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-ft,f. i'S (7 ALTON EVENING TELEGRAPH , f >r< Jstembet of The Aoeoctated Proea. fc Ptt C«?jr, Vol. CXV, No. 4 ALTON, ILL., THURSDAY, JANUARY 19,1950 tatabliahod January IS, IM4 Area Darkened 40 Minutes by Power Failure 15,000 Users Affected by Line, Switch Breaks Near Substation The Alton area was blacked out for more than a "half-hour at 10:45 p.m. Wednesday when a freak power line break, combined with a •w)tch failure, occurred at Union Electric Power Co.'s substation at Federal. The 40-mlnute power stoppage affected some 15,000 users In Alton, Godfrey and Fosterburg. After power was restored, another blackout occurred 2 hours later and lasted 10 minutes. Alton Memorial and St. Joseph's hospitals reported the cutoff of electricity caused only minor difficulties at those Institutions. Memorial has an emergency electric power plant that may be operated to supply light to the operating and emergency rooms. St. Joseph's has an arrangement with Alton fire department to supply power from portable generators In the event emergency light is needed. But there was no call for emergency power, during the accidental blackout Wednesday night and all patients' were quiet, the hospitals reported. Three major industrial plants o£ the area were affected by the power stoppage. At Owens-Illinois Glass Co., the huge bottle-making' Ynachlnes were halted by the first and second power, stoppages and, during the night, were adversely affected by six separate low-voltage drops. Operations at American Smelting A Refining Co. were halted and at Laclede Steel Co. At each of the plants, the difficulty was said to have extended beyond the actual stoppage, because additional time is lost in resuming operations, even after the power is returned. Calls Jam Switchboard ' The Union Electric switchboard was flooded with inquiries after the sudden blackout. All emergency crews were called on duty to the substation where the trouble occurred. About 25 members of the local power crew were called out and were supplemented by ,five specialty technicians from St. Louis and three special technicians from East St. Louis. • The blackout was sudden, withr out warning. People watching television saw the screen go black as the lights failed, refrigerator, stoker and oil burner motors Jialt- ecl. In a second or tiv«, night a» dark as that which cloaks the uninhabited wastelands had descended over what had been a lighted area of some 10 square miles. At the Federal substation, which I* hooked up with the Union Electric power plant at Venice and with Illinois Power Co.'s new $7,000,000 "power plant at the foot of Chessen lane, workmen found what they termed "cold weather" breaks In two of the high-voltage wires paralleling railroad tracks behind the industrial plants at Federals Power rated at 66,000 volts conies Into the substation and is distributed thence at 33,000 volts. Double Trouble Though power company crewmen were still working on "cleanup" at the substation this morning and a full analysis of the trouble had npt been made, it was said a big switch had failed at the same time the hlghline breaks occurred and this brought added difficulty. The blackout was remedied when emergency lines, were hooked in to bypass the breaks and the switch. A second stoppage of power occurred early this morning, with another blackout lasting about 10 minutes. This was believed due to the failure of a second switch." No Tax Increase In School Election V The school district election Saturday will not be one for a tax rate increase, Supt. J-. B. Johnson reminded voters today. ' The election will be to build a new vocational school on the Alton High site. Johnsdn explained that no tax rate increase will be necessary because the district already owns the land and the cost of construction will be covered by a gift from the Olin Foundation. Ht added, however, that the Illinois law requires an election approving new construction, even though financed by such a gift. Spanish Plane Hits Mountain; 16 Killed ALBACETE, Spain, Jan. 19, UB —A Spanish transport plane, apparently lost In a heavy fog, crashed into a mountain peak, 30 miles south of here yesterday. All 16 persons aboard were killed, burned almost beyond recognition. It was Spain's worst air crash since 27 persons were killed In the wreck of a passenger plane Dec.. 23, 1948, near Tarragona. U.S. Planning to Take Formosa. Red* After! WASHINGTON, Jan. 19. <*»The Russians and Chinese reds are saying that the United States la planning to take over Formosa— forcibly, If stecessary. State Department official check. Ing c* CtaMminUt broadcasts and publloatfeM reported that the rod reactteji t» Preoldent Truman's "hatttMtWormoM" policy It that JM *!