VPBGC, Inc. will be opening a new location at 220 South Thompson Street (formerly Heritage Manor) behind the Evangeline Parish Library.
June 1st will be Parent Orientation and Information Meeting at 5:30 p.m. for all REGISTERED MEMBERS.
The Summer session will begin Monday, June 5th through July 28th from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. The Banquet is scheduled for Friday, August 4, 2017.
If anyone is interested in volunteering, please contact Dianna at 337-789-3873.
Seniors Attended Senior Day Event
May 25, 2017
More than 200 senior citizens from across the parish attended the annual Senior Day event at the Ville Platte Northside Civic Center today (Thursday). The event is sponsored annually for more than 20 years by the Evangeline Council on Aging. A Cajun music group from the Opelousas area provided the Cajun music and the dance floor stayed busy the entire time. The Evangeline Parish Chapter of the Viet Nam Veterans of America once again cooked and prepared a BBQ dinner for all the seniors who were there. After lunch, the Council on Aging conducted Bingo games for the seniors. The welcome was provided by Lisa Deouen, Director of the Council on Aging, Deacon and former director Gene LeBouef offered the invocation while Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel offered a prayer in Cajun French. The Viet Nam Veterans group led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. KVPI FM 92.5 covered the event with a live remote.
Chief Neal Lartigue requests information on a suspect at large.
The Ville Platte Police Department is seeking information regarding the whereabouts of a suspect last known to be in the Ville Platte area. Regilinsky Joseph is a 20 year old black male that is currently wanted for criminal trespass and violation of a protection order. The warrant stems from a reported incident on May 20, 2017 when the suspect was trespassing at a residence on West Cotton Street and has since continued to harass the residents of the home and continues to violate the protective order issued against him.
If you have any information on the whereabouts of Regilinsky Joseph, you are asked to contact the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313, your call will remain anonymous.
According to the Ville Platte Police Chief, Neal Lartigue, the following individuals have recently been arrested and booked into the City Jail:
Samantha Charlie, age 17 of Monier Avenue – arrested for Simple Battery and currently incarcerated with a $1,000.00 bond;
James Jones, age 43 of High School Drive – arrested for Domestic Abuse Battery and two counts of Simple Battery and currently incarcerated with a $3,000.00 bond;
Jaron Thomas, age 29 of N. Coreil – arrested for Disturbing the Peace, Intoxication and Remaining After Forbidden and out on bond;
Tracey Arvie, age 24 of S. Soileau – arrested for Simple Battery and currently incarcerated with a $1,000.00 bond;
Timothy Kordisk, age 47 of Hwy. 167 – arrested for Remaining After Forbidden and currently incarcerated with a $500.00 bond; and
Robert Landry, age 30 of W. Hickory – arrested for Public Intoxication and Resisting an Officer and currently incarcerated with a $950.00 bond.
The official launch of French Immersion of Evangeline Parish public schools took place today (Wednesday) at Ville Platte High Auditorium.
Louisiana Governor took time from his busy schedule to attend the event to congratulate the school board and Evangeline Parish for its actions to begin a French Immersion program. The governor is in the middle of a legislative session deadlocked over financial issues and a pending visit later in the same day from Vice President Mike Pence.
Superintendent of Schools Darwan Lazard was the emcee for the event. Providing Cajun music was Mamou native Steve Riley and Mamou High French musicians. Fr. Mitch Guidry, pastor of Our Lady Queen of All Saints gave the invocation and benediction. Ville Platte High student Lazcano Llopis offered the Lord’s Prayer in French while Jaccorey Frank led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance in French.
Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine welcomed visitors to Ville Platte and presented special gift baskets to the governor, Consul General and Education Superintendent.
Also speaking were Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser, Codofil President Bill Arcneaux, Gregor Trumel, Counsul General of France , Louisiana Education Superintendent John White, State Representative Bernard LeBas and State Senator Eric Lafleur.
A special presentation of $10,000 was made to Superintendent Lazard from the state officials to help with start up expenses to begin French immersion.
French immersion will begin in the early grades at both Ville Platte Elementary and Mamou Elementary.
KVPI AM was there covering the event.
In an update to our story from May 12th, KVPI News has learned that former employee of the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office, Bobbi Jo Fontenot, turned herself into authorities Wednesday morning in the Evangeline Parish Courthouse. She has now been charged with Felony Theft.
According to a Statement from Sheriff, Eddie Soileau, through the efforts of Josh Fontenot, CPA (Evangeline Parish Chief Deputy Assessor), a “check substitution scheme” was discovered within the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office. An employee of the Sheriff’s Civil Department, Bobbi Jo Fontenot, was consequently arrested Wednesday morning on the charge of Felony Theft.
