently accepting applications for a part time nurse (RN or LPN) to administer care to inmates.  


Public Works Director, Chester Granger, announced that they are accepting applications for a replacement CDL driver for District 1, 8, and 9.


The purchase of a $13,000 rail car for Louis Rd. in District #1 was approved.



Second Ville Platte Man charged with Cattle Theft

Baton Rouge, La. (March 5, 2018) – A second Ville Platte man is under arrest in connection with the theft of six cattle valued at $7,500 according to Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M.


Fifty-five year old Paul Lavigne was arrested March 2, 2018 in St. Landry Parish by LDAF Livestock Brand Commission inspectors. On December 5, 2017, the LDAF received a report of stolen cattle from a farm in the Lawtell community of St. Landry Parish. Following an investigation, brand inspectors determined Lavigne helped load and transport the cattle to a local livestock market.


On February 6, 2018, 35-year-old Dovinski Doucet was arrested in St. Landry Parish after brand inspectors determined Doucet sold the stolen cattle at a local livestock market.


“We cannot stress enough the importance of owners using registered brands or official ear tags on their livestock. By taking these security measures, it greatly aids in the recovery of stolen livestock as well as tracing livestock diseases,” said Strain.


Lavigne was booked into the St. Landry Parish Jail and charged with L.A.R.S. 14:25 accessory after the fact to commit L.A.R.S. 14:67 B (2).  If convicted, he could face a penalty of not more than a $500 fine, or imprisonment, with or without hard labor, for not more than five years, or both; provided that in no case shall his punishment be greater than one-half of the maximum provided by law for a principal offender.  


The St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Department assisted in these arrests. All LDAF brand inspectors are commissioned by Louisiana State Police and have authority in the performance of their duties.


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