Local News

15 Year old Youth to be tried as an adult on charges of Attempted Second Degree Murder

Youth to be charged and tried as adult in Attempted Murder Case May 10, 2023 Evangeline Parish District Trent Brignac reported to KVPI News that on April 20, a hearing was conducted. Before the court were the issues of whether a 15 year old should be continued in custody and whether there was probable cause that the juvenile has committed a crime that could subject him to the jurisdiction of the adult criminal court. At the conclusion of the hearing, Judge Marcus Fontenot found both that the juvenile should remain in custody and that probable cause existed that the juvenile committed the crime of Attempted Second Degree Murder. Thereafter, the juvenile court was divested of jurisdiction over the case and the case is now under the exclusive jurisdiction of the adult district court for all subsequent proceedings. District Attorney Trent Brignac commended the efforts of Assistant District Attorneys Deidra Godfrey and Julhelene “Betsy” Jackson for their preparation and presentation at the hearing. In another matter, District Attorney Trent Brignac reported that numerous cases were considered in the month of April as part of the regular scheduled docket. In separate criminal dockets before Judge Chuck West and Judge Marcus Fontenot, there were a total of 46 felony convictions and 22 misdemeanor convictions. Brignac commended the efforts of Assistant District Attorneys Jacob Fuselier, Stan Vidrine, Justin Bo West and Deidra Godfrey for their efforts in the prosecution of these cases.

Sacred Heart Star Pitcher signed to play for Baton Rouge Community College

Sacred Heart Baseball Standout Briggs Ardoin Signs with Baton rouge Community College. Sacred Heart High Star Pitcher Briggs Ardoin made it official and signed with Baton Rouge Community College. The signing event took place Wednesday at the Sacred Heart School Library with family, friends and team players in attendance. He completed his senior year of play with the Sacred Heart Trojans with a 19 and 5 record. Briggs told KVPI Sports his passion and first love is the sport of baseball. He has been playing baseball since age 4 at the Mamou recreational league. Ardoin said he is “ready to begin a new chapter in my life”. He gives big props to his baseball coach, Coach Gary Ashworth, who was a big supporter. His fast ball speed has been clocked at 88 miles per hour. He is looking forward to achieving a business degree to become a certified public accountant. At Baton Rouge Community College, he will join former Trojan Isaac Leger. Coach Ashworth, in his term as head baseball coach, has had five signees in the past five years. Sacred Heart ended the season going to the state playoffs through the second round.

Richard Fontenot was guest speaker at Ville Platte Rotary Club Meeting

The speaker at the Rotary Club meeting on Tuesday, presented by Rotarian Peter Strawitz, was Richard Fontenot, with the Louisiana Farm Bureau. Agriculture is a key industry in the state of Louisiana. The industry is very dynamic. In 2022, the state experienced a drought until August, and then there was about 60 days in a row when it rained. That year resulted in the most expensive harvest that Louisiana has ever experienced. The production was still strong, but some of the quality of the crop was lost. Rice and Crawfish generate about $73 million in value per year in Evangeline Parish. Crawfish used to be shipped from Gulfport to Texas. Now shipments go from Birmingham to Los Angeles and San Francisco. This year, however, was a disappointing crawfish year. The producers was getting the production, but not getting the return. This was the first year that buyers shut down purchasing. There were many contributing factors, including supply chain issues, workers and inflation. The rice production should be a little above breakeven. The LSU Ag Center is an Integral part of Louisiana Agriculture. One of the questions asked was about the continuation of the industry and bringing in new generations of agricultural workers. The Farm Bureau is working with the Ag Center, Educators and agencies to improve the programs available to young people. They are needed in every facet of the industry. Mr. Fontenot was also asked about solar farms being introduced to the area. The Farm Bureau is a strong proponent of personal property rights, and people should be able to make the decisions on what is best for their families. However, they do change the landscape and the possibility for future production. The Farm Bureau will continue to work to keep the agriculture industry in Louisiana strong and vibrant. Other Rotary announcements • If anyone is interested in becoming a Paul Harris Fellow, please let Annette or another Board Member know so that they can help with that. • The Evening Installation will be held on June 20th. There will be no lunch meeting that day. • A potential new member was introduced for the first time – Linda Sue Fontenot. She is being sponsored by Nicole Wenger. • Next week’s program will be presented by Dr. Kirk Soileau, and the speaker will be Dr. Shawn Wilson, Secretary of the Louisiana DOTD.

