CABOT GRANT TO SUPPORT HIGH SCHOOL TECHNOLOGY UPGRADE
The Cabot Foundation, the charitable arm of Cabot Corporation, has donated $25,000 to the Evangeline Parish School Board to help fund the Information Technology upgrade in the Parish high schools. This $960,000 program was approved by the EPSB last month.
“This technology upgrade will provide the high schools with greater computer access to meet the emerging equipment and infrastructure needs. In addition, it will help support the demand for technology due to the increasing mandates for computer based testing including the ACT college preparation exam,” said Connie Bertand, Instructional Technology Facilitator for the Parish.
“Providing students with the access to technology to enhance the learning process is the future of education,” said Cabot Facility General Manager, Mark Suellentrop. “Our hope is that this technology will provide the necessary tools for students and teachers to be productive and further enable the Parish school to meet its goals and prepare their students for the future.”
This grant will be supported with funds from the Parish School Board and E-Rate which is a federal funding program. Superintendent Toni Hamlin stated that the Cabot grant reduced the amount of funding required by the Parish and enabled this project to move forward.
Cabot is committed to supporting outreach activities in local communities where Cabot operates, such as Ville Platte Louisiana. Cabot Corporate Giving strategy is designed to support Cabot's community outreach activities, with priority given to science and technology education and community and civic improvement efforts in the communities where we operate. In 1953, Cabot Corporation Foundation, Inc. was established to support qualified charitable, non-profit organizations in the United States. The Foundation's charter was amended in 1992 to permit grants to qualified charitable organizations outside of the United States. Cabot Corporation also makes contributions to organizations under certain circumstances.
On April 23, 2012 after an undercover investigation of a local business, Ann Nguyen 57, of 124 West Lincoln Rd. was arrested and charged with 3 counts of distribution of synthetic marijuana to an undercover officer and possession with intent to distribute synthetic marijuana. Nguyen was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and was transferred to the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office where she remains incarcerated on a $55,000.00 bond set by Judge Larry Vidrine.
Chief Neal Lartigue with the Ville Platte Police Department would like to make citizens of Ville Platte aware that we have had an increase in break ins to local businesses and homes. “We would like for everyone to be more careful” Chief Lartigue said, “Lock your doors, check your windows and report suspicious people immediately.” You are asked to call if you see someone hanging around where they don’t belong. “We stress that callers will remain anonymous” Lartigue said, “It is important to have cooperation from the citizens of Ville Platte so that we can catch these criminals.” The Detectives are following leads at this time and want citizens to be aware that they could be next. “No one is safe with these criminals on the street” Lartigue added, “Call us and let us know who’s been hanging around your neighborhood suspiciously.” As a community we need to stick together and watch out for each other. “If you see someone hanging around that doesn’t belong, call immediately. Lartigue also added, “Try to remember what they are wearing, if they are in a vehicle and what color the vehicle is.” Calling right away is also very important. It is easier to locate suspects if they are still in the area. Remember that calling in this information is anonymous. The Ville Platte Police Department can be contacted at 363-1313.
NOMINEES FOR BUSINESS AND BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR
APRIL 22, 2012
The Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce has released the nominees for Ville Platte Business and Business Person of the Year. Chamber members will vote on their choices in each category and the winners will be announced at the annual Chamber Awards banquet set for Thursday May 3.
The nominees for 2012 Business of the Year: The Cock’s Tail, Cajun Smokehouse, Kary’s Roux, Ace Hardware, Citizens Bank, Morein Motors, Mercy Regional Medical Center, Kolder, Champagne, Slaven and Company, Edward Jones, Paul’s Meat Market and Cameron.
The nominees for Business Person of the Year are Renee Brown of the Cock’s Tail, John DeVille for the Cajun Smokehouse, Dr. William Tojo Ward, David Manuel at Ville Platte Iron Works, Diana Reed, Mark Suellentrop at Cabot, Larry Lachney, Mayor Jennifer Vidrine, Cody Vidrine at Ace Hardware, Mark Layne at KVPI , Randy Chapman at Evangeline Bank, Ronnie Landreneau and Trey Prudhomme at Heritage Manor Nursing Home.
April 22, 2012
There were a number of elections held Saturday in Evangeline Parish. Complete but unofficial election results from the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office show the following:
For Mayor in the Village of Chataignier, Jackie Malveaux Thomas was elected with nearly 53 percent of the vote over her opponent Alton Thomas Jr. Jackie Malveaux Thomas received 99 votes whole her opponent Alton Thomas Jr. received 88 votes.
