Local News Archives for 2023-11

Election Returns

Election Returns November 18, 2023 Complete but unofficial election returns show that District Six in Evangeline Parish has a new police juror. Challenger Brent Guillory defeated incumbent police juror Eric Soileau in balloting Saturday night. The final vote was Brent Guillory with 466 votes or 55 percent of the vote to Soileau's 368 votes or 44 percent. All local millage tax propositions were renewed by voters. For the Elderly Services proposition , the millage tax was renewed by parish voters with 2394 people cast yes votes while 1091 votes were against the measure. For the 9-1-1 Communications District millage tax renewal, it passed with 2363 voters voting yes and 1142 voters voting no; For the Police Jury Ward One millage renewal, the millage tax was approved by 510 to 296; For School District Number Seven in the Basile School area, the millage tax renewal was approved 159 to 64; In the Mamou Gravity Drainage District Number Five , the millage tax was renewed with 127 voting yes and 55 voting no; In Statewide races, Evangeline Parish voters did the following: For Secretary of State: Nancy Landry defeated Gwen Collins Greenup with Landry getting 2966 votes and her opponent 696 votes; For Attorney General: Liz Baker Murrill easily defeated Lindsey Cheek, 2977 to 671; For State Treasurer: John Fleming with 2904 votes beat Dustin Granger who received 748 votes. In the constitutional amendments: Amendment #1, Evangeline Parish voters approved the amendment 2094 votes with 1327 against which deals with the timing of gubernatorial action on bill; Amendment #2 deals with repealing certain funds in the state treasury passed by parish voters: 1765 votes yes and 1648 votes no; Amendment #3-provides for ad valorum tax exemptions for certain first responders. That measure was approved by parish voters with 1874 yes votes and 1560 no votes; Amendment #4-dealing with the use of money in the Revenue Stabilization Trust Fund. That measure was voted down by parish voters: 1827 voted no and 1555 voted yes. KVPI's Misty Parker and Mark Layne were there broadcasting complete return coverage on Classic Hits 92.5 KVPI.

Sheriff Office Arrests

Suspect arrested for theft of stolen ATV and another suspect arrested for bomb threat Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory reported to KVPI News the following suspects were arrested: On November 3, deputies responded to the 2000 block of West Main Street in reference to a stolen ATV. Through the use of tracking devices, sheriff's deputies went to the location where the stolen ATV was tracking. They discovered the missing ATV and another ATV inside a shed and later determined it was stolen too. The suspect , Jaquan Lavergne, age 18 of Enola Street. He was charged with two counts of possession of stolen things with bond set at $30,000. He is currently in the parish jail. On November 16, a suspect, Heath Morris Cintron age 49 of Eunice was located by the state police in Rapides Parish and arrested on an outstanding arrest warrant for "Communication False Information of planned Arson". His bond was set at $15,000. The charges are in connection with a bomb threat at his former place of employment, Cabot Corporation. Sheriff Guillory urges the general public to contact his office to report any type of criminal activity at 337-363-2124. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.

Evangeline Parish Ranked in Top 5 School Districts in State

Evangeline Parish Superintendent of Schools Darwan Lazard Comments Regarding Evangeline Being Ranked in the Top 5 School Districts in the Louisiana "All of these accolades and awards for outstanding academic achievement are extra special since they reflect the hard work and commitment of our employees, students and community of stakeholders. In August, we were recognized for having the 2nd highest "growth to mastery" LEAP score out of 69 school districts in this state and, in October, we were recognized by the State School Board (BESE), for being a Top 10 Improvement District! Now, to be acknowledged by the Louisiana Department of Education for having the 5th highest overall academic improvement ranking out of 69 school districts, is historic and truly amazing! We are grateful to God for these blessings! These outstanding state test scores represent the work of outstanding teachers, administrators, and support workers, who worked untiringly with our precious students, as they were undergirded by their parents, families and communities. I have no doubt the students of the Evangeline Parish School District are blessed with wonderful and caring educators and support staff. Despite overwhelming obstacles and opposition, no other group could turn our pandemic exacerbated challenges into educational opportunities with positive academic outcomes for the students of Evangeline. Truly, God has turned, once again, those things that were meant for defeat into glorious victory! These historic gains represent another giant LEAP onward, upward, and forward for education in Evangeline Parish!".

