The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on May 30, 1967 · Page 12
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 12

Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, May 30, 1967
Page 12
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Page Twelve - Blytheville (Ark.) Courier News - Tuesday, May 9, Wl TOP GUNS—Trophy winners in the shooting competition which formally ended the small arms course conducted by the Mississippi County Gun Club, in co-operation with the Young Men's Christian Association, were, from left, Mrs. Roy Bray, second prize, and Mrs. Oscar Fendler, first prize. Standing is Roy Bray, instructor. Another course will begin in about six weeks, according to Bray. (Courier News Pholo) Lybrand Gets Party Job Without a Fight By MICHAEL B. SMITH I The other four candidates for In the Pine Bluff Commercial the $1,000 a month job were LITTLE ROCK — "There's | a retired Army officer, a car no secret about our purpose | dealer and two politicans. for meeting the morning," Leon B. Catlett, chairman of the state Democratic Party, began. The party's Central Committee was meeting to elect an executive secretary. They did with little fuss and a minimum of friction. Then they went home — without a fight. The factions which were supposed to come together in open warfare did not appear. Despite previous "secret" memorandums from Jim Johnson which were blasts at Orval Faubus, and a letter from Jerry J. Screeton, the mayor of Hazen, which was a return shot at Johnson, the meeting was smooth. "I was overwhelmed," said J. P. (Sonny) Lybrand Jr., who won the job with 44 votes out of the 53 cast on the second ballot. The former Jefferson County assessor owed the size of his majjority to the lobbying efforts ef state Senator Knox Nelson, and Stanley McNulty Jr., both committee members from Pine Bluff. "I felt," Lybrand said after his election, "that I got a basic vote from every element of the party." There was no indication that he was wrong. Most committee members seemed tired of Faubus, who led the party as governor for 12 years, and dis gusted with Johnson, who led the party into defeat as its gubernatorial candidate last fall. No deep intrigues whispered around the meeting room. Glenn Bennett of Jonesboro, a retired lieutenant colonel, made speeches before the committee prior to the voting. "I'm just a country boy from Arkansas," he announced shakily. The members apparently weren't impressed. Bennett received only one vote. Llbrand came next, and his booming presentation made the audience listen. What they :ieard was a voluminous listing of his many honors, awards, club membership and qualifications for the job. He emphasized each bright point in his career by pointing crooked finger at the ceiling and noting that he had received this or that award with "deep humility." "I'm a solid Democrat," Lybrand said. "Under no circum- ctances am I seeking this position for any personal reason." Lybrand criticized The Com- merical for reavealing that earlier this year he had contacted the Republicans about a job as director of the state Assessment brand said the article left mis- impressions about his party loy ally. "It was explicitly understood (by the Republicans)," he said, "... that I was a Democrat." Bill Nicholson of Osceola, the car dealer, spoke about three minutes to Lybrand's 15, and merely confirmed that he wanted the job. Representative Jack S. Oakes of Augusta was a candidate of some stature, since he is a re specled and influential member unification of the house. He spoke of the factional fight that never was: "I feel like I've got friends on both sides, if there are two sides." He also talked unconvincingly of defeating Winthrop Rockefel. ler in 1968: "I'm not one of those who think someone's entitled to a second term just be cause he's elected to a first term..." The only candidate identified with a party faction was Stewart K. Prosser of Little Rock, former state Civil Defense director under Faubus. Though Faubus had put bread on his table for 12 years, Prosser said: "I ask you not to penalize me for being loyal to a man." "I want this job," he added, [ I want it real bad." But it was not to be his. One by one, the committee members picked up their ballots and marked them. The bol- lots were collected in someone's hat, and counted by an impromptu committee. When the hat was empty, the vote was Lybrand, 24; Oakes, 10; Prosser, 9; Nicholson, 9; and Bennett, 1. Catlett refused to reveal the numerical results of the final ballot, and gave only the names of the two top runners. The final ballot — taken on pieces of a tornup yellow tablet — left no doubt that Lybrand was the choice of the committee. "Strictly," he said later, "my position is to represent the mainstream of the Democratic Party and to pull all factions and splinters of the party back into one big unified group." The party took its first step toward yesterday. =- CAUSES OF DEATH I IN THE - WORKING YEARS i:c j*""? *"* * '•"""••••Jl *"«& w»* «* oVjart among American working men OIK) are «• Ifa* *fc AMMO* OMMi Jcatt rates per 100,000 daring 1963-64 show accidents as the wateraMittfdMAfcaflt grarpt from 15 through 34, according to Notional Center for ESD Task: Up Poverty Income • • _„ !!.