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The Ponchatoula Times
Ponchatoula , Louisiana
November 28, 1985     The Ponchatoula Times
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November 28, 1985

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Special Main Street Section Inside Thursday, NovemBer 28, 1985--5th Year, Number 9 Subscribers pay half price And get free home delivery! See coupon - Page Two THE P ON CHA TO UL A TIMES so o Free: Beer, Hot dogs, Music, Sweets Asphalt Celebration Saturday to open main street By BRYAN T. McMAHON The long-awaited Asphalt Celebration is scheduled for Saturday, November 30. The Asphalt Celebration is a com- bination kick-off of the Christmas season and day of thanksgiving for the end of the lon q main street road proiect. It features shopping specials during the day and a citywide party in the afternoon-from 3-5 p.m. Attractions downtown Saturday include a list of free taste treats and events: Free beer will be available thanks to Jim Carey Beer Distributors on Pine Street near N. Sixth and W. Pine. City to build new jail By EDDIE PONDS Times Reporter In a special meeting Wednesday night, the Ponchatoula City Council took the first step to solve the city's jail dilemma. Determined to get the convicted criminals off the streets, the council approved plans drawn up in 1983 by Hammond architect Andrew Gasaway under the administration of former mayor Collins Bonicard. to construct a new $40,000 jail. The new facility will consist of three 70 foot square holding cells, one segre- gation cell, also with shower, and 136 square foot day room. District One Councilman Danny Pepitone said, "The plans call for a 46 foot extension to the police station, on 15 feet of land purchased from First Guaranty Bank in 1982 or 83." He said, "The bank later gave the check back to the city," adding, "the new facility will not affect the present parking at the police station." Pepitone said, "Approximately $30,000 from a Louisiana Power and Light Company rebate in 1983 was earmarked for a new jail. "I was informed last Monday, the money was put in the operation funds for the city to cover some expenses during a financial crunch," he said. However, Pepito.ne said, "'Financing a new jail will not be a problem." The city will borrow $40,000 for two years and pay back the loan at $1,800 a month. "When the jail was open, the city was collecting $4,000 a month for fines, and $1,700 a month since the jail has been closed," said the councilman. He said, "The city will collect about $2.500 a month when the jail opens." "The city is losing money, since the jail has been closed, transporting prisoners to Hammond, Livingston, Bogalusa, Baton Rouge and St. Tammany when they have space," said Pepitone, adding, "We can only hold misdemeanor cases. All felony cases are held until another agency picks them up or a federal agent is passing through and wants the city to hold a prisoner overnight." The plans must be approved by the Department of Corrections before construction starts. Pepitone said, "C. Paul Phelps with the Department of Corrections met with the city in '83 planning the jail, so l see no problems being approved by the Department of Corrections. The plans should be approved by the middle of December, and construction should take about three months." Attorney Joe Singerman, who has been serving as city magistrate since September, appeared before the council last week to explain the problems facing the city because there is no city jailhouse. Singerman said, "After I hold city court hearings twice a month, the police department must call around the parishes to find jail room for the conv ict,d persons." He added, "We have no place to put them. We must let shoplifters go we can't make them work and they won't pay their fine, because the offenders know we don't have a jail." 'HANKSGIVlNG BLESSINGS T) ALL... SEE PAGE TWO The popular band Flashback which includes musicians AI Carlo, Butch Meyn, Kevin Frere, and Wilk McKean will entertain near Vinyard's Pharmacy. Free hot dogs and lemonade will be served in front of dackson-Vaughan Insurance Company. Free cookies will be distributed by the Willing Workers Homemaker Club on main street. Free refreshments and hourly door prizes will be offered by craftsmen celebratinq their 13th Annual Open House at t,,', Country Market. The celebration marks the end of the basic road construction project, which is expected to continue even after the final asphalt is laid on the four new lanes during the next few days. Projects such as drawing lanes on the new blacktop and finishing the areas where side streets lead onto the main shopping thoroughfare are