The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on July 17, 1954 · Page 1
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 1

Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Saturday, July 17, 1954
Page 1
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BLYTHEVILLE COURIER NEWS VOL. L—NO. 98 Blytheville Courier Blytheville Daily News Mississippi Valley Leader Blytheville Herald THE DOMINANT NEWSPAPER OF NORTHEAST ARKANSAS AND SOUTHEAST MISSOURI BLYTHEVILLE, ARKANSAS, SATURDAY, JULY 17, 1954 EIGHT PAGES Army Starts Removing Explosives 10 Are Dead In Fireworks Plant Blasts CHESTERTOWN, Md. (AP) — About 200 men, women §nd children evacuated their homes around Chestertown's smashed fireworks . plant today while Army teams began removing dangerous explosives from a blasted area. A series of explosions in the combination fireworks - munitions factory caused 10 known deaths yesterday- More than 50 persons we»« hwt and five remained in hosp&ak. A special state police team got ready to search the ruins of the Kent Manufacturing Co. plant to see if there were any more dead. A three-block area was cleared bj ci-vil defense workers. The residents moved into other parts of this AmaH Eastern Shore town. The Army demolition teams from Aberdeen proving ground started first with less dangerous explosives: such as fireworks and det- ona-tor caps. LitWe Noise They hauled the stuff to an area known as the "sand pits" about a half mile from town and Set it afire. There was little noise. The explosives experts then prepared to take care of stocks of 3ead azide, a dangerous explosive. They intended to neutralize this by dunking it in water and oil. Col. Harry S. Russell, director of civil defense, reported no incidents in the evacuation from around the plant. Cpl. Walter Kulley, heading a special police detail, said an exhaustive search will be made of the ruins, and it probably would not be completed until nightfall. Army, FBI and company officials sought the exact cause of the Flanders Demands That Senate Censure Sen. McCarthy's Conduct By G. MILTON KELLY WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Flanders (R-Vt) said today the Senate's handling of his demand for a vote of censure against Sen. McCarthy (R-Wis) will test its "political morality." Flanders yesterday announced he was abandoning efforts to get the Senate to fire McCarthy from committee chairmanships. " ~ ~" ——"—""•' * He said he would offer on Tues- blasts and took precautions against further explosions. National Guardsmen patrolled the streets and stood guard at the armory, converted to an emergency morgue, where the remains of 10 victims were bundled in blankets, most no bigger than overnight bags. Mother of Eight Six of these bundles had been identified through watches, rings, keys or by other means as five women and man who had worked on assembly lines putting together firecrackers, detonator fuses and Army training shells. One was Mrs. Eva L. Fisher, 65-year-old mother of eight children. Another was Nelson Lord, 21-year-old bridegroom of three weeks. The others were Mrs. Mary E. Fallowfield, 64, wife of a barber and town councilman; Mrs. Nellie Starr, 47, Mrs. Lina Mae Taylor, 41; and Mrs. Magdaline Seiler, 57, of Henderson, Md. Five other women were listed by their families as missing but it was probable the names of four could be matched with the four unidentified bundles on the armory floor. Remains of the llth victim apparently were still buried somewhere in the maze of smouldering litter that had once been part of eight main buildings and 22 smaller structures destroyed. While the rumor persisted that j two jet planes seen flying over .the plant seconds before had touched off the blaze by jarring the highly sensitive lead azide, a nitro-glyoer- in compound used in detonator SEEK 'MISSING' PLANE — Preparatory to launching a practice air-search for a hypothetically missing Air Force plane here this morning, Capt. Hank Dodd (right) of the Blytheville CAP Squadron briefs Lt. Clyde Rogers of Harrison (left) and Lt. Dick Prewitt of Osceola (center). Capt. Dodd is shown as he assigned search areas to the pilots in a hangar at the air base. (CAP Photo) CAP Stages Practice Air-Search Mission Planes manned by Civil Air Patrol pilots and observers fanned out over this area today in search of a "missing" Air Force training plane. Although it was a practice mission involving only a hypothetical crash, the CAP aircraft flew search patterns in assigned areas in deadly earnest for the maneuver was being carried out under the critical eyes of an Air Force team. Headed by Maj.Kenton Ashworth, this USAP team will grade the Arkansas CAP Wