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Evangeline Parish School Board To Release School Performance Scores

The Evangeline Parish School Board held its bi-monthly meeting Wednesday in the Media Center.

Superintendent, Toni Hamlin announced that on October 21st, a press release will go out regarding school performance scores and district performance scores.  KVPI will sit down with Ms. Hamlin in an upcoming “Let’s Talk About It” to discuss the scores.

Thursday, October 16th at 12:30 p.m. and again on Friday the 17th at 9:30 a.m., Bob Hammonds, Special Counsel to the Board, will hold meetings to update principals and assistant principals on legal issues and 2014 legislative actions.

Ms. Hamlin received a “packet” of information regarding the growing concerns of the Ebola virus.  She will be forwarding the packet to all EPSB users tomorrow.  The packet includes information about the virus that will clarify how it is spread, etc.

The 911 office will hold a meeting next Thursday at 10:00 a.m. at the skating rink in Mamou.  Ginger Landreneau, R.N., will speak on the Ebola virus as well.

Ms. Hamlin also congratulated Evangeline Parish First Student on receiving two awards:

  • Location of the Year

  • Shop of the Year

The President of the company presented the awards for excellence to First Turn.  KVPI extends congratulations for the recognitions!

There will be a Policy Committee Meeting next Monday, October 20th at 5:00 p.m.

Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue Addresses Chamber


OCTOBER 15, 2014


     Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue addressed the Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce at its meeting today(Wednesday) at noon.

     The chief addressed some of the concerns chamber members had last month after a number of businesses were broken into. Chief Lartigue said the rash of burglaries finally ended as of September 22 after implementing a special overnight patrol unit to check on businesses and targeting those walking without reflected gear.

     He told chamber members cases cannot be solved in an hour like a TV show. Also on fingerprints, not all prints can be lifted and it all depends upon the surface. Also, if a print is lifted and submitted to the crime lab it may take 6 months to a year to come back for a match.

     Chief Lartigue said it has always been the policy of the department not to identify the business place that was burglarized. However he will now give the business the option to permit their name to be used in the news release.

    Stolen items are primarily being sold to private individuals or out of town. He said his department receives a list of pawned items each week that his investigators review for a possible match of stolen merchandise.

    He announced that his department had 480 arrests since the beginning of the year with 58 felony arrests. For the month of October, the department responded to 611 calls, 45 citations were issued, 61 people were arrested, 12 felony arrests and they worked 31 traffic accidents.

    Chamber member Mark Buller said his business and his neighbor were both recently broken into. He said he got a sense there “was a lack of concern by the police officers who worked the crime scene.” The chief said a new policy is now in place where detectives will have to follow up and contact the business to inform them of the status of their investigation.

   One major issue facing the police department is the low starting pay. The starting pay for a police officer is $10.38 an hour. After they become certified, they receive a $500 raise in salary. It costs the city $4000 to train and certify officers.

   In other business, Suzie Lemoine informed chamber members of a host of activities planned at the new Ville Platte library including “Ask A Lawyer” where two attorneys will offer free legal advice on October 23. The library is open Monday, Thursday and Friday from 8-6, Tuesday-8-8, Wednesday from 10-6 and Saturday from 8-12 noon.

     In other business the chamber:

  • Approved two new members: Glen LeLeux and Dirt Cheap;
  • Reminded chamber members that the annual Chamber sponsored Christmas parade is Sunday December 7 at 5:30pm.

Ville Platte Water Project Begins Phase 3


OCTOBER 14, 2014


     The Ville Platte City Council, Tuesday, heard from City Engineer Ronnie Landreneau announce that the city will be opening bids next week to begin Phase 3 of the City Water project. Phase 3 will include work in areas south of Main that has not been done in Phase 1. The multi -phase project is designed to completely replace all of the old city water lines. Landreneau said Main Street and LaSalle will be done last in Phase 4.

    It was also reported that the fire marshal is reviewing the plans and specs for the proposed new City sponsored Boys and Girls Club that will be located in the old City Hall/Evangeline Bank building on Court street.

    Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine announced five new businesses opened in the city in the last month including the Dirt Cheap store that is employing 42 workers.

    It was announced that city hall is now accepting  credit cards and debit cards. Ville Platte residents will be able to pay their utility bills on line within the next 2-3 weeks.

