The Evangeline Parish Sales and Use Tax Commission met Wednesday and released their monthly sales tax report for the month of April.
The government agency showing the greatest increase in sales tax collections were the police jury showing a 29.2 percent increase or $88,576 jump over the April 2015 figures; The school board and the solid waste commission showed an identical 9.79 percent increase in sales tax collections. The school board increased their collections by $68,657 while the solid waste commission had a $34,328 jump. The City of Ville Platte showed a 2 percent increase or $6871 increase while the Village of Turkey Creek showed a 4.6 percent improvement in collections.
Four municipalities showed decreases in sales tax collections for April: Basile had a 46 percent decrease; Chataignier had a 64 percent drop in sales tax collections; Pine Prairie dropped by 19 percent and Mamou had a 15% decrease.
Parish wide, overall, sales tax collections showed a 9.87 percent increase or $171,629 according to Director Michael Veillon.
According to the Ville Platte Police Department, the following individuals have been recently arrested and booked into the Ville Platte City Jail:
Murphy Lemelle, age 35 of N. Stagg – Arrested for Disturbing the Peace by Drunkenness, Prohibited Acts, Misrepresentation During Booking and currently out on a $2,900.00 bond;
Latasha Pleasant, age 26 of Dr. Carver – Arrested for Disturbing the Peace, Remaining After Forbidden, Criminal Damage and currently out on a $1,400.00 bond;
Trevion Frank, age 25 of Emerald Drive in Opelousas – Arrested for Theft of Goods and out on a $1,000.00 bond;
Devondrey Carter, age 19 of Laran Street – Arrested for Disturbing the Peace, Simple Assault and currently out on a $200.00 bond;
Davante Ardoin of 615 N. Reed Street – Arrested for Criminal Damage to Property, Domestic Abuse Battery and currently out on a $1,700.00 bond;
Murphy Lemelle, age 36 of N. Stagg – Arrested for Simply Battery and currently out on a $1,000.00 bond;
Melvin Jackson, age 27 of Richard Loop in Morrow – Arrested for Disturbing the Peace;
Shannon Fontenot, age 28 of N. Latour – Arrested for Disturbing the Peace and out on a $200.00 bond;
Maranda Gauthier, age 33 of N. Latour – Arrested for Disturbing the Peace and currently out on a $200.00 bond; and
Keidris Pitre, age 33 of N. Chataignier – Arrested for Criminal Damage of Property and currently out on a $700.00 bond.
VILLE PLATTE ROTARY CLUB
MAY 24, 2016
The Ville Platte Smoked Meat Festival was the topic of Guest Speaker Renee Brown at today’s (Tuesday) meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club.
The 24th Annual Smoked Meat Festival is scheduled for June 24 and 25 at the Civic Center grounds. This year for the first time, a carnival will be a part of the festival. A carnival will be at the city park grounds from Wednesday June 22 to 25 for the children to enjoy.
Brown said she is excited about the opening ceremonies planned for 12 noon on the Saturday of the festival. Veterans across Louisiana are expected to attend the event including a large group motorcycle riding vets who will part of an honor guard during the ceremony. Veterans will not be charged to attend the event.
Also for the first time, a scholarship will be provided for the Smoked Meat Festival Queen who is the official ambassador for the festival throughout the state.
One of the big highlights of the yearly event is the World Championship Smoked Meat Cook off scheduled for the Saturday June 25. Last year, judges reviewed 190 dishes in the cook off. There will be musical acts Friday night and all day on Saturday.
Brown thanked everyone for their support and a special thanks to the Ville Platte Lions Club who will be volunteering during the festival. She was the special guest of Rotarian David Mayeaux.
In other rotary news:
--the installation of officers for the rotary club will be held June 14 at Main Street Pizza;
--received news from Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine that the new Ville Platte Boys and Girls Club registration is closed. The new club is filled to capacity with 100 students from ages 8-15. The classes begin June 1 at the old city hall location.
