Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue reports the following information and will update when more information is available.
On Tuesday December 23,2014 At approximately 10:30 pm Officers responded to a report of a shooting in the 600 block of North Chataignier. Upon arrival officers found a male with a gunshot wound in the upper part of his leg. The victim was transported by Acadian Ambulance for medical treatment and later released. Chief Lartigue stated that they have one suspect in custody and the investigation is ongoing.
If you have any information regarding this or any other illegal activity, you are asked to call the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313. Your call will remain anonymous.
CHRISTMAS LIGHTING CONTEST WINNERS
DECEMBER 22, 2014
According to the Magnolia Garden Club, here are the results of the Christmas Lighting Contest in Ville Platte:
The Overall Christmas Award Winner was given to Dr. and Mrs. Dale Reed at 1568 East Main;
The Christmas Spirit Award Winner for Overall Lighting was awarded to Billy Rich at 304 North Coreil;
The Christmas Spirit Appreciation Award went to the Ludeau Family residence on LaSalle street;
Also the Christmas Spirit award went to the Jay Aswell family residence at 1110 LaSalle street;
The Civic Award winner was La Belle Maison at 523 West Main;
Another Christmas Spirit Award went to the Kermit Miller residence at 210 Pecan Street and the Chris Briley home at 706 West Magnolia Street. Thanks to everyone who participated in the Christmas Lighting contest.
Chief Neal Lartigue reports two arrested for attempted second degree murder.
As a follow up to the December 17th press release which involved the shooting of a man on East Beech Street, Chief Lartigue has stated that two men have been arrested. A warrant of arrest was issued on December 20, 2014 on the following suspects:
Kwan Divinski Anderson 30 of 1930 Marshal Frank Drive, Ville Platte was arrested and charged with attempted second degree murder. Anderson was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and his bond was set at $200,000.00 by Judge John Larry Vidrine. Anderson was later transported to the Evangeline Parish Jail where he remains incarcerated.
Willie A. Jones 23 of 516 Rev. E.D. Alfred Street, Ville Platte was arrested and charged with attempted second degree murder. Jones was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and his bond was set at $200,000.00 by Judge John Larry Vidrine. Jones was later transported to the Evangeline Parish Jail where he remains incarcerated.
Chief Lartigue stated that the case is still under investigation and more arrests are possible. If anyone has any information regarding this case or any other illegal activity, you are asked to call the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313. Your call will remain anonymous.
Police Chief Lawsuit Case Appealed to Court of Appeals
December 19, 2014
The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals will be hearing the lawsuit asking the court to throw out the results of the December 6 election because the Ville Platte Chief of Police does not reside in Ville Platte. Police chief candidates Linton Fontenot and Glenn LeLeux are the plaintiffs against Police Chief Neal Lartigue who was re elected December 6.
A hearing on the lawsuit was heard Thursday afternoon in 13th Judicial District Court with Judge Tom Fuselier presiding. No witnesses were called. The court heard from both attorneys: Walter Clawson representing the plaintiffs and Brent Coreil representing Chief Lartigue.
Judge Fuselier ruled against the plaintiffs saying they waited too long to file their challenge. The law states candidacy challenges must be filed within 7 days after qualifying.
Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel confirmed to KVPI News that an appeal has been filed in his office today. The appeal will be hand delivered to the Appeal’s Court in Lake Charles on Monday. Due to the Christmas holiday break, the case will probably be heard Monday December 29
COURT DISMISSES LAWSUIT AGAINST POLICE CHIEF LARTIGUE
DECEMBER 19, 2014
13th Judicial District Court Judge Thomas Fuselier Thursday dismissed a lawsuit filed by Linton Fontenot and Glenn LeLeux against Ville Platte Chief of Police Neal Lartigue. Fontenot and LeLeux were candidates in the race for Chief of Police in Ville Platte in which incumbent Neal Lartigue won re-election. The lawsuit challenged the residency of Lartigue that he currently resides out of town. Judge Fuselier said the time had expired over challenging the residency requirements of a political candidate. The plaintiffs should have filed the challenge within seven days of the qualifying period. No witnesses were heard. The attorney representing the plaintiffs was Walter Clawson. The attorney representing Neal Lartigue was Brent Coreil.
