The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on February 10, 1968 · Page 1
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 1

Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Saturday, February 10, 1968
Page 1
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BLYTHEVILLE COURIER NEWS VOL. 62—NO. 278 BLYTHEVILLE, ARKANSAS (72315) SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 1968 12 PAGES 10 CENTS Get-Tough Permit Policy Explained to Builders JUST THE FACTS — Bill Williams (right), city councilman, shows Blytheville plumbers and building contractors why building permits must now be approved by the city due to the critically overloaded sewer system. Williams outlined proposed improvements to the present system and asked the group's co-operation and support in the sewer bond election Feb. 27th. Assisting Williams were Carl Abercrombie (left), city plumbing and gas in- pector, and S. L. Gentry (center), city building inspector. (Courier News Photo) By Webb Laseter 111 Staff Writer With photographs to verify his Statements, City Councilman Bill Williams told a gathering of plumbers and building contractors in City Hall yesterday that, "We are pumping raw sewage into a manhole on South Tennessee Street and at the corner of Logan Lane and Normandy we are having to pump around a collapsed sewer line into another line." This was part of Williams' explanation to the group of why the city is now compelled to enforce an ordinance requiring the issuance of a building permit before allowing any further construction. Williams said the some 30 permits which were applied for after building had already begun would be approved, but that in the future the City Council would withhold issuance of such permits to violators for a period of two weeks, thus halting construction for this same period of time. In a plea for co-operation from the group, Jack Buck, who is in charge of the sewage treatment plant and pumping stations, said, "If you could see the things I see every day, then you would be amazed how we have any sewer service at all. "The system originally had six pumping stations - three on the sewer mains and three at the treatment plant. Now there are 15 pumps carrying sewage to the plant and the three pumos at the plant work 22 out of 24 hours and barely hold their own." * . * * With all of the construction underway in Blytheville, Buck said, "We've only been called on for three plumbing inspections in the last four months. Some plumbers are doing substandard work when they connect new users to the sewer lines." Buck lamented, "and are letting dirt into the lines." This, he said, is playing havoc with an already outmoded system, and is another reason why the building permits take o n such importance. Williams then asked John W. Meyer, executive secretary for Drainage District 17 and a member of the city sewer commission, how the city's Water pollution problem was affecting farmers and residents in outlying areas around Blytheville. Meyer smiled, saying, "They don't like these perfumed bayous like (drainage) Ditch 27." Growing more serious Meyer said farmers as far away a s Half Moon and Lost Cain, which is 20 odd miles from the point of pollution, have complained to him about the situation. Meyer also stressed that Dr. J. E. Beasley of the County Health Department has told him, "There is a very real danger of an epidemic such as polio hitting Blytheville if t h e pollution problem isn't corrected." Because of the gravity of the situation Meyer said "the sewer commission recommend to t h e (city) council that action be taken to disapprove any more building permits." * * • * Following an explanation of how the city will deal with the problem and finance the new system, Mayor Tom Little was asked if the city council couldn't override the voters, declare the need for a new system, and tax residents accordingly without holding A bond election. Little said this was possible, but only up to a point, because, "It still would give the people the right to petition, bring it up for a vote anyway and either possibly defeating the measure, or at the least delaying the project many months." When asked what would be the alternative if the sewer bond were defeated, Little said, "At this time as far as I know there is only organized resistance to the bonds from a group of about 10 representatives of the NAACP. They told me that "until we get concrete streets in front of our homes, we will not support any measure." Little said that one solution to the problem of paving these streets would be for those_in ; lerested persons to organize themselves into an improve* ment district and finance construction by voting a tax ,o-n themselves. Funds raised in this matter would be matched by See GET-TOUGH on Page-.