July 8, 2013

Lookback: July 8 to 14


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25 YEARS — 1988

A Ticonderoga man, wrongfully sentenced to prison 19 years ago, convinced the state court that six village police officers — two thirds of the local police force — should be fired, including one of the officers who arrested him in 1969. The state Appellate Division ruled that Ticonderoga police chief Horace Snow and five of his patrolman and constables were hired improperly.

The House, grappling with one of its most sensitive political issues, sidestepped a decision on whether to let the Pentagon shutdown unneeded military bases. But Rep. David O.B. Martin predicted the Plattsburgh Air Force Base will remain an important Strategic Air Command facility for years to come, even if it loses is contingent of FB–111 bombers to NATO, as is now expected.

Two developers and an investment firm have made serious inquiries about the purchase of Fort Montgomery from Rouses Point industrialist and developer Victor Podd. Podd, who once offered to donate Fort Montgomery to the state in an attempt to save it from total ruin, is now offering to sell the 171–year–old fortress for $2.5 million.

For the first time ever in the 14 years that local unemployment records have been kept, Franklin County unemployment has dropped below 6 pecent. “I think anybody who wants to work is working now,” said Stephen Dutton, director of the Franklin County Industrial Development Agency. “Our economy is the best I’ve ever seen.”

50 YEARS — 1963

Dr. John W. Harrold of Ellenburg Depot, the new Clinton County school superintendent, said he will order a reorganization of the County’s Board of Cooperative Educational Services this summer. Harrold said he’ll arrange for creation of a single board.

Plans for a Clinton County community college, temporarily put on ice two years ago, have been permanently shelved. Paul B. Orvis, executive dean for institutes and community colleges, State University of New York, said the need for training is here but the number of youths within commuting distance does not justify the undue cost local taxpayers.

An early morning murder and suicide ended the lives of a one-time Massena beauty queen and a burly construction engineer. Mary Jane Logan, 43, mother of four, was shot in the head and heart on the sidewalk in front of her home as she returned from an evening in a Massena restaurant with a girlfriend, according to state police. Several hours later her slayer turned a .22 caliber revolver on himself, taking his own life.

75 YEARS — 1938

A new children’s ward has been formally opened at Physicians Hospital, and is situated on the south wing of the fifth floor of the hospital. The new ward, besides containing every device to be found in a modern hospital ward, is designed to create an atmosphere of homeliness so lacking in most hospitals.

Counsel for 22 cousins of the late Phelps Smith, whose generous will was left to found Paul Smith’s College in the Adirondacks, have charged that disposition of the property under the will is “invalid.” The will provided a $100,000 trust fund, the income from which is to be used to pay annuities to certain beneficiaries, and leaves the remainder of the $2,500,000 to start to the college.

A fire of incendiary origin nearly snuffed out seven lives at the All Pine, a nightclub on the Peru Road. Had it not been that one of the seven was suffering from extremely painful abscess on a finger, and while bathing it discovered the outbreak of the fire, in all probability the seven would have perished, according to firefighters.

100 YEARS — 1913

The danger of Plattsburgh losing its military post, and the thousands of dollars it monthly brings our city, is again apparent. A Washington dispatch states that the most radical and drastic move made in Army administration in a decade has been determined by secretary of war Garrison, that being the closure of “absolutely useless” Army posts in the interior.

The application of the City of Plattsburgh for permission to construct a reservoir and to obtain an additional source of water supply has been approved by the state conservation commission. In its ruling the commission stated that the city of Plattsburgh shall discontinue the use of the watershed from Mead Brook and West Brook, and shall disconnect the existing reservoirs and not again use any water for municipal purposes.

There will be a Chamber of Commerce luncheon to enable the businessmen and women of this city to meet with Samuel Parsons, the celebrated landscape architect of New York City, who spent the day in motoring and walking about the city inspecting the waterfront, the river, Riverside Cemetery and many other points. Parsons is conferring with city officials and many of our citizens with the aim being construction of a new park for the city.

— Compiled by Contributing Writer Shawn Ryan