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May 20, 2015


The Evangeline Parish School Board held its bi-monthly meeting tonight in the Media Center at Ville Platte High. 


Parent, Tiffany Allison of Mamou, addressed the Board about two alleged incidents that took place on the school bus her children rode.  One involved an alleged slapping of a child by the school bus driver and the other involved the driver allegedly dropping her 2nd child off a mile and a half away from the correct drop off point.  Board Members, Wanda Skinner and David Landreneau also expressed concerns about other complaints that have been reported to them.  Lance with First Student addressed the concerns and stated that he, along with the school principal, reviewed the video tapes from the bus and found no incident of a slapping; however, did acknowledge that the driver did drop the second child off at the wrong point.  Wanda Skinner advised that the driver does not reside in the parish.  Lance with First Student advised the driver has been taken out of the parish.


Recognition was given to Pine Prairie Student, Lelia Deville, by Pine Prairie Assistant Principal, Andrew Dwyer, for her upcoming attendance at the 2015 National Future Business Leaders of America Leadership Conference in Chicago, Illinois from June 26th through July 3rd.  The School Board unanimously voted to contribute $200.00 for her attendance. 

The School Board voted to continue the millage rates that are currently in effect for this year.

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MAY 19, 2015


   The Rotary Club of Ville Platte Tuesday heard from Evangeline Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness Director Liz Hill, who is also in charge of the 9-1-1 Communications District. She informed club members that construction work is progressing on the new  9-1-1 communications facility at the Industrial Park. The concrete slab has just been poured for the 8,000 square foot building located next the Coreil Campus of South Louisiana Community College. This compares with their current location which is only 1400 square feet.

    The 9-1-1 communications board has been working and saving for over ten years for this new building which will have larger space for the communications center that will have the latest technology with a price tag of $400,000. It will house training rooms and other offices and space for emergency agencies to re locate during hurricanes and other critical times for use as incident command. The $2 million dollar facility is being built through a bond issue using local banks. It is expected to be completed in the next eleven months. The board is making every effort to keep jobs locally by using local sub contractors when possible.

     Liz Hill was the special guest of Rotarian Hillary Hill. He reminded club members of the Ville Platte VFW 75th anniversary celebration June 13 at the Our Lady Queen of All Saints Family Life Center. The State VFW Commander and Adjutant are expected to attend.

     Rotarian Mark Suelentrop reported on the success the club is having with the Choices program being taught in schools through out the parish. Club members are going to classrooms and encouraging students to stay in school. So far the program has reached 318 students parishwide.

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The Ville Platte City Council

May 12, 2015


The Ville Platte City Council held its monthly meeting tonight in City Hall.  Prior to the meeting, a public hearing was held regarding the issuance of a liquor permit to J.C. Ceasar who has purchased the property on the corner of MLK Drive and Dr. Carver. He intends to remodel the property and open a restaurant named The Creole House.  There were quite a few in attendance of support for Mr. Ceasar and there were also those who voiced concerns about parking in the area as well as problems from alcohol sales.  Mayor Jennifer Vidrine explained that she had received approximately 60 calls from residents voicing concerns as well.  After long discussions back and forth and with advisement from City Attorney Eric Lafleur, the Council voted to grant the liquor permit for a 6 month period and will continue it should Mr. Ceasar meet the requirement of having sales of food of more than 50% of total sales.


It was a happy time, when Ms. Ville Platte, Candace Bennatt, who is now Ms. Louisiana came and spoke to the council.  She received a standing ovation from everyone when the Mayor announced that Candace has chosen her “city to represent” as Ville Platte.  She said she chose Ville Platte because it reminds her of her hometown of Huffman, Texas and that she is very proud of Ville Platte.  Her boyfriend, Jack Walker was also in attendance.  The Miss USA Pageant will air on NBC at 8:00 p.m. on July 12th from Baton Rouge.