* February 10 HAIPHONG BOMB PAUSE ENDS FIRE YESTERDAY afternoon at 2200 West Main severely damaged one room of a house owned by Roy Gaines, and recently rented to Sonny Murphy. Firemen answered the call at 2:15 p.m. and brought the blaze urifler control in approximately 30 minutes. The fire started from an overheated stovepipe which was connected to a wood stove, authorities said. The fire, which caused damage estimated at $1100, was discovered by Don Peterson, an Ark-Mo employe. • TWO MISSISSIPPI COUNTY women, Mrs. Oscar Fendler and Mrs. Bill Foster, both of Blytheville, have been appointed to the Governor's Commission on the Status'of Women. The commission has been asked by Governor Winthrop Rockefeller to "fully investigate the role of women in Arkansas and to suggest ways in which women can become more active participants in our society." • A CONTRACT FOR nearly $22,000, to be used in the construction of walk-in refrigeration units at Blytheville Air Force Base, has been awarded to the Delta Sales Co. of Memphis, according to Francis M. Nordeen, base contracting officer. • NORTH VIETNAMESE army troops are preparing an attack on the south Laotian town of Sara- vane, which is about 60 miles west of South Vietnam and near the Ho Chi Minh trail, a Communist defector said today. The defector, 2nd Lt. Nguyen Van Than of the North VVietnamese army, told a news conference in Vientiane the attack is planned for Monday. He said about 1,800 enemy troops already are in position. .. ' • • CAMBODIAN CHIEF OF STATE Prince Norodom Sihanouk has thanked North Vietnamese Premier Phan Van Dong for the gift of a pistol captured from a downed American pilot. "This war trophy will be desplayed in our,historical museum as a witness to the victories of our Vietnamese brothers and as a sign of our solidarity in the defense of independence," Sihanouk said in a letter to Phan. Sihanouk said North Vietnam had Cambodian's "support in the heroic struggle you are engaged in against American imperialism." By GEORGE ESPER Associated Press Writer • SAIGON (AP) — U.S. warplanes raided the Haiphong area Friday for the first time in a month, apparently ending a bombing restraint ordered by President Johnson while American officials looked into peace . prospects. Secretary of State Dean Rusk indicated that the peace probe ended after the Communists launched their biggest offensive o[ the war Jan. 30. Fighting from that Red campaign against major South Vietnamese cities has died out in all but Hue and Saigon, where the allies reported some success in efforts to clear out Communist- held areas. U.S. Marines managed to bring a truck convoy into Hue today for the first time since last Saturday. The U.S. Command said 'the Communist death toll climbed by 1,085 Friday, reaching a total of 27;706 since Jan. 29. The allied death toll was reported as 2,707, including 920 Americans, 1,733 South Vietnamese 'and 54 other allies. Besides reporting the air raid on Cat Bi, four miles southeast of Haiphong, U.S. spokesmen Safe Bike Bill To City Counci A Blytheville's women's group is pushing for a city bicycle ordinance which would call for licensing, recording and inspection of every bicycle in the city. . At Tuesday night's City Council meeting, such an ordinance is to be introduced with backing from the Junior Auxiliary. "I think it would be a good thing," Police Chief George Ford said this morning. "In the first place, towns which have it report a reduced rate of bicycle thefts." A bicycle, Ford explained, has a serial number stamped into a piece of the steel. This evidently serves as positive identification. Cataloging the city's bicycles looms as quite a task. "We know it will be a job at first," Ford said, "but the Junior Auxiliary has promised to help us ... that is, they said they'd loan us their husbands, more or less." Initially, Ford explained, all children with bicycles would be asked to congregate at a central place "like a shopping center parking lot during the off hours." There, the bikes would be checked, licensed and registered. After the initial registration, this paper work would be handled by the merchant who sells a new bike. Youthful offenders, under the plan, probably would go before some sort of unofficial and informal court. The Junior Auxiliary has mentioned a special teen age court which would be able to require youngsters to write essays as a form of punishment. gave a delayed report which confirmed the presence of Soviet-built IL28 twin jet light bombers in North Vietnam. Air Force fighter-bomber crews said their bombs, hit near the IL28s in a raid Thursday on the Phuc Yen airfield 18 miles northwest of Hanoi. The Air Force had reported several months ago it believed North Vietnam had six IL28s. The raid at Cat Bi was the closest to Haiphong or Hanoi in more than month. U.S. officials in Washington said the President had banned bombing in the immediate areas of those key cities while the United States looked for signs that the Hanoi government would respond by leveling off military activity to open the way for peace talks. The northeast monsoon weather limited U.S. pilots to 84 missions Friday, with other targets including the Uong Bi electric power plant 15 miles north of Haiphong, a transshipment point 35 miles southwest of the port city, the Kep airfield 38 miles northeast of Hanoi and an army barracks 65 miles northwest of the capital. In continuing fighting in the cities, U.S. infantrymen squeezed in on Communist guerrillas moving in and out of Saigon and reported killing 303 of them Friday in three sharp clashes seven miles northwest of Tan Son Nhut airport. Seven Americans were killed and 80 wounded, military spokesmen reported. Three companies of US Army's 199th .Light Infantry Brigade began helping South Vietnamese forces clean up the battered capital. Associated Press correspondent George McArthur reported from Hue on the arrival of the truck convoy carrying several hundred' U.S. Marines, who joined the fighting. The Marines already had recaptured the railroad station and the soccer stadium and pounded the one Communist pocket left in the southern section of the city 400 miles north- est of Saigon. Marine