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Local News Archives for 2019-10

District Governor visits Local Rotary Club

The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from District 6200 Rotary Governor Harold Domingue of Lafayette. He has been a member of Rotary in Lafayette since 1988. Domingue met with the club's board and Club President Nicole Wenger earlier in the day and reviewed their activities for the year. He reported to the local club members that Rotary is a worldwide organization with over 1.2 million members in 35,000 clubs. The organization is finding its fastest growth in Asia. There are 52 clubs in District 6200 which comprises South Louisiana. The district is one of 31 districts in Zone 31 while there are 34 zones worldwide. Mark Malone, President of Rotary International is urging clubs to grow locally and to keep members active in the club. One of the proudest achievements is nearly the totyal eradication of polio on the face of the earth. Polio cases have been reported in only three countries: Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Rotary International along with the assistance of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have spent over two billion dollars worldwide on eradicating polio. Domingue urged the local club to apply for additional Rotary Foundation grants. This past year, the club applied and received for $9000 grant to help fund improvements to a Men's Shelter in Opelousas. Dr. Phillipe Vidrine was the high bidder in purchasing a basket of goods from the Deridder Rotary Club. The funds will be donated to Rotary International. The local club donated a basketful of prizes that will be auctioned at the next club Domingue visits. Special thanks to Tony Marks of the Ville Platte Gazette for the photo.

Evangeline Parish School Board discuss Assignment Policy

Local High Schools Honored on a National level and School Board Introduces a Revised Assignment Policy It was clear by Wednesday's Evangeline Parish School Board meeting attendance that many held strong feelings regarding the assignment policy that was sent for revision during the last school board meeting. There were so many people in the board room that many were left standing or simply sitting on the floor. The proposed assignment policy does not allow for school principals to work with immediate family members on their staff unless the immediate family member was employed at the school for at least one year prior to the principal or department head's appointment and a Disqualification Plan (which provides an alternate evaluator for the employee) is approved by the Louisiana Board of Ethics. Retired Basile High School Principal, Georgie Courville spoke out about hardships that the adoption of such a policy would impose on the schools in small communities such as Basile and gave testament to the instances in which had no choice but to hire an immediate family member because there simply were no other educators to fill teaching positions at the school. She argued that contrary to what some people believe, principals are less lenient when supervising family members on their staff than they are with other teachers. Mrs. Courville asked the Board to consider these statements before voting on whether or not to adopt this policy. Ultimately, the School Board members voted to only introduce the policy, request that the Ethics Board provide a written opinion on the revised policy, and to vote on whether or not to adopt the revised policy once that Ethics Board review is received. Special Counsel, Jon Guice advised that if the Ethics Board agrees to provide a written opinion on the policy the School Board may not have that document to bring to a vote until December. Administrators from Basile High School, Mamou High School, Pine Prairie High School, and Ville Platte High School were honored at the meeting for their national recognition by the US News and World Report for their academic performance. Mamou High is ranked #102 in the state of Louisiana, Ville Platte High is ranked #111, Basile High is ranked # 158, and Pine Prairie High is #162 in the state. These rankings are based on college readiness, math and reading proficiency, graduation rate, etc. Ville Platte High School principal, Melanie Moore was presented with a plaque as this is the school's first year being recognized for a ranking. All of the administrators were commended for their hard work and dedication to improving their schools and the lives of their students. The next Board meeting will be held on October 30, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.

