KVPI News has been briefed by Evangeline Parish Director of 911 and the Office of Emergency Preparedness about Tropical Storm Cindy. The storm has now been downgraded and the warnings we were under have been lifted. Here is what you can expect as far as rain potential over the next few days:
FRIDAY – 30-60% chance of rain
SATURDAY – 60-70%
SUNDAY – 50-60%
MONDAY – 30-50%
TUESDAY – 20-30%
WEDNESDAY – 20-40%
Stay tuned to Classic Hits 92.5 for weather updates and any weather events that may arise.
Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce members heard from Rae Gremillion with Volunteers of America during their monthly meeting Wednesday. She explained how Volunteers of America is helping communities in 15 parishes in Louisiana by providing resources to Type 3 Childcare Centers like Kids World in Ville Platte. A Type 3 childcare center is one that is able to accept state and federal funds to assist poverty stricken families with childcare. Volunteers of America focuses on providing the same curriculum, materials, resources and training that other childcare centers have in order to bridge the learning gap. They are dependent on donations from businesses to help be able to provide the materials.
She explained the School Readiness Tax Credit that many people do not know about. If you have a business and you contribute up to $5,000.00 to the America’s Partnership in Child Care program, the State will reimburse your business dollar-to-dollar for your donation. If your business owes taxes, the State will deduct the amount of your donation from amount that you owe. Even if your business does not owe state taxes or if your donation exceeds your tax bill, the State will reimburse you in the form of a refund. Gremillion said their organization has never been able to get help from Evangeline Parish and it only helps the Parish by putting those funds into the Type 3 childcare centers. Bridging the learning gap helps lower crime later in life as well as drop-out rates. Only 54% of children entering kindergarten are academically and developmentally ready to succeed. If your business would like to donate and receive the tax credit, please call 337-234-5715.
It was also announced that the new UL Athletic Director, Bryan Maggard, will be visiting Evangeline Parish on June 27th. Maggard replaced Scott Farmer and will be visiting the KVPI studios, Chamber of Commerce and other area businesses.
Mable Foreman announced the 9th year of the Evangeline Parish Coalition will hold its Health Fair at the Northside Civic Center on July 29th from 10:00 a.m. until they run out of supplies. Parents can come and bring their children to collect school supplies. They will also be provided with lunch.
The next Chamber meeting will be held on July 19, 2017 at Noon
According to Ville Platte Police Chief, Neal Lartigue, the following individuals have recently been arrested and booked into the City Jail:
John Poullard, 24 of MLK Drive – arrested for Simple Burglary and Theft. Bond was set at $20,000 by Judge Gary Ortego;
James Jones, of High School St. – arrested for 1 count of Domestic Abuse Battery, Felony and 2 counts of Domestic Abuse Battery. Jones was denied bond by Judge Gary Ortego;
Steven McKoy, 18 of East Wilson – arrested for transfer and possession of a stolen vehicle. Bond was set at $5,000.00 by Judge Gary Ortego;
Christopher Bellard, 48 of Blake Street – arrested for Simple Criminal Damage to Property. Bellard is currently incarcerated with a $1,400.00 bond;
Michael Brooks, 47 of N. Chataignier – arrested for Simple Battery and is currently incarcerated with a $1,000.00 bond;
Lillian Andrus, 51 of Kordish Lane – arrested for Disobeying a Traffic Light/No License/Expired License Plate and Open Container. Andrus is out on a $500.00 bond;
Jessie Vories, 44 of East Pine – arrested for Wreckless Driving and out on a $200.00 bond;
Davinski Doucet, 34 of East Long – arrested for Domestic Abuse and Driving Under Suspension and out on a $1,500.00 bond;
Warren Green, 46 of Tate Cove – arrested for Hit and Run and incarcerated with a $300.00 bond;
Bryan Weston, 18 of W. Long – arrested for Simple Battery and incarcerated with a $1,000.00 bond; and
Precious Thomas, 26 of N. Latour – arrested for Criminal Damage to Property and out on a $700.00 bond.
As of 10 am, Tropical Storm Cindy has weakened slightly, down to sustained winds of 50 mph. Landfall projections still show a Texas-Louisiana state line location, sometime after midnight tonight, as a weak tropical storm.
