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Local News Archives for 2019-07

Ville Plate Police investigating Two Shootings

Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue reports shots fired and requests information. On July 28, 2019 at approximately 2:44 a.m. Officers with the Ville Platte Police Department responded to a report of shots fired at a business located in the 200 block of Tate Cove Road. Upon arrival Officers discovered that numerous shots had been fired from the parking lot of one business towards multiple people and also the business located across Tate Cove Road. As Officers, Two Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Deputies and a Louisiana State Trooper began clearing the parking lot they were informed that two vehicles were damaged by bullets and two black males received injuries from gunfire. One male was shot in his lower torso and was transported from the Bunkie Hospital to Rapides Regional Medical Center and was released later that day. The second male was injured by a fragment in his lower torso and was treated at Mercy Regional Medical Center and later released. As the scene was being processed it was noted that there were multiple caliber casings found in the area which indicated multiple shooters. Detectives learned that shortly after numerous shots were fired a black male wearing dark jeans and no shirt, entered one of the businesses and was in possession of a firearm. Detectives are seeking information on the identity of this person. Detectives are also seeking to identify the driver of the white vehicle matching the description of the suspect vehicle. The vehicle may possibly have bullet holes in it. At approximately 3:45 Officers were dispatched to an apartment complex in the 800 block of North Latour Street in reference to shots fired. Upon arrival Officers discovered two vehicles with damages received from bullets. Witnesses reported seeing a white four door SUV or truck in the area as shots were fired. At 5:30 in the evening Officers received a call that a black male was in the emergency room with a gunshot wound to his buttock area. The male was treated and released to follow up with a specialist. He also had multiple gun shots holes in his vehicle. Chief Lartigue would like to thank the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office and the Louisiana State Police for their quick response and assistance. Chief Lartigue is asking anyone with information on either of these two incidents to contact the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313. Your call will remain anonymous.

Evangeline Chamber announces 2019 Nominations for Civic Awards

Evangeline Chamber Executive Director Renee Brown announced a list of nominees for the awards banquet to be announced August 27 at the Ville Platte Civic Center. Chamber members will be voting on the following nominees: Business Person of the Year: Bridgette Balfa of E.P.I.C. Insurance; Cody Vidrine of Ace Hardware; Eugene Burge of Savoy Medical Center; Jay Geilow of Café Evangeline; Kyle Fontenot of Pine Prairie Energy and Mark Layne with KVPI. Those nominated for Business Person of the Year under 40: Malerie Veillon of Joyful Jane Photography and Brand Photographer for Holistic Wellness Leaders; Phillip Cavins of Prairie Culture Farms and Under Pressure; and Ross Lafleur of Kary's Roux. Those nominated for Business of the Year: Butler Tree Service; Café Evangeline; I.S.S.-Information Systems Solutions; T-Boy's Meat Market and Grocery and Savoy Cancer Center. Those nominated for Economic Development Person or Organization of the Year: Evangeline Parish Arts Council, Evangeline Parish Foundation and Valerie Cahill. Also to be announced will be award winners for Ville Platte Man and Woman of the Year. For more information please contact the chamber of commerce office at 337-363-1878.

Project Engage Meeting Held at Civic Center

Community leaders and members of the public attended a special meeting of "Project Engage" today at the Civic Center in Ville Platte. Dr. Geoff Stewart, U.L. Lafayette Moody Endowed Chair for Regional Business Development, presented a summary of the "Project Engage" reports completed by U.L. MBA consultant teams. The student teams met with community residents and leaders from Ville Platte and the parish and formulated their reports. The U.L. Team is comprised of the Louisiana Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Center with Dr. Geoff Stewart and Dr. Gwen Fontenot along with some 37 students. The three areas of study dealt with Main Street Revitalization, Industrial Development and Tourism. On the subject of Downtown, Stewart said "Bringing Ville Platte' downtown like it was at one time is doable, but it will require a lot of time and effort." Among the suggestions by the student groups is to continue having farmers markets and planning downtown musical events. They also suggested incorporating the downtown antique shops and scheduling special antique events to draw shoppers downtown. They also focused on the need to improve the sidewalks and lighting in the downtown area. The student team noted that Ville Platte is fortunate to have a certified site at the Industrial Park along with a number of industries in our parish. On the topic of Tourism, the students suggested formulating a "driving trail" for day trip visitors to come view areas of interest in our parish. Stewart said Evangeline Parish is blessed with our food and music. Among the suggestions made at the end: --have a campaign urging citizens to stay here and spend their money in the Ville Platte Evangeline Parish area; --remind citizens to clean their front yards and don't litter. In closing, Dr. Stewart urged those in attendance and the citizens of Ville Platte and Evangeline parish to "continue to be engaged be proud of your culture, food and music, be you and tell your story and stand up and make the changes we need to make."