Drug Arrests by Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Deputies

Sheriff’s Office Drug Arrests May 5, 2023 Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory reports to KVPI News the following drug arrests: On Tuesday May 2, the sheriff’s department narcotics unit conducted a check on a vehicle parked at a business located in Point Blue. Upon coming into contact with the occupants, agents could smell marijuana coming from the vehicle. Agents conducted a probable cause search and located illegal narcotics. Arrested was Steve Marcantel age 65 charged with possession of Methamphetamine and Possession of Pragabalin. Bond was set at $8,000; On Wednesday May 3, the sheriff’s department narcotics units stopped a vehicle on Carbon Loop road. Agents made contact the driver who was acting extremely nervous. K-9 Diego arrived on the scene and conducted a search of the outside of the vehicle and returned a positive alert. Arrested was Dusty Brod Matte age 44 of Ville Platte charged with possession of Heroin, possession of Methamphetamine, possession of Fentanyl and he had an outstanding warrant. His bond was set at $50,000. Also on May 3, the narcotics unit stopped a vehicle on Pine Point road. Following a search of the vehicle, illegal narcotics were located. Deputies arrested Richard Campbell age 48 of Mamou charged with possession of Heroin, possession of Methamphetamine and possession of Fentanyl. The bond was set at $25,000. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty.

Evangeline Sheriff's Office Make Arrests

Sheriff’s Office Arrests May 3, 2023 Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory reported to KVPI News the following arrests: A Ville Platte area man, Jonathan Sittig age 40 , turned himself to authorities Wednesday, May 3 on an outstanding warrant for Simple Battery. One other subject is still wanted: Jason Peschier age 45 of Ville Platte on a charge of Aggravated Second Degree Battery in the same case. He is described as a white male, six feet one inches tall, 235 pounds in weight with brown eyes and short blonde hair. If anyone has information on the whereabouts of the subject , please contact the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Department at 337-363-2161. The charges are in connection with a disturbance at a bar at the intersection of LA 13 and LA 10 in September of last year. The victim was attacked by multiple subjects at the bar and one of the subjects struck the victim with a pair of brass knuckles. With the use of surveillance video, deputies were able to identify the two suspects. In another cases, Ville Platte City Police on April 26, arrested a suspect wanted in connection with an incident at the Dollar General Store in Bayou Chicot. The sheriff’s spokesman identified the suspect as Erica Joanne Roberts, age 33, of Ville Platte. She was arrested and charged with aggravated battery by Evangeline Parish authorities. The arrest was in connection with the Dollar Store incident in November of 2022. Deputies responded to the Bayou Chicot Dollar Store in reference to a theft. Upon arrival, deputies learned that the victim attempted to stop the suspect from leaving the store parking lot with stolen merchandise. The suspect struck the victim with the vehicle almost running over the victim. In another case, sheriff’s deputies arrested Christopher Duplechain, age 51, of Basile was arrested on April 28 on a charge of Domestic Abuse Battery. He remains incarcerated in the parish jail awaiting a Gwen’s Law hearing. The arrest was in connection with information gotten from the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services investigators involving a possible case of abuse in the family home. Upon completion of the investigation, it was determined that the father, Duplechain, struck his 14 year old daughter causing multiple injuries that required medical attention. They also determined that this incident was the culmination of a pattern of abuse over time and it ended with this incident. Also assisting in the investigation were representatives of the Hearts of Hope Child Advocacy Center. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.

