The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from Shelby Santiago with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for Evangeline and St. Landry Parishes. CASA volunteers represent the interest of abused and neglected children during court and child protection proceedings. They are appointed by a local judge to serve as a child’s voice in court.
CASA is in need of additional volunteers in both of Evangeline and St. Landry Parishes. In Evangeline Parish there are 80 foster children and only 10 CASA volunteers while in St. Landry parish, there are 105 foster children and 23 volunteers in neighboring St. Landry parish. CASA has a local office at 721 West Lincoln and their phone number is 337-506-2272. Also attending was Lorenzo Richard of CASA. They were the special guests of Rotarian Mable Forman.
In other business, Club President Wayne Vidrine announced that the Installation of Officers banquet will be held June 12 at 6;00pm at the La Veille Banque location.
The club also approved the following:
Approved naming Peter Strawitz as Vice President;
Naming Fr. Mitch Guidry as honorary club member;
Approved a motion of $125 to the Ville Platte Boys and Girls Club;
Appoved appointing a committee to look at re-establish a scholarship fund for students attending the Coreil Campus at Louisiana Technical College.
On 5-18-2018, Deputies of the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office and Officers of the Turkey Creek Police Department responded to Snoddy Lane in the Turkey Creek area in reference to a Shooting. Upon arrival, Deputies found that a male subject had been shot during a disturbance in which both subjects were armed. The shooter, identified as John Isaac Foret, had left the scene, but waited in a nearby area for law enforcement to arrive. Acadian Ambulance arrived on scene and requested that the coroner’s office be notified. The Evangeline Parish Coroner’s Office arrived on scene and pronounced the victim deceased. The deceased has been identified as Edwin Wesley Snoddy.
Mr. Foret was located and questioned briefly, but advised he wanted an attorney, with what was known at the time of the investigation.
Mr. Foret was released until more is learned. The investigation is still on going.
On 5-14-2018, the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office received a call for assistance on the 1100 block of Jake Ln. in the Mamou area.
Deputies arrived on scene and located a white male subject, unresponsive, lying in a drainage ditch behind a residence. Acadian Ambulance medics attempted life saving measures, but were unable to revive the subject. The Evangeline Parish Coroner’s Office arrived on scene and pronounced the subject deceased.
Detectives arrived on scene and began processing the area and questioning witnesses. At this time, a cause of death has not been determined and autopsy results are pending. One suspect was taken into custody, but his name has been withheld due to the current investigation status.
On Saturday, May 19, 2018 at approximately 2106 hours Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office Patrol Deputies were dispatched to a report of a Disturbance involving Shooting near the 7000 block of Chataignier Road.
The initial investigative interview by Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Investigators revealed that the wounded male subject identified as Daniel Breaux was upset with family members and had been causing a disturbances throughout the day. At some point he and his brother Derrick Breaux got into a physical altercation for him attacking their mother and pointing a gun at Derrick. Douglas Breaux tried to defuse it but was unable to. Daniel’s father Richard Rozas eventually shot a round towards the air to gain attention of the brothers fighting in an effort to get them to stop. Daniel continued and made an attempt to obtain a rifle. Out of fear Daniel’s father shot him once to the abdomen in an effort to prevent further actions by his son.
Daniel Breaux was transported to Mercy Regional Medical Center in Eunice by his girlfriend Jessica Vidrine for medical attention. He was later Air Med to Lafayette General Hospital for further evaluation and treatment. No updates on the victim’s condition has been released.
The incident is still being actively investigated. No arrest have been made at this time.
If you have any information regarding this matter, you are urged to contact the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division at 337-363-2161.
SECRETARY OF STATE KYLE ARDOIN TAKES OATH OF OFFICE
BATON ROUGE, La.—R. Kyle Ardoin was formally sworn in today during a short ceremony at Louisiana’s Old State Capitol. Judge Yvette Alexander administered the oath of office to Ardoin who was flanked by his wife, the former Letti Lowe of Port Allen and his daughter, Abbigale.
