December 24, 2012

Lookback: Dec. 24 to 31


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25 YEARS — 1987

▶ The Rochester area won and the North Country lost in a key leg of the race for the government’s proposed $4.4 billion superconducting super-collider, the world’s largest atom smasher. The National Academy of Sciences said two key factors influencing their decision were “reasonable proximity to a well serviced airport, and a hospitable environment and surrounding communities for the scientists who work at the super-collider, and their families.”

▶ A contingent of North Country notables will make a pilgrimage to Omaha, Neb., in January to try to entice the United States Air Force to bring a new B-2 bomber force to Plattsburgh Air Force Base. Success could ensure PAFB’s role as a leader in the Strategic Air Command and the US defense system in general well into the 21st century.

▶ U.S. Customs officials who arrested a man with 10 kg of cocaine hidden in his car called this one of the largest drug seizures ever at the northern border. According to US Customs officials, investigators believe the drugs were headed for Montréal.

▶ Without any fanfare, flag-waving or marching bands, the LaChute River hydro project went online supplying electricity to Niagara Mohawk’s power grid. The developers of the hydro project wanted to turn the power on before New Year’s in order to qualify for certain tax incentives, but the power generated by the project is not up to capacity as of yet.

▶ The owners of slot machine parlors on the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation are making plans to reopen, a spokesman for the owners said. “I’d like to see new machines put in there,” said Julius Herne, executive director of the Mohawk Chamber of Commerce. “If we had the machines, we would reopen now.”

50 YEARS — 1962

▶ Residents of two Wilmington common school districts will vote next week on the Lake Placid annexation proposal. The proposal was made in an order from the State Education Department, and said that Wilmington Common School District 1 and 2 should be annexed to the Lake Placid village school system.

▶ Plattsburgh firemen celebrated Christmas with a satisfied sense of accomplishment. Their petitions for a wage increase referendum are three-quarters filled after less than a week of canvassing. Opposition to the proposed wage increase is virtually nonexistent.

▶ New York State farmers should begin to reap the benefits of Cornell University’s new seed potato farm in 1964, it was reported by Prof. Edward D. Jones, plant pathologist at the State College of Agriculture. The forecast follows the college’s second summer operation of the Uihlein Farm at Lake Placid.

▶ The traditional Christmas aura of peace on earth held little meaning for some area residents this season. A free-for-all street fight late Christmas Eve involved about a dozen roughhousers on City Hall Place and brought out city police and sheriffs deputies to quell the near riot.

75 YEARS — 1937

▶ Police sent out a statewide alarm for a soldier wanted in connection with an attempted holdup of a taxi driver in Plattsburgh on Christmas morning. The taxi driver, Arthur Germain, in relating the attempted holdup to police told how he took the daring chance to escape as his captor held a 45 caliber revolver against his back.

▶ After four days spent in the Adirondack wilderness, Alton “Spike” Draper, Seneca Indian, knows that he can keep from freezing indefinitely but is still unconvinced whether he could live off the land for a month during midwinter. Draper came out of the woods unharmed by his stay of four days without blankets, matches or rifle, subsisting only on such food as he could secure with his hands.

▶ The Champlain Transportation Company, one of the oldest steamboat companies in the world, today filed a petition seeking to reorganize under the federal bankruptcy act. The company operates steamboats on Lake Champlain.

▶ Several hundred persons experienced the thrill of riding down the Mount Hoevenberg Olympic Bobsled Run over the Christmas holiday. A free-for-all race between teams piloted by well-known international and local stars enlivened the proceedings.

100 YEARS — 1912

▶ The trapping season is now at its height in the Adirondacks. Paul Smith’s, Loon Lake, Silver Lake, the Saranacs, Newman and North Elba furnish most of the fur that is brought to Saranac Lake, and accounts for 75 percent of the whole catch in New York state.

▶ One of the most notable social events of the season is that just announced by the Women’s Civic League of the Plattsburgh Chamber of Commerce. The affair will be a reception in honor of Miss Ines Milholland of New York, whose prominence in the movement for equal suffrage is nationwide.

▶ The matter of an enlarged and improved water supply for the City of Plattsburgh occupied the attention of the Board of Public Works at the regular weekly meeting. A communication was received from the State Conservation Commission informing the board that before a new city water storage dam and reservoir could be erected, formal application must be accompanied by maps showing the land to be flooded, together with the watershed along the source of supply of the proposed reservoir.

▶ The annual dance for the benefit of the Champlain Valley hospital will be held in Leonard’s Dancing Academy this evening, and from present indications it will be one of the successes of the season. The committees which have the benefit in charge have been at work for several weeks planning the details, and the arrangements are now complete for one of the most enjoyable affairs held in the city for some time.

— Compiled by Contributing Writer Shawn Ryan