The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on January 1, 1954 · Page 1
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 1

Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Friday, January 1, 1954
Page 1
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BLYTHEVILLE COURIER NEWS THE DOMINANT NEWSPAPER OP NORTHEAST ARKANSAS AND «OCTH«AST MISSOURI TOL. XLIX-NO. S40 »ytht*lU» Dilly Nw, Mlulutppl Valley L Blyth4Vill« Herald BLYTHEVILLE, ARKANSAS, FRIDAY, JANUARY 1,1954 TWELVE PAGES SINGLE COPY FIVE CENTS Base, Sewers Repeat as Top Issues of Year By GEORGE ANDERSON (Courier News Staff Writer) For the second straight year, two continuing storie provided the major preoccupation for residents of Blythe ville, with the now-you-see-it-now-you-don't air base reacti vation program taking a slight edge over the long-delayed efforts to improve the city's overloaded, antiquated sewer system. At year's end, both of these projects remained in a state of near-suspended animation with considerable skep ticism prevalent despite the latest Defense Department wore that the base is again scheduled for reactivation, and with action on a new sewer system delayed again while a secon< survey is being made in an effort to find a more financially acceptable plan than the $1,300,000 system originally pro posed. And that phrase — suspended animation — might well characterize the year of 1953 as a whole for much of Blytheville. While considerable progress was made in many ways, includ- tlng some aspects of the frustrating air base and sewer problems the general growth and expansion which has been characteristic of the city in recent years was overshadowed by lack of tangible re- •ults in the major projects undertaken here. Tax collections in the cpum fell during 1953 to $1,675.809.9 compared to $1,692,316.69 for th previous year. Both of these fii ures include drainage distrii taxes which amount to approx mately $500,000. Most of the reduction in reve nue came as a result of not hav Ing the usual three-mill road ta assessment which was unaccoun •bly voted down in the 1952 gen eral election. Reduced millage i Blytheville also acounted for som of the reduction. Building construction in Blythe ville indicated the "wait-and-see •ttitude which prevailed durin much of the year. Estimated value of constructio was $626,617, just about on pa with 1952, though value of bus ness construction declined consid erably. Records of the City Eng neer's office show that 201 build Ing permits were issued durin the year. BLYTHEVILLE utilities also re fleeted a similar picture, with few eignificant gains in consumers volume consumption, and actual de clines in some areas. However, all three utilities mad Improvements in service throug expansion and development of faci lilies. The only large gains shown durin, the year were in the number of nat ural gas customers connected b Arkansas-Missour Power Compaq. In it« new system which had gotten underway at the beginning o the year, during 1953 gas consumer from 275 to 1,275. Ark-Mo showed an increase in electric customers from 24,419,16; kilowatt-hours to 26,074,242. A new intertoll dial system connecting Blytheville, Jonesboro, Paragould and other northeast Arkansas towns, in operation since July constituted the major portion Southwestern Bell Telephone Company's $60,000 expansion and development program. At the end o the year, the company had 3,841 Blytheville accounts with a total of 5,073 phones in the city. Blytheville Water Company showed a net gain of 78 customers with 183 new services installed. The firm installed 10,711 feet of new pipe, and pumped a total of 426,928,000 gallons A of water; a slight decline from the T 1952 figures of 440,593,000 gallons ARK-MO invested approximately $250,000 in new lines and equipment in and around Blytheville, including a new substitution and a new transformer shop building. Fifteen, ad ditional employes were placed on the pay roll as a result of the natural gas development which was also extended to nine other Northeast Aransas and southeast Missouri towns during the year. Another problem of major importance during the year was the continuing attempt to stabilize the economy of this area by obtaining industrial plants for Blytheville. While no definite commitments were received, prospects for 1954, through groundwork laid during the past year, appear fairly bright. One prospect in particular, Kansas City steel fabricating firm, has shown considerable interest in locating here. A public mass meeting held In September to consider the firm's building requirements voiced ap. praval of a plan to raise $200.000 in a subscription campaign to con- f •struct a building for the prospect or to establish an industrial foundation for future use in attracting Industry. The Chamber of Commerce, in addition to Its constant efforts to Interest manufacturers in locating here, purchased