Ardoin, a native of Ville Platte and a resident of Baton Rouge, ascends into the position of secretary of state during a critical time for the Department of State, especially in terms of elections. In attendance were family, friends, staff, elected officials and other familiar faces around state government.
“I stand before you today knowing the importance of the job that lies before me,” said Secretary Ardoin. “It’s a job that hits right at the heart of our nation’s democracy and our states’ rights. Elections. We are preparing for the mid-term congressional elections as we speak, with qualifying less than two months away,” he said. “At the same time, we are embarking on replacing our voting equipment in an effort to better secure our votes while providing voters with a quick and easy process in which to cast their ballot.”
Serving as first assistant secretary of state since 2010, Ardoin is well prepared to lead the agency and has the support of not only local election officials, but also his colleagues nationally. The National Association of Secretaries of State named Ardoin co-chairman of the coveted Elections Committee indicating he had the wholehearted support of both NASS President Connie Lawson of Indiana as well as his co-chair from New Mexico, Secretary Maggie Toulouse Oliver.
“Knowing that elections cybersecurity and technology upgrades are at the forefront of the work done in every state across our nation, I am honored to be able to engage at a national level keeping Louisiana ahead of the curve in terms of the integrity of our election process,” said Ardoin. “My intent is to provide for a smooth transition of power to a newly elected secretary of state this winter, handing over an agency that has not missed a beat or slowed down any of our efforts to provide excellent customer service.”
Secretary Ardoin will serve as Louisiana secretary of state until a special election can be held on Nov. 6, 2018 and Dec. 8, 2018 if a runoff is required. Ardoin has named to his executive team former Speaker of the House Joe Salter as first assistant secretary of state, Shanda Jones as undersecretary of management and finance and Meg Casper Sunstrom as deputy secretary for communications and outreach.
Following the resignation of District 3 School Board member Darren Vidrine, the Evangeline Parish School Board approved the appointment of his wife, Karen Vidrine to fill his position. After taking the Oath of Office, Vidrine accepted a plaque on behalf of her husband, who was unable to attend the meeting. She then, took her seat among the board.
The board received an update from Maintenance & Operations Facilitator, Jason Hazelton, concerning their school maintenance and safety walk-through inspections. Two schools were recognized for having the best inspection scores for this quarter. Janitorial staff of big school winner, Pine Prairie High School, and small school winner, Chataignier Elementary, were recognized and awarded $25 Walmart gift cards. Hazelton stated, that the purpose of these inspections is to increase safety, while “pursuing positive relationships with state agencies”.
Hazelton was also proud to announce a 76.5% decrease in deficiencies noted on Fire Marshall inspections.
Lastly, Superintendent Darwan Lazard reminded the public, that due to past school cancelations, Evangeline Parish will have school on Memorial Day, May 28th. Lazard hoped to clear some confusion, by reminding the public that by law, students must receive 63,720 instructional minutes. Teachers are required 182 work days, and not all days will be instructional.
- Board accepted two letters of retirement, one for Pine Prairie High School Assistant Principal, Delores Fontenot, and W.W Stewart Elementary School teacher, Angela Guidry.
- Board received EPSB sales tax review from CFO Amy Lafleur, stating that in April 2018, $689,913.39 was collected, which is $90,326.47 less than April 2017.
- Board received a special visit from Mamou High School’s new Social Media Team, who after the meeting, showed the public a video they put together.
- Low bid of $73,000.00 from Tudor, Inc. was accepted for removal and replacement of first floor wood finish in the two-story red brick building at Bayou Chicot Elementary.
- Low price quote of $10,945.00 from Jeanmard, Inc. was accepted for metal pavilion for stem program at Chataignier Elementary School to conduct outdoor classroom activities and experiments.
The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from new Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce Director Renee Brown.
Brown told club members that she is expanding the chamber to make it a parish wide organization to include businesses throughout Evangeline Parish.
Her goal is to promote business in Ville Platte and throughout the parish. She is planning a business forum for large businesses and industry such as Cameron and Ville Platte Iron Works. The chamber is also preparing a small business forum. She plans to bring in groups such as the La. Workforce Commission, One Acadiana and the Louisiana Economic Development Administration to assist local business.
