Mamou First Grade French Immersion students- in no particular order: Easton Hayes Ardoin, London Elise Ardoin, Jessie-Lynn Faith Ashford, Braxton Aymond, Isabella Bree Bonnette, Julien Pierre Deshotel, Adam Mark Fontenot, Bryley Lynn Foreman, Nora Gotreaux, Christiny Nacolsha Hall, Joshua Jack, Adelyn Kate LeBouef, Niko Lopez, Aubrey Faith Manuel, Emma Catherine Miller, Denelle Amya Moreaux, Evelyn Rose Pitre, Molly Ann Ramsey, Heaven Raymond, Brooke Thomas, and Allen Williams. Also pictured in back Bill McBride.
Trucking into the Christmas spirit
With the Christmas season approaching, the Ville Platte Rotary Club learned about trucking from a son of one of its members and heard French Christmas carols from first grade students from Mamou and Ville Platte Elementaries.
To close out the month of November, Rotarian Allen Farr of ISU Lemoine Insurance Agency in Ville Platte presented his son, Sam, who started a new division of the company called Pelican Truck Insurance.
Sam went through the trucking industry in general and along the way highlighted areas of safety and potential scams.
“The industry as a whole is regulated by the federal government to make sure there are as few accidents as possible, and the guys are regulated on how they’re operating to make sure the companies are being safe,” Sam explained.
He went on to explain the trucks crossing state lines are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration which is part of the Department of Transportation.
“Every company has a USDOT number and a motor carrier number,” Sam said. “That’s all public information. If some truck cuts you off and you want to find out who it was, you can get the number off the door and go on the federal Website to get every piece of information about that company.”
With the amount of information that is public, Sam expressed that opens the door for drivers potentially getting scammed.
“It’s amazing the amount of people trying to rip off truck drivers, especially the new ones and foreigners,” Sam said. “As soon as the (USDOT and/or motor carrier) number hits the federal data base, a driver’s phone number is on there. Anyone can go on there and crawl all that data. Anyone who wants to pay for it can have every phone number of every new carrier that was registered.”
“There’s then 20 to 30 an hour calling the first day trying to sell something, and, unfortunately, a lot of them are either promoting really poor products or just blatantly scamming people,” continued Sam.
Sam also told the Rotary Club about new programs that came down the pipe from the federal regulators such as e-logs.
He said new regulations, “require all trucks newer than 2000 to have an e-log device that plugs into the truck and records everything from location, speed, and when they are driving to replace paper log books so that there’s no more way to fudge those numbers anymore.”
Sam further pointed out the trucking industry is currently in a boom period. He said, “There’s 300 to 400 new DOT numbers registered everyday. Everyone of those numbers represent a company that is starting up.”
A week later, during the Rotary Club’s first meeting in December, the first grade French Immersion students from Mamou and Ville Platte decked the halls of the Family Life Center by singing Christmas carols in French.
“For these students,” said Evangeline Parish Superintendent of Schools and Rotarian Darwan Lazard, “this is their second year in French Immersion. It’s remarkable to see how much you can really soak in and learn when your brain is not programmed. They make it look easy, and I’m envious of the opportunities they have. I wish we had those opportunities when we were in school, but I’m glad they do.”
Superintendent Lazard told his fellow Rotarians the first grade students would, later that afternoon, visit KVPI. He also said the second grade students will be going to KLFY-TV 10 and said the Kindergarten students will be singing and leading the Pledge of Allegiance at the annual French meeting of the Evangeline Parish Police Jury.
The superintendent added, “Each one of the students will have an opportunity to have an outing so they can showcase” what they have learned in French Immersion.