KVPI FM Power Increase
August 18, 2017
After being off the air for more than 12 hours with a tower and engineering crew that worked for more than 13 hours, our wait was worth it. KVPI-FM is now operating at 25,000 watts from its former 8,000 watts. The tower crew, who battled rain delays and even working after dark, was able to get the entire project done in one day removing the old antenna system and installing a new high power 10 bay system giving 92.5 KVPI FM the increase in power. Since the work involved going up and down the tower, our sister station KVPI AM had to go off the air as well. Both stations came back on at 9:30 last night.
The results are promising. Our engineers informed us they are picking us up loud and clear at their homes in Scott and Alexandria. The tower crew chief was picking us at his home in Moss Bluff. Our signal is louder and fuller.
We want to hear from our listeners especially those who live in the fringe areas of our listening area. Call us at 337-363-2124 and tell us who we’re sounding and where are you calling from.
Thank you for your patience. It was worth the long wait!!
According to Ville Platte Police Chief, Neal Lartigue, on August 15, 2017 at approximately 10:00 p.m. Officers responded to a report of shots fired North Fontenot and North Soileau Streets. Officer’s arrived in the area and observed a black Camaro leaving the area at a high rate of speed. Officer’s attempted to initiate a traffic stop on the vehicle but the vehicle did not stop until it reached Ortego Street. Once the vehicle stopped a black male exited the vehicle with injuries to his leg. The victim stated that he had been shot. Officers secured the area, called for an ambulance and a Detective to respond to the scene. Officers received information that multiple shots were fired in the air and then towards the victim who was hit by one bullet in the calf area. The victim was transported by Acadian Ambulance to Mercy Regional Hospital and was air lifted to Opelousas General for medical treatment of his injury.
Nathan Thomas Jr. 18, of 1122 Edward Knotoe Thomas Street was arrested and charged with attempted second degree murder. Thomas was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and was transported to the Evangeline Parish Jail on a $100,000.00 bond.
Chief Lartigue reminds you to report suspicious and illegal activity by calling the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313. Your call will remain anonymous.
The Evangeline Parish School Board held its bi-monthly meeting Wednesday night in the School Board Media Center. A representative from Spring Market in Mamou presented a check for $2,190.39 for the participation by Mamou Elementary and Mamou High School in the Cash for My Class program. Spring Market donated a percentage of all eligible purchases to the two schools. At the launch of the program only two schools were eligible to participate; however, now, any school in Evangeline Parish can participate. Schools interested should contact Spring Market in Mamou.
Superintendent Darwan Lazard spoke to the Board about the 2016-2017 budget and upcoming budget. He explained that previously CPA Vic Slaven had reported losses in the budget that could not keep happening and that because of that report, Lazard’s office and the district as a whole practiced very conservative fiscal practices and followed the guidelines put in place by the Board. He said “We owe it to the taxpayers to be responsible in our spending.” He noted, the Board receives less and less money from Baton Rouge and less and less money from the “Feds” so it is important to do the best we can to conserve. Lazard said “It’s great to have a lot of great ideas to put in place, but not if you don’t have the money.” CFO, Amy LaFleur made the exciting announcement that all major funds had surpluses for the 2016-2017 budget. There will be an Executive Committee Meeting next Wednesday at 4:30 to discuss the proposed 2017-2018 budget.
Lazard reported that staff from Evangeline Central, Assistant District Attorney, Betsy Jackson, School Board Member, Mike Fontenot, and representatives from the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office will be traveling to Alexandria Friday to view the program they are mirroring Evangeline Central to. As you will remember, the Board recently approved the hiring of a new Resource Officer at the school. Please note, that only students of Evangeline Central will not have school Friday. All other students in the Parish will have school.
The Launch Breakfast that was recently put on for all returning staff was a great success and Lazard reported that approximately $20,000 in door prizes was randomly given out to those in attendance over 2 different sessions. Sam Glenn, a motivational speak kept the crowds entertained throughout the event.