MAY 19, 2016
Over 250 senior citizens from the Ville Platte-Evangeline Parish area today (Thursday) packed the Ville Platte Civic Center for the annual senior day event sponsored by the Evangeline Council on Aging.
This year, the council decided to go to a ticket system to get a better head count on how many meals to prepare. The cost of a ticket was only $2 and it was a sell out days before the event.
Once again members of the Evangeline Area Chapter of the Viet Nam Veterans of America cooked the BBQ dinners and prepared the box lunches in the civic center kitchen area. Volunteers from the Council on Aging and others helped serve the drinks and meals to the seniors at their tables.
A Cajun band from the Opelousas-Church Point area provided Cajun French music from 10-12 noon. Once the music ended at noon, the seniors enjoyed playing bingo games with plenty of door prizes.
KVPI FM was there with a live remote broadcast at the civic center from 10-12 noon.
VILLE PLATTE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
MAY 18, 2016
The Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce, today(Wednesday) heard from Mark Layne and Jim Soileau representing KVPI.
Mark Layne, General Manager, announced that KVPI-FM recently won “radio station of the year” honors from the Louisiana Association of Broadcasters for the sixth year in a row. He said the radio station is proud to serve the community and shared some of the programming he and his staff did in 2015 . The events include interviews, live remotes, local sports and Cajun French programming
KVPI AM first signed on in 1953 and KVPI FM first signed on in 1966. All of the station managers through the years have always believed in “giving back to the community and the community has supported the radio stations through advertising messages.”
Jim Soileau, a long time French voice over KVPIand former General Manager, said KVPI has always supported our local Cajun French culture through French language programming since 1953. KVPI is probably the only radio station that still programs French News in the state . Soileau and Charlie Manuel joins with Layne each week to host a popular bilingual live call-in show called “La Tasse de Café” where callers call in from all of the listening area and out of state.
In other business, Dianne Johnson with the Ville Platte Boys and Girls Club reminded chamber members that registration for the new club continues through Thursday at the old City Hall location.
Chamber President Renee Brown reported that the recent Chamber of Commerce Banquet was a big success with the chamber clearing $7,000 after expenses. She announced that the chamber will have a membership drive during the summer months.
It was also announced that the Smoked Meat Festival will take place June 24 and 25. This year, the festival will have carnival rides for the children Wednesday through Saturday of that week at the city park grounds. It will be a busy week that week with a large baseball tournament being hosted at the City Recreational Park with 36 teams from around the state coming in.
Ville Platte Rotary Club Tuesday Hears from Dr. Hines and Casa Reps
May 17, 2016
The Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from former State Senator Dr. Don Hines from Bunkie.
The club made a $1000 donation toward Hines tele medicine benefit project to help children in Guatamala. The project is assisting some 450 neglected and abandoned children in that Central American country. His program has teamed up with physicians at U.M.C. in Lafayette with medical personnel in Guatamala.
Hines said Governor John Bel Edwards wife, the first lady, is sponsoring a fund raising meal at the governor’s mansion for the project.
Hines is attempting to raise $30,000 for needed medical equipment. The Ville Platte Rotary Club made a $1,000 donation to Dr. Hines for the project. Hines was invited by Rotarian Wayne Vidrine.
Also speaking at the noon luncheon were Deidra Lewis and Gail Lark, who represent CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children. Casa advocates are trained community volunteers appointed by the courts to serve as a foster child’s voice in court. The goal is to re-unify children with their family. It was reported that Evangeline Parish has 66 children in foster care, that is a figure higher than in St. Landry Parish.
CASA has an office open in Ville Platte at 615 West Magnolia. They are looking for volunteers who would be willing to be trained to visit with children in their homes and at school. The volunteers would be the eyes and ears for the court in connection with foster children.
The two guests were the special guests of Rotarian Janice Helmer.
In other business, Rotary Club President Mitch Fontenot announced that the annual installation of officers is scheduled for June 14.