Evangeline Parish Police Jury Meeting

Evangeline Parish Police Jury May 1, 2023 The Evangeline Parish Police Jury Monday discussed a recent visit from a private management group “Vista” that toured Crooked Creek Park. The group is interested in taking over the management and operation of the parish owned park. It was learned the group will propose either a profit sharing arrangement or a straight lease with the police jury. The group will be responsible for maintaining and make needed improvements including upgrading the reservations system. Police Jury President Bryan Vidrine announced to the rest of the jury that Secretary Treasurer Chester Granger will begin bidding out ten adjudicated properties each month. These are primarily blighted properties that have been turned over to the parish .in an effort to receive payment of back taxes on the property. The jury discussed tightening down on road use permits for loggers. It was discussed that some companies are abusing the permit by not turning in the permit after their project. Jurors discussed one area of roadway that received some $200,000 in damage due to heavy loads on the roads. Some jurors are in favor of limiting the permits to 60 days rather than 6 months. In other action the police jury: --from new parish County Agent Vince Deshotel who is replacing Todd Fontenot in Evangeline Parish. Deshotel , a Vidrine resident, was serving as County Agent in St. Landry Parish until he accepted this new assignment; --approved the purchase of the old probation and parole building across the street from the courthouse. The 6500 square foot building has a price tag of $130,000.; --approved calling for the tax renewal elections for Evangeline Council on Aging, Ward One Cemetery Tax. Fire District One and 9-1-1 on the November runoff election day ballot; --is considering engaging the services of a recruiting service to help find a new building inspector after its inspector Rick Harper retired.

Mark Layne of KVPI was guest speaker at Rotary Meeting

The speaker at the Rotary Club meeting on Tuesday, presented by Rotarian Scott Smith, was Mark Layne, the General Manager of KVPI. Mark let the Rotarians know that KVPI had been awarded the Small Market Station of the Year by the Louisiana Broadcasters Association. It was the 15th time that KVPI has been presented with this honor. This year’s award is special because the small market category included mid-size markets like Alexandria and Lafayette for the first time. This year is also the 70th anniversary of KVPI. The station went on the air on November 22, 1953. The station signed on with Father Bourgeois from Sacred Heart. He blessed the station, and then the owner, Mr. Lionel DeVille, welcomed everyone in. Mark invited Floyd Soileau to speak. Floyd is the oldest living former employee of KVPI. Floyd told stories from when he worked at the station, and when he was starting the record shop. Floyd talked about the start of La Tasse de Café, KVPI’s most popular program. Mark spoke about the station owners’ commitment to this community. The call sign, KVPI, means Keeping Ville Platte Informed. He discussed the French programming, Cajun Music, French News, and the most popular day, Swamp Pop Fridays. There are no other stations covering local news, meetings, politics, and youth sports. KVPI consistently covers little league sports and area high school athletics, 4-H events, and other community activities. Conducting interviews is Mark’s favorite part of the job, and he has interviewed politicians, actors, musicians, writers, educators, all sorts of people! KVPI has brought worldwide attention to Ville Platte, and Mark thanked the members of the Rotary for their support and discussed how important advertising is to the station. He expressed the hope that the community will continue to support this very important and vital resource. Mark ended with inviting everyone to the 70th anniversary celebration that will be held in November! Other Rotary announcements · The Rotary District Conference was held last weekend in Lafayette at the Hilton @ River Ranch. · The Spring Social was held April 18 at the Chicot Park Group Cabins. The event was catered by B&S, and a great time was had by everyone! · The Rotary Board meeting will be held next Tuesday at 6:00 at Joey’s camp. · Next week’s program will be presented by Dr. Joey Soileau.

Sheriff Department Arrests

Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office Arrests April 14, 2023 Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory reported to KVPI News about recent arrests. A Ville Platte man was arrested on March 24 in connection with a possible stabbing. Deputies responded to the North Landing of Miller’s Lake in reference to a possible stabbing. During the investigation, it was discovered that the suspect, Jonathan Deshotel age 19 of Ville Platte got into a verbal altercation with the victim. The altercation turned physical and the suspect presented a knife, cutting the victim in the right arm. The suspect then obtained a pair of jumper cables and strangled the victim. Deshotel was later apprehended and arrested for aggravated battery. He is currently being held in the Evangeline Parish Jail with a $50,000 bond. In another case, deputies responded to the Dollar General Store on Chataignier road in reference to a theft. During the investigation, it was learned that the suspect, Sholanda Thomas age 36 of Ville Platte had stolen multiple items from the store and fled the scene in an unknown direction. The suspect was later identified by detectives through the store video camera system. Thomas was later arrested for misdemeanor theft and issued a summons. Also, on March 14, detectives received a complaint of a suspect obtaining the victim’s credit card information and making multiple purchases at local stores. During the investigation and using store video surveillance cameras, detectives were able to identify the suspect, Rickey Joseph age 52 of Mamou. The total amounts of the purchases were for approximately $509. He was later arrested and charged with misdemeanor theft and monetary instrument abuse. His bond was set at $52,500.