Election Returns

Evangeline Parish Election Results October 12, 2019 In complete but unofficial election returns from the Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court's Office, with beautiful Fall weather voted in high numbers in the various races from local to statewide races. In the State Senator's race in District 28, where there were no incumbent, former Turkey Creek Mayor Heather Cloud defeated both of her opponents to win. Cloud received 63% of the vote or 22,282 votes. Coming in second was Robert Johnson with 24% of the vote and State Rep. Bernard LeBas received 13% of the vote. In the race for State Representative, Rhonda Butler won the election and defeated both of her opponents with 60 percent of the vote or 8880 votes. Coming in second was Phil Cowboy LeMoine with 27 percent of the vote and Taranza Arvie with 13 percent of the vote. For Sheriff in Evangeline Parish, there will be a run-off between the top vote getter, Charles Guillory who received35.9 percent of the vote or 4146 votes and second place finisher Brian Ardoin with 22 percent or 2637 votes. Coming in third was Assessor Dirk Deville with 22.6 percent of the vote or 2616 votes, Jamie Fontenot came in next with 1177 votes, Ville Platte Chief Neal Lartigue with 499 votes, Michael Kevin Fontenot with 371 votes and Joe Brady with 101 votes. For Assessor, Chris Guillory was elected with 51.1 percent of the vote or 5653 votes to challenger Josh Fontenot who got 5355 votes. For Police Juror in District One: Incumbent Rocky Rider was the top vote getter with 41.2 percent of the vote o r 583 votes and will go into a runoff with Keith Saucier who got 525 votes. For Police Juror in District 3- incumbent Ryan Ardoin won re election with 70 percent of the vote or 694 votes over challenger Clifton Fruge who got 290 votes. For Police Juror in District Four, incumbent Lamar Johnson was re elected with 63 percent of the vote or 859 votes against his opponent Robert Johnson who had 504 votes. For Police Juror in District 5, incumbent Kevin Veillon was re elected with 58 percent of the vote or 943 votes compared to his opponent, Derek Marcantel who got 658 votes. For Police Juror in District Six, Eric Soileau, the incumbent was re elected with 62 percent of the vote or 879 votes with second place finisher Donald Vidrine receiving 282 votes and coming in third place Cora Chrietien Veal receiving 251 votes; For Police Juror in District 7, incumbent Bryan Vidrine was the top vote getter receiving 45.8 percent of the vote or 680 votes and will go into a runoff with David Ortego who got 443 votes and Kevin Cabon Fontenot received 361 votes; For Police Juror in District 9, incumbent Daniel Arvie was re elected with 60 percent of the vote receiving 760 votes and his opponent Shawn Gallow receiving 488 votes. For Governor in Evangeline Parish: incumbent John Bel Edwards was the top vote getter with 35.4 percent of the vote or 4105 vote, Eddie Rispone coming out second with 31.6 percent . Both men will go into a runoff. Coming out third was Congressman Ralph Abraham with 3483 votes. Patrick Landry got 139 votes, Gary Landrieu and ralph Dantzler each got 89 votes. For Lt. Governor in Evangeline Parish, Incumbent Billy Nungesser received 74 percent of the vote or 7982 votes and his opponent , Willie Jones got 2700 votes. For Secretary of State, incumbent Kyle Ardoin ws the top vote getter in Evangeline Parish with 5980 votes or 55 percent of the votes. Gwen Collins Greenup got 2411 votes, Thomas Kennedy received 1681 votes and Amanda Jennings Smith got 640 votes; For Attorney general, Incumbent Jeff Landry got 76 percent of the vote or 8245 votes compared to Ike Jackson Jr with 2486 votes. For State Treasurer, incumbent John Shroeder with 67 percent of the vote or7167 votes was the top vote getter in the parish, next was Derrick Edwards with 2896 votes and Teresa Kenny with 484 votes; For Commissioner of Agriculture, the top vote getter in the parish was incumbent was Mike Strain with 57 percent of the vote or 6108 votes, Next was Charlie Greer with 1413 votes, Marguerite Green with 1193 votes and Peter Williams with 528 votes. For Commissioner of Insurance, incumbent Jim Donelon was the top vote getter in the parish with 61 percent of the vote or 5922 votes. His opponent Tim Temple received 3780 votes. For BESE Board member in District Five: Ashley Ellis was the top vote getter with 3690 votes and opponent Stephen Chapman with 2997 votes. For BESE Board Members in District 8- Preston Castille was the top vote getter with 1475 votes, Next was Jonathan Loveall with 565 votes, Next Chakesha Web Scott with 423 votes and then Vereta Tanner Lee with 361 votes; In the Constitutional Amendments in Evangeline Parish: Amendment #1- for Tax Exemptions for the Outer Continental Shelf : Yes votes 4494 and No votes 5046 ; Amendment #2- to amend Educational Excellence Fund Yes votes 4075 and No votes 5405 votes; Amendment #3- Remedy for Unconstitutional Tax Paid, 4851 voted Yes and 4595 voted No; Amendment #4- allow New Orleans Property tax exemption, yes 2557 and No votes 6914.