Soileau states: “We will continue our internal efforts in order to make a determination of how much money was taken and will continue to provide the information to the Louisiana State Police who have joined the investigation. The Louisiana Legislative Auditor has been apprised on the situation as well.”
KVPI News has confirmed that bond was set at $20,000.00 by Judge Gary Ortego and Fontenot has since bonded out of the parish jail. We will keep you updated as this investigation continues.
According to the Ville Platte Police Department, the following individuals have recently been arrested and booked into the Ville Platte City Jail:
Jonathan Gallow, age 32 of W. Pine Street in Ville Platte was arrested for Felony Theft. Bond was set at $20,000 by Judge Chuck West;
Jonathan Gallow was then again arrested on charges of Home Invasion, Aggravated Battery and Criminal Damage for allegedly entering a female’s home, attacking her and fleeing the scene. The incident remains under investigation. The subject was arrested and held without bond pending a Gwen Law Hearing ordered by Judge Gary Ortego;
Milton Jackson, age 43 of Houston, TX was arrested for Disturbing the Peace, Second Degree Battery and Unauthorized Entry of an inhabited dwelling. Bond was set at $30,000.00 by Judge Gary Ortego; and
Lucius Bradley, age 36 of Manuel Street in Ville Platte was arrested for Domestic Abuse, Aggravated Assault, Child Endangerment and Aggravated Battery and ordered to remain incarcerated pending a Gwen Law Hearing by Judge Gary Ortego.
The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from Dottie Clark, a pre- need specialist with Ardoin’s Funeral Home. Clark said it was important for people to make arrangements now and to share with the specialist, information about their personal life. Clark said a funeral should be a celebration of that person’s life by including personal items and photos that meant a lot to that person. She reported that the average funeral cost is $15,000 so it is very important to plan and prepare for final expenses. She also gave important advice dealing with Medicaid and your property. Clark was the special guest of Rotarian Richard LeJeune.
Also, the Rotary Club inducted its newest members into the club. Incoming Club President Wayne Vidrine welcomed the following new members: Jackie Riche’, Darwan Lazard, Annie Fruge and Renee Tate along with their sponsors.
In other club news:
--Leonard Glen Fontenot announced two members have agreed to make a donation to the Rotary International. Their donation will be matched by the club making the members, Nicole Wenger and Darwan Lazard, eligible to become Paul Harris Fellows. They will both be recognized at the club’s installation banquet June 20 at 6;00pm at La Veille Banque location. Rotary District Officer Linwood Broussard will be be installing the new club officers at that time.
The Evangeline Parish School Board is inviting the general public to attend the official launch of French Immersion in Evangeline Parish schools. French Immersion will be introduced to students at Ville Platte Elementary and Mamou Elementary next fall. The Launch program will take place Wednesday May 24 at 8:30am at Ville Platte High School Auditorium at 210 West Cotton Street. Special guests include: Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, Louisiana Superintendent of Schools John White, Consul General of France Gregor Trumel, State Senator Eric Lafleur , State Representative Bernard LeBas, Codofil President Bill Arceneaux and Evangeline Parish Superintendent of Schools Darwan Lazard. Seating is limited. KVPI 1050 AM plans to broadcast the entire event live for those who are at work and cannot attend in person.
The Evangeline Parish School Board Wednesday heard from Superintendent of Schools Darwan Lazard deny rumors that plans were in the works to reduce the number of employees working for the school system. Lazard said it is true that the school budget is based on school enrollment. He confirmed to board members and the general public Wednesday that the student enrollment from October to February has decreased by 44 students. “The reduction rumors are not true. We do not have a R.I.F. (reduction in force) about to begin,” he said. The superintendent remarked “It is too premature to speculate since the state legislature is still meeting to decide on such matters as funding the public schools.” Lazard said “ However, we have to live within our means. We cannot live by drawing down our savings, “ he commented.
The superintendent announced that the public will be invited to a special open house at Ville Platte Elementary May 24 at 8:30am to formally introduce the French immersion program to parish public schools. In the fall, both Ville Platte Elementary and Mamou Elementary will begin a French Immersion program for students in the early grades with assistance from Codofil and the state. Expected to be in attendance at the event will be Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, the State Education Superintendent, along with Codofil representatives. KVPI plans to broadcast the event with a live remote for those who are at work and could not attend.
Chataignier Elementary school Prinicipal Peggy Edwards along with members of her staff including David Ardoin and Melissa Coreil made a special presentation to board members on the programs going on at the school. The Pre-K -8th school has made great strides in overall test scores by having its school grade improve to a B ranking. The school has 340 students enrolled.
