Local News Archives for 2018-07

Sheriff's Office investigating Home Invasion in Basile area Monday morning.


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


On Monday, July 30, 2018, there was an alleged home invasion in the Basile area of Evangeline Parish.


It happened on the 4800 block of Old Basile Highway at approximately 0915 hours.


The suspects allegedly broke into a home, restrained the home owner with an extension cord and stole several items to include 2 televisions and a firearm.


Deputies say the suspects may be driving a silver/light colored vehicle. Unknown make and model (possibly a Sports car).


One suspect is said to have been a black male wearing a t-shirt and baseball cap. Victim said there was also a second suspect believed to be a black male that he didn’t physically see but was able to hear his voice.  No arrests have been made.


Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office is working to learn more information and is reaching out to the public for anyone with information on this crime or any other crime to contact the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division by phone at 337-363-2161. All callers remain anonymous.

Realtor Lana Manuel Soileau spoke at today's Rotary Club Meeting

      The Rotary Club of Ville Platte heard from Realtor Lana Manuel Soileau at their noon luncheon meeting today (Tuesday). She was the guest of Rotarian Darin Bordelon.

    Lana works for Keller-Williams Real Estate and is based in Opelousas. She and six real estate agents sell properties throughout Acadiana. She concentrates in Evangeline and St. Landry parishes.

   In Evangeline Parish,, her firm has increased 89 percent in sales of property over the same period a year ago. However the average sale price has decreased because people are moving out of town and property values have decreased.

   She said “Ville Platte is a great town and there is so much great potential right here if people could work together and re-grow this town.”

   She shared with club members the advantages of listing your property with a full service real estate agent over selling it directly.

   Lana credits social media for the great majority of her business.

   In other business, the club heard from two students who just returned from the  Rotary summer camp known as Camp Rylla:  Callie Pitre and Darrelyn Lachney. Both received Rotary Club scholarships. Pitre plans to attend U.L. Lafayette majoring in psychology and Lachney will be attending LSU Eunice for nursing.

Candidate for Mamou City Council Withdraws from Race after Challenge


   KVPI News has learned that a candidate for Mamou City Council in District 3, Eugene Manuel, has withdrawn from the race after a challenge from the incumbent.

   District 3 City Councilman Charles Reed filed a petition Friday in 13th District Court asking the court to disqualify Manuel’s candidacy. In the petition, Reed argues that Manuel does not meet the residency qualifications.

   A hearing was held in 13th District Court before Judge Gary Ortego this (Monday) afternoon. Judge Ortego announced in open court that the defendant, Eugene Manuel has formally withdrawn from the race through filing paperwork with the Clerk of Court’s Office.

Charles Reed, the incumbent still faces challenger Glyn Brunet in the November 6 election.

Rotary Club Hears from LSU Announcer Chris Blair


    The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from “The Voice of the LSU Tigers” Chris Blair at their noon meeting at the Family Life Center. Blair has been the play by play announcer for LSU Sports for the past two years replacing long time announcer Jim Hawthorne.

   Blair was the announcer for Georgia Southern for a number of years. He is a native of Kentucky. His family was in the radio business.

   He told rotary club members that the football program under Coach Ed Orgeron should show much improvement this football season. He also felt the  basketball program and baseball should also make major strides in the new school year.

   Blair was the special guest of Rotarian Bill Brunet. Blair visited KVPI after the rotary meeting for a special interview and met with local residents in a Meet and Greet.

State Police arrested five suspects in Evangeline Parish Staged Crash

Five Arrested in Evangeline Parish Staged Crash

        Today Louisiana State Police Detectives with the Insurance Fraud / Auto Theft Unit assigned to the Lafayette Field Office arrested five people for violations of Louisiana insurance fraud laws.

The initial investigation revealed in December 2015, a group of five people participated in a staged vehicle crash involving a passenger car and a rental vehicle near Ville Platte.  The staged crash involved five adults and three children between the ages of 9 and 15.  The goal of the staged crash was to generate fraudulent insurance claims for intentionally damaged property and fake bodily injuries. 