Ville Platte City Council Meeting

Ville Platte City Council Meeting – October 8, 2019 For their October meeting, the Ville Platte City Council wore pink to help raise breast cancer awareness. The meeting chamber at City Hall was decorated with pink ribbons and messages of hope for those currently fighting a battle, those who have lost their battle, and for the survivors of breast cancer. It was a full agenda meeting with Fire Chief, Chris Harrison and Chief of Police, Neal Lartigue each providing their monthly reports of happenings with each of their respective departments. Ms. Suzie Lemoine and Ms. Jan Veillon spoke about Evangeline Arts Council and the plans that the EAC has for community programs. The Arts Council hosts art classes every Saturday at the Chamber of Commerce building. Classes begin at 10:00 a.m., with children's classes going until 11:30 a.m. and adult programs beginning at 12:30 p.m. Mayor Vidrine also added that EAC will be helping to create beautiful art for the pocket parks that are planned for the abandoned properties that have been adjudicated to the city. Much like last month's meeting, the problem of criminal activity involving guns was discussed by the Council. There were many solutions discussed, but none decided upon. An anonymous tip line was discussed and Chief Lartigue is obtaining quotes as well as working with some out of state and one local police department that currently have this tip program implemented. Halloween hours have been set for Thursday, October 31st, 2019 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the city of Ville Platte. A city wide clean up is set for Saturday, October 26th, 2019. Mayor Vidrine said that the Solid Waste Commission will be working that Saturday to do curbside pickups and four bins will be placed within the city for convenient drop-off for residents of Ville Platte. Mayor Vidrine strongly urged local citizens to start the cleaning effort within their own yard, their own ditch, and their own neighborhood- if that is all cleaned and free of trash and junk, move on to the next yard, ditch, and neighborhood. She asked that all leaves be bagged for pick-up rather than thrown into ditches so as not to affect the drainage of these ditches. This cleanup comes just in time for the Bulldog homecoming on October 1st, 2019 and the Trojan homecoming on October 8th, 2019. Mayor Vidrine expressed the importance of cleaning up our town for its citizens and for the visitors that these homecoming festivities will undoubtedly bring in. Be on the lookout for a revamped City of Ville Platte website as maintenance for the site has been scheduled for the end of the month. An ordinance to amend budgeted allowances will be brought to public hearing on November 12th, 2019 at 4:45 p.m.. with the monthly Ville Platte City Council meeting to follow at 5:00 p.m.

Pat Derouselle addresses Ville Platte Rotary Club Tuesday

The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from guest speaker Pat Derouselle, the president of the Louisiana Cotton Festival Association. He was the invited guest of Rotarian Brent Coreil. Coreil reminisced of his memories of the Cotton Festival when it was on Main Street and later was moved to Court Street with the carnival rides and street dance in front of the Courthouse. Derousselle said this is the 66th year the Cotton Festival has operated in Ville Platte. He reported that traditional events like the Contredanse has shown a new burst of enthusiasm with a new group of young dancers. He said there will be 37 dancers participating in the traditional Cajun square dancing. He announced that the Cotton Festival is one of the oldest festivals still active in the state with some 22 festivals that have disbanded during the past few years. Derousselle announced that he will be stepping down as President after this festival after serving for many years with the organization in various capacities. He will continue to serve in an advisory capacity. This year the festival will be dedicated to the late Peggy Ritter who died earlier this year. She served for many years on the board. The coronation will take place Saturday at 5;30pm at the Ville Platte where Queen Cotton 65 Abigail Fruge will crown her successor from 7 contestants. In other rotary business, it was announced that the Rotary Club is teaming up with Ville Platte High School to form a new Interact student club with Virginia Shiver as club sponsor. Both Virginia Shiver and Ville Platte High Principal Melanie Moore attended the meeting Tuesday. The rotary club already has an active Interact club at Sacred Heart High School.

Bras on the Bayou

2019 Bras on the Bayou As reported by Mallory Moser The Steamboat Warehouse was lively with a sea of pink shirts and sashes last night as every seat in the restaurant was filled for the Bras on the Bayou event. This year's event sold out of tickets in three hours from the opening of ticket sales with a waiting list of over 50 hopeful attendees! All of the money raised for this event goes to Savoy Indigent Patient Support (SIPS) in Mamou which provides financial assistance to cancer patients receiving treatment at Savoy Cancer Center. Chef Jason Huget served a limited menu and did not disappoint with his dishes. He also issued a challenge to the attendees of the event to sell thirty bottles of wine for $20 a cork. That challenge was complete before the salads even made an appearance! Together, Chef Huget and Connie Lamke of the Ville Platte Police Department have raised over forty-thousand dollars for SIPS in the six years that Bras on the Bayou has been hosted at The Steamboat Warehouse. There were many breast cancer survivors in the crowd and they wore light pink sashes. The event started with the survivors being honored and anyone who lost someone to cancer being remembered. There was not one person in the room whose life has not been affected by cancer. Faye Lemoine, a three-year breast cancer survivor spoke during this time and urged everyone to get your mammograms and request ultrasound tests if you find a lump. She said, "Take care of yourself because nobody else can do it for you." Everyone was invited to decorate a bra and enter it into a contest for an entry fee of $5. Dinner was served as the final votes were made by the crowd on their favorite decorated bras. As soon as the dessert plates were cleared and it seemed that enough liquid courage had been served at the bar, the men in the crowd were asked to volunteer to model the decorated bras. It was a hilarious show as the men danced with pink pumpkins to collect their tip money while wearing the decorated bras. A total of $1,500.00 was raised from the dances alone. Votes were tallied and the winners were Peggy Fontenot, who was crowned Queen Tata and Chief Neal Lartigue, who modeled Ms. Fontenot's decorated bra won King Tata. Thank you to Connie Lamke, Randy Deshotel and their team for their tireless efforts in putting together another successful event.

