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     The Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce today (Monday) heard from Erin Stickney with Codofil, the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana. Stickney announced that Codofil has begun a new program entitled “Franco Responsible”, an initiative to encourage French speakers who own businesses or provide services to do business in French. Participating businesses will receive a sticker and logo to advertise their business as a means to promote our French language. Stickney is urging local Ville Platte and Evangeline Parish businesses to contact her as Codofil is preparing a list of businesses. An I-Phone App is being prepared for travelers and tourists to be able to download so they can visit area businesses that converse in French.

    Also speaking at the meeting was Debbie Farr with Lemoine Insurance who explained the new Affordable Care Act or “Obama Care”. She announced that beginning January 2013, every person will have to have medical health care coverage. Individuals will be able to choose a medical plan through the federal exchange marketplace. Under the Affordable Care Act, no one can be denied because of pre existing illnesses and your medical plan will be guaranteed to renew.. Your children can remain on your medical plan through age 26. All plans will include: Dr. Visits, emergency care, hospitalization, maternity coverage, prescription drugs, rehab services, lab, preventive and wellness and pediatric vision and dental care. The federal government will subsidize the medical premiums of many Americans. Those individuals making up to $45,000 a year will receive assistance. A family of four making up to $94,000 will also receive premium subsidies.  Large employers who employ more than 50 employees will not have to begin the plan for another year. Small group employers can purchase their group plan through the exchange marketplace. Small employers can get tax credits and the federal government will pay up to 50 percent of what the employer pays for two years.

   Chamber Executive Director Camille Fontenot announced that the current slate of officers will serve another term: President Dr. Kirk Soileau, First Vice President:Angie Rozas and Second Vice President: Mark Buller. Three new board members were elected: Randy Deshotel, Judy Guillory and Hillary Hill replacing outgoing board members: Jennifer Walker, Kermit Miller and Renee Brown.

   The chamber received news:


--that there are 156 current members enrolled;

--approved adding McDonald’s of Acadiana as its new member;

--agreed to appoint a committee to look into sponsoring a July 4th celebration beginning next year;

--announced that the Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade is set for December 8. Businesses are urged to keep their lights on that night;

--received news that a national film crew will be visiting Ville Platte the week of October 7 to film a documentary.

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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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