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.
The Ville Platte Police Department is looking for a runaway from the Gabriel Villa Apartment complex. Olshimer McCoy was last seen on Friday November 7, 2014 at approximately 7:30 in the evening. He is described as a black male approximately 5’9. He is 15 years old and has his hair cut into a Mohawk. He was last seen wearing a yellow LSU hoodie and camouflage cargo shorts. He has run away before and is possibly hiding in the Ville Platte area. If you have any information on this juveniles whereabouts, you are asked to call the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.
Evangeline Parish School Board Meeting
November 5, 2014
The Evangeline Parish School Board held its bi-monthly meeting tonight (Wednesday) in the Media Center.
The Board voted on a 2 year extension of Superintendent, Toni Hamlin’s contract. 8 voted for the extension and 3 were opposed. Board Member, Wayne Dardeau, stated his opposition was not against Ms. Hamlin, because he believes she is doing a good job, it was because he would like all employees to get a raise, not just one person. Board Member, Anthony Savoy mirrored Mr. Dardeau’s statement. The extension passed.
Superintendent, Toni Hamlin, spoke regarding the School Report Cards. She was very pleased to announce that the parish has gone from a “C” rating to a “B” rating for the 2013-2014 school year. That is quite an accomplishment. She wanted to thank the supervisory staff, the administration at the schools, the teachers and definitely the students. The parish went from 77.6 to 88.7 (which is a B rating). A copy of the report cards will be going out to parents. She was proud to announce that Mamou Elementary went from a “C” rating to an “A” rating and that there has been a really strong strengthening in the graduation rate, especially at Ville Platte High School.
Board Member, Scott Limoges inquired as to what end of the year testing will be used this school year. Ms. Hamlin said that she received notice that grades 3-8 will be a pencil and paper test, but that high school students will be online PARC assessments. Technology is still being installed the schools. Mamou is complete and installation is currently being done at Ville Platte High.
Council to the Board, Bob Hammons, was in attendance at the meeting. He was asked the status of the battle between Governor Bobby Jindal and Louisiana State Superintendent, John White regarding the Common Core program. Mr. Hammons stated that “So, far…it looks like Mr. White is winning.” He stated that was on a district level and the cases are on their way to the appellate court.
Board Member David Landreneau, who was defeated in his race on Tuesday by Michael Fontenot, thanked the Board, teachers, staff and supervisors for the 30 years of support. He said this is the best staff this parish has ever had, with great principals and a great board. Council members exchanged kind words with Mr. Landreneau as he stated “My wife is very happy with the results of the election.”
Ville Platte City Council Meeting
November 5, 2014
The Ville Platte City Council held its monthly meeting tonight (Wednesday) at City Hall. The meeting was held a week early due to the Labor Day holiday.
Connor LeBlue, Secretary of J.A.G., sang a beautiful version of the National Anthem and lead the meeting in the Pledge of Allegiance to open the city council meeting.
The Sacred Heart School drop-off/pick-up traffic re-routing was discussed. There was much opposition to the re-routing expressed by parents and others. Mayor Jennifer Vidrine announced that they have had a total of 331 parties against the re-routing and 0 for it. Initially, when the plan/map was brought before the council, the Mayor asked if the plan had been presented to parents for their input. It had not been and the administration of the school said it would be sent out to parents and a meeting would be called. That did not happen and the Mayor said she has continued to gain information stating the plan, which includes using city streets, would be changed beginning Monday by the Administrator, without the approval of the council or Mayor.
Mayor Vidrine stated: “I find it disrespectful to the Mayor, the council, the parents, grandparents and residents in the area to attempt to circumvent us in any attempt to use city streets for any change. We will not be bullied or dictated to. We are happy to sit down with parents and/or the administrator of the school, but this plan will not be approved. Any re-routing plan that affects our city streets or blocks, or impedes our businesses on Main Street will not be approved. We will make sure we have officers in place Monday to ensure there is no re-routing attempted.” She also said that if there are any plans to use the “Rainy Day” Solution for any purpose other than when it is pouring rain outside that will not be permitted.
City Attorney, Greg Vidrine, was asked to send a notice to Sacred Heart in the form of a letter.
On a positive note, the city received a refund check in the amount of $37,137.00 from LWCC. Also, the sales tax collections were up 7.1% from October of last year.