At the conclusion of the investigation, State Police Detectives obtained arrest warrants on charges of insurance fraud, filing a false police report, and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile.   On July 23, 2018, State Police Detectives arrested the following suspects and booked them into the Evangeline Parish Jail:

-          Winston Dupre (66 yoa from Pollock, LA) - Insurance Fraud, Filing False Public Records

-          Sheba Williams (32 yoa from Opelousas, LA) - Insurance Fraud, Filing False Public Records and Contributing to the Delinquency of a Juvenile (2counts)

-          Lucinda Williams (26 yoa from Ville Platte, LA) - Insurance Fraud                                         

-          Delores Bias (24 yoa from Eunice, LA) - Insurance Fraud

-          Melanie Malveaux (36 yoa from Mamou, LA) - Insurance Fraud, Contributing to the Delinquency of a Juvenile 

Anyone having information concerning persons staging vehicle crashes, or committing other forms of insurance fraud, should contact the Louisiana State Police Insurance Fraud / Auto Theft Unit at (225) 925-3701 or insurance.fraud.unit@dps.la.gov

Qualifying for November 6 Election Has Ended

Candidate Qualifications Ends in Evangeline Parish

July 20, 2018


    Candidate qualifying ended at 4:30 Friday afternoon, according to Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel. Here are the candidates that qualified on Friday for the November 6 Primary Election:

Village of Chataignier- Chief of Police- Josh Clint Brasseaux; Alderman Joseph H. Simien; Alderman- Debra Fontenot;

Village of Turkey Creek- Mayor Phillip Cavins and Council Member- Joey Ducote;

Town of Mamou- Mayor: David Charlie; Chief of Police- Brent Zackery and Michael Thomas; Alderman District 2- Brook Chapman; Alderman District 3- Charles Reed;

City of Ville Platte- Alderman District D- Lionel Anderson; District E- Lucian J. McKinney Jr. and Alderman District F-Bryant Riggs;

Town of Basile- Alderman at Large- Catina Molitor Hebert;

School Board- District 10- Maggie Ortego.

Here is the full list of candidates who qualified for candidates seeking political office:

Secretary of State:  Kyle Ardoin (Incumbent) , Heather Cloud (who has served as Mayor of Turkey Creek), Gwen Collins Greenup, A.G. Crowe, Rick Edmonds, Renee Fontenot Free, Thomas Kennedy III, Matthew “Matt” Moreau, and Julie Stokes.

Congressman-4th District: Mark David Halverson, Mike Johnson (incumbent) and Ryan Trundle;

Evangeline Parish School Board:

District 1- Lonnie Sonnier (incumbent), District 2- Dr. Bobby Deshotel (incumbent), District 3-Ted Patrick Soileau and Karen Vidrine; District 4- Wayne Dardeau (incumbent) ; District 5- Peggy Forman (Incumbent); District 6- Michael Fontenot (Incumbent); District 7- Sheila Joseph; District 8- Wanda Skinner (incumbent); District 9- Scott Limoges (Incumbent); District 10- Maggie Ortego and Arthur Savoy (incumbent); District 11- Nancy Hamlin (incumbent); District 12- Ellis Guillory (incumbent) and Calvin Leday Jr.; District 13- Chris Guillory and Georgianna Wilson (incumbent).

Ville Platte: Mayor –Kevin Lafleur and Jennifer Vidrine (Incumbent); Chief of Police-Linton Fontenot and Neal Lartigue (incumbent); Council Members-District A-C.J. Dardeau (incumbent) and Faye Lemoine; District B-Jerry Joseph (incumbent) ; District C-Mike Perron (Incumbent) ; District D-Lionel Anderson and Vashanski “Shanky “Thomas; District E-Lucian McKinney Jr. and Donald Ray Sam (incumbent); District F-Kathan Arvie and Bryant Riggs (incumbent).