Lazard announced a press release that KVPI Power will be increasing on Thursday from 8,000 watts to 25,000 watts which is highly exciting. However, due to the work to be done on the towers, KVPI AM and FM will be off the air Thursday morning beginning at 9:00 until Thursday night. KVPI thanked everyone for their patience through this upgrade.
Jesse Muse spoke about the Tee Cotton Bowl and assured everyone that everyone involved will be adhering to the rules of the schools and School Board during the event. This event is for the children.
We have good news and bad news for our KVPI listeners. The good news is that KVPI FM 92.5 will be increasing its effective power from 8,000 watts to 25,000 watts tomorrow. The power increase will expand our listener range to a larger area of South Central Louisiana.
The bad news is to accomplish the power increase, we will need to go off the air both on KVPI AM and FM starting at 9:00am Thursday so a tower crew can mount the new FM antennas for the power increase. The work will take the rest of the day so we do not expect to be back on the air until later Thursday night. So please bear with us while the work is going on.
We think you will like the signal reach once the work is completed. Please share the news with your friends and neighbors of KVPI AM and FM being off the air for the rest of the day for the tower work.
Thank you for your patience and consideration.
All Point Blue Water customers that live on Abraham and King Blvd. are under a boil advisory until further notice due to repairs on a 3” main line. Water was cut off earlier today, but has been restored. If customers have any further questions, please contact their office at 337-363-5885.
Rotary Club hears from Chamber Director Camille Fontenot
August 15, 2017
The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from guest speaker Ville Platte Chamber Executive Director Camille Fontenot discuss activities going on at the chamber and Tourism Commission.
Fontenot said both the chamber and tourism are important to the financial well being of our community. She said she is working closely with Valerie Cahill, the owner of Hotel Cazan, who has experience and connections to international trade.
She said the chamber is looking at doing a symposium with Evangeline Parish crawfish producers. She is looking at bringing in Ronnie Gonzales, from New Orleans who is involved in international trade to help our crawfish producers.
Fontenot is looking at possibly creating a foreign trade zone for the Evangeline Parish Industrial Park to attract international businesses.
A company from Florida is looking at leasing a large building in the Ville Platte area to store safety equipment for the oil industry. Fontenot said she has been in conversation with a number of possible sites for the company to look at.
She said she has been working to keep Chicot Park open and to have private business and industry to partner with Chicot Park to attract additional visitors to the park.
Fontenot reminded club members that the Mamou Cajun Music Festival is scheduled for Sept. 8 and 9. Also, lots of activities are planned in connection with the Tee Cotton Bowl including a banquet the night before, fireworks display, and a parade that Friday at 4;00pm. TV 10’s Passe Partout program plans to broadcast live at Ville Platte High the morning of the ball game Sept. 1.
Camille Fontenot was the guest of Rotarian Peggy Tate.
In other business, Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine informed club members that the new Tee Cotton Bowl uniforms are on display at City Hall along with the beautiful World Series trophy won by the Ville Platte 10 year old girls last month.
Evangeline Parish - The Te Mamou Water District has announced that the water will be cut off on Snooks Road, Pine Point Road, Cousins Road and St. Johns Road for approximately 3 – 4 hours. They have men working on the lines in that subdivision. Residents in those areas will also be under a boil advisory until further notice. They apologize for any inconvenience caused to its customers.
Acting U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced today that a man from Duson pleaded guilty to wire fraud in connection to a scheme to defraud a Eunice pipeline company out of more than $2.6 million.
Richard Walter Borek Jr., 43, of Duson, La., pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick Hanna to one count of wire fraud. The plea will become final when accepted by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote. According to the guilty plea, Borek worked as the information technology (IT) manager for a Eunice pipeline company from 2012 to 2016. He conducted a scheme where he bought cell phones and electronic tablets using company funds from two nationwide cellular phone companies. He then sold them online to another company and kept the money for his own personal use. He also sold web hosting services and computer equipment to the pipeline company through his own company called Statix even though the web hosting services were being provided by another company and the computer equipment was never delivered to the pipeline company’s office. The loss from both schemes resulted in both cell phone companies charging the pipeline company $2,436,487 and Statix charging the pipeline company $236,234.14 for a total loss to the pipeline company of $2,672,721.14.