In other business, the school board:
--received a report from County Agent Todd Fontenot and 4-H Agent Kim Deville; Deville said there are 22 4-H clubs in parish schools. She announced four 4-H students were awarded national trips to New York and Washington D.C.;
--received news from Supt. Lazard that a special fund received from the 2016 state legislature will be distributed to school employees at the following rate: $214.28 to professional staff and $96.43 to support personnel.
The Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce Wednesday heard numerous speakers at their May meeting held at Main Street Pizza in Ville Platte. Members of the Chamber heard and watched a presentation by General Manager, Mark Layne and News Director, Stephanie Ware of KVPI on their recent awards presented by the Louisiana Association of Broadcasters. Nomination videos were shown to the crowd for both Radio Station of the Year and Morning Show of the Year. For the 7th year in a row, KVPI was awarded Radio Station of the Year and for the first time ever the Association presented a Morning Show of the Year Award and it was presented to Stephanie Ware in The Non-Blonde Café with Steph in the Mornings on Classic Hits 92.5. Layne spoke to the crowd and thanked all of the faithful advertisers and sponsors of KVPI. Since the radio station’s formation in 1953, advertisers have kept the radio station going by always supporting KVPI’s community efforts. Ware spoke to the crowd and said how “privileged” she feels knowing that people have so many avenues to listen to music and they are listening to KVPI all over the world. She read a message that she received Wednesday morning during her show from a listener in Ontario, Canada. The listener said “I know I can’t win the Nearly Impossible Question, but is the answer “Plan your next vacation?” I love listening to you.”
Members then heard from Samantha Guillory and Renee Brown with the Smoked Meat Festival. They both reported many of the changes that have taken place this year. The festival has been moved up a month as to avoid to terrible heat that has accompanied the festival in past years. It is not only the 25th Anniversary of the festival but also the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War. There will be recognition of many veterans at the festival and especially those from Evangeline Parish who perished in the war. They are asking for anyone who knows any family members of Gerald James Guillory from the Pine Prairie area or Wilson Jack, Jr. from the Ville Platte area call KVPI at 363-2124.
There will be a carnival, new local merchant area, cooking areas, musical acts like Wicked Waters and Aaron Tippon performing on a brand new stage built by Mike Ardoin with the Lyons Club, pageants, “Chopped” contests, 2-step contests, bartending contests and more. Tickets will be $10.00 to get in.
Don Taylor with American Benefits was also heard and announced that his company has teamed with Owens & Thomas Funeral Home and will be working within the community very soon.
Janice Fontenot with Troup d’ Evangeline announced their performances of The Odd Couple this Friday night at 8:00, Saturday at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at the Ville Platte Civic Center.
Jerrie Ledoux with Congressman, Mike Johnson’s office announced she will be the liaison to this area and said he has in his 100 days in office held 5 Town Hall Meetings and plans to be in Ville Platte by the end of the year.
Dr. Spencer Launey of Ville Platte Family Care was voted in as the newest member of the Chamber.
Ville Platte Rotary Club Meeting
May 16, 2017
The Ville Platte Rotary Club, today (Tuesday) heard from Rotarian Kip Manuel share his experiences on his hunting trips to Quebec, Canada hunting black bears. Kip and his two hunting companions, from Texas and Virginia have gone on several bear hunting trips to northern Quebec. Since guns are not allowed in Canada, Manuel said he hunts bear with bow and arrow sitting in a stand.
He said the mosquitoes are as bad in Canada as they are in South Louisiana so he and his friends depend upon thermacel repellants.
Manuel said his knowledge of the French language here in Ville Platte has helped him converse with local residents.
He is planning to leave again in early June for another trip to Quebec.
Club President Peter Strawitz announced that Allstate Insurance through local agent Charlene Briley will donate a $1000 scholarship to the Ville Platte Rotary Club. He reported that part of the funds will be used to purchase a new Public Address system for the club.
Club members will be cooking a meal for some 100 young people from Rotary District 6200 who will be attending RYLLA Camp at the Mountain Bayou Scout Camp near St. Landry.
It was announced that the annual installation banquet for the club will be held June 20 with incoming president Wayne Vidrine, President Elect Richard LeJeune, Vice President Nicole Wenger and Treasurers Annette Johnson and Vic Slaven. The club has not yet selected a new secretary to replace Janice Helmer who is retiring after serving for many years.
Evangeline Parish Cops for a Cure is holding their annual Jail and Bail fundraiser. Steph was served with a warrant during her show and now is collecting money for the cause. All funds collected stay in Evangeline Parish to aid those affected by Cancer. Donations are taken at 809 W. Lasalle in Ville Platte. We thank the community for all of its support.