Brown said her plans are to have the chamber sponsor a job fair and invite neighboring parishes to attend.
Since there is a great need for additional machinists to be hired by local industry like Cameron and Ville Platte Iron Works, she is encouraging Coreil Campus at South Louisiana Community College begin a machinists program at the school.
Brown said the chamber is in the process of updating its website to include a job page and a new app that can be downloaded for businesses.
She mentioned two new businesses that have just opened or getting to open: a new antique/ flea market business in the Lavergne Furniture business and a chef is looking to open a new restaurant in Ville Platte.
Classic hits 92.5 KVPI wants to thank all who participated in our Mother’s Day Facebook giveaway.
Our “Queen for a Day” contest was a huge success. The rules were: 1) Like our Facebook page Classic Hits 92.5 KVPI. 2) Like and share our contest post. 3) Like business pages of our contest sponsors tagged in post. 4) Comment below a picture of the mother in which you are nominating, and in 100 words or less tell us why you believe your nominee deserves to win. We received dozens of heartfelt nominations, and it wasn’t easy, but our judges have picked our winner.
Congratulations to our KVPI Queen for a Day, Misty Tingle. Misty was nominated by her daughter, Paige Bordelon. Paige commented, “I’m nominating the strongest woman I’ve ever met! I’m beyond blessed to call her my mom and my best friend!! She’s the glue that keeps our dysfunctional family together! I truly believe it’s her daily prayers that keep our life balanced and I am so thankful for her! She definitely deserves to be treated like a queen!” Misty will receive the following:
- 30-minute head, neck and shoulders massage with Michelle Sonnier, licensed massage therapist, at her business Myohealth Massage Therapy, located at 103 Evangeline Street in Ville Platte.
- Wood/wrought iron planter from Blake’s Gifts, located at 512 Mcarthur Street in Ville Platte.
- $50.00 meal certificate to Main Street Pub and Grill located at 205 W Main Street in Ville Platte.
- $25.00 gift certificate for gifts, and a $25.00 gift certificate for Merle Norman products from Family Hair and Gifts, located at 611 E Lincoln road in Ville Platte.
- $25.00 gift certificate to Mae's Flower Shop located at 632 W Main Street in Ville Platte.
- $50.00 meal certificate to White Tail’s Bar & Grill located at 24399 us-190 in Krotz Springs.
-$50 gift certificate from Jacki Wyble at The Wyble Collection on West Main in Ville Platte.
- $20 gift certificate from Richardson Coffee House, located at 104 Cotton Street in Ville Platte.
Thank you to our sponsors, and those who entered our contest. Classic Hits 92.5 KVPI wants to wish all moms, a very Happy Mother’s Day.
2018 Senior Day
May 10, 2018
Seniors from all over Evangeline Parish packed the Ville Platte Northside Civic Center today to attend the annual Senior Day event sponsored by the Evangeline parish Council on Aging.
A Cajun band provided the music for those wanting to get on the dance floor, a cake auction, door prizes, a delicious jambalaya lunch and bingo games.
Council on Aging Director Lisa Derouen thanked the many volunteers who helped out and the many seniors who attend the event.
KVPI FM 92.5 was there covering it with a live remote broadcast from 10-12 noon.
Faye Lemoine, Shady Acres resident, addressed the Ville Platte City Council once again Tuesday, on the status of the city’s water project, and the long overdue work that needs to be done in their subdivision.
Mayor Jennifer Vidrine, during March’s monthly meeting, told Lemoine that the ground was too wet to begin digging in her back yard. Two months later, Mayor Vidrine states that the ground is still too wet for the contractor to work.
“I don’t know what I look like,” said Lemoine, “but I am not a fool”. Lemoine has attended City Council meetings over the past two years on behalf of Shady Acres, each time expressing frustration over the city’s slow-moving efforts. Lemoine stated, that while waiting for the past two years, they’ve flooded twice. “It’s a process.” stated District “F” Council member Bryant Riggs.
