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From left are Ville Platte Rotary President Nicole Wenger, Rotarian Barbara Buroker, and local farmer Richard Fontenot. Fontenot spoke about challenges facing agriculture at this week’s meeting on Tuesday. (Gazette photo by Tony Marks)

Rotary news: Undearage drinking, at risk pregnancies, and agriculture

The Rotary Club of Ville Platte, over the last three weeks, heard about issues facing residents of Evangeline Parish ranging from underage drinking to agriculture.

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Editorial Intern

September 6, 1979
A lot of doves went in the pot Saturday night after a satisfactory hunt made by numerous hunters all over the area, but the weather came to a head early and many went home disappointed.
Bad weather kept some hunters from going into fields and forced others out early. Most people understand the dangers of being the tallest point in an open field or near line trees during thunderstorms but that knowledge didn’t help a party of four hunting near Waverly, a small town east of Delhi.
When the thunderstorms moved across the state Saturday afternoon the Monroe hunting party was standing by a pickup truck parked under trees. Lightening struck leaving two dead and two injured.

September 13, 1979
Evangeline Parish School Board members last Thursday night established millages for 1979 school related taxes in the parish.
The board set the constitutional tax at 4.38 mills for 1979, an increase of 0.17 mills compared in last year.
The board levied newly authorized taxes in two school districts, Districts 2 and 7. Voters earlier this year had approved a 12 mill maintenance tax in District 2 and a 6 mill maintenance tax in District 7 and the board established the maintenance tax millage at those levels. District 7 includes the Basile school district, while District 2 covers all other schools in the parish.

September 20, 1979
The Louisiana Tournoi Association completed its roster over the weekend, filling vacancies which were open for the 1979 running of the Tournoi.
Nine persons tried out for the openings Sunday afternoon at the track located in the Ward 1 Industrial Park, and with fall-like weather, riders got a taste of what the ride is like in the actual tournament.
Those placing in the lineup for the Tournoi event from the nine hopefuls Sunday included Scott Guillory of Crowley, Jasper Manuel of Mamou, Kirt Guillory of Vidrine, Bobby Vidrine of Tate Cove and Ken Ardoin of Mamou.

September 27, 1979
Ville Platte City Court Judge J. Wendel Fusilier will head up the 1979 Grand Parade of Cotton Sunday, Oct. 14, as parade marshal for the 1979 Louisiana Cotton Festival.
Fusilier, a life-long resident of the Ville Platte area, is a three-time president of the Louisiana Cotton Festival Association having served in 1972, 1977, and 1978.
Fusilier graduated from Ville Platte High School in 1958 and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Louisiana State University in 1961. He was admitted to practice law in Louisiana in 1965 following graduation from the Louisiana State University Law school.

September 13, 1984
Last month the Evangeline Parish Police Jury delayed calling for a one-cent sales tax for solid waste disposal in hopes of persuading the town of Mamou to reconsider their role in the situation.
However Mamou officials stood firm on their belief that their town would benefit from not being a part of such a tax district.
Thus jurors here Monday night went ahead and called for the election to be held -sans Mamou- during the presidential election on Nov. 6.

September 27, 1984
Ville Platte Mayor Hottell Fontenot says it’s the lack of parishwide races.
Registrar of Voters Herbert Fontenot Jr. says it’s because local voters are tired of a yearlong trek to the polls.
Whatever the reason, the remainder of Louisiana is going to the polls this Saturday in what might be one of the quietest parish elections ever held.

September 3, 2009
The Ville Platte Housing Authority approved setting aside funds for five projects during its meeting Tuesday, September 1.
At the board’s last meeting, Executive Director Grant Soileau said the Housing Authority had approximately $569,000 in funds and recommended spending some of those funds on several projects, including a new lawn mower ($8,000 estimate); allowing residents to submit apartment applications online ($5,000); pest control ($9,000); patio cover for employees ($2,200) ; wrought iron fencing at the housing’s Chataignier site ($25,000); and surveillance cameras for the main office and police substation ($17,000).
Soileau said the wrought iron fence came about after speaking with other Housing Authorities that had them. He said fences the Housing Authority has installed in the past were simply cut and people entered those areas anyway. He stated other Housing Authorities have had success with wrought iron fences.

September 13, 2009
Fifty years later, Floyd Soileau and Gene Bourgeois have joined forces once again to release Bourgeois’ latest album, It’s Never Too Late.
In January of 1959, Bourgeois, who was a 19-year-old singer from Port Arthur, Texas, travelled to Ville Platte to sign a recording contract with record label owner Floyd Soileau. Jivin’ Gene, as he was known, and his band, The Jokers, released their first 45 rpm record, “Going Out with the Tide” backed with “Up, Up and Away.” The record was an immediate hit on radio and juke boxes throughout Southwest Louisiana and East Texas.
Later that year, Soileau brought Bourgeois to a recording studio in Crowley, where they recorded his first Top 20 national hit, “Breaking up is Hard to Do” Bourgeois went on to have several recordings in the Top 100 charts, appeared on national television shows and toured throughout the United States with many well-known bands and singers in the early 60s.
September 17, 2009
The City of Ville Platte lifted its boil advisory early Wednesday afternoon , September 16, after the water pressure dropped due to a leak discovered Sunday.
Mayor Bill Jeanmard said the break was discovered Sunday, west of Ville Platte High School, and monitored until Monday when they attempted to do a minor repair while waiting for parts to be ordered. It was during that temporary repair the water had to be shut off.
“We wanted to do this with no to little pressure loss,” he said in regards to not losing water pressure, “However, it moved from a minor project to a major project.” He said workers did a temporary fix Monday until the parts arrived. He also said when repairs were complete, he did not expect citizens to experience any more water loss. “We do not anticipate any loss of water during the final repair.”

Looking Back: September 1979, 1984, and 2009

September 6, 1979

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August 8, 1974 - A NEW LIBRARY COURIER SERVICE began this week under a pilot program which has been dubbed the “Bayou Land Pilot Library System.” Monday morning, the courier service began the first of its twice-weekly rounds in Ville Platte from the central office in Lafayette. The Bayou Land system operates through a 10 parish area. Del Tanner is the official “courier,” and accompanying him on the first run this week was Mrs. Malva H. Huson, director of the Bayou Land system. Present in front of the Evangeline Parish Library for the first arrival Monday morning were, from left, Tanner, Police Jury President Earl John Soileau, Mrs. Nettie Perrodin of the library staff, Mrs. Huson, Mrs. Aimee Guillory, Librarian Mike Janowski, and Miss Rita Monier of the local library.

Looking Back: August 1949, 1974, and 1989

August 4,1949
Malefactors in Evangeline Parish may now be treated to a dose of tear gas- if conditions and circumstances make this treatment necessary.


Evangeline Today

145 Court St.
Ville Platte, LA 70586
Phone: 337-363-3939
Fax: 337-363-2841