The Council voted to approve the V.P. Youth on the Move Summer Program which employee 24 children ages 16-18 over a 2 month period.  The child must live in the City of Ville Platte.  They will work in area businesses and receive other training pertaining to entering the work force, interviews, etc.

The Mayor announced that she has been appointed to the Louisiana Housing and Transportation Commission and this will help with planning for transportation in Ville Platte as well as working for affordable housing. 


She also reminded everyone that if you have an abandoned property, clean it up or you will be fined if you receive a warning and don’t.  The first fine is $1,000.00 and goes up from there.  If the City has to clean it, the cost will be put on your tax bill.


The expenditures for the month of April were $192,411.07 and that is down $25,360.18 from the month of March.

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MAY 12, 2015


        The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from special guest speaker District Judge Chuck West.

         Judge West told club members that he and Judge Gary Ortego  in cooperation with the Clerk of Court have made changes and improvements to the jury selection process. He said the public needs to be aware of the need to appear for possible jury duty. Some 300 people are subpoenaed in a given month for civil and criminal trials. As a means to inform more of the general public, the public can now go on line and see when the jury trials are set and if they need to report.

     Also both judges have signed up to speed up the process for arrest and search warrants. In the past, sometimes it could take hours to notify a judge after hours or on weekends to review and sign a warrant. Now, Judges West and Ortego have signed up for an online warranty generator. Through this process, it reduces the turnaround  time from up to two hours down to 15 minutes.

     Judge West is also concerned with security in the court rooms and throughout the courthouse. “Sometimes we deal with tense and explosive situations between the accused and victims and we need better security, “the judge said. Currently courthouse departments are pooling their resources to ramp up security personnel and measures. Judge West was the special guest of Rotarian Jimmy LeBlanc.

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The Evangeline Parish Police Jury

May 11, 2015


The Evangeline Parish Police Jury held its monthly meeting tonight in the Courthouse.  Discussions were had during the thirty minute meeting about a request from FEMA for OEP to refund $8,367.15 is was given nine years ago to use for overtime pay after Hurricane Gustov.  Since FEMA determined the Jury did not have a policy in place regarding overtime at that time, FEMA decided to “not allow” the funds to be kept and repayment has now been requested.  The Jury voted unanimously to give FEMA the refund out of the General Fund.


The Police Jury voted to “deny” an alleged auto damage claim in excess of $2,000.00.  The Claimant says his “rims were bent” from a pothole in the parish. 

Secretary/Treasurer, Donald Bergeron, reported that he and Ryan Williams both attended the Acadiana Planning Commission Meeting where Mr. Eric Kolabota with the LA Department of Transportation and Development spoke regarding the list of road projects that will be coming in the future should funding for those projects go through.  Proposals for “Dues” to be in the Planning Commission could run approximately $5,000.00/year should everything move forward.  The next meeting will be held on July 30th and will be held in Evangeline Parish.


Mr. Bergeron reported that the Sales Tax Collection for the month of March was $299,095.09.


Public Works Director, Chester Granger, reported that due to all of the rain, it was put a delay in the chip and seal project.  Until the roads dry out, they are unable to prepare the roads to continue with the project.  The Police Jury voted to allow the Public Works Department to replace a bridge on James Lane in District 1 in the amount of $11,200.00


City Engineer, Ronnie Landreneau, reported that there will be a “Pre-Bid Conference” tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. in the Police Jury Office in the conference room regarding the bids being received soon in the micro-surfacing project.

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The Evangeline Parish School

May 7, 2015


The Evangeline Parish School Board held it’s bi-monthly meeting tonight in the Media Center.  The Board was presented with a Resolution currently being submitted by the Iberia Parish School Board opposing any changes to the Inventory Tax Repeal.  Superintendent, Toni Hamlin explained that if the repeal of the tax collection is passed it would cost the School Board $1.1 million dollars and the Parish would suffer losing $3.5 million dollars.  The Resolution asks that the State of Louisiana find alternate ways to recover from its $1.6 billion dollar deficit.


There were quite a few teachers and administrators in attendance at the meeting and the topic of teacher and support staff salary structure were discussed.  The Executive Committee recently met to establish a salary structure which is based on “levels” teachers and workers are placed in and each level carries a different financial aspect to the structure.  Yvonne Johnson, Resource Teacher at Pine Prairie High School addressed the Board and thanked them for addressing the salary issue.  She also voiced concern over certain levels regarding the difference in a Bachelor’s Degree vs. a Master’s.  Cheryl Deseneaux also addressed the Board and stated “After 36 years working in the Parish, she never was part of the financial aspect until now.”  She now understands how the Board has been consistent with preserving the jobs of “everyone”.  She stated due to all of the different financial aspects the Board and Parish continues to go through, she feels the Board should keep the current structure “as it is.”


Chief Financial Officer, Amy LaFleur, reported that the sales tax comparison for the month of April was $701,001.31 and that is down $51,631.07 from this time last year.  However, she stated that the Board is still ahead for the fiscal year by $234,745.07.


Toni Hamlin announced the following graduation dates:

Mamou High School – May 15th ,Pine Prairie High School – May 14th ,Ville Platte High School – May 14th, Basille High School – May 15th


Ms. Hamlin also announced that it is Teacher’s Appreciation/Employee Appreciation Week and she thanked all employees for the hard work and great job they do every day.

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The Evangeline Parish School Board held its bi-monthly meeting tonight in the Media Center at Ville Platte High School. 


An important discussion was had regarding HB 177 that was passed through committee today in Baton Rouge.  If passed, the Bill would eliminate any governmental agency from collecting inventory taxes as they have in the past.  There was much discussion on how devastating this would be to many different entities as in school boards, maintenance funds, athletic funds, etc.   Board President, Wayne Dardeau, said he spoke to Representative Eric Lafleur, who is on the Executive Finance Committee, and he indicated he was for the Bill; however, stated that he said there should be an amendment where the lost money would have to be recouped by another means.  The question was asked “Where is that money going to come from?”  The general response was “There is no-where for it to come from.”  Several members of the Board questioned as to why Rep. Lafleur is in favor of such a Bill.  The Bill will go to the floor for debate on April 27th.  President Dardeau stated that Rep. Lafleur also said that he was not sure if the Bill could be passed without a Constitutional Amendment.


The Evangeline Sales Tax Comparison for the month of March was $528,417.92 and that is down $11,842.01 down from this time last year.

Keith Fontenot, Tina Guillory and Todd Fontenot presented the Board with a 4-H report that included information on some of the various programs offered to students, farmers, and homeowners.  It was noted that, due to the recent weather, they have fielded a variety of different phone calls regarding everything from bees, ants, various other insects and other issues with what the vast amount of rain brought with it.  Board President, Wayne Dardeau thanked all three of them for their continued efforts and assistance to the students and people in the parish.


On Wednesday, April 29th, there will be an Executive Committee Meeting to discuss various subjects including the “Jumpstart” program and salary issues.  Principles from area schools will be in attendance.


The next School Board Meeting will be held on May 7th instead of May 6th.

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APRIL 21, 2015


    The Ville Platte City Police Department is the target of an investigation by the U.S. Justice Department, according to Mayor Jennifer Vidrine. The mayor told KVPI News  that she received news this (Tuesday)  morning in a letter. She has reviewed the letter with Police Chief Neal Lartigue. Mayor Jennifer and Chief Lartigue announced that they will fully cooperate with the investigation. “We will be fully transparent and comply with any and all recommendations that come out of this investigation.” The mayor could not release any additional information on the specifics of the investigation. As soon as we receive any further word, we will inform our listeners.

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APRIL 19, 2015


     KVPI is sponsoring a Fan Appreciation Night for its listeners by giving away dozens of prizes all for the benefit of Evangeline Community Autism Network . The event is planned for this Saturday night from 6;00-12 midnight at Nick’s on Main. Tickets $20 per person. The first fifty people also receive a free T Shirt.