Mamou- Mayor-David Charlie, Gerald Fontenot and Ricky Fontenot (Incumbent); Chief of Police-Michael “Gorilla” Fruge, Charles Perdices, Michael Thomas and Brent Zachery (incumbent); Alderman- At Large- Leisa Deshotel (incumbent); District 1-Freddie Matthew (Incumbent) and Derrell “Sheaky” Thomas; District 2-Brook Chapman and Clayton “Tiny” McGee; District 3-Glyn Brunet, Eugene Manuel and Charles Reed (Incumbent); District 4-Robin Young (incumbent).

Basile-Mayor Mark Denette (incumbent); Chief of Police-Allen Ivory Thomas (incumbent), Gregory James and Nicholas Richardson;  Alderman-Alderman at Large-Travis Deshotel and Catina Molitor-Herbert; Alderman-District 1-Latoya Howze; Alderman District (Three to be Elected)-Kenny Burgess, Caleb Delafosse, Bron Dubroc, and Kristy Miller;

Chataignier-Mayor- Justin Darbonne and Jackie Malveaux Thomas (incumbent); Chief of Police-Joseph Clint Brasseaux; Alderman (Three to be Elected) -Carilyn “Tu” Arvie, John B. Brasseaux, Debra Fontenot and Joseph H. Simien;

Turkey Creek- Mayor-Phillip Cavins; Alderman- (Three to be elected)-Joey Ducote, Billy Neal King Jr and Kurry Stewart.

Nine candidates qualify Thursday for public office on Thursday


    Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel reported to KVPI News nine additional candidates qualified for public office on Thursday.

    Those candidates include:

Town of Basile: Alderman at Large- Travis Deshotel; Alderman District 2- Kristy Miller;

School Board: District 12-Ellis Guillory Sr. and District 13- Chris Guillory;

City of Ville Platte: Mayor Kevin Lafleur; Alderman in District F- Kathan Arvie;

Village of Chataignier: Mayor-Justin Darbonne and for Alderman-John Brasseaux.

   Friday at 4:30pm is the deadline to qualify at the Clerk of Court’s Office in the Courthouse for the November primary election.

Evangeline Parish School Board Approves Funding of New Special Education Program

The Evangeline Parish School Board approved a low-price quote from EQ Solutions, in the amount of $40,300.00, for labor and materials for renovation and construction of an apartment and kitchen lab/classroom for special education students at Ville Platte High School. The request was made by Special Education Director, Roxanne West. West states that plans to bring this program to Pine Prairie High School within the year are already underway. West thanked the board for their support.


With school starting August 9th, Superintendent Darwan Lazard stated, “I’ve had this question asked of me, why are we starting so early? Well, we have a number of holidays, we have to get in. A certain number of work days. We also have to build in some days into the calendar in case we have snow in Ville Platte and Basile, as we had this past year. So, we want to make sure we are well prepared so that we can serve the students of Evangeline Parish.”



Other business:


The board received a special presentation from Basile High School Assistant Principal Johnny Deshotel, highlighting the school’s academic and athletic achievements. A slide show presentation showcased their new school building, welding shop, and running track.


A public hearing will be held on August 1st to consider adoption of 2018 millage rates for the 2018 tax year.


CFO Amy Lafleur announced the Evangeline Parish School Board sales tax distribution amount for 2017-2018 is $2,284,396.84. That’s $186,973.98 less compared to the 2016-2017 year.


The board approved the Addendum to Pupil Progression Plan for 2018-2019. This is an academic improvement plan to identify students in grades 4th and 8th who have not met an acceptable level of performance in the core subjects and will be provided an individual academic improvement plan.


The board approved a revision of the “tuition reimbursement form” offering teachers tuition assistance through title I, title II, and special education funds. For staying in the parish for a minimum of 3 years, teachers will receive $2,500 (previously $2,000) in student loan reimbursements per year.


The board approved the renewal of the current student accident insurance plan.


The board approved a low bid from Leaser Construction, Inc. In the amount of $139,000.00 for removal and elevated replacement of Mamou High School gym floors using the parish-wide maintenance fund.