City Engineer, Ronnie Landreneau was absent, and therefore unable to comment on the matter.
Another issue revisited by the council was abandoned properties. Mayor Vidrine announced in her monthly report that 32 abandoned properties were recently added to their list. Letters will soon be sent to the property owners. Mayor Vidrine also reported that the city spent $205,694.73 in the month of April, which is $40, 626.69 less than the amount spent in March.
In other business:
Council approved official proclamation for May 2018 to be Older Americans Month. Staff of Chateau Des Amis in Ville Platte were in attendance to accept the certificate.
Get- N- Go Drive Thru LLC, was approved for a consumption permit (license to drink on property).
The close out public hearing date for the LCDBG Sewer Project was approved for Tuesday, May 22nd at 5:00 pm.
Council approved the hiring of Erin Clark and Andrew Clark as full-time patrolmen for the Ville Platte Police Department.
Fire Chief, Chris Harrison reported for the month of April: 21 calls, 4 of which were structural fires. No fatalities.
Chief of Police, Neil Lartigue reported for the month of April: 594 calls, 528 requiring a report, 20 citations, 50 arrests, 20 felony arrests. No fatalities.
The Rotary Club of Ville Platte met today (Tuesday) for their weekly meeting with Dr. Francisco “Nick” Cantu as the guest speaker. Dr. Cantu was the guest speaker of Rotarian Jackie Riche’.
Dr. Cantu, a long time surgeon and family practice physician, announced that he is returning to Ville Platte to see patients at the Ville Platte Family clinic at his old medical office location. Dr. Cantu will be at the Ville Platte office on Tuesday and Thursdays while Nurse Practitioner Nicki Toussaint will see patients on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays.
Dr. Cantu is a native of Mexico and is following in the footsteps of his father who was a physician back home in his hometown. Dr. Cantu first moved to Ville Platte in 1976 after an invitation from the Humana Company who owned Ville Platte Medical Center at the time.
He told Rotarians that he still loves taking care of patients and seeing his old patients that he treated many years ago.
In other business,
--Club President Wayne Vidrine announced that the annual Rotary Installation banquet is set for June 12;
--announced that the recipients of this year’s Rotary’s Rylla Youth scholarships are: Callie Ann Pitre and Darelyn Lachney, both 12 grade students. Each student will receive a $1250 scholarship.
--received news from Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine that registration is now going on at city hall through May to begin a new city basketball league that will take place all summer long. The fee is $50 for youth age 7-8 and $75 each for those age 9-14.
District 7 Police Juror, Bryan Vidrine, proposed two ordinances during Monday’s monthly meeting; ordinance one, making it illegal to move/steal barricades, and ordinance two, making it illegal to drive through no wake zones during floods. There are no current ordinances set in place to deter these actions. Vidrine believes that enforcing hefty fines would help. Secretary-Treasurer, Donald Bergeron backed this idea, stating that both actions pose a danger, and added that he plans to look into it.
The jury also discussed two recent damage claims from drivers who hit a dirt pile on East Natchitoches road in Ville Platte. Public Works Director, Chester Granger stated there was” clear signage, that has met and exceeded the Department of Transportation standards”. The jury approved a motion to deny both damage claims.
During his Public Works Director report, Chester Granger informed the jury that the Department of Transportation Development inspected bridges in our area, and three bridges are currently closed due to failed inspections. The bridges on Natchitoches Rd and St. John Rd in Ville Platte, and the bridge on Bieber Rd. in Mamou are currently closed for repair.
In other business:
Secretary-Treasurer, Donald Bergeron, reported an $88,000 decrease in 2% sales tax collected in March of 2018, compared to March of 2017.
The jury approved the resignation of Gene Welch and the appointment of Michael Johnson as replacement on the Ward Four Water District board.
The jury approved the resignation of Danny Miller and the appointment of Felix Morein to the Te Mamou Water Board.
The jury approved a beer and wine permit for Chataignier Dollar General Store.
