Local News Archives for 2022-03

Rotary Club hears from Progressive Power and Tractor officials

Progressive Tractor and Power Sports Personnel Speak at Rotary Meeting March 29, 2022 Mitch Fontenot with Progressive Tractor and Implement and Bart Latour with Progressive Power Sports were the two guest speakers at today's (Tuesday) meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club. Mitch Fontenot gave a brief history of the beginning and growth of Progressive Tractor. The dealership began in Ville Platte when G&S Implement combined with Dixie Tractor. The company continued to expand by purchasing ag dealerships where currently the company has 24 dealerships in Louisiana and Arkansas. P.T.I. has a total of about 400 employees. The company has recently opened a construction rental company headquartered in Lafayette where companies can rent excavators and other pieces of equipment. Bart Latour is the general manager of Progressive Power Sports, formerly known as Boco's Incorporated. Progressive purchased the business from the Stromer family and they are continuing to sell four wheelers, side by sides, motorcycles and generators, and engines from Honda. Many of the same Boco's service and office personnel stayed on with Progressive Power Sports. Latour announced that plans are in the works to move soon to the former Morein Motor's dealership building. Latour said "We are excited to keep the dealership going here in Ville Platte." In other news, Rotarian Wayne Vidrine announced that information from State Representative Rhonda Butler revealed that Chicot State Park's North Landing should soon open up for campers and visitors. The park has 30 million dollars in the proposed state budget to make needed upgrades to its electrical system and camp sites. Also, it was announced the Rotary Club has schedule its annual Spring social for April 26.

Drug arrests conducted by Sheriff's Deputies

Drug Arrests March 28, 2022 Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory reported to KVPI News the following drug arrests by his department: On Wednesday March 23, the sheriff's department narcotics unit conducted a search warrant on a residence in the Maxime subdivision in the Mamou area. Agents entered the home and detained several suspects without incident. A search of the home led to over a pound of marijuana being recovered and several firearms. Arrested was Larry Ogden age 57 of Mamou charged with possession with intent to distribute over a pound of marijuana and possession of a firearm in the presence of controlled dangerous substance; A traffic stop was conducted on Tate Cove Road last Wednesday . The Narcotics Unit K-9 Diego was deployed who gave a positive alert to the presence of narcotics. This led to the following arrest: Jason Lynn Richard age 50 of Mamou charged with possession of heroin and possession of Methamphetamine; Last Friday, March 25, the sheriff's department conducted a safety check point for impaired drivers. Deputies deployed the drug dog ,Diego who gave a positive alert and a search of the vehicle was conducted. Arrested were :Jennifer Fontenot age 49 of Oakdale charged with possession of Methamphetamine and a traffic violation and Phillip Shawn Oge , age 45 of Oakdale , charged with a probation violation; Also while conducting the safety check point, a truck entered the area where the deputies made contact with the driver. Due to the overwhelming smell of marijuana, a search was conducted. The driver was arrested. He was identified as Trevor Burton Lamke age 23 of Veteran Memorial High , Ville Platte, charged with possession with intent to distribute over 30 grams of marijuana; On March 26, last Saturday at the safety check point, the drug dog, Diego was again called out. The dog gave a positive alert. Deputies conducted a search and located narcotics. The suspect was identified as Kelly James Deshotel , age 23 of Transco road, Mamou. He was charged with possession of Methamphetamine, possession of controlled dangerous substance in the presence of a minor and he had an active warrant for not appearing in court.

Evangeline Parish voters say no to re-dedication proposals in Saturdays election

Police Jury Propositions Voted down in Evangeline Parish March 26, 2022 Despite beautiful Spring weather, the voting turnout was very low in Evangeline Parish for the police jury rededication propositions. The final vote were: Library Tax rededication- 1666 or 65 percent of the vote no and 873 yes Health Unit Tax rededication- 1640 or 64.9 percent voting no and 885 voted yes. The proposals were to rededicate a portion of the Health Unit tax and a portion of the Health Unit funds to be used for the proposed construction of a new parish jail in the Industrial Park. It was reported that only 20 percent of the registered voters took time and voted in the election. Police Jury President Bryan Vidrine in a statement to KVPI during the KVPI Radio broadcast said , " The people have spoken. We will go back to the drawing board and find another plan."