In the runoff election for Turkey Creek Chief of Police, Brad Wilson was elected with 58 percent of the vote over Russell Moose Evans . The final vote count was Wilson with 91 votes and Evans with 65 votes.
In the tax renewal election for school district 7, the millage tax proposition passed 86-10.
In the tax renewal election for Mamou Gravity Drainage District 5, the tax proposition was approved by voters, 42-2.
In the newly created Lone Pine Fire District, their new 20 mill millage tax propostion was approved by voters by a vote of 35-1.
On April 12, 2012, Detectives with Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Department were able to dismantle a theft ring and recovered a total of five ATVs, four zero turn lawn tractors, one utility trailer and one Arctic Cat side-by-side ATV. Detectives found David Crader from Eunice Louisiana, in possession of two ATVs, which were reported stolen from two separate residences in Evangeline Parish. Detectives were able to identify another person of interest associated with the ATVs, who led detectives to the recovery of two zero turn lawn tractors, reported stolen from Evangeline Parish and an Arctic Cat side-by-side ATV reported stolen from St. Landry Parish. A joint investigation between Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Department, St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Department and Louisiana State Police Auto Theft Division led investigators to Baton Rouge, Lavonia and False River, where numerous items stolen from Evangeline Parish were recovered. The information received led Detectives to Travis James Soileau from Grand Prairie Louisiana. Detectives were able to determine that Travis Soileau scoped the residences, in Evangeline Parish, then with the assistance of two juveniles, would remove ATV’s and lawn tractors from the property of the unsuspecting owners. Soileau would then transport the stolen machinery outside of Evangeline Parish, where it would be resold. Warrants for the arrest of Travis Soileau have been issued for seven counts of burglary, eight counts of felony theft and 16 counts of contributing to the delinquency of juveniles. Soileau is currently incarcerated in St. Landry Parish and is awaiting transfer to Evangeline Parish for said charges. Additional charges are pending the outcome of the investigation and additional arrests are probable.
Sheriff Eddie Soileau would like to remind citizens to properly secure their equipment and 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.
Chief Neal Lartigue with the Ville Platte Police Department reports the following arrests
On April 11, 2012 Dwayne West, 40 of 713 Rozas Street, Ville Platte was arrested and charged with no reflective gear and possession of cocaine. West was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail where he remains incarcerated on a $10,000.00 bond issued by Judge John Larry Vidrine.
On April 11, 2012 Cordell Edwards, 28 of 316 West Desoto St. Ville Platte was arrested and charged with no reflective gear and possession of marijuana. Edwards was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and released on a $2,700.00 bond.
On April 11, 2012 Jimmy Lavigne, 31 of 619 Dr. Carver St. Ville Platte was arrested and charged with no reflective gear and possession with intent to distribute marijuana. Lavigne was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and released on a $10,000.00 bond set by Judge John Larry Vidrine.
On April 12, 2012 Richard Freeman, 29 of 504 Court Street, Ville Platte was arrested and charged with no reflective gear and possession of marijuana. Freeman was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and released on a $2,700.00 bond.
On April 14, 2012 Kyle Morein, 27 of 1431 Zenon Road, Ville Platte was arrested and charged with Possession of Schedule II (formaldehyde). Morein was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail where he remains incarcerated on a $7,500.00 bond set by Judge Thomas Fuselier with a hold for Probation and Parole.
On April 14, 2012 Kano Simon, 27 of 518 East Jackson St. Ville Platte was arrested and charged with possession of schedule II (formaldehyde). Simon was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail where he remains incarcerated on a $7,500.00 bond set by Judge Thomas Fuselier.
On April 15, 2012 Curt Fontenot, 40 of 508 North Soileau St. Ville Platte was arrested and charged with domestic abuse battery and possession of marijuana. Fontenot was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and released on a $3,500.00 bond.
On April 15, 2012 Gladys Pleasant, 45 of 115 Dr. Carver Street, Ville Platte was arrested and charged with criminal mischief and possession of drug paraphernalia. Pleasant was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail where she remains incarcerated on a $3,000.00 bond.
On April 15, 2012 Robert Gallow, 26 of 711 MLK Dr. Ville Platte was arrested and charged with no turn signal, 2 counts of stop sign violation, aggravated flight, 3 counts of resisting and officer by flight, 3 counts of resisting with force and possession of cocaine. Gallow was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail where he remains incarcerated on a $25,000.00 bond issued by Judge Thomas Fuselier with a hold for Probation and Parole.