As the ongoing investigation into the May 11, 2017 officer involved shooting continues, Louisiana State Police investigators have identified the suspect as Brandon Arthur Carpenter (W/M 35 yrs) of Elizabeth, LA.
The initial investigation by State Police revealed that Hessmer Police Department initiated a pursuit involving Carpenter. The pursuit culminated at a residence near Moreauville on LA Hwy 114. Carpenter barricaded himself inside the residence while officers attempted to negotiate with him to surrender. During negotiations, Carpenter fired at officers. A Louisiana State Trooper and a Marksville Police Officer were shot and a Simmesport Police Officer was injured. It is currently unknown if his injuries were from the gunshot or flying debris.
The Trooper and the Marksville Police Officer were transported to a local hospital where they received treatment for non-life threatening injuries.
Carpenter is currently in custody at the Avoyelles Parish Detention Center. He has been charged with attempted first degree murder (3 counts). This investigation remains active, and additional charges may be pending.
Commencement exercises begin this weekend in Evangeline Parish Schools and continue through next week.
A total of 68 graduating seniors will be participating in the commencement exercises Sunday at 1:30pm at the Sacred Heart gym. The graduation program will be preceded by the commencement mass at 12 noon Sunday at Sacred Heart. This year’s Valedictorian is Wendy Maggio and Salutatorian is Ellis Lahaye.
Graduation ceremonies taking place in Evangeline Parish Public Schools next week include:
Ville Platte High commencement will take place Thursday night at 6;00pm in the football stadium weather permitting. The Valedictorian is Trace Trahan and the Salutatorian is Javonski Bellard.
Pine Prairie High graduation is planned for Thursday May 18 at 7:00pm at the Pine Prairie football field. There are a total of 111 graduating seniors due to participate.
On Friday May 19, Mamou High will graduate some 84 seniors in commencement exercises at St. Ann’s Church at 6:00pm. The Valedictorian is Austin Jon Fontenot and the Salutatorian is Jenna Lee Vidrine.
Also on Friday May 19, Basile High will hold their graduation ceremonies at 7:00pm in the school gymnasium.
Evangeline Parish Sheriff Eddie Soileau announced today that
“Unfortunately, there is sufficient evidence to suspect that an employee has compromised some deposits of monies within the agency.” Soileau went on to say “The results of our internal efforts, which are ongoing, have been and will continue to be shared with the Louisiana State Police who have agreed to join the investigation to help determine the details of the theft. We have notified the Louisiana Legislative Auditor regarding this most serious matter.”
In September of last year another employee, the former Chief Civil Deputy of the Sheriff’s Office, Rebecca Devillier was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor with 7 years suspended; 5 years of active and supervised probation after her release and she was ordered to pay restitution to the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office in the amount of $114,981.00. Devillier was charged with performing her duties as the Chief Civil Deputy in an unlawful manner with the Sheriff’s Office by diverting funds and issuing checks to herself, unauthorized use of credit cards, etc. over a span of approximately 3 years.
Devillier is currently serving out her sentence at the Elayn Hunt Correctional Center in St. Gabriel, Louisiana. She was being housed at Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women but was moved due to recent flooding. With time off for good behavior, she could be released in January of 2019.
KVPI News will keep you updated on the situation as it continues to develop.
The Eunice Rotary Club heard a presentation from KVPI at their noon luncheon today (Wednesday) at Ruby’s Restaurant.
KVPI General Manager Mark Layne along with KVPI News Director Stephanie Ware spoke about recently winning special awards at the Louisiana Association of Broadcasters Awards Banquet in March. KVPI won radio station of the year for the 7th year in a row while Ware’s “Non Blonde Café” won best morning show.
Rotary Club members viewed the nomination video clips that the broadcasting association judges reviewed for the radio station.
Also speaking was John Pucheu, who was in charge of the program time. Also in attendance was Dr. Rhonda Pucheu, President of Ville Platte Broadcasting Company, the parent company of KVPI.
Special thanks to Suzy and Mary at the Evangeline Parish Public Library for their use of the projector equipment.
The Ville Platte City Council and Mayor Jennifer Vidrine held their May meeting Tuesday night. The Council Room was full as citizens gathered to address different issues.