Evangeline Parish School Board Adopts Redistricting Plan

Evangeline Parish School Board Adopts Reapportionment Plan March 22, 2022 The Evangeline Parish School Board Tuesday, in a special called meeting voted to adopt a new redistricting plan in time for the school board elections this fall. The vote was 8-3 with two members absent to adopt Plan A drawn by its demographer. Before the final vote for adoption, a substitute motion to table was offered to take more time and review an alternate plan. The vote to table failed with only two board members voting in favor: Wanda Skinner and Sheila Joseph. During the public hearing held prior to the special meeting, Arthur Sampson appeared before the board to introduce an alternate redistricting plan. The map was prepared by a demographer showing four majority black districts. Sampson said funding for the map drawing came from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. "We want to assure there are four black majority districts that are 60-65 percent in black population". Earlier while meeting with the board's demographer, some board members were concerned over the fact that the proposed plan drawn up by Heffner shows only a 55 percent black population in District 13 represented by board member Georgianna Wilson. Heffner cautioned it would be illegal to increase the black population because he would be forced to split too many precincts.

Early Voting Ends for March 26 Election

Early Voting March 21, 2022 A total of 305 voters cast early votes for the special March 26 election at the Registrar of Voters Office in the Courthouse this past week, according to Registrar of Voters Lucas Buller. On Friday, there were 59 people that voted and on the last day of voting on Saturday there were 39 early votes. On Saturday, voters parish wide will decide the fate of a proposition called by the Evangeline Parish Police Jury to rededicate a portion of tax funds from the Evangeline Parish Library and Health Unit to be used to help the sheriff construct and fund the operation of a new parish jail at the Industrial Park. The polls will open at 7:00am and close at 8:00pm. KVPI urges you to go vote and then hear complete election returns starting at 8:00pm on KVPI FM 92-5 live from the Clerk of Court's Office.

KVPI Won Prestige Award today from Louisiana Broadcasters

We won!!!The Louisiana Association of Broadcasters at their Prestige Awards event today (Thursday) presented to KVPI-FM the "Uniquely Louisiana" award for our Cajun French programming. This is the second year in a row KVPI has won the "Uniquely Louisiana award. Last year, we won for our coverage of Louisiana Swamp Pop music. In his comments, KVPI General Manager Mark Layne thanked Polly Johnson and the Broadcasters of Louisiana for this honor. He expressed his appreciation to the hard working and dedicated members of his staff: Misty Parker, Tobin Deville, Karlee Blevins, Mallory Moser, Ray Duplechain, Swabby Soileau, Charlie Manuel, Mike Perron, Gabe Fontenot, Robert Richard and our engineer, Dave Graichen. He thanked DJ Deet for her work in compiling the nomination video. He recognized the late Chris Duplechain who began the French News and programming the day we first signed on in 1953 and other French announcers who have worked with us through the years including Jim Soileau, Dan Andrus, Lee Manuel and Roland Manuel. He thanked the owners, Ville Platte Broadcasting Company President, Dr. Rhonda Pucheu for her continued support by allowing us to do local community service programming and continuing a tradition that began 69 years ago. KVPI is "The Voice of the Colorful Cajun Country".

Drug related arrests made by Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Department

Sheriff Office Drug Arrests March 16, 2022 Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory reports to KVPI News that a number of suspects were arrested on drug related charges recently. They include the following: On Tuesday March 8, the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Department Narcotics Unit and the La. Department of Probation and Parole conducted a search warrant on a residence in Mamou. Once the agents entered the residence, they detained two suspects without incident. A search of the residence was conducted and illegal narcotics and weapons were located. The suspects were identified as Patrick Dwayne Thomas age 41 of Ville Platte charged with Possession with intent to distribute over 241 grams of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute over 19 grams of methamphetamine, possession of a firearm in the presence of controlled dangerous substance and a warrant for stalking; and Ronnie Edwards the 3rd age 45 of Pineville charged with possession with intent to distribute over 241 grams of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute over 19 grams of methamphetamine, possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of a firearm in the presence of controlled dangerous substance. On Thursday ,March 10, the sheriff's department narcotics unit conducted a traffic stop on a car on Chataignier road. Upon coming into contact with the driver, he displayed several signs of extreme nervousness. K9 Diego was deployed and indicated on the car. A search was then conducted. Illegal narcotics were located. The driver was identified as Douglas Keith Fontenot age 24 of Ville Platte charged with possession of methamphetamine and a traffic warrant. Also on March 10, the narcotics unit conducted a search warrant on Clifton Avenue in the Ville Platte area. Upon entering the residence, no one was inside. Agents conducted a search and located narcotics. An arrest warrant has been issued for the arrest of the homeowner: Brent Hernandez Roberts of Ville Platte. He is wanted for possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. On March 10, the traffic division conducted a traffic stop. Upon coming into contact with the driver, she began crying and shaking. A search of the vehicle located illegal narcotics. The driver was identified as Nova Polk, age 20, of Alabama charged with possession of methamphetamine and a passenger, Bryan Boone age 23 of Alabama charged with possession of a firearm in the presence of controlled dangerous substance and he had an active warrant from Alabama; On March 13, the traffic unit conducted a traffic stop on a car. During the stop, deputies located illegal narcotics, weapons and US currency. Arrested were: Catherine Alexandra Garcia age 24 of Dallas, Texas. She was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute over 31 grams, possession of a firearm in the presence of controlled dangerous substance and currency from drug proceeds; and Angel Ryu Castaneda age 24 of Dallas, Texas. He was charged with possession of over 31 grams of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm in the presence of controlled dangerous substance and currency from drug proceeds.