VILLE PLATTE ROTARY CLUB MEETING
DECEMBER 9, 2014
The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from Leonard Fontenot who spoke on Rotary Foundation and Paul Harris Fellows. A Paul Harris Fellow is a designation given to Rotarians who contribute $1000 to the Rotary Foundation. The Foundation is the giving arm of Rotary International that helps people all around the world. Their main emphasis is the total eradication of Polio around the world. Fontenot explained that the Ville Platte club assists 2 members each year become a Paul Harris fellow by matching half of the cost or $500 to Rotary International.
It was announced that the Sacred Heart Interact Club raised about $300 in their recent fund raiser for Rotary International.
Ville Platte City Council Meeting
December 9, 2014
The Ville Platte City Council held its monthly meeting tonight (Tuesday) at City Hall.
City Hall and the Council Room are beautifully decorated for the holidays. Mayor, Jennifer Vidrine, reported her staff was responsible for the gorgeous Christmas decorating and as of tonight, there are 55 Christmas trees throughout City Hall. She invited everyone to bring the family and come and walk through. Feel free to take pictures for the holidays. It is well worth the trip!
The Mayor was happy to report that November expenditures came in at $189,013.58, and that is down $21,038.37 from the month of October, when expenditures were $210,051.95.
She was also pleased to announce that the Sales Tax Comparison is UP 19.2% from this time last year. The Mayor thanked everyone for shopping locally and especially thanked business owners for having the type of businesses that make people want to stay in our area and shop.
More good news from the meeting…Helping Hands made a donation and presented a check to Mayor Vidrine for the Boys & Girls Club in the amount of $1,000.00; and Reverend Matthew Alfred, Jr. and members of his congregation at the Eastern Seventh District Baptist Association presented the mayor with a donation to the Boys & Girls Club for $1,225.00. City Engineer reports that modified plans have been submitted to the Fire Marshall’s office in hopes that they will be able to open the Boys & Girls Club soon.
Councilman, Taranza Arvie, was recognized for his 8 years on the council and his service to the people of his district and Ville Platte. Councilman Arvie commented saying “I never considered myself a politician, only a public servant. I will continue to work in the community, and I thank you for allowing me to serve.”
The council approved a resolution to approach the Evangeline Parish School Board about “studying and exploring” having a French Immersion program put into our schools. The mayor reported they have been working with Codofil to help promote French Immersion in Ville Platte. She said “We are doing this to help keep our French culture going.”
Also, the council voted to approve a $50,000 application for a LGAP grant to move forward with the Master Plan at the Northside Civic Center. This grant would be used for basketball courts and then they will move onto other aspects such as walking trail, water park splash pad and playground equipment. They should know something about the approval sometime around the beginning of the legislative session.
It was announced that the new Mayor Pro-Temp will now be Councilman, Jerry Joseph.
The council approved the hiring of two full-time and two part-time police officers for the Ville Platte City Police Department. They also approved the painting of a new mural inside the MLK Center reflecting black history makers. They hope to have the mural finished by February, which is Black History Month.
Phase II of the Water Project is finishing up. They are currently “killing old lines that are still leaking”, and dressing up areas from earlier projects.
The Mayor announced there will be an Ethics meeting on Monday, December 15th at 10:00 a.m. City Hall will be closed from 9:30 a.m. until Noon so employees can attend. The mayor invites any governmental employee in the parish to attend and reminds employees ethics training is mandatory every year. You can contact City Hall for more information.
The Mayor said on behalf of herself and the City Council, “Merry Christmas, and we hope you all pass a good time!”