Business and civic leaders gathered at the Ville Platte Civic Center Wednesday for their annual Banquet and Civic Awards Ceremony. Master of Ceremonies was Clerk of Court, Randy Deshotel. The national anthem was performed by Carleen Ballard. Fr. Richard Vidrine offered the invocation. Guest speakers for the evening were Jack and Joe Walker, owners of Slap Ya Mama cajun seasoning. They discussed business and marketing tips.
Executive Director, Renee Brown, welcomed everyone and introduced the 2018 nominees.
The nominees were as follows:
Business Person of the Year: Dr. Kirk Soileau- owner of Kirk Soileau, DDS; Donald Fontenot- Pine Prairie Energy Center, LLC; Luke Deville- Teet’s Food Store; Ross Lafleur- Kary’s Roux; Fr. Tom Voohries- Sacred Heart Church Parish & School.
Business of the Year: Champagne Quality Food; Dry Max Systems; Industrial Service & Supply; Kary’s Roux, Pine Prairie Energy Center, LLC; Teet’s Food Store.
Man of the Year: Wayne Vidrine; Luke Deville; Kenneth Ardoin; Horace Edward, Jr.; Michael Perron.
Woman of the Year: Anita Fontenot; Angie Mayeaux Rozas; Maggie Thevenot Eades; Virginia Morein; Melanie Fontenot.
The crowd was then greeted by Chamber President, Luke Deville, who presented an award for Farmer of the Year to Lauran Attales.
Business Person of the year- Luke Deville with Teet’s Food Store. Luke helps manage his family’s business alongside his father, Chris Deville.
Business of the Year- a tie between Industrial Service and Supply and Pine Prairie Energy Center, LLC.
Man of the Year- Kenneth Ardoin. Currently employed as a bus driver for the School Board and is the owner of Ken’s Car Care.
Woman of the Year- Maggie Thevenot Eades, owner of Cottage Couture Store and Café, which she recently explanded into a bed and breakfast.
Lana Fontenot, Associate Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement for the South Louisiana Community College System was the featured guest speaker at today”s (Tuesday) meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club.
Fontenot reported that South Louisiana Community College has now expanded to nine campuses in South Louisiana including Morgan City , Houma and here in Ville Platte at the C.B. Coreil Campus. The system serves over 13,000 students each year.
She announced that two new course offerings will be offered at the Coreil Campus: a CDL program commercial truck driver course which is a seven week course and a Certified Nursing Assistant program. Also, the New Iberia campus will be offering a course to become a pilot as well as oil and gas production.
The system has constructed a new health and science building for its Lafayette campus and a new campus in St. Martinville.
With dwindling state funding, the system is partnering more with business and industry to help with the costs. State funding has decreased for the past nine years. She was the special guest of Rotarian Richard LeJeune.
Also speaking was Yvonne Normand of Opelousas with the Opelousas Rotary Sunrise Club. Normand praised the Ville Platte club’s Interact youth for their participation in the Interact Summer camp. Normand will be the District Governor for the 2020-2021 rotary year.
It was a busy day Sunday for volunteers working at the annual Radio Auction for the benefit of Ville Platte Youth Inc. and Ville Platte Girls Inc. The weather was perfect and the crowds of people filled the Ville Platte Civic Center to bid in person or listened to KVPI FM 92.5 and bid over the phone, There were plenty of sweet items, cakes and pies, hunting and fishing trips, merchandise and services, large and small all to benefit our young people. Everything was sold by the time the auction ended at 5:00 so there were no need for an auction..
Heading up the on air duties again this year were Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel and Shane Darbonne, long-time coach and former president for girls softball. They did the announcing duties from 10:00am to 5;00pm. One thing of interest was the fact that they interviewed former players and coaches including Burke Pitre, Eugene Fontenot, Todd Ardoin and others who talked about the highlights during their time in the program.
Dixie Youth President John Pitre and Girls President David LaHaye would like to thank the dozens of workers, parents and volunteers who worked all day Sunday. They would also like to thank the many businesses who donated merchandise for the auction and to everyone who bid on the items. The radio auction is the largest fund raising event of the year for the two youth programs.