    Enjoy music Alyse Young, Dayne West, Mitch Attales and Spencer Racca. Bring your dancing shoes and party the night away. The KVPI crew will be there so come meet us. There will be a cash bar, and food will be available from Nick’s menu.

    Our fans will have a chance to win great door prizes including: four tickets to Blue Bayou Dixie Landing, a one night stay and a meal for two at Paragon Casino Resort, Movie Tickets, McDonalds Food vouchers, Disney on Ice Prize Packs, KVPI T Shirts, Koozies, Cups and Bumper Stickers.

   We will also have a raffle to win a Crawfish Boiling kit, a sack of crawfish and a $100 Wal-Mart gift Card. $1 per chance. The winner will be announced that night.

    KVPI is planning a Radio-Thon Friday from 9-12 noon on both KVPI AM and FM where those who wish to make a donation for Evangeline Community Autism Network may do so over the phone. Parents will go to your home or business to pick up your tax deductable donation.

    Our special thanks to our sponsors: Woodman of the World, Sheriff Eddie Soileau, Paragon Casino Resort, Fontenot’s Hatchery, KVPIU, Nick’s On Main, The Y Not Stop Shell, Citizens Bank, Fontenot Physical Therapy, Blakes Pharmacy, Cabot Corporation, City of Ville Platte, Evangeline Bank and Trust Company, T&J Ford, and Cajun Catfish and Kitchen.

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APRIL 17, 2015


   The Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce will hold their annual banquet on Wednesday April 29 at the Ville Platte Civic Center. The highlight of the event is the announcement of the civic award winners.

   Here are the nominations:


Nominees for Ville Platte Man of the Year: Randy Deshotels Clerk of Court and Nick LeBas with Evangeline Drug Store;


Nominees for Ville Platte Woman of the Year: Jennifer Meylian with KVPI; Linda Lebsack with Friends of the Library and Evangeline Parish Tourism Commission; Mary Foster Galasso with the Evangeline Parish Library;


Business of the Year- Budget Rental ; Cabot Corporation, Citizens Bank, Cottage Couture, Evangeline Parish Communications-911; Laville Funeral Home; Leroy’s Cajun Meats; Mayeaux Wealth Partners, Rick’s Custom Signs, The Hatchery and Walk and Sons -Slap Ya Mama.


Business Person of the Year- Anita Fontenot-owner of the Hatchery and Southwest Loan Companies; Annette Johnson of Kolder, Champagne, Slaven and Co; Clem Lafleur-Owner of Lafleur Industries; Darin Bordelon-owner of Laville Funeral Home; Donald Fontenot- Storage Facility Manager of Pine Prairie Energy; Leroy Fontenot-Owner of Leroy’s Cajun Meats; Liz Hill-Director of Evangeline Parish Communications 9-1-1; Maggie Eades-Owner of Cottage Couture; Sheila Saunders of Cottage Couture; Larry Lachney-Owner of Papa Gators Cajun Foods, Money Mart, Gators Drive Through and Lachney Properties.


Congratulations to all the nominees.

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The Ville Platte City Council

April 14, 2015


The Ville Platte City Council held its monthly meeting tonight at Ville Platte City Hall.  Mayor, Jennifer Vidrine, and all of the City Councilmen were in attendance.

