Local News Archives for 2020-03

Police report suspects attempted to steal ATM Machine

Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue reports attempted theft of ATM and seeks information on suspects. This morning (Tuesday) at approximately 5:00 a.m. Officers responded to an attempted theft report in the 800 block of West Main Street. Video surveillance showed three black males attempted to pull the front panel off of an ATM with a chain attached to an older model dark colored Chevrolet pick up truck. When the attempt to pull off the front panel failed, the suspects then attempted to gain entry into the ATM with crowbars, screwdrivers and hammers. After multiple unsuccessful attempts the 3 suspects fled the area in the pick up truck. Anyone having any information regarding the attempted theft can contact the Ville Platte Police Department. Your call or text tip will remain anonymous. You can call 363-1313 or text on the TIP VILLE PLATTE app.

Corona Virus cases have now doubled in Evangeline to 8

Corona Virus Confirmed Cases March 30, 2020 The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Evangeline Parish have doubled, according to news from Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine. The confirmed cases are now at 8 here in Evangeline Parish. Mayor Jennifer is urging residents to take the virus serious. Stay home and off the streets. If you have to go out to do some shopping, don't visit. Just do your grocery shopping and go back home. A reminder that Ville Platte is under a city wide curfew. The curfew for young people under 18 is 8:00pm at night. The curfew extends to everyone including adults and businesses at 9:00pm until 6:00am.

Ville Platte Police Arrests


Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue reports multiple arrests:


On Friday, March 20, 2020 at approximately 12:30 a.m. Officers responded to a tip that two white males were attempting to break into vehicles in a car lot in the 2000 block of East Main Street. Upon arrival the two suspects fled on foot and were apprehended a short time later.  Officers also located a reciprocating saw with the suspects.  

Arrested was Michael Richard, age 54, of 1010 Jeffery Street, Ville Platte.  Richard was charged with attempted burglary and no reflective gear.  No bond information available.

Brian Roy, age 50, of 1201 tom Drive Apt C20. Roy was charged with attempted burglary and no reflective gear. No bond information available.

Both suspects were booked into the Ville Platte City Jail without incident


Also on Friday  March 20, 2020 at approximately 1:45 a.m. Officers with the Ville Platte Police Department responded to an alarm activation in the 800 block of East LaSalle Street.  Upon arrival a white male suspect on a bicycle fled from Officers and was apprehended a short distance later.  Arrested was Bradford Groce, age 60, of 710 East Jackson Street Ville Platte. The suspect was arrested and booked into the Ville Platte City Jail on an outstanding bench warrant with the Ville Platte City Marshal’s Office.


 On Wednesday March 25, 2020 at approximately 7:00 p.m. Officers responded to a report of a robbery at a store on West Main Street in Ville Platte.  Officers learned that a black male had damaged a door trying to enter the building and once inside, he pointed a gun at the employee while demanding the money in the register.  The suspect then took the register drawer and fled the store.  Upon leaving the store the suspect was apprehended with assistance from an Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Detective who was near the location when the Officers were dispatched.

Arrested was Jeffery Rubin, age 33, of 2509 Third Street, Ville Platte.  Rubin was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail on the charges of armed robbery and criminal damage to property.  Rubin remains incarcerated on a $ 127,000.00 bond.


Chief Lartigue would like to thank the Evangeline parish Sheriff's Office for their assistance.

Chief Lartigue would also like to thank those who are calling and sending text tips to the Department.  Working together we are seeing results. 


To send an anonymous tip about suspicious or illegal activity make sure to download the TIP VILLE PLATTE app.  The app is free and does not send any of your personal information with the tip.  You can also call 363-1313 or 911 to provide information and tips.