EVANGELINE PARISH POLICE JURY MEETING
DECEMBER 9, 2014
The Evangeline Parish Police Jury today (Tuesday) held their December meeting at the courthouse and it was conducted in the French language. There was a standing room only crowd of VIP’s, Public Officials and special guests watched as Police Juror Eric Soileau conducted the meeting. KVPI’s Jim Soileau led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance while Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel offered the opening prayer. The entire meeting was broadcast live over KVPI 1050 AM.
Former Secretary Treasurer Wilbert Ardoin recognized guests include: former Secretary Treasurer Doug Deville, Turkey Creek Mayor Heather Cloud, Assessor Dirk Deville, City Marshal Rondl Doucet, Library Director Mary Foster Galosso, Chamber Director Camille Fontenot, City Judge Elect Greg Vidrine, Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine, former school board member J.D. Soileau, Ville Platte Police Chief Neil lartigue, State Rep. Bernard LeBas, State Senator Eric Lafleur and District Court Judge Elect Chuck West.
Gilbert “Winky” Aucoin , who spearheaded the Folk Roots Festival at Chicot Park for the past several years, announced that he and a group of young musicians are forming a new cultural organization. The aim of the group is to have a yearly festival at Chicot Park in April something similar to what Folk Roots was doing. If the group is successful, they plan to help fund a French Immersion program and to support Cajun and Creole music in Evangeline Parish.
Charles Larocque, Director of Codofil commended the police jury in their efforts to have an annual all French meeting. “You appreciate the value of our heritage. We must recover our language. We want to encourage our young people to stay here in Evangeline Parish and South Louisiana and not move to Houston, Atlanta and other major cities out of state,” he said. He announced that Codofil will have an office in Ville Platte at City Hall.
The police jury approved a resolution offered by State Senator Eric Lafleur requesting the Evangeline Parish School Board to consider implementing a French immersion school. Lafleur said Evangeline Parish, despite having the largest bi-lingual population in the state , is the only parish in Acadiana without a French immersion school.
The police jury:
--approved applying for a $100,000 grant in Community Development Block funds to provide additional security measures at the courthouse and the police jury offices.
--appointed Gerald Duplechain to replace Wade Riley on the Parish Library board and appointed Glen Holden to replace Johnny Deshotel on the Industrial Development Board;
--received a report from Secretary Treasurer Donald Bergeron that sales Tax collections increased 9.4 percent to $313,000 for November.
KVPI Names News Director
December 8, 2014
KVPI General Manager Mark Layne announced today that Stephanie Ware has been named as News Director for KVPI AM and FM.
Layne announced that Ware has been covering all of the governmental meetings for both radio stations for the past three months. In addition, she has been doing interviews with news makers and covered KVPI election returns.
“We’re proud of her talents in such a short time with us and we felt it was time to give her the recognition she has earned by naming her News Director for both KVPI AM and FM”, said Layne.
December 6, 2014
Well, the elections are finally over and the voters once again have spoken. Before we get to the results here locally, we would like to thank everyone who got out and voted in the primary and run-off elections.
Stephanie Ware and Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court, Randy Deshotel covered the elections tonight and here are the final results:
Bill Cassidy defeated Incumbent, Mary Landrieu, by receiving 6,336 votes in our Parish to Ms. Landrieu’s 4,101 votes
City Court Judge for the City of Ville Platte – Gregory Vidrine won with 2,956 votes over Betsy Jackson with 2,476 votes
Chief of Police for the City of Ville Platte – Incumbent, Neil Lartigue kept his position by receiving 1,688 votes over Linton Fontenot’s 1,246 votes
Chief of Police for the Town of Mamou – Robert McGee won with 580 votes to Katina Richard with 496 votes
Chief of Police for the Village of Turkey Creek – Robert Glenn Leggett won with 109 votes to Louis Dale Marcantel with 66 votes
Alderman District 3 for the Town of Mamou – Charles Reed won with 129 votes over Derryl T. Glyn Brunet with 127 votes
Alderman District E for the City of Ville Platte – Incumbent, Donald Sam won with 310 votes over Jerry Botley with 249 votes
Alderman District F for the City of Ville Platte – Bryant Riggs won with 282 votes over Shounda Smith Jack with 214 votes
Town of Basille – Millage Renewal for another 10 years – 1456 Yes’s and 88 voting against
The Duralde Gravity Drainage District No. 4 8.17 millage tax renewal passing with 87 votes for and 28 votes against it.