expected to continue as the Christmas season gets into high gear. without affecting downtown traffic in any significant way. Chamber of Commerce President Jeanne Zaleski expressed relief at the completion of construction. commenting on the severe affects it has had on downtown businesses, forcing some retailers out of business as the project dragged on. She repeated what many Chamber merchants have individually reported, that shoppers have developed different shopping patterns as a result of being confronted with orange and white construction barricades on main street Many opted to go elsewhere to shop rather than put up with the hassle downtown. "The Asphalt Celebration is intended to remind all people who have historically shopped in downtown Ponchatoula that We Give Thanks For our Country, our Community our Readers and our Families Best Wishes From all of us at The Times Dufreche reveals plan to contact utility pirates services will be cut off." Street Superintendent Doug O'Bannon and City Building Inspector Kenneth Perrin will review the list before they go door-to-door to inform the residents, the city doesn't have records of them paying for city services. Dufreche said, "The list was compiled by matching a computer printout of all the structures listed in the city to the actual structures seen on a ride through the city by himself and Mrs. Ruby Landry." The councilman said, "It took Miss Candle Cook and Mrs. Landry three months to complete all the information." By EDDIE PONDS Times Reporter Several weeks ago Councilman-at- large Julian Dufreche reported the city is losing about $30,000 a year because some people are not paying for city services. Dufreche exposed his long-awaited list of 163 people he says are taking a free ride on the city, Wednesday night a a special council meeting. He said, "The problem will be cor- rected," adding,-"Each resident will be given a 10 day notice to come to City Hall and .qet their business straight, or Hurricane Juan victims can get their sales taxes back indicating deduction taken, or a state for for that purpose Forms are available from Revenue and Taxation district offices in Alex- andria, Baton Rouge, Lafayette. Lake Charles, Monroe, New Orleans, Shreve- port, and Thibodaux, or call Taxpayer Assistance at (504) 925-7356. Disaster assistance available Louisiana residents who suffered damage from Hurricane Juan and did not go to one of the federal/state Disaster Application Centers to apply for disaster assistance will have another opportunity to do so next week when mobile teams visit five areas in affected parishes, Bob Broussard, Federal Coor- dinating Officer for disaster recovery, said today. The teams will spend one day each in Springfield and Slidell. Times and loca- tions are as follows: Spring- Springfield Tuesday, De- field Volunteer Fire cember 3, 1985 partment De- 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. lores Street Springfield. La. Slidell Slidell Recre- Wednesday, ation Center December 4, 333 Erlanger 19859 a.m. to Street Slidell, 5p.m. La. BATON ROUGE -- Secretary of Revenue and Taxation Shirley McNamara announced today that victims of hurricane Juan in nineteen parishes may claim refunds of sales taxes paid on destroyed movable properly. Those parishes are: Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, lber- ville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, 9th ward of Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa. Terrebonne, and Washington. "According to state law, the Depart- ment can refund sales tax paid on movable property destroyed by a natural disaster once the area has been declared eligible for federal disaster assistance," Secretary McNamara explained. The refunds can only be made on property p'urchased in Louisiana and used in or about a home. apartment, or homestead. Commercial property is not eliqible. Keimbursement of the tax is possible: if the property is not covered by insurance of federal aid if claims show the date and nature of the natural disaster (in this case, Hurricane Juan) ff application is for loss of movable possessions - those not permanently attached to a house or building, such as clothing, automobiles, boats, appliances, recreational equipment if a description of the property is given together with the date of purchase and tax paid if claimant presents evidence of loss, such as a federal tax form "The list is 95 percent correct," he said. Dufreche said, "The city is losing the most money through large old homes that have been converted into apart- ments. The city is not aware of all the apartments in the building, and all the residents are not paying for city services." For example: "One large home was converted to six-apartments, the city has been collecting $12.25 for city services for years. The city was not aware of the six aDartment The house had six electric meters on the side, and one water line serving the house," he stated He added, "When Jefferson Disposars representative saw all those meters, he billed the city for six-garbage pick-ups for $31.50, and the city collected only $12.25 from that house." With the electric permits from the City Hall saying sewerage and water is paid before residents can receive electric service from LP&L, will stop the free ride on the city," Dufreche said. Postmast Palisi says 'Mail early' The Postal Service is cooperating with the business community of Ponchatoula in urging customers to shop early and mail early for the holidays. Postmaster Palisi asks holiday shoppers to mail early this year and to make certain that mail is addressed correctly (including ZIP Codes) and that packages are wrapped correctly so that cards and parcels reach their destinations in plenty of time for the holidays. "Normally, the New Orleans General Mail Facility handles about 2,500,000 pieces of mail a day -- including cards. letters and packages, but during the holiday season, volume goes up to about 3,500,000 pieces," the Postmaster says. "We in the Postal Service take pride in carrying your messages of love and joy. Mailing early keeps us delivering the messages on time." The key to successful holiday mailing is to mail early 'and correctly. Post- master Palisi says that includes planning' now for gifts that must travel long distances by Christmas. "Many overseas mailing dates ,- including those for the armed forces stationed overseas -- occur this month. Mailers can get specific information on the international dates by calling us here at 386-6395," Palisi said. "Customers should also take care to write legible ZIP Coded addresses for both the address and the return address. The use of ZIP Codes following the name of the particular city and state aids us in processing the mail. "Last year, our customers helped us tremendously. They mailed early in the season and early in the day. We hope they will choose to cooperate with us again this year, so we both will have an enjoyable holiday mailing season." City industrial park at mill site? Staff Report The Ponchatoula Chamber of Commerce elected Reggie Pevey, Mrs. Kelly Quave and Miss Ginger Zach- mann to its board of directors at a general membership meeting held Friday. Officers will be elected by the board at an upcoming meeting to serve in 1986. In other Chamber news: Chamber President Jeanne Zaleski all but went public on a rumored break- through for Ponchatoula just-appoint Industrial Board, the procurement of the abandoned Crown Zellerbach mill site for an industrial park. Zaleski and Mayor Charles Gideon have not yet gone public with the project, vet both have barely concealed their excitement over the past few days regarding what appears to be that project. The Chamber president announced the Asphalt Celebration which is detailed in a page one story this issue and provides the occasion for a special section of The Ponchatoula Times, also in this edition, reintroducing shoppers with the downtown business district and the many fine people which give it its identity and personality. Mrs. Zaleski reminded members and the volunteers from various area organizations who were the Chamber's special Ch guests, that the Ponchatoula ristmas Parade will roll December ? (see application to-march or ride in the parade on page two of this edition). some of the best buys are available here, the most unique items, the best gifts, and of course we hope to attract new shoppers to the area," said Chamber of Commerce President Mrs. Jeanne Zaleski. "By throwing a huge party downtown Saturday, beginning with a morning and early afternoon of shopping, the Chamber of Commerce wants to reintro- duce the citizens of Ponchatoula to the stores and merchants who make Ponchatoula the city it is," she added. A special section of this edition of The Ponchatoula Times has been prepared in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce, the Country Market, The Ponchatoula Mall merchants and businessmen and professionals up and down main street to help celebrate what is hoped to be a brand new day in downtown Ponchatoula. ! MY PONCHATOULA By OLE HARDHIDE The Alligator Pssst! Doug O'Bannon, could you bring that super "key" of yours down to the pond and spring my lock in time for me to enjoy the Asphalt Celebration? It's not that I need my protective chain links crushed so 1 can enjoy the free beer being given away as part of the festivities because, as