Lafayette man arrested in Church Point Arson Case

ACADIA PARISH- The State Fire Marshal's Office (SFM) is applauding the quick response by the public after tips lead to identifying and locating a person of interest deputies were seeking in connection with several intentionally-set fires that occurred within blocks of each other inside the town of Church Point. Late this afternoon, Charles Richard, 67 of Lafayette, was arrested on one count of Aggravated Arson and three counts of Simple Arson. Starting around 1:30 a.m. on Friday, March 20, the Church Point Fire Department responded to a call for a house fire in the 200 block of East Canal Street. The home was occupied at the time of the fire, but the female was unharmed and the home suffered the most damage in the carport area. Minutes later, firefighters were called to a mattress on fire in the 500 block of North Main Street. Around 4:45 a.m., Church Point FD responded to a fire at a business in the 300 block of N Main Street. Damage to Spanky's Small Engine and Mower Sales, owned by the town's mayor, was limited to the back exterior of the building. Minutes after that call, firefighters responded to a dumpster fire behind a business also in the 300 block of N Main Street. The SFM was contacted to investigate the fires due to their suspicious circumstances. Following an assessment of the scenes, including obtaining video evidence from at least two, deputies determined all of the fires were intentionally set and began looking for a person-of-interest. Following a request to the public via local media and social media, a tip led deputies to locate Richard at an apartment complex in Lafayette. In an interview with deputies, Richard confessed to setting all four fires in a fit of rage over a recent falling out with an ex-girlfriend, who owned the house he set on fire first. The SFM would like to thank the public, the media as well as the Church Point Fire and Police Departments for their partnership in solving this case so swiftly.

Second confirmed case of Corona Virus in Evangeline Parish

Second Confirmed Case of Corona Virus in Evangeline Parish

March 21, 2020


     Evangeline Parish authorities have reported to KVPI News today the second positive test has been confirmed in Evangeline Parish. Police Jury President Ryan Williams  stated that the patient is receiving proper treatment and is in quarantine for fourteen days.

    Williams told parish residents “The Covid-19 virus is a dangerous virus. I am asking everyone to take this issue very serious and utilize all sanitary and hygiene methods as noted by CDC and DHH, using social distance and stay in your homes until we can get this virus out of here. If at anytime, anyone has the symptoms such as  high fever or shortness of breath, call 337-291-8200 or call 311 and go to your local hospital if your condition is severe. God bless everyone.

First confirmed case of COVID-19 Case in Evangeline Parish

Evangeline Parish Police Jury President Ryan Williams informed KVPI News today that he has received news that the first positive case of COVID-19 in Evangeline Parish has been confirmed. Dr. Tina Stefanski, regional medical director for the Office of Public Health in Acadiana confirmed it. The individual is now quarantined. No other information is available. President Williams said "We knew eventually we would get a positive test and have been preparing and encouraging everyone to be prepared as well. This is no cause for panic. We must stay vigilante in social distancing and sanitizing. Stay home and sway from others unless it is absolutely necessary. Stay six feet away from the person next to you. Cough in your sleeve or a tissue. If you have a fever or respiratory symptoms, difficulty breathing, call you health care provider. Evangeline Parish will get through this but we must follow the guidelines set forth by the CDC and DHH."

State Senator Heather Cloud Interview

For those of you who may have missed our informative legislative interview with our State Senator Heather Cloud, we have uploaded the interview to our website at classichits925.com and added it as a podcast. Follow this link: https://classichits925.com/podcasts/kvpi-interviews

Dr. Eduardo Alvarez Interview

For those of you who may have missed the informative interview with Dr. Alvarez this morning on the Corona Virus, we recorded the interview and uploaded it to our website at classichits925.com for you to listen to. Just follow this link: https://classichits925.com/podcasts/kvpi-interviews

Ville Platte Curfew Begins Tonight

     Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine informed KVPI News that beginning tonight, an enforced curfew will be in effect from 8:00pm to 6;00am until further notice for all unaccompanied minors. Parents will be held accountable for minors breaking the curfew.


    Also the Ville Platte City Court is open. Those having business with the City Court must attend your scheduled court session.

