United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that a Texas man was sentenced Tuesday to more than eight and a half years in prison for distribution of methamphetamine.
David Wayne Carlisle, 41, of Marshall, Texas, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote on one count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. He was also sentenced to five years of supervised release. According to the December 21, 2016 guilty plea, law enforcement agents arrested Carlisle at a hotel in Bossier City on February 5, 2016. A source indicated that Carlisle would be in town that day to sell illegal narcotics. Carlisle and his hotel room were searched, and agents found more than 5 grams of methamphetamine and $43,305 in cash.
The DEA and the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon B. Brown prosecuted the case.
Ville Platte Mayor, Jennifer Vidrine, has reported the repair of a busted water pipe affecting part of Ville Platte. Although the repair is complete, a boil advisory has been issued for residences and businesses on the following streets:
Please continue to boil your water until you are notified the advisory is lifted.
The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from LSU-Eunice Chancellor Dr. Kimberly Russell. Dr. Russell was presented a check for $5,000 for the LSU-Eunice scholarship fund from Rotarian Dr. Willie Buller on behalf of the local rotary club. The funds were raised by the club’s annual Super Bowl football pool. The club has been donating to the scholarship fund for the past 22 years.
Dr. Russell was accompanied by Dr. Renee Robicheaux, Dr. Madeline Landry and Dr. John Hamlin from LSU Eunice.
She thanked the rotary club for their generosity and for helping parish students gain access to higher education.
Dr. Russell said “exciting things are going on at LSU Eunice. Fall enrollment is up 16 percent and the Spring enrollment of 2936 is up 20 percent. The school is doing very well in such courses as health sciences. She asked club members to encourage college bound students to stay home by attending LSU-Eunice.
In other news, it was announced that there will be no rotary club meeting next Tuesday Feb. 28 for the Mardi Gras holiday.
HERE IS THE COMPLETE SCHEDULE OF EVENTS OUTSIDE IN MAMOU AND INDOOR AT FRED’S LOUNGE
Children’s Mardi Gras Run starts this Sunday, February 19th at the Mamou Skating Rink. The children will leave at 8:00 a.m. and will return around 1:00 or 2:00 p.m. under the red light on 6th Street.
MARDI GRAS WEEKEND
Saturday, February 25th (corner of Sixth and Chesnut)
10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. - D.J. Rob playing Cajun music
1:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. - Ferrell Manuel and Wild Rice Band
Monday, February 27th (traffic light at Sixth and Main Street)
5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. – D.J. Rob playing Cajun music
8:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. – Geno Delafosse and French Rockin’ Boggie
(North end of Sixth Street)
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. – D.J. music sponsored by No Limit Trail Rider’s Association
7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. – J. Paul and The Zydeco Nu Breeds
Fat Tuesday – Mardi Gras Day, February 28th
The Mardi Gras riders will leave the Mamou American Legion Post Home around 8:00 a.m. to make their annual run through the country side. They will return around 3:00 p.m. in a procession down 6th Street
(11:00 a.m. at the traffic light until the riders return) – Jamie Berzas and Cajun Tradition
(North end of 6th Street)
9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – D.J. music
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Keith Frank and his Zydeco band
Saturday, February 25th
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. - Troy LeJeune and Cajun Revue
Monday, February 27th
9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Don Fontenot and the Kinder Playboys
2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. – Ray Abshire and Friends
7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. – Jamie Berzas and Cajun Tradition
Tuesday, February 28th – Mardi Gras Day
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Troy LeJeune and Cajun Revue
According to the Ville Platte Police Department, the following individuals have been recently arrested and booked into the Ville Platte City Jail:
Ernesto Perez, age 55 of Port Barre – arrested for Driving Under Suspension and out on a $500.00 bond;
Jamie Franques, age 31 of David Street – arrested for Theft by Shoplifting and currently incarcerated with a $500.00 bond;
Shannon Beverly, age 24 of 9th Street, Mamou – arrested for Criminal Mischief and currently incarcerated with a $200.00 bond;
Kevin Rider, age 35 of Prairie Dale – arrested for Driving Under Suspension and out on a $500.00 bond; and
Latasha Pleasant of Dr. Carver – arrested for Criminal Mischief and currently incarcerated with a $200.00 bond.
The Evangeline Parish School Board held its bi-monthly meeting Wednesday night in the School Board Media Center.
School Board CFO, Amy Lafleur, reported the good news that sales tax collection is up by $90,977.69 from this time last year. Year to date total, the Parish is still up by $86,803.43.