officers said their men have killed at least 1,100 Communists in the 11-day battle for Hue, .not counting heavy casualties they believe were inflicted with their artillery attack on die-hard Communist defenders in the last 24 hours. There was no official figure on Marine losses, but they, were estimated at 40 killed and 240 wounded. The Viet- Cong was 'flying its flag in the one-third of the Old walled Citadel which it still controls in. fighting against South Vietnamese attackers. Authorities said at least five Americans—four civilians and one soldier — are known to have been executed by Communists in Hue. Most of the civilians and military personnel missing in the first chaotic days of fighting in the old imperial capital now have been accounted for, but of- ficial figures were not available: Some were captured but most were rescued by advancing U.S.- Marines. " ••-••« South Vietnamese headquarters said government troops repulsed a heavy mortar and ground attack by an estimated 800 Viet Cong guerrillas today on the provincial capital of Tan An in the Mekong : Delta, 25 miles southwest of 'Saigon. It said 122 guerrillas and 11 government troops were killed and 11 government soldiers and 120 See VIETNAM on Page I Action Line PO 3-4461 County Working On CATV Site? "Why have county road graders, trucks and equipment been seen building a road across private property at the CATV site?"—Anonymous, City. County Judge A. A. Banks commented that, "I wasn't out there personally, but I know what they (the county crew) were supposed to be doing there. They were putting down gravel or rock to keep that road open." Banks said that the road on which they were working serves two purposes: "It's used by city trucks to provide access to the city dump and it was needed by the trucks working on the CATV tower." Banks said the city cooper - ates in maintaining the road because of use of it by city trucks. Saturday, Jan. 27, 1968, the Courier published a front - page picture of a county truck and crew working oa a driveway on access road to the CATV site The picture was taken the preceeding day. The truck was not working on the access road to the CATV the picture. • "For a while after Christmas, we on Mayfair Lane didn't average one garbage pick-up per week. Now we are getting it once a week. I thought we were supposed to get service twice a week?" —Anonymous, City. Some folks were missed during the bad weather because the Department of Public Works changed its pick - up schedule, according to Supt. D. E. Wimberly. The trucks are back on schedule, he said yesterday, So your garbage should be picked :u'p twice per week. (If it's not, Action Line will See ACTION on Page t : Senators Smile, Cheer, Applaud Prison 7rath' By GEORGE F. BARTSCH Associated Press Writer LITTLE ROCK (AP)-A former inmate who characterized Arkansas' Cummins Prison Farm as the finest of the five penal institutions in which he had served time scoffed Friday at the idea prisoners were murdered and buried by Cummins wardens and guards. Charles Clark, 50, of Little Rock, told the Arkansas Senate former Prison Supt. Lee Henslee started rumors of torture and brutality to keep unruly inmates in line. Three skeletons exhumed from unmarked graves at the prim probably ww« HUM *1 prisoners win died in epidemics and whose boides were never claimed, Clark told the applauding legislators. Former Inmates who have come forward with stories of convicts being killed aren't telling the truth, he suggested, but what they think is the truth. "And since the prison hospital occupied the grassy field where the skeletons were found until H was torn down about three yean ago, how could the bodies nave been buried there In the 1940s?" Clark asked. The well-dressed, well-spoken Clark, released from Cummins 10 yean age and a service sta- ttM cperatar now, mad* Uf special, two-hour appearance before the Senate at the .request of Sen. Virgil Fletcher of Benton. He was interrupted several times by applause, and many of the senators smiled and nodded their heads as he spoke. He didn't try to explain why two of the skeletons were headless or why the legs of the third were broken, and no one asked him about it. Clark didn't mention either that former inmates now living in other parts of the country have claimed they actually witnessed murders and participated in secret burials. He was In Cummins (or only four years, (ram 1(5347, but at a trusty who kept prison records while serving as the late Henslee's secretary, he claimed to have knowledge of what went on there as early as 1949, when Henslee's. administration began. Reuben Johnson, 59, the burly inmate who led investigators to the gravesites, said 20 inmates were shot to death by their guards in 1948. He contended that he witnessed "quite a few" slayings in the 1940s, and helped bury "10 or 12" of the prisoners allegedly killed. Clark said that while he was at the prison, no inmate ever expressed a belief that convicts had been murdered and buried, •ussed conditions existing at the prison before Henslee became superintendent, but that Hefts'- lee never gave him reasori v: fo believe such things had happened. Clark, who organized the Patriotic Party in Arkansas"'in 1966, described himself as a for- See SENATORS OB Page t RiiiHiiiiMMiiii Wtotfor Foncatt Clear (o partly cloudy ,'a^d colder tonight. Sunday partly cloudy north to mostly cloudy south and continued cold. Low tonight 16-26.

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