In a statement from The Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office,
Early Friday morning, January 20, 2017 two people were wounded from a shootout that occurred amongst each other on Lariat Lane in Easton, LA.
During the initial investigation, investigators were able to identify the subjects involved as Jody Thomas Thrasher of Ville Platte and Kylan Wayne Ardoin of Pine Prairie.
A motive has not been determined at this time.
Kylan Wayne Ardoin was transported to Lafayette General Hospital from Savoy Medical Center in stable but serious condition. He suffered from wounds to the chest.
Jody Thomas Thrasher was AIRMED to Rapides General Hospital from Savoy Medical Center for an immediate surgery procedure. Thrasher suffered from wounds to the groin area.
No arrest has been made at this time and the investigation is ongoing.
KVPI News has learned that Ardoin is out of surgery and expected to make a recovery.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office Investigation Division by phone at 337-363-2161. All callers will remain anonymous.
According to Police Chief, Neil Lartigue the following individuals have recently been arrested and booked into the City Jail:
Khouri N. Frisch, age 24 of Opelousas – arrested on 4 counts of Defamation and 4 counts of Telephone Communications; Improper Language Harassment. Judge Chuck West set bond at $5,000.00;
Dillion A. Dick, age 25 of Ville Platte – arrested for Criminal Damage to Property (Felony) over $750.00. Judge Gary Ortego set bond at $10,000.00;
Carlenski Durell Arvie, age 30 of Ville Platte – arrested for Stalking, Criminal Trespass and Criminal Mischief. Judge Gary Ortego set no bond;
Bradley Seriale, Ville Platte – arrested for 3 counts of Carnal Knowledge of a Juvenile and 5 counts of Soliciting for Prostitutes. Judge Gary Ortego set bond at $55,000.00; and
Marshayla Jack, age 19 of Ville Platte – arrested for 20 counts of Prostitution, Pandering and Indecent Behavior with Juvenile. Judge Gary Ortego set bond at $65,000.00.
The Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce held its monthly meeting Wednesday and guest speakers were Dianna Johnson and Jesse Muse. They spoke about the 1st Annual Old Fashioned Boucherie & Smoked Meat Cook-Off scheduled for Saturday, February 25, 2017 at the Northside Civic Center from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. All proceeds from the event will go to The Boys & Girls Club in Ville Platte. Those who would like to enter the cook-off can contact Diana at 789-3873 or Jesse at 831-0214. Booths are $50.00 and a table will be provided. There are three categories to compete in: Smoked Pounce, Sausage/Tasso & Gumbo. All food must be cooked AT the event, excluding rice which can be cooked prior. All booths will be required to sell their dishes to the public. There will be a very educational display where folks can learn about the traditional boucherie. There will also be music, activities for the kids, and prizes for Overall and First place winners.
Clerk of Court, Randy Deshotel spoke about the Savoy Cancer Center Fundraiser that is scheduled for the Monday night before Mardi Gras as it was last year. This is a major fundraiser for the benefit of Indigent Cancer patients. Tickets are $75.00 and that covers all food like raw oysters, boiled shrimp, fried shrimp, etc., and drinks, beer and wine. There will be a LIVE and silent auction at the event.
Chamber Director, Camille Fontenot, spoke of the Swamp Pop Reunion Concert coming up on February 27th at the Northside Civic Center. It will also be held the Monday night before Mardi Gras. Stephanie Ware of KVPI announced that a tribute to Clint West will be included in the show when his son Chauncey Guillory and his grandson, Casey Guillory perform on stage in his honor.
Gobblegully was voted in as a new member of the Chamber. The next meeting is scheduled for Noon on February 15th at Main Street Pizza Pub & Grill.