Real Estate Developer, J.C. Ceasar, approached the City Council with his plans to renovate, rejuvenate and turn the property he purchased at the corner of Dr. Carver and MLK Drive into a restaurant similar to that of Buffalo Wild Wings.  He will be filing an application for a liquor permit to serve alcohol similar to that of the big chain restaurant.  There was some hot discussion back and forth about the issuance of a liquor permit in that area.  Mr. Ceasar reported that he has met with many residents in the area and received a lot of approval to go ahead with the project.  Mayor Vidrine expressed that she has received calls from some area residents who, because of the past in the area, and where they live, they were against a liquor permit being issued.  Councilman Bryant Riggs spoke in support of giving Mr. Caesar a chance with the project because he knows Mr. Ceasar’s reputation, his service in the military, his help with other projects in Ville Platte, and commented that we “should not focus on the past, but the future.”  Area resident, Joycee Thomas, spoke out against the project as she lives directly across the street and says that since the clubs in that area have closed she “now pass peace and can sleep at night.”  Wanda Skinner came to the podium and said she was very much “for the project” and that she is “tired of always having to travel to the other side of town to get something to eat.  There will be a public hearing for comments at 4:30 p.m. before the next meeting on May 12th.


The Police Jury unanimously agreed to grant a permit to Stout & Co.  to construct and erect a 195 foot tower on the south end of town off of Hickory that will be used by multiple wireless companies to better cell phone coverage, and internet speed.  Stout reported that the project should be completed in the next 120 days.


Tiffany Barth spoke to the Council and Mayor regarding the introduction of an ordinance regarding a Drinking Water Protection Program.  She presented a draft ordinance patterned after the EPA standards for protection of our public water supply from possible contaminations.  One of the items in the draft ordinance, which can be altered by the Council if adopted, is to have restrictions within 1,000 feet of any water well serving an active public water system.  When asked the question “What kind of opposition do you receive from these ordinances in other places?” she replied “Normally from the farming community”.  The Council’s legal council will now be reviewing the draft ordinance and there will be a public hearing for comments at 4:45 p.m. at the next meeting on May 12th..


Mayor Jennifer Vidrine reported that the City has just submitted a $5 Million dollar grant application to build 30 new, affordable, brick homes in the Woods Section of Town.  She stated: “We want people to rebuild on that side of town and be proud to live and stay there.”


The Mayor announced and congratulated Kennedy Wilson, a senior at Ville Platte High School, who has received the LA Housing Aid Scholarship in the amount of $1,800.00.  The scholarship that was based on academic performance, extra- curricular activities, community service and a submitted essay. 


There will be a 4-way stop sign installed at the corner of Coreil & Jefferson Street. 

The Mayor has been working with the Senior V.P. of Suddenlink out of Dallas and says they are going to be doing a $150,000.00 upgrade to their equipment in our area around July.


She also announced that they are currently waiting for the permits to place the first three flag poles at the entrance of Ville Platte near Tobacco Plus.  The first three will be the American Flag, the State of Louisiana flag and a flag that is being developed for the City of Ville Platte.  Other flags will be added later and plans are being made to put in a water feature at the same site.


They met with the Mayor of Paris France and gave her a replica of the news French/English signs being erected in the City and the Mayor returned to France to place it in her office. 


The Mayor thanks Thomas Scully for all of his hard work and dedication at the new ball complex in Ville Platte.  Scully reported that the “Tournament Action” is going well and that at the last tournament the gate and concession collected approximately $10,000.00.


Lastly, the Council unanimously voted to get the ball rolling on a new Planning and Zoning Commission for our area.  

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APRIL 14, 2015


    The Rotary Club of Ville Platte heard from the Sacred Heart Interact Club. Interact is a rotary sponsored organization for high school students. Among those who spoke were Claire Bordelon, President of the local group. She gave a report on some of the activities her organization performed during the past year:  making regular visits to Heritage Manor Nursing Home to play bingo with the residents; cleaning the Sacred Heart School Prayer Garden. She also announced that the recent polio project in conjunction with the local rotary club raised over $300 that will be donated to Rotary International to help in their efforts to eradicate polio worldwide.

      Tori Ann Veillon, a senior at Sacred Heart was named Interact Student for the entire rotary district. She gave an essay on what Interact means to her and some of the projects the group was involved in. The group assisted in Food for Families Food Drive last December.

    Kim LeJeune, Sacred Heart Development Director informed Rotarians of the annual Sacred Heart benefit coming up on May 23 from 6:30-11:00pm. The school will have a 9 piece band performing and providing a buffet meal. There will also be a live and a silent auction. Tickets will be $80 per person.