Due to a break on a 3-inch main line that is being repaired by the Point Blue Water System, those residents on Attales Road and Whispering Pines Road ONLY are under a Boil Advisory until further notice. If you have any questions, please call their office at 363-5885
According to the Ville Platte Police Department, the following individuals have been recently arrested and booked into the Ville Platte Police Department:
Larry Arvie, Age 49 of West Hickory – Arrested for Domestic Abuse Battery and currently out on a $1,000.00 bond;
Reonn Freeman, Age 17 of Dr. Carver – Arrested for Discharging a Firearm in City Limits and currently out on a $2,500.00 bond;
Anastasia Leday, Age 32 of MLK Drive – Arrested for Criminal Mischief and currently out on a $200.00 bond;
Jermain Larnette, Age 38 of MLK Drive – Arrested for No Reflective Gear and Prohibited Acts and remains incarcerated;
Catina Rose of W. Hickory – Arrested for Domestic Abuse Battery and currently out on a $1,000.00 bond;
Joshua Edwards, Age 24 of W. Long Street – Arrested for Loitering, Open Container & Disturbing the Peace by drunkenness. Edwards is currently out on a $650.00 bond; and
Nicholas Edwards, Age 21 of W. Long – Arrested for Loitering, Prohibited Acts, Open Container and Possession of Schedule I. Edwards is currently out on a $5,450.00 bond.
According to the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office: On Monday, May 2, 2016, Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office Patrol Division received a call in reference to a Disturbance. While on scene Deputies were able to apprehend and detain Jason Brent Soileau on an Outstanding Warrant.
On October 29, 2015 Jason Brent Soileau failed to maintain control of his Pitbull, in which the dog left from his presence and ended up biting a female juvenile in the neighborhood while walking down the street. The dog then turned towards the juvenile’s sibling in a manner to attack her prior to the owner Jason Brent Soileau calling the dog back to the area in which it left from.
Soileau was wanted for questioning in reference to the incident described above. Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office Investigators were unable to make contact with Soileau for questioning. After further investigations it was learned that Soileau had left the State of Louisiana, and was believed to be in the State of Alabama. At that time an Affidavit and Warrant of Arrest for Dogs at Large and Proof of Vaccination was authored on Soileau, and later signed by 13th Judicial Judge Gary Ortego.
The Parish of Evangeline has an Ordinance that requires all dogs to be in their owner’s control at all times (Lease Law) and one for Proof of Vaccination in which an owner must be able to provide a list of their pet vaccinations at request.
Jason Brent Soileau was booked and has since posted bail.
Ville Platte City Council Honors Local Soldiers Buried at Arlington Cemetery
May 10, 2016
Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine and members of the City Council Tuesday recognized two Ville Platte solders killed in Viet Nam that are buried at Arlington National Cemetery. They are Air Force Col. Oscar Dardeau Jr. and Army Master Sgt. Willie Roy Senior.
Family members of both soldiers were in attendance at the city council meeting and were given special photographs of their monuments photographed by Mayor Jennifer and council members. They were in Washington DC attending a Louisiana Municipal Association Mayor’s Conference when they visited the large national cemetery where more than 473,000 soldiers are buried. The group placed a dozen red roses at the resting places of both soldiers.
Also, the city council approved a request from the Smoked Meat Festival Association to enter into a cooperative endeavor agreement to receive the city’s help in placing barricades and using trustee labor during the festival. Spokesman Renee Brown, who represents the non -profit group said this year, the association will bring a carnival for the children. For the first time in the festival’s 24 year history, children will be enjoying carnival rides. The association and the city will determine where the carnival rides will be located. Preliminary plans are to have the rides located in the Pony League field at City Park. The council also approved a liquor permit for the association to sell alcoholic beverages during the festival.
The council approved a benefit cook off to be held in front of the Sports Bar on Main Street Saturday May 21 from 8:00am to 8:00pm. There will be a $5 charge to enter. All monies raised for the event will be for the benefit of the new Ville Platte Boys and Girls Club.