Sheriff Guillory was featured speaker at Rotary Meeting

Rotary Club Meeting – 4-4-23 The speaker at the Rotary Club Tuesday, presented by Steve Phillips, was Sheriff Charles Guillory. The Sheriff gave an update on the latest news in the Parish. The Evangeline Sheriff’s Department has received $150,000 in grants in the last couple of years. The most recent was a $50,000 grant for litter abatement. The program will be implemented in the next couple of weeks. In the last 2½ years , the Sheriff’s Department has responded to 6,000 calls and made 1,113 arrests. 532 of those arrests were drug related. The Sheriff said that if he could get rid of anything in the world, it would be drugs. The Department has seized numerous vehicles that have yielded about $50,000 which will contribute to the drug enforcement fund. About 700 guns have been seized. They broke ground on the new jail. It will be a 48,000 square foot State of the Art facility with central control. It will include 10 maximum security cells, and there will be capacity to hold 10 juveniles awaiting adjudication. It costs about $300.00 daily to handle juveniles. Sheriff Guillory prefers to refer to the new facility as a Rehabilitation Center, and it is scheduled to take about 18 months for completion. Other Rotary announcements · The Rotary District Conference will be held Friday and Saturday, April 21st and 22nd. in Lafayette at the Hilton River Ranch. The Food Fest is Saturday and should be a lot of fun! · The Spring Social will be held April 18 at the Chicot Park Group Cabins. The meal (Boston Butt BBQ with all the fixings) will be catered. · New Member presentations for the 3rd time – Mayor Williams and Donald Bergeron. New Member presentation for the 2nd time – Christ Aguillard. · Next week’s program will be presented by Dan Poret.

Ground Breaking held for new parish jail Tuesday morning

Ground breaking for new parish prison held March 21, 2023 The ground breaking for the new Evangeline Parish Jail facility was held this (Tuesday) morning at the new proposed site at the Ward One Industrial Park. Sheriff Charles Guillory welcomed the large group of public officials and the general public in attendance. Fr. Tom Voorhies, pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church offered an opening prayer. Also speaking was architect Alex Deshotel whose firm is designing the new parish jail facility who announced that the jail will house 200 inmates including men, woman and some juveniles. They expect to go to bid in the next three months for a general contractor. The construction phase is expected to take about 14-16 months. Based on that time line, the new parish jail should have a ribbon cutting in the next 18 months. Other speakers included State Representative Rhonda Butler and Police Jury President Brian Vidrine. The ground breaking included the sheriff, the architect and several members of the police jury. The closing prayer was offered by Rev. Freddie Jack of the St. John Baptist Church.

