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   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.

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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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