School Board Superintendent, Darwan Lazard, announced there will be a Technology Fair at Vidrine Elementary on Saturday 18th at 8:30 a.m. and invited teachers, school administrators and the Board to attend.
Lazard thanked the Board for their support with holding the Student of the Year Gala and said it was great to honor them in such a great way. He told Board members that we “must keep academics a priority.”
He also congratulated the Special Education Department for applying for and receiving a $155,310.00 grant that will be used for specific purposes that will offset the cost of some by the Board and the General Fund.
Lastly, Lazard said he attended the very successful College and Career Readiness Night with the Principal and staff at Mamou High School. Information is given to parents and staff to help them make the choice of which “path” they will be taking in school. He said many 8th graders were in attendance who will be going into the pathway diploma system.
Lazard said “This is just one example of the many great things going on at our campuses.”
The Ville Platte City Council and Mayor, Jennifer Vidrine held its February meeting Wednesday night at Ville Platte City Hall. The meeting was moved to Wednesday due to the Valentine’s Day holiday.
Out for display and presented by Mayor Vidrine were twenty-five new body cameras purchased by the City for use by the Ville Platte Police Department. The Mayor stated the cameras are top of the line and used in big cities like Chicago. The city also purchased the server that works with the cameras. She stated the Police Chief, Neal Lartigue is working to establish protocol about the camera use by officers. Officers will be properly trained and they will all be required to wear one on every shift, 24/7. The footage on the cameras cannot be erased and she stated it’s a “win-win for everyone. It keeps everyone honest.” Ville Platte Police have used body cameras for a long time, and this now expands their use.
J.D. Soileau and Greg Fontenot requested and were granted permission by the Council to close Magnolia, Calcasieu and Court Streets at Courthouse Square March 9, 10 and 11 so those with Camp Beauregard can come and re-paint the helicopter in front of the courthouse. Last time they took it away to paint it; however, this year they will be doing it onsite. Expect to see barricades in that area during that time. Area businesses will be able to park in the back and utilize sidewalks to access their businesses. Ville Platte Police will be doing extra patrolling in that area while the project is underway.
Mayor Vidrine announced on February 24th, there will be a dedication of the Black History Month mural at the MLK Center at 11:00 a.m. for those families who received a letter from the City. She urges all who received a letter to R.S.V.P. as soon as possible.
Also, the Boucherie and Smoked Meat Cook-Off to benefit the Boys & Girls Club is scheduled for February 25th at the Northside Civic Center. Admission is $5.00 and there will be LIVE music, kids’ activities, & tons of food.
The Mayor stated the Council will be attending the National League of Cities Conference and will be laying roses in Arlington Cemetery where soldiers from Evangeline Parish are laid to rest.
The next City Council meeting will be held on March 21st.
Members of the Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce met Wednesday for their monthly meeting. President, Dr. Tojo Ward, introduced the guest speaker, Gilbert “Winkie” Aucoin who brought good news to the group. He announced through a letter from Robert L. Broussard, President of Louisiana Folk Roots, that the organization has missed Chicot and will be returning to the area to partner with the Grand Hoorah Festival in 2017. Winkie announced there is a new Executive Director at Louisiana Folk Roots by the name of Glenn Fields. He is strongly associated with the Black Pot Festival, has vast experience with festivals and a “very good drummer”. The letter stated “Louisiana Folk Roots remains committed to its mission to nurture, share and perpetuate Louisiana’s traditional Cajun and Creole cultural expressions and heritage through performances and educational activities. We believe that Evangeline Parish is a valuable asset to and a vital part of our ability to fulfill our mission.”
The teaching part of the Grand Hoorah will be held at Vermilionville in Lafayette this year. The festival itself will take place at Chicot State Park April 21st and 22nd.
Aucoin also announced that Prairie Heritage, Inc. who puts on the festival, will be awarding two scholarships and will continue to grow that program.
The next Chamber meeting will take place on Wednesday, March 15th at 12:00 Noon.
United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that a St. Landry woman was sentenced Monday to 57 months in prison for stealing more than $116,000 from an Opelousas-based medical imaging business.
Misty Johnson, 40, of St. Landry, La., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Donald E. Walter on one count each of wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and theft of mail. She was also ordered to pay $258,128.78 restitution. According to the July 12, 2016 guilty plea, Johnson worked as an office manager for an Opelousas medical imaging services business from January 2009 to July 2014. She was responsible for day-to-day financial operations including billing, payroll and managing accounts payable and receivable. Her responsibilities included access to the company’s financial information and mail. She also had signatory authority on business accounts and was provided a company credit card for making purchases. In order to further the scheme, she would write checks to herself or to cash, issue herself additional paychecks and make unauthorized purchases on the company credit card. She would then alter the company’s account records to look as though she was properly paying the company’s bills. Johnson also stole company mail including past-due bills and brought them to her home. Johnson’s theft totaled $258,128.78.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dominic Rossetti and John Luke Walker prosecuted the case.