Evangeline Parish Police Jury Meeting

Evangeline Parish Police Jury Meeting March 6, 2023 The Evangeline Parish Police Jury Monday night received information on a proposed solar farm in Bayou Chicot from Eric Wedesky with IBV Energy Partners. The company plans to invest 250 million dollars to create a 200 Megawatt solar farm on a 1200 acre tract of land in the Bayou Chicot area. The project will support energy reliability, create jobs and increase tax revenues for Evangeline Parish residents,. They are proposing to start construction in the first quarter of 2024 and start commercial operation and be on line and deliver power to the grid by the second quarter of 2025. He is projecting that the new Solar Farm will support over 27.5 million dollars in a new tax base over a 35 year period. The project will supply electricity for approximately 34,000 homes. He mentioned that during the 18 month construction period, the project will hire some 250 direct temporary jobs and $54 million dollars in earnings in Louisiana. Once construction is completed, they will have 3-5 permanent new jobs to help maintain the solar farm operation. The police jury has called a public hearing at 4:30pm on April 3 at the courthouse to get public comment on the proposed new Solar Farm operation at Bayou Chicot. In other business, the police jury: --agreed to proceed with a “Workers on Wheels” project at Crooked Creek Park where campers could camp at no charge in exchange for assisting in work projects around the camping site; --after hearing a proposal to lease the courthouse canteen to Steven Sawtelle to begin selling food for courthouse employees and guests, the police jury voted to officially advertise in their legal journal to accept sealed quotes and proposals for the courthouse canteen; --authorized the police jury president the authority to sign all necessary paperwork once an agreement has been reached in a cooperative endeavor agreement between the police jury and City of Ville Platte to help clean the city’s canals;- --scheduled a public hearing on a new nuisance ordinance regulating the usage of Tannerite. The ordinance prohibits the usage of Tannerite with propane bottles. This new noise pollution ordinance would prohibit its usage between 8’00pm to 8;00am.; --approved a resolution to issue up to 2.5 million dollars in tax bonds for Fire Protection District #2 to construct a new fire station in the Tee Mamou area.; --appointed Jody Snoddy as the new Public Works Director replacing Andrew Tate who will become the new Region A Foreman; Darrell Shepherd Jr was named new Assistant Public Works Director; --received news from Parish Engineer Ronnie Landreneau that the parish has been awarded $923,000 in a sewer grant for the Wyble Subdivision.

KVPI Honored at Louisiana Ag Hall of Distinction

KVPI Winning Award March 3, 2023 KVPI AM/FM was honored and recognized Thursday night at the annual Louisiana Agriculture Hall of Distinction event in Baton Rouge. The radio stations were recognized for outstanding and continuous service to the ag industry in our listening area for the past 70 years. KVPI presents four ag reports a day from the Louisiana Agri News Network along with weekly county agent and 4-H reports. Presenting the award to KVPI’s Misty Parker representing KVPI were Jeff Palermo, the News and Sports Director with the Louisiana Radio Network and Richard Fontenot of Vidrine. with the Louisiana Farm Bureau and the Louisiana Rice Research Board. Also recognized at the event were: Dr. Steven Linscombe, rice scientist with the LSU Ag Center, Jackie Theriot, a sugar cane farmer from Breaux Bridge and Gerard Frey, rice producer from Acadia Parish. The Louisiana Agriculture Hall of Distinction event took place Thursday night at L’auberge Casino and Hotel in Baton Rouge and sponsored by the Louisiana Radio Network, LSU AG Center, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Louisiana Farm Bureau.

KVPI will be honored in the Louisiana Agriculture Hall of Distinction

Ville Platte Radio Station to Receive Recognition Three individuals who have spent their careers dedicated to improving agriculture in Louisiana will be the newest inductees into the Louisiana Agriculture Hall of Distinction and one South Louisiana radio station will be recognized for dedicated service to Louisiana agriculture. The induction will take place at the L’Auberge Hotel in Baton Rouge Thursday March 2. KVPI AM/FM, Ville Platte, will receive special recognition at the 2023 Louisiana Agriculture Hall of Distinction induction ceremonies. KVPI has been serving the agriculture community of Evangeline and surrounding parishes since it first signed on the air back in 1953. General Manager Mark Layne and the entire staff of KVPI AM/FM is being recognized as one of the outstanding affiliates of the Voice of Louisiana Agriculture Radio Network as it provides Louisiana farmers and ranchers access to the latest information they need to continue making agriculture the number one industry in Louisiana. The inductees are rice and crawfish farmer Gerard Frey, of Iota; Steve Linscombe, longtime LSU AgCenter rice breeder and current director of the USA Rice Federation Leadership Development Program, who currently resides in Mountain Home, Texas; and Jackie Theriot, a sugarcane farmer and advocate for the sugarcane industry from St. Martinville. A joint effort of the LSU AgCenter, Louisiana Radio Network, Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation and Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, the Louisiana Agriculture Hall of Distinction honors individuals who have made significant contributions to agriculture or agriculture-related industries. Previous inductees have represented farming, ranching, forestry, aquaculture, education and agribusiness. For more information regarding the Louisiana Agriculture Hall of Distinction event, contact Robyn Dow with the Louisiana Radio Network at 225-291-2727 or office@louisianaradionetwork.com.