   The three speakers were the guests of Rotarian Larry Lachney.

   Also, KVPI Program Director Jennifer Meylian addressed the Rotary Club about the KVPI Benefit event planned for Saturday April 25 for the benefit of Evangeline Community Autism Network. The benefit dance will take place from 6:00-12 midnight at Nicks on Main and will feature four musical acts. Tickets are $20 per person and available now at KVPI. She shared her personal story of raising her daughter, Sarah, that was diagnosed with autism at age 4. The group is a support group that provides help, support and education to families in Evangeline Parish with an autistic child.

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The Evangeline Parish Police Jury

April 13, 2015


The Evangeline Parish Police Jury held its monthly meeting tonight in the Evangeline Parish Courthouse.  Keith Fontenot, Tina Guillory and Todd Fontenot with the LSU AG Center addressed the Jury and told of various services the AG Center provides for our area and neighboring parishes, including educational programs regarding production practices and Master programs such as Farmer and Logger programs.  Ms. Guillory stated the focus for the 4-H Nutrition and Health Programs has been etiquette and manners, including cell phone etiquette, cyber safety, making a commitment and following through, cheating versus honesty and dressing appropriately for occasions.  Todd Fontenot spoke regarding the Live Stock Program, Cattlemen’s Show and the success they are having with the shooting program.  They thanked the Jury for use of the buildings used for their programs and for helping with other assistance.


The Police Jury unanimously voted to adopt the 2015 Amendments to the Budget, which will include $19,000.00 requested by Judge Chuck West to make improvements to both district courtrooms, including wiring for the sound system, etc.

Philip Lemoine addressed the Jury regarding various insurance changes, issues with certain coverages, savings possibilities and persons covered.  He reported that The Affordable Care Act continues to be a thorn and he continues to receive “New Rules” regarding the program.


Kenneth Johnson with Crooked Creek reported to the Jury that there have been problems with campers keeping loud music playing late into the night.  The Jury approved changing the rule to having a cut-off time of 10:00 p.m. sharp.  They reiterated that the rule will be enforced.  There will also be changes coming as to “Golf Cart Passes”.  It was reported that people try to “sneak in” golf carts and until a new program is established, they will be handing out golf cart tags at the front gate that must be on your golf cart showing when you checked in, what spot you are camping in, and when you are departing.


Public Works Director, Chester Granger, advised the Jury of two bridges that are in need of serious…on Stage Coach Road and 4 Mile Road.  They Jury approved Mr. Granger hiring a new crew for Chip & Seal that will begin at the South end of the parish.  He advised if you are interested in applying for any positions, please go to Acadiana Works and apply. 


Secretary/Treasurer, Donald Bergeron, reported that the 2% Sales Tax collected for February was $198,544.00 and that is down $18,000.00 from this time last year.

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APRIL 12, 2015


   Despite a rainy start Friday, both parish festivals ended with nice weather and plenty of activities for local and area residents.

    The 31st Annual Boggy Bayou Festival began Thursday at the festival grounds and ended Saturday night. All of the funds raised go to the Prairie Manor Nursing Home. Events were hampered Friday with all the rain. However things greatly improved Saturday. Crowds came out and enjoyed the carnival rides, music by Ashton Dupre, Mitch Attales and Jaryd Lane. KVPI FM was there doing a live remote broadcast with Jenn Meylian Saturday from 10-12 noon. Organizer Bernice Ardoin wants to thank the many volunteers and everyone who came out for making it another great year for the festival.

   The first ever “Le Grand Hoorah” festival, a festival of Louisiana culture took place Friday night and all day Saturday. Again, rain fell for the Friday night event however there were several hundred festival goers assembled under the big dance tent to enjoy Steve Riley and Doug Kershaw and had a great time. On Saturday with the sun shining, the crowds came out and everyone enjoyed the musical acts, great food and activities for the kids. The music included Horace Trahan, Kyle Huval and Déjà Vu. Organizer Gilbert Winky Aucoin wants to thank all the many volunteers, sponsors, groups and the public for their support in making it a successful festival and looks forward to next year. KVPI FM was there covering the event live with a remote Saturday morning from 10-12 noon.