On February 7th 2017, a victim was exiting his vehicle in the 700 block Southwest Railroad in Ville Platte. As he exited his vehicle three black male subjects walked up to him and ask him for a cigarette. One of the subjects then pulled a gun and demanded his cigarettes, keys and wallet. The three subjects then fled on foot.
During the investigation one of the suspects, Daniel McThomas, age 24 of E. Cotton Street was charged with Armed Robbery and Theft and booked into the Ville Platte City Jail. His bond was set at $252,000 by Judge Chuck West.
Chief Neal Lartigue is asking anyone with information on this crime please contact the Ville Platte Police Department 337-363-1313 all callers will remain anonymous
According to Ville Platte Police, the following individuals have recently been arrested and booked on the following charges:
Skaundrey Herbert, age 23 of Demoruelle Street – charged with Public Intimidation and bond was set at $25,000 by Judge Chuck West;
Kwan D. Anderson, 32 of Rozas Street – charged with Obscenity and bond was set at $25,000 by Judge Chuck West; and
Daniel McThomas, 24 of E. Cotton Street – charged with Armed Robbery and Theft. Bond was set at $252,000 by Judge Chuck West.
Jill Stevens spoke at Ville Platte Rotary Club meeting
February 14, 2017
The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from Jill Stevens, an architect during their weekly club meeting.
Stevens, a native of Vidrine, graduated from Vidrine High School and got her master’s degree from LSU. She and her husband moved back to Ville Platte a year ago and they are located next to Miles Briley Allstate Insurance.
She explained in detail the differences between architects, draftsmen and engineers. She has eight years of experience in interior design. She specializes and loves doing residential projects even though she can do commercial projects.
In most construction jobs, the architect is the team leader and coordinates the job.
A draftsman can get their degree in two years and generally works with an engineer. They can draw up home plans.
She stated that engineers come in various specialties: mechanical, electrical, structural, geo technical and civil .
Jill Stevens was the special guest of Rotarian Nicole Fruge.
It was announced that officials from LSU-E will be the special guests at next week’s rotary club meeting.
According to Police Chief, Neal Lartigue the following individuals have recently been arrested and booked into the City Jail:
Ricky Fontenot, age 47 of East Pine – arrested for Disturbing the Peace by Drunkenness and currently incarcerated with a $200.00 bond;
Paul Bertrand, age 33 of MLK Drive – arrested for Simple Possession of Marijuana and Disturbing the Peace and currently incarcerated with a $2,700.00 bond;
Jessica Williams, age 23 of N. Coreil – arrested for Disturbing the Peace by Fighting and out on a $200.00 bond;
Martha Thomas, age 53 of W. Desota – arrested for Disturbing the Peace by Fighting and out on a $200.00 bond;
Dewayne West, age 44 of Rozas Street – arrested for No Reflective Gear/Prohibited Acts/Flight and Obstruction and currently incarcerated with a $3,650.00 bond;
Joseph Fontenot, age 19 of Tate Street – arrested for Disturbing the Peace by Fighting and out on a $200.00 bond;
Ebony Skinner, age 26 of Young Street – arrested for Simple Battery and out on a $1,000.00 bond;
Ronald Durgin, age 39 of Pine Point - arrested for Simple Battery and out on a $1,000.00 bond;
Michael Jones, age 53 of N. Latour – arrested for Simple Battery and out on a $1,000.00 bond;
Danielle Augustine, age 30 of SW RR – arrested for Disturbing the Peace by Fighting and out on a $200.00 bond; and
Rodriquez Fontenot, age 37 of Wilson – arrested for Simple Battery and out on a $1,000.00 bond.
Ville Platte Rotary Club members today (Tuesday) heard from one of its newest members, Annie Slaven Fruge. Annie is the daughter of Rotarian Vic Slaven.
Annie is a 2001 graduate of Sacred Heart and graduated with a B.S. degree from LSU in Baton Rouge with a 3.95 grade point average. She worked as Spa director at Planet Beach in Lafayette. Seven years later in 2013, she accepted a position with Kolder, Champagne, Slaven and Company Wealth Advisors as they expanded in the financial services department. She is employed as a financial advisor and an asset management advisor working with clients in investments and life insurance.
In her spare time, Annie volunteers her time in community theatre in Opelousas and in animal rescue here in Ville Platte and in Sunset. She is married and they are the parents of a young child.