The Ville Platte City Council and Mayor Jennifer Vidrine held their monthly meeting Tuesday night at Ville Platte City Hall. The room was full and multiple media outlets were there as the Mayor opened the meeting addressing the recent report from the Department of Justice. The Mayor commented that when she read the report, it “Rocked me to the core. If you know me, you know this is not who I am and this is not the Council. I have been ensured by Police Chief, Neal Lartigue that these practices changed when the Department of Justice came in 2014. To ensure that we are in compliance always, when I received the report I contacted the Department of Justice and ensured them that we will stay on top of it. If you know me, there are two things very important to me…my personal relationship with God and my “Word”. I will stand by my word. I also asked that with the corrective action we have in place, for their oversite both visible and invisible. I asked them to help with additional training on the ground. I want to ensure everyone that I will be overseeing the situation as well and will be visiting the police department announced and unannounced.” She stated the City has purchased 25 more body cameras for officers to wear and the cameras are of top notch quality like officers in Dallas and Los Angeles use. If they are turned off, the camera will report it. Vidrine stated in Ville Platte “Everyone is Someone and we want to make sure everyone is treated with respect and humanity. If residents have a complaint about being treated unfairly, please make a direct report with the Chief. Then, after the investigation by the Chief if complete and you are unsatisfied, then please report it to City Hall.”
Resident, Arthur Sampson spoke to the council on two subjects. The first two minutes he asked the Council to look into providing some sort of benefits to Veterans and reported he spoke to the Police Jury and they voted to give a discount at Crooked Creek to Veterans. He then spoke on the report from The Department of Justice. Sampson called the situation “serious” and stated “I won’t say black or white, but low-income residents have been treated unfairly for years. I have reported this for so long.”
In other news, the Mayor reports that there will be a meeting Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall about the Health Fitness Challenge against the City of Opelousas. You can come and learn how to sign up during the meeting. You can also go to cityofvilleplatte.com.
Also, the Harlem Ambassadors Basketball Team will be returning to Ville Platte on February 8th at 6:30 p.m. Bring your family and come have a great time.
The meeting for February will be held on February 15th due to Valentines Day.
SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY LAW DISCUSSED AT ROTARY CLUB
JANUARY 17, 2017
Attorney Gilbert “Winky” Aucoin was the guest speaker at today’s (Tuesday’s) meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club. He discussed his specialty work of Social Security Disability Law.
Aucoin said he began his practice of law by partnering with his older brother, Preston Aucoin for 18 years. He later began specializing in helping clients applying for Social Security disability benefits. He said there are several components including benefits for children under 18, widow’s disability benefits and medicare. In 1972, S.S.I. (Supplemental Security Income) was added to assist poor citizens.
Unlike a regular court setting, Aucoin said the Social Security judge serves as a judge and as an advocate.
Through the years, technology has entered the hearings by having a presiding judge from out of state shown on a TV monitor overseeing the proceedings.
Aucoin said he is currently traveling on a regular basis to Alexandria, Lake Charles and Lafayette and as far away as Texas.
Aucoin was the special guest of Rotarian Leonard Fontenot
According to the Ville Platte Police Department, the following individuals have recently been arrested and booked into the City Jail:
Kamau Jack, age 37 of Foughbough – Arrested for No Reflective Gear, Resisting an Officer, Disturbing the Peace, Trespassing and currently incarcerated;
Jordie Attle, age 24 of N. Thompson – Arrested for Child Desertion and currently out on a $2,500.00 bond;
Qwan Anderson, age 33 of Roderick – Arrested for Disturbing the Peace and out on a $200.00 bond; and
Annie Jones, age 35 of High School Drive – Arrested for Theft and currently incarcerated.
BASILE ALDERMAN SPECIAL ELECTION SET
JANUARY 14, 2017
Two candidates have qualified for the special election for Alderman in District One for the Town of Basile, according to Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel. The candidates who qualified last week are Darrell Reed and LaToya Howze. The election is set for March 25 in the Town of Basile.
The Evangeline Parish School Board held its January meeting Wednesday night in the School Board Media Center. Darwin Lazard addressed the Board in his first meeting as Superintendent of Schools. Mr. Lazard announced the Special Election to be held on Saturday, April 29th wherein the public will be asked to renew maintenance and parish-wide mileages that are very important to funding schools. He stressed the importance of residents understanding how important the renewals are. He said “These are renewals and not new taxes. We depend on them and if the propositions do not pass, they take such a cut they would be forced to reduce personnel and/or salaries. I think the general public has seen the huge improvements and steps we have made in our school system, and hopefully, they will continue to support us in those efforts.” He went on to say “We want to give the public accurate information and make sure they know these are just renewals.”
Mr. Lazard presented a framed Proclamation to the Board after the Board passed a Resolution brought before them declaring January 2017 Louisiana School Board Recognition Month.
