Take for instance, the time he decided to tackle the tricky world of politics. In 1974, culminating nearly two decades of service to the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, he was elected president and embraced the idea of a one-cent sales tax to fund construction of a domed stadium/convention arena. KLFY News Director JimÂ Baronet disagreed, saying residents would not support a tax increase bearing the name of theÂ then-controversial mayor,Â in calling for a downtown arena. Predictably, it led to days of discussion. Pears could not see the political intrigue. For him itÂ simply wasÂ the right thing to do.
The tax proposal predictably failed,Â but he remained undeterred. Working closely withÂ his friend Dr. Ray Authement, president of Pears' much-loved USL, and state Sen. Edgar Mouton, he saw the Cajundome become a reality.
Under Pears' leadership, KLFY TV-10 became a powerhouse of community influence. An endorsement from TV-10Â might have altered political races, but Pears would not use thatÂ kind of clout.
The worth of a man cannot be measured in ink, but it's certainly impressive to see the life of Tom Pears in print. Somehow, he found the time to impact an amazing cross-section of the community. As an Eagle Scout, he was devoted to the Evangeline Area Boy Scout Council. He served on a number of planning commissions, guiding the growth of Lafayette, and was committed to improving race relations, the economy and the social fiber of his community. He loved God openly and was a member of Asbury Methodist Church. He was a Shriner, a Mason and a veteran.
ThereÂ will be someÂ who will say, "That's not the Tom Pears I knew." And, in a way, they will be right. In 1947, when Pears launched his broadcasting career, Evan Hughes was his mentor at KVOL-Radio. Hughes has always said Pears "could sell iceboxes to Eskimos." In the quest for land to build a new TV-10, one of his salesmen securedÂ what he thought was a real bargain. HeÂ proudly outlined the deal to Mr. Pears, only to be told to go back and offer half of the asking price.
In 1963, Pears accepted the position of sales manager for KLFY. Three years later, he was the general manager and was later made president. When Texoma Broadcasting sold KLFY to Young Broadcasting in 1988, Mr. Pears moved to Waco, Texas, as the CEO for the Texoma Stations. His retirement in 1997 brought him and Laura back home to Acadiana.
Dubbed by many as the best-looking couple in Lafayette, Tom Pears and Laura Langlinais wed in 1951. She was already his best friend. They had three sons ' Thomas, III, Mike, Kelly ' and a daughter, Tracey. His dedication to KLFY's success cut into his family time, but he was there when it mattered, and each of his children know they were well loved.
We also know we were loved, and we also knew how unbending he could be. My first job at TV-10 was as the receptionist. Sometimes on beautiful, spring days, I would go on picnics with my boyfriend. One day when I was half an hour late, I got a lecture about the dangers of boys and a severe reprimand. I think he was disappointed that he couldn't ground me.
He was not perfect nor was he a giant. He was simply a man who tried to do his best every day of his life. Acadiana, and especially those of us who knew and loved him, are the beneficiaries ofÂ the results of that struggle.
Maria Placer is the Station Manager/Chief Community Relations Officer for KLFY TV-10.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, March 07, 2014:
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.
A federal appeals panel ruled Monday that businesses don't have to prove that they were directly harmed by BP's 2010 Gulf Of Mexico oil spill to collect settlement payments.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has closed Interstate 10 from I-49 in Lafayette to Seigen Lane in Baton Rouge.
Jim Bernhard, who engineered the sale of The Shaw Group for $3 billion, recently has told several people involved in Democratic politics that he intends to run for governor in 2015.
A New Orleans levee board wants to hold the oil and gas industry accountable for decades of damage to our state’s coastline, but the Legislature may be poised to put the kibosh on the suit.
New standards curb elective induction
CVS stops tobacco sales
If an Acadia Parish fiddler misses a note while swatting a fly, will a St. Martinville accordionist learn “Ma ‘Tite Fille”?
(It's good, it's bad and it's just crazy)