A retail liquor permit was approved for Nick’s (The old Brass Rail), and there are two new businesses that have opened: Tiger Trax and Mia Hacienda.
Mayor Vidrine announced that the “Video” promoting Ville Platte has finally been finished and is now on their website: www.cityofvilleplatte.com The video will air on LPB sometime next year.
Residents can now pay their utility bills online on the same website under utilities.
She also announced that she received notification that the long awaited street sweeper will be delivered in January.
NOVEMBER 4, 2014
Despite a very long ballot, all of the returns in Evangeline Parish were announced by 10:00 Tuesday night. Here are the complete but unofficial election returns as reported over KVPI FM compliments of Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel.
In the District Judge’s race, Division A, Gary Ortego defeated all of his challengers with 53 percent of the vote. Ortego received 6448 votes while his opponents, Tony Dupre received 2985 votes and Gilbert Aucoin got 2548 votes.
In the Ward One City Judge’s race, there will be a runoff between the top vote getter Betsy Jackson who got 2110 votes and Greg Vidrine who got 1831 votes. The next challenger was Alex Sonny Chapman who received 1170 votes and Kathy Fontenot Meyers with 1090 votes.
In the school board district seat, challenger Mike Fontenot defeated incumbent David Landreneau. Fontenot received 506 votes to Landreneau’s 293 votes.
Over in District Seven, the school board incumbent Buck Dupuis narrowly defeated challenger Sheila Joseph by five votes. Dupuis had 477 votes to Joseph’s 472 votes.
In District 8, school board incumbent Wanda Skinner with 519 votes defeated challenger Jackie Doucet who received 385 votes.
For Justice of the Peace in Ward Five, Michael Causey, the incumbent with 834 votes defeated challenger Annette Hazelton Fontenot who received 489 votes.
For Justice of the Peace in Ward Three, Brent Zackery with 1187 votes defeated Wesley Childress with 1077 votes.
For Justice of the Peace in Ward Four, incumbent Tim Causey with 675 votes defeated challenger Durwin Carter who got 371 votes.
For Justice of the Peace in Ward Five, Derrick Guillory with 665 votes defeated Jeremy Lane Causey who got 656 votes.
For Mayor in Ville Platte, incumbent Mayor Jennifer Vidrine with 2054 votes defeated Taranza Arvie with 1107 votes.
For Mayor in Basile, challenger Mark Denette defeated incumbent Mayor Berline Sonnier, 290 votes to Sonnier’s 147 votes.
For Mayor in Turkey Creek, Challenger Bert Campbell with 110 votes defeated incumbent Heather Cloud by four votes, 110 to 106 votes.
For Chief of Police in Ville Platte, Incumbent Neal Lartigue with 1571 votes will go into a runoff with second place finisher Linton Fontenot with 884 votes. Coming in third place was Glenn Leleux with 757 votes.
For Chief of Police in Mamou, there will be a runoff between Katina Richard with 484 votes and Robert McGee who got 421 votes. Coming in third was Allen Noel with 171 votes and Charles Perdices who got 137 votes.
For Chief of Police in Chataignier, Paul Allen Jr., the incumbent was re elected with 105 votes to challenger Bill Ortego’s 78 votes.
For Chief of Police in Turkey Creek, there will be a runoff between Robert Glenn Leggett with 100 votes and Louis Dale Marcantel with 97 votes. Coming in third was Raymond DarDar with 7 votes.
For Alderman in District 1 in Basile Frank Ceasar was re elected with 71 votes over Darrell Reed who got 39 votes.
For Alderman in District 3 in Mamou, there will be a runoff between incumbent Charles Reed with 98 votes and Derryl T Glynn Brunet who got 76 votes. Jodie Gautreaux received 50 votes and Ted Lavergne received 36 votes.
For alderman in District C in Ville Platte, incumbent Mike Perron with 428 votes defeated Anna Frank who received 145 votes.
For Alderman in District D, incumbent Rev., Freddie Jack with 259 votes defeated Lionel Coach Anderson who received 250 votes.
For Alderman in District E in Ville Platte, incumbent Donald Sam with 257 votes will go into a runoff with Jerry Bottley with 182 votes. Earl Edward received 138 votes.
‘ For Alderman in District F in Ville Platte Bryant Riggs with 195 votes will face Shounda Smith Jack in a runoff. Jack received 152 votes while Nat Thomas got 121 votes.