The board approved the adoption of the 2018-2019 student handbook and reference guide.


          -Minor changes were made to handbook to include:


                                   Calendar update

                                   Testing schedule update

                                   Dress code policy

                                   FERPA, etc. Language update.


The board approved a contract renewal for Gregory Guillory, assistant principal presently assigned to Vidrine Elementary School, present 2-year contract renewed effective November 18,2018.







40 candidates qualified on first day of Qualifying

First Day of Qualifying 2018

July 18, 2018


    Some 40 candidates have qualified with the clerk of court today on the first day of qualifying for the November primary election.

    Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel reported the following candidates qualified today (Wednesday):

School Board Members: District 1-Lonnie Sonnier; District 2- Dr. Bobby Deshotel; District 3- Karen Vidrine and Ted Patrick Soileau; District 4- Wayne Dardeau; District 5- Peggy Forman; District 6- Michael Fontenot; District 7- Sheila Joseph; District 8- Wanda Skinner; District 9- Scott Limoges; District 10- Arthur Savoy; District 11- Nancy Hamlin; District 12- Calvin LeDay Jr. and District 13-Georgiana Wilson.

 City of Ville Platte: Mayor- Jennifer Vidrine and Chief of Police- Neal Lartigue and Linton Fontenot; Aldermen- District A- C.J. Dardeau and Faye Lemoine; District B- Jerry Joseph; District C- Mike Perron; District E-Donald Ray Sam; and District D- Vashanski “Shanky” Thomas;

Town of Mamou: mayor- Ricky Fontenot and Gerald Fontenot; Chief of Police- Charles Perdices and Michael “Gorilla” Fruge; Alderman- District 1- Derrell “Sheaky” Thomas and Freddie Matthew; District 2- Clayton “Tiny” McGee; District 3- Glyn Brunet and Eugene Manuel; District 4- Robin Young;

Town of Basile: Chief of Police- Nicholas Richardson and Allen Ivory Jr. Alderman- District 1-Latoya Howze; District 2- Bron Dubroc;  District 2-Kenny Burgess and District 2- Caleb Delafosse

Village of Turkey Creek: Council Member- Billy Neal King Jr. and Kurry Stewart;

Qualifying continues Thursday and ends Friday at 4:30pm at the Clerk of Court’s Office.

New Rotary Club President Conducts First Meeting

    New Ville Platte Rotary Club President Richard LeJeune conducted his first meeting of the organization today (Tuesday) at the Family Life Center. The new slate of officers include: Le Jeune as Club President, President Elect-Nicole Wenger, Vice President Peter Strawitz, Past President-Wayne Vidrine, Secretary- Susan Saunders, Treasurer- Vic Slaven, Sgt.at Arms-Dr. Jerry Veillon , Song Master-Dr. Joey Soileau .

   LeJeune said he wants the rotary club to get more involved in the community by introducing two new projects-Prepare Christmas baskets for ten needy families and to have club members bring two unwrapped toys to give to needy children of our area around the holidays.

   The new club president urged members to consider becoming a Paul Harris Fellow by donating to Rotary International.

   He also said popular community projects such as the Choices program in schools and scholarships to LSUE and Camp RYLLA will continue.

    The club welcomed its two newest members: Renee Brown, director of the Evangeline Chamber of Commerce and Margie Mealer, new librarian for the Evangeline Parish Library.

Qualifying for the November 6 Election begins Wednesday

     Qualifying for the November 6 Primary election begins this Wednesday July 18-Friday July 20 at the Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court’s office.

     Local voters will vote on a new Secretary of State and for Congressman in the 4th District that runs from Eunice and Evangeline Parish all the way to Arkansas line.

    In local races, all 13 members of the Evangeline Parish School Board will be up for re -election in November.

    Also, there will be municipal elections in Ville Platte, Mamou, Chataignier and Turkey Creek.