«•. To Distribute Supplies For Library Vote Final preparation! for the public library referendum, Saturday, were put underway today In the office of City Clerk Price where supplies for the polls and official ballots were assembled for distribution to the head judges. Leo J. Strjilf, city finance Inspector, was called on to give Price assistance In the final election preparations, and It was said that the distribution of supplies and ballots might be started this afternoon. The Job must be completed by Friday evening. Also to be taken care of Friday will be delivery of ballot boxes and poll equipment to the city's 27 voting places. Supplies for the polling places Include the traditional tally sheets, poll books for listing voters and the result of the ballot count, and ballot sacks >ln which to Inclose the ballots when the count Is completed. Incidentals range from lead pencils to sealing wax. Clerk Price said he plans to tabulate the election result In his City Hall office as soon after the polls close as possible. The head Judges will be asked to send, their returns, with polls books, tallies, and ballots, to the clerk's office Immediately on completing the count. Polls open at 6 a. m. and close at 5 p. m. Counting the ballots is. expected to take but a short time even with a substantial vote cast. "We ought to have .all the returns brought in from the polling places before dinner time," commented Price. "It's up to the people of Alton whether or not they want a free public library. Personally I think they do because everyone I speak to about it is in favor." This was the statement this morning by Frank H. King, executive chairman of the civic improvements department of the Greater Alton Association of Commerce when asked to comment on the library and reading room referendum which will be held Saturday, Jan. 21, sponsored by the GAAC. With endorsement of the Jennie Continued on Page IS, Col. 4. Knetzer Given Until Feb. 18 to TurnOverCash SPRINGFIELD, 111., Jan. 19.— MB—Robert L. Knetzer, bankrupt Edwardsville car dealer, Wednesday, was given until Feb. 18 to turn over more money for his creditors whose claims run, more than $2,400,000. The extension was granted in Federal Court in connection with a contempt of court charge pending against Knetzer for failing to come up with- $250,000 for payment of creditors. Knetzer has been free on bond. William C. Dunham of East St. Louis, trustee of Knetzer's bankrupt estate, said the foyner car dealer made three payments-since the court found last July he had at least $250,000 in undecla'red assets. Dunham did not disclose the amount of payments. When he filed his bankruptcy petition in October, 1948, Knetzer listed assets of $181,000 remaining from his new-used car business in which hundreds of persons deposited money but never received cars or refunds. At today's court hearing, Ralph Barding of Decatur testified he deposited $70,000 with Knetzer and lost $44,000. Barding, a former house trailer dealer, said he invested the money for tractors. Ralph Riley of Eldora, la., testified he received 11 cars during a 12-month period beginning May, 1947. Paul Firnhaber, Shelbyville farm Implement dealer, asid he put up $87,800 for tractors and was refunded 8000 but received no tractors. Earl Brame, Warrensburg farmer, said he gave Knetzer $43,200 for tractors and $8,000 for corn pickers. Brame also said he deposited $3000 for cars and got two autos but no tractors.' Board at Odds Over Next Step On School Bids No 'Formal' Action Taken To Indicate Low Proposals The board of education of the Alton school district ended Its meeting Wednesday night in disagreement on the proposed Junior high school on State street. The meeting, at Haskell House, ended on a motion for adjournment by H. Edward Meyer, seconded by Eugene K. Elfgen, with a motion by Robert L. Gouldlng still without a second. Goulding's motion was to limit consideration of the building to the base bid and certain alternates, agreed upon by an informal poll of board members, at a previous meeting providing funds were available to erect the structure at all. In offering his motion, Gould- Ing pointed out that the board was interested in conferring with low bidders in efforts to trim the cost of the building. He said that he considered it inadvisable to confer with contractors who will be low bidders of the present base bid and proposed alternates are agreed upon without taking formal board action to indicate that, if the school is built, those contractors are low bidders. His motion*would have constituted such a formal action had it been seconded and passed. As the situation now stands, the board is in the position of having informally agreed to erect the building in accordance with the base bid and certain alternates which would make J. J. Wuellner & Co. the low bidder on the general contract, Thomas J. Fleming low bidder on plumbing and heating, and Wegman Electric Co. low