in November a 37-acre Industrial site for $26,000. Tied in with the problem of providing adequate sewers for Blythe- vill* was the fate of the gleaming new 70-bed County Hospital unit completed here last summer but unopened M yet. • • • CONSTRUCTED with the aid of Federal funrts rt n cost of nr>. proxlmately, the hospital was prohibited from opening by the Arkansas Health Department because of inadequate sewage disposal facilities. The Health Department later accepted an improved septic tank system and in October the City Council approved a $4,000 expenditure to install a 3,600 foot sewer line connecting the hospital. Work is progressing on the project and latest indications are that the hospital will be able to open sometime in February. High on the list of top news events of the year was the mayoralty election in November. At first, the campaign shaped up as the largest in Blytheville's history with five men, including two former majors, announcing their candidacy. 'Mayor Dan Blodgett, who was elected in 1981 as the city's first full-time mayor, E. R. Jackson and Doyle Henderson and Alderman John Caudill in three-way contest. Mayor Jackson, who had previously served in the position for See BASE SEWERS on Page 2 County Wed Irrevocably To Rich Soil Mississippi County's future is irrevocably wed to its rich soil, Churchill Buck, veteran Blytheville lawyer, told Blytheville's Rotary Club yesterday as he reviewed the developement of the county during the past 50 years. "Why did these people stay here in the early 1900's?" He asked. "They were ridden with malaria, mosquitos were not only dangerous but annoying, drainage was poor, no cropland several times a year. "They didn't stay here because of the beauty of this flat, unbroken terrain. It was because of the wonderful possibilities they saw in the soil. TURNING point of Blytheville's history, he recalled, came in 1902 when the Jonesboro-Lake City and Eostern Railroad decided to build its line through Blytheville to the Barfield landing. "About this time, timber became valuable and we had plenty of timber. WORE MORE - ml-scrdcA more "The advent of the railroad soon gave rise to location of such industries as Chicago Mill and Lumber Co., National Handle Co., and others. "Then we saw the little community of Blytheville begin to grow." Mr. Buck recalled several anecdotes in connection with the early days of the community. "Babe (A. G. Little, then his partner In law) and I were active in getting the railroad to come through here and promised them See MISSCO on Page 2 3 <l 3, 6 7 10 II I? |] (/, 17 18 |o 10 2, ' 36 27 28 American PW Repatriated Others May Follow, Young Texan Says By WILLIAM C. BARNARD SEOUL (AP) — Cpl. Claude J. Batchelor, a young Texan who elected to stay with the Communists, changed his mind today and said it is quite possible that other repatriated American war prisoners will decide to return home. NEW OFFICIALS TAKE OATHS—Shown being administered the oath of office by Municipal Judge Graham Sudbury (far left) are (left to right) Alderman Leslie Moore, E. M. Terry Toler Buchanan and W. L. Walker and Mayor E. R. Jackson. Behind the group, Kid 1954' Leaps Into the Fray Like Champ-Wakes Up Bleary-Eyed NEW YORK (AP) That brand new" 365-day wonder, "Kid 1954," got a wild wel- the wnrlri arpna — with everyone admiring his "peace" punch Mme today as he leaped into the world arena and praying he could keep up the promising pace. • At any rate, the Kid kayoed "Old Man Blues" with a flurry of horns and cowbells and rights and lefts to the pocketbook. In Times Square, a police-esti- * - ated million revelers, five times he number of last year, milled long the Great White -"Way nnd ' heerecl i EM'\ the loth Stork, Grim Reaper •ail to Chalk Up Scores For New Year's Holiday Both the stork and the grim reaper had failed to chalk up a New Year's score by noon today. Gifts from Blytheville merchants waiting for the first ba- :>y born this year were still waiting at noon, as botrrhospi- ,als reported no births as yet. 1 Mississippi County officers reported that New Year's Eve had lassed safely In the traffic line, with no fatal accidents occurring. 0-degree cold and the excltemerii :ept the gay throngs moving. For 25 minutes before 12, and alf an hour after midnight, traffic .•as stopped in the square and the lerrymakers allowed to surge hrough the streets .It was an or- erly crowd. Bars, restaurants, theaters and ight clubs did a booming business .hroughout the nation. Tariffs anged from "no cover" at all to 25 per person in the swanky Man- attan night spots and hotels, housands also celebrated at at- ome parties. The devout crowded into church- s and parish halls for traditional r atch Night services. Eros Protected In Augusta, Ga., President Ei- enhower attended a small party t the Augusta National Golf Club. London's famed Piccadilly Circus •ew the usual mass of midnight revelers. The statue of Eros got a protective wrapping against the usual pranksters. Hotels and night spots throughout the continent reported sellout business at very high prices. In New Year's messages, the statesmen of Europe voiced hope for future peace. On both sides of the Iron Curtain people jammed churches and prayed for a peaceful 1954. Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill broadcast to Britons that free world strength and the desire to "reach just and honorable agreements" has reduced the possibility of international conflict. French President Vincent Auriol, who bows out for the new year as chief of state, said "it is not talk alone" that can bring peace to the world. Moscow Bubbles In Moscow, champagne sales tripled over last year us the Russians celebrated the start of their holiday season. With the bars in the United States open later and people drink- ng more, safety officials stressed caution on the highways and elimination of the alcoholic "one for See NEW YEAR on Page 2 in Ike's Programs By JACK BELL WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Knowland (R-Calif) said today Democrats will have "plenty of opportunity" to propose changes in President Eisenhower's foreign and defense pro gram, but some Democrats remained skeptical of bipartisan results. Knowlnnd, the Senate Republi- +can leader, said in an interview that although the Democrats wil not be told fully of the President's plans until a Jan. 4 White House meeting of congressional leaders, "there will still be time to make changes" if any serious objections are raised. The President will lay down his over-all program in a State of the Union message two days later. Knowland said he expects this to be 'Couched -largely in general terms, with specific recommendations to be made later. Democratic leaders were invited by telegrams from I. Jack Martin, presidential assistant, to sit in for consultation only on the foreign and defense aspects of the message. There was no mention of other subjects. Sen. Sparkmsn of Alabama, the 1952 Democratic vice-presidential nominee, said in an interview he •egnrds such consultation as a desirable prelude to bipartisan cooperation on foreign and defense gislation. Wants Co-operation "But we ought to know if this going to be two-sided cooperation," he said. "Some of the tac- ics employed by Ally. Gen. 3rownell in the Harry Dexter White case and by Gov. Thomas . Dewey of New York in a recent speech don't indicate that it will e. "I don't like the idea of teara- ng up with a inan who says that 2Very lime vou hear the name of Sec DEMOCRAT on Page 2 looking on, are Alderman Charles Lipford (left) and J. L. Nabers. The change of administration took place this morning during brief inauguration ceremonies in the Municipal Courtroom in City Hall. (See additional photo on page 2.) {Courier News Photo) Brief Ceremony Ushers in New Administration Mayor, 4 Aldermen Take Oaths of Office In City Hall Here A new city administration was ushered in this morning at brief ceremonies in the Municipal Courtroom! in City Hall. ., Municipal Judge Graham Sudbury administered the oath of office to Mayor E. R. Jackson and Aldermen W. L. Walker, Toler Buchanan, E. M. Terry and Leslie Moore. Present to offer his congratulations to the new mayor and aldermen was retiring Mayor Dan BlodKott. In a hrtef talk following the swearing in, Mayor Jackson, who previously served as the city's chief executive from 11)42 to 1350, told approximately 100 persons present for the ceremonies that "we are entering upon a big job" and ask ed that "you bear with us until we I s?re able to do everything we want to do. "I have the assurances of the council and the past mayor and aldermen that they will co-operate. We will need the co-operation of everyone." Mayor Jackson said he bore no "hard feelings to those who are leaving." Retiring his statement as a council meeting last month that "politics Is a funny business," he said "You sometimes have to do things a business man wouldn'a ordinarily do." He also urged more citizens to attend Ctiy Council meetings, which he stressed were open to the public. After a brief council session that followed the inauguration Mayor Jackson announced s change in plans for reorganiza' tion of the Police Department. Three officers — Dick Burns Elbert Alley and Ed Downs — will be added, boosting the size of the force to 13. All three arc former police officers. No' other changes will be made, the mayor said, except for the resignation of Officer Gilbert Mann, which was submitted this week. Earlier, it had been planned to hold the police force to 10 men retaining six present officers anc replacing four. Hunker Speaks Mayor Jackson Introduced B. A. <ynch, president of Farmers Bank and Trust Company, who also spoke briefly. In his introduction the mayor referred to Mr. Lynch as "my Sec JACKSON on Page % Holiday Death Toll Stays Low By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Caution perhaps born of the tragic Christmas week end was reflected today in the relatively small toll of lives in accidents during the first 13 hours of the New Year week end. The total, was 24, and 11 of these were blamed on traffic accidents. Eleven died in fires. The crash of a small airplane in Montana killed a married couple, but their 6-year- old daughter survived. A continuance of the rate of less than two accidental deaths an hour would hold the total for the 18-hour period ending midnight Sunday not only far under the Christmas week end's 717, but well below the National Safety Council's estimate of 360 for traffic deaths done. A Lake City, S. C. mother and three children perished when their home burned. Two persons died in separate apartment house fires in Chicago. Massachusetts also had three deaths in fires and Ohio one. Malenkov Sees Favorable Year Ahead MOSCOW (AP) — The government newspaper Izves- tia spread on page 1 today Premier Malenkov's New Year's statement that he believes ther are favorable opportunities for reducing international tension in 1954. In a reply to questions submitted by Klngsbury Smith of the International News Service, Malonkov said also he could sc no real obstacles to a better understanding between the United States and the Soviet Union. Malcnko vdcclared that a ban on use of atomic weapons would be the biggest step toward peace that could be taken In 1954, but that Russia considers It necessary to •ci>ch .nCTRcmont also f-n a "coiv of armaments and armed forces. Moscow radio carried the Malen- kov statement, and also one by President Klemcnti Voroshllov expressing hope for a relaxation of world tension in the new year. (There was no formal U.S. State Department reaction to the Malen- kov statement, but American diplomats suggested Informally that If Malenkov Is sincerely interested in Improving relations with the United States there are ample opportunities in the near future to do so. (They cited as one example the forthcoming foreign ministers meeting In Berlin. But while Ma- lenkov was talking of lessening tensions, Pravda, the Communist party newspaper, yesterday charged thai. Wnsl.ern Powers nnd Wrsl . -.,.,, „... , „..„ .,..., tlderable reduction" of all types | Germany wore ganging up on Bus. sia in advance of the meeting for the purpose of sabotaging the talks. (M al e n k o v's statements appeared mostly to be reiteration of past Soviet statements and did not seem to offer any new avenues of approach on specific East-West issues.) These were the questions and answers as published by Tass, the official Soviet news agency, and broadcast by Moscow radio: Q. What are your wishes for the American people for 1954? A. Prom the bottom of my heart I wish the American people happiness and a peaceful life. I wis.h the American people success In developing friendly relatloa 1 ! with all peoples, and forceful results In the noble cause of the defense of p?-cc against all attempts to violate It. Q. Do you hope that the new year will be marked by strenthen- ing of the bonds of friendship between the peoples of America and Russia? A. First of all it is necessary to desire Improvement of relations between our countries. I consider that there are no Intriaslc barriers preventing that In the new year relations between the Soviet Union and the United tales shall not be Improved and tha traditional bonds of friendship betiveon our countries should not be strengthened and I hope that It will be so. Q. How do you evaluate the possibilities of maintaining world peace and lessening International 1954? A. All peoples are eager for Instlng peac" f 1 '' fhn'n nvn frworablo, op- Sm MAL&NKOV on Paft 1 Batchelor smiled broadly as he was returned to the U.N. Corr mand near Panmunjom after 3 months as a prisoner of war. He told waiting newsmen ths prisoner leaders are armed wii daggers to prevent defections an that mistrust and fear play a ro! in the Communist allegiance < the remaining 21 Americans, Briton and 327 Koreans listed a pro-Red. The 22-year-old corporal from Kerinlt, Tex., approached an In dian guard guard at 1 a. m. an asked to return to the U.N. Com mand. Fourteen hours later he wa repatriated. Japanese Wife Batchelor's petite Japanese wife waiting in Tokyo to see him, ap parently played an important par In his decision to abandon com munism. He said her messages, relaye to him in the Indian-guarded com pound in Korea's neutral zon 'had quite a bit to do about it. Batchelor originally was schet tiled to hold R press conferenc later today but It was postpone until tomorrow. He told newsmen he now be lleves "very very little" of th Communist indoctrination he ha been given in prisoner of wa camps. He smiled broadly and spok easily, without any apparent ncr vousness. He happily gave a thumbs u; sign for photographers. He said he had spent a sleep less night before deciding to as for repatriation. He described Nev Year's Eve in the North Camp a not very cheerful and withou much celebrating. 