Chief Lartigue reminds citizens that reporting illegal activity will help the department continue to reduce crime. Your call will remain anonymous. Contact the Ville Platte Police Department at 363-1313.
Ville Platte- Superintendent of Schools Toni Hamlin informed the Evangeline Parish School Board Wednesday that she and her staff are preparing for the changes beginning next school year due to education reform measures approved by the state legislature.
Hamlin reported that she and seven other area school superintendents are due to meet with State Superintendent John White on May 9 in Alexandria to discuss “the future of our education system”. He is meeting with groups of superintendents throughout the state on a regional basis.
Personnel Director Michael Lombas said the final staff development day of the school year is due for Friday April 20. He said “It will be a very important staff development day to prepare school staffs for the new standards beginning next year.”
Superintendent Hamlin commented “We don’t want our teachers over anxious but we want them to be prepared. We will do everything to prepare our staff for the changes.”
In another matter, Hamlin said state police officials will be available to provide in-service to schools with at risk students on issues dealing with “bullying.” “We recognize the need for this information and we hope that our schools in the district will take advantage of this resource from the state police.”
The school board approved the 2012-2013 school calendar. The calendar calls for the first day of school for students will be August 20 and the final day will be on May 30. The calendar also calls for holiday breaks for Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, Martin Luther King, Mardi Gras, President’s Day and Easter break.
In other action, the school board:
--received good news from Business Manager Amy LaFleur that sales tax collections for March increased by $114,816 over the same period a year ago;
--approved two year contract renewals for Title One Supervisor Penelope McDaniel and Bayou Chicot Principal Delores Miller;
--approved the appointment of the following assistant principals: Mary Christine Fontenot at Bayou Chicot Elementary; DeEtte Loyd at Pine Prairie High School and Tommy Jones at Ville Platte High School;
--approved changing the second meeting date for May from May 16 to May23 at 6:00pm.
VILLE PLATTE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MEETING
APRIL 16, 2012
The Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce Monday heard from Sami Lemoine, Employment Training Coordinator with Senior Workforce Solutions. She is in charge of Evangeline and four other parishes in promoting the employment of citizens ages 55 and older. They assist those seniors on limited income in training and helping them find employment opportunities. Those wishing more information can contact the local office at 337-363-6241.
In other business, Chamber Executive Director Camille Fontenot reported that the chamber currently has 144 members enrolled. She also announced that 9 new businesses have opened in the city lately.
She reported that the annual chamber banquet is planned for Thursday May 3 at the Ville Platte Civic Center. She is asking chamber members to make a donation for the silent auction to be held during the event. The theme of the banquet will be “Cinco De Mayo”. Nominations are currently being sought by chamber members for Man and Woman of the Year as well as Business and Business Person of the Year.
In other action the chamber:
--received news that there will be a special reception sponsored by Cleco and the Evangeline Parish Police Jury for the announcement of the Ward One Industrial Park becoming certified as a “Ready” park for industry on May 2.
--was notified that the J. Wendel Fuselier Law Corporation was selected as Business of the Month.
BELAIRE COVE CRAWFISH COOK OFF WINNERS
APRIL 16, 2012
The annual Belaire Cove Crawfish Etoufee Cookoff took place Sunday and was a complete success. The weather was perfect and a large group of local and area residents attended the benefit event. KVPI’s Becky Vidrine and Randy Guillory were there on a live remote. All for the funds go for the benefit of the Belaire Cove Chapel.
Here are the cook off winners: First Place- Donald Marcantel; Second Place- Woodman of the World with Head Chef Ricky Sonnier and Third Place-Cardiac Cajuns with Head Chef Donald Vidrine;
The best decorated booth was Evangeline Feed Store; Most Original Booth- Police Juror Rocky Rider and the winners in the Washerboard Tournament- First Place- Zac Johnson and Bailey Fontenot; Second Place- David Walters and Chad Fontenot and Third Place- Taylor Ardoin and Blaze Wedlock.
Here are the winners for the raffle prizes: First Place- Libby Fontenot, the winner of the Gas Grill donated by Ray Matte at True Value; Second Place Winner- Rayford Chapman, winner of $100 cash donated by Police Juror Rocky Rider; and Third Place- Donovan Morein-winner of $50 cash donated by the Belaire Cove Chapel.
Chief Neal Lartigue with the Ville Platte Police Department reported multiple incidents of prescription fraud in the city recently. According to Chief Lartigue there is an ongoing investigation and warnings have been issued to local pharmacies that individuals are bringing in prescription orders from Baton Rouge area clinics and physicians that are fraudulent. Businesses are asked to be aware and report anyone who brings in a prescription that may be fraudulent and for citizens to report anyone that may be illegally altering prescription forms. To report illegal activity call 363-1313. Your call will remain anonymous.