bidder on the electrical work. Board President C. J. Schlosser told the members that they had expressed their opinion of the type building they wanted to build, at an earlier meeting. He said that in his opinion they should decide whether or not it will be possible to finance such a building. If such a school is financially possible, Schlosser said, the board should take formal action that would make low bidders clear. Following a short discussion and a clarification of the financial status of the district by Supt. J. B. Johnson, the board seemed., agreed that the building they previously agreed was desirable would also be financially possible. But when Goulding made his motion, Elfgen and Meyer dlMented Elfgen said that formally acting to determine a low bidder, if the sure those contractors of the job, sure those '' conrtactors of the job, if any. This, he contended, would lessen the board's chances of getting the low contractors to decrease their bids, as the board hoped to do. Meyer concurred in the opinions expressed by Elfgen. Architect' 1 * View Architect A. M. Goedde took a dim view of delaying formal action to determine low bidders. He pointed out that such an action would not constitute voting to let the contract. Goedde also said that taking bids on additional alternates before the contract was ^et is considered Inadvisable by architects, school boards, and contractors generally. Such a practice, he pointed out, would be unfair unless all contractors bidding on the job were permitted to reduce their figures also. To talk lower costs to only one contractor, without it being formally decided that he was the low bidder, Goedde said he considered unethical. Goedde also pointed out that if the cost of the building must be reduced below the figure provided for by the base bid and proposed alternates, such changes can be made by change orders, which would be signed when the contract Is let. He added that the board has the right to change the design of the building after the contract it signed and receive credit for any omissions. With discussion on both sides lengthy, Schlosser asked for a second to Goulding's motion. There was none and Meyer moved -to adjourn with Elfgen seconding. The Continued on Pag* S, Col. 6. Way Sought to Get U. S. Fund For Use on Routes in Gties No way has been found by which Illinois municipalities may share at this time in benefits from a federal fund set up for work on federal aid routes within their areas, it was said today by City Engineer C. F. Abraham who attended a meeting of the municipal engineers' group of the Municipal League in Springfield, Tuesday. Chief question for exploration at the state meeting was whether some means might be found whereby Illinois municipalities could secure an immediate share In federal funds, said Abraham, but no way could be found to surmount technical legal barriers. The decision reached wan to seek tome legislation at the next session of the General Aieembly, In 1951, so that benefits will be possible before the federal aid provisions expire In 1053. The federal program requires matching funds be provided to equal federal allocations, Abraham explained, but the law also provides the federal Bureau of Public ROMI may deal solely with the, etatea. Illinois has no available money for matching poadble federal granU, It had been hoped that some way could be worked out for the municipalities to provide the matching funds, and, it was proposed the local funds be secured by appropriations of motor fuel tax refunds credited to the municipalities. But here another legal Impediment was encountered. The state law provides no way by which the municipal appropriations of MFT money can be transferred back to the state to be credited by the federal agency. Solution Proposed The plan advanced to solve the dilemma is to so amend the state MFT law that municipalities may put up their gas tax or other funds so the state may use them to match federal allocations and have desired work then carried out of the federal aid routes within municipal borders. In Alton, the matter ii of Interest because the city has at leant one federal aid route that may merit consideration, the McAdams highway. To make the McAdams parkway fully usabW, after the removal of the Lovers Leap projection and other steps to clear M l*fe I. Col. 4. Committee to Push Plan* for Heart Chapter Fifteen attended a "mass" meeting called Wednesday night in Alton City Hall to discuss organi- sation of a county chapter of the American Heart Association. Invitations to the meeting were signed by Mayor Earl Llnkogle, who opened the meeting and introduced representatives of the association's state branch. After hearing purposes and plans for organization explained by the state branch's spokesmen, the group meeting authorized selection of a steering committee to proceed