Evangeline Parish Municipal and Parish Leaders Meet to Prepare for Corona Virus

Evangeline Parish Planning Meeting Held on Corona Virus

March 16, 2020


   Evangeline Parish government leaders met tonight at the request of Police Jury President Ryan Williams to map out plans in the event the Corona Virus strikes parish residents.

    Williams told KVPI News “My plan was to ensure that we have protocols in place should a confirmed case is found in the parish”.

     The briefing  lasted about 45 minutes. Williams gave the latest stats on the number of Corona Virus cases and deaths in the state. The police jury office will remain open to help serve the parish residents and parish work crews will continue to be on the job.

      Several of the mayors and police chiefs who were in attendance reported on their plans for their area.

       Sheriff elect Charles Guillory reported on the measures the department is taking to minimize exposure while prisoners and shutting down visitation for inmates.

       The police jury president reported that he has spoken with representatives of Mercy Regional Medical Center who  announced they are well prepared should an outbreak of the virus impact our local area.

         Judge Gary Ortego announced that petite jury court sessions have all been cancelled. Also speaking were representative from GOSEP, Solid Waste Commission, Office of Emergency Preparedness/9-1-1, fire chiefs and the library. The Library director reported that the library will close all branches to the public for the next two weeks. However personnel will still be at work.

Mercy Regional Medical Center Announces New Procedures for Entrance

Effective immediately, Mercy Regional Medical Center has closed all entries to the hospital except for the Emergency Department (ED)/ Walk-in entrance. Anyone entering the hospital will be assessed and screened for symptoms of coronavirus. Plus, we have implemented a no-visitor policy for all patients in the hospital. All patients will be notified of these new changes. For updates on the coronavirus go to the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/COVID19 for current updated information and or visit http://www.ldh.la.gov/coronavirus about COVID-19 in Louisiana. GOSEP Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness has also set up a COVID-19 hotline (1-855-523-2652) for those with questions or concerns.

Criminal Court Proceedings Re-Scheduled in 13th Judicial District Court

      Pursuant to the order of the Louisiana Supreme Court issued on March 16, 2020, the Thirteenth Judicial District Court and the Evangeline Parish District Attorney announce the following regarding criminal dockets scheduled on March 18th and March 19th, 2020: 1. Revocation Docket scheduled for March 18, 2020 is cancelled until further notice.  
2. Compulsory School Attendance Docket scheduled for March 18, 2020 is cancelled until further notice.
3. Criminal Docket scheduled for March 19, 2020 will proceed as follows: • All individuals scheduled for Arraignment on March 19, 2020 MUST APPEAR. • All individuals scheduled to appear for Pre-Trial on March 19, 2020 and Trial on March 30, 2020 are excused on March 19, 2020, BUT MUST APPEAR ON March 30, 2020.
4. Children In Need of Care (CINC) cases will be heard on March 18, 2020 at 1:00 p.m.   If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Anne Aucoin, Connie Soileau, Julhelene Jackson or Deidra Godfrey at 337-363-3438. 

Ville Platte Mayor Announces City Hall will be closed to Public

Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine announces effective immediately until further notice, Ville Platte City Hall will be closed to the general public. The drive through will be open for the payment of bills. Also until further notice, no utility disconnections will take place. The actions are being taken in connection with the Corona Virus that is spreading everywhere. Mayor Jennifer Vidrine is asking you to avoid crowds and take care of the elderly, wash your hands often and practice social distancing such as no hand shakes and no hugs.

Schools Closing Down due to Coronovirus

   KVPI News has received word from the governor's office and from the Diocese of Lafayette that all schools are now cosed through April 13 because of the recent oubreak of the coronovirus -COVID-19 virus. It was also announced that all gatherings of more than 250 people are cancelled as well through April 13.