Drug arrests made by Mamou Police

Mamou Police arrest drug Suspects March 14, 2022 Mamou Police Chief Brent Zackery reported to KVPI News: Throughout the past few weeks, the Mamou Police Department have made a number of arrests in the fight against drugs. The following people were arrested by Mamou Police: Heidi Brignac of Ville Platte charged with possession of schedule two drugs, possession of schedule one drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia; Brandon Vallien of Washington charged with possession of schedule one drugs, resisting an officer and possession of a controlled dangerous substance within a school zone; McCannson Collins of Mamou charged with possession of schedule two drugs, resisting an officer and possession of drug paraphernalia; Mikka Evan Fontenot of Eunice charged with possession of schedule one drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, illegal carrying of a weapon and possession of transactions involving proceeds from drug offenses; And Jacob Perron of Mamou was charged with distribution of schedule two controlled dangerous substances. Chief Zackery is continuing the fight against the drugs and wants the public to know they are working diligently to assure that the streets are safe and becoming drug free. He is asking residents of Mamou that if they have any news tips of illegal activity in your neighborhood, please contact the Mamou Police Department at 337-468-5221. All calls will remain anonymous.

REO Speedwagon Ticket Winners

REO Speedwagon Contest Winners March 11, 2022 Classic Hits 92-5 KVPI had our drawing from more than 50 qualifiers who had qualified to win tickets to see REO Speedwagon in concert next Wednesday night March 16 at the Rapides Parish Coliseum in Alexandria. Congratulations to Linda Murphy and Branson Robin. Both of our winners each won a pair of tickets to this Classic Rock show from your friends at KVPI.

Ville Platte City Council Meeting

Ville Platte City Council Meeting March 8, 2022 After a public hearing, the Ville Platte City Council Tuesday adopted an ordinance accepting plan 3 as its official reapportionment plan for all six city council districts in the city. After conducting several meetings with its demographer, the council approved making the necessary changes in city council district lines in time for the elections this fall. Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine was selected as one of six mayors chosen by the "Mayor's Institute on City Design". The group plans to assist the city of Ville Platte with designs and urban planning focusing on improvements to the city entrance and the creation of pocket parks at no cost to the city. Mayor Jennifer Vidrine reported that the City of Ville Platte has received a grant of $306,000 from the Delta Regional Agency for new sewer pumps. She also announced that the long awaited street project should begin by the end of this month. The city is expected to receive 25 new revolving cameras at various areas around the city for security and law enforcement. Fire Chief Chris Soileau reported on activities for the month of February. There were 32 calls, 2 structure fires, one vehicle fire, two grass fires and an extrication call. There were no fatalities. The city has called a public hearing for 4;45pm April 12 to receive public comment on whether the city should approve an application from Tri Com Real Estate to erect a new cell phone tower at 1738 West Main Street near the old Cedillo Electronics location. Both Mayor Vidrine and Connie Lamke with Acosta Foundation informed the council about the "Keep Louisiana Beautiful" campaign sponsored by the Lt. Governor's office. Here in Ville Platte and Evangeline Parish, the event will take place April 23. Chantelle Washington and her co-owners appeared before the council to describe their proposed new business" The Vapor and Vibes Lounge" to be located in the Parkview Plaza Shopping Center next to Auto Zone. The business will be open Friday through Sunday from 10:00pm to 2;00am. It will feature a social lounge with music and hookahs for those age 25 and older. In other action, the police department reported for February, they responded to 780 calls, 33 citations, 11 arrests, 11 felony arrests and they investigated 27 traffic accidents. There