In other rotary news:
--heard from Dr.Willie Buller announced the winners in the benefit Super Bowl football pool for the benefit of the LSU Eunice scholarship fund;
--received news that the local club will be funding the “Choices” program again this year in parish schools to encourage students to stay in school an make informed choices about their future;
--and was notified that the Sacred Heart Interact club will be represented at the District 6200 Interact assembly in Lafayette March 22 and 23.
On Sunday, January 29th, KVPI News Director, Stephanie Ware, was provided with a letter signed by Resident, Arthur Sampson wherein he announced a Town Hall Meeting being held on Thursday, February 9, 2017 at the Northside Civic Center. In his letter he stated that representatives from the Mayor of Ville Platte, Chief of Ville Platte, Evangeline Parish Sheriff, Evangeline Parish District Attorney, Evangeline Parish Judges, Ville Platte City Judge, FBI, and the US Justice Department Lafayette Regional/US Justice Department Civil Rights Division Washington D.C. would be at the meeting.
After putting the meeting on the KVPI Community Calendar (as we do for all announced meetings), Stephanie Ware spoke with District Attorney, Trent Brignac, who asked if we had been in receipt of a letter about a meeting, he released the following statement:
On Sunday, February 5, 2017, the Ville Platte Gazette published a notification of a “Town Hall Meeting for Justice” which was to supposedly take place Thursday, February 9, 2017. The meeting was even the subject of the “Poll Question” for the upcoming week. KVPI also publicized this meeting.
The problem is that at least five (5) of the elected officials (and/or offices) named as attending the meeting had never been invited to the meeting and knew absolutely nothing about the meeting and in fact, were completely unaware that there was even talk of a meeting. These elected officials include myself (District Attorney, Trent Brignac), the two (2) District Judges, Judge Gary Ortego and Judge Chuck West, Ville Platte City Court Judge Gregory Vidrine and Sheriff Eddie Soileau.
How can any of us commit to a meeting that we are not aware of and have not been invited to attend?
More significantly, it concerns me that misleading the public about such a meeting could have a negative effect on the very issue the meeting is intended to address. For example, if members of the public attend based upon misinformation and public officials are not present because they have not been invited, what effect does this have on public trust and confidence and who’s fault is it?
Factually, inaccurate statements by the media in general (by no means only the Ville Platte Gazette and KVPI) do not help unite the community and its public officials. By no means does this suggest the announcement of the meeting was not well intended, we all make mistakes.
With the above said, it’s my sincere intention that we move forward into this new year with a positive attitude and a willingness to work together to communicate with each other for the benefit of everyone in Evangeline Parish.
KVPI News has also spoken with Mayor Jennifer Vidrine and she stated that she had “confirmed” with others that there was actually going to be a meeting. She informed the City Counsel, and told Mr. Sampson that judges could not attend the meeting. Vidrine denied confirming to Mr. Sampson that she had confirmed the attendance of the referenced entities. She said she spoke with District Attorney, Trent Brignac, just yesterday to inform him of the meeting. She also stated that she has not been able to reach the Sheriff to inform him and will be contacting Public Defender, Sonny Chapman. Vidrine said her calls were simply to inform these entities of the meeting.
KVPI News spoke with Arthur Sampson after the Press Release was received and he said “I may just cancel the darn meeting.” However, we have no confirmation of that happening at this time.
The Evangeline Parish Police Jury held its February meeting Monday night in the Parish Courthouse. The room was filled with residents who had questions regarding cemetery repairs due to the floods in 2016. Ryan Seidemann, Chief, Lands and Natural Resource Section, Civil Division Office of Jeff Landry’s office spoke to the crowd and explained the process of receiving and disbursing the funds from FEMA to have the gravesites repaired. He said from the flooding last summer, 72 cemeteries and approximately 800 graves were affected.
Here locally, there have been questions about the St. Matthews Church Cemetery. Seidemann noted that a church or business cannot apply for assistance with a cemetery from the federal government. He also noted that by FEMA’s rules one individual can only have so many gravesites to be in charge of. In order to help the church get the funding they used a “Good Samaritan” system. This allows other individuals to apply for the funds from FEMA and be in charge of using that money to ensure the gravesite(s) is repaired. There have recently been disputes between residents with family members buried in the cemetery and individuals who are acting a “Good Samaritans”. Residents questioned why the repairs have not been completed and they questioned where the money is. Resident, Arthur Sampson, who is acting as a Good Samaritan, told the crowd and Seidemann that he was trying to do what the family wanted and he said they wanted to use a different contractor then those other residents repairing the sites. Seidemann stated he can do that as long as that contractor is licensed, bonded and insured. It must also have the correct equipment to perform the services. He stated the church must approve the contractor because it is the land owner. Many residents want him to use the same contractor so the work can be completed.