    In each municipality, voters will vote on mayor, chief of police and for alderman. The only exception is Turkey Creek where the chief position is now an appointed office. Voters will vote on Mayor, chief of police and 6 aldermen in Ville Platte, Mayor, police chief and five aldermen  in Mamou, Mayor, police chief and three aldermen in  Chataignier and Mayor and three aldermen in  Turkey Creek

  If a runoff is needed, the general election  is set for December 8.

Apartment Complex and Domino's Pizza Coming to Ville Platte

   Belle Maison Apartment representatives Rhett Holmes and Bryan Bates addressed the Ville Platte City Council Tuesday, with plans to develop a 9-million-dollar apartment complex that would provide affordable housing to working class citizens.


   According to Holmes, the complex, which will be located at Tate Cove Road and East Lincoln Road, will require residents to have a job and pay rent. 56 apartments will be built, with rent ranging from $300 per month for a one bedroom, to $650-700 per month for a 3-bedroom apartment. Holmes stated that resident amenities will include: a playground, walking trail, garden, covered parking (90 spaces), but will not have a pool. Holmes stated that security is a top priority for Belle Maison Apartments, and plans to use adequate lighting, and quality security cameras (1 for every 3-4 apartments) to ensure resident safety. Before starting, Holmes stated that the Mayor would need to sign a letter, confirming that utilities are available and residents can live there.

   Mayor Vidrine, opposing the idea, stated that she would rather focus on developing single family homes (rent to purchase) over adding apartment complexes to the city. Council member Mike Perron, who’s district would be receiving the apartment complex, stated that his constituents have expressed concern over potential trespassers on their properties. Council member Bryant Riggs disagreed, stating that the apartment complex is a step in the right direction, and that there is a need for these apartments.


   Mayor Vidrine also announced that early December 2018, Domino’s Pizza will be opening a new location at the corner of LaSalle St. and Tate Cove Rd.


Other Business:


- Charles Guillory announced his candidacy to the Council for the October 2019 Sheriff election.


- During her monthly report, Mayor Vidrine announced that the city spent $183,472.29 for the month of June. Vidrine states that the city now will be saving more money, due to Acadiana Ambulances revised rates for inmate transportation to hospital.


- Police Department announced the hiring of Cedric Jackson, Daylon Maricle, and George Goldman as full-time patrol officers, and one part-time 911 dispatcher, Crystal Vidrine.


- Council approved the appointment of Danyon Charles as Gas Supervisor for the gas department for the city.


- Council approved the closing of Trojan Lane, August 18th, for “Sacred Heart Day”.


Ville Platte Rotary Club visits C.B. Coreil Campus for their meeting

   The Ville Platte Rotary Club held their weekly meeting today (Tuesday) at the C.B.Coreil Campus of South Louisiana Community College.  The guest speakers included Carlene Jones, campus director, Darren Glover and Rev. Matthew Alfred. Coreil is one of ten campuses operated under the S.L.C.C. system.

   Carlene Jones announced the school is ready to begin a new CDL program for truckers. The school is teaming up with trucking companies who are willing to pay for the student loans once the students pass their CDL course of instruction.

   The school is also preparing to begin a Certified Nursing Assistant course for local students.

    Jones said her school is working with local industry such as Ville Platte Iron Works and Schlumberger to help train workers for good paying industry positions.

    Last year, the school had a student enrollment of about 100 students. The school offers courses of instruction such as welding, business and general studies.

    The Coreil Campus speakers were the guests of Rotarians Vic Slaven and Annette Johnson.

     In other business, the club welcomed two new members to the group: Renee Brown of the Evangeline Chamber of Commerce and new Parish Library Director Margaret “Margie” Mealer.

   Mayor Jennifer Vidrine announced that Domino’s Pizza will be opening a restaurant in Ville Platte in December at the corner of LaSalle and Tate Cove Road.



Mamou Veteran Robert Reed (Uncle Sam) shares his story to Ville Platte Rotary Club


    The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from retired veteran Robert Reed of Mamou at their weekly meeting held at the Civic Center.

