February 11, 2013

Lookback: Feb. 11 to 17


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25 YEARS — 1988

A 24-year-old Ticonderoga man was charged with the murder of a woman whose body was found along Route 9N in Hague. Mark Edward Smith of Hague Road in Ticonderoga was charged with the second-degree murder of Alison Baker, 24, of Burgoyne Road in Ticonderoga.

Downtown’s most ambitious development plan, a $50 million complex that would sprawl over the entire municipal parking lot, is inching closer to reality. However, a gulf of disagreement still separates city leaders and developer Frank Arvay Sr. in negotiations for control of the city-owned land.

Voters in the Peru Central School District will go to the polls soon to decide whether to buy 289 acres of land to build a new junior high school. School Superintendent Daniel Hickey said the Board of Education is interested in buying the property next to the existing campus on Route 22B at a price of $1,000 per acre.

50 YEARS — 1963

The Plattsburgh Rescue Squad is now out of business. While Clinton County Sheriff Emmett Ducatte confiscated the squad’s equipment, and bank officials repossessed its ambulance, other county officials were taking steps to keep the squad permanently under wraps. As one city official put it: “Everything went, right down to the last Band-Aid.”

• Double trouble is confronting Plattsburgh residents in the form of a rapidly approaching Asian flu front and a measles outbreak among teenagers. Dr. Joseph Rudmin, county health commissioner, said the measles cases, although normally found in younger children, are being found among high school and college students and represent a serious threat to expectant mothers.

The City of Plattsburgh has changed its mind about its sanitary landfill site, after the Town of Beekmantown agreed to let the city set up a landfill within the town’s borders. The city must now ask for release from the lease it recently signed on St. Peter’s Church owned property in Ward 6.

75 YEARS — 1938

The Sherman Paper Company, which operates three pulp and paper mills in northern New York, was declared bankrupt by federal judge Frederick H. Bryant. The Sherman company was a pioneer in newsprint production in northern New York and employed 250 persons.

Introduction of a bill asking for permission to issue $50,000 more in bonds to complete the shelter house and elevator atop Whiteface mountain has caused the Assembly Ways and Means Committee to summon before it officials in charge of building the road up the mountain and the structure on top. Members of the memorial commission defend the additional sums asked, saying the original plans have been added to and that costs have not risen because of any error in plans drafted by the public works department.

Sheriff Edward B. Frenette has inaugurated a school for the inmates of the Franklin County Jail in Malone. After a survey conducted by the sheriff revealed the average education of the prisoners ended at the sixth grade, Frenette converted a room in the jail basement into a classroom and is teaching academic subjects to the inmates.

100 YEARS — 1913

The death house at Clinton prison gave up its last victim when Frederick Poulin, the Rensselaer County murderer, walked with a quick and firm step the short distance between the cell he occupied for the past 15 months and the fatal chair in which he was to give up his life for the murder of Charles Leonard in 1911. Poulin carried in his right hand a little crucifix that has been in the hands of 19 condemned men who had preceded him on the fatal walk to the chair.

A party of 14 men, residents of Champlain and Mooers, narrowly escaped drowning in the river at Champlain when the rig in which they were riding broke through the ice and dropped the men into about 12 feet of freezing water. There had been horse races on the river below the bend, and a heavy sleigh drawn by a pair of horses returning from these races ventured too far out on the river where the ice is known to be much thinner.

A bill was introduced in the state Legislature directing the superintendent of state prisons to rebuild the dam at Chazy Lake, across from the Great Chazy River, which was authorized and constructed under the laws of 1868. The superintendent is directed to constructed and equipped at the dam a power plant for the generation of electricity for supplying the Clinton Prison and the Dannemora State Hospital with light, heat and power.

— Compiled by Contributing Writer Shawn Ryan