you all know, por, d ','ater is my drink of choice. lL=t those free hot dogs, free lemonade, and free cookies and baked goodies and punch and all the rest will doubtless be just what I need two days after I once again fail to lure a wild flapping turkey into my cage. What makes matters worse this year is that Rod Sparnecht over at Whitey's Meat Center has been smoking delicious turkeys all week with pecan smoke, which has drifted lanquidly through the smokehouse pipe, climbed slowly over Sherman's Glass and Radiator, past the front of the old Gateway Hotel, before being swept momentarily off course and east up Pine street by the hard-pedaling Barbara Meyn, before resuming its west- ward path past nervous feed store chicks who sense what is in the wind of kin, ambling as smoke will by the pool and spa emporium of lovely Johanna and handsome Doug Daigle, Appearances, where beauty is everywhere, past the Rainbow Shop, and the first business in the Pevey Mini-Mall, until finally a wind current rushing past and caused by a southbound Amtrack passenger train, until it wafts ever so delicately through the loose strainer of my cage wall and settles like a blanket of temptation on my patiently sunning body, before zooming into my nose as the natural result of my greedy inhalation. How can any reptile live in a closed cage with pecan-smoked turkey smells wafting through his nose and to his very heart? (So ok, you try it this Thanksgiving instead of easing the load of the family groaning board I) Anyway, since I have more less given up hope of Mayor Gideon or any of the elusive town fathers (not you Cramps) stopping downtown to feed the reptile an overly-deserved turkey, at least let me loose for the freebies on Saturday. If I get out in time to practice maybe Wilk and AI, and the other fellows in the hot band Flashback will let me sit in. Everyone always wants me to dance the gator, but I think a great gator mating moan, performed in the proper key of course, would be just the Ponchatoula touch this great group needs to hit it big in the swamps of Hollywood or the Big Apple. Once free of my duties at the cage I may just have to find Jabo and see if he can't top one of the towering Edwards' pines so I can have a little greenery (besides my own luxurious color) in the cage for Christmas. (Which Christmas will see the blinking lights strung on a tree in a new cage?). Anyway, 111 be happy as happy if I can just move about with my well-fed school vacationers on'Saturday. Justin Berthelot, if this past soccer seas.on hasn't made you and teammate Melissa Thibodeaux tough and the Mr. B's Pizza hasn't made you too much of a dough boy, you and your pizza partner might be just the right snack, I mean escort, for a very hungry gator. How about it? How about Cary Craig and Ryan Roberts scoring their first soccer goals in the last game of the season Saturday! Mrs. Billy Picou of the Community Garden Club, late of the hospital bed where broken hips are mended, I'm sure glad you're back home in your garden (but please promise not to play any soccer...at least for awhile). "Redneck Tony" as he is ever so affectionately called, was spotted scouting out business locations for what could well be a fancy eatery in this My Ponchatoula. He's eating gobbler back home in Tennessee now, but I hear he's coming back soon to set up shop. (I like Tony because he flat refuses to eat alligator!). "Uncs" has located the perfect gift to torment his brother Pinchpenny. He came up with a future looking car that does nothing more than flash lights on and off a bunch of simulated nuclear warheads attached to a fighting car piloted by a robot which emits a siren scream that would frighten all the men at the Ponchatoula P.D. and the Volunteer firemen too, as it does nothing else other than turn in a slow, loud circle, charged by three huge batteries, all thoughfully inserted in the gift given to Pinchpenny's seven- year-old for his birthday (heh, heh. Call it creative gift giving, or the ultimate in revenge!). Ponchatoula meanwhile is bracing for the largest party since the Jax's Brewery opened its renovated doors, freshly-painted in those now-familiar to Ponchatoula colors. Hardy, is it true that Christmas itself will be upstaged this December? Dr. Randolph Howes M.D., PhD., the local success story who insists "I cannot live at 55 MPH" has apparently achieved the speed of light and disappeared. Any siQhtings of the Fire Eater will be rewarded. Why are politicians like KSLU Radio? (They're at least 90.9 Airsounds). 1'11 see you at the Asphalt Celebration this Saturday. I'll be the gentleman in the elegant leather ensemble. f,, ,, Z ;i [] 'i !i I ?i ! i i!i