The annual St. Peter Church Family Fun Day and Sauce Piquante Cook Off was a big success according to Church Fair spokesman Debbie LaFleur. The weather was perfect Sunday as record crowds gathered for the annual event. W.D. Fontenot and the Cherokee Playboys provided the musical entertainment for the fun day. KVPI was there part of the day broadcasting live on remote. All of the funds raised will go toward making major improvements to the church hall. Church Pastor Fr. Richard Vidrine thanks all of the parishioners, volunteers, public officials and politicians who attended and supported this year’s event. Look for photos of the Family Fun Day at our photo gallery at our oldies925.com website.
Here are the cook off winners:
In the Amateur Division,
The Best in Taste category:
First Place-JTD Services
Second Place- Todd Thompson and Heritage Manor Nursing Home
Third Place- Roland and Joyce Manuel
Best Presentation Category:
First Place- Roland and Joyce Manuel
Second Place- Ville Platte Home Health
Third Place-Hillery Hill and VFW Post crew
First Place- Mikey Soileau
Second Place- Hillery Hill and VFW Crew
Third Place- Ville Platte Home Health
Best in Taste category:
First Place- Vidrine Speech Therapy
Second Place-Todd Thompson
Third Place- Roland and Joyce Manuel
First place- E and L Produce
Second Place- Vidrine Speech Therapy
Third Place- Debbie Guillory
First Place- E&L Produce
Second Place- Vidrine Speech Therapy
Third Place- Debbie Guillory
Ville Platte The Evangeline Parish School Board, Wednesday, heard from Keith Guice, President of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education representing District Five.
Guice reported that due to reapportionment, part of Evangeline Parish is now in his re-drawn district that runs from Evangeline Parish northward to the Arkansas line.
In the past, Evangeline Parish was part of District 8 which is represented by Linda Johnson who is not seeking another term in office. Guice said, only portions of Ville Platte and Mamou in the parish remain in District 8.
Guice is a retired superintendent of schools from Catahoula Parish. He said “ I totally support public education. We face a crisis in public education in this state and a challenge in retirement systems. “
Guice questioned why a political action committee is raising “a million dollars” to fund the campaigns of certain candidates for the BESE board when board members receive no pay for their service.
In other business, the school board approve the lone quote of Lemoine and Associates Insurance of Ville Platte for general liability insurance coverage for $141,956. That is an increase of $11,802 over last year due to the fact that the coverage limit has increased from $300,000 to $1 million dollars.
Board Vice President Jerry Hoffpauir questioned why was there only one bidder on the insurance coverage. “I cannot understand, in the economic situation we’re facing, why aren’t there several companies running here to turn in a quote to get our business,” said Hoffapauir.
Superintendent of Schools Toni Hamlin informed Hoffpauir that there was a second insurance firm that requested information but did not turn in a quote. She also said there have been multiple insurance quotes in the past but this year, only one quote was turned in.
The Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce held their monthly meeting Monday at the Cajun Smokehouse.
The chamber approved the Ville Platte VFW Post 3803 as a new member .
Chamber Executive Director Camille Fontenot announced that the fund raising trip to see the Lion King in New Orleans next March is sold out.
Guest speaker for the monthly meeting was Suzy Lemoine who gave a detailed report on the parish’s Centennial celebration planned for October 29 at the courthouse square. All towns, villages and communities will be recognized during the day long festivities.
Youth groups and non profits are encouraged to become a food vendor. All food vendors will get to keep all of the money they raise at the event.
In other business, the chamber:
--selected Hancock Bank as its Business of the Month;
--reminded members to buy their Breast Cancer Awareness Month banners and ribbons at Ace Hardware for October;
--is reviewing the possibility of switching meeting places each year beginning next year;
--announced that the first weekend in November will be the official opening of the Holiday shopping period in Ville Platte and urges all shops in the city to hold open houses on that Saturday.
The Ville Platte City Council, Tuesday, turned down an ordinance to extend its current walking curfew on a six month basis rather than renewing it every two months.
Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine said a recent survey showed an overwhelming majority of residents were in favor of the curfew ordinance to keep people off the streets after the dark. “I get calls every day telling me they feel safer in their homes because of the curfew ordinance, “ said Mayor Vidrine.
Both Councilmen Taranza Arvie and Freddie Jack were in favor of dropping the curfew affecting adults and have the ordinance target only juveniles .
It was learned that the city already has an ordinance in place addressing a juvenile curfew.
Even though the city did not approve extending the curfew on a six month basis, the mayor advised that the current curfew ordinance is in effect through October.
In other business, the city council adopted an ordinance raising the salary of Police Chief Neal Lartigue by 20 percent. His pay will rise from $35,732 to $42,878.
NAACP President Arthur Sampson spoke out against the pay raise. Sampson accuses the police chief of hiring police officers who are disrespectful to residents.
The council turned down a request from Frieda Cantu to open a membership only sports bar on her property on East Main, in a former Landscaping business location. It was learned that the city has an ordinance that prohibits a business that sells alcoholic beverages within 300 feet of a residence.
In other action the city council:
voted to apply for a $10,000 grant from Keep Louisiana Beautiful for trash receptacles through the city;
--apply for a $50,000 state grant for new police cars and crime cameras to be installed in high crime areas;
--approved a liquor permit for the Louisiana Cotton Festival Association for the Cotton Festival October 10-17 and a liquor permit for Cock’s Tail Lounge at La Veille Banque;
--has called a public hearing for a proposed pay raise for the Ward One City Marshal;
--advised city residents that the city has contracted with a firm to spray for mosquitoes in the next few days.
Ville Platte- The Evangeline Parish Police Jury, Monday, discussed its monthly contributions toward the Ville Platte Chamber and Tourism Commission. This is the second such discussion in the past year.
District Four Police Juror Lamar Johnson questioned the need to spend $650 a month toward the salary of a person that reads water meters at the Industrial Park.
He suggested having a parish worker handle that responsibility and save the money.
Police Juror Bob Manuel said the duties and responsibilities have evolved through the years. When the parish contributions first began more than 30 years ago, the chamber person was responsible for maintaining the Ward One Industrial Park including reading meters and cutting the grass.
Currently, the City of Ville Platte provides the building that houses both the Chamber of Commerce and the parish tourism commission. In a cooperative agreement, the parish contributes $650 a month toward the operational expenses for both offices .
After much discussion, the police jury approved a motion by Manuel to continue making the monthly contributions and updating what the funds are being used for.
In another matter, the police jury reviewed a plan by Cameron Corporation to erect a new security fence along its employee parking lot and having a gate across a new street at the Industrial Park. The street was funded by Cameron and is being maintained by the police jury at the park.
Jury legal advisor Marcus Fontenot cautioned the jury that the industry cannot block access to a public road.
The jury referred the matter to its road and bridge committee for review.
In other action the police jury:
--met as a property tax board of review and heard no complaints from individuals or businesses challenging their parish property tax assessments;
--approved moving a number of voting precincts on Nita Drive behind T&J Ford in Ville Platte because of space problems over to the Veterans home on West Main beginning next year;
--approved the low bid of B&T Fence of $33,125 for a new security fence at Crooked Creek Park;
--approved the low quotes for limestone and culverts and took advisement quotes for its fuel supplier;
--received news that sales tax collection for July were $254,119. That compares to $326,000 in taxes collected in June.
Sherriff Eddie Soileau has implemented a new investigative program
within the Criminal Investigations Division, which led Investigators
with the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Department to the Turkey Creek
area of the parish in search of the operation of a clandestine lab,
also known as a meth lab. On September 7, 2011, Investigators made
contact with two of the suspects, Justin Derrick Clark and Jody Les
Clark, specifically identified utilizing this new program put into
place by Sheriff Eddie Soileau. Although the actual lab was not
located, both subjects were arrested and one was formally charged with
possession of a schedule II narcotic, meth.
