The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on January 9, 1968 · Page 1
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 1

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Tuesday, January 9, 1968
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It I I BLYTHEVILLE COURIER NEWS VOL. 62—NO. 250 BLYTHEVILLE, ARKANSAS (72315) TUESDAY, JANUARY 9,1968 12 PAGES 10 CENTS Debate's Heat Melts Osceola Council's Cheer By Herb Wight Managing Editor Any feelings of good cheer Osceoia's City Council had left over from the holidays slowly melted last night under the heat of the seemingly eternal power problems. For months the Council has wrangled over whether to purchase electric pow,er from Arkansas Power & Light Co. or from Southwest Power Administration — a federal power company with whom they now have a contract. To honor or not to honor the contract ... that is the question they again faced last night. And last night — as in previous meetings — the debate finally sucked the members into involving personalities and hurling implications at each other charging questionable motives in their dealings. Mayor Charlie Wiygul — pro SPA — began the tiff last night. After nearly two ours of peaceful city business, Alderman R. E. Prewitt read a report from a consulting engineer comparing the two power contracts and recommending the city deal with AP&L. Prewitt then made a motion the report by Russell E. Caywood of Pennsylvania — hired by the ouncil — be printed in the Osceola Times and be read in full over Osceola radio station KOSE. The motion came up for discussion and Wiygul led the attack, reading from a typewritten sheet containing figures he claimed highlighted inaccuracies in Caywood's report. The mayor said he talked with Caywood that day and the engineer admitted he had never done an analysis of that sort before ... that the city of Osceola was his first such customer. Wiygul also charged that someone connected with the city had given Caywood "false information" about the two contracts. He quoted Caywood as saying that, had he been given the "true" facts, the engineer would have recommended dealing with SPA. Jim Richardson, suprvisor of the municipal electric plant .became the butt of Wiygul's attack ... until Richardson objected that he was being accused to supplying Caywood with "false information." When the Council hired Caywood they agreed that only Richardson would correspond with the engineer and that he would supply only technical data needed fo make (lie comparative study. Richardson read a letter from Caywood that sought answers to 17 questions about the city's power situation. Then he read his answers. On one point Wiygul again charged that Caywood had received "false information." Richardson responded, his face flushed with anger. "You have used the word 'false' two times and it is not true. "I don't give a continental if it (the city's electric power) comes from Manchuria. I'm only paid to distribute the power not buy it," he said. Wiygul replied he had only said that some information was "withheld from Mr. Caywood." * * * The prime bone of contention Wiygul tossed before the Council last night was that'no one, he said, had informed Caywood that it would cost the city more to keep its municipal light plant in operating condition to get a "plant credit" from AP&L ... than the amount of the credit itself! He rapped the four Councilmen who supported ' AP&L's contract which calls for the plant to be kept in operating condition to be used in emer- i gency situations. He said he favored locking the old plant up and forgetting about it. "But," he said, t'of course I don't sell insurance and get commissions from it." One of the Cou.iCilmen doe|£ sell insurance. Wiygul's implication brought a roar of protest from Alder; ^ man Garner Robbins. \ ~ He asked Wiygul if the mayor, had not been guilty of selling- .-., goods to the city. , ;;:,:,. Wiygul said he had but because he was not aware See OSCEOLA on Page 2 ,:.'. ::• TIME FOR SALE—City workmen last week installed parking meters along Walnut at the railroad, causing autos to seek free berths on city parking lots (in the background). This morning Mayor Tom Little said gates for the city lots are expected "any day" and will be installed on the southwest lot on Walnut "the day that we get ttiem." The northwest lot cannot be blacktopped until better weather sets in, he said. (Courier News Photo) Perhaps $25,000 Worth Welfare Checks Lost By Herb Wight Managing Editor At least $10,000 and perhaps as much as $25,000 worth of Mississippi County Welfare checks have been apparently tost in the mail, according to Leroy Richardson, head of the local Department of Public Welfare. Richardson said his office and the Osceola office have received calls from at least 200 persons in the county who haven't received a check. "Even at $50 a check that's $10,000," he said. He Said the State Welfare Department mailed out the checks noon last Wednesday. "We think that about one- third of the checks probably have not been received ... which would be from 700 to 800. We're sure at least 500 haven't been received," he said this morning. "We have tried to get in touch with our commissioner to see if '.emergency measures can be taken, but they're snowed in down there (at Little Rock) and he hasn't been able to get to work yet (10 a.m. today)," he said. Richardson said welfare recipients "can be assured of ultimately getting their checks for the month of January," but he declined comment on how long it might take. "We hope that these checks will be delivered today, but we can not be sure of this at this point," he said. "The Post Office Department, the State Welfare Department and the local Welfare ofrices are aware of the problem and are