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APRIL 8, 2015


   The Ville Platte Rotary Club Tuesday heard from Missy Grimmett, a workforce developer with the Louisiana Workforce Commission. She told Rotarians that the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act was signed into law on July 1 of last year. She said her primary focus is to work with employers in finding the skilled workers they need. She said the most jobs in demand are in these industries: construction, health care, manufacturing and oil and gas. She also reported that three companies will be locating in Acadiana and  hiring 1000 people in the IT industry.

    She announced that Acadiana’s share of a $6.1 million dollar grant will be used in the next three years to help employers train new workers. Grant funds are available up to $5000 to train prospective new workers if they meet eligibility requirements.

    She was the special guest of Rotarian Bob Manuel.

    It was announced during the meeting that the annual Chamber of Commerce Banquet is planned for April 29 at the Ville Platte Civic Center. The banquet will honor Ville Platte’s Man and Woman of the Year, Business of the Year and Business Person of the Year.

    Also, the rotary club learned that the VFW Post 3803 will have a sandwich sale on May 13 to raise funds to plan a 75th anniversary celebration on June 13.

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MARCH 31, 2015


   The Vile Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from two semi finalists for State Teacher of the Year and State Principal of the Year. Superintendent of Schools Toni Hamlin introduced her three guests which included Vidrine Elementary School Principal Sherrell Tezeno .  Tezeno introduced her teacher, Brandi Marcantel, who is in the running for State Teacher of the Year.
    Brandi Marcantel is a fourth grade teacher  at Vidrine Elementary for the past three years and has been in the profession for nineyears. She is married and she and her husband are the parents of two children. She is totally dedicated to making sure her students achieve and she has 100 percent of her students passed their Leap test exams.

    Also Cherie Fontenot, principal at James Stephens Montessori School is in the running for State Principal of the Year. Cherie has been an educator for 20 years and for the past four years as principal.

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MARCH 24, 2015


      The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from representatives of Pine Prairie Energy Center, a gas storage facility located in Easton. Among those attending speaking were Don Fontenot, Ed Benoit and Kyle Fontenot.

    Benoit offered a  audio visual presentation on Pine Prairie Energy  that is been in operation since 2006. The facility has five caverns, 4000 feet deep. The caverns can hold up to 46 billion cubic feet of gas enough to supply the gas needs of the entire state of Louisiana for one day. The facility is located over a huge salt dome which is nearly 2 miles wide. The company has 84 miles of 24 inch pipeline that goes to Eunice and elsewhere. The pipeline connects to such major companies pipelines as Tennessee Gas, Transco, Texas Eastern, Columbia Gas and Texas Gas.

    Pine Prairie Energy employs 19 people and has provided over 15 million dollars in taxes sinc ei began operations. The three were guests of Rotarian Eric Gil.

    Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine  said she is preparing a special gift basket to present to the Mayor of Paris, France when she visits our area on Monday.

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March 18, 2015

The Evangeline Parish School Board had its bi-monthly meeting tonight in the Media Center at Ville Platte High School.  The meeting room was packed with excited parents and students as the “Students of the Year” Awards were given out.  Linda Lafleur presented the awards to the following nominees and winners:

5th Grade:

Brooklyn Fontenot – Bazile High School

Ainsley Dutton – Bayou Chicot Elementary

Hunter Brown – Chataignier Elementary

Isaiah Noel – Mamou High School

Coreyan Johnson – Vidrine Elementary

Josie Guillory – Ville Platte High School

8th Grade:

