August 12, 2013

Lookback for the week of Aug. 12 to Aug. 17


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25 years — 1988

▶ With the announcement “bring the ship to life,” Capt. Ralph Martin took command of the USS Lake Champlain as it was officially commissioned, becoming America’s newest warship. A group of North Country dignitaries joined 5,000 others witnessing the colorful and time-honored ceremony, the first commissioning to take place in New York City more than 25 years.

▶ The Mississippi man accused of killing John Henderson of Malone has hired a New York City attorney who recently successfully defended three black Marines charged with espionage in the U.S. Embassy in the Soviet Union, a case which drew international attention. The accused man, Fred Dixon Jr., has hired George Harriston, a defense attorney on retainer for the NAACP.

▶ The flow of illegal aliens into the U.S. locally appears to be declining, as is the number of illegal aliens U.S. border patrol agents are nabbing. The border patrol’s Swanton Sector, which includes the Rouses Point and Malone patrol stations, caught 588 deportable aliens in July, which is down from the July average of 650.

▶ Boat traffic on Lake Champlain is expected to hit an all-time high this summer, meaning big business for marina operators and a growing workload for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. INS officials said that boats crossing the border from Canada into the U.S. alone have increased a whopping 39 percent this summer.

▶ Five years after they were dismantled by the state, emergency telephones will return in early November to a remote section of Northway Route 87. Installation of 64 solar powered radios is expected to begin around Aug. 29 with service available around Nov 1, said a spokesman for State Sen. Ronald Stafford.

50 years – 1963

▶ A Jay resident who suffered slight lacerations and abrasions in a single car accident was fined $10 on a charge of driving while intoxicated. The accident occurred when William Lincoln, 18, of Jay failed to negotiate a curve on Route 22 in the town of Peru.

▶ The Plattsburgh Community Chest Board of Directors set a goal of $105,115 for next fall’s campaign for 1964 funds. It’s the biggest goal in chest history, nearly $3,000 above the record goal of 1963.

▶ Rising enrollment at Plattsburgh State University College may force the college to curtail out-of-state students. PSUC’s director of admissions told the Press Republican if it were a question of choosing between an out-of-state student and a New York State resident, the nonresident student would not be considered for admission.

▶ State Police posted in Crown Point Central School’s parking lot during the last board meetings have been there to protect the people, not the board, the board president said. “I was asked to do so by some very substantial citizens in our community who are actually afraid that violence will break out if we’re not careful,” said School Board President James Whitty.

▶ Capt. C. E. Dunton, co-chairman of the Lake Champlain Committee, stated that construction of the proposed Champlain Seaway will turn the lake into a “giant cesspool, reeking with sewage and oil pollution.” He testified before about 90 persons who turned out at a hearing conducted by the Vermont Champlain Seaway commission.

75 years — 1938

▶ Henry McCarter, 40-year-old Negro convict, who slipped away from Dannemora State Hospital while working in the garden, was captured on the Rand Hill Road, three miles from Dannemora. The capture was made by attendants who were sitting in a parked car with the lights off, and when they turned the spotlight on him the startled McCarter threw his hands up and surrendered without resistance.

▶ Seven state troopers of the Elizabethtown outpost descended on the Florida Club at Schroon Lake and seized gambling equipment valued at $1,100. At the time the troopers made the raid there were between 75 and 100 guests in the club, but they arrested only seven workers in the club, no guests.

▶ Miss Grace Brown, 5, of Upper Jay, was fatally injured in an automobile accident on Route 9, near North Hudson in Essex County. Meanwhile, at nearly the same time, in a separate accident, four soldiers attached to the 26th Infantry, Plattsburgh Barracks, and two other persons, were injured in a head-on collision on the Lake George Highway.

▶ The Supreme Court handed down a decision in the case of the New York State Gas and Electric Co. against the city of Plattsburgh, in an action to restrain the city from proceeding with the construction of the proposed municipal plant. The utility company had brought suit for permanent injunction, which was granted recently, the order thus restraining the city from building a municipal plant.

100 years – 1913

▶ The residents of this city realize the vast amount of property within the city limits which is wholly or partially exempt from taxation, exclusive of private property purchased with pension money, of which there is no small amount. The city property, churches, schools, and government buildings upon which no taxes are paid total in value nearly $3 million, and it can safely be said that there are but few cities in the state of equal size of Plattsburgh that have as large a “free list” is Plattsburgh.

▶ Just when the supply of granite from older quarries is reported to be showing limitation in amount, nine distinct varieties have been found on one tract of land near the village of Keeseville. The tract, 740 acres, wired from George W. Smith seems largely overlaid and under laid with several varieties of granite, the supply being practically inexhaustible.

▶ The D & H railroad stations at West Chazy, Port Henry, Wadhams and Clemens were broken into. In the first mentioned station it was found that $32 to $50 in cash was stolen from the cash drawer. The exact loss in Port Henry was not fully known as monies have not been kept by the Port Henry people overnight.

▶ Daniel S. Binning, 80, one of the last remaining veterans of the Civil War in the city, passed away at his home after a brief illness. As a member of the Union Army during the Civil War, he was a member of the 118th Regiment New York Volunteers, participating in many of the severe engagements in later years, among them Drewey’s Bluff, Cold Harbor, Fair Oaks and the fall of Petersburg.

— Compiled by Contributing Writer Shawn Ryan