continuing to investigate," he said. * * * Richardson said the local Welfare offices began getting calls the day after the checks were mailed. "I didn't think anything about it because our office had been closed for the holidays but the calls kept coming in. Yesterday we were flooded," he said. Yesterday the Blytheville office received 125 calls and the Osceola office 60, he said. "Reports have come in from every Post Office in Mississippi Drive Nets $10,071.57 During the recent Christmas Seal campaign, residents of 12 communities in Mississippi County responded favorably by exceeding last year's goal. Campaign donations so far total $10,071.57. Christmas Seal letters were returned with money by 2.345 people in the 1967-68 campaign; an increase over the 1,986 letters in 1966-67. County that people haven't received checks for January. We realize the problem is greater than 200 people not receiving checks, because many of these people wouldn't have access to a phone. "I'd rather not say anything about the 'ifs,' 'ands' or 'buts' about people getting their checks. They don't need to get excited. They'll get their checks," he said. Manes to Address Kiwanis Tomorrow The speaker at the regular meeting of the Kiwanis Club at noon tomorrow will be Donald S. Manes, city planner and Urban Renewal consultant from North Little Rick. Manes, employed by the city to work with the local planning commission, will speak about improvements resulting from Urban Renewal projects. i Ca//s for Cut in 'Lavish' Spending Gathings Raps Congress WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (AP) -Rep. E. C. "Took" Gathings, D-Ark,, who is retiring after 30 years in Congress, Monday night called on Congress to cut back on "lavish" domestic spending. "Reckless domestic spending Is the real trouble for this country," he told the West Memphis Rotary Club. "During a war, we must restrain from lavish domestic •pending until we are able to welcome home our brave boys," Gtttiingt said. "W« can't op- erate business as usual because the nation can't afford such as that." He said the pace of creating new authorities and agencies and the expansion of existing agencies had been stepped up, "siphoning off a staggering amount of money." Gathings predicted a $29 billion deficit by July 1, 1968. He said the proposed 10 per cent surcharge would bring in $6.7 bil/jn and that proposed cute in expenditures would save another $5 billion. He said the United States would need to float bonds for the remaining $17 billion. Gathings said the Appalachia program was an example of increased spending. He said the program was good but "one I didn't support for the same reason I didn't support the Ozarka program, which included two counties from my own district." "We have to clap down somewhere when there is a need to save money," he said. "We can pull Ozarka out when the war is over." He said the federal govern-. ment is "doing it up big' under provisions of the newly enacted meat inspection regulations. He said the Department of Agriculture had hired 75 more meat inspectors and planned to add 500 by June 30. Gathings said the states could have employed the additional inspectors as easily as the federal government. "It is simply another victory for the strong central government over the states, a concentration of power in Washington at the expense of local governments," he said. 10-Hour Battle Ensues Gl's Parachute Into VG Camp By ROBERT D. OHMAN Associated Press Writer SAIGON (AP) - Viet Cong guerrillas pounced on a platoon of about 40 U.S. infantrymen as they landed by chance Monday in a Communist bivouac area, triggering a 10-hour battle 19 miles south of Saigon. In the third big clash within 25 miles of Saigon since Saturday, 17 Americans and at least 26 guerrillas were killed and 27 Americans wounded, the U.S. Command said. American infantrymen pursued the guerrillas today but reported no contact. The American platoon suffered heavy casualties but managed to hold on until a company of reinforcements arrived by helicopter, a spokesman for the U.S. 9th Infantry Division said. Enemy gunners shot down three helicopters as they swooped low to support the outnumbered infantrymen, but all of the choppers came down in secure areas and there were no casualties, the spokesman said. The battle broke out at 1:25 p.m., after helicopters landed the infantry platoon in a muddy marsh of the Saigon River del- ta. American commanders had not known it was the bivouac area of an estimated 400 guerril las. Struggling through knee-deep mud, the Americans formed a perimeter and laid down heavy fire as the enemy massed for an all-out assault. Helicopter gunships and fighter-bombers swarmed overhead to help the small band of Americans. At 2:45 p.m. a company of troop-carrying choppers defied the guerrilla gunners and swept in with a company of reinforcements. The 9th Division command moved two more companies in at dusk and by midnight units of all three battalions of the division's 3rd Brigade were maneuvering through the marshes and rice paddys. The guerrillas fought until 11:40 p.m., the U.S. Command said, then faded away through the canals and paddies. Brig. Gen. William R. Desobry concluded a tour as senior American .adviser in the Mekong Delta today and said the Viet Cong there are "going down steadily. Pacification has Dateline — January 9 ~~ NEW YORK (AP)-A five-alarm fire, fueled by paper cartons in a storefront factory, raced through a Brooklyn tenement today forcing scores of persons to flee into near- zero cold and leaving more than a dozen dead. Firemen pulled 13 bodies, believed to be nine children and four adults from two families, from the still-smouldering wreckage after a 4%-hour battle to control the fierce