We are still expecting 3 to 5 inches of rain, with the possibility of 10 inches if a slow moving rain band moves across your area. For people along and south of the I-10 corridor, this rain could easily cause flooding of streets due to the poor drainage conditions with the tides running so high.
For the tides, the danger is increasing for communities near the coast. Tides are running about 1.5 feet above normal right now, and that could go as high as 3 feet above normal during the high tide late tonight. Vulnerable locations to this above normal tide include Sabine Pass and sections of Highway 87 north of them, low areas near Bridge City, Highway 82 west and east of Holly Beach, downtown Cameron, Pecan Island, Intracoastal City, Delcambre, Cypremort Point, and Burns Point.
Wind-wise, tropical storm force wind gusts will start this morning in south central Louisiana, and move into southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas this afternoon. Central Louisiana and east Texas will see the stronger winds more likely tonight. The entire region should see winds subsiding by midday on Thursday. Due to the wind gusts, expect to see scattered power outages and a few trees fall down.
There is a small tornado threat for southwest, central, and south central Louisiana today and during the day on Thursday as well.
The Ville Platte Rotary Club held its annual installation of officers and banquet Tuesday night at La Veille Banque.
Club members and their spouses and special guests were treated to a country band comprised of Chauncey Guillory and his son, Casey Guillory, Guy Pucheu, Chuck Manuel and Dustin Bailey. Chauncey is the son of the late Swamp Pop singer Clint West and Casey is Clint’s grand son.
Outgoing president Peter Strawitz introduced the members of the board and said he enjoyed his term in office. During the past year, membership remained steady, the club worked closely with the Sacred Heart Interact Club and the club took part in preparing meals at the Grand Hoorah festival and for Rylla students at the Mountain Bayou Boy Scout camp. The club continued providing scholarships to LSU-E and Coreil Campus and to encourage 8th grade public school students to stay in school through the “Choices” program.
Rotary District Official Linwood Broussard officiated in installing the following new slate of officers: President-Wayne Vidrine, President Elect-Richard LeJeune, Vice President Nicole Wenger, Secretary-Susan Saunders, Treasurer-Vic Slaven, Outgoing President Peter Strawitz and board members: Dr. Joey Soileau, Dr. Jerry Veillon, Annette Johnson, Peggy Tate and Larry Lachney.
President Wayne Vidrine announced that his priority will be to work for improvements at Chicot State Park. The park was first created with the assistance of the Ville Platte Rotary Club. Vidrine said he wants to make sure that the flooded out cabins at the park can be replaced so groups such as the Rylla students can use the local facilities.
Nicole Wenger and Darwan Lazard were named as Paul Harris Fellows after making major contributions to the Rotary International Foundation. Leonard Fontenot was honored as being a major donor to Rotary International.
Retiring club secretary Janice Helmer was named Rotarian of the Year. She served in that office for the past six years. Kim LeJeune was honored with a plaque from Larry Lachney for her work as instructor for the Sacred Heart Interact Club. Also, Peter Strawitz received a plaque for his service as president for the past year.
On Monday, June 19, 2017, Officers with the Ville Platte Police Department responded to a report of a disturbance at a local business on Tate Cove Rd. Upon arrival officers learned that one of the subjects involved in the disturbance fled the area in a vehicle that he did not have permission to use. A few minutes later the vehicle and subject were located and stopped on Main Street, by detectives and officers.
Emanuel Malbrew, 48 of 280 Austin Road, Ville Platte was arrested and charged with unauthorized use of a moveable. Malbrew was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and transferred to the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office Jail on a $15,000.00 bond.
If you have any information regarding illegal activity in the community, you are asked to call the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313. Your call will remain anonymous.
KVPI News Director, Stephanie Ware, attended a Budget Meeting held at the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office Thursday morning. In attendance was Sheriff, Eddie Soileau, Dirk Deville, Josh Fontenot and Mike Fontenot. The Sheriff was presented with the Amended Budget for 2016-2017. Amendments to the Original Budget included a significant amount of “back billing” that was never collected, including $483,000 for ‘State Inmate Holding”. With all of the Amendments to the Original Budget, the Amended Surplus adds up to $843,186.00 for 2016-2017. Soileau stated “I have never seen a number like that in nine years.” The Sheriff adopted the Budget then moved on to the proposed Budget for 2017-2018.