Borek faces 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, restitution and a $250,000 fine. The court set a December 7, 2017 sentencing date.
The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Myers P. Namie is prosecuting the case.
The Ville Platte City Council and Mayor, Jennifer Vidrine held its monthly meeting Tuesday night in Ville Platte City Hall. The Mayor announced that the lobby and drive-thru at City Hall will be closed on Wednesday due to staff development.
The Ville Platte Girls 10’s Softball team who recently won their division in the World Series were celebrated by the Mayor. Coaches Nick Lebas, Brian Bergeron, Joe Bordelon and Gene Latour brought the girls to show their giant trophy and World Series Rings. The Mayor presented plaques to each girl. Lebas spoke to the crowd and thanked the Mayor for the recognition. The girls then enjoyed pizza and cake courtesy of Judge Gary Ortego, Judge Chuck West, Judge Greg Vidrine, District Attorney Trent Brignac and City Marshall Ronald T. Doucet. You can find additional pictures on our Facebook page.
The Mayor announced that the city has demolished six abandoned houses, towed away three vehicles, cut two overgrown grass lots. Three more houses will be demolished and five more abandoned vehicles are scheduled to be towed. She explained that letters go out to property owners giving them ten days to respond. If no action is taken by the owner, the City handles the demolition or clean up and then attaches the cost of the bill to the property tax bill of the owner.
The Council approved getting an appraisal for property that they would like to trade for another property to build single-family homes on. City Attorney, Eric La Fleur explained that in order to make a trade, the two properties to have match in value. That is the basis for the appraisal. The Council also approved leasing space in the new Boys & Girls Club to Christian Academy and Adult Education.
Expenditures for the month of July was $172,480.56 that is down $36,430.43 from the previous month. The mayor also said they will be doing street repairs in town according to urgency.
Several City Departments as well as the Ville Platte Police Department will be getting new vehicles soon due. They are currently working with fleet dealers to decide the appropriate vehicles.
The next council meeting will be September 19th.
Grab your popcorn and call the Louisiana State Arboretum at 337-363-6290 for your group or organization to attend a Eclipse viewing on August 21, 2017 from Noon until 2:30 p.m. at the Nature Center. NASA maps indicate that the sun will be obscured by about 75% beginning at 11:51 a.m. and peaking at 1:23 p.m. Experts recommend that people do not look directly at the sun, even with a partial eclipse. For more information about the eclipse, visit eclipse2017.nasa.gov
The Evangeline Council on Aging will hold its Annual Meeting on September 13, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. in the dining room at Village de Memoire. All interested parties as well as all members of the Council on Aging are invited to attend. There are currently 4 vacant Board seats to be filled. Those seats should be filled by people who reside in Police Jury District 2, 3, 4 and 9, one member from each district. All nominations for Board members should be forwarded to Lisa DeRouen at 337-363-5161.
Two guests from the Lafayette chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association spoke at today’s (Tuesday) meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club. Luewana Hannon and Adrienne Mullens were the special guests of Rotarian Peter Strawitz.
Hannon said Alzheimer’s Disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the USA. She said “It is a degenerative disease that destroys brain cells.” The disease impacted her family directly since her father died from the illness. The association offers awareness to the public by speaking in meetings and leaving brochures about the disease. The organization also offers workshops to educate the general public on the ten warning signs of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Mullens reminded club members that a fund raising two mile walk is scheduled for Saturday September 16 at Blackham Coliseum in Lafayette. All monies raised will go to research. She announced that 85,000 Louisiana residents will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s this year. She reported that one third of dementia cases could be eliminated through a change to a more healthier lifestyle.
