Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue reports two arrests for narcotics last week.
On January 18, 2012 Alvin Breaux, 26 of 708 Theophile Road, Ville Platte was arrested during a traffic stop and charged with driving left of center, driving under suspension, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Breaux was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and has bonded out on a $5,700.00 bond.
On January 18, 2012 Olivia Moore, 22, of 1829 Rider Road was arrested during a traffic stop and charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Moore was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and has bonded out on a $5,000.00 bond.
Chief Lartigue commends the citizens of Ville Platte for helping officers and detectives by providing information that helps lead them to criminal activity. If you have information on any illegal activities you can call 363-1313 and provide the information anonymously.
The 45th Annual Junior Market Animal Sale was held Saturday at the Chauncey Pitre Ag Arena. The weather was spring like with temperatures in the 70’s through the day. KVPI was there broadcasting a portion of the show and sale.
There was a large group of family members, business community and well wishers in attendance for the sale.
Here is the list of Grand Champions:
Randall Bellon, student at Basile High, the son of Randy and Susan Bellon of Basile showed the Grand Champion Hog weighing 242 pounds;
Kara Aguillard student at Sacred Heart, the daughter of Craig and Karen Aguillard showed the Grand Champion Lamb weighing 150 pounds;
Garrick Fontenot, student at Sacred Heart ,the son of Ched and Holly Holly Fontenot showed the Grand Champion Goat weighing 98 pounds and the reserve champion goat weighing 96 pounds
Brett Saucier, student at Sacred Heart, son of Mr and Mrs. Keith Saucier showed the Grand Champion Broiler ;
Benjamin Bergeron, student at Sacred Heart the song of Shannon and Kayra Bergeron showd the Reserve Champion Hog weighing 201 pounds;
Maggie McGehee, student at Basile High, the daughter of Jim and Angie McGehee showed the Reserve Champion Lamb weighing 128 pounds;
Catherine Bergeron student at Sacred Heart, the daughter of Robert and Vickie Bergeron showed the reserve champion broiler.
Col. Ricky Duhon of Basile was the auctioneer for the annual event.
On January 13, 2012, Detectives with Evangeline Parish Criminal Investigations Division made three arrests related to a burglary at 6612 Pine Point Road. Christopher Goodly, Brandon Harris and Craig Doucet were arrested and charged in connection with the burglary. Detectives were able to recover 95% of the items stolen from the residence, including two handguns, which were stashed in an abandoned residence on Division Road. Christopher Goodly and Brandon Harris were charged with burglary, theft over $500, theft of a firearm and criminal damage to property over $500 and booked in the parish jail. Craig Doucet was charged with accessory to burglary and booked in the parish jail. During the investigation, Detectives also recovered two iPhones that were possibly reported stolen from Sacred Heart High School. The phones were turned over to Ville Platte Police Department and additional charges are pending the outcome of their investigation.
On January 17, 2012, Detectives with the Evangeline Parish Criminal Investigations Division dismantled a clandestine lab also known as a meth lab, before allowing the suspects to begin the dangerous process of mixing the precursors, which would have required a very expensive cleanup process. Detectives seized all precursors and contents associated with the lab. The names are being withheld at this time, and charges are pending, as this case is still under investigation.
On January 18, 2012, Detectives with the Evangeline Parish Criminal Investigations Division dismantled a clandestine lab also known as a meth lab. Detectives secured a search warrant based on information that Gerald Jenkins of 1096 Wade Road, Cheneyville Louisiana, was in possession of meth. Upon execution of the search warrant, an active meth lab was located in the restroom of the residence. Gerald Jenkins was arrested and charges are pending the outcome of the investigation. Jenkins is facing multiple drug related charges as well as firearm violations.
Sheriff Eddie Soileau encourages residents to contact his office with information about illegal activities and to report all suspicious activity to his office. He said all callers will remain anonymous.
Shawn Eckhart/Chief Investigator
Ville Platte- The Evangeline Parish School Board, Wednesday, approved a resolution authorizing demographer Mike Heffner of Lafayette to prepare a proposed reapportionment plan based on 2010 census figures for the parish.
Heffner told the board that the ideal population for each of the 13 school board districts based on the most current population figures is 2614. There are seven districts where the district lines will have to be adjusted since their population figures are more than the + or – five percent deviation allowance, according to the demographer.
A workshop will be scheduled in the near future where the board members will be able to review the first plan. The public will also be invited to attend. Once a plan is finally approved, it must be approved by the Justice Department. The board’s next scheduled election using the new redistricting map is in 2014.