with plans for organization. Dr. Robert W. Elliott was named chairman of the committee which also Included Joseph Burhardt of Colllnsvllle, A. A. Winston, superintendent of Wood River Township Hospital, Dr. Donald Bottom of Alton, and Mayor Otto Brazier of East Alton. Library Closes; Installing New Heating Plant Because of failure of the heating plant boiler, Jennie D. Hayner Library will be closed until about the middle of next week, it was announced today by Mrs. Paul Buxton, president of the board. Temporary repairs were attempted after the boiler broke down about a week ago. It was hoped the boiler could be kept in operation for the remainder of the winter, but the repairs failed to hold, and the installation of a new boiler became mandatory. Preparations to place the new boiler are already in progress, and the library will reopen a» soon as heat can be restored. The new boiler creates a financial problem for the Board of Directors, said Mrs. Buxton, but there was no alternative but to proceed with the replacement. Until the library reopens, it was announced, adults desiring to return books may deposit them in a box, maintained for such a purpose, at the main entrance pf the building. Children who are patrons of the children's department of the library are asked to keep books they have in- hand until the reopening. Woman Accused In Hospital Fire Is Found Insane DAVENPORT, la., Jan. 19, Mrs. Elnora Epperly, 22, accused of setting the Mercy Hospital fire in which 41 persons were killed Jan. 7, is to be committed to a mental hospital. The Scott County Sanity Commission ruled yesterday the attractive young woman of Rock Island, 111., is Insane. County Attorney Clark O. Filseth, who filed a charge of "murder In the perpetration of arson" against Mrs. Epperly said she would not be brought to trial. He said she admitted starting the fire. However, he said all evidence against her would be submitted to the County grand jury. Filseth said any indictment the grand jury returns could be activated if she is found sane in the future. A member of the Iowa State Board of Control said Mrs. Epperly would be held In the Iowa state mental hospital at Mount Pleasant while authorities make arrangements with Illinois authorities for her transfer to an Illinois hospital. The sanity commission ruled Mrs. Epperly was a victim of "dementia praecox," a form of insanity which begins in adolescence and often leads to general failure of mental faculties. Truman Willing to Take Stump to Reeled Lucas WASHINGTON, Jan. 19. W — President Truman said today that he will take the stump for reelection of Sen. Lucas of Illinois if his efforts are wanted and needed. The President said he is strong for the re-election of the Senate Democratic leader. Republicans say they have a good chance to beat Lucas in next fall's election. Mr. Truman's comments were in reply to news conference questions about a report from Chicago that he would make at least one or two speeches in Illinois in behalf of Lucas. Traffic Accident* Dp SPRINGFIELD, Jan. 19. iJP>— Illinois traffic accidents Involving •SO or more damage Increased 2.6 percent last year over 1948, the aafety responsibility office of the state highway division said today. Mishaps reported In 1949 totaled 175,715. Weather Cloudy Hiit afternoon, partly cloudy toajght and Friday. Continued eoM; loweit Friday •Of MINI about 15; afternoon tewBeraturet in middle 20« today and tomorrow. Shippers' fortcatt: North 4 to I, oatt I to 12, wttt 12 to 16, south M to It. Taiiwater 405,77 ' f Truman May Ask Production Of Superbomb Vaughan to Be Retained On Staff Despite New Criticism by Senators By THE ASSOCIATED MMiSS President Truman today left wide open the possibility that he will order production of a hydrogen superbomb. In a press conference this morn- Ing that ranged over many subjects the President also revealed that: f , Robert Denham acted on his own in seeking a court order to stop the short work week and strikes in coal mining. James F. Byrnes is a free agent to do as he damn pleases about running for office. A decision whether to name a new ambassador to the Vatican is under study. He will keep, Maj. Gen. Harry H. Vaughnn on the job as his army aide despite a senator's demand that he be fired. Asked whether the NLRB counsel acted with his blessing, Mr. Truman Said that Denham worked for the National Labor Relations Board and that It was not his; business to bless or unless him. Denhnm Consulted White House Mr. Truman added that Denham had consulted the White House before proceeding. Denham said yesterday that he had kept the White House informed. The President told reporters that he still feels there is yet no national emergency warranting his intervention in the coal situation. The statement about Byrnes was made when the President was asked to comment on