Local News

Evangeline Parish School Board discusses opening of School in August

The Evangeline Parish School Board, Wednesday, met and discussed the different options for the opening of school in August. Superintendent of Schools Darwan Lazard told board members that a lot will depend upon what phase the state will be in by August 10, the date classes are expected to start in Evangeline Parish public schools. Currently, due to a spike in Covid-19 cases in the state, the governor has decided to keep the state in Phase two for another 30 days. The superintendent assured board members and the public that there will be school for school students in August. He said his office is getting daily updates from the governor, the state department of health and the state department of education. Supt. Lazard and Assistant Supt. Mike Lombas are promoting the new Evangeline Virtual Academy that will give parents an alternative if they are concerned about Covid-19. The academy will operate from Evangeline Central and will allow students to take all of the necessary courses for their grade level in the safety of their home. Students will be loaned a chrome book and will have access to a local teacher if they problems completing their assignment. So far, some 100 students have signed up from throughout the parish. Supt. Lazard met with school nurses earlier this week to come up with protocols for the opening of school for the safety and health of students and the staff. In other business, Supt. Lazard said he is cautiously optimistic that President Trump will permit an exemption to allow French Immersion teachers to travel to Louisiana. A recent order by the president would prohibit foreign workers to travel to the United States to protect American workers. Here in Evangeline Parish, the school system has Ville Platte Elementary and Mamou Elementary with a French Immersion program and employs foreign teachers through Codofil. In other action, board member Michael Fontenot had questions over the use of parish maintenance funds to purchase textbooks rather than using federal stimulus funds . Chief Financial Officer Amy Lafleur said the parish wide maintenance fund has been used for years for the overall operation of the school system . Fontenot asked for a breakdown on where the stimulus money is being spent on. The board approved the textbook purchase using maintenance funds with board members Michael Fontenot and Wanda Skinner voting no.

JD Bancshares Recognized in American Banker Magazine

JD Bancshares Ranked in Top 200 Publicly Traded Community Banks by American Banker Magazine Jennings- JD Bancshares, Inc., the parent holding company of JD Bank, is pleased to announce that it has been named to American Banker Magazine’s Top 200 Publicly Traded Community Banks. The ranking is based on three- year average return on equity through December 31, 2019. “It is an honor to be recognized on this prestigious list of community banks,” said Bruce W. Elder, JD Bank President and CEO. “Our talented team makes our success possible and this recognition provides evidence that our values, service and products are creating value for our stockholders.”

Local player tests positive for Covid-19

KVPI News has received the following news release from Ville Platte Evangeline Parish Recreational Park Director David Lahaye. The purpose of this message is to inform everyone that, on Thursday, June 11th, a participant in one of the REC leagues has tested positive for COVID-19. The child participated in one game this season, on Tuesday, June 9th, two days prior to the positive test. The source of the infection has been traced to a family member who has not come to the ballpark. The parents had the child tested not due to symptoms, but due to the child having spent time with an extended family member the weekend of June 6th who tested positive on Wednesday, June 10th. The only symptom displayed by the child has been a mild stomachache. We wanted everyone to know not to create concern, but to inform each parent of the situation. Our goal is to protect the children and fans by providing complete transparency. At this time, none of the child’s teammates or coaches have displayed any symptoms of the virus. Further, we also have firsthand knowledge that the teams in the child’s only game did not participate in any post game handshakes per league protocol. We want to reiterate that the protocols put in place by the leagues and REC District follow Governor John Bel Edwards’ guidelines and were approved by the State Fire Marshall. Again, there is no evidence at this time that the child has spread the virus to anyone else at the ballpark, likely due to the beforementioned protocols. Additionally, the child’s symptoms are minor, and the child’s contraction of the virus was due to contact with an extended family member outside the ballpark and leagues. However, due to public health concerns, the City has determined it is in the best health interest of the public to close the ballpark for the remainder of the scheduled season for both the boys and girls' leagues. The Mayor wants everyone to know that free testing is available for anyone on Thursday, June 18th from 10:00AM - 11:00AM, Annie Mae’s Apartments located at 1020 N. Reed Street in Ville Platte and from 11;00am to 12 noon at the Olenes “Pop” Vidrine Gardens apartments located at 1110 North Chataignier Street.