'Will other Americans com' out?" he was asked. "CMiite possibly," he said. "Will more than one?" "Quite possibly." "Do you think you made a wis move In coming back?" "Yes," Bntchelor answered an< smiled broadly. He said he had been "quite tin comfortable" this winter bu turned aside other questions as ti whether he had been well treatct ami well-fed in Communist pris oner camps. He said it would be hard to say what he missed most during hi: long captivity. Batchelor's story matched U part that of Cpl. Edward Dicken son of Big Stone Gap, Va., wh asked for repatriation from tin pro-Communist North Camp twi months ago. Dickcnson also said other Amen cans quite likely would change their minds. Neither man named names. An Indian command spokesman said he thought it most unlikely that prisoner leaders are jinnee or that a POW who wanted to ask for repatriation would be unable to do so. He said: Batchelor said he had wanted to return home for a month, but die not ask for repatriation Dec. 23 when the Allies broadcast "come home" appeals because "there would have been violence." He said pro-Communist Korean prisoners "massed at the gate" to prevent anyone from leaving. The Indian spokesman said there was no evidence that this was so md added: Message From Wife "I am sure any man who wanted could have come out safely." Batchelor refused to answer many questions. He said he wants to take his wife See POW'» on Page 1 Six-Year-Old Boy Hurt When Hit by Car near Hayti HAYTI, Mo.—A six-year-old boy !s .spending New Year's Day in the hospital nfter receiving a fractured arm and leg when he ran In front of n car on Highway 84 west of here yesterday. Stoney Allen Taylor, son of Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Taylor of Bragg City, Route .1, was reported resting well this morning by Pcmlscot Memorial Hospital officials. Wince O. Oreen of Haytl, Route . said he was passing In front of Mangold Store on Highway 84 •svhcn the child ran ncross the highway In front ot me." Ike Confers With Aides On Speech Heavy Work Docket Starts New Year By MARVIN 1. ARROWSMTTH AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) _ President Eisenhower, starting the new year with a heavy work docket, called a group of top administration officials to an early morning conference on his State of the Union message today. ' Letting the holiday go by .the boards, the President sent out word for the officials to report to him at 8 a.m. at his> office above the pro shop at the Augusta National Golf Club. The administration advisers who arrived from Washington late yesterday were guests of the President and Mrs. Eisenhower at a New Year's Eve dinner in the golf club trophy room last night. The officials include Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, chief U.S. delegate to the United Nations; Budget Director Joseph M. Dodge; top presidential aide Sherman Adams; and several other White House assistants. Fleming Added An llth-hour addition to the team was Dr. Arthur S. Flemming, chief of the Office of Defense Mobilization and author of the admin- stration's controversial program to channel defense contracts to areas of high unemployment. Eisenhower personally endorsed .he two-month-old program Tuesday, and his action touched off a •ound of angry protests from louthern Democrats in Congress. See IKE on Page 2 • Year's First Fire Here Guts rtments Blytheville's first fire of the new year razed an apartment house at 119 South Lake early this morning, causing heavy property damage but no injury to occupants, according to Fire Chief Roy Head. The fire started about 6 a.m. 'rom a kerosene stove in a front apartment occupied by Udell Parris, who warned the other people in the juilding in time for some of them .0 save part of their clothes, Chief Head said. Spreading up the wall from the stove, fire roared through the attic. Jhree of the four apartments were gutted, as was the attic. The rest of the house was damaged by water and smoke, Mrs. May Key Bell, owner of the house, who lived in one of the apartments, said the house was par- ially covered by insurance. Weather ARKANSAS—Fair today, tonight .nd Saturday; a little warmer to- lay. MrsSOtlRI—Generally fair and ontinucd mild this afternoon, to- light and Saturday except becom. ng partly cloudy and cooler ex- •eme north portion Saturday. Maximum yestcMny—52. Minimum this morning—33. Sunrise tomorrow—7:07. Sunset today—5:00. Precipitation last 24 hour* to 7:00 m. today—none. Mean temperature (midway between gh nnd tow)—42.5. Precipitation Jan. 1 to date-»S». This pate l,»it Year Maximum yesterday—50. Minimum yesterday—21. Precipitation January 1 to dat»— .00.

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