Byrnes' decision to seek the Democratic nomination for governor of South Carolina. Byrnes, Mr. Truman's former secretary of state, has sharply criticized some of the Truman Fair Deal program in a series of speeches. With the United States reported to be going ahead full blast on preliminary work leading up to hydrogen bomb production, Mr. Truman was asked at his news conference: "Do you have under consideration production of a hydrogen bomb?" The President replied that he could not comment on that. Mr, Truman also told inquirers that he is not considering direct negotiations with the Russians on the hydrogen bomb, Russian Approach Not Ruled Out Mr. Truman did not rule out the possibility of some less immediate approach to the Russians. For example, negotiating within the United Nations were not flatly ruled out. The chief executive was asked "Has David Lilienthal offered to go to Russia?" Mr. Truman said flatly that he has not. LilTenthal Is the retiring chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission. There have been reports, so far without substantiation from Lilienthal or the President, that the AEC chairman is opposed to development of a hydrogen bomb unless the United States first makes a new effort to work out an International atomic energy agreement with the Russians. Report* of Lilienthal Offer In addition there have been reports, that Lilienthal offered to go to Moscow for the President on such a mission. This Mr. Truman flatly denied. Lilienthal is scheduled to leave his AEC job Feb. 15. The President said today that when he decides on a successor he will announce it. At least some top officials in the Truman administration believe that the bomb will eventually ,go into production. President Truman himself will presumably make the final decision, one way or the other. The government's present policy on the hydrogen bomb, estimated up to 1000 times as powerful as uranium bombs now being made, calls for the assembling of all possible facts. On .the basis of these facts the final decision will be made in a few weeks. A congressional committee report yesterday rebuked Vaughan, whose name was linked with the Senate's "five percenter" Investigation. Sen. McCarthy (R-Wls.) again had urged the President to remove Vaughan. Truman, asked whether there would be any change in Vaughan's status, replied flatly that there will be none. . Vote on Oleo Repeal Bill WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 — OW— This is the way these Midwest awmakers voted yesterday as the Senate passed, -56-16, the oleomargarine tax repeal bill. Illinois, Douglas (D) and Lucas (D) for wssagc. Wisconsin, McCarthy (R) against, Wiley (R) paired against. Missouri, Kem (R) for, DonnelJ (R) against, Indiana, Capehart (R) and Jenner (R) for. Iowa, Hlcken- looper (R) paired against, Gilette (D) not voting but announced as for. Bid* Sought for Behoel Building FAIRFIELD, Jan. 19 UPl-School officials here announced they will ask for bids shortly on construction of a $350,000 Falrfield high school building. Bonds for- the Building which would house a gymnasium, cafeteria and classrooms, were approved in an election. It will be built adjacent to the present high achooL Threat of Flood Easing at Two Points; Cold Adds to Misery Army Ready for Emergency at Cairo If River Hits 57 Feet ! Two Beardstotvn Stores Gutted in $200,000 Fire BEARDSTOWN, Jan. 19 <£>> — Fire swept the two story Schmidt Building housing the F. W. Woolworth store and an Atlantic & Pacific grocery in the .downtown district today causing damage estimated at $2*00,000. The fire was discovered about 8 a. m., before the stores opened for BOSTO N j an 19 u business. Four hours later, the otner . clue ' in Tues day's hiitlntniy wa& Ktill .mirninc. «„„_«.««. « n vi*h*i. GUN SEIZED AFTER TIP FROM NEW JERSEY - Detective Harold Cooley examines revolver and ammunition found after raid on a vacant Boston home following tip. from a man being questioned by Newark, N. )., police today. New jersey police discount the story of the informer, Thomas J. Hannifan, 28, that he was the driver of the holdup car in the $1,500,000 Brink's robbery.—AP Wire^hoto. Another Clue in $1,500,000 Boston Robbery Evaporates BOSTON, Jan. 19. </T>—The nation'* top crime investigator, if. Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI, today took over personal investigation of (he nation'* biggeitt cash robbery—Tuesday night'* million dollar snatch from an express company, the Boston Traveler reported. The Traveler said it wa* advised by Louis Nichols, the FBI director'* assistant, that Hoover "i* personally directing invent i Rat ion of the robbery, in which $1,000,000 In cash nnd R500.000 in checks were taken. building was still burning. Both the Woolworth store and the grocery were gutted by flames. Business offices on the second floor were damaged, v , ;*v Five Chief Roy S. Patterson estimated the total damage. He was overcome by exhaustion and smoke in fighting the blaze. Fireman Joseph Orr suffered a lacerated arm. 1 Fire departments from Jacksonville and Rushville arrived to aid Beardstown firemen. An appliance store adjoining the Schmidt building was damaged ny smoke and water. The building is located on the corner of Second and State streets. Firemen said the blaze apparently originated in the heating plant of the Schmidt Building. Lewis Faces Another Court Battle With US WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 UP»— Mine leader John L. Lewis is in for a new court injunction battle with An . $1,500,000 the government. This one, started by general counsel Robert N. Denham of the National Labor Relations Board yesterday, seeks to stop Lewis' current three-day week and the full strikes prevailing In *ome areas of the coal fields. Federal Judge Richmond B. Keech set Denham's injunction plea for Jan. 26. Meantime, with his miners free to work or strike next wjeek, Lewis kept his plans to himself. About 90,000 miners in seven states stayed away from the pits entirely this week, refusing to work even the three days Lewis has ordered for the industry as a whole. This was the third straight week in which key groups of miners have quit work completely. Lewis has mildly suggested that the completely idle coal miners return to their, jobs, a "suggestion" ^ Ignored. This may become express company robbery evaporated today. New Jersey police discounted the story of informant ThpmM J. W nifan.:». . '•^•"»*-- : " The man, who originally gave his name as Jackie Horrigan, sail he drove the holdup car and askec for arrest by the Boston police He was revealed by Newark questioners to be a former state hospital ' patient and mental hospital orderly. Hannifan had been drinking and apparently hadn't been in Boston in months, a Newark police spokesman said. He had been questioned an his statement that funds seized in the robbery had been cached near the holdup scene. From the outset, Boston Police Capt. John D. Ahearn had accepted the story with skepticism. Nevertheless, overlooking no possibilities, he directed a raid on an empty house in the north end area near the scene of the crime and seized 1000 rounds of ammunition and a pistol. The weapon might have been of the type used by the robbers, police said. But the seven men scooped overnight in the police dragnet — including three ex-convicts, were questioned without result and police forecast their early release. Capt. Ahearn received his "information" from Hannifan by telephone from Newark. While the Newark police took the man Into custody, Ahearn went into action here. In Turners Falls, Mass., a relative said Hannifen had been disturbed mentally since war service n the navy and been a patient at a Massachusetts state hospital n Northampton, and at a Vermont ret real. , Another possible, clue also was being pursued—a large federal reserve money bag found in Saugus, a few miles north of Boston. The 12 by 20-inch bag, picked up on ;he Newburyport turnpike, was m pty—except for a Boston newspaper of Jan. 17—date of the rob- >ery. Brink's Inc., the money express ompany, confirmed that such bags were taken and Boston police hurried to Saugus and took the bag 'or laboratory study. Capt. Henry B. Wheaton, acting nialiy f lKM*-" «*"t * MIO fi*s»j •*»!*,»*•••»• ^suf *•• ••^'•••^ •-•• ,.-.——-—.-, 1— v against the Denham court plea: Saugus police chief, said the bag against the eDnham court plea: Continued on Page 1$, Col. 4. was thrown on the road last night. Contlni on Page I, Col. t. Police Turn Cowboy*, Corral 14 Bull* After 3-Hour Chase EFFINGHAM, Jan. 19, Fourteen bulls bolted from their truck today when the vehicle and a train collided. Uniformed police and overall-clad railroaders chased the scared animals nearly five hours. Between chuckles, Chief of Police Cletus Lamb of Efflngham gave this account; "I guess it was pretty funny seeing some of those policemen— therc're a couple of 230 and 240- pounders—pounding and puffing like a steam engine after those bulls. "It started almost downtown, at crossing over U. S. Highway 40. A northbound Illinois Central freight and a truck collided. The driver (Fred Mooney of Harvel) wasn't hurt. "Those bulls went through town and practically all over town for at least a two-mile radius, I guess. They went through fences. Tore -up some of them. , One bull laid down the street and a state policeman got him started again with a red traffic flare. "There Wasn't much 'hlya, hlya 1 shouting.' It was about 1 a. ro, and people were sleeping. Some folks were roused out of bed at that. "One bull fell in an abandoned railroad engine pit, We had to knock out the brick walls and get an automobile wrecker to get htm out. We finally got 'em all herded