In other action, the council:
--approved the sale of beer during the TV 10 live event at the Grand Pavilion Friday May 20 from 5-7pm. All money raised during the beer sale will be for the Boys and Girls Club;
--received good news that city expenses decreased by $98,000 for in April as compared to the previous month; Also sales tax collections in the city showed a 6% increase over the same time a year ago;
--reappointed Hillary Hill for another term to represent the city on the Evangeline Parish Solid Waste Commission;
--and applied for a $50,000 grant through the Community Water Enrichment Program.
According to the Ville Platte Police Department, the following individuals have recently been arrested and booked into the Ville Platte City Jail:
Mannix Veillon, age 34 of W. LaSalle – arrested for Theft of Goods, Trespassing and Drug Paraphernalia and currently incarcerated on a $3,500.00 bond;
Annie Jones, age 36 of High School Drive – arrested for Disturbing the Peace and currently incarcerated on a $200.00 bond;
Tiffany Frilot, age 25 of Antoine Street – arrested for Criminal Mischief and currently out on a $400.00 bond;
Roncoski Thomas, age 30 of E. LaSalle – arrested for Criminal Damage to Property and currently out on a $700.00 bond; and
Cynthia Broussard, of Regile Lane – arrested for Simple Battery and Resisting an Officer and currently out on a $1,500.00 bond.
ROTARY CLUB MEETING
MAY 10, 2016
The Rotary Club of Ville Platte, today (Tuesday) heard from Rotarian Eric Gil discuss what happened when he and his family discovered that his daughter, Sophie, had a brain tumor. He told club members when you start feeling sorry for yourself, go sit down in the lobby of a cancer hospital. “It will humble you in a hurry” he remarked.
He shared how technology advancements are assisting in the war against cancer treatment. One example is proton radiation that was in the beginning stages only five years ago and now in Houston it is being used as a form of treatment.
Gil said “Early detection and treatment is still very important.”
He explained how he believes in the power of prayer. He shared how the doctors told the family that his child’s tumor was located right behind the right eye and the best they could hope for in the surgery was perhaps remove 50% of the tumor. A special prayer was held by family members and hundreds more back home. He said the next day after the 8 and a half hour surgery, the doctor called his wife and him in and said “I don’t know how we did it, but the tumor was just hanging like a grape. We snipped it off. We got it all.”
Gil said his daughter will graduate next week and will start at U.L. in the fall to be a nurse.
According to Evangeline Parish Sheriff, Eddie Soileau: On Tuesday, May 10, 2016, at 9:58AM a deputy while conducting a Traffic Enforcement Detail observed a subject on a motorcycle traveling at a high rate of speed. The deputy attempted to initiate a traffic stop, and the driver failed to stop. A pursuit began on the Chataignier Rd near Blue Junction traveling north on Chataignier Rd into the city limits of Ville Platte. A road block was setup at Chataignier St and W Hickory in attempt to the stop the suspect. The driver passed around the road block and continued on to E Main St and headed eastbound. The pursuit came to an end on the Opelousas Rd near Adeuse Ln where the driver Tyler Martin Fuselier surrendered.
Assistance was requested from Troop I, St Landry SO, and Ville Platte PD during the pursuit. Suspect Tyler Martin Fuselier of Eunice was placed under arrested and is charged with Speeding, Reckless Operation, Driving under Suspension, Failure to Register a Vehicle, No motorcycle endorsement, Improper Lane Usage, Failure to Signal, Passing in a No Passing Zone, and Aggravated Flight from an Officer. Fuselier was transported and booked into the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office.
EVANGELINE PARISH 4-H AWARDS
MAY 8, 2016
The Evangeline Parish 4-H Program held its annual awards night last week. Among the many award winners:
Camille Bergeron, daughter of Robert and Vickie Bergeron of Sacred Heart received the prestigious “Evangeline Parish Outstanding 4-H Member Award”’
Baylee Guillory- of Sacred Heart High receiving a $100 scholarship from the La. 4-H Foundation for Senior 4-H Achievement; She also won a $1000 Scott Truck and Truck Company scholarship.
Paul and Tammy Fontenot of Paul’s Meat Market and Grocery received the “Outstanding Business Supporter” award;
Misti Fontenot received the Outstanding 4-H Volunteer Leader award and won a trip to the Southern Region Leader Forum in Eatonton, Georgia;
There were a number of other awards , pins, and recognition to 4-H students throughout the parish.