Ville Platte Rotary Club Meeting

Rotary Club Meeting – 11-7-23 The Rotary Club met on Tuesday, and our speaker, presented by Rotarian Jimmy LeBlanc, was Dr. Erin Bendily. Dr. Bendily is with the Pelican Institute for Public Policy - a non-profit and non-partisan institute whose purpose is to help the state of Louisiana to thrive and move forward. Louisiana has multiple ports, the Mississippi River, a good cost of living, a beautiful culture, plus so many things that should equate to prosperity. However, poor policy decisions have caused the problems that Louisiana is now facing. Dr. Bendily addressed some of the areas of concern. The first was revenue. The state budget is $51 billion dollars, which is double what it was 10 years ago. Unfortunately, the population has declined over that same time period, resulting in less revenue, and that is creating an unsustainable situation. So, the question is, are our tax dollars being used well? Louisiana has one of the most complex, convoluted tax systems. It has one of the most unfriendly corporate tax structures. Fixing this is now a necessity. The sales tax system is also one of the most complex in the country, causing businesses to relocate. Tax reform probably won't come up until 2025 because the legislature only takes up this issue every other year. However, work is now being done to work toward correcting this problem. The next issue was spending. The state continues to spend more without evaluating the expenses. More care needs to be made to look at what is working and what is not, and there needs to be more restraint. Twenty percent of the population lives in poverty. It is very difficult to access programs for help, and a lot of research has been done to improve this system. Crime is coming down, but it remains too high. Data collection is important to determine what the outcome of programs actually is, and this has become a priority. Right now, the truancy rate is 45% in our school system. Only 33% of our students are proficient at their grade level. It is improving, but there is still more work to be done. There are many policy items that are being studied – technology, innovation, licensure, etc. Elections have taken place with runoffs coming soon. It is now time to address these concerns. Make sure to push the candidates for Transformational Change for Louisiana. Find out more at ourlouisianacomeback.com. Other Rotary News: • Rotary continues to take names for the 10 Christmas baskets. • The program for November 14th will be presented by Ryan LeDay Williams.

Evangeline Parish Police Jury Meeting

Evangeline Parish Police Jury – November 6, 2023 The Evangeline Parish Police Jury held their monthly meeting on Monday night. The Christmas Jury meeting has been scheduled for December 12th at 2:00. This will be their all French meeting. In old business, the Sheriff's department has started acting on the Nuisance Ordinance, and the first batch of citations has been issued. In committees, public hearings were set for November 18th for the following: • Adopt the Ordinance for the Acadiana Watershed District • Constable and JP pay increases • Oquin Loop – reduce speed limit from 45 mph to 25 mph • Cabot Road – reduce the speed limit from 25 mph to 15 mph • Adopt the 2023 Budget Amendments and 2024 Budget Appropriations • Award bids for Fiscal Year 2024 The Crooked Creek committee discussed the planned bath house. The architect should have plans drawn this month. The plan is also to build the pavilion at the beach and tear down the old mechanic's shed. Once the plans are complete, the project will be submitted for bids. Mr. Kim Ortego updated the Jury on the park operations. Visitors have increased, and they are working with a vendor to create a simple website to include a description and pictures with links for current events and to make reservations. Cemetery Boards were appointed for 4 year terms for both the Vandenburg Cemetery and the Ferguson Cemetery. Bridgette Homer with Capital Area Finance Authority asked for a Resolution from the Jury to be adopted to allow CAFA to add a bond option to help reduce interest rates for their clients. The Public Works Director discussed moving drainage and maintenance crews where needed. He also discussed looking into CDL training. The Engineer Reported on capital outlays for a chilling system. They should close on the water sector project land next week, and then the project can go to bid. The Secretary/Treasurer reported that the budget had been distributed. IDB met last week, and there has been significant progress made. They are waiting on the response from the Solar Company to the Board's proposal. Acadian Ambulance is in compliance, as always. There was a discussion about health insurance, and open enrollment is proposed for the week of November 27th. Tax Collections for the month were $387,648.83. The Jury handled the annual business and other regular business items and approved the budget for 9-1-1. The removal of the speed bump on Henry Cole Lane was approved. And the committee also approved transferring the old Mosquito Spray unit to the City Of Ville Platte. The next regular meeting will be on Monday, November

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