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January 12, 2017     The Ponchatoula Times
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January 12, 2017
 

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THE NEWSPAPER OF AMERICA'S ANTIQUE CITY JANUARY 12, 2017 37th YEAR NUMBER 15 facebook.com/theponchatoulatimes www.ponchatoula.com/ptimes Times Report Former Ponchatoula mayor and councilman and fourth-teem Tangipahoa Parish Clerk of Court Julian Dufreche, 66, died Monday afternoon following a fight against colon and liver cancer, discovered when he was hospitalized following a serious Tangipahoa River boat crash March 27, 2016. He clieated death m that crash after undergo- ing surgery for a broken leg, multiple broken ribs, fractured tibia, tailbone and pelvis. His most recent hos- pitalization ended this past Tuesday when he left North Oaks Medical Cen- ter to return to his Pon- chatoula home for hospice care, his house surround- ed by the vehicles of well- wishers. Relatives and friends are invited to attend the visitation at Harry McK- neely and Son Funeral Home, Ponchatoula; 6-9 p.m. Thursday, January 12 and Friday, January 13 at St. Joseph's Church from 8-11 a.m. with a Mass at 11 a.m. Father Paul McDuffy will offici- ate and interment will fol- low at Wetmore Cemetery in Ponchatoula. Dufreche was the Ion- gest-se~vi~g elected offP, cial in Tangipahoa Parish. He :'~rew up in a fam- ily headed by Ponchatoula Mayor C.J. "Buddy" Du- freche and began his suc- cessful political career in 1976 when he was first elected Ponchatoula city councilman at age 26. He was elected mayor in 1988 and served four terms until 2004. Dufreche was first elected Clerk of Court in 2003, and served three full terms in the office and was sworn-in to begin his fourth f0ur-year term in July, 2016. In all that time, he nev- er lost an election, never finished second in any electoral contest. Dufreche followed in his father's footsteps, pro- moting youth baseball in his native city. Where his father was instrumental in building Ponchatoula's Athletic Parle, named for his Ponchatoula Athletics semi-pro baseball team (its playing field later named for the elder Dufreche), Julian Dufreche kicked it up several notches by founding and fighting to fund the huge ponchatou- la Area Recreation Dis- trict (PARD) multi-sports complex on North Hoover Road. Dufreche was very sup- portive of the Ponchatoula Chamber's downtown development and tourist Clerk of Court Julian Dufreche attraction, "America's An- t Qmotiye, tique City." In ~004 Julian DufreChe In private life he was an avid fisherman, lover and collector of sinker cypress. a local historian, railroad buff and lover of antique cars and restoration of both cars and the city's cy- reigned as king of the Pon- chatoula Strawberry Fes- tival, an event he strongly supported throughout his political career. His sister Patricia "Sis- PLEASE SEE PAGE 6 I I Special to A crucial move in the development of the Manchac Greenway, and a wonderful bit of news to bring in the New Year. The recent passage of an Intergovernmental Agreement between Tan- gipahoa and St. John the Baptist Parishes to create the Manchac "Greenway Commission to work m concert with the non-prof- it Friends of the Manchac Greenway to guide the de- velopment of this project. This major organiza- tional step should assist in bringing local, state and federal resources to the table. The Commission will be made of two councilper- sons from each of the two parishes, two staff persons assigned from each of the two parish admirristra- tions, the President of the Friends of the Manchac Greenway plus two mem- bers of this citizens group from each of the two par- ishes. A meeting of rep- resentatives from each of these entities will be held soon to formally adopt the Commission members, de- fine their missions, and discuss operational pro- cedures, fiscal matters, selection of officers and other pertinent matters. PLEASE SEE PAGE 6 Local 17-year-old Announced as St. Baldrick's Foundation 2017 Ambassador 17-year-old, Emily Hines of Ponchatoula. is a go- getter with a positive attitude. Emily has even earned the nickname, "Sunshine." as a camp counselor - for good reason. Her optimis- tic approach to life