    In other action the city council:

--approved the installation of large four way stop signs at the intersection of Lincoln and North Chataignier and Laran and Jefferson streets;

--received news that sales tax collections were up for 12 of the past 13 months in the city;

--announced Trick of Treating hours for Halloween October 31 will be 5-7pm;

--voted to move the next city council meeting from Nov. 11 to Nov. 5 at 5:00pm due to the original date falling on the holiday, Veterans Day; Also Tuesday Nov. 4, city hall will be closed for election day;

--approved the hiring of three full time patrol officers, two part time dispatchers and four part time jailers as recommended by the police chief;

--adopted a proclamation by Faith House for Domestic Violence Month. Faith House is sponsoring a “Take Back the Night” gathering Oct. 21 with a five block walk and a candlelight vigil;

--adopted a proclamation proclaiming October as Catholic Daughters Month;

Rotary Club Hears from St. Landry Parish Official


OCTOBER 14, 2014


    The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard  from  Bill Rodair, Director of the St. Landry Parish Economic Association. Rodair said his group works at bringing the parish together and preparing  a plan of economic priorities. One of the projects he shared with Rotarians is the proposed St. Landry Parish Expo Center. The center will be located on donated property off I-49 and Harry Guilbeau road . The center will have the potential of bringing in 100,000 people a year. The center is expected to be constructed by 2019. He suggests Ville Platte and Evangeline Parish community and business  leaders do the same thing in working for economic growth here locally. Rodair was the special guest of Rotarian Peter Strawitz.

Evangeline Parish Police Jury Discuss Solutions To Damaged Roads Through Road Use Fees

October 13, 2014

The Evangeline Parish Police Jury held its monthly meeting tonight (Monday) in the courthouse.  It was a lengthy meeting that contained much discussion on a few subjects.

Kevin Belanger, CEO, with the South Central Planning and Development District addressed the jury and went over a handout regarding a new commission that is being formed consisting of Parish Presidents, Mayors, etc., from a multi-parish area, to correct the problems that previously existed causing the areas to fall into a “D-Designation” status, which prevents the areas from receiving federal funding in many areas.  The new commission would be to re-create stability and the status of the district.  Mr. Belanger advises that “if the parish decides to join the commission, he feels the re-establishment could be up and running in a year to a year and a half.

The agenda included discussion on Road Use Permit changes.  The Police Jury had asked the parish attorney, Marcus Fontenot, to draft an ordinance making some changes to the permitting process when a company is going to be using parish roads for a project.  As written, the new ordinance would have required a bond of $15,000.00 for those who would use the roads for commercial use with the chance the roads could be damaged.  It also gives the Police Jury President and Public Works Director, authority to decide who the ordinance would pertain, if so needed.   Police Juror, Eric Soileau, voiced concern with the way the permitting process is as of now saying “Changes need to be made before more roads are damaged.  There needs to be something in place to hold companies accountable.”

Police Juror, Bryan Vidrine, added  “…there are exceptions made to people and they promise to fix any roads that are damaged…then the work gets done and then the parish gets left with their thumbs in the air.”

Concerned citizens, farmers, loggers, etc., spoke out on the issue and said the ordinance would cause great harm to their industry, especially with the $15,000 bond.  It would cause a de-value in their crop or timber, etc., because of the additional cost for what “may happen” to the roads.  There will be further discussions on the issue before a final decision is made.

Regarding the condemned property issue that the Jury has been tackling, out of the 12 property owners who were sent the “certified letters” regarding the clean-up or demolition to their property, only 3 have contacted Secretary/Treasurer, Donald Bergeron, about addressing the issues.  Tonight anyone who has been sent a letter regarding their condemned property had the opportunity to address the jury.  No one did so.  The jury will now proceed with getting bids and moving forward with the clean- up or demolition of the properties.

It was agreed that the fees for renting the Pavilion at Crooked Creek will be $125.00/partial day and $200.00 for a full day.  If someone also rents 12 camping sites around it, they will receive an additional day free.

Donald Bergeron reported that he received a letter from D.O.T. finally clearing the replacement of two bridges.  One in District 6 and one in District 9.

2% Sales Tax revenues were $284,735.51.  That is an increase from 2013 which was $257,280.06.


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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.

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