Book Authors Guest Speakers at Rotary Club Meeting

Book Authors Speak at Rotary Club Meeting Feb. 14, 2023 The two authors of the popular new book, “Healing Traditions”, Mary Perrin and Beverly Fuselier, were the guest speakers at today’s (Tuesday) meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club. The book discusses folk healing and healing plants. Both authors are “traiteurs” treating people with various ailments. One section on the book is on “traiteurs” and folk healing. Some folk healers only treat specific problems such as warts, fevers and burns while others treat for everything. It was mentioned that well known Cajun musician , the late D.L. Menard and his father were both “traiteurs.” The cover of their new publication shows a faith healer healing an afflicted person inside a circle of salt. The artwork came from well known artist, George Rodrigue. The authors mention that the faith healing practice is given from one generation to a younger one. However, they never push the art to another person. The person must ask for it. The other section of the book goes into detail on some 68 healing plants including herbs, roots, and bark that can be used and prepared in various ways as a tea or a poultice or bandage. The two guest speakers were guests of Rotarian Ronnie Landreneau who was in charge of the program. It was announced that the March 7 meeting of the club will be held at the state arboretum at Chicot State Park.

Drug Arrests by Sheriff's Department

Drug Arrests Feb. 13, 2023 Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory reported to KVPI News that his department have arrested suspects on drug related charges in three separate matters. On February 7, the sheriff’s office narcotics unit conducted a search warrant at a residence on North Thompson Street in Ville Platte. Agents entered the residence and detained several people. A search of the home was conducted and illegal narcotics were located. Arrested were: Christopher Allen Wall age 36 of 9th Street, Pine Prairie charged with possession of schedule three drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting an officer; Cody Wardlaw age 26 of North Thompson, Ville Platte charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute synthetic marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia and Brandy Nichole Fontenot age 28 of Tiger Lane, Ville Platte charged with possession of methamphetamine, On February 9, the narcotics unit conducted a traffic stop on Washington Street in Ville Platte. Agents made contact with the driver and conducted an interview. A search of the driver and the vehicle was then conducted and illegal narcotics were located. The suspect was identified as Casey Faul age 32 of 319 East Pine, Ville Platte and charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of fentanyl and possession of drug paraphernalia. On February 11, the sheriff’s department traffic unit conducted a stop on a vehicle. Upon making contact with the driver, there was an over whelming smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle. The deputy conducted a probably cause search and located narcotics and a firearm. Arrested was Andre Fitzgerald Franklin age 34 of Baton Rouge charged with possession with intent to distribute over 2 pounds of marijuana, possession of a firearm in the presence of controlled dangerous substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. In another matter, Sheriff Guillory reports that a Lake Cove man, Galen Hazelton age 26 was arrested by Evangeline Parish authorities on charges of theft. On January 10, the victim reported that someone gained access to his bank account information. During the investigation, it was discovered that the suspect, Hazelton obtained the bank account information and used to make transactions on the internet. When questioning the suspect, he admitted to the allegation and was issued a misdemeanor summons for theft.