New Gas Compressor Unit to be built in Evangeline Parish

Evangeline Parish Police Jury Meeting October 7, 2019 The Evangeline Parish Police Jury Monday night got some good news from Alex Strohman with T C Energy. The multi- national company owns and operates some of the largest national gas pipelines in the country. Strohamn reported that Evangeline Parish is included in its "Louisiana Express" project. The project includes the construction of a national gas compressor station near Cleco and Chicot Park in the St. Landry area. The project will create 34 construction jobs and two permanent jobs. The company has over 900 compressor stations in ten states. He reported that the land for the new station has been purchased and work can begin just as soon as the company get federal and state regulatory approval. He announced that the parish will receive $1.5 million dollars in new ad valorum taxes in the compressor's first year of operation. In other business Secretary Treasurer Donald Bergeron reported that the parish is finally starting to see the sewer bill delinquency total start to drop for those who are behind in paying their sewer bills. The police jury has referred the delinquent client bills over to the newly created Louisiana Debt Recovery agency. Some $32,000 in past due bills have been recovered with the current delinquent total is $103,663. The state agency tacks on an additional 25% fee and can pull drivers license and hunting license and other measures to force those customers to pay their past due bills. In other action, the police jury: --Received news that police jurors Bryan Vidrine and Eric Soileau have been appointed to serve on the Louisiana Rural Action committee with the National Association of Counties; --heard from Secretary Treasurer Donald Bergeron report that sales tax collections from the 2 percent sales tax amounted to $255,868 in September. --set trick or treating hours for all non- municipal rural areas of the parish for 5-8pm Halloween night.

Early Voting Ended Today with nearly 3000 voting early in Evangeline Parish

The last day of early voting for the October 12 primary election took place today (Saturday) with 358 people casting votes at the Registrar of Voters office in the courthouse. It was the only day where fewer than 400 people came in to vote in a single day. The grand total of people casting early votes amounted to 2963. If you did not vote early, KVPI is urging you to go vote next Saturday at your voting poll and make sure your vote and voice count. It is an important election with offices for Governor and other statewide offices as well as State Senator, State Representative, Evangeline Parish Sheriff, Tax Assessor, police juror seats in seven of the nine districts, BESE Board Seats and a number of constitutional Amendments. Listen to complete election return coverage on KVPI FM 92.5 and on classichits925.com live from the Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court's office at 8:00pm when the polls close with Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel. We are continuing a tradition of live election night coverage since we began FM night time coverage in 1967.

Tim Fontenot guest speaker at Rotary Meeting Tuesday

Physical Therapist Tim Fontenot was the featured speaker at today's (Tuesday) meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club Meeting. Tim shared with club members the history of the Tee Cotton Bowl, the annual city championship game between Sacred Heart and Ville Platte High School that he and his son helped start in 2000. Fontenot said the first Tee Cotton Bowl had its humble beginnings with Sacred winning 24-21. The whole purpose was to help promote sportsmanship, effort and respect among players on both sides. He said the game has grown to become nationally known. NFL Films did a special focus film on the game that has been shown over 90 times. The game has been blessed by the pope. Also, a book has been written about the history of the game. The game was stopped for four years however through the efforts of several local concerned residents and prayers, the game resumed again. He said "God brought it back". He thanked everyone who came forward to help with financial contributions for the recent game. He reported that two TV stations came to do a live morning show for the Tee Cotton Bowl as well as a film crew from Seattle, Washington came in to do a documentary on the game. A Who's Who of well known guest speakers who addressed the players through the years included Tony Robichaux, Tommy Casanova, Ernie Ladd and Warren Morris. Rotarian Bob Buroker introduced Tim Fontenot and was in charge of the program.

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