March 11, 2013

Lookback: March 11 to 17


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25 YEARS — 1988

Gov. Mario Cuomo told Plattsburgh city officials that he won’t call a special election to fill the Common Council’s Ward 2 vacancy.  Cuomo’s action throws the issue back to the state Supreme Court, where it may be decided later this month.

During a routine border check for contraband at Fort Covington, U.S. Customs agents arrested a Canadian man when they found cocaine worth $2 million to $3 million in his car. Yves St. Arneault, 24, of LaValle, Quebec, was arrested when Customs inspectors discovered 10 kg of pure cocaine in the front passenger side door panel of his 1979 Buick LeSabre.

The Franklin County legislature acknowledged that the County, and not the individual towns and villages, must bear the burden of solving the county solid waste problem. “We all know that as legislators we do not at the present time have a legal obligation to absorb the burden of seeking a solution to the solid waste problem; however, I do believe we have a real obligation to do so. To do nothing would be to abdicate our responsibility,” said Board Chairman Jim Frenette.

50 YEARS — 1963

Assemblyman Robert J. Feinberg is beginning to believe that a 1 percent sales tax for support of schools may be inevitable in another year. The proposal is related to the current and final Diefendorf report on school financing.

Plattsburgh’s Community Chest fundraising drives still need to concentrate on employee and business giving, despite the Chest’s healthy financial condition. These were two recommendations given to the Chest by William X. Babel, its retiring president and campaign chairperson.

The state education department confirmed that it hopes to take over the MacDonough Monument in Plattsburgh. Whether it does, and when, rests with the outcome of the tug-of-war being waged with the state budget.

The Beartown Ski Patrol are now registered with the National Ski Patrol system. To acquire this distinction the patrol members had to pass a series of tests including first aid, skiing, tobogganing and safety.

75 YEARS — 1938

Four children, all members of one family, were burned to death when a fire destroyed their farm home on Military Turnpike, six miles west of West Chazy. The victims, children of Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell Latour, were Helen, 4; Jane, 3; Frances, 2; and George, 3 months. Mr. Latour was at work on the nearby farm of Clark Paine and his wife was drawing water from a brook near the house when the fire broke out.

A four-fold increase in Adirondack ore mining is in prospect, as a result of the 25-year lease taken by the Republic Steel Corporation on the Witherbee, Sherman & Company mines at Port Henry. Reports are that, while Republic is required under its lease to mine a minimum of 500,000 tons of ore annually, total production may be geared progressively above that level.

Two members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police stationed at Lacolle, Quebec, came to Plattsburgh conferring with acting chief of police Clifford Fleming, relative to Richard Joubert, who is being held in jail in Montréal in lieu of $7,000 bail on charges of possession, conspiracy and evading customs in connection with the alleged smuggling of 200 gallons of illicit alcohol into Canada. Joubert gave Montréal police his address as Plattsburgh.

100 YEARS — 1913

There has been considerable damage done on the Saranac River by ice and high water. At Saranac, the bridge between Moffittsville and Saranac Hollow was carried away by ice, and the ice is now piled to a height of at least 10 feet above the top of the Moffittsville dam, and it is feared that the structure has been crushed under the mass.

The little Village of Willsboro experienced a terrible flood when the Bouquet River broke from its banks and swept through the streets, moving businesses into the street and toppling over and crushing several dwellings. Many people living along the riverfront had narrow escapes from drowning, it being necessary to affect the work of rescue in rowboats, the rescuers endangering their own lives in the work they had undertaken.

A state celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Plattsburgh will be held in the city in September 1914, if the recommendations of the legislative commission appointed last year to decide upon the advisability of such an observance are carried into effect. Senator Roosevelt submitted the report of the commission which recommends that in commemoration of the event a “utilitarian memorial” in the form of a bridge over the Saranac River at Plattsburgh be constructed.

Burglars entered the store of Koff Brothers at the foot of Mill Street in Malone during the night and robbed the place of over $200 worth of valuable furs. Two bales of Fox furs, some weasel,and mink furs were taken.

— Compiled by Contributing Writer Shawn Ryan



Lookback is compiled utilizing the resources of the Northern New York Library Network.

The Network's web address is From their home page, clicking a Quick Link entitled Historical Newspapers will bring up a page showing the counties of Clinton, Franklin, Essex, St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Lewis and Oswego.

Hovering the cursor over an individual county will bring up a menu of the newspapers the Network has archived for that county. Clicking on an individual newspaper opens the archival search feature for that newspaper in a new window.

Searches can be made of individual names, events, or dates. There is a "search type" feature which can be utilized to assist in narrowing the search. If searching for a specific date, the "Boolean" type search should be used, in that this will narrow results to publication dates.

The historical newspaper archive is a free service of the Northern New York Library Network.