Ville Platte City Council Tuesday review a recently approved sewer project

Ville Platte City Council Meeting January `10, 2023 The Ville Platte City Council Tuesday received a detailed review and explanation from its City Attorney Chris Ludeau about his legal opinion over a recent contract the city signed with a private firm to construct a new sewer system. Ludeau advised the council that the city should have presented the contract before the State Bond Commission for their approval. Ludeau said he spoke with former City Attorney Eric Lafleur who told him the contact was never reviewed by him. City Councilman Bryant Riggs, said he voted for the sewer project with the firm, Sustainability Pardners. Riggs said he was present when attorney Lafleur told him and the rest of the city council that the contract “was a good deal” for the city. The council after much discussion voted to review the contract with Sustainability Pardners and decide whether the city should cancel the project. During a disagreement between City Marshal Nicole Snoddy and City Councilman Bryant Riggs, councilman Tracey Jagneaux pleaded to the rest of the council and the audience , “ We need to stop all this name calling. We need a certain decorum in our meetings. If you have an opinion, say it with respect.” Mayor Ryan LeDay Williams issued a statement to the public “ Upon taking office, we are discovering that the city has taken on a lot of debt. Water, gas and sewer needs to be addressed for the residents. We are meeting weekly to streamline all budget issues.” In other business, the city: --approved a cooperative endeavor agreement with the police jury to start the cleaning of city canals; --appointed Christina Sam as new Mayor Pro- Tem; --voted to upgrade the city animal shelter to help handle the number of animals the city is handling until a new parish shelter is constructed in the next two years; --heard special reports from State Senator Heather Cloud and Jerri LeDoux with Congressman Mike Johnson’s Office; --heard from Fire Chief Chris Soileau reported on year end fire reports: for the year 2022: there were 320 incidents, 39 structure fires, 11 vehicle fires, 63 grass fires, 16 medical calls, 7 extractions, 104 alarm activations and 50 service calls; --heard from Police Chief Al Perry Thomas give his monthly police report: 185 calls, 36 citations, 34 arrests and 11 felony arrests and the department worked 16 traffic accidents; --approved hiring several police officers including two officers who worked for the city before; -called a public hearing to adopt ordnances to combine the offices, city clerk, treasurer and tax collector, and another ordinance to change the compensation of the city attorney and to change the time of the regular meetings.

Evangeline Parish Police Jury Meeting

Elizabeth West Evangeline Parish Police Jury Meeting January 10, 2023 A new year brings a new face to the Evangeline Parish Police Jury, with the swearing in of Angelica Williams by Ville Platte City Judge Greg Vidrine during the police jury’s meeting on Monday. Williams was appointed to fill the police jury seat left vacant after her husband, Ryan Leday Williams, was elected Ville Platte Mayor back in November of 2022. During the meeting, Chester Granger was officially appointed as the new Secretary-Treasurer for the EPPJ. Granger, who was appointed as interim Secretary-Treasurer in December, replaced Donald Bergeron after Bergeron announced he would be resigning from his role with the EPPJ and accepting a position with the City of Ville Platte.  When it came to selecting officers for the year 2023, current EPPJ President Bryan Vidrine was selected to serve another year as President, while police jurors voted for Kevin Veillon to serve as its Vice-President.  During the meeting, police jurors once again discussed the ongoing issue it faces with people stealing street signs.  Granger reported that cameras have been purchased and will be put out in different locations in an effort to catch people stealing street signs. In addition, EPPJ President Bryan Vidrine asked for anyone with information on individuals stealing street signs to call the police jury, police departments or the sheriff’s office to report them.  As it relates to sales tax collections, Granger reported that the total collections for November 2022 were $321,366.01. Other items approved: •Appoint Robert LeJeune to the Acadia/Evangeline Fire Protection District for the remainder of Neil LeJeune’s term, to expire in December 2023.  •Final payment for redistricting maps of $16,800.00.  •Incidental travel items for Bryan Vidrine’s travel to Washington, DC.  •IRS Standard Mileage Rates for 2023 set at 65.5 cents per mile.  •Pay $7,675.04 for a second 4-H agent for Evangeline Parish. •Regular meeting dates, time, and place set for the first Monday of each month at 6 p.m. except for when the meeting date falls on a holiday. Meetings will be held at the Evangeline Parish Courthouse in the police jury meeting room on the second floor. •Committee meetings set for the same date and at the same location as the regular meetings at 5 p.m. •Pay for Registrar of Voters Lucas Buller to attend annual conference. 