    Reed was dressed for the July 4th holiday as “Uncle Sam”. Reed is a Mamou High graduate and his uncle was well known educator and Cajun revivalist Revon Reed. During his nine years in the Navy Robert Reed served in submarine duty for 2 and a half years. He served as “Yeoman” handling administrative duties. During his tours of duty, he was sent to the U.S. Embassy in Australia and on one tour his sub went into the Mediterranean Sea.

     He explained that he served during the Cold War between the US and Russia. The subs were either armed with torpedoes or Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles.

    Reed worked in the postal service after returning from the service. He was the special guest of Rotarian Peter Strawitz.

    In other news, Ville Platte Mayor announced there will be a free fireworks display Wednesday night at 9:00pm at the Ville Platte Grand Pavillion.

E.P.P.J Approves New Te Mamou Water System Board Member in Split-Decision Vote

The Evangeline Parish Police Jury, in a 5-3 vote Monday, approved Michael Anderson to replace Ronald Mcclauley on the Te Mamou Water District Board, despite the Board's wishes to have Marty Soileau fill that position. 


Three Police Jurors: Bryan Vidrine, Sidney Fontenot, and Kevin Veillon voted for the Te Mamou Water System’s preferred appointee, Marty Soileau (formally nominated by Juror, Bryan Vidrine).


Five Police Jurors: Rocky Rider, Daniel Arvie, Lamar Johnson, Eric Soileau, and Ryan Ardoin voted to approve another candidate, Michael Anderson, nominated by Police Juror, Daniel Arvie. Arvie stated, "It's nothing personal," but never elaborated on the qualifications of his nominee, or why he was chosen over Marty Soileau. Anderson was not present at the meeting. 


The decision came as a shock to Marty Soileau, who waited in the audience to address the Jury, and accept his position. Marty is the grandson of the late Aaron Soileau, one of the founders of the Te Mamou Water System. Gene Soileau, contractor for Te Mamou Water System, son of Aaron Soileau, and father to Marty, was present in the audience. Following the meeting, Gene told KVPI News Director, Carly Chaumont, that this was the first time the Police Jury has voted against the wishes of the Te Mamou Water System Board. Gene stated that his son had assisted him in reading water meters for over 25 years. 


The Jury also received an update from Public Works Director, Chester Granger, concerning parish drainage, telling the Jury that upon inspection, most drainages were in “fairly good shape”.

In regards to drainage in the City of Ville Platte, the Jury’s attorney, Marcus Fontenot, explained that city drains require city maintenance, but drainage that enters and exits city limits, and is of benefit to the parish, can be handled by the Jury, as long as there is a cooperative agreement, stating the city will repay the Jury for expense costs. Police Jury President Ryan Williams stated, “We’ve been working with the city. I want to continue working with the city”.


In other business:


Engineer, Ronnie Landreneau, announced the completion of the Chataignier Library Branch, and the Jury approved a motion to accept it as complete.


The Jury approved a liquor license for Ronald Christ dba Mel’s Quick Stop.


The Jury approved the installment of cross section signs at Addison Cemetery road, located in Lamar Johnson’s District.


The Jury approved the reappointment of Sarah Maricle to Ward Four Water District for another five-year term.


Chamber Board Members Announced

Week of July 2, 2018

       Election Results of the Evangeline Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors in accordance with its bylaws, hereby announces the new Board Members  who were elected for a three (3) year term. 

      The Evangeline Chamber of Commerce's current Board of Directors and its Executive Director, Renee Brown, would like to extend a special thank you to the outgoing Board Members Anita Fontenot of The Hatchery and Annette Johnson of Kolder, Slaven & Co.  for their years of exceptional leadership, service, and dedication to our great organization.

Evangeline Chamber of Commerce's Incoming Board of Directors:
Luke Deville of Teet's Food Store
Peter Strawitz of Edward Jones
Felicia Manuel of Ville Platte Iron Works
Linda Lebsack of the Friends of the Library
Mark Suellentrop of Cabot Corporation
Darin Bordelon of LaVille Funeral Home

Congratulations to all the nominees and our new Board Members.  We are looking forward to working with you!



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