February 18, 2013

Lookback: Feb. 18 to 24


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25 YEARS — 1988

City aldermen jeopardized the $50 million City Plaza by delaying decision on agreement for control of the downtown parking lot, developer Frank Arvay said. After storming out of the regular Common Council meeting, Arvay said the city leaders may have killed his plan for huge hotel, apartment and retail complex when they tabled action for one week on a tentative contract.

The scream of high-performance, two-cycle ATV racing engines could be heard throughout Rouses Point, during the debut of the North American Goldmax ATV Ice Racing Championships on Lake Champlain. Ice conditions for the event were described as poor, and Northern Tier Chamber of Commerce officials and race officials were disappointed with the number of racers and spectators who showed up for the event.

Twenty-one fishermen spent nearly three bone-chilling hours adrift on a large ice floe on Lake Champlain. Two helicopters lifted them off in groups of five, depositing them on Begg’s Point in Essex.

 Striking nurses at Alice Hyde Memorial Hospital resoundingly rejected a “final” offer by the hospital, even though the hospital had met nurses demand for overtime pay when ever they work more than eight hours in a day. The nurses rejected the latest contract offer 48 to 1, which came after two days of negotiations with a federal mediator.

50 YEARS — 1963

Ayerst Laboratories, which manufactures pharmaceuticals for worldwide distribution, will embark on a $1 million expansion of its Maple Street plant in Rouses Point next spring. Vice president and general manager Franklin R. Forbes said designs are nearly complete for a new laboratory building, modernization of the present plant’s quality-control facilities, and improvements to the sterile manufacturing area.

Edward W. Smith, operator of the Howard Johnson’s Restaurant on Route 9 north of the city, said he may have another restaurant and motor Lodge under construction this year, closer to the Northway. The site will be near the Adirondack Northway ramp on Route 3.

Plans are in the works now to establish a “corrections college” in the North Country, according to Clinton Prison Warden J. Edwin LaVallee. The concept of a college degree in correction is part of a general trend toward professionalization within the corrections field, LaVallee said.

75 YEARS — 1937

According to State Police, the triangle area between Plattsburgh, Cadyville and Morrisonville has the highest accident rate in the region. Police aim to crack down on the highway mayhem.

The icy waters of Lake Champlain claimed the lives of father and his two sons, who plunged through treacherously thin ice as they were returning from a Sunday fishing expedition near Westport. A fourth member the party scrambled to safety and summoned aid, which arrived a moment too late to rescue one of the youths, who clung for 25 minutes to the broken ice.

The search for the body of 20-month-old Albert Aubin, son of Mr. and Mrs. Armand Aubin of AuSable Forks, has failed to find any trace of the missing boy. His tiny footprints led to the banks of the AuSable river which flows past the Aubin residence on Forge Street.

100 YEARS — 1913

The need for a more efficient class of election officers is emphasized in the annual report of the state superintendent of elections for the year 1912. That report sites election officers of Clinton County with having made thousands of errors and omissions in registry and poll books.

Edward E. Grimmel, formerly confined in Dannemora prison, whose skull was operated on there by specialists so that he would reform, was found guilty of burglary and will probably be sent away for life as a habitual criminal. He was in Clinton Prison in March, 1909, when he went to the authorities with a request that his brain be altered so that he would be forever good. He was paroled in 1912, but that same year was caught cracking a safe.

The little village of Chateaugay met with the severe loss at an early hour when the entire Star Excelsior Company was  destroyed by fire. The fire burned with great rapidity, and despite the efforts of the firemen. The building was in a short time a mass of flames and beyond all hope of saving.

— Compiled by Contributing Writer Shawn Ryan