Thanks going out to Clerk of Court, Randy Deshotel and the entire staff in his office, as well as all of the commissioners who worked during this election year.
APPEALS COURT ORDERS NEW ELECTION FOR TURKEY CREEK MAYOR
DECEMBER 3, 2014
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled today in the law suit filed by Turkey Creek Mayor Heather Miley Cloud who lost in the November Primary election by four votes to her opponent Bert Keith Campbell. She had filed a lawsuit claiming fraud was involved in the election and she had documents from at least four residents who said they were paid to vote for Campbell. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals today reversed the trial court’s judgment dismissing the lawsuit. The Appeals Court also strikes the four illegal votes declaring a tie between the two candidates and ordered the trial court judge, Judge Joel Davis of Allen Parish, to set a new election date to be held. The Appeals Court Judges who ruled in the matter were Sylvia Cooks, Billy Ezell and Phyllis Keaty. The attorneys for Mayor Cloud are Anne Watson and Elbert Guillory of Opelousas while the attorneys for Campbell are Wendel Fuselier of Ville Platte.and Ray Rush of Oakdale.
Food for Families Food Drive A Success
December 3, 2014
Despite a cold wind blowing for most of the morning hours but improving weather conditions in the afternoon, the 2014 Food For Families Food Drive conducted by KLFY TV 10 and Food Net was a success throughout the Acadiana drop off points including Evangeline Parish. Here in Evangeline Parish the drop off points were the Civic Center Pavillion in Ville Platte and in Mamou at St. Ann Church parking Lot. On behalf of everyone at Christian Care and Center, thank you for your food and monetary donations. About 5 tons of food and over $1500 in monetary donations was collected in Ville Platte which is slightly less than last year. However Care and Share Center officials are expecting additional donations today for those who did not have the opportunity.
VILLE PLATTE ROTARY CLUB HEARS REPRESENTATIVES FROM LIGHTHOUSE MINISTRY
DECEMBER 2, 2014
The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from Mike Fontenot and Johnny Carrier of the Opelousas Lighthouse Ministry, a faith based 32 bed homeless shelter for men. Fontenot said 90 percent of the men that come to the shelter are referred from hospitals, prisons, additions or job loss. The facility is structured and has a strict set of rules. All men are required to do some of job while they reside at the shelter. The average length of stay ranges from 2-4 months. The goal is to return the men to become self sustaining. The facility includes a working garden and green house , computers and transportation support. The two were special guests of Rotarian Dr. Ted Ardoin.
Rotarians were reminded that the Rotary Wheel and Interact Club students will be participating in the Chamber of Commerce Christmas parade this Sunday at 5;30pm.
The annual Rotary Christmas social is planned for next Tuesday Dec. 9 at 6:00pm at Nicks on Main.
VILLE PLATTE ROTARY CLUB MEETING
NOVEMBER 25, 2014
The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from Ville Platte Housing Executive Director Grant Soileau. He reported the Housing Authority was first established in the early 50’s with a five member board selected by the mayor. The first grant developed 90 housing units: 70 on North Dupre and 20 on South Dupre streets. The Housing Authority employs 8 full time employees and 4 part time workers. The federal agency that oversees housing authorities grades the local authorities on management, financing and maintenence. The Ville Platte agency currently has a 93 grade which is considered high performer. The Housing Authority today oversees 218 rental units. There are 578 people living in the units at the present time. Soileau says he expects more and more cuts from the federal government. Soileau was the special guest of Rotarian Peggy Tate.