Mr. Lazard also reported that recently during a boil advisory his maintenance staff and warehouse crew did an outstanding job delivering 2,800 bottles of water to students one day and 2,800 bottles the next day. He commended them all.
The Superintendent stated he has now visited 10 of the 12 schools in Evangeline Parish and met many teachers and faculty as well as other support personnel that keep schools going. He said he felt very welcomed by everyone he met. Lazard says that he will always have an Open Door Policy as the leader of this school system.
Lazard congratulated School Board members for earning 135.5 credit hours of continuing education over the last year.
He also announced schools will be closed Monday in observation of Martin Luther King day.
The Evangeline Parish Police Jury held its January meeting Monday night in the courthouse. Discussion was had by the members regarding a 2005 2% Tax Exemption granted to Union Tank Car under a tax proposition that ended in 2013. The Exemption was granted approximately 11 years ago and has never been renewed by the Jury; it just went unnoticed until it was brought to Secretary/Treasurer, Donald Bergeron’s attention by a member of the Sales Tax Commission. In discussions about the Parish having problems collecting sales tax, he was told the Jury “may want to look at the Exemption.” KVPI News questioned the Jury of “how could go this long and no one knew anything about it?” Jurors quickly answered they knew nothing of it until recently when it was brought to their attention. When asked some approximate numbers as to how much the exemption is costing the Parish, Bergeron stated that “today” that number is approximately $15,000.00 a month. He did say that earlier years may be a slightly different in number. So, in 11 years, Evangeline Parish has exempted Union Tank Car from paying approximately $1,980,000.00 in sales tax. Juror, Bryan Vidrine, asked Parish Attorney, Marcus Fontenot, if any other business in the Parish has an exemption like that. Fontenot stated “he was not around when the exemption was passed, but no, no other businesses have been afforded that and he said currently you cannot grant one. Vidrine then asked Fontenot to do research to see if the Jury was going to be responsible for collecting the taxes from past years. The Jury voted unanimously under the motion made by Juror, Rocky Rider, to not renew the sales tax exemption effective January 1, 2017. Rider stated “It’s been 11 years. It cannot go on for a lifetime." Juror, Eric Soileau, thanked Union Tank for being here and thanked them for employing so many over the years. KVPI News will be reaching out to Union Tank Car for a response and will also update you on sitting police jurors at the time this exemption was passed in 2005.
In other news, in its continuing battle to collect from those entities who refuse to pay extremely overdue sewer bills, the Police Jury passed an amended Water Permit Ordinance where The Jury will revoke the water permit for anyone or entity who is in violation of any parish ordinances. For example, those who have delinquencies in sewer bills, etc., and refuse to make arrangements to clear them will have their water permit revoked. Then, the appropriate water department will be notified by registered mail of the revocation. That water department will have 30 days to disconnect the water of that entity. If it is not done in 30-days the Jury will assess a $25.00/day fine to the water company until the disconnect is complete.
The jury re-elected Ryan Ardoin as Police Jury President and Ryan Williams as Vice-President for 2017.
B&S Neighborhood Market, LLC was granted a Liquor License by the Jury.
After hearing resident, Arthur Sampson address the Jury, the panel voted for a Veteran’s Discount at Crooked Creek.
Jacob Jack is wanted by Mamou Police for Felony Theft. If you know his whereabouts please contact Mamou PD at 337-468-5221.
Mamou Police continues to search for Market A Freeman. He is wanted for Possession of Marijuana and Crack Cocaine with intent to distribute. He fled from officers during a traffic stop. If you know his whereabouts please contact Mamou Police at 337-468-5221. All calls or messages will remain anonymous.
Sacred Heart High School recognized its educators of the year: Elementary Teacher of the Year is Mrs. Lacey Guillory and High School Teacher of the Year- Mrs. Dorie Ardoin.
The school also honored its supporters of the year: Dr. Jake and Ashley Lafleur.
