February 25, 2013

Lookback: Week of Feb. 24 to March 3


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25 YEARS — 1988

The Department of Environmental Conservation has brought charges against Richard Nephew, a Mooers Forks man who removed three bear cubs from a den that he allegedly told officers had been disturbed by earth-moving equipment. After consultation with Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Ryan Jr., the DEC issued two tickets to Nephew for failure to notify DEC officials within 24 hours of capturing the cubs and for taking three bears less than 1 year old.

An unnamed developer intends to build a major hotel at the Plattsburgh City Beach, according to a city-hired development consultant. Ann Finnigan, a director for the National Development Council, told city aldermen that the nonprofit consulting group she works for has begun negotiations with the developer.

City aldermen threw their full weight behind a special election for Ward 2 and resolved to accept no appointment for the vacant Common Council seat. Voting unanimously for a firmly worded resolution that negates Mayor Carlton Rennell’s power to appoint a replacement for Peter Blummett, aldermen directed Rennell to ask Gov. Mario Cuomo to call a special election as soon as possible.

North Country educator H. David Chamberlain was appointed the presidency of Paul Smith’s College, concluding a national search begun last fall. Chamberlain, who leaves a position as dean of Agriculture, Life Sciences and Public Service at SUNY Agricultural and Technical College, will divide his time between Canton and Paul Smith’s for the next month.

50 YEARS — 1963

Two teenagers who pleaded guilty to murder in the second degree will be sentenced in Clinton County Supreme Court. Edward J. Fontaine, 18, and Joseph J. MacKay, 17, have escaped the possibility of death in the electric chair in the slaying Dec. 2 of Harrold Stratton, a 66-year-old car salesman.

The Georgia-Pacific Corporation of Portland has acquired Vanity Fair Paper Mills of Plattsburgh and Willsboro through an exchange of stock completed recently. Vanity Fair will hereafter be known as the Vanity Fair Division of Georgia–Pacific, and Robert A. Schumacher will remain Vanity Fair’s president.

Unemployment in the Plattsburgh area took a slight drop in the past month, but the jobless rolls still are nearly double what they were a year ago. The average number of claimants for jobless benefits in the past month was 3,087, 27 less than the 3,114 applicants on the records in mid-January.

75 YEARS —1938

Koblenz and Green general store, Miner’s Club restaurant and Dragoon’s tavern in Witherbee were destroyed by an early-morning fire. Three families who lived above the store were driven out of their homes and into sub-zero temperatures as a result of the blaze. Fire Chief A. F. Davis of Mineville estimates the damages at $50,000 and said defective wiring in the general store could have caused the fire, which spread to the restaurant and tavern.

A car driven by Saranac business man A. Wells Munn collided with a Delaware & Hudson freight train at the Pine Street crossing in Saranac Lake. The freight engine pushed the car 200 feet, badly damaging it; however, Munn escaped the incident with only minor injuries.

George Hicks, 28, who was serving 15 years to life in Clinton Prison for third-degree burglary as a fourth offender, committed suicide. Warden Thomas Murphy said Hicks jumped from a fourth-floor gallery while marching to breakfast with his company. He was admitted to the prison hospital with a fractured skull and broken arm, according to Murphy, and died 35 minutes later.

In a vote of 337 to 52, area residents approved the consolidation of 24 local school districts to form one centralized school in Ellenburg Corners. William Patnode, Smith Chilton, William Dumont, Ernest B. Sargeant and Louis LaFrenier were elected to the new district’s School Board. The cost of erecting a building to house the school is expected to be between $250,000 and $300,000.

100 YEARS — 1913

Superintendent of the Citizens’ Telephone Company of Morrisonville, Vt. E.E. Schutt, a former resident of Beekmantown, perfected a new wireless telegraphic receiver. Schutt has been able to use the receiver to pick up messages from such locations as Panama, Key West, New Orleans, Cape Cod and vessels at sea.

Nathan Smith, the long-time operator of a local clothing store, purchased Rutland Outfitters, a business in Rutland, Vt.

A local chapter of the MacDonough Lodge resolved that it be draped in mourning for a period of thirty days following the death of Brother John E. Hitchcock.

— Compiled by Staff Writer Ashleigh Livingston and Contributing Writer Shawn Ryan