April 4 Presidential Primary and City Marshal Election Postponed due to Coronavirus

April 4 Louisiana Presidential Primary Cancelled March 13, 2020 The Presidential Primary election set for April 4 throughout Louisiana has been cancelled because of the coronavirus issue by the Louisiana Secretary of State and rescheduled to take place on June 20, according to news from Evangeline Parish Registrar of Voters Lucas Buller. The election change means the special election for Ville Platte Ward One City marshal and two tax propositions were also moved to June 20.

Evangeline Parish School recognizes top producing school in fundraiser

Evangeline Parish School Board Meeting March 11, 2020 Eva Waits , coordinator with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, reported Wednesday to the Evangeline Parish School Board how our parish public schools did in raising money for the “Pennies for Patients” fund raiser. Some 715 schools participated nationwide including every school in Evangeline Parish. The program which took place last December asks students to donate pennies and loose change to help patients being treated with these type of cancers. The children in these high performing schools will be rewarded with “dress down”days and those schools will receive Amazon gift cards. Waits announced the winners in three categories: the large school with the highest amount collected was Bayou Chicot while the small school with the highest amount collected was Chataignier Elementary. The overall winning school bringing the largest amount of donations was James Stephens Elementary School which collected $2438 in pennies and loose change. Parish wide, the fund raiser brought in $13,034. In other business, Chief Financial Officer Amy Lafleur informed the school board that sales collections for the month of February increased by $14,000 over the month of February in 2019. Overall, sales tax collections, increased $229,087 year to date. In other action the school board: --joined Supt. Of Schools Darwan Lazard in congratulating Mitzi Fontenot as Louisiana Business Educator of the Year; --received news of a meeting of Future Educators of Evangeline Parish, an effort by local educators to encourage students to go into education; --approved $14,601 from the non-public textbook fund to purchase student textbooks for Sacred Heart High School;

Correction to Police Jury Meeting Story

CORRECTION MARCH 4, 2020 KVPI News would like to make a correction to a news story that we aired and posted on our social sites for Monday's Evangeline Parish Police Jury Meeting. The story quoted Evangeline Parish Sheriff Elect Charles Guillory commenting on the limited budget he will have when he takes office based on his millage. Our story originally stated "In comparison, the Evangeline Parish Public Library has a millage tax that brings in that brings in 5.21 million dollars.". The quote should have read "The Evangeline Parish Library has a millage tax of 5.21 mills that brings in 1.2 million dollars." We regret the error to our listeners and readers.

LSUE Chancellor was guest speaker at Ville Platte Rotary Club Meeting

LSU-E Chancellor visits Ville Platte Rotary Club March 3, 2020 The Ville Platte Rotary Club today(Tuesday) presented a check to LSUE Chancellor Nancee Sorenson for the club's scholarship fund. The funds comes from the club's annual football scholarship football pool. Dr. Sorenson announced that the rotary club's scholarship fund is valued at $120,215 and has increased $5,000 a year. This year, the fund will be able to award six student scholarships rather than four. Dr. Willie Buller has been in charge of the LSUE scholarship fund raiser each year for the past 23 years. He announced he is stepping down and club member Renee Brown will be taking over the club project. Sorenson has been chancellor at the Eunice campus for the since July of last year and is a member of the Eunice Rotary club. She recognized local club member, Brian Ardoin who is coordinator of the Public Protection and Safety program at the university. She announced that the school's baseball team has a perfect 15 and 0 record and is ranked #1 in the country in the Jr. College division. The school's Allied Health program is partnering with Oschner Medical to train additional nurses and health care workers. She reported that the cyber attack crippled communications at the campus last October but classes went on as scheduled. There was no data breach. Also speaking was Carey Lawson, Director of University Advancement. The two guests from LSU E were the guests of Rotarian Michael Lemoine.

