Eunice Police Chief Randy Fontenot, right, addresses the Board of Aldermen at Tuesday’s meeting, Seated from left, are Alderman Chad Andrepont, Alderwoman Germaine Simpson, City Attorney Vernon McManus, City Clerk Ginny Moody, Mayor Scott Fontenot, Alderman at-large Marion “Nootsie” Sattler, Alderman Ernest Blanchard and Alderwoman Connie Thibdeaux. (Photo by Harlan Kirgan)
Hunters for the
The Refinery Mission’s annual Hunters for the Hungry food drive will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
Local sportsmen and their families are encouraged to “clean out your freezers” and donate frozen processed game and fish from the 2018 season. Collection sites will be set up throughout Lafayette and other neighboring communities.
All donations are tax deductible and will be used to feed the needy through The Refinery Mission’s shelters and programs.
Collection sites include:
— Lafayette – Ul Cajun Field, 2351 W. Congress St., main drop site,
— Opelousas – Giles Nissan, 4383 1-49 Service Road;
— Youngsville – First Assembly Of God,3555 Verot School Road;
— Broussard – Chops Specialty Meats, 1019 Albertson Parkway;
— Eunice – Eunice Fire Station, 100 Park Ave.;
— New Iberia – Community First Bank, 1101 E. Admiral Doyle Dr. ;
— Abbeville – Ray Chevrolet, 716 W. Summers Dr.;
— Carencro – Mc Taxidermy, 3829 NW Evangeline Thruway.
Mt. Olive Cemetery volunteers needed
Families of the Mount Olive Cemetery, located at 1199 E. Ardoin (on Old Crowley Road), are in dire need of volunteers for lawn maintenance, grass mowing, and up keep of the cemetery. It is a public cemetery, established many years ago.
Interested people should contact Tank Minor at 337-466-5035, Ron Whaley at 337-550-9628, or Gerald Melancon at 337-896-3231.
Church of Annunciation bazaar set Sept. 14, 15
The Church of Annunciation in Duralde will hold its annual bazaar on Saturday and Sunday at the church grounds located at 4476 Duralde Hwy, Eunice.
A Bingo and Burgers event is set for the Saturday in the church hall following the 4 p.m. Mass.
Sunday’s events include the barbecue plate lunches, burgers, cold beverages, and sweets. Plate lunches will be available following the 9 a.m. Mass.
A live auction and silent auction will be held along with a raffle. Kiddie games and fun jumps will provide activities for the youth. The live auction begins at 1.
For more information, contact Rebecca Cormier at 337-831-2559 or Monica Joubert at 337-580-3617.
EHS Bobcat Auction set for Sept. 17
The annual Eunice High School Bobcat Auction, sponsored by the EHS Booster Club, will be at 6 p.m. Sept. 17 at Nick’s on 2nd.
It will be broadcast on 105-5 KEUN. Items may be viewed on Facebook (EHS Booster Club Auction 2019). Auction viewers and participants are invited and welcomed to come to the event and view the auction live.
Gumbo will be served for a small fee and a cash bar will be available.
There will be a ticket raffle going on at Nick’s on 2nd during the live auction with many items to choose from.
To donate, help, or for more information, contact: Monica Joubert at 337-580-3617 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
All donations are due by Sept. 11, and may be dropped off at RE/MAX Rice Realty (1651 W. Laurel Ave. Suite B).
Survivor Man event
Does your young boy know how to walk through life making wise decisions?
Acadian Baptist Center of Eunice will present a two-day event, SurvivorMan, Sept. 13-14, for boys in 1st through 6th grade and their dads.
Activities include Awareness/Protection/Self-Confidence/Walking-In-Wisdom Safety, Rifle Training, and other fun activities.
The cost is $45 per person and includes meals and lodging.
For registration information go to abccamp.com/survivorman/ or call 337-457-9047.
St. Louis Cemetery asking for donations
The St. Louis Cemetery, located at the corner of St. Louis Road and Sittig in Eunice is seeking donations for the upkeep and maintenance of the cemetery. The cemetery strictly operates by donations and volunteers. The cemetery is not a private one.
Families who wish to donate are asked to send to Keith Lavergne, cemetery manager, at St. Louis Cemetery, P.O. Box 325, Eunice, LA 70535.
For details, questions, call: 337-305-0328 or 337-580-0340. Email address is: email@example.com
at DMV parking lot
The Eunice Farmers’ Market is held in the DMV parking lot, and normally is open from 9 a.m. until noon on Saturdays.