In other business, the school board approved the audit report for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2011. Business Manager Amy Lafleur said the board received a clean audit.
The only deficiency in the audit report dealt with school activity funds at the school level. She reported that nearly all of the problems are in procedural paperwork and internal controls.
The school board has called for a special meeting of its executive committee on January 25 at 2:00pm to receive a mid- year budget report. Superintendent of Schools Toni Hamlin said central office staff and principals will be invited to attend the meeting.
“We want to be transparent with the board and with our principals. We will be prepared to make any needed adjustments to the budget because we know the financial problems some of our neighbors are having,” said Hamlin.
In other action, the school board:
--received news that sales tax collections for December was down $89,474 over the same period a year ago;
--nominated Board Member Peggy Forman for Louisiana School Board Association School Board Member of the Year.
Evangeline Parish- Yesterday, Louisiana State Police Troop I investigated a single vehicle crash on LA 104 west of LA 13. The crash claimed the life of a Ville Platte man.
According to investigating troopers, on January 11, 2012, at 1:55 p.m., 59-year-old Dwain Lafleur of Ville Platte, was traveling east on LA 104. A 1998 GMC Propane transport truck driven by 70-year-old Jerry Hebert of Ville Platte, was traveling west on LA 104 approaching Lafleur. For reasons still under investigation, Lafleur crossed the center line and struck Hebert’s vehicle head-on.
Lafleur, who was wearing a seatbelt, was pronounced dead at the scene by the Evangeline Parish Coroner. Hebert sustained minor injuries in the crash and was treated at the scene. Routine toxicology samples were obtained from both drivers and have been submitted to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis. This crash remains under investigation.
While not all crashes are survivable, the proper wearing of a seat belt and the correct use of age and size appropriate child restraints are still the best ways to reduce injuries and deaths in traffic crashes.
The City of Ville Platte’s Section 8 rent subsidy program was the main item of discussion at Tuesday’s meeting of the Ville Platte City Council meeting.
Auditor Vic Slaven presented his findings after auditing the city’s financial records for the period July 1, 2010 through June 20, 2011. There were eight major discrepancies cited in the Section 8 program. The findings included: no lease contract between landlord and tenant, a waiting list was not maintained, no background checks were taken on participants and inspections were not made prior to the execution of a contract.
Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine vowed to correct the problems within the program. The program receives $600,000 in federal Housing and Urban Development funds with 143 homes in the city.
City Councilman Freddie Jack made a motion to send those employees involved in the Section 8 program to attend all necessary Conferences and Seminars in 2012 to stay abreast of the latest changes in the program.
Mayor Jennifer Vidrine was against the motion saying she, the mayor, should be permitted to decide which personnel should attend. “We should not reward employees who may not be doing their jobs or who are insubordinate in permitting them to go to conferences,” said the mayor.
Jack reminded the mayor that there is an ordinance that states that the mayor and council will decide who goes to conferences, not the mayor alone. The city council approved Jack’s motion .
Gervis Lafleur, Director of the Evangeline Community Action Agency stated “This is not a clean audit. You need to correct the findings. If whoever was attending these conferences would be listening and paying attention, there would be no discrepancies.”
In other business, the city council:
--recognized Police Sgt. Detective Linton Fontenot who recently retired after 23 years of service;
--recognized the Ville Platte High Bulldog Cheerleaders who participated on national TV in the Capitol One Bowl;
--approved sponsoring the Summer Feeding program next summer at Ville Platte High School for the children of the community;
--agreed to enter into a cooperative agreement with Louisiana Folk Roots to donate labor and equipment for the upcoming Dewey Balfa Cajun and Creole Heritage Week at Chicot State Park in April;
--approved the purchase of 50 metal street signs to be placed throughout the city reminding residents about the city’s loud noise and anti slabbing ordinances;
--voted to apply for a $50,000 state grant to make repairs to city water well #9;
--was notified that the city prosecutor will publish in the local newspaper and announce on the radio about the new tough ordinance dealing with dilapidated homes and buildings.
Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue reports multiple narcotic arrests recently. The Ville Platte Police Department through undercover operations has arrested and charged the following.
December 29, 2011, Jawaski Thomas, 37 of 414 Laran Street, Ville Platte was arrested and charged with distribution of crack cocaine. Thomas remains incarcerated on a $20,000.00 bond set by Judge J. Larry Vidrine.
On December 29, 2011, Sandy Gaspard, 41, of 904 West LaSalle Street, Ville Platte, was arrested and charged with distribution of a schedule III narcotic. Gaspard was released on a $20,000.00 bond set by Judge J. Larry Vidrine.