One of those issues was brought up by Ville Platte resident, Robert LaFleur, who spoke on the problem with individuals walking in the middle of the street at all hours of the night, loitering on street corners and children out late on the streets. He said that “Chataignier Street is the worst. Chataignier is so bad it’s a shame. They hang out on the corners for house and hours. It’s going to get worse and eventually, something is going to happen.” Business owners Keith Saucier and Lisa Crane also spoke about loitering. Their business is located on the same side of Main Street as The Bulldog. Crane firmly stated that “Something has to be done. I have video from my surveillance cameras showing people exposing themselves and urinating at my building, vomiting and throwing trash. There is broken glass in our parking lots and when the police do come and tell them not to loiter, as soon as the police leave, they come right back.” Crane stated it is not the patrons of the bar who are the problem. It is the individuals who cannot go into the bar and hang out in the parking lot and street.
Mayor Vidrine stated that the street and parking lot were a “trash can” after Easter break. She said “It’s just downright disgusting people urinating and vomiting and trashing the area. Then, they move down to the Exxon station after that and create noise problems with open trunks, loud music and disturbing the residents in that area as well.” The Mayor has asked Chief Neal Lartigue to do extra patrol in these areas and write tickets to anyone breaking the Loitering ordinance.
Councilman, Bryant Riggs, says he will introduce an ordinance at the June 13th meeting requiring all bar owners in Ville Platte to have private security at their business.
Residents affected by flooding in August and again last month were at the meeting to express concerns. Many questions were asked of the Mayor and Mayor Vidrine announced that as of the new budget year (July 1, 2017) they will begin using budget funds to tear out and replace incorrectly placed culverts with larger ones to ease drainage problems. She said this “is nothing new. This is a 40-year-old problem.” She said parts of Hickory Lane, Shady Acres, and Scenic Drive are going to be first and others will be decided on after city engineers can look at the area. The Mayor reminded everyone that you must call City Hall before you ever place any culverts on a property. There is a fine now for not doing so.
911 Director Liz Hill spoke to the audience and told how her father is diligent in cleaning his land, raking his yard, cleaning out the ditches and making sure the culverts are clear so water can drain. She said it’s “really important to take care of your property.”
The Mayor asked that all residents do just that.
Vidrine reminded everyone of the Grass ordinance on the books. Keep if cut or be fined. Letters are already going out and you will have ten (10) days from the date of the letter to get your grass cut; otherwise, the City will do it and tack the cost onto the property owner’s tax bill. Also she asked that you not blow leaves or grass into your ditches when you do cut.
Two representatives of the Louisiana Smoked Meat Festival Association board were guest speakers at today’s (Tuesday’s) meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club.
Renee Brown and Samantha Guillory addressed rotary club members to talk about the 25th anniversary of the festival. Brown said this year, the festival has pushed up its dates by one month to June 2 and 3 to avoid some of the hottest times of the year. Also, most of the events will be taking place at the Ville Platte Grand Pavilion area. A permanent stage has been built for the event and for other users of the facility.
Guillory said veterans will be able to attend the opening ceremony and events with no admission charge. There will be a hospitality center inside the civic center. Also there will be a traveling museum of veteran’ s memorabilia that will be at the civic center that weekend. Since it is the 50th anniversary of the Viet Nam War, a special presentation will be made to the families of deceased Viet Nam vets from Evangeline Parish.
It was announced there will be a carnival coming back for the children to enjoy during the festival. Musical entertainment includes Nashville headliner Aaron Tippin that Saturday night. One of the highlights is the smoked meat cook off where there is usually an average of 30 teams participating with some 150 entries for the judges to review.
The two speakers were the guests of Rotarian Bob Manuel.
Ville Platte Chief of Police, Neal Lartigue, reports two arrests in shooting and search for two others.
On March 19, 2017 at approximately 9:30 p.m. Officers responded to a report of a shooting in the 600 block of East Jackson Street. Upon arrival Officers found a black male had been shot in the leg. The victim was transported by Acadian Ambulance to Rapides Medical center for treatment. After further investigation by Detectives two were arrested and the search continues for two others.
Darious Armondo Arvie, 23 of 1009 Te Mamou Rd, Ville Platte was arrested and charged with principal to attempted second degree murder, aggravated assault with a firearm and principal to armed robbery. Arvie was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail on a $140,000.00 bond set by Judge Gary Ortego.
Roderic Darone Thomas, 25 of 1310 Peach Street, Ville Platte was arrested and charged with principal to attempted second degree murder, aggravated assault with a firearm and principal to armed robbery. Thomas was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail on a $125,000.00 bond set by Judge Gary Ortego.
Police are asking citizens to report the whereabouts of the following suspects in this ongoing investigation:
Trevor Lopez Ardoin who is a 25-year-old black male and Geraldo Orlandez Nelson (lead picture) a 28-year-old black male. If you know the whereabouts of either of these two men, you are asked to call the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313. Your call will remain anonymous.