However, on the third Saturday of each month the market is joined by outside vendors and the market remains open until 3 p.m. The market always has fresh produce, honey, and canned goods. On third Saturdays there are also baked goods and arts and crafts.
For more information, call Sanford Wood at 337-457-0607.
Additional vendors are always welcome.
Miles Perret Cancer Services starts
LAFAYETTE — Miles Perret Cancer Services announced the inaugural “Wear Your Support” t-shirt fundraiser in partnership with Acadiana’s Firefighters.
During the campaign, MPCS is asking local fire departments and the community to join in the mission of helping our neighbors, families, and friends fighting cancer by purchasing a limited-edition t-shirt in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The goal of this campaign is to bring an increased awareness to breast cancer and individuals diagnosed with cancer in Acadiana. Shirts are available for purchase online at shopmilesperret.com.
The mission at Miles Perret Cancer Services is to serve families in Acadiana fighting and surviving cancer, with care and compassion.
For more information about the campaign or on the services provided by Miles Perret Cancer Services, visit milesperret.org or call 337-984-1920.
for girls’ camp
The next girls only Kops & Kids hunting/fishing and camping adventure is scheduled for Sept. 21 to 22. The camp is located in St. Landry Parish with sleeping accommodations and is chaperoned by full time law enforcement officers.
The Kops & Kids outdoor activities program is designed to allow children to have an opportunity to experience outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing free of charge.
The program is an effort to touch the lives of children between the ages of 9 and 13, the formative years, and create an atmosphere of trust between the youths and law enforcement. The ultimate goal is to mentor youths in order that they help themselves complete their education and achieve economic self-sufficiency, and meaningful value to society. The children develop positive self-esteem and clarify their values on which to build a successful life.
Any child 9 to 13 is eligible. To refer a child for a Kops & Kids adventure weekend, contact Debbie Savoy at 337-948- 6844 and make arrangements to obtain an application. Applications must be complete and sent to the St. Landry Parish Sheriff Fleet Office at 1130 W. Landry St., Opelousas.
LSUE Testing Center offers HiSET exam
The Testing Center on the LSU Eunice campus has expanded its offerings after being named a HiSET (GED) testing site.
The HiSET exam is a test used to measure high school equivalency skills. It is designed for out-of-school youth and adults without a high school diploma.
The LSUE Testing Center added HiSET and CLEP to its lineup of exams that it proctors. LSUE also offers Accuplacer, Peregrine, TEAS, and proctored exams for LSUE and non-LSUE college students.
The Center is open Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and is located on the first floor of the LSUE LeDoux Library.
For additional information contact the LSUE Testing Center at 337-457-6116 or visit lsue.edu/testing-center.
Hour of Prayer at New Zion Baptist Church
The New Zion Missionary Baptist Church invites the public to an Hour of Power Prayer every Thursday at 11:30 a.m. at the J.G. Frank, Senior Christian Life Center, located at 251 Nimitz in Eunice.
On the third Thursday of each month, senior citizens are invited to fellowship with a meal immediately following the prayer service.
Details, information, call: 337-212-8828.
Free hearing aids, amplified phones
Free amplified telephones and hearing aids are available to Louisiana residents. The program is funded by a state agency, Louisiana Commission for the Deaf.
Call Stacy at Affiliated Blind of Louisiana for more information on how to qualify at 337-234-6492.
Clovis Crawfish books on sale
The City of Eunice is selling Clovis Crawfish books by Mary Alice Fontenot as a fundraiser connected to the city’s 125th anniversary.
Anyone wishing to purchase these books, can call 457-7389 or 305-3672.
The DAV (Disabled American Veterans) is in dire need of volunteer drivers to drive veterans from Eunice to Alexandria.
Those interested, and one does Not have to be a veteran, are asked to call Miguel Pousson at 337-396-6392 for more information and details.
Free child car
Free installation of child car safety seats is being offered from 4 to 6 p.m. every Monday at Word Ministries, 1960 W. Laurel Ave., Eunice.
The seats will be installed by a nationally certified technicians.
VFW bingo held Thursdays, Sundays
The VFW Post 8971 holds bingo for the public at 7 p.m. every Thursday and Sunday at the VFW Hall located on U.S. 190 East. All proceeds from Bingo games goes back to the community.