Making the presentations were 4-H Agent Kimberly Deville along with County Agent Todd Fontenot. Congratulations to all award winners.
SUNSET HERB AND GARDEN FESTIVAL and BREAUX BRIDGE CRAWFISH FEST
MAY 8, 2016
Beautiful Spring weather brought hundreds of people to the annual Sunset Herb and Garden Festival on Saturday. The event is sponsored by the Sunset Garden Club. Festival organizers said they had over 110 plant, herb and crafts booths coming in from as far away as Metairie. The organizers said it was the largest turnout in both the number of booths and the public turnout. The KVPI road crew was there doing a live remote with Emily, Josh and Mark Saturday morning greeting many of our local listeners.
The 2016 Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival is one for the record books. The weather was perfect and thousands packed Parc Hardy in Breaux Bridge to enjoy the food and the greatest musical acts in Louisiana.
The kids enjoyed the carnival rides while grownups were dancing up a storm one of thirty top bands like Wayne Toups and Geno Delafaosse all through the weekend. People were dancing up a storm and enjoying delicious food.
There were lots of contests like the crawfish eating contest, and crawfish races. The KVPI road crew, for the first time, were there live on remote, Raquella, Josh and Mark doing live reports covering the crawfish eating and crawfish races and interviewing the queens.
Special thanks to all our broadcast sponsors for both festivals for making our remotes possible. We look forward to going back next year.
Sheriff Eddie Soileau, of the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office has released the following:
Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office have in their custody a male subject identified as Robert Ray Guillory Sr. (White/Male, DOB 11/2/1944). Guillory is being held at the Evangeline Parish Jail without bond.
On April 30, 2016 Guillory was involved in an altercation with a family member of his household. The altercation lead to Guillory arming himself with and AK47 Assault Rifle and threatening the family member. While armed with the rifle, Guillory discharged one round from the firearm.
On May 3, 2016 the family member being of concern reported to the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division to file a report of the incident after Basile Police Department received a complaint that Guillory allegedly threatened to harm the Mayor of Basile.
An Affidavit and Warrant of Arrest was authored on Robert Ray Guillory Sr. for Aggravated Assault with a firearm. The Warrant of Arrest was approved and signed by 13th Judicial Judge Gary Ortego.
Guillory was safely apprehended at his residence of 1702 France Road without incident. The weapons involved was confiscated and place into Evidence.
Guillory is awaiting an assignment to be transferred to a facility for treatment.
The Evangeline Parish School Board held its bi-monthly meeting tonight in the School Board Media Center. The School Board voted to accept a revised proposal from First Student for services. Regional Manager, Tony Vidrine, had previously presented a plan to the Board, but was asked to go over it again with his company to see if savings could be seen sooner than what had been proposed. Mr. Vidrine explained to the Board that the revised proposal will now begin saving the School Board approximately $88,000.00 a year beginning at the end of the 2016/2017 school year.
CFO, Amy Lafleur, explained to the Board that the State Treasury is now requiring sales tax be paid by all schools and universities for all fees for entry into “events” such as football and basketball games, as well as all concessions. The rate will begin at 5% and then will go down from there. She has been in touch with the area schools and will be working with them to put together a plan for keeping track of those numbers. For example, students who attend an event will not be charged sales tax; however, a parents or other person who is not a student will have to pay the tax.
The Board was pleased to hear that they have received $45,000.00 from a Louisiana Department of Education Opportunity Grant to purchase a used passenger bus equipped with a wheelchair lift. Superintendent of Schools, Toni Hamlin, explained the bus will be driven and used by an educator who will take Special Education children into the workforce and through what she called the “Workforce Initiative.” The grant was applied for by Supervisor, Roxanne West.
The Board also approved the calendar for the next school year which was voted on by all schools. The calendar approved includes 3 days for Mardi Gras and recognition of Memorial Day.