In other business, the Club:
--was notified that the annual Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade will roll down main street Sunday Dec. 7 at 5:30. The Coca Cola Christmas truck will run in the parade. Also the Ville Platte Rotary wheel will be displayed in the parade;
--received news that the annual Rotary Club Christmas social will be held Dec. 9 at 6;00pm at Nicks on Main
KVPI Sports Update
KVPI Sports will be airing the Basile High-LaSalle High game Friday night at 7:00pm live from Basile over Classic Hits 92.5 and on the web at oldies925.com with KVPI Sports Announcer Tracey Jagneaux. Our game coverage will begin with the pre game at 6:45 and the S.E.C. report kicks off at 6:30pm. No LSu game this weekend. Their next game which he final game of the regular season: LSU will play Texas A and M Thanksgiving night and we plan to carry the game Sunday night.
VILLE PLATTE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
NOVEMBER 19, 2014
The Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce today (Wednesday) heard from Rhonda and Frank Butler with Gobble Gully Paintball in Turkey Creek. Rhonda Butler told chamber members that the park has only been open for four months and the turnout has been overwhelming with visitors from a 70-80 mile radius. They are the first paintball facility in the country using low impact paint ball guns. The owners are looking at expanding the facility since they are only using five of the 20 acres they own. Packages start at $29 on up and they accommodate up to 300 people per day. They are open Friday and Saturdays and Sunday afternoons.
In other action, Dr. William “Tojo” Ward said he was pleased to announce that after three years of litigation against Pine Prairie Energy, the lawsuit has been thrown out. He said “We are ready to move forward and remove the dark cloud over economic development in Evangeline Parish”. He announced that Pine Prairie Energy has donated $10,000 while Walmart has donated $500 to the Industrial Development Board.
In other business, Chamber Executive Director Camille Fontenot reported that the Chamber Christmas social is scheduled for December 4 at the Randy Deshotel home on Three Sisters road;
The annual Chamber of Commerce Christmas parade is planned for December 7 at 5:30 with line up at Citizens Bank. She reminded those wishing to enter a unit in the parade they must have it lighted. No four wheelers will be permitted. The Coca Cola Santa Claus truck will be riding in the parade.
VILLE PLATTE ROTARY CLUB MEETING
NOVEMBER 18, 2014
The Rotary Club of Ville Platte heard from Ginger LeCompte and Susan Fisher with St. Landry-Evangeline United Way. They discussed the various programs and services offered to groups in Evangeline and St. Landry Parishes. It was announced that the Harlem Ambassadors basketball team will be coming into Ville Platte for an assembly with 4th, 5th and 6th grade school students on Feb. 11 and playing a game against a team being selected by Mayor Jennifer Vidrine. United Way assists in areas of education, income , Health and Disaster Relief. They were the special guests of Rotarian Mark Sullentrop.
Club President David Mayeaux announced that the annual Rotary Club Christmas social will be held Dec. 9 at Nicks on Main.
Three new members have applied to join the group: Steve Williams with Union Tank and Attorneys Nick Monier and Chris Ludeau.
The club members heard Mayeaux:
--announce that distribution boxes prepared by the Sacred Heart Interact Club need to be displayed in club member’s places of business to get donations to the Rotary Foundation to help eradicate polio from around the world;
--explain that the new Rotary Club Face Book page is up and running to help build awareness of the local club.
November 17, 2014
A lawsuit was dismissed in 13th Judicial District Court this morning challenging the election outcome in the Turkey Creek mayor’s race. Turkey Creek Mayor Heather Miley Cloud filed the suit challenging the election results that shows that Bert Keith Campbell won by four votes, 110-106 votes. The suit challenged the results since the mayor had affidavits of four voters who testified that they sold their votes for $15.