Evangeline Parish adult education classes
The Evangeline Parish adult education classes will be offered from 5 to 8 p.m. every Monday at the Basile police station.
Information, details: call adult education office at 363-3653.
Funeral honor guard for vets needs help
A foundation has been set for the St Landry Parish Veteran Funeral Honor Guard and now it needs donations to become a reality, according to Lincoln “Link” Savoie, coordinator.
Donations can be made to American Legion Post 514, In care of Veterans Funeral Honor Guard, P.O. Box 1145, Opelousas, LA, 70571.
OSouthLouisianaGivingDay.org on their computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone and make a donation to an organization or cause.
For more information about the event, visit SouthLouisianaGivingDay.org/about. SouthLouisianaGivingDay.org on their computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone and make a donation to an organization or cause.
For more information about the event, visit SouthLouisianaGivingDay.org/about.
LafayetteGenealogicalSociety.org or find the Society on Facebook.
Board strips chief of hiring, firing authority
Eunice aldermen revoked Eunice Police Chief Randy Fontenot’s sole power to hire and fire police department employees.
The unanimous voice vote at Tuesday’s city meeting, attended by a capacity crowd, reverses the Board of Aldermen giving the chief appointive authority in July 2016.
The vote is in the wake of the police department experience staffing shortage and a swell of criticism on social media.
Fontenot will now make recommendations to the Board on hiring, firing and discipline. The Board must make the final decision.
Alderwoman Germaine Simpson said her decision to place the item on the agenda had nothing to do with rumors or social media.
“The authority of hiring and firing has always been with the council. Always. There is no chief in the city of Eunice that can tell you he ever had the appointive authority until we gave to the chief,” she said.
The decision to grant the chief the appointive authority was based on other municipalities, she said.
“We thought we would try it,” she said.
“At this point it would be better if you had more than one person making decisions rather than just one person,” she said.
The decision will slow down hiring police department employees, Fontenot said.
“As far as police officers being threatened and having no recourse to appeal and stuff, we have the civil service board. The civil service board is like a trial court for them. They can go up there. I can present my case. They can present their case. The civil service board makes a decision whether or not that action was taken in a just manner and fair, and for just reasons,” he said.
“I was elected first nearly five years ago and was elected because of some corruption in the police department. I was elected because of some complaints about how police officers were treating people ... I think you see the results of my actions and trying to clean up our department here today,” Fontenot said.
“We don’t nearly have the Tasing incidents that we had in the past,” he said.
“I’ve corrected some of the Gestapo actions of the police officers. We corrected that,” he said. “We don’t have complaints on the officers that we used to have.”
Fontenot said he’s never been contacted by a council member to talk about issues, which he said started with police employee overtime.
“Since I’ve been designated as the appointive authority for the police department by the council is there anything that could have, would have or can do now that would have made difference because of this one particular resolution that you all want to rescind?” he said.
Fontenot said no terminations have been appealed to the civil service board.
After some in the crowd laughed when he said he has to discipline officers, he said, “It might be funny to you, but I don’t think it is a funny business and I take my job seriously.”
Chad Andrepont, serving his first term on the Board, said he didn’t want the vote to be viewed as for or against the chief. “This isn’t a vote for who is in office right now.”
Marion “Nootsie” Sattler, alderman at-large, said he wants teamwork and suggested community meetings.
Alderman Ernest Blanchard said the vote is the hardest he will ever have to make on the Board.
And, Alderwoman Connie Thibodeaux said in the past the Board did have the appointive authority.
The police chief found support from two people, Peter Vidrine and Randall Vigee, who spoke.
Vidrine said voters approved a tax a few months ago and police have yet to receive the promised raises.
Inadequate police pay is a problem, he said.
“First, pay these people living wages. get this out of the way and then we can determine is it wages that is a big problem or are there other issues,” he said.
“We don’t have enough officers and throwing more obstacles up is not going to make things better,” he said.
Vige said the chief is doing the best job he can do with the resources he has.
But there were others critical of the police chief.
A former officer, Nicholas Cooley, said the police chief refuses to let officers do their jobs and urged the council to take away the police chief’s appointive authority.
Penny Doucet said rescinding the chief’s hiring and firing authority would restore checks and balances for the police officers.
Brenda Miller Poole complained about how the police chief handled her request for a police report.
Kim Loewer complained about the August incident at the KC Hall. The police chief said his department’s investigation did not support the reports of shorts fired at party with about 300 people in attendance.