The Surplus for the projected year goes down significantly to $155,279.00. Deville and Josh Fontenot explained one of the reasons for that is because they will be spending more money to “meet the needs of the Parish, put more deputies on the roads and meet the needs of each department.” The Expenditures in the new Budget increase from $1,170,817 in 2016-2017 to $1,406,429.00 in 2017-2018 for Salaries and Payroll Taxes. Josh Fontenot stated that they are “cutting the Surplus but providing more for the Parish.”
The Sheriff stopped carrying liability insurance for deputies last year and as reflected in the new Budget, he will continue not to carry it due to the extremely high cost of doing so versus what insurance has ever paid out. When Stephanie asked why they will not carry the insurance, Deville stated that they had previously paid out close to half-a-million dollars for the premiums and insurance had only paid out approximately $18,000 so he said they will be self-funded like the Police Jury.
When Soileau reflected on the Surplus for next year only being $155,279, he stated “I don’t like that number, but we will have to live with it.” He then adopted the Budget for 2017-2018.
Ville Platte Chief of Police, Neal Lartigue is urging business owners to use caution when accepting cash for purchases. A local business had a customer make a purchase with counterfeit money Wednesday morning consisting of nine (9) counterfeit $50.00 bills and one (1) counterfeit $100.00 bill. The suspect got away but police are investigating and reviewing video footage. A similar occurrence took place in Breaux Bridge recently.
If you have anyone try to present any type of counterfeit payment at your business or if you know anyone who is trying to pass counterfeit money throughout the community, you are urged to contact the police department at 363-2124.
The Ville Platte City Council and Mayor, Jennifer Vidrine, held their monthly meeting Tuesday at Ville Platte City Hall.
During the meeting, Councilman Mike Perron questioned Ville Platte Chief of Police, Neal Lartigue as to the status of all of the recent vehicle burglaries. Chief reported that two different groups of juveniles have been traveling throughout Ville Platte, St. Landry Parish and Eunice burglarizing vehicles. KVPI News was told there were seven juveniles in a vehicle when Eunice Police came upon them. Two of the juveniles got away from Police and 5 were arrested. Two others were stopped by Shreveport Police in a stolen vehicle. One of those assailants got away and one adult is being held in Shreveport. Chief Neal Lartigue has a Warrant to bring him back to Evangeline Parish of numerous charges. We were told that the drivers of the vehicles were dropping the juveniles off to walk through neighborhoods and open unlocked vehicles in order to take items left in the vehicles.
Mayor, Jennifer Vidrine reminds the public that you are responsible and will be held accountable for the actions of your children. There is a curfew according to state law. No juveniles are allowed on the streets after 10:00 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on the weekends. She is encouraging the public to report any juveniles you see out after those times to the Ville Platte Police at 363-1313. Parents can and are being charged with ‘Improper Supervision of a Juvenile’ when they allow their children to roam the streets.
In other news: Mayor Vidrine is asking that the Police in Ville Platte start being tougher on those who are loitering outside of businesses. She said “Stop and arrest them. Don’t just nod your head and drive by.” She also stated: “The Exxon Station and The Shell Station are not night clubs. Stop loitering in the parking lots after the clubs close.” Chief Lartigue said his officers have been working very hard and reported there were fifty-seven (57) arrests in Ville Platte last month. He said “for a town of this size, that’s a lot!”
Dana Quebedeaux presented the Amended 2016-2017 Budget to the Council and reported a $269,618 surplus for the City; however, also reported that the Police Department overspent by $480,408.00. She explained that much of those expenses were for medical expenses for inmates in the City Jail. She also reported that the insurance rates for next year have tripled. The Mayor and Chief stated that was due to accidents, lawsuits, etc.
City of Ville Platte Employees will be receiving a 3% pay raise effective on the June 29th payroll;
Nancy Duplechain has been named the new Swamp Pop Museum Curator filling the position of Janie Knighton who has retired;
The Mayor presented a check to Fire Chief Chris Harrison in the amount of $39,249.48 for the Fire Insurance 2% Rebate;
The July City Council meeting will be held on July 18th as the new fiscal year begins; and
Expenditures for the month of May were down by $13,496.14.
VILLE PLATTE ROTARY CLUB MEETING
JUNE 13, 2017
Evangeline Parish County Agent Todd Fontenot was the guest speaker at today’s meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club.
Fontenot said farmers are facing problems with excessive moisture in their fields. “It has been a wet year” he said.