KVPI has received the following from officials with the town of Mamou:
PRECAUTIONARY BOIL ADVISORY FOR THE TOWN OF MAMOU
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE TO WATER SYSTEM CUSTOMERS
THE TOWN OF MAMOU IS ISSUING A SYSTEM WIDE BOIL ADVISORY. THE SYSTEM SUFFERED A LOSS OF PRESSURE, HOWEVER THIS ISSUE HAS BEEN RESOLVED. THEREFORE, AS A PRECAUTION, THE TOWN OF MAMOU WATER SYSTEM IS ISSUING A BOIL ADVISORY EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY. THIS BOIL ADVISORY IS TO REMAIN IN EFFECT UNTIL RESCINDED BY THE TOWN OF MAMOU. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT ALL CUSTOMERS DISINFECT THEIR WATER BEFORE CONSUMING IT (INCLUDING FOUNTAIN DRINKS), MAKING ICE, BRUSHING TEETH, OR USING IT FOR FOOD PREPARATION OR RINSING OF FOODS BY THE FOLLOWING MEANS: BOIL WATER FOR ONE (1) FULL MINUTE IN A CLEAN CONTAINER. THE ONE MINUTE STARTS AFTER THE WATER HAS BEEN BROUGHT TO A FULL ROLLNG BOIL. (THE FLAT TASTE CAN BE ELIMINATED BY SHAKING THE WATER IN A CLEAN BOTTLE, POURING IT FROM CLEAN CONTAINER TO ANOTHER, OR BY ADDING A SMALL PINCH OF SALT TO EACH QUART OF WATER THAT IS BOILED.) AGAIN, PLEASE BE SURE TO DISINFECT YOUR OWN WATER PRIOR TO COMSUMPTION UNTIL YOU HAVE BEEN ADVISED OTHERWISE. THE TOWN OF MAMOU WATER SYSTEM WILL RESCIND THIS BOIL ADVISORY UPON NOTIFICATION FROM THE LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS- OFFICE OF PUBLIC HEALTH THAT ADDITIONAL WATER SAMPLES COLLECTED FROM OUR WATER SYSTEM HAVE SHOWN OUR WATER TO BE SAFE.
The 12th Annual Swamp Pop reunion show and dance featuring the legends of Swamp Pop music is scheduled for Monday February 27, 2017 at the Ville Platte Northside Civic Center. Artists tentatively scheduled to appear: Johnnie Allan, Tomy McLain, T. K. Hulin, Charles Mann, GG Shinn, Warren Storm, Willie Tee Jivin Gene, Grace Broussard, Van Broussard, Jay Randall, Kenny Tibbs, Ken Marvel, V.J. Boulet, Gregg Martinez, Charles Veillon, Jerry Raines, Roy Chaffin, Elwood Charles, Alvin Dugas all backed up by the house band, Cypress with special guests Earl Taylor and Mike Vice. The show will be emceed by KVPI’s Gene “Swabby” Soileau. There will be door prizes, a cash bar and gumbo available. Tickets are $20 each and can now be purchased at KVPI Radio and the Louisiana Swamp Pop Museum.
The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from LSU basketball great Rudy Macklin, who is in charge of the Governor’s Office on Physical Fitness. Macklin urged rotary club members to get involved in the fitness challenge between the City of Ville Platte and the City of Opelousas.
Club members and citizens of Ville Platte are urged to login to Own Your Own Health at oyohla.com and sign up. The challenge is to become more physically fit by keeping track on how many steps you make a day. Participants can get a pedometer and win t shirts.
Macklin said many of our health problems can be solved by fighting obesity through becoming more physically active and eating healthy.
The challenge begins January 23 and will end April 23. The winning city will have bragging rights over the other losing city. Macklin said several other cities in the state are competing against other neighboring municipalities. The speaker was the special guest of Rotarian Eric Gil.
In other rotary news, Club President Peter Strawitz announced the local rotary club has grown by six additional members, three new and three returning members.
The club has made donations to the following groups: new furniture for the Casa agency and welding supplies at the Coreil Campus of Louisiana Technical College.
The Rotary Club is planning a major clean- up project with the Interact Club in the spring at the Heritage Garden Park across from Walmart and is planning a Choices program at parish schools.