On December 27, 2011, Romaine Thomas, 33, of 1286 Whiteville Road, Ville Platte, was arrested and charged with Distribution of crack cocaine. Thomas was released on a $10,000.00 bond set by Judge J. Larry Vidrine.
Chief Lartigue reminds residents that anonymous tips are helping the department locate and fight illegal narcotics in our city and asks you to report the illegal sales of drugs and other criminal activities to the department right away at 363-1313. Your calls will remain anonymous.
The Evangeline Parish Police Jury Monday re-elected their officers for another term in office. Eric Soileau will begin his third year as president. Bryan Vidrine was re-elected to another year as vice-president. Doug DeVille was appointed to another two year term as Secretary Treasurer.
Three new police jurors were seated for their first meeting: Rocky Rider in District 1, Kevin Veillon in District 5 and Kenny Burgess in District 2. They join their fellow jurors in being sworn into office by District Court Judge Thomas Fuselier just prior to the meeting.
Also, the jury agreed to continue meeting on the second Monday of each month at 6;00pm with committee meetings to be held on the First Monday at 5;00pm.
The jury once again approved entering into a cooperative endeavor agreement with Louisiana Folk Roots to provide manpower and equipment for their annual Dewey Balfa Cajun and Creole Heritage Week planned for April 20-27 at Chicot State Park. The jury also approved the non- profit group to sell alcoholic beverages during the event.
Louisiana Folk Roots Chairman Gilbert “Winky” Aucoin listed over a dozen states along with Canada and the United Kingdom where people will be coming from to attend the week long classes into learning how to play Cajun music, cook Cajun food and learn Cajun dances.
In other action, the police jury approved the appointment of Crystal Messer to replace Nettie Campbell on the Evangeline Parish Solid Waste Commission;
Also, the jury voted to call a special tax renewal election for the Mamou Drainage District on April 21 .
The Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce today (Monday) heard from Author Nancy K. Duplechain. Nancy spoke about her book “Dark Bayou” that is set in South Louisiana. She is in the middle of completing a second volume in the three volume trilogy. Nancy also works as an announcer with KVPI and is a curator at the Swamp Pop Museum. She is organizing a Little Theatre group for the Ville Platte- Evangeline Parish area to begin sponsoring theatre productions.
Annette Johnson with the Rotary Club announced that the Centennial Time Capsule has been buried in front of the courthouse. It is scheduled to be opened in 50 years.
Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Camille Fontenot said the chamber board will consider a proposal to fund a LSU Eunice Scholarship Fund.
Suzie Lemoine reminded Chamber members that they are all permitted to market and brand the use of the Evangeline Statue in front of the courthouse for use in business cards and letterheads.
Camille Fontenot said two groups will be touring our area in the next few months. On February 2, a group of 30 travel professionals from throughout the state will be visiting Ville Platte and Evangeline Parish as part of a bus tour. They will be staying at Chicot State Park . Plans are for the group to visit the Swamp Pop museum. The chamber plans to prepare a supper for the group.
Also, Artist Olivia Hill from San Francisco will be visiting our area for two weeks along with ten other artists touring various areas of the parish. They will be here during Mardi Gras.
The annual Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce banquet will be held May 3 at the Civic Center. Chamber members are needed for various committees such as Planning, Decorating, Silent Auction and Entertainment.
The Chamber of Commerce Business of the Month is Faith House. The next meeting of the chamber will be February 13.
On January 2, 2012, Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Deputy conducted a traffic stop on Glenmora Turkey Creek Highway for several traffic infractions. Through the course of the field interview, the Deputy observed the driver, Wilbert Charles Howard, to be incoherent, disoriented and possibly under the influence of narcotics and or alcoholic beverages. The Deputy received consent to search the vehicle where an unknown liquid substance, believed to be formaldehyde or a form of PCP, was located. Howard was cited for his traffic violations and additional charges are pending results from Acadiana Crime Lab.
On January 4, 2012, Detectives with the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Department were engaged in a foot pursuit with Isaac Thomas Jr. of Ville Platte. Thomas was apprehended and found to be in possession of marijuana. During the apprehension, Thomas tried to discard items in his possession, but Detectives were able to locate the narcotics on his person. Thomas was booked in the parish jail for resisting arrest, possession with intent to distribute a schedule I controlled dangerous substance and obstruction of justice.
Sheriff Eddie Soileau encourages residents to contact his office with information about illegal activities and to report all suspicious activity including the burning of wire for copper. He said all callers will remain anonymous.
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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.