For Alderman in District 2 in Basile, Hunter Ortego with 216 votes will face Bron Dubroc who got 192 votes in a December runoff. Others receiving votes in the race include: Carmen Langley with 161 votes. J.J. Jenkins with 128 votes and Rodney Bellon with 117 votes.
For Alderman in the Village of Chataignier, three to be elected, Debra Fontenot with 112 votes, Joseph Semien with 92 votes and J.B. Brasseaux with 85 votes were all elected. Gail McDavid got 81 votes.
For Alderman in the Village of Turkey Creek where three are to be elected, Kurry Stewart with 164 votes, Billy Neal King Jr with 160 votes and Joey Ducote with 126 votes were all elected. Kenneth Johnson received 106 votes.
For U.S. Senator , Bill Cassidy was the top vote getter with 4798 votes followed by incumbent Mary Landrieu with 4349 votes. Rob Maness was in third place with 2360 votes. Others receiving votes include: Wayne Ables with 244 votes, Thomas Clements with 166 votes, Brannon McMorris with 123 votes, William Waymire with 75 votes and Vallian Senegal with 49 votes.
For Congressman in the Fourth District, incumbent John Fleming easily won in Evangeline Parish. Fleming had 7876 votes and challenger Randall Lord received 2217 votes.
VILLE PLATTE ROTARY CLUB MEETING
NOVEMBER 4, 2014
The Ville Platte Rotary Club today(Tuesday) heard from Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine give a status report on projects going on in the city.
She announced that the state is installing new digital traffic lights. The first one has just been installed at the intersection of Main and Coreil at no cost to the city.
A new four way stop sign has been installed at the intersection of Lincoln and North Chataignier for motorists wishing to cross over Lincoln. The city is looking at requesting the state to install a traffic light with a turning lane at the intersection of Tate Cove road and the Walmart side street.
Phase three of the city’s water project which deals with replacing lines south of Main street is just getting under way. Main and LaSalle water lines will be replaced in Phase 4 next year.
The city is attempting to fill all of the recommendations from the state fire marshal’s office so it can proceed at beginning a Boy’s and Girl’s Club at the old City Hall location at the corner of Main and Court streets.
Bi lingual city street signs are being printed for various locations in the city. The mayor is getting the assistance of Codofil to help in the French translation of the street signs.
The mayor said she is planning to name an economic development council to help promote economic development to bring more industry and businesses to Ville Platte.
The mayor also told Rotarians: sales tax collections have increased 12 of the past 13 months; City Hall will have an Office for Senior Citizens to assist local seniors who may need information about local and area services; the city is apply for a grant for public transportation; city crews have been stringing 100,000 Christmas lights however they will not be turned on until December 1; the city is working on a master comprehensive plan for Northside Park which will include a water park; city crews are installing a sidewalk on East Main to connect the hospital walking trail to the Heritage garden Park that will include a pedestrian crossing.; the city is applying for a $500,000 grant to further develop the Recreation park;
In other community news: Rotarians were notified there will be an open house at the new location of Kolder, Champagne, Slaven and Company Friday November 14 from 9-12 noon with ribbon cutting at 10:00am. Also, club members were invited to an open house for the first anniversary and ribbon cutting at Mayeaux Wealth Partners Friday November 7 from 10-12 noon.
Ville Platte - Today, shortly after 12:00 p.m. Louisiana State Police Detectives, Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Deputies, Ville Platte Police Department and Ville Platte City Marshals took Christopher Goodley into custody for questioning, regarding the murder of Delsy Williams in Ville Platte. Goodley was located by Law Enforcement officials in the Ville Platte area.
Goodley was transported to the Evangeline Parish Jail and booked on an outstanding arrest warrant for theft. This case remains active and is still under investigation.
Man Wanted for Questioning in Ville Platte Homicide
Evangeline Parish – Louisiana State Police Detectives and the Evangeline Parish are asking for the public’s assistance in locating an individual wanted for questioning in a Ville Platte homicide. Louisiana State Police was notified by the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office at approximately 9:30 pm on November 2, 2014, about a homicide which occurred on Abraham Street in the Kennedy Subdivision area of Ville Platte. State Police Detectives are assisting the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office in investigating the homicide.