The rice crop was affected because of the early rainfall and again the flooding rains in April and May. He estimates Evangeline Parish rice producers have lost about 1000 acres of rice. Some of the rice crop was under water for as long as 12 days. The crop can take up to 8 days of being under water. The excessive moisture has impacted the rice yields. It is also causing problems with rice diseases.
Some of the soybean crop had to be replanted due to the excessive rains this year. As far as crawfish production, it was a mixed year. Some crawfish producers had a good year. The prices fluctuated and were good through Easter week.
Fontenot also reported that the 4-H program is busy during the summer months with students attending 4-H University at the LSU campus next week. It was formerly known as 4-H Short Course. Also, parish students will be attending 4-H Summer Camp in July at Camp Grant Walker. Participation in the 4-H program is still good in the parish while the numbers have dropped overall statewide.
Rotary club members were reminded that the annual installation banquet is set for Tuesday night June 20 at 6;00pm at La Veille Banque on Main street. There will be no noon meeting next Tuesday.
Tune in Wednesday, June 14th after the Noon Report as Liz Hill and Stephanie Ware discuss the predictions for the 2017 Hurricane Season that began on June 1st and runs through the end of November. They will talk about ways you can prepare yourself, your family, pets, and your business in case a storm heads to Evangeline Parish. Classic Hits 92.5 on your radio dial and classichits925.com online.
Chateau Des Amis is helping bring awareness to abuse of the elderly by sponsoring an event on Wednesday, June 14th at 9:00 a.m. in observation of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. There will be a Community Walk and a Commemorative Plaque placed in front of the rose bushes for Awareness of Elder Abuse.
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, in the United States, experts have reported that knowledge about elder abuse lags as much as two decades behind the fields of child abuse and domestic violence.
Unfortunately, they say they simply do not know for certain how many people are suffering from elder abuse and neglect. Signs of elder abuse may be missed by professionals working with older Americans because of lack of awareness and adequate training on detecting abuse. The elderly may be reluctant to report abuse themselves because of fear of retaliation, lack of physical and/or cognitive ability to report, or because they do not want to get the abuser in trouble.
Guest speakers will be providing educational information on the many types of elder abuse and ways to prevent it. Refreshments will be served. That’s Chateau Des Amis at 955 Dardeau in Ville Platte. KVPI will be covering the event.
According to the Ville Platte Police department, a vehicle was stolen on or around May 24, 2017 from Eunice, Louisiana and was located on May 25, 2017 in Ville Platte. Two suspects fled from authorities and a warrant has been issued for their arrest.
Alshamir McKoy, 18 of 401 N. Chataignier Street and Antwan McKoy 30, of 124 East Wilson Street are wanted for possession of a stolen vehicle. Their bond is set at $15,000.00 each by Judge Gary Ortego.
Detectives are also searching for Crystal Renee Landry Edmunson 43, Corie Miller Road, Port Barre from an incident that happened in January 2017. Edmundson is believed to have left the area and is evading arrest. In January, Emundson was involved in a disturbance in the Ville Platte area and is wanted on charges of aggravated battery and domestic abuse battery.
If you know the whereabouts of any of these suspects, you are asked to call 363-1313. Your call will remain anonymous.
The Ville Platte Police Department reports update on thefts from vehicles.
Over the past couple of weeks the Ville Platte Police Department has been stepping up extra patrol in the city in response to multiple reports of thefts from vehicles. The investigation is ongoing and as of today there has been one arrest and two search warrants have been executed.
According to Detective Sergeant Steven Deville, two houses that were searched on June 6, 2017 in which evidence was recovered from residences where juveniles were thought to be involved with the thefts. More arrests are expected as the investigation continues.
A suspect also believed to be involved was arrested on a trespassing charge. Arrested on June 2, 2017 was Brandon Jason, 20 of 216 Roderick Street in Ville Platte. Jason was transported to the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s office and a $500.00 bond issued by Judge Chuck West.
Chief Neal Lartigue reminds residents to remain vigilant. The investigation is continuing and it is important to always be careful, pay attention to your surroundings, lock your vehicles, doors and windows. Keep an eye out in your neighborhood and to report any suspicious activity or suspicious person immediately by calling the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313. Your call will remain anonymous.
The investigation of multiple thefts from unlocked vehicles within the city limits has yielded another arrest.
