May 22, 1980 - Ville Platte Girls, Inc., held opening ceremonies officially opening their season Saturday in North City Park. Ville Platte Mayor Pro-tem Helen D. Kyle, left photo, threw the first pitch officially opening the softball season. In the right photo, Woodman of the World representative Carroll Richard, left, presents Reinel Smith, president of Ville Platte Girls, Inc., with a U.S. flag at the ceremonies.
May 19, 1960
• The total Evangeline Parish population dropped by 119 in the last 10 years. Evangeline Parish was part of St. Landry Parish when the 1910 U.S. Census was taken. However, the 1960 count marks the first time the parish population failed to rise in 10 years. The count for 1920 was 23,485; for 1930 it was 25,483; by 1940 it climbed 5,000 to 30,497; 1950 saw a leveling off, only 1,000 more to 31,629.
• Ora Lee Rogers, found guilty by an Evangeline Parish jury of murder of a Reddell housewife May 2, 1959, is expected to be sentenced by Judge J. Cleveland Fruge before the judge vacates the 13th Judicial District bench to become a circuit court of appeals judge on June 30.
The delay in passing sentence has been caused by the attorneys for Rogers who have not yet been able to complete their appeals to the Louisiana Supreme Court. This is expected to be ready very shortly, following which Judge Fruge will impose the mandatory death sentence.
• Ville Platte’s Chamber of Commerce presently has a membership of 118 members and cash in bank to the amount of $1,350, according to Raymond J. Guillory new president of the organization, who took over his office at the Monday night meeting.
Mr. Guillory succeeds Ray B. Soileau as Chamber president. K.P. Fontenot is now vice president of the organization, with Alvin Fuselier as secretary.
One of the Chamber’s immediate principal concerns, the membership agreed at the Monday night session, is to improve the roads and highways which feed business into Ville Platte. Ville Platte’s most natural trade area lies to the north, and also from the north comes much of the through traffic.
Unfortunately, Highway 167 north of Ville Platte is undoubtedly the worst road in the state. Every salesman who travels it will testify to the distinction. Discovering ways to improve this highway, and others like it in the immediate area, will be a chief concern of the Chamber.
May 21, 1970
• Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce, following the taking of a poll of 84 persons on Main Street, at its Monday night monthly meeting adopted a resolution calling upon the Louisiana Highway Department and the City Administration to extend LaSalle Street both east and west to intersect U.S. 167 as a means of easing the local traffic situation.
This would extend LaSalle Street eastward to meet U.S. 167 about a quarer-mile east of the corporate limits. The westward extension would be within the corporate limits and connect LaSalle to U.S. 167 at its junction with Natchitoches Drive.
• For the first time since its creation, the U.S. Census for 1970 shows that Evangeline Parish has experienced a population loss in the ten year period between 1960 and 1970, according to figures released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.
A total of 31,429 persons now live in Evangeline Parish, Census enumerators have indicated. This is down 210 below the census figure of 31,639 counted under similar circumstances 10 years ago.
May 22, 1980
• Evangeline Parish police jurors Monday voted to advertise for bids to lease property on an annual basis with a 10-year option for the purpose of locating a sanitary landfill.
The jury took the action in a special meeting upon recommendation of it president, Harold Lafleur.
The jury action follows action taken by the Ville Platte City Council last week which gave the jury until June 1 to resume payments to help operate the landfill in the Belaire Cove community which were discontinued last summer or the landfill would be closed to all persons outside of Ville Platte corporate limits.
• Ceremonies Friday afternoon at the Ville Platte Vocational-Technical School officially marked at the beginning of the school’s first major expansion since its founding.
Work was to get underway this week for the construction of a new building to house a welding program at the school, a project to cost an estimated $174,000.
• A charge of aggravated arson has been filed against a 23-year-old Ville Platte man in connection with a fire in the Evangeline Parish Jail in the early morning hours Saturday.
Lincoln Anderson was charged with aggravated arson, and bond has been set on Anderson relative to the charge at $75,000.
Ville Platte Fire Chief Reinel Smith said when firemen arrived at the jail they put out a fire on a mattress which deputies had already dragged out of the jail.
Smith said a check of the facility turned up cigarettes and cigarette lighters.
Chief Deputy Floyd Soileau said he does not know where the prisoner or prisoners obtained matches.