ST. ROMAIN OIL FOOD DRIVE BIG SUCCESS
APRIL 12, 2012
The St. Romain Oil Company Food Drive during the month of March was a big success for its first year, according to Nick St. Romain. The ten stores, which included Ville Platte Wash n Go Shell and the Y Not Stop Shell , raised $5000 in cash donations which the company matched with an additional $5,000 for a total of $10,000. The stores also collected 4410 pounds of food. All food collected will be distributed in the parish that it was collected. All of the money will be spent in the Central Louisiana area to help feed seniors and elementary aged children. To make a donation or for more information about the Food Bank of Central Louisiana call (318)445-2773.
Mayor Jennifer Vidrine and the members of the Ville Platte City Council recognized two people during their meeting Monday night.
Victoria Johnson, a 12 year old Sacred Heart student was recognized as an award winning gymnast. Mayor Vidrine presented her with a gift basket of Ville Platte products and a certificate of appreciation. Victoria is the daughter of Sherry and Jacob Fuselier and Sammy and Opal Johnson. She has been awarded 45 medals including 37 first place medals in one year. She has also won three state championships. She has been named Ville Platte’s honorary gymnast.
Also recognized was Mable Forman for her unselfish work in many civic projects for the city. Mayor Jennifer said “Miss Mable is always available to help out and she brings her camera.” Forman received a plaque of appreciation and a basket full of Ville Platte products. Mable said “I have been working here for 40 years and I love this city.”
Mayor Jennifer Vidrine named the new Hud Section 8 director. She is Toamasina Wallace, a resident of Ville Platte who has been employed with the Louisiana Department of Social Services.
There were a total of 14 applicants for the position. The mayor said after a series of interviews and reviewing their resume’s, Wallace was the most qualified applicant.
In other action, the city council:
--Approved hiring three new police officers and one part time jailer. In addition, the council approved a recommendation from the police chief to create the position of Captain in the police department;
--approved the appointment of Geneta Martin to serve on the Muncipal Civic Service board;
--were shown the new street signs that will be installed all over town. One sign states “Pull Up Your Pants. No one wants to see your underwear. Slabbing is against the law.” A second sign says “ Quiet Zone. No loud music. No Boom Boom. Its against the law.”
--received a report from the city police that there 767 calls for the month of March, of which 117 people were arrests including 43 felony arrests and the police investigated 48 vehicle accidents;
--received a report from the fire chief that the fire department responded to 13 fire calls in the city and seven structure fires for the month of March;
--heard from Mayor Jennifer Vidrine that nine new businesses have opened in Ville Platte in the past two months;
--reminded residents that judging for the cleanest city contest in statewide competition will be May 11 in Ville Platte;
--commended Senator Eric LaFleur who also services as City Attorney for representing public schools and teachers against the governor’s education reform measures;
--reminded residents to wear reflective gear after dark if you plan to walk on city streets. A pedestrian was killed last week by a passing motorist.
The Evangeline Parish Police Jury Monday approved a recommendation from its insurance consultant to add a “transitional duty” policy to the parish policy and personnel manual. The proposal was offered by Ed Dicks, who handles the jury’s workers compensation insurance plan. He said “This plan will significantly bring down the workers compensation claims in Evangeline Parish.”
This gives the injured employee the opportunity of coming back to work following clearance from their physician on a light duty basis. If the employee refuses to return, their pay can be suspended.
Along the light duty projects, he suggested that is working in other parishes include cleanup work, road sign inspections, fuel, wash and vacuum vehicles and clean up oil spills.
In other business, the police heard from Evangeline Parish Country Agent Keith Fontenot and his 4-H Agents Tina Guillory and Todd Fontenot give their annual report.
Keith Fontenot reported that rice is still the #1 crop in the parish with an estimated gross farm value of $37.2 million dollars in 2011. Crawfish or aquaculture production has surpassed forestry in second place with an estimated value of $20.8 million dollars. Agriculture is a $119 million dollar industry in Evangeline Parish.
Evangeline Parish last year was due to lose one agent because of budget cutbacks. However due to the high participation level by students in schools throughout the parish in the 4-H program, the LSU Ag Center made an exception , one of only two exceptions in the state.