In a special meeting Thursday, the Evangeline Parish Police Jury voted to apply for 70 percent funding of the local match for a $1.9 million dollar Hazard Mitigation grant. Parish engineer Ronnie Landreneau informed the jury that the Acadiana Planning Commission informed him that they support the plan to have the state pay a majority of the local match. The deadline for the parish to file the pre application is Monday. The retention pond or a dry reservoir will be used to hold back water during high water events and will be constructed on the Northwest side of Ville Platte. Members of the jury thanked Landreneau for his work in getting this grant funding.
Also, during the special meeting, the jury adopted a resolution requesting the state to make needed repairs to a number of state highways that are in bad shape. Police Juror Lamar Johnson is asking the state to make improvements to a 2.5 mile stretch of the Crooked Creek road (LA 3371). He said Crooked Creek Park is losing a lot of business because of the poor road condition. Also, the jury is asking the state to make improvements to George Soileau Road west of Mamou, LA 1159 and LA 106 between Bayou Chicot and Pine Prairie.
Ville Platte, Evangeline Parish – A felony traffic stop led to an arrest on an outstanding warrant for a 42 year old Marksville woman, according to Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies say the stop occurred Thursday night, April 19, 2018. A Sheriff’s Deputy observed a white PT Cruisier believed to be occupied by the wanted suspect. The Deputy stopped the vehicle and identified the driver as Tonya Marie Walker, of the 5000 Block of Highway 107 out of Marksville, LA.
Walker had an outstanding warrant which was issued by the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Department for Theft of a Firearm. She was taken into custody without incident and booked into the Evangeline Parish Jail. The other two occupants of the vehicle were released and the vehicle was towed. The stolen weapon a Smith and Wesson M&P15 was not found.
The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday ) heard from members of the Sacred Heart Interact Club during their noon luncheon at the Family Life Center.
The youth organization is sponsored by the local rotary club. Club Sponsor and School Development Director Kimberly LeJeune introduced the club officers and a report on the activities the group has been working on.
LeJeune announced that there are some 72 students that are members of the club.
She said the club with the assistance of the rotary club was able to raise $1240 recently to help raise funds to pay the medical expenses for Austin Stelly who received a robotic arm. He was able to raise some $24,400 for the medical procedure. After the operation, the student visited Sacred Heart to personally thank everyone who helped.
The Interact Club sponsors regular scheduled bingo games at the nursing home and is now selling personalized bricks in the Sacred Heart Prayer Garden. The larger bricks are $200 while the smaller size are $100 each.
Interact club members attended the Interact District Conference and several members received awards including Gabrielle Fontenot who was named Interactor of the Year.
The group was the special guest of Rotarian Jimmy LeBlanc.
Susan Saunders reported that the “Choices” program was taught in classes at Ville Platte High last week by rotary club members. It urged students in the 8th grade to stay in school and not drop out.
Ville Platte PoliceChief Neal Lartigue with the Ville Platte Police Department reports one arrest after an incident of false imprisonment.
On April 22, 2018 at approximately 4:00 a.m. The Ville Platte Police Department dispatch received information from Evangeline 911 that they received a report of a fugitive with a weapon inside of a residence in the 300 block of Huey P. Long Street in Ville Platte. Officers arrived on scene and assessed the situation. Detectives, Chief Lartigue and the Louisiana State Police Swat Team, Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office and Ville Platte City Marshal’s Office arrived on scene to assist. Officers and Detectives learned that the fugitive had escaped from the custody of the Mamou Police Department in September 2017 and had been on the run ever since. He was being held for Acadia Parish who has an active warrant for aggravated second degree battery. The suspect gained entry into the home on Huey P. Long Street armed with a shotgun and held a black male and a black female inside. According to the report the suspect dated the female at one time but there was no current relationship.
Witnesses reported that the suspect was pacing back and forth in the residence and was refusing to allow anyone to leave or to surrender to law enforcement. Louisiana State Police arrived on scene and began negotiating with the suspect.