State Police Detectives and the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office stated that Christopher B. Goodley (B/M, DOB 9/4/1993) is wanted for questioning in the homicide. Goodley may still be in the Ville Platte area, and a photo of him is attached to this press release. Goodley should be considered armed and dangerous. If anyone knows of Goodley’s whereabouts, they are urged NOT to approach him, but to contact the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office at 337-363-2161 or Louisiana State Police Troop I at 337-262-5880.
VILLE PLATTE ROTARY CLUB
OCTOBER 28, 2014
The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from Felicia Manuel, co owner along with her husband , Nick Manuel , of Ville Platte Iron Works. Ville Platte Iron Works has been in business since April 1, 1949 and began as a welding and fabricating shop. She and Nick Manuel moved back to Ville Platte in 2001 to begin working at the family business. Nick began learning how to operate the C&C industrial machines. Cameron offered the company to give them additional business if they bought these large industrial machines. Ville Platte Iron Works began making the internal parts for the large valves used in pipelines. Also Ville Platte Iron Works would provide sandblasting and coating the vales. It was in 2009, Ville Platte Iron Works moved into the old Holloway building next door to Cameron. They went from 15 employees to 35 employees over night. She also announced that the Evangeline Economic Development District chose Ville Platte Iron Works as its top home grown business with a special award. She was the special guest of Rotarian Wayne Vidrine.
In other news, the rotary club was notified:
--that the annual Christmas social is planned for December 9;
--New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu will be visiting Ville Platte at Nicks on Main at noon;
--that the club has been approached by the Boy Scouts of America to be a sponsor for the Ville Platte Scout troop.
On October 21, 2014 the Ville Platte Police Asked for help in identifying a silver truck and locating the 3 white males and 2 white females involved with multiple break ins of storage buildings on South Chataignier Road. Chief Lartigue is now reporting that these suspects have been identified, located and 3 of the suspects have been charged in this incident. Two of the suspects were juveniles and no further information is being released on the juveniles at this time. According to information learned by investigations these 3 suspects are facing charges with other agencies including Oakdale, Oberlin and the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Christina G. Hartzfelds 34 of 2234 Old Hwy. 13, Mamou, has been charged with simple burglary and simple criminal damage to property. Hartzelds is awaiting extradition on a $20,000.00 bond issued by Judge John Larry Vidrine.
Joshua P. Guillory Jr. 19 of 1140 Harmony Road, Ville Platte, has been charged with simple burglary and simple criminal damage to property. Guillory is awaiting extradition on a $20,000.00 bond issued by Judge John Larry Vidrine.
Wesley Daniel Landry 20 of 1430 Magnolia Street, Pine Prairie, has been charged with simple burglary and simple criminal damage to property. Landry is awaiting extradition on a $20,000.00 bond issued by Judge John Larry Vidrine.
On October 21, 2014 officers responded to a home invasion call on North Latour Street. Officers and Detectives learned that a male suspect had forcefully entered the residence, attacked a female who was a former girlfriend and then fled the scene. . Officers apprehended the suspect a short time later that evening.
Arrested was Hilton Wilson 34 of 128 east Pine Street. Wilson was arrested without incident and charged with home invasion, second degree battery, simple battery, criminal damage to property and resisting an officer. Wilson was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail on a $20,000.00 bond issued by Judge John Larry Vidrine
Chief Neal Lartigue reminds citizens to report any suspicious activity by calling 363-1313. Your call will remain anonymous.
OCTOBER 22, 2014
A record number of voters packed the Evangeline Parish Courthouse Tuesday for the first day of early voting at the Registrar of Voters Office. Over 500 voters stood in line to vote early for the November 4 primary election according to Registrar of Voters Lucas Buller. The lines stretched as far away as to the Clerk of Court’s Office. The lines were not as long today. There is much interest in several of the local races in Evangeline Parish. Early voting ends Tuesday October 28. Voters are urged to get a sample ballot because in some of the areas, the ballot is very long that includes 14 constitutional amendments.
VILLE PLATTE ROTARY CLUB MEETING
OCTOBER 21, 2014
The Ville Platte Rotary Club today(Tuesday) heard State Representative Bernard LeBas and Judge John Saunders discuss the constitutional amendments that will be on the election day ballot.
LeBas went through all 14 amendments and explained in some detail the pros and cons for each amendment. He suggested people acquaint themselves with the amendments and sample ballot to prepare to go vote.