ROTARY CLUB HEARS FROM LOCAL STUDENT
MAY 3, 2016
The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday ) heard from a local Ville Platte High student who attended the rotary sponsored youth leadership camp known as Camp Rylla.
McKenzie Fontenot thanked the local rotary club for sponsoring her attendance to the week long camp. She said “The camp changed my life for the better. I made new friends and I am so happy I was able to go.” She and her mother were the guests of Rotarian Kip Manuel.
Club President Mitch Fontenot reported on the following:
--the Walking trail cleanup was a success with 13 members of the Sacred Heart Interact Club along with local rotary club members in attendance;
--heard from Rotarian Leonard Glen Fontenot urging club members to consider becoming a first time Paul Harris Fellow. The designation is bestowed upon a club member when they contribute $1000 or more to Rotary International. The Ville Platte club is offering to contribute half or $500 to Rotary International. All of the funds go toward the international organization to promote the eradication of diseases and to promote peace and good will;
--the club will be donating $1000 to the tele-medicine project in Central America coordinated by Dr. Don Hines.
According to the Ville Platte Police Department: On May 1, 2016 at approximately 11:45 a.m. Officers and Detectives of the Ville Platte Police Department responded multiple reports of vehicle break ins on Dardeau Street where vehicles parked in a church parking lot had been broken into and damaged. Officers discovered four vehicles had broken windows and have listed cell phones, wallets and cash are some of the items taken from the vehicles. Detectives were able to obtain DNA evidence at the scene that will be sent to the crime lab for analysis. The incident was assigned to Detective Jessica Laborde and on May 2, 2016 Detective Laborde received information from an anonymous source that led to the arrest of two male and two female juveniles. All 5 cell phones that were taken from the vehicles have been located and returned to their owners. Each juvenile is being charged with 4 counts of burglary, 4 counts of theft and 3 counts of criminal damage to property.
The Evangeline Parish Police Jury held its committee and monthly meetings tonight in the Courthouse in front of television cameras and other media. The Mayor of Ville Platte, Jennifer Vidrine, was also in attendance. One of the agenda items was to go into Executive Session about “personnel matters”. The media was only given that reason for the possible session. KVPI News has continued to report on the resignation and reinstatement of OEP Director, Liz Hill. When it came time to go into “Executive Session”, Police Juror, Eric Soileau, questioned the Jury as to why they were going into Executive Session. He asked if it was to discuss Liz Hill, who was in attendance at the Jury meeting. He then questioned the Jury’s Legal Counsel, Marcus Fontenot, as to whether Ms. Hill was required to be in attendance if they did go into Executive Session to talk about her. Mr. Fontenot responded that “Ms. Hill has the right to object to the Jury going into Executive Session regarding her.” Ms. Hill then stood and objected to the Jury doing just that. Police Jury President, Ryan Ardoin, stated he did not think they needed to go into Executive Session because he “is firm in his decision to reinstate Ms. Hill.” President Ardoin had received negative responses for his decision from a couple of Police Jurors after his decision; however, nothing further was stated in the open meeting. Police Juror, Lamar Johnson, stated “You, as President, have the power to reinstate her.” The subject quickly came to an end as the President then asked for a Motion to Adjourn. No one objected to that. KVPI News spoke with 911/OEP Director, Liz Hill, and she stated: “We need to get past this. I believe we can work together for the good of the people of Evangeline Parish.”
In other news from the meeting, it was reported that nearly every entity has now entered into a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with 911 for dispatching now that Sheriff, Eddie Soileau, will no longer be handling those calls.
At the request of Jill Stevens with Every Paw Animal Rescue, the Jury voted to cover up to $300.00 a month to euthanize animals taken in from the parish who pose a “threat to the population”. The funds will be taken out of Health Unit funding.
Police Juror, Bryan Vidrine, brought up of the use of drones in our area and asked that a public hearing has been set to open discussions about regulating them. That hearing is set for June 6th at 4:30 p.m.
There will also be a public hearing on June 6th at 4:45 to discuss reducing the speed limits on Gautreaux Lane, CDF Road and Redlick Road