When speaking of the checks and where they are located, Seidemann stated that their office knows where the money is and they have not found any wrong doing. He did, however, state that if they find that anyone has used that money for any other purpose, they will be prosecuted because it is not only fraud on a State level, but it is also a federal crime since FEMA issues federal money for the repairs.
Seidemann stated that he was aware that a list of those who received checks was leaked on social media and he warned whoever put it up to take it down because it violates the Federal Privacy Act.
Chester Granger, Public Works Director, addressed the Jury and stated he is having to make adjustments with his budget and they are short due to the lack of complete funding coming in from The Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office.
In some good news, Secretary/Treasurer Donald Bergeron stated that sales tax collections from December that were collected in January were $313,918.45. They will also begin re-collecting the 2% Sales Tax from Union Tank next month. He stated Union Tank was completely on board and fine with paying it.
In not-so-good news, Bergerson reported the Special Services building is in need of new roof which is going to cost the parish $16,000.
Evangeline Parish District Attorney, Trent Brignac, received and accepted the resignation of former Assistant District Attorney, Timmy Fontenot, last week. Fontenot is facing charges from the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board regarding misconduct.
Brignac has told KVPI News he has hired Ville Platte native, Christopher Ludeau to replace Fontenot. Ludeau attended LSU for his undergraduate degree and graduated from law school at LSU in 2012. He currently practices law with another Assistant District Attorney, Marcus Fontenot at the firm of Fontenot & Ludeau, LLC in Ville Platte. Upon speaking with Ludeau he said he has inquired a few times with the D.A. when there were openings in the office. Some of those openings came when Greg Vidrine left after being elected City Court Judge and when Shelly Deville left the office to move to Slidell. He stated when he read about Fontenot leaving he sent a message to the D.A. and stated his interest. He then met with the D.A. who offered him the position.
Ludeau currently practices Personal Injury, Family Law and Real Estate in private practice and does not know what his new case load will be like in the D.A.’s office. There will be a formal swearing-in ceremony next week.
KVPI held a contest for listeners to qualify to win a pair of tickets to this weekend’s Louisiana Championship Wrestling Super Brawl being held in Oakdale. Listeners called in when they heard the cue to call and our drawing was held Thursday from those qualifiers. Congratulations to Kenneth West, Ricky McDaniel, Merilyn Fontenot, Mable Foreman and Mitch Castille. They each picked up a pair of tickets. Keep listening for more chances to win on KVPI!
FEBRUARY 2, 2017
An income tax preparer is urging local residents to be aware there is a new scam involving text messages supposedly coming from the Internal Revenue Service. Annette Johnson, with the C.P.A. firm of Kolder, Champagne, Slaven and Company told KVPI News that one of her clients informed her that she received a text message saying that the IRS had accepted her income tax filing even though Johnson had not filed her return yet. The scam text asked her to go to a website and fill out personal contact information including bank account and social security information. The text message looked authentic. It came ef status tax action.com. Johnson warns residents that the IRS will never call or text tax payers. If you receive such a message or call, please do not give them any information and contact the authorities
Tension was high as the players prepared for the 2017 Boudin Bowl held at Bare Bryant Field in Goyo, Louisiana. The Atlanta Dirtybirds were favored to win the matchup with the New England Minutemen. Ray Ryon, served as Quarterback for the Dirtybirds but was no match for Quarterback Tom Terrific with the Minutemen. The final score of the game was 23 – 13, Minutemen over the Dirtybirds. Hundreds of listeners won spots in the KVPI Football Pool and followed along with the game.
The winners of the 1st quarter were Bill Manuel and Sarah Guillory Green (score was DB 3 – MM 0); 2nd quarter winners were Nicole Soileau and Chris Lejeune (score was DB 6 – MM 10); 3rd quarter winners were Bill Manuel and Sarah Guillory Green (score was DB 13 – MM 10); and 4th quarter winners were Joel Manuel and Shirley Fontenot (score DB 13 – MM 23). Thank you to everyone for participating and thank you to our Sports Announcers, Tracy Jagneaux and Tim Fontenot. We would like to thank our loyal sponsors Teet’s Food Store, Uptown Cakes, Leroy’s Cajun Meats, T-Boy Slaughterhouse, Southwest Beverages, Shop’s Grocery, Café de LaSalle, Paul’s Meat Market, Mikey’s Doughnuts Kajun Chop Chop and KVPI. See you all next year!!