over to a stock pen," Mooney, the truck driver, was en route from East St. Louis to a Pique, O., packing houee with the animate BV THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Flood threats at two of the danger spots In the Midwest watershed appeared easing today but cold weather and freezing rait leaped more discomfort on thousands of refugees. Winter's elements battered other parts of the country. A severe cold air mass extended from the Northern Plains to Texas and spread over the Great Lakea to the Ohio river valley. A belt of snow, sleet and freeing drizzle dampened an area !rom southern Idaho to much of Oregon, Northwestern California owlands were flooded and high waters isolated some communities. Fifteen persons have perished lit i week of numbing cold in the Pacific Northwest. 4 Lose Live* in Flood Area Four persons lost their lives In :he Midwest flood area yesterday, two in southern Illinois and two n western Kentucky. Flood conditions remained critical at many points along the surg- ng Mississippi, Ohio, Wabash and other rivers in the Ohio and Mississippi valleys. More than 11,000 persons have been evacuated from heir 'homes along the Mississippi. Although there were indications hat the flood theat in the Cairo, 111., district -was easing the army was ready for an emergency if he flooding Mississippi appears headed for a stage of 57 feet. But he big river appeared nearing a crest which might fall more than a foot short of the stage fixed for possible opening of the Bird* Point-New Madrid floodway. The weather bureau forecast a irest around 55.5 feet tonight. Another major danger spot In he Midwest flood area—Vlncennes, Ind.—reported apparent victory In he fight to halt the rampaging Wabash river from spilling over he flood wall. The big stream levelled off almost 2 feet below Wednesday's crest of 28.6 feet. Flood Level Drops Sharply The flood level dropped sharply after breaks in the levee on the west bank of 'the' Wabash yesterday, spilling water but over lOOiOOO' acres of already flooded Illinois farmland. The breaks came as the Wabash inched neaj: the top of the 29-foot floodwall in the Indiana city of 20,000 residents. Not much immediate relief from the cold appeared in prospect for the frigid belt which extended over a wide area from the Pacific Northwest into northern Illinois. The mercury dropped to 5 degrees below zero at Rockford, III. At the Rockford airport near town, a low of 12 below was recorded. Chicago's 1 above was the lowest reading of the season there. The sub-zero front covered parta at Washington and Oregon, the northern Rickies, the Plains statee and the North Central states. Some low reading included -30 at GhUi- gow, Mont.; -21 at Eau Claire, Wis., and -20 at Pembina, N. D. During the night a group of en« gineers at Wyatt, Mo., held an emergency meeting and rushed two truckloads of workers to sandbag a weak-section of levee protecting the floodway. Some seepage had developed. An isolated case of looting Just outside the almost - abandoned floodway was reported by a group of residents. Earl Holloway, a farmer, said a man in a motorbpat had taken a few household goods from T>ne home. Good New* From Memphis' Good news for residents and) workers came from Memphis, Tenn. Col. L. H. Foote, Memphis district engineer, said last night the southeastern Missouri floodway "In all probability will not be placed in operation" unless there Is positive information a stage of 57 feet may be expected at Cairo. Earlier, he had warned it might be necessary to open the frontline levee and flood the 212-square mile spillway to ease the flood pressure at Cairo and other cities along the river. On the basis of that warning and because of backwater rolling through openings near, the south end of the front-line'levee, about 9000 residents of the floodway lowlands have fled their homes. Carried out by trucks, boats and amphibious army ducks, the refugees have streamed through thla small Missouri city and the near* by town of East Prairie since Monday. Almost 1000 have been quartered in abandoned army barracks ft Maiden, Mo. The others have foQnit housing with friends and relatives and in tents issued by the Red Cross. The Red Cross, Jiowever, haa ceased issuing tents at the request of the Missouri Health Department. The Red Crow has urged the tented refugees to go to Maiden in buses provided for them, Chap» ten and army po*ts in the touts) and Midwest have etnt huge foot and bedding supplies Into The center there Is handle aooo refugee*, SPRINGFIELD. Jan. IMP** Illinois farmer* started lfl» wtt» 18 percent niore cattle on |IM» feed than a ye»r ago awl two as4 one-half times as many as la t*f fall of 1949, The . atatMftfaftl agriculture dtpertiMntssals}toe** a survey showed 533,000 *»4 «t cattle were being fattiftjM |J| gram the lint oj this SMa**, 4 .