Ville Platte Rotary Club Meeting

Ville Platte Rotary Club Meeting July 16, 2019 Evangeline Parish 9-1-1 Director, Liz Hill, appeared before the Rotary Club Tuesday and explained a brief report on The Parish Emergency Plan which is an update with The National Weather Report every 4 hours and to do everything possible to have our town as safe as possible. She also spoke of The Pet Plan in which those with pets during a hurricane has the right for resources in order to house their pets. Examples of pet housing is the Mega Shelter in Alexandria, LA. And Evangeline Parish Shelter at the Chauncey Pitre Barn. Those pets include dogs, cats, and certain other domestic animals that require all updated shots and a cage/kennel. During a storm, The Evangeline Parish 9-1-1 takes 4 conference calls: Two calls with the State. Two updates from The National Weather Service. Liz also spoke about The State of Emergency System in which needs to be completed in order for reimbursement from FEMA and in order to bring supplies and services through to the ones in need. It also allows facility availability to house residents in need after a natural disaster. The damage Assessment for FEMA will be July 17th 2019 In other business, Michael Lombas from the Evangeline Parish School Board Central Office stated that we will be welcoming and housing Two French Immerse Teachers new to Evangeline Parish. While they will be housed and supplied with the essentials needed to be settled into our hometown but are still in need of common household items such as dishes, towels etc. If you would like to donate please call the Central Office. In other action, Mayor Jennifer Vidrine stated that through documentation, it was estimated that 15 inches of rain business, was accumulated in Evangeline Parish.

Library Officials Speak at Rotary Club Meeting Tuesday

The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from two representatives of the Evangeline Parish Public Library at their weekly luncheon at the Family Life Center. The guest speakers were Suzie Lemoine, Library outreach coordinator and Acting Librarian Yvonne Lavergne. Lavergne went through many of the daily and weekly activities that are going on at the Ville Platte Library as well at its branches. The Summer Reading program is in full swing at all of the library branches for young people and adults with special guest entertainers. There is an active French Table program adults wishing to converse or learn to speak in French every Monday at 3;30. There is also a French class for children at the same every Monday afternoon. On Tuesday there is story time for children at 3:30pm and a crocheting class at 5;00pm. Wednesday at 4;00pm there is a a books and beyond youth club program at 4;00pm and crafting classes. On Thursdays at 1;00pm there is a quilting class. The library has a a board game night on the First Tuesday of each month and a Family Movie night on the last Tuesday night of each month. Suzie Lemoine announced that the annual Book Fest is planned to take place October 25. Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine announced that sand bags will be available at city hall for those wanting to have some for the expected stormy weather this weekend.

Evangeline Parish School Board Meeting

Superintendent of Schools Darwan Lazard announced Wednesday to the Evangeline Parish School Board the following administrative appointments for the new school year which begins in August. The new appointments include: Rico Guillory-Principal at Mamou High School, Kim Manuel-Assistant Principal at Mamou High School, Debbie Soileau-Principal at Vidrine Elementary, Alice LeJeune-Principal at Pine Prairie High School, Sarah Hamlin Lafleur-Assistant Principal at Ville Platte High School, Chenile Tezeno-Assistant Principal at Ville Platte High School, Dawn Hardy-Assistant Principal at Evangeline Central, Mindy Janot-Assistant Principal at Basile High at Basile High, Keith Scott-Special Ed Supervisor and Anita West-Curriculum and Operational Facilitator in Science and Social Studies. Superintendent Lazard congratulated Child Welfare Supervisor Phillip Buller for receiving a statewide award: the Wilfred Broussard award for his outstanding service and dedication to child welfare. Buller has been serving in that position since 2009. In other business, the school board: Heard from Chief Financial Officer Amy Lafleur that the school district will save some $884 a month by approving a quote with Copy and Camera for the lease of 12 copiers; Renewed the contract of Ville Platte Elementary Principal Sally Moreau for a two year term.

Two arrests made by Sheriff's Office in Reddell Vehicle Thefts

UPDATE TO THE VEHICLE THEFTS IN EVANGELINE PARISH JULY 2, 2019. Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office Investigations Division is still actively investigating the vehicle thefts that occurred on Sunday, June 16, 2019 in the Reddell area of the Parish. On Friday, June 28, 2019 Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office Investigations and Patrol Divisions teamed up with the Ville Platte City Marshals in apprehending two wanted individuals. The following individual has been arrested and charged with Theft of a Motor Vehicle: Tron V. Jack Jr. (DOB 1-09-2002). Jack was booked into the Evangeline Parish Jail and later released into his guardian custody. During the arrest of this individual we were also able to apprehend Malik Charles (DOB 9-09-1999) who was also wanted. Investigators are still receiving valuable information Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office is still in search of a black male subject identified as Jalen V. Thomas (DOB 8-01 2000) . Last known to frequent the areas of Ville Platte and Eunice. If anyone has any information please contact the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office Investigation Division by phone at 337-363-2161. All callers with information will remain anonymous

Cleco's C.E.O. Bill Fontenot was guest speaker at Rotary Meeting

The Rotary Club of Ville Platte heard from Cleco President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Fontenot at their weekly meeting today (Tuesday) at the Family Life Center. Fontenot, a native of Ville Platte, has been with the company for 30 plus years. Fontenot told club members that the move for the company to go private after 80 years of operation was a "healthy" change. Cleco currently has 1500 employees including the 300 new employees when the company purchased for one billion dollars the NRG South Central Generating Company. That major acquisition doubled Cleco's energy footprint to 50 Louisiana parishes in Louisiana. The acquisition means Cleco will now serve the power needs of nine Louisiana Cooperatives including Slemco and five municipalities. Curently, Cleco has 7.5 billion dollars in assets and 1.7 billion dollars in total revenues. Fontenot mentioned some of the 29 initiatives Cleco is undertaking to reach the next level in goals in such areas as Safety, Financial, Operational, Customer Satisfaction and Sustainability. He reported the company is modernizing through the use of new software and operational technology using remote meter reading. Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine praised Cleco for their swift work in getting power restored throughout the city last month after a tornado touched down in the city and caused a lot of property damage. Bill Fontenot was the special guest of Rotarian Bob Manuel.

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