Judge John Saunders of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals urged members of the Rotary Club to consider voting in favor of Amendment 5. A yes vote for Amendment #5 would eliminate the mandatory age of 70 for judges. Judge Saunders said the time has come for voters to seriously look at changing the age law for judges. Saunders has been serving on the court of appeals for the past 21 years and served several terms in the state legislature.
In other news, Evangeline Parish Superintendent of Schools Toni Hamlin reported that the school and student performance scores were released this morning. It showed a marked improvement in scores. She announced that 8 out of 12 schools in Evangeline Parish Public Schools scored A or B. The School district score improved to a grade of B.
Rotary Club President David Mayeaux announced that the Mamou Rotary Club will be folding at the first of the year and those Mamou members will be transferred to the Ville Platte club.
Also the Rotary Club Board approved the purchase and installation of new rotary signs at various areas throughout Ville Platte.
The Sacred Heart Interact Club will be preparing donation baskets to help fight polio to be displayed in rotary business locations throughout Ville Platte.
The Evangeline Parish School Board held its bi-monthly meeting Wednesday in the Media Center.
Superintendent, Toni Hamlin announced that on October 21st, a press release will go out regarding school performance scores and district performance scores. KVPI will sit down with Ms. Hamlin in an upcoming “Let’s Talk About It” to discuss the scores.
Thursday, October 16th at 12:30 p.m. and again on Friday the 17th at 9:30 a.m., Bob Hammonds, Special Counsel to the Board, will hold meetings to update principals and assistant principals on legal issues and 2014 legislative actions.
Ms. Hamlin received a “packet” of information regarding the growing concerns of the Ebola virus. She will be forwarding the packet to all EPSB users tomorrow. The packet includes information about the virus that will clarify how it is spread, etc.
The 911 office will hold a meeting next Thursday at 10:00 a.m. at the skating rink in Mamou. Ginger Landreneau, R.N., will speak on the Ebola virus as well.
Ms. Hamlin also congratulated Evangeline Parish First Student on receiving two awards:
Location of the Year
Shop of the Year
The President of the company presented the awards for excellence to First Turn. KVPI extends congratulations for the recognitions!
There will be a Policy Committee Meeting next Monday, October 20th at 5:00 p.m.
VILLE PLATTE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MEETING
OCTOBER 15, 2014
Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue addressed the Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce at its meeting today(Wednesday) at noon.
The chief addressed some of the concerns chamber members had last month after a number of businesses were broken into. Chief Lartigue said the rash of burglaries finally ended as of September 22 after implementing a special overnight patrol unit to check on businesses and targeting those walking without reflected gear.
He told chamber members cases cannot be solved in an hour like a TV show. Also on fingerprints, not all prints can be lifted and it all depends upon the surface. Also, if a print is lifted and submitted to the crime lab it may take 6 months to a year to come back for a match.
Chief Lartigue said it has always been the policy of the department not to identify the business place that was burglarized. However he will now give the business the option to permit their name to be used in the news release.
Stolen items are primarily being sold to private individuals or out of town. He said his department receives a list of pawned items each week that his investigators review for a possible match of stolen merchandise.
He announced that his department had 480 arrests since the beginning of the year with 58 felony arrests. For the month of October, the department responded to 611 calls, 45 citations were issued, 61 people were arrested, 12 felony arrests and they worked 31 traffic accidents.
Chamber member Mark Buller said his business and his neighbor were both recently broken into. He said he got a sense there “was a lack of concern by the police officers who worked the crime scene.” The chief said a new policy is now in place where detectives will have to follow up and contact the business to inform them of the status of their investigation.
One major issue facing the police department is the low starting pay. The starting pay for a police officer is $10.38 an hour. After they become certified, they receive a $500 raise in salary. It costs the city $4000 to train and certify officers.
In other business, Suzie Lemoine informed chamber members of a host of activities planned at the new Ville Platte library including “Ask A Lawyer” where two attorneys will offer free legal advice on October 23. The library is open Monday, Thursday and Friday from 8-6, Tuesday-8-8, Wednesday from 10-6 and Saturday from 8-12 noon.
In other business the chamber:
Approved two new members: Glen LeLeux and Dirt Cheap;
Reminded chamber members that the annual Chamber sponsored Christmas parade is Sunday December 7 at 5:30pm.