After approximately five hours, the suspect surrendered to law enforcement and was taken into custody without incident. No injuries were reported.
Abselon Hebert 23, (unknown address) was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail on charges of two counts of false imprisonment, two counts of simple battery and a hold for a warrant issued by the Mamou Police department for criminal damage to property and simple escape, along with the warrant from Acadia Parish for aggravated second degree battery. Hebert was transferred to the Evangeline Parish Jail and is being held without bond.
Chief Neal Lartigue would like to acknowledge the quick response and assistance of the Evangeline Parish 911 Dispatch center and the Louisiana State Police Swat Team, Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Ville Platte City Marshal’s Office.
In another case, Chief Neal lartigue reports one arrest for exploitation of the infirmed.
On April 21, 2018 an arrest was made in reference to report of exploitation of an elderly woman in the 200 block of High School Drive. Officers responded to the residence and notified Detectives who began an investigation in regards to a black male who repeatedly demanded money from an elderly woman for lawn services that were never performed or were already paid for. The elderly woman had trouble remembering if she owed any money to the suspect so she would give him more money each time he returned to her residence and demanded payment. The family became aware of the problem and notified authorities. Detectives completed their investigation and arrested Howard Belton, 58 of 907 Edward “Knotoe” Thomas Street apartment A, on charges of exploitation of the infirmed and criminal trespassing. Belton was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and then transferred to the Evangeline parish Jail on a $26,500.00 bond.
Chief Lartigue reminds residents to report any suspicious or illegal activity to the Ville Platte Police Department by calling 363-1313. Your call will remain anonymous.
The Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce released the nominees for this year’s Ville Platte man and Woman of the Year honors.
The Women of the Year nominees included: Maggie Thevenot Eades who operates Cottage Couture store and cafe and expanded it to a Bed and Breakfast. She taught school as a Home Economics teacher, involved with Relay for Life as a volunteer and sponsor, Boys and Girls Club, Sacred Heart School and Foundation and involved in the Chamber of Commerce.
Anita M. Fontenot who is President of Southwest Fidelity Corporation, President of Percy J. Fontenot Inc., on the board with Investar Bank, Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center and the Community Foundation of Acadiana. She is involved with the Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce, Ville Platte Rotary Club, Cabot Corporation community advisory panel, Acadian Baptist Center Board of Directors, St. Landry/Evangeline United Way and Louisiana Finance Association. She received the 2015 Business Person of the Year by the Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce; 2016 Philanthropy Award for Evangeline Parish by Community Foundation of Acadiana and the 2016 Distinguished Citizen of the Year award by the Evangeline Area Council of the Boy Scouts.
Angela Mayeau Rozas is the Service Leader for the Ville Platte, Eunice and Opelousas Cleco offices. She has been involved with the Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce, Eucharistic minister for Our Lady Queen of All Saints for weekend end masses and homebound for the past 15 years and has served for two terms on the Parish Council for Our Lady Queen of All Saints;
Virginia L. Morein, principal at Sacred Heart Elementary after retiring from the parish public schools after 36 years. She is a member of Our Lady Queen of All Saints serving as Eucharistic Minister, past member of Come Lord Jesus group, many years spent in Adoration Chapel in the hospital and member of the Les Amis Sorority donating annually to the less fortunate at Christmas.
Melanie Fontenot, owner of Mel’s Total Fitness after working at Walmart Pharmacy for 13 years. She has been a volunteer at Ville Platte Girls and Boys Place; volunteer and supporter of the Relay for Life in Evangeline Parish, volunteer and supporter of Operation Christmas Child and supporter and organizer for the Breast Cancer Walk for Savoy Cancer Center in Mamou.
For Man of the Year, the nominees are:
Horace Edward Jr, retired after spending 25 and a half years at Centurylink as a phone tech and was also worked at Deshotel Supermarket. His community service work includes Usher and Treasurer at St. John Baptist Church, Second Harvest, Food for Family, Booster Club and assisting the elderly with home projects.