In other action, the police jury:
--tabled any action on proposed city court pay increases until next month;
--named Parish Road #1-12 W-“ Water Fowl Lane” located in the Basile area;
--reappointed members of the Griffin Hill cemetery board;
--received a report that sales tax collections for February sales collected in March amounted to $311,387.
On April 3, 2012, Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Department teamed up with the U.S. Marshal Service, Violent Offender Task Force, and executed a search warrant for a fugitive from South Carolina. Vincente Mendoza was wanted by the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina for the murder of two female victims by gunshot wounds to the head, which occurred on March 18, 2012. A vehicle belonging to one of the victims was later located by Louisiana State Police, abandoned in rural Acadia Parish in the early morning hours of March 20, 2012. Officers executed the warrants at a residence on Jean Pierre Road in Ville Platte, where Mendoza was located hiding within the residence. Officers were able to positively identify Mendoza as the subject wanted in connection with the two murders in South Carolina. Mendoza was booked into the Evangeline Parish Jail and is awaiting extradition.
Sheriff Eddie Soileau would like to bring to the public’s attention about numerous thefts of four wheelers and zero turn type lawn tractors within Evangeline Parish. Sheriff Soileau would like to remind citizens to properly secure their equipment and 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.
Chief Neal Lartigue with the Ville Platte Police Department has reported the following arrests for the first week of April.
On March 29, 2012 Randall Prudhomme, 47 of 721 West Magnolia St. Ville Platte was arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and a stop sign violation. Prudhomme was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and was released on a $2,700.00 bond.
On March 30, 2012 Ronald Doomes, 23 of 119 West Cotton was arrested and charged with no reflective gear and possession of marijuana. Doomes was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and was released on a $2,700.00 bond.
On April 1, 2012 Shane Darby, 42 of 1361 Hwy. 13 Mamou, La was arrested during a traffic stop for no turn signal, driving under suspension, open container and possession of marijuana. Darby was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail where he was released on a $3,400.00 bond.
On April 3, 2012 Jacob Fontenot 24, of P.O. Box 72, Opelousas, La was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana. Fontenot was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and was released on a $2,500.00 bond.
On April 3, 2012 Daniel Soileau, 23 of 511 N. Coreil St., Ville Platte was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana. Soileau was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and released on a $2,500.00 bond.
On April 3, 2012 Kaleb Smith, 22 of 610 Southwest Railroad St. Ville Platte was arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana. Smith was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and released on a $5,000.00 bond.
Chief Lartigue reminds residents to call in anonymous tips at 363-1313.
On April 3, 2012 at approximately 8:00 p.m. the Ville Platte Police Department received a report of an accident involving a pedestrian. Upon arrival Officers learned that the pedestrian was walking against the flow of traffic on East LaSalle when he apparently crossed over the line and stepped into the path of an oncoming vehicle. A 55 year old man from Ville Platte was pronounced dead on the scene by the coroner. The name is not being released at this time pending notification of family. No charges have been filed against the driver and the investigation is ongoing pending toxicology results.
A report of theft from a local business on February 14, 2012 was investigated and led to the arrest of the following:
On March 1, 2012 Evella Marie Thomas, 25 of 1203 Ina Claire, Apt. 439 Opelousas, La. was arrested and charged with theft over $500.00. Thomas was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and transported to the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Jail. Thomas was released on a $ 5,000.00 bond set by Judge John Larry Vidrine.
On April 2, 2120 Nicholas Frank, 30 of 2233 Ledoux Circle, Opelousas, La, was arrested and charged with malfeasance in office, malfeasance in office: tampering with evidence, obstruction of justice, illegal possession of stolen goods. Frank was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and transported to the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office. Frank was released on a $10,000.00 bond set by Judge Thomas Fuselier.
On April 3, 2012 Yolanda Lewis, 35 of 1006 East Laurent St., Opelousas La. was arrested and charged with malfeasance in office: tampering with evidence, obstruction of justice. Lewis was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and transported to the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office. Frank was released on a $7,500.00 bond set by Judge Thomas Fuselier.
On April 3, 2012 Quinn Lewis, 36 of 1006 East Laurent St. Opelousas, La was arrested and charged with theft over $500.00. Frank was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail and transported to the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office. Lewis was released on a $10,000.00 bond set by Judge Thomas Fuselier.
On March 30, 2012 a warrant was issued in this case for Alphonzo Pierre Jason of 1117 Madison St. Opelousas La., Jason will be charged with theft over $500.00. The bond amount set by Judge Thomas Fusilier is $10,000.00. The warrant is outstanding at this time.
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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.