In other business, the rotary club:
--welcomed its newest member: Debbie Enicke;
--heard from Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine that there will be a Tee Cotton Bowl parade Friday September 1 at 4:00pm down Main street;
--received news from Maggie Ortego that there will be a free suicide prevention training program Aug. 30 and Aug. 31 at the Family Life Center.
Governor, John Bel Edwards spoke to a crowd of officials from parishes across Louisiana and others in attendance at the Watershed Summit held at the Lite Centre in Lafayette Thursday. He discussed issues about flooding in Louisiana and the effects on its residents and businesses. Edwards spoke about the Acadiana Planning Commission and its mission to bring parishes together to tackle drainage and waterway issues in the State. By working together in a collaborative effort, one parish will not due harm to another in its efforts. The Governor was proud to announce that over $35,000,000 will be coming to the parishes included in the Acadiana Planning Commission due to federal funds received due to Hurricane Gustav. He explained that some of the parishes would not have received any of the funds because they were not declared a disaster area at that time; however, he explained that all eight parishes will be able to share the money because they have formed as one body and will be working together.
KVPI News Director, Stephanie Ware, spoke with Evangeline Parish Police Jury President, Ryan Ardoin about the Summit. He, along with fellow Police Juror, Eric Soileau and Secretary/Treasurer Donald Bergeron attended the Summit that began at 1:30 in the afternoon and did not wrap up until 8:30 p.m. Ardoin said all eight parishes will share the money for “capital outlay and shovel on the ground projects.” The Commission will determine what the “priorities” are.
Ardoin said there will be more money to come because the Federal government is recognizing just how badly Louisiana has been impacted from rain and flooding. He said he learned from the Summit that there was $636,000,000 a day impact to the oil and gas industry alone due to flooding. He said in Evangeline Parish some priorities will be tackling undersized bridges and culverts. He also said that new technology is being looked at like gauges for our bigger waterways. Ardoin stated: “Between Chester Granger, Public Works Director, myself, Engineer, Ronnie Landreneau and Donald Bergeron, we will need to sit down and discuss all of the priorities. It takes a joint effort, not only here locally but on this multi-parish level.”
The Evangeline Parish School Board held its bi-monthly meeting Wednesday night in the School Board Media Center.
The Board approved a request by Superintendent, Darwan Lazard to enter into an agreement with the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office to provide a School Resource Officer for Evangeline Central for 10 months effective for the 2017-18 school year. After the Superintendent received the approval, he introduced the new Resource Officer as Tony Vidrine who has been with the Sheriff’s Office for five years, previously with the Federal Bureau of Prisons for twenty-five years, has a Bachelor of Criminal Justice and was a 1981 graduate of Ville Platte High School. Vidrine, along with personnel from Central and officials from the Sheriff’s Office will be traveling to Alexandria to view how the CAPS program works, which is the program they are patterning Central after. Lazard stated “This is going to be a better program at Central than we had before. It is much needed.”
The Superintendent reminds everyone that school staff are due back at work on August 8th and students’ first day of school will be on August 10th. He said there will be a New School Year Launch for ALL school employees on August 8th at Ville Platte High School. The mandatory lunch will be at 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 and will run in two different groups. Buses will be picking employees up in their school area due to parking restraints. There will be a national spokesman attending. Sam Glenn “The Attitude Guy” will be speaking and there will be door prizes like computers, cash and more.
The Superintendent announced he and Board Member, Arthur Savoy attended a Driver Orientation at First Student. He says Principals and drivers were there and were able to communicate about needs for the upcoming school year.
Former Vidrine Elementary Teacher, Cheryl Tezeno was announced as the new Middle School Supervisor. Lazard stated “Tezeno has been with the school system in Evangeline Parish for almost forty years, has worked with grades 6, 7 and 8 and knows the battles those grades face.”
It was announced that Principal Anita West will now become the Principal at Vidrine Elementary. West was the former Pine Prairie High School Principal.
According to a Release from Ville Platte Chief of Police, Neal Lartigue, multiple burglaries have recently been solved with multiple arrests.