The Ville Platte Police Department received a report that a male subject was at someone’s home watching a game on television and took the keys to someone’s vehicle. Later that night the suspect took the vehicle from the homeowner’s residence using the stolen keys from the house he was visiting. The suspect was later arrested in Shreveport with the stolen vehicle, an unspecified amount of narcotics and a gun. The gun that was located was recently stolen from a vehicle in Ville Platte. Kelly Thomas, 25 of 304 West Lincoln Road, Ville Platte is currently incarcerated in Shreveport and will be facing extradition on charges of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, possession of a stolen firearm and carrying of a firearm by a convicted felon. A warrant issued for Thomas has a $100,000.00 bond set by Judge Chuck West.
According to Detectives the arrest of Thomas and earlier reported arrest are not the only ones expected. Detectives are requesting information on other suspects as their investigation continues.
Chief Lartigue reminds residents to keep vehicles, homes and outside buildings locked to prevent easy access to criminals and to continue to be vigilant in watching your property and your neighbor’s property for suspicious persons.
To report any information regarding the recent thefts from vehicles or any other illegal activity, please call the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313. Your call will remain anonymous.
The Ville Platte Fire Department would like to congratulate Assistant Fire Chief, Blake Perron and Firefighter, Dwayne Soileau for their 25 years as Louisiana State Firemen’s Association members, and 25 years as Volunteers with the Ville Platte Volunteer Fire Department. With this milestone, they both became lifetime members of the Louisiana State Firemen’s Association.
Fire Chief, Chris Harrison said "Congratulations from the entire department. The community appreciates your hard work and dedication to the fire service." KVPI would like to thank the Ville Platte Fire Department for their dedication to the community.
Pictured left to right are Blake Perron, Dwayne Soileau and Fire Chief Chris Harrison.
The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from Deacon Barney LeJeune with Jacob Crouch Suicide Prevention Services. Crouch was a student at U.L. excelling in sports and academics and three days before his graduation, he took his life. His family began this education service in his name. Deacon LeJeune said nearly everyone has been touched by suicide.
He quoted some startling statistics: Suicide is the 10th largest cause of deaths in the United States with young people ages 15-24 it is the second leading cause of death. Evangeline Parish is leading the state in the number of suicide deaths with 29 suicides per 100,000 people with neighboring parish Avoyelles Parish coming in at number two.
Among the greatest at risk are : recent divorcees, unemployment, life stress, rural residents with limited resources and experiencing a recent major loss.
The warning signs include: coded messages like talking about dying, giving away personal property, getting their life matters in order, low self esteem, no hope for the future, changes in personality, behavior, sleep patterns and eating patterns. The warning signs occur on social media such as Facebook.
He urges family members and friends to take these warning signs seriously, be sympathetic, and get help. Do not leave the person alone.
The guest speaker was a guest of Rotarian Maggie Ortego.
Rotarians were reminded of the annual Installation Banquet where the new officers will be installed at La Veille Banque June 20 at 6;00pm.
Evangeline Police Jury Meeting
June 5, 2017
The Evangeline Parish Police Jury Monday was presented a special plaque of appreciation from J.D. Soileau, President of the Viet Nam Veterans of America, Evangeline Chapter #632. The award named the police jury as a“Friend of V.V.A. 2017”. Soileau said the jury has permitted the restoration and maintenance work on the Viet Nam era “Huey” helicopter and the guns at the war monument on courthouse square. The monument includes the names of 12 local residents who were killed in Viet Nam. Soileau said “Thank you for keeping alive their memory for future generations.” Several members of the group were in attendance for the presentation.
In other business the police jury:
--approved a resolution to be sent to state and federal officials requesting emergency funding for future flood protection in Evangeline Parish;
--approved the reappointment of Lance Chapman, Desmond Thomas and Barry Bordelon to serve another term on the Ville Platte Recreation Board;
--approved a recommendation from Public Works Supt. Chester Granger to name the “Green Valley” road bridge in Faubourg as the number one priority for bridge replacement in the parish. The estimated cost is $525,000 to replace the bridge;
--went into executive session behind closed doors to discuss personnel matters . No action was taken once the doors opened again;
--approved a recommendation from Parish Engineer Ronnie Landreneau to spend $60,000 to repair Water Well Two at the Ward One Industrial Park.