Luke Deville is helping manage his family business, Teet’s Food Store along with his father, Chris Deville. Luke has been involved with the Disabled American Veterans, Ville Platte Knights of Columbus, Ville Platte Rotary Club, Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce, Le Grand Hoorah Festival, Smoked Meat Festival and Relay for Life.
Kenneth Ardoin employed as bus driver for the school board and owner of Ken’s Car Care, He was director of Evangeline Parish Youth Basketball, Antioch Baptist Church Usher Board and Male Delegate and a member of the Eastern Seventh Assocation, Ville Platte Lower Elementary Field Trip Driver and assisting the elderly. He also assists the Lions club, Ville Platte High and Sacred Heart, Boys and Girls Club, softball and baseball teams.
Mike Perron employed by T&J Ford for 18 years, currently retired and is in his third term as Ville Platte City Councilman. He is President of the Woodman of the World for 22 years, on the board for Parks and Recreation, Swamp Pop Museum Board member, Village De Memoire board, Evangeline Community Action Board, volunteer fireman for 33 years, involved with the Food Pantry and is currently mayor Pro Tem.
It was the first time in several years the Dewey Balfa Cajun and Creole Camp has been at Chicot Park. This year, the camp was back teaming up with Le Grand Hoorah Festival opening weekend. From all indications, the entire weekend was a huge success. The event began Friday night with a large crowd of people enjoying music from Preston Frank and Balfa Toujours.
The weather was perfect both Friday night and Saturday. The cooking teams were in force Saturday along with an old fashioned boucherie.
The music began with a jam session followed by three members of a family who are students with the Brazos School of Music. Nonstop music continued on the bandstand and the wooden dance floor under the big tent was filled with dancers.
There were a number of students from the nearby Dewey Balfa camp who came by from all over the country and several countries including Canada and Germany.
The cooking teams included the Ville Platte Rotary Club and the Evangeline Parish Police Jury as well as delicious food prepared from the boucherie.
The Classic Hits road crew was there broadcasting live Saturday morning.
The camp continues every day through Thursday with nightly public dances. There will be a bus later this week taking some of the campers to visit some popular places in Evangeline Parish.
Renee Brown, the new Executive Director for the Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce, announced that their 2018 banquet is set for Wednesday May 2nd at the Ville Platte Civic Center and guest speakers will be brothers, Jack Walker and Joe Willy Walker with Slap Ya Mama Cajun Products.
Voting for Business of the Year, and Business Person of the Year is currently underway. Business of the Year nominees are: Champagne Quality Food, Dry Max Systems, Industrial Supply & Sports, Kary's Roux, Pine Prairie Energy, and Teet's Food Store. Nominees for Business Person of the Year are: Dr. Kirk Soileau, Donald Fontenot with Pine Prairie Energy, Luke Deville with Teet's Food Store, Ross Lafleur with Kary's Roux, and Fr. Tom Voohries with the Sacred Heart Church and School. Nominees for the Man and Woman of the Year award will be announced later on, and all winners will be announced the night of the banquet. Brown also stated that instead of a large silent auction, this year they will be auctioning off a few items in a small auction.
Executive Director, Renee Brown also shared her excitement for the move from Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce to Evangeline Parish Chamber of Commerce. She is ready to promote Evangeline Parish as a whole saying, “Together we can do more”. Some transitions currently taking place are new chamber and tourism webpages, the planning of parish-wide job fairs, and the planning of Business Before Hours/ Business After Hours networking opportunities. Brown also announced that the Chamber’s new office hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00am -5:00pm.
Also discussed, was a personal safety and active shooter workshop set to place in our area on or around June 7th with Cody Perron. He is currently looking for sponsors for this event.
Lastly, the Chamber heard from Jerrie LeDoux, Community Liaison for Congressman Mike Johnson (District 4). LeDoux told the Chamber that she has been collecting seasonings from District 4, and with a collection of over 30, LeDoux states that most of her seasonings come from Evangeline Parish. April 29th-May 5th is National Small Businesses Week, and Congressman Mike Johnson will present a certificate at this year’s Chamber banquet, claiming that small businesses are the “spice” of Evangeline Parish.