Jaylen Thomas – Bazile High School

Jessica Cole – Bayou Chicot Elementary

Jada Guillory – Chataignier Elementary

Kiersten Goodley – Mamou High School

Chloe Tate – Vidrine Elementary

Jarden Bias – Ville Platte High School

12th Grade­:

Savanna Bergeaux (Not Pictured) – Bazile High School

Kaitlyn Chatelain – Mamou High School

Makayla Lenzy Hebert – Pine Prairie High School

Reygan Ann Jagneaux – Ville Platte High School


5TH GRADE: Ainsley Dutton – Bayou Chicot Elementary

8th GRADE: Kiersten Goodley – Mamou High School

12th GRADE: Savanna Bergeaux – Bazile High School

Superintendent, Toni Hamlin reported that “Testing” is going “Very Well so far”.  There have been reports in the media about children being able to “opt out” of the testing; however, Evangeline Parish has a very low percentage of that happening compared to other school districts. Evangeline had 1 at Pine Prairie High School, 1 at Chataignier and 19 at Bayou Chicot Elementary.  Ms. Hamlin said administrators have explained to parents that this is a tool they can use to see how their children are learning.  She also noted that the Schools and the District get a “0” for any student that opts out.  She also pointed out that even though opting out will never harm a child, it is not a guaranty that they will automatically promote to the next level.  There is still an academic standard in the Pupil Progression Plan that students must meet.  Student were asked if they think the ELA part of the test was “harder than they thought it would be or easier”.  She reports that students are saying it is “Easier than they thought it would be.”

The Board voted to approve a three year contract with First Student to handle transportation services.  Discussions were had regarding overloading on buses and children standing up.  Board Member, Wanda Skinner, questioned First Student and voiced concerns regarding calls she has received from parents regarding overcrowding on a couple of buses. Ted Soileau and First Turn responded and explained that they have been working on re-rerouting some of the routes to avoid this from happening. 

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The Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce held its monthly meeting today at Nick’s on Main. 

Guest Speaker was Donald Bergeron, Secretary/Treasurer of the Evangeline Parish Police Jury.  He explained how far reaching the responsibilities of the Police Jury are.  From Libraries to Prisons and ditches and roads and everything in between.  He explained that the Police Jury is currently working with Congress to keep Tax Exemptions for Municipal Bonds.  If they did not have the exemptions, it would not be attractive to contractors interested in a project.  Mr. Bergeron explained part of the Road Work Project that Parish has been working on.  It is divided into the Northern Portion and the Southern Portion.  So far, in the Northern portion, they have laid 21 miles out of the 83 total miles and have spent 1.7 million dollars out of the total cost of 9.6 million dollars. In the Southern Portion, they have laid 12 of the 69 miles and spent 1.47 million dollars out of the total 9.3 million.  They will be moving into Phase II and then Phase III.

Angie Rozas with Cleco announced that this year’s Annual Banquet is going to be held on April 29th.  The Social will be from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. and the banquet starts at 7:00 p.m.  Clerk of Court, Randy Deshotel, announced this year’s theme will be “Casino Theme” and there will be a silent auction, cash bar and they are working on the entertainment. Tickets will be $40.00 and the Chamber will be sending out letters letting you know when they are available.  They will announce the following awards:

Man of the Year

Woman of the Year

Business of the Year

Business Person of the Year’

The deadline for you to nominate someone is April 3rd.  Please include a Bio of the person when you nominate them.


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MARCH 17, 2015


    The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from Boisy Pitre, a computer  specialist and software developer who resides in the Prairie Rhonde area. Pitre gave an interesting presentation on the history of computer technology and mathematics and how they are inter -related.  The first transistor was invented in 1947 and iBM invented the first personal computer in 1981. He felt the future of computer technology will be in wearables  such as watches to make it more personal to the user. The camera will show the emotional engagement of the user to be able to tell if you happy or sad. The new devices will also be able to improve your fitness and health such as measure your blood pressure, sugar levels and how your meal impacts your body chemistry. Boisy Pire was the special guest of Library Director Mary Foster Galosso.

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