Police Jury holds public hearing on re-dedication funds

Evangeline Parish Police Jury Meeting March 7, 2022 The Evangeline Parish Police Jury Monday held a public hearing to receive public comment on their election day proposal to re-dedicate funds from the Evangeline Parish Library and Health Unit. If approved by parish voters, the funds will be able to be used to assist in the funding of a new parish jail at the Ward One Industrial Park. When asked by Linda Lebsack with friends of the Library, if the jury has a backup plan should the proposal is voted down, Police Jury President Bryan Vidrine said the jury will go back to the drawing board. Vidrine said passing a new tax would be tough to do. That is when the parish determined that two of the agencies the jury oversees: the health unit had a large surplus of funds and the library had finished paying the note off on the Ville Platte Library building. The jury plans to re-dedicate .62 mills or the exact amount of money the library would have paid on their building note along part of the surplus funds in the Health Unit account. Some of the library personnel are concerned that with the loss of that funding they may be forced to call an additional tax. They explained the need for a new Basile library site and expand the current Ville Platte location. Secretary Treasurer Donald Bergeron explained to those in attendance that the only way the parish is paying its bills now is because of federal funding from the America's Rescue Plan. He said there are 157 parish inmates with 82 in out of parish facilities that is costing the parish some $2100 a day. The police jury is teaming up with Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory to fund the proposed new 200 bed parish jail. The parish will fund 5-6 million dollars with the sheriff paying the rest of the project. The sheriff has also agreed to pay the cost of housing out of parish inmates while the new jail is being constructed. Police Jury Attorney Jacob Fuselier explained that if the parish cannot pay its bills, it goes into receivership where the state comes in and take over the entire operation, a form of bankruptcy for governmental bodies. He said a special receiver will decide which bills to pay and who loses their jobs to get the parish back in line financially. Fuselier reported that a parish jail is a state mandate. "Its not a pretty picture. It would be catastrophic for Evangeline Parish" Fuselier stated. Police Juror eric Soileau commented "We're at the end of the road. It is not the best thing in the world but it's the best we can do." The re-dedication proposal will be on the election day ballot on Saturday March 26 in Evangeline Parish with early voting beginning this Saturday. In other news, the police jury : --received good new from Jury President Bryan Vidrine on a federal NTIA Broadband grant in the amount of 35 million dollars has been awarded for Evangeline, Acadia and St. Landry Parishes. The funds will be used to bring high speed internet service throughout Evangeline Parish using underground fiber optic cable. Lafayette Utility Service will be the provider of the project. The police jury has been working on this project since 2018. The project should be completed in a 12 month period; --approved the calling for the renewal election of the Evangeline Parish Communications District millage tax for another ten years; --after much discussion approved a request pending review from their legal advisor from Wayne Vidrine to waive the 6 month renewal requirement for his proposed travel trailer park as long as the park follows the parish building code. The parish will house eight travel trailers that will be available for contractors coming in to work on the major Cabot plant project. Vidrine said some 200 plus workers will be coming in to work at the plant during the 18 month project.

Mamou Police Charged a Suspect in the Mardi Gras Eve Shooting Incident

Mamou Mardi Gras Eve Shooting Suspect is in Custody March 6, 2022 Mamou Police Chief Brent Zackery reported to KVPI News today that the suspect wanted by Mamou Police in a shooting incident Monday night in downtown Mamou turned himself in to authorities Thursday without incident. Heath Lane Belton age 20 was arrested and booked on the following charges: attempted second degree murder, reckless discharge of a firearm at a parade and carrying a firearm by a convicted felon. His bond was set by Judge Chuck West at $650,000. The shooting took place Monday night at 7:46 downtown on the 200 block of 6th street in Mamou with a crowd of Mardi Gras revelers nearby down the street. Responding police officers arrived at the area and located a white male victim laying on the roadway with multiple gunshot wounds. The victim was treated and transported by Acadian Ambulance to a Lafayette hospital with moderate life threatening injuries. Officers immediately set up a perimeter and canvassed the area searching for a possible suspect.


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KVPI AM and FM are

proud members of the L.A.B.

KVPI is a member of the

LSU Sports Radio Network

Proud supporter of our own

Swamp Pop music

The Louisana Swamp Pop Museum is operated by the City of Ville  Platte is open to the public every Friday and

Saturday from 10:00a.m. to 3:00p.m. Come view the amazing artifacts, photos,records, Wall of Fame and hear the music.

Admission charge is $3 adults,

$2 seniors and $1 for children under 12.
The museum is located on

Northwest Railroad Avenue.