Ville Platte City Council Tuesday Reduces Curfew Hours Starting Wednesday Night

Ville Platte City Council Meeting June 9, 2020 The Ville Platte City Council Tuesday met in a virtual meeting from City Hall for their regular meeting of the month. The council approved a recommendation from Mayor Jennifer Vidrine to reduce the hours of its nightly curfew to assist local businesses and help spur our economy. The new curfew hours effective Wednesday night will be from 11:00pm to 6:00am for adults and businesses. This replaces the old curfew times of 9:00pm to 6:00am. The curfew for juveniles remains from 8:00pm-6:00am each night. The mayor said phase two of the state regulations ends June 26 and the city will revisit the curfew hours after that date. The police chief Neal Lartigue said the curfew has worked well showing a marked decrease in crime in the city. Also in business, the council approved a proposal from Todd Morein with Universal Communications to provide another choice in high speed internet service to local city residents. The city attorney will draw up the agreement with the company which will agree to pay the city $600 a month for the use of three city owned towers. Mayor Jennifer Vidrine announced that testing for Covid-19 will be given to elderly residents at Chateau des Amies June 11 from 10-12, Annie May and Pop Garden Apartments June 18 from 10-12 noon and at Village de Memorie June 22 from 10-12 noon. The testing will be offered to both residents and the staff at each facility. The mayor said, testing will soon begin in other parts of Ward One including Chataignier, Point Blue and L’anse Aux Pailles. Mayor Vidrine said city hall is still closed to the public until the facility is outfitted with sanitation equipment such as plexi glass and floor markers. However, city employees are still coming to work each day providing city services. The public can contact city hall for any questions or concerns at 363-2939. City customers can pay their utility bills using the drop box on the side of city hall, pay online or by mail. Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue reported that for the month of May, the police department responded to 102 calls, issued 27 citations, made 26 arrests, 13 felony arrests and worked 24 traffic accidents. Also the chief announced the hiring of three new police officers: Bryan Wyles and Stewart Brady who are both post certified and can go to work immediately while the third new officer, Brandon Fontenot will attend the police academy for training. In other action, the city council approved a request from Rev. Lawrence Dick of Disciple Baptist Church to allow the closing of a nearby street for two hours near the church so the church could conduct services outside each Sunday starting July 5 until the Covid-19 orders are lifted by the state; The proposed new City fiscal year budget was officially presented to the city council during the meeting. It shows the city will end June 30 with a $317,292 surplus and an ending fund balance of $14.6 million dollars The budget includes additional revenues for the police department including 14 additional police officers and two detectives. The budget also includes the position of a training consultant. It increases the starting pay for new police officers to $15 an hour. The city budget capitol outlay funds has money dedicated for street work, jail repairs, and additional security cameras. Mayor Jennifer Vidrine announces the Civic Center is still not taking bookings due to the Covic-19 pandemic. Due to the fire marshal regulations, dances and buffet lines are not permitted. She is waiting to see what the phase 3 regulations will look like before approving bookings for the civic center.

Evangeline Parish School Board Wednesday names Nick Chaumont as new board member replacing the late Dr. Bobby Deshotel