Tyler S. Chapman, age 20 of Roderick Street – Arrested for Remaining after forbidden, Resisting an officer and incarcerated with a $1,250.00 bond;
Jermaine Larnette, age 38 of MLK Drive – Arrested for Resisting an officer, Disturbing the Peace by Intoxication and incarcerated with a $950.00 bond;
Arthur Green, age 27 of Chataignier – Arrested for Possession of Schedule I – DUS and out on a $3,000.00 bond;
Malik Jackson, age 19 of Kembo – Arrested for Disturbing the Peace by fighting and out on a $200.00 bond;
Claudia Thomas, age 42 of Kembo – Arrested for Disturbing the Peace by Fighting, Resisting an officer and out on a $950.00 bond;
David Weston, age 21 of Long Street – Arrested for Simple Battery and out on a $1,000.00 bond;
Catrina Anderson, age 34 of Railroad Street – Arrested for Disturbing the Peace, Battery on a Police Officer and out on a $2,700.00 bond; and
Jordie Attle, age 24 of N. Thompson – Arrested for Disturbing the Peace and out on a $200.00 bond.
According to CLECO officials and Ville Platte Mayor, Jennifer Vidrine, power has been restored to all customers in Ville Platte as of this morning. According to a Press Release from CLECO, as storms pushed through south central Louisiana causing extensive damage to Avoyelles and Evangeline Parishes, some CLECO customers were without power, but “Our crews worked through the day to restore power; however, the damage was so severe in certain areas, some customers remained without power throughout the night,” said James Lass, General Manager of Distribution Operations and Emergency Management. The severe weather also caused damage to CLECO’s electrical system including broken poles, broken cross arms and downed wire. CLECO mobilized its crews from less impacted areas of the state to restore power. CLECO reminds customers to be aware of possible downed power lines during severe weather. Stay away from low-hanging or downed lines and call CLECO or 911 to report an unsafe situation with electricity.
Ville Platte Mayor, Jennifer Vidrine, has told KVPI News there are still a lot of customers without electricity in Ville Platte and surrounding areas. CLECO, itself, suffered damages to its own system due to the extreme weather today. Vidrine is asking for the public’s patience and she says CLECO has workers on the ground and working to restore all electrical services. If you are without electricity, please prepare yourself to move into the evening hours. Make sure you have batteries for flashlights and/or candles for lighting. We remind you to never leave candles unattended.
Extreme weather blew through the South today and many warnings and watches were issued by the National Weather Service in Lake Charles for the State of Louisiana. There was a confirmed tornado on L.D. Verret off of Hwy 104 South of Mamou. Evangeline Parish Director of Emergency Services/911, Liz Hill, reports that there were no injuries during the weather, but that there were many trees and poles down in the parish. Beginning around noon, there was an electrical pole down in Ville Platte with LIVE electrical lines down in Mamou. There was a tree down on Oakdale Road and Whiteville Road. Power lines were down on the Opelousas Road. Plenny Road and Mt. Carmel Road had utility poles down on two vehicles. No one was in the vehicle at the time. Hill stated most of the damage came to roofs and porches at area residences. As high winds and rain blew through, Evangeline Parish was one of the most widely affected areas with power outages and damage. Cleco crews worked all day Monday and into the night to restore power to approximately 3,100 customers in the parish as well as 2,288 customers in Allen Parish; 6,300 in Avoyelles; and over 1,300 in Rapides Parish. Ville Platte experienced a large power loss throughout the City with over 1,600 outages. The towers for The Ville Platte Fire Department and KVPI were both affected by the weather. A listener has also reported a possible tornado at 361 Raccoon Road near B&S Grocery affecting half of the home, trees and a barn. We heard from residents on Peachtree Lane in Fourbourg who reported four residences with storm damage from high winds or possible tornadic activity including destroyed barns, chicken and horse stables, torn off roofs and downed outside buildings. Those customers were also without power for a period of time. We will keep you up to date on any further developments become available. If you have an update for your area that you would like to report, please call 363-2124.
Numerous City Property Tax notices have been returned to City Hall by the Post Office due to incorrect addresses, no mail box at the curve, incorrect street names, etc. If you have not received your City Property Tax Notice, please come by City Hall and pick them up. Then, go by the Parish Assessor's Office and correct the address. The City Property Tax notices are mailed according to the address at the Parish Assessor's office. City Property taxes become delinquent February 1, 2017.
Jennifer Vidrine, Mayor
City of Ville Platte