flames. CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP)-Dr. Philip Blaiberg's condition continues to improve daily, Groote Schuur Hospital announced today, one week after Blaiberg received a new heart in the world's third such transplant operation. "There are no untoward signs or symptoms whatever," said the latest bulletin on the 58-year-old retired dentist. Dr. Christiaan N. Barnard said Monday that Blaiberg may be sent home "in another two weeks if he continues to do as well as he is doing now." LOS ANGELES (AP)-Adam Clayton Powell says Congress has reversed its position on civil rights since his expulsion from the House of Representatives last March 1. He says it is now cutting away earlier civil rights gains. Powell, making his third known trip to the United States since his self-imposed exile in the Bahamas in late 1966, said he would kick off his tour with a walk today through Watts, Los Angeles' primarily Negro district, "to meet with all my soul brothers." ft PASADENA, Calif. (AP)-Surveyor 7 appears set to make a soft landing on the moon tonight. It will make the last U.S. probe of the moon before man heads there-himself. Scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory will attempt to put the craft down near the rugged highlands north of the crater Tycho. It carries a television camera, a small scoop to dig trenches, a device to analyze soil with radiation and, magnets to detect iron. WASHINGTON (AP)—His fellow Vietnam war critics in the Senate apparently are going to give Sen. Eugene J. McCarthy their moral support-but little else-in his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. Sen, Robert F. Kennedy, D-N.Y., said in New York Monday he does not believe he can further the cause of peace by backing the Minnesota Democrat. He reaffirmed his support of President Johnson for re-election. taken hold. There has been significant success." At the other end of the country, in the northernmost five- province 1st Corps area, two companies of the U.S. 196th Light Infantry brigade reported killing 38 North Vietnamese troops Monday while suffering three killed and 15 wounded. The gith was in the Hiep Due valley south of Da Nang arid 358 miles northeast, of Saigon. ,„"„,, Monsoon clouds over North Vietnam did not entirely, ..stop raids in the Red River Delta. Radar-guided Marine A6 Intruders struck at Cat' Bi airfield, three miles from the center.of Haiphong. Cat Bi's 7,90Q:foot runway can handle MIG itvter- See VIETNAM on Page .*..... By ROBERT T. GRAY Associate Press Writer WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. J. W. Fulbright expresses strong doubts the Johnson administration is aggressively pursuing the possibility of peace talks with North Vietnam. "The administration is only interested in surrender," he said Monday in an interview. The Arkansas Democrat, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he did not expect the White House and State Department would follow up on the recent Hanoi statement that peace talks will result if the United States ends its air strikes and other acts of war. Secretary of State Dean Rusk lias said the administration is trying to determine whether the statement was an actual step toward negotiations or a propaganda move. Asked whether he agreed with other Vietnam war critics who have urged a bombing halt to test the enemy's intentions, Fulbright said he had advocated that course consistently in his long-standing opposition to administration policy. This is the same old thing," he said of the debate over whether the bombing should be called off as a possible peace move. "There's nothing new here." On the other side of the con- SS Office Warns Of Salesman A medical insurance salesman in the Blytheville area is reported to be misrepresenting himself as a Social Security worker according to Dan Dennis, officer in charge of the local office. Emphasing that no Social Security office has any agreement with a private insurance company to sell policies supplementing medicare, Dennis requested that anyone having knowledge of this individual to contact the local office. troversey over Vietnam policy, an administration supporter urged that critics, remain silent during the exploration of Hanoi's intent in its latest statement. Sen. Gale W. McGee, D-Wyo... told the Portsmouth, Va., Ch/n- ber of Commerce Monday night "the wrong word in public, a wrong gesture, an ill-timed move can all make a difference" in whether talks can be arranged. But Fulbright said the admin- See FULBRIGHT on Page Z Alexander Confident LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Bill Alexander, an Osceola attorney, filed Monday to run in the, 1st Congressional District race 1 and said he felt he could defeat any Republican challenger. Alexander, 34, is the second Democrat to qualify for-the race. Dr. Ralph Ratton of Paragould filed last week for the position currently held by .Rep. E. C. "Took" Gainings. Gathings has said he would not run for re-election. "Because I have not been actively involved in the personality politics of the Democratie party, I believe I will be a nominee who can unite the Democrats of the district and defeat any Republican challenger," Alexander said. ; He filed his Democratic party pledge and paid the $750 ballpt fee in the office of the party's executive secrtary, J. P. "Sonny" Lybrand. He then filed his corrupt practice pledge • with Secretary of State Kelly Brant. Alexander said low prices for agricultural products, the need for investment capital and education arc among the major problems in eastern Arkansas, Weather Forecast Cloudy with slowly rising temperatures through Wednesday. Rain ending from the west early Wednesday. Low tonight mainly in th«30s. IIUIIHUIIilll

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