--received a report from Secretary Treasurer Donald Bergeron that the 2 cent sales tax revenues in April brought in $243,988, a nearly $30,000 increase from April of 2016.
Smoked Meat Cook Off Results
June 6, 2017
Here are the results of the World Championship Smoked Meat Cook off that was held last weekend during the 2017 Smoked Meat Festival.
Congratulations to the two Grand Champion Award Winners: Amateur Grand Champion Winning Team- Fontenot and Ludeau Law Offices-Head Chef Chris Ludeau and their winning Dish- Tippin Tasso Slides; The Professional Grand Champion Winning Team: Teet’s Food Store Team One-Head Chef Luke Deville with the winning dish- Sweet n Sour Duck Breast.
In the Amateur Division, Tasso Category- First Place- Fontenot and Ludeau Law Offices, Second Place- Citizens Bank Team 2, Third Place- Mercy Regional Medical Center Team One.
In the Smoked Game Category: First Place- Martinique Cookers; Second Place- Evangeline Bank Team #2 and Third Place- Mercy Regional Medical Center Team 1.
In the Smoked Seafood Category: First Place- Cameron Team One; Second Place- Heritage Manor Team; Third Place- Citizens Bank Team Two.
In the Smoked Poultry Category: First Place- Evangeline Bank Team 2; Second Place- Cameron Team One; Third Place- Martinique Cookers.
In the Bar-B-Que/Smoker Category- First Place- Evangeline Bank Team One; Second Place- Cameron Team 2; Third Place- Mercy Regional Medical Team 1.
In the Sausage, Andouille and Ponce Category- First Place- Woodman Life Team; Second Place- H-U-Want It Team; Third Place- Cajun Grillerz Team.
In the Professional Division: Smoked Game Category- First Place- Teet’s Food Store Team 1; Second Place- Big Mamou Cajun Beef Jerky Team and Third Place- Papa Gators Team 2;
In the Sausage, Andouille and Ponce Category-First Place- Teets Food Store Team 1; Second Place- Big Mamou Cajun Beef Jerky Team; Third Place-Papa Gators Team 2.
In the Tasso Category: First Place- Papa Gators Team 1; Second Place- Leroy’s Cajun Meats Team; Third Place-Teet’s Food Store Team 2.
In the Smoked Seafood Category: First Place- Teet’s Food Store Team 2; Second Place-Leroy’s Cajun Meats and Third Place- Papa Gators Team 1.
In the Smoked Poultry Category: First Place- Boucanee Couillons; Second Place- Teets Food Store Team #2; Third Place- Mercy Regional Medical Center Team 2.
In the Bar-B-Cue/Smoker Category: First Place- Papa Gators Team 2; Second Place- Teet’s Food Store Team 2; Third Place- Teet’s Food Store Team 1.
Overall, there were 89 total dishes that the out of town judges sampled: 51 dishes in the Amateur Division and 38 dishes in the Professional Category.
The Smoked Meat Festival Association would like to thank all of the cooking teams and the judges for making this cook off another major success.
Despite the showers that came and went, the Louisiana Smoked Meat Festival went on with large crowds on hand at all of the events.
Dozens of cooking booths were on hand all around the Ville Platte Grand Pavilion this morning as both Amateur and Professional cooks prepared highly secret smoked meat recipes in hopes of garnering the prized smoke house grand prize. There were 34 judges from out of town on hand judging about 100 dishes in various smoked meat dishes. Among the judges were long time Baton Rouge Advocate Columnist Smiley Anders and his wife.
The opening ceremonies were very impressive as a team of Acadiana veterans and flag bearers representing the five branches of the military: army, marines, navy, air force and coast guard along with a special flag for the missing in action. Guest speaker was Col. Joey Strickland, Secretary of the Louisiana Office of Veterans Affairs. Special 50th anniversary pins were given to Vietnam Veterans in attendance.
During the opening ceremonies, the Francis Reed distinguished smoker award for 2017 went out to Bob Reed of Cajun Grillerz cooking team.
KVPI’s Carly Chaumont and Mark Layne were there covering the opening ceremonies and interviewing some of the cooking teams this (Saturday) morning.
KVPI News will have all of the results of the cook off by Monday morning. Keep listening for all the details.
Both Carly and Mark were able to meet with Country star headliners Aaron Tippen near his bus for a meet and greet after the broadcast.