hasn't wavered, even after being diagnosed with childhood cancer - an experience she's now using to help others as one of five St. Baldrick's Foundation 2017 Ambassadors. What started out as a common urinary tract in- fection (UTI) turned into what most consider the scariest diagnosis, child- hood cancer. For Emily, it was acute promyelocytic leukemia. But. this didn't get her down. She immediately enrolled as the first pedi- atric patient to undergo an 8-month clinical trial where doctors used ar- senic, instead of chemo- therapy, to kill her leuke- mia cells - reducing her treatment time from the typical two to three years, to onlysix months! Now that she's finished treatment. Emily is using her energy and never- ceasing passion for life to raise awareness of child- hood cancer with St. Bal- drick's - the largest pri- vate funder of childhood cancer research grants. As a St. Baldrick's Ambassador, Emily will serve as a face and voice for kids with cancer this Emily Hines year. attending local St. Baldrick's head-shaving events and sharing her personal journey with St. Baldrick's supporters and the local community - all in an effort to raise awareness and, ultimate- ly, more funds for lifesav- ing childhood cancer re- search. After all she's been through, Emily has held true to her "sunshiny" attitude! She says she's had some of her best days since her diagnosis -it's given her the opportunity to not take anything for granted, to live life for the moment, and to give back to the childhood cancer research community, like St. Baldrick's. Ponchatoula Chamber Installation Banquet set for January 17 The Ponchatoula Chamber of Commerce will host its annual Installation and Awards Banquet on Tuesday, January 17th, at Le Fleur De Lis, in 8owntown Pon- chatoula. State Representative, Steve Pugh, will serve as Master of Ceremonies. 2017 Chamber officers will be installed and the 2016 Volunteer and Citizen of the Year will be recognized for their contributions to the Ponchatoula commu- nity. The doors will open at 111 N. Sixth St., at 5:30 PM for a social mixer. A cash bar will be available at that time. The buffet dinner, as well as, tea, soft drinks, and coffee will commence at 6:30 PM. The Chamber will in: stall the 2017 officers that were elected at the Janu- ary 2017 meeting by both incoming and outgoing board members. Incoming board members for 2017 include. Judy Vice Berner, Ruth's Antiques and Col- lectables, Serena M. Birch, Ponchatoula Jaycees; Jenel Secrease. Attorney at Law, Kathleen Elstrott, Vice President Christi Marceaux, Treasurer, Dion Gaspard, Body Work by Dion, Dot Lavigne, Tangi Economic Development. Parish Vicknair, Gator Graphics and Designs, Tammy Murphy, Le Fleur De Lis. Scan Benoit, Stray PLEASE SEE PAGE 6 By OLE HARDHIDE Brown city tap water returned to our lives this week, didn't it? Who wants to get clean by showering in grungy water? Not I, says the resident alli- gator. The swamps south of town are clearer than the discolored crud in our toilet bowls, streaming from our showers, and leaving ready-made rings in our tubs. City officials wasted two million gallons of the formerly-fresh city water, just trying to "flush the lines." Is there an engineer in the city that we can trust? If you lack the courage to start, you have already finished. Our latest official hope comes in the form of Councilman Jeff Daniels who urges con- stituents with tainted water to contact him, so he can plot where the problem is and a possible source can be identified. This was at another one of those high- priced quickie Ponchatoula City Council meetings on Monday that fattened the wal- lets of the politicians to the tune of what I calculate was at least $53.33 per minute for time served at the 15 minute meeting. That's what you get paid too, right? A special note to Old Rat Tail, the nutria: You wrote and sent another brilliant letter to the editor. I need a human name to put with it (newspaper policy). Ole Hardhide 'is the only exception to this rule in the known universe. 'Be kinder than necessary because ev- eryone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.' i J .:7 i The Ponchatoula Times - Call 985-386-2877 P.O, Box 743 - Ponchatoula, LA 70454-0743 - editor@ponchatoula,com 7