The Evangeline Parish School Board Wednesday approved the appointment of Nick Chaumont of Basile to replace the late long time School board member Dr. Bobby Deshotel to fill out his unexpired term through November of this year. Dr. Bobby Deshotel served for more than five decades representing Basile schools on the school board. He also served as Mayor of Basile for a time. The position was offered to Mrs. Joella Deshotel, Dr. Bobby’s widow, but she turned it down. She recommended that the board select Chaumont to serve in his place. The election will be held in November at the same time as President with a general runoff election, if necessary, in December. Qualifying will be held will be held July 15,16 and 17. Superintendent Darwan Lazard advised board members that he and his staff are taking extra precaution to prepare for the possible arrival of Tropical Storm Cristobal. Lazard said he was on a conference call with officials with the Evangeline Office of Emergency Preparedness for the latest weather information. The Superintendent mentioned that weather officials are stating that one computer model shows the storm track moving up Vermillion Bay, the same track Hurricane Lilly did in 2003. He said “ We are preparing for possible flooding at some of our schools.” Lazard , in other business, told board members that the Louisiana High School Athletic Association has loosened some of the regulations dealing with athletics now that the state is moving into Phase Two of the Covid-19 Pandemic Plan. He said “Our schools will have some level of athletics but we want to caution our coaches to make sure to follow the state guidelines. We want to make sure we keep our athletes and coaches safe.” The Superintendent advised board members that there will be no merit pay given to employees this year. Every year, following an evaluation, each employee receives merit pay. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the state waived the evaluation since a good part of the school term did not take place. As a result of no evaluation, Lazard announced there will be no merit pay for school employees.

School Supt. Darwan Lazard announced three priorities for new School Term

Evangeline Parish School Board meeting May 20, 2020 Evangeline Parish Superintendent of Schools Darwan Lazard addressed the Evangeline Parish School Board Wednesday night in a virtual meeting. Supt. Lazard said he has three priorities he wants to fullfill for the school district: #1- have more devices and chrome books in the hands of school students. He reminded the board when he became superintendent in 2017, he presented a five year plan to have a chrome book for every student. Now in year three of the plan, he said the school district is about 1000 chrome books short of achieving that goal. “We are way ahead of schedule”, he said. #2 -Improve internet connectivity for students. Connectivity to the schools is good but the internet service to student homes need a lot of improvement. The superintendent and his staff are looking at options on making improvements in that regard; #3-Training for teachers. Lazard wants to have more laptops and smart boards for teachers. The I.T. department is helping train teachers to be ready to deliver the new content required by state and federal authorities. Lazard announced that the administrative staff at the central office are working on a 50/50 schedule. Half the staff is working in the office two days a week while the other two days from home. Fridays, the offices are closed. The same thing on the school level. Under phase one, the office is open 8-4 Monday through Thursday. Those needing to do business at the central office are asked to call ahead and someone will come out to your vehicle to assist you. Schools are following the same plan. The superintendent remarked that he will not require teachers to return to schools for training. Teachers at all parish schools will be provided training in a virtual manner for their safety and get the support and training through zoom meetings. The superintendent praised all of the schools in the parish for their graduation ceremonies. He called it “a grand success.”. He attended graduations at Pine Prairie, Ville Platte and Mamou while Assistant Supt. Mike Lombas was present at graduations at Basile, Ville Platte and Pine Prairie. He said he heard much positive comments from parents and community members for the parades and special events held for the graduating class of 2020. He thanked the mayors and police chiefs from each community for their cooperation. In other action the school board approved the contract renewal for another two years to Child Welfare and Attendance Supervisor Phillip Buller.

13th District Court will resume operations Monday May 18, according to District Attorney

The 13th Judicial District Court will resume operations on Monday, May 18, 2020. The judge(s) will allow up to 15 persons in the courtroom at one time and up to 15 people seated in the hallway outside of the courtroom. Prior to entering the courthouse, it will be determined whether or not the person is listed on any docket and/or essential to a proceeding. Any persons who are not essential to a proceeding (i.e., family members, friends, etc.) will not be allowed entry into the courthouse. Prior to entering the courthouse, everyone will be required to: (1) have his/her temperature taken with a contactless thermometer; (2) sanitize his/her hands; and (3) wear a mask. There will be assigned seating on the second floor of the courthouse and in the courtroom, masks must be worn at all times, and doors to the courtroom will remain open to minimize contact with surfaces, such as door handles. The seating on the second floor and surfaces in the courtroom will be sanitized after each group. Access to the DA’s Office will be structured in a way that will reduce the amount of in-person contact inside. The public is asked to conduct as much business by phone or email as possible.