The court was nearly packed while Judge Joel Davis of Allen Parish dismissed the lawsuit. Judge Davis met with all of the attorneys on both sides in a pre trial conference. He cited a supreme court decision, “Savage vs. Edwards” that stated that district court judges should not interfere or change the results of an election. The plaintiffs are appealing the decision to the Third Circuit. The higher court can either sustain the lower court ruling and throw out the lawsuit or reverse the court ruling and remand the case back to the court for a full hearing and trial.
Mayor Cloud’s attorneys included Anne Watson and Elbert Guillory while Campbell’s attorneys included Ray Rush, Wendell and Jacob Fuselier.
TURKEY CREEK MAYOR’S RACE RESULTS BEING CONTESTED IN LAWSUIT
NOVEMBER 13, 2014
A lawsuit has been filed in 13th District Court on Wednesday by Turkey Creek Mayor Heather Miley Cloud, contesting the results of the November 4 election. KVPI News obtained a copy of the lawsuit today at the Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court’s office.
The election results showed that her opponent Bert Keith Campbell received 110 votes and incumbent Mayor Heather Cloud received 106 votes, a difference of four votes. Cloud is suing her opponent Bert Keith Campbell on fraud charges. Also named in the lawsuit was Secretary of State Tom Shedler.
The suit included four affidavits of voters who testify that they sold their votes to vote for defendant Bert Keith Campbell in which they were given $15 per vote along with a piece of paper with Campbell’s voting number. In addition, one of the voters was promised to lead the Turkey Creek Christmas parade and another was promised a new bicycle. All four voters testified that otherwise they would have voted for Mayor Cloud
The lawsuit is asking the court that four of the votes for Campbell were illegal and fraudulent and add those four votes to the plaintiff’s total. By adding those four votes, the court should declare the plaintiff, Heather Cloud , the winner of the election for the position of Mayor in Turkey Creek.
The attorneys for Mayor Cloud are Anne Watson and Elbert Guillory of Opelousas. The court hearing is set for 9:00am Monday in Courtroom B before a judge from out of the parish. Both local district court judges have recuse themselves to avoid the appearance of impropriety.
KVPI contacted Bert Campbell regarding the lawsuit. He commented "As far as I am concerned, there was no vote buying. I know nothing of this and I beat Ms. Cloud because I went out and signed up 30 new registered voters." He denies the allegations and said " I never offered anyone money for a vote. I worked hard for two months and that is how I won." Mr. Campbell has not seen the lawsuit as of this afternoon.
November 10, 2014
The Evangeline Parish Police Jury held its monthly meeting tonight (Monday) in the courthouse.
Police Jury President, Ryan Arduino, announced the formation of a Courthouse Emergency Committee being formed. Along with Liz Hill, others will be asked to join the committee. The jury will be looking at finding a representative from the Police Department, Sheriff’s office, Fire Department as well as someone from DHH. The committee will discuss and make plans of what to do when the courthouse is in an emergency situation.
The Jury voted to schedule the next meeting in “French” to be held on Tuesday, December 9th at 2:00 p.m. Also, there will be a public hearing at 5:15 on December 29th followed by a special meeting at 5:30 to amend the 2014 budgets and adopt the 2015 budgets.
Public Works Director, Chester Granger, reported that the drainage crews have been in Chatagnier but were stopped due to an equipment breakdown. A hydraulic pump had to be replaced before work could continue.
Parish Engineer, Ronnie Landreneau, reported that the long awaited Morgan Road project will begin. The pipe is on the site and other materials have been ordered. He expects it to be complete within a couple of weeks.
He also said that the Crooked Creek pavilion is finished and they now need to find a project there to use the excess $9,000.00. They will be exploring that.
Secretary-Treasurer, Donald Bergeron, announced the “Budget Date” for November 20th at 8:00 a.m. and encouraged anyone to come and attend. He also announced that the 2% collections were $271,479.04, which was 2.66% down from last year which he said was “not too bad.”
And, the jury voted to appoint Bryan Vidrine to the Board of the Acadian Resource and Conservation Council.