„., n »n'l tfipk (Editor's Note : Unemployment is (he problem of the state Employment Division and in this last of three on East Arkansas' tenant farmer problem, and ESD official takes a look at alternatives.) By PETE YOUNG Associated Press Writer HELENA, Ark. (AP)— When Ezra Bartlett, Jr. moved to Phillips County last July to become manager of the Employment Security Division here, he was greeted by a warning that a major unemployment problem was about to strike. Most of the East Arkansas farmers were up in arms over the Fair Labor Standards Act amended in 1966 to cover hired farm workers. The law requires a ?1 an hour minimum wage which farmers said they could not afford to pay. After the law's enactment Feb. 1, irate farmers brought busses of farm laborers to the Employment Se"urity Divsion and the Welfare Agency and said: "Here, you take care of them." Bartlett forewarned his state superiors of the massive unemployment he expected to result as of Feb. 1 because of the minimum wage law and of the farmers' reactions. "Form the first projected fig. ures of displaced workers that farmers gave us, we thought we had a serious, serious problem," said Bartlett. "Since that time we have run a professional survey of 50 per cent of the farms in this area," said Bartlett. have problem yet to speak of." Bartlett said that a partial survey of 120 East Arkansas farms offered his bureau two findings. First, it asked the farmers to "identify the workers displaced by the new law, and second, it offered facts the the people Who live on small farms supplement income by hiring out their families ta other operations," said Bartlett. Under the federal wage requirements, larger farmers will not hire these people Bartlett's bureau has devisied a program bureau could use to plan inlfor these displaced persons. They Say they can't kick them Sixty small farm families in the future. "We found only six permanent workers being displaced on the 120 farms contacted," said Bartlett. He said the survey team also recruited 19 new farm jobs while canvassing the county- Bartlett said the real problem is the need to develop ways to increase income levels. He said that 30 per cent of the people in the area live in poverty as defined by the federal guidelines. The government's definition of poverty, would be for example, a five-member farm family with an income of under $2,580 a year. This is less than $1.42 per family member a day to exist on. "Part of the urban class live i this poverty level," said Bartlett. "We need to upgrade these people's incomes." Bartlett said that his is the greatest task of the ESD office. He enumerated programs, to improve the income of poverty stricken families. AH center on training as the most important aspect. , Small farmers— defined by Bartlett as those with 50 acres of land or less—were the ones hurt most by the new minimum wage law. "Sixty per cent of IN VIETNAM - Warrant Officer Grady E. Stevens, 22, USA, son of Mr. and Mrs. C. C. Stevens of Number Nine Community is with the 189th Assault Helicopter Company in Pleiku, Vietnam. He is a graduate of Cooler High School and attended Arkansas State University. His wife, Marilyn, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hal Rhea of Cootei, is presently with her parents. three sections of Phillips County will be trained for 52 weeks in better farming methods. They will be specialized in vegetable crops, given a training allowance and the profits off the crops. Bartlett cited other programs such as the Job Corps. "Over 100 persons have been recruited since January for the corps," said Bartlett, "This is a training program to upgrade skills and technical training. But Bartlett has kept his guard up. "If" a problem of displaced workers occurs, he said the ESD would get with the Department of Agriculture to formulate a special plan. "Displaced workers would use two to five acres of planters' diverted acreage (cotton and rice allotments) for a year to raise a graden crop," explained Bartlett. However, the program would be limited to one year and is only an emergency proposal, he said. Already state and federal officials have started an emergency food stamp loan plan aimed at aiding at least 3,000 families in Phillips, Lee and St. Francis Counties. The plan is to lend families in the three-county area up to ?12 a month to buy federal food stamps. They have 12 to 18 months to repay the loans at two per cent interest. Bartlett expressed amazement at the farmers' attitudes toward the farm workers. "I found that farmers — the land owners—have a feeling of their own about these workers. They say they can't kick them off the farms even though they can't hire them," said Bartlett. "They have a real concern for their welfare." "Many of them are on welfare or Social Security and will 1 live on the farms to their dying days," he added. The bureau's survey indicated that approximately 400 persons would not be rehired this year to work in the fields. It also said most of these persons were children, elderly persons and some women-all of whom had worked very little in the past years, or not at all. Farmers stated in interviews that they were going to use chemicals to control weeds and grass on a much larger scale this year and use larger equipment to eliminate unskilled labor. But the farmers also are looking for skilled labor to operate new, bigger and more complicated equipment, the ESD survey found. Bartlett said that there is a state or government program for almost every situation to aid people in need of help. "But the answer to the economic problem lies in education and training people for new skills," he said. Cocoa Beans New England sailing traders brought the first raw cocoa beans into the United States. These traders accepted them in exchange for articles they brought to South America. and Central •I At MARTIN'S Get Ready For Summertime Fun! v~ Stripes give you a big rtmarounA * This is the Stripe Stretcher, a Jantzen Expandable in elasticized faille. Laced m *e surfer tradition. 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