Sheriff Eddie Soileau stressed, “This illegal conduct will not be
tolerated, and we will continue to update this department with new
technology, like this system, to provide the community with a safe and
drug free environment.” Sheriff Eddie Soileau has also recently
implemented a program to track illegal guns and said “Guns are
becoming more and more available to young children in the parish and
this new program will help law enforcement identify the firearms and
trace them back to their original owners.”
The sheriff reminds residents they can be a valuable tool to law
enforcement by reporting any suspicious activity. He said it’s always
better to call the Sheriff’s Office if you believe something illegal
may be occurring in your area. Soileau thanked the community for its
continued support and encouraged the public to continue to report
illegal activities. He said all callers will remain anonymous.
Ville Platte- A new annual operating budget for the 2011-2012 fiscal year was adopted Wednesday by the Evangeline Parish School Board.
Business Manager Amy LaFleur reported that the school district anticipates $57.4 million dollars in revenues while total expenditures is expected to amount to $58.8 million dollars. Other revenue sources totaled $390,426. The school board expects to end the fiscal year with a $50,000 surplus.
Also, LaFleur announced that sales tax collections for the months of July and August showed a $73,000 decrease over the same period a year ago. She urged school employees to do as much of their shopping in the parish as possible to help the sales tax efforts.
In other business, the school board approved renewing its three year contract with Air Environmental Services for conducting asbestos re-inspections and management plan updates for all school buildings in the parish at a cost of $7500.
Some board members wanted to know if the price quote had gone up since the last contract.
Also Board President Wayne Dardeau was concerned over whether the board is having to pay the firm to do inspections at school buildings where asbestos had been removed in the past such as at Pine Prairie High School. “Why are we inspecting schools that no longer have an asbestos issue?” asked Dardeau.
Central office staff is due to have the answers to these questions in time for the next board meeting.
In other action, the school board was notified that Kenneth Kidder, a teacher at Ville Platte High School will be honored by the American Chemical Society for formulating a Pre-Advanced Placement course of instruction at the school.
The school board was given a plaque of appreciation from the Southern University Agriculture Center for sponsoring its annual “Back to School” summit for students and teachers. This year’s summit drew 600 people to the back to school event.
Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court Walter Lee announced that the following candidates have qualified for office in the October 22 Primary Election Tuesday for the first day of qualifying:
State Representative, 38th District- Incumbent Bernard LeBas and Peter Vidrine;
Sheriff- David Cedillo, Russell “Moose” Evans, Incumbent Eddie Soileau and Ted Soileau;
Clerk of Court- Randall “Randy” Deshotel, Weber Lee “Coach Weber” Deshotels Jr., Incumbent Walter Lee and Greg Tate;
Assessor- Incumbent Dirk DeVille;
Coroner- Incumbent Dr. Charles Fontenot;
District One- Sherman Fontenot and Rocky Rider;
District Two- Incumbent Sidney Fontenot;
District Three- Incumbent Ryan Ardoin
District Four- Incumbent Lamar Johnson, Robert Johnson Sr. and Stan Leger;
District Five- Justin Deshotel, Joseph LeBleu Jr, Incumbent Bob Manuel and Kevin Veillon;
District Six- Incumbent Eric Soileau;
District Seven- Incumbent Bryan Vidrine;
District Eight- Earl “Tenny” Doucet and Incumbent Ryan “LeDay” Williams
District Nine-Virginia Freeman and Incumbent Richard “Blood” Thomas.
The qualifying continues through Thursday at 5;00pm at the Clerk of Court’s office in the courthouse.
The month of August 2011 is now history and what a month it was. According to our KVPI weather instruments, the Ville Platte area only received .59 of an inch of rain for the entire month. In fact, we only had three days of measurable rain for the month. We had 11 days of 100+ degree days during the month. The hottest day of the month was August 18 where the temperature sizzled at 107 degrees. The coolest day of the month was August 29 where it got down to 71 degrees.
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The Louisiana Swamp Pop Museum operated by the City of Ville Platte is open to the public every Friday and Saturday from 10:00am to 3:00pm. Come view the amazing artifacts, photos, records, Wall of Fame and hear the music. Admission charge is $3 adults, $2 seniors and $1 for children under 12. The museum is located on Northwest Railroad Avenue.