Ville Platte City Council Meeting

Ville Platte City Council Meeting January 4, 2022 The Ville Platte City Council, Wednesday, held its first meeting of the new year with new members and took care of house keeping responsibilities. New Mayor Ryan LeDay Wllliams recommended Donald Bergeron as the new city clerk. Bergeron has been serving for the last ten years as Evangeline Parish Police Jury Secretary-Treasurer. City Councilman Bryant Riggs said he had no problem with Bergeron as the new city clerk but had concerns over the proposed salary. Currently the city clerk pay scale is set by ordinance at $49,000. Bergeron’s pay is expected to be $75,000 a year. Riggs felt the pay rate should be closer to $60,000 a year and the council should look at trying to give all city employees pay raises. Mayor Williams explained to Riggs and the city council that Bergeron’s duties will encompass three positions: City Clerk, City Treasurer and Tax Collector. By combining all three positions, the city will actually save $14,000 a year. Bergeron was appointed as new City Clerk by a vote of 5-1 with only Bryant Riggs voting no. In his statement after the vote, Bergeron said “I appreciate your vote of confidence. I will work hard to earn every dollar. We are committed to help raise the level of pay to all city employees.” In other business, the city council: --appointed Chris Ludeau as new city attorney; --appointed Deidra Godfrey as new city prosecutor; ==appointed Janice Leday as new Section 8 director; --appointed the Ville Platte Gazette as its legal journal; And voted to set its monthly meeting the second Tuesday each month at 5:30pm at City Hall

Drug Arrest by Sheriff's Department

Sheriff Department Drug Arrest December 28, 2022 Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory reported to KVPI News a drug arrest took place last Friday. The sheriff’s department narcotics unit stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation. Agents made contact with the driver and occupant. Agents then developed probably cause to believe narcotics may be involved. K-9 Diego was on scene and deployed giving a positive alert to the presence of illegal narcotics. Agents then conducted a search of the vehicle and located a small amount of narcotics. Agents searched the driver and located a hidden belt around his waist which contained more narcotics. Agents arrested Corey Hebert age 45 of Chicot Park Road, Ville Platte and charged with possession with intent to distribute over 6 grams of Heroin, possession with intent to distribute over 4 grams of Fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute over 24 grams of Methamphetamine. He is also being held for a probation violation and was cited for the traffic violation.

Ville Platte City Council Meeting

Ville Platte City Council Meeting December 13, 2022 Farewell messages were made by Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine and some members of the Ville Platte City Council at Tuesday’s city council meeting. It was the last public meeting for Mayor Vidrine along with Jordan Anderson and Jerry Joseph who did not win re-election in last week’s elections and for Mike Perron who did not seek re-election. In her final mayor’s comments, Mayor Vidrine said she is proud of the accomplishments she and the city council were able to do for the past 12 years. She advised the new incoming mayor and council members “to always work for the people and care about the people. Ville Platte and its people will always be in my heart” she said. The city council approved a number of measures recommended by Mayor Jennifer Vidrine using federal American Rescue Fund monies. The council approved accepting proposals to do begin cleaning the 13 city canals to improve the drainage issues in the city. At the suggestion by the mayor, the city council approved the purchase of the Ollie Deville property at the corner of Dr. Carver and Cotton Street for $35,000 to be used as a pocket park. The City Council, after viewing a presentation from a representative with Atakapa Services of Baton Rouge, approved using their services to begin cleaning storm drains in the city. In other business, the city council approved giving a 4% increase in pay to the paid firefighters in the city and to give police officers a $2.50 an hour pay raise. The pay hike would increase the pay for starting police officers to $17.50 an hour. Special presentations were made to Donna Guillory who is retiring after 33 years of service as a city hall employee and Mike Perron is retiring after 16 years as a city councilman. Dwan Jack appeared before the council to announce that he is opening a new pool hall in the city at 142 West Main in Ville Platte in the old Briley’s Lounge location; Sharon Fontenot, curator of the Louisiana Swamp Pop Museum announced that the next Swamp Pop Reunion Dance is set for Feb. 22, Mardi Gras eve at the Ville Platte Civic Center. It is a major fund raiser for the museum, Visitors from 42 states and 12 countries have toured the only known museum dedicated for the presentation of Swamp Pop Music, Police Chief Neal Lartigue reported that for the month of November the police department responded to 896 calls, 22 citations issued, 19 misdemeanor cases, 3 felony cases, 16 accidents and one fatality. Lartigue is leaving the office after serving 16 years as police chief and 32 years in the police force. Fire Chief Chris Soileau announced that for the month of November 25 incidents reported to the fire department and no structure fires and one vehicle fire.

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