On July 25, 2017 Officers with the Ville Platte Police Department were dispatched to the area of Pine Street for a report of someone riding a four wheeler on the roadway. Upon arrival in the area Officers observed a four wheeler that then fled from them on South Chataignier going through both lanes of traffic. The driver then crashed the four wheeler as he went through a ditch on South Chataignier while attempting to reach Ash Street. Upon crashing the four wheeler, the driver fled on foot. After further investigation it was determined that the four wheeler was stolen from the Opelousas area where the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office had begun an investigation. On July 26, 2017 a male subject came into the Ville Platte Police Department to speak with investigators. Although the suspect at that point was not under arrest, he fled the police department once he was confronted with the evidence. A short foot pursuit ensued and Officers caught the suspect on East Washington Street. Arrested was Daniel Gallow, 22 of 873 Railroad, Ville Platte. Gallow was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail on charges of illegal possession of stolen things (felony), off-road vehicle on roadway, criminal damage to property (felony), safety helmet required, careless operation and resisting an officer. Gallow remains incarcerated on a $36,250.00 bond.
Chief Neal Lartigue reports an update to a previous case where a purse and wallet were stolen from a vehicle. The theft took place on July 3, 2017 on North Thompson Street. During the investigation the suspects were identified and subsequently arrested. On July 26, 2017, Marcus Arvie 17, of 204 East Jackson Street, Ville Platte and two juveniles were arrested on charges of burglary and theft. Arvie was transported to the Ville Platte City Jail on a $12,500.00 bond and the two juveniles were released to the custody of their parents pending a court appearance.
The arrest of Marcus Arvie also ended in other charges for multiple recent burglaries. Arvie was arrested and charged in reference to burglaries from July 5, 2017 in the 1100 block of Parkview Street, on July 20, 2017 in the 900 block of Tate Cove Road, and on July 21, 2017 for multiple burglaries in the 2300 block of East Main Street. Items such as Xbox controllers, games, a Wii system and credit cards were stolen. These items have not been recovered along with a white Honda 450 ATV that was also stolen. Arvie was charged with four counts of simple burglary, four counts of theft, four counts of criminal trespass and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile. Arvie was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail on a $65,000.00 bond.
Marcus Arvie was also arrested and charged for an incident that happened on July 22, 2017 where a burglary and theft took place in the 400 block of East Wilson and again in the 2300 block of East Main Streets. Arvie was charged with unauthorized use of a moveable, criminal trespass, simple burglary, theft, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Arvie was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail on a $20,000.00 bond.
Arvie was later transported to the Evangeline Parish Jail on all three bond amounts.
Chief Neal Lartigue is asking anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of any of these stolen items to contact the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313. Your call will remain anonymous.
State Senator Eric Lafleur was the guest speaker at today’s (Tuesday) meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club meeting.
Senator Lafleur is the chairman of Senate Finance Committee. He said “it is the worst job in the world since the state has no money and you have to keep saying no to everyone.”
Lafleur said the state ,during the eight years under the Jindal administration, used one time money to plug the holes in the state budget rather than addressing the issue by raising revenues or cutting expenses. He called it a “poor fiscal policy” and the former governor held the veto threat over the heads of lawmakers when they considered other means to balance the state budget.
This year, a special non- partisan group of fiscal experts, formulated a plan for the state to meet its budget on an annual basis and the legislature rejected all of its recommendations. The state balanced its budget with the passing of a temporary one penny sales tax. Louisiana has the highest sales tax rate in the country. One bright spot, the legislature was able to fully fund the Tops scholarship.
During the question and answer period, Senator Lafleur said there are no plans in the budget for road improvements in Evangeline Parish. He told club members that he was in favor of a new gasoline tax to help pay for infrastructure projects such as new road improvements.
Lafleur was the guest speaker of Rotarian Vic Slaven.
In the rotary club minute, Club President Wayne Vidrine reminded members that the Ville Platte club was organized in 1928 and in 1943, during the term of Club President Prof Lafleur, Chicot State Park was created.
