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J.A. and Melanie Bueche

NEW ROADS The Pointe Coupee Parish Police Jury has appointed the widower of longtime Juror Melanie Bueche to fill the remainder of her term. 

The jury's vote was unanimous in appointing J.A. Bueche, who was married to Melanie Bueche for 54 years, to serve until the term expires Dec. 31, 2018. 

"If you knew Miss Mel, you'd know who she'd want to finish her term out," Juror Kurt Jarreau said before offering the motion to appoint J.A. Bueche. "I think he would bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to this jury that would make Miss Mel proud."

Melanie Bueche died Nov. 2 at age 71 after a long battle with cancer. She had served as the president of the Police Jury for more than 20 years — the first woman to serve in the position. 

Her district includes Lakeland, Oscar, the rural Livonia area and parts of Maringouin near the Iberville Parish line.

The Police Jury had 20 days to appoint someone to serve the rest of the term. The only stipulation on the appointment was that the person live in District 6. 

The Police Jury honored Bueche's memory Tuesday night with a moment of silence before the start of the meeting and placed a vase full of flowers in her spot among the jury's seating panel. 

After Tuesday night's vote, J.A. Bueche thanked the jury for the appointment. He also gave parish leaders a preview of the humor he hopes to bring to the governing body. 

"Basically, Miss Mel and I had the same philosophy, but with one glaring difference: She was much meaner than I am," he quipped. 

Follow Terry Jones on Twitter, @tjonesreporter.