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This Week In History, 9-25-08


Updated on Wednesday*:

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The following reports are taken from The Calhoun Chronicle archives:


1933, 75 years ago

No, sir. Elizabeth does not have a bridge over the Little Kanawha River. Work may start on one soon, but there isn’t any now. If you question that state-ment, talk to Ray Kearns, who, with another man, Friday night, mistook Jake Huffman’s ferry boat for a bridge and plunged his Whippet roadster under 20 feet of Little Kanawha water.


Driving through a thick fog, Kearns thought the ferry boat was a bridge and crashed through a heavy guard chain on the river end of the boat into the river. Virgil Snider, night ferryman, hauled the two occupants of the car onto the boat after they had extricated themselves from the submerged car.


We have been traveling up and down the Little Kanawha River for a good many years, but we never did run up against anything that would make a ferry boat look like a bridge. Pink elephants walking upside down on the ceiling of Thornton Hotel bedrooms, turkey-hunts in the snow up Chestnut Run, but ferry boats for bridges? Never.



  1958, 50 years ago

An interesting thought arises when labor bosses like Walter Reutner, president of C.I.O.’s United Automobile Workers, complain that automatic ma-chinery displaces workers and causes unemployment.


The federal government is also going in for much automatic machinery, such as computers, IBM machinery, etc. Without a doubt, machines are more likely to increase the efficiency of the average government worker--dealing mostly with figures, services, cards, records, etc.--than they are in dealing with the manufacture of such things as automobiles.


 Even so, our government employee totals continue to rise. In a speech on the Senate floor, Sen. Edward Martin said that one out of every eight persons employed in the U.S. today is on a public payroll. He warned that this was one of the things that could destroy America.


Immediately after President Eisenhower was elected, he did succeed in reducing the number of federal employees. A great outcry was raised, and it became more and more difficult to reduce the number of federal employees. It seems that the administration surrendered, and the growth process has continued, off and on, since. 



 1983, 25 years ago


Grantsville’s town council has decided it is time to get tough with people who ignore traffic tickets. At its regular monthly meeting, council voted to send out warrants for habitual scofflaws.


The new get-tough policy goes into effect immediately. Here’s how it works: If someone receives a police ticket for illegal parking, they have a certain amount of time in which to respond. If they ignore the ticket, they’ll receive a second ticket in the mail. Again, they have a certain amount of time in which to respond. If they disregard that second grace period, then a warrant is issued.


Once the miscreant is apprehended, he or she will be hauled up before Mayor Joe Virden, who promises that, without exception, the guilty party will be required to pay the full cost of the parking violation, plus fines and costs. If someone has been cavalier enough to accumulate say, 10 traffic tickets, the mayor said the guilty party will pay full fines and costs on each and every ticket.

This Week's Editorial:

By Helen Morris:

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