April 24, 1969- Gazette editor Sidney Mixon and Managing Editor Johnnie Quinn admire the awards won by the Ville Platte paper in the Better Newspaper Contests at the Louisiana Press Association convention in New Orleans last Friday. The Gazette placed first in General Excellence and third in best use of color in competition with numerous weekly newspapers throughout Louisiana.
Looking Back: April 1959, 1969, and 1979
April 2, 1959
• For the third consecutive year, the Bayou Chicot High School girls’ team and the Mamou boys’ squad were champions of the invitational volleyball tournament held at Mamou High School Saturday.
Twelve teams, from boys and girls divisions representing eight schools, participated in the annual invitational volleyball meet.
The Mamou Demons successfully defended their title by capturing the finals from Basile High in a double-header, 15-5 and 15-3. Coach of the 1959 volleyball champs is R.J. Reed.
Previously in elimination games, the Demons had taken the measure of AIC of Opelousas and Grand Prairie. To enter the finals with Mamou, Basile had drawn a bye in the first bracket and defeated Pine Prairie in the second elimination games.
April 9, 1959
• The Evangeline Parish police jurors adopted a resolution suggesting the Louisiana Highway Department hard surface that portion of the “Old Highway 167” route leading to the Boy Scout Camp in Thistlethwaite.
• Following numerous reports to the effect that trees beautifying Chicot State Park are being cut and removed, State Senator Jack C. Fruge wired as follows to L.A. Talley, director of the Louisiana State Parks commission:
“The people of Evangeline Parish are vitally interested in State Parks and particularly in Chicot State Park. I have had numerous reports that trees that beautify our State Park are being cut. We appreciate your leadership as director of the State Parks Commission and know that you are vitally interested in our Chicot State Park. I sincerely request that you halt the cutting of timber in Chicot Park in view that valuable trees that beautify the park might be destroyed, and that the advice of the State Forester be obtained as to which timber in the Park, if any, should be cut.”
Commissioner Talley replied as follows to Senator Fruge’s telegram;
“Thank you very much for your telegram of April 1st regarding the cutting of timber at the Chicot State Park.
In following your suggestion I am today writing a letter to Mr. James E. Mixon, State Forester, regarding Chicot as well as the Fontainebleau State Park and will forward you a copy of his reply when received. In the meantime no further cutting is being down.”
April 16, 1959
• The Ville Platte city council adopted an ordinance approving a plat of subdivision of the heirs of Mrs. Joe E. Vidrine in northeast Ville Platte. Certain lots along Tate Cove Road, Lincoln and Latour Streets were designed “unrestricted” for commercial use, and the remainder were declared “residential.” A new street within the subdivision was officially named Vidrine Street.
• At the French Supermarket, tea was .85, cocoa mix was .89, and popcorn was 3 for .29.
April 3, 1969
• Gene A. Morein, clerk of the Evangeline Parish Police Jury for the past 8 1/2 years, and the likely successor to Secretary Tanzy Veillon upon his retirement June 30th, submitted his resignation to the nine-man board effective Tuesday, April 1st.
April 10, 1969
•The Evangeline Parish Policy Jury appointed Mrs. Ivan Ray Lafleur, 22-year-old Grand Prairie High School graduate, as jury clerk Wednesday, replacing Gene A, Morein, nine-year veteran at the post, who resigned Tuesday, April 1.
Tanzy Veillon, Jury secretary-treasurer, accepted a $200 per month pay hike to remain in office until his retirement June 30 to train Mrs. Lafleur in her new assignment. He had turned down a $100 raise offer by the jury before accepting the higher amount.
Mrs. Lafleur’s appointment came on a 7-0 vote with Boyd Whittington abstaining and Harold Manuel absent. The motion to appoint her was made by Rayford Chapman and seconded by Enos Aucoin, both of Ville Platte.
Whittington of Ward 4 declined to vote on the appointment saying he knew nothing about the woman or if she was qualified for the job. “I don’t think it has been handled properly (the appointment)” he said.
April 17, 1969
• A brighter prospect for Chicot State Park’s development loomed following the official opening of the new Tent and Trailer Camping area held in the Park Tuesday.
Lamar Gibson, director of Louisiana State Parks, cut the ribbon opening the unique camping area to the public. He praised the development with its 33 individual units providing campers with more privacy and freedom from the usual overcrowded camping conditions.
Further development of Chicot State Park, Louisiana’s largest state owned area by far, awaits the success of the commission’s budget request from the legislature; if money is provided, additional camping and other facilities will be forthcoming.
Encouraging to the Commission was the presence of members of the Legislature Senator Ramson K. Vidrine and Rep. Emile Coreil. They pledged all the assistance within their power in cooperating with the Commission in further development of Chicot State Park.
April 24, 1969
• In a surprise move Monday, the Evangeline Parish Police Jury unanimously appointed Wilbert Ardoin, unsuccessful candidate for Ville Platte Mayor, as secretary-treasurer of the jury upon the retirement of Tanzy Veillon on June 30.
The jury also added another jury clerk effective July 1 who will share the jury office duties with Mrs. Ivan Ray Lafleur who was appointed April 9th. The new Jury clerk is Mrs. Hampton Fuselier of Mamou. Her salary was set at $300 per month.
The motion appointing Ardoin secretary-treasuer was made by Boyd Whittington of Ward 4 and seconded by Horace Leger of Ward 5. His salary was set at $550 per month. Ardoin’s appointment will be effective May 1 at which time he will begin training under Veillon’s supervision until June 30 when Veillon retires.
• At Dardeau’s Parkview Gro., eggs were .49, milk tall cans were 6/.89, and breakfast links were 3/ $1.00.
April 19, 1979
• Walter O. Deville, a lifelong resident of Ward 5, announced this week he will be a candidate for constable in Ward 5 in the fall elections.
Deville has worked with the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Department for the past 27 years and has served Ward 5 as constable for the past 14 years. He has been a Notary Public for more than 30 years.
• Fire destroyed an abandoned home on Oak St. last week, and within 12 hours of the blaze being reported, Ville Platte police had two 13-year-old boys in custody who reportedly confessed to being responsible for the blaze.
Ville Platte Fire Chief Reinel Smith said the fire department was notified of a house fire at 504 W. Oak St. at about 10:45 a.m. Wednesday. Firemen were able to save only a portion of the building which was gutted by fire inside with the outside also sustaining very heavy structural damage. A nearby roof structure used as a carport which joined a nearby house, however, was not damaged.
Smith said the two boys, who met on the school ground prior to the start of school Wednesday, left campus before classes began and entered the abandoned house through an unlatched bathroom window.
The boys found a Coleman lantern inside the house and apparently spilled fuel on the floor. At least one of the boys had a cigarette and, while tinkering with the lamp, accidently ignited the fuel. A section of the floor and some curtains apparently burst into flame first, and initial efforts on the part of at least one of the boys to put out the blaze failed. They then fled from the building but returned immediately in a second effort to put out the fire. After failing in the second effort, the boys apparently fled from the scene entirely.
In 1979, at Dardeau’s Grp. Shurfine Sugar was .99, Betty Crocker Ready-to-spread frosting was .59, and tuna was .69.