Lookback: Week of Sept. 9 to Sept. 16

PRESS-REPUBLICAN ARCHIVESRuth and Rollen Bechard are retiring from their labor of love, serving as school crossing guards in the Village of Rouses Point. Ruth has been a crossing guard for 25 years and Rollen, the junior member of the team, for 12 years. "We won't miss the cold of winter and the rain and snow, but we will miss those young smiling faces," Ruth said. (1994)

25 YEARS AGO — 1994

• Ruth and Rollen Bechard are retiring from a job they love; a job they have collectively devoted 37 years of their lives to. What they will miss most are the youngsters. The Bechards are retiring from their labor of love, serving as school crossing guards in the Village of Rouses Point. Ruth has been a crossing guard for 25 years and Rollen, the junior member of the team, for 12 years. The Bechards are being replaced by Melody Bushey and Murielle Borrie. “They will do just fine. They are both very good with children,” Ruth said.

• Officially, Gov. Mario Cuomo was in town to help welcome Bombardier Inc. The Montreal-based maker of railway cars plans to open a 100,000-square-foot plant on Plattsburgh Air Force Base. Cuomo’s administration was, by all accounts, the key player in getting it here. But Cuomo, speaking at a morning rally before about 800 people, took the opportunity to do the things a three-term governor in a tight re-election race might do. He boasted about what he said are the jobs that the state economy has generated under his stewardship and blasted critics who blame the state’s economic woes on him.

• The Press-Republican has added an internet electronic, or e-mail, address so that readers with access to computers can respond to the paper’s election survey. The Press-Republican is considering expanding its use of the internet address at some time in the future. The internet is a worldwide computer system of databases and electronic mail. The internet can be described as an alternative to the telephone, except communication is done with the written, instead of the spoken word.

50 YEARS AGO — 1969

• Bailey Avenue Ball Park will become a year-round recreational center with greatly expanded facilities, according to Mayor Francis D. Steltzer. He and Common Council are already preparing plans for a hockey rink in addition to a skating rink for winter sports. “We hope we will be able to include other recreational programs and activities — a softball diamond, a practice football field, tennis courts, permanent horseshoe courts,” Steltzer said. The ball park will be added to a neighborhood system of recreational facilities the city has already begun to acquire with the new West End playground.

• With an American public becoming increasingly aroused about the use of DDT and other pesticides harmful to wildlife, the environment and man himself, North Country orchardists have responded. DDT was once used on a widespread basis in the many apple orchards here. The reasons: it is inexpensive and extremely effective. But orchadists are agreeing by their actions that DDT is a thing that will have to go — at least for widespread use in the North Country. “DDT is a bad word to the public,” said Stephen Pytlak of Atwood Orchards.

• The federal government’s proposed “Operation Intercept” to cut down on drug smuggling apparently isn’t going to mean too much along the Canadian border. Customs Agent-in-Charge Mark Gardiner, at the Rouses Point office, told the Press-Republican he’s had no notification that “Operation Intercept” applies here. He believes it to be applicable to the Mexican border only.

75 YEARS AGO — 1944

• Arnold Tell, whose leave was cancelled on Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7, 1941, after he had been home only 10 hours, returned home yesterday on his first leave since then. He is visiting his mother, Mrs. Laura Rell, of 134 Margaret St. Arnold was 17 when he enlisted in the Navy in the fall of 1941. Since the attack on Pearl Harbor, he has seen considerable service in the Pacific, first in convoy duty, then aboard a battleship.

• Northern New Yorkers may know with some definiteness within a short time what airlines probably will span the North Country in the post-war era. The decision of the Civil Aeronautics Authority will have a great bearing on Plattsburgh and the vicinity. Plattsburgh’s new municipal airport, recently approved by the CAA and turned over to the city, is to be developed, according to a decision reached two weeks ago. There is much optimism over the prospect that the local landing field will see much activity in the years to come.

• In eight months, ending Aug. 31, the New York State Electric & Gas Corporation constructed 1,075 miles of rural electric line, with 68 miles in the Plattsburgh District, H.W. Lueder, manager, has announced. Mr. Lueder said the company’s entire rural electrification program — dating back to 1931 — has been to help farmers increase food production and this year, more than ever, food production is a must in aiding the war effort.

100 YEARS AGO — 1919

• The automobile which the Red Cross Chapter has purchased for the use of Public Health Nurse Irene Goddeau has arrived. It is a nifty little Ford Sedan affair and just the thing for the young woman to hustle around the city in. She is not at present a licensed chauffeur, but after a few lessons will take the necessary examinations and has no doubt of her ability to pass the required tests and secure a license.

• Thirteen-year-old Vincent Brown, who admits that he ran away from a school in Montreal, was taken into custody last evening about 7 o’clock by Officer John Frederick after a person with whom he rode from Rouses Point had directed him to the officer. The lad says his mother sent him to the school in Montreal which the lad stated is called Mount St. Louis. The boy alleges that he was mistreated there and that he was unaccustomed to Canadian ways. Chief of Police Senecal immediately telegraphed to his parents about the lad’s plight and one of them will probably be here today and take the boy back with them.

• The Curtiss airplane owned jointly by Robert Hayes and Bert Baker met with an accident at the fairgrounds yesterday afternoon. Lt. Davies, the pilot of the machine, had made a flight from the grounds and after circling around for a while started to make a landing. There was a large crowd on the field and when the pilot began to make his descent, the spectators began running towards the place where he was about to land. None of them seemed to realize the danger of being mowed down they were incurring in crowding round the winged monster which was dropping from the skies. Lt. Davies sensed the situation at a glance and knew if the machine ever struck the ground someone would be hurt. Without a thought of the danger he placed himself in, he ran the airplane into Bert Baker’s automobile which was standing at the south end of the field.

 — Compiled by Night Editor Ben Rowe

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