KVPI and The Coushatta Casino teamed up to send winners to see the ELVOLUTIONS Elvis Tribute Concert Saturday, July 29th at 8:00 p.m. When listeners heard the “Hound Dog” Cue to Call over Classic Hits 92.5 they called our hotline at 506-2444. After getting all of our qualifiers, our drawing was held today. Four lucky listeners won a pair of tickets to the show. Our winners were: Karrie Brooks, Truman Wilson, Caroline Fontenot and Lisa Daire. Keep listening for more chances to win concert tickets and many other prizes on Acadiana’s Greatest Hits Station, Classic Hits 92.5.
The Acadiana Planning Commission, FEMA and The Governor’s Office of Emergency Preparedness held a joint meeting in the Evangeline Parish Courthouse Wednesday to discuss Watershed Assessments that are being prepared by FEMA. Watershed (as pictured) is an area or ridge of land that separates waters flowing to different rivers, basins, or seas. The Pilot Assessment was performed for Vermilion Parish and that was the focus of the meeting for informational purposes. Assessments for the 22 Watershed that were affected by the March and August 2016 flooding will be released on August 3rd.
The Acadiana Planning Commission brings 7 parishes together: Lafayette, Evangeline, Acadia, Iberia, St. Landry, St. Martin and Vermilion. Parish Presidents, State Representatives, Emergency Officials and officials from around these parishes attended the meeting and many said the focus is to work together so one entity is not ‘dropping water on another one’ in efforts to solve drainage problems. These include in the Mermentau River, Vermilion River and Bayou Teche in our area.
In the March flooding there were over 14,000 structures damaged; and in the August flooding there were over 78,000. A representative from FEMA’s National Disaster Recovery Support Team said Louisiana “has had too much water moving over its land mass, too many times.” This was the first meeting of many to come to discuss this problem and continue discussions on how to work together.
The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from State Representative Bernard LeBas. He gave a review of the recent two sessions of the state legislature in Baton Rouge. A special session was called immediately after the regular session after lawmakers could not agree on a new fiscal year budget.
LeBas commented that the budget that was approved in the special session was brought up during the final days of the regular session however some lawmakers were initially against it. He said 80 million dollars were put back in the highway account after being transferred by the previous administration to fund the state police.
LeBas said our infrastructure needs improvements. “We have bad roads and we don’t have the money to fix our roads”, he said. A gasoline tax is expected to be on the election day ballot to help with roads and infrastructure.
LeBas is blaming “partisan politics” for the legislature not approving a “blue ribbon” committee recommendation to help stabilize the state’s budget.
He said healthcare and education take a big share of the state budget every year. The popular TOPS scholarship program was fully funded this year by the legislature.
Chicot State Park was brought up during his comments. “Chicot State Park is our biggest park and the most visited park in the state. We are fighting to keep it open,” said LeBas. Cuts in state funding meant maintenance personnel were let go. “Our Lt. Governor, Billy Nungesser, is 100 percent behind our efforts in keeping Chicot Park open and a draw for tourists.”
LeBas said a new constitutional convention may be needed to help remove the many tax exemptions and tax rebates that many big businesses and corporations receive. LeBas was the special guest of Rotarian Susan Saunders.
Ville Platte, Chief of Police, Neal Lartigue requests help in identifying suspects.
On July 22, 2017, Officers with the Ville Platte Police Department responded to a report of a burglary in the 400 block of East Wilson. Upon arrival Officers learned that four black males had entered the residence during the night of July 21, 2017 and ransacked the residence The suspects stole multiple items including a laptop, iphone 6, 32 inch Samsung television, a Kicker amp and a Jenson amp, Xbox, Apple IPad Pro and prescription medicine. The burglary remains under investigation.
Chief Neal Lartigue is requesting assistance in identifying these suspects. If you recognize anyone in these photos you are asked to call the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313. Your call will remain anonymous. You can view additional photos from the crime scene on our Classic Hits 92.5 Facebook Page.