Annual Farm Bureau meeting held Monday at the Clvic Center

Evangeline Parish Farm Bureau held its 68th Annual meeting Monday evening at the Ville Platte Civic Center. Vice President Richard Fontenot presented the Nominating Committee Report and 2019 Balance Sheet. President Scotty Fontenot followed those agenda items with his President's Report. He introduced the 2019 Evangeline Parish Farm Bureau Queen, Mallorie Cormier. Mallorie is the seventeen-year-old daughter of Jason and Miranda Cormier of Duralde. She is currently a junior at Basile High School and has plans to attend the University of Louisiana at Lafayette after graduation to receive a degree in elementary education. After Ms. Cormier was introduced, Scotty Fontenot gave a presentation on what Evangeline Parish Farm Bureau has done in the community over the last year. This involvement included the 4-H Fishing Clinic held in Chicot State Park, the State Convention held in June at which Evangeline Parish Farm Bureau received a 4 Star Award, Fall and Winter Commodity Meetings, and partnering with Nutrien Seed Company to bring Ag in the Classroom - Seed Survivor Trailer to four parish schools over eight days. Winston Fontenot, with Farm Bureau Insurance, spoke about the insurance aspect of Farm Bureau. The Evangeline Parish agency was voted as "Agency of the Year" at both the district and state levels. They insure over 6,000 automobiles, 200 homes, and have completed over 300 life insurance applications within the parish in the last year. Winston said that the goal of their agency is to make sure that you have the policy that you want as well as a policy that has everything that you need. Several door prizes were given away before the meeting adjourned. Dinner was prepared by the Farm Bureau Board members and served by Kim Deville and the 4-H Junior Leader members.

Sheriff Elect Charles Guillory addresses Evangeline Parish Police Jury Meeting

Evangeline Parish Police Jury hears from Sheriff Elect Charles Guillory March 2, 2020 A packed police jury meeting room that included mayors and police chiefs, State Senator Heather Cloud and Representative Rhonda Butler and State Police Major Wayne Vidrine listened to an address from Sheriff Elect Charles Guillory. Appearing at Monday’s police jury meeting, Guillory invited public officials to come together. “Crime is on the increase. The only way we can solve this problem is to come together and work together,” he said. Guillory said juvenile crime has greatly increased. Juvenile offenders are being charged and then with no holding facilities are being released to the custody of their parents. The challenge facing the incoming sheriff is that his entire budget is only 2.4 million dollars based on 5.52 mills that were approved way back in 1977. Neighboring parishes such as Avoyelles Parish has a 6 million dollar budget. “I want to increase patrols, have school resource officers and fight drugs but all of that takes money,” said Guillory.The new sheriff wants to have a minimum of five patrolmen per shift when he takes office on June 30. He said the highest paid officer in the sheriff’s office is the Major who is being paid only $15.75 an hour while the lowest paid officer is getting paid $11.30 an hour. He commented “I want to hire good officers and pay them enough so they will stay with us:. Guillory assured those in attendance that he will work with state and federal agencies to fight the growing drug problem in Evangeline Parish. He stated the current parish jail is “finished”. A new much larger jail could bring in additional revenues to the sheriff’s office by holding state and federal inmates as well as holding juvenile offenders. Right now, the police jury is payomg some $290,000 to house parish prisoners in out of parish jails. A number of audience members spoke up during the sheriff’s presentation. Ville Platte City Councilman Faye Lemoine said’ If there was ever a time we need to come together to fight drugs and gang activity, it is now. You can’t do it without money”. A number of audience members urged the sheriff to look at ways to help find gainful employment for these troubled young people instead of jailing them. Police Jury President Ryan Williams promised to help Charles Guillory in any way possible. In other action the police jury: --advertised for the sale of 1.47 acres plot at the Industrial Park with an approved value of $36,750; --received news from their insurance consultant that Blue Cross was the provider with the lowest quote for their group health care plan to bring down the price from large spike last year from United Health Care. --heard from Senator Heather Cloud urging parish residents to complete their 2020 Federal Census survey; --received a report that Crooked Creek attracted 1900 campers in 2019; --reappointed Felix Morein to the Tee Mamou Water District Board. --approved a decrease in sales tax collected in February for a total of @257,284;


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