Ville Platte's very first fire truck is back home in Ville Platte for 100th Anniversary of Fire Department

Ville Platte's very first fire truck is back home where it belongs. A crew from the Ville Platte Fire Department traveled to Houma to transport the 1927 American LeFrance Pumper Unit back to Ville Platte. According to Fire Department training officer Chris Soileau, the unit was purchased new directly from the factory in 1927. The unit was later replaced with a newer pumper. In the late 60;s, the unit was sold to a collector who restored it. Later, Pete and Susan Pizzolatto of Houma purchased it and used the pumper in parades and special occasions. The Ville Platte Fire Department would like to thank individuals and businesses who made donations for their fund raiser to help pay for the cost of the truck. It is not too late, if you would like to make a tax deductible contribution please call the fire department for more details. By the way, the Ville Platte Fire Department is celebrating its 100th centennial celebration this year.

Corona Virus Update in Evangeline Parish

Corona Virus Update in Evangeline Parish May 5, 2020 Here are the latest statistics for Evangeline Parish as reported by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals dealing with the Corona Virus Pandemic: As of Tuesday, Evangeline Parish has 63 confirmed cases of the virus and one death; In neighboring parishes, St. Landry recorded a total of 198 confirmed cases, and 47 deaths; In Avoyelles Parish there are 73 cases with seven deaths; and in Allen parish, 90 cases total and nine deaths. Statewide, there are now 29,996 confirmed cases, 20,316 presumed recovery and 2042 deaths.

Corona Virus Update

Corona Virus Update in Evangeline Parish May 4, 2020 Here are the latest statistics for Evangeline Parish as reported by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals dealing with the Corona Virus Pandemic: As of Sunday Evangeline Parish has 60 confirmed cases of the virus and one death; In neighboring parishes, St. Landry recorded a total of 191 confirmed cases, and 45 deaths; In Avoyelles Parish there are 74 cases with seven deaths; and in Allen parish, 90 cases total and nine deaths. Statewide, there are now 29,673 confirmed cases, 20,316 presumed recovery and 1991 deaths.

Corona Virus Update in Evangeline Parish

Corona Virus Update in Evangeline Parish May 3, 2020 Here are the latest statistics for Evangeline Parish as reported by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals dealing with the Corona Virus Pandemic: As of Sunday Evangeline Parish has 59 confirmed cases of the virus and one death; In neighboring parishes, St. Landry recorded a total of 186 confirmed cases, and 45 deaths; In Avoyelles Parish there are 74 cases with seven deaths; and in Allen parish, 90 cases total and nine deaths. Statewide, there are now 29,340 confirmed cases, 17,303 presumed recovery and 1969 deaths.

Corona Virus Update in Evangeline Parish

Corona Virus Update in Evangeline Parish April 30, 2020 Here are the latest statistics for Evangeline Parish as reported by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals dealing with the Corona Virus Pandemic: As of today (Thursday) Evangeline Parish has 49 confirmed cases of the virus and one death; In neighboring parishes, St. Landry recorded a total of 180 confirmed cases, and 42 deaths; In Avoyelles Parish there are 71 cases with seven deaths; and in Allen parish, 90 cases total and nine deaths. Statewide, there are now 28,001 confirmed cases, 17,303 presumed recovery and 1862 deaths.

Evangeline Parish Corona Virus Update

Corona Virus Update in Evangeline Parish April 28, 2020 Here are the latest statistics for Evangeline Parish as reported by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals dealing with the Corona Virus Pandemic: As of today (Tuesday) Evangeline Parish has 46 confirmed cases of the virus, with no virus related deaths; In neighboring parishes, St. Landry recorded a total of 170 confirmed cases, and 37 deaths; In Avoyelles Parish there are 71 cases with seven deaths; and in Allen parish, 90 cases total and nine deaths. Statewide, there are now 27,286 confirmed cases, 17,303 presumed recovery and 1758 deaths.

Corona Virus Update in Evangeline Parish

Corona Virus Update in Evangeline Parish April 26, 2020 Here are the latest statistics for Evangeline Parish as reported by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals dealing with the Corona Virus Pandemic: As of today (Sunday) Evangeline Parish has 45 confirmed cases of the virus, with no virus related deaths; In neighboring parishes, St. Landry recorded a total of 163 confirmed cases, and 34 deaths; In Avoyelles Parish there are 69 cases with seven deaths; and in Allen parish, 82 cases total and nine deaths. Statewide, there are now 26,773 confirmed cases, 14,927 presumed recovery and 1670 deaths.

Corona Virus Update in Evangeline Parish

Corona Virus Update in Evangeline Parish April 24, 2020 Here are the latest statistics for Evangeline Parish as reported by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals dealing with the Corona Virus Pandemic: As of today (Friday) Evangeline Parish has 44 confirmed cases of the virus, with no virus related deaths; In neighboring parishes, St. Landry recorded a total of 157 confirmed cases, and 34 deaths; In Avoyelles Parish there are 69 cases with seven deaths; and in Allen parish, 81 cases total and nine deaths. Statewide, there are now 26,140 confirmed cases and 1601 deaths.

Corona Virus Update in Evangeline Parish

Corona Virus Update in Evangeline Parish April 23, 2020 Here are the latest statistics for Evangeline Parish as reported by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals dealing with the Corona Virus Pandemic: As of today (Thursday) Evangeline Parish has 44 confirmed cases of the virus, with no virus related deaths; In neighboring parishes, St. Landry recorded a total of 154 confirmed cases, and 31 deaths; In Avoyelles Parish there are 71 cases with seven deaths; and in Allen parish, 81 cases total and nine deaths. Statewide, there are now 25,739 confirmed cases and 1540 deaths.

Evangeline Parish Corona Virus Update

COVID 19 VIRUS UPDATE APRIL 22, 2020 The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals reported today (Wednesday) that Evangeline Parish has 44 confirmed cases of the Corona Virus and no deaths. In neighboring parishes, St. Landry Parish, we have 140 confirmed cases and 29 deaths, in Avoyelles Parish there are 71 cases and 7 deaths, and in Allen Parish there are 80 cases and 9 deaths. Statewide, there are now 25,258 cases and 1473 deaths. There are 1747 virus patients in the hospital around the state with 287 on ventilators.

Corona Virus Update in Evangeline Parish

COVID 19 VIRUS UPDATE APRIL 20, 2020 The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals reported today( Monday) that Evangeline Parish has 43 confirmed cases of the Corona Virus and no deaths. In neighboring parishes, St. Landry Parish, we have 136 confirmed cases and 20 deaths, in Avoyelles Parish there are 69 cases and 3 deaths, and in Allen Parish there are 79 cases and 9 deaths. Statewide, there are now 24,523 cases and 1328 deaths. There are 1794 virus patients in the hospital around the state with 332 on ventilators.

Screening and Testing for Corona Virus begins at Mercy Regional Medical Center

VILLE PLATTE, LA, Now that tests are readily available, Mercy Regional Medical Center (MRMC) is now providing a call center for COVID-19 scheduled drive-thru testing. As of Tuesday, April 21, Mercy will screen calls through the call center at 1-337-363-9475. If you meet the criteria for testing, an appointment will be set for COVID-19 testing. Those who have been screened and scheduled are allowed to come to the screening station. Testing will be handled by appointment only. MRMC asked that you please bring your Photo Identification (ex. driver’s license) & Insurance Information, if available with you upon arrival. Phone screening will be available on Tuesdays from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM; call center is 1-337-363-9475 for screening and questions related to COVID-19.

Corona Virus Update

Corona Virus Update April 19, 2020 The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals has released the latest statistics on Covid-19 Virus infections in each of the parishes. In Evangeline Parish, there are 43 confirmed cases and no death. In neighboring parishes, St. Landry Parish had 134 confirmed cases and 20 deaths; In Avoyelles Parish there are 69 parishes and 3 deaths and Allen Parish here are 79 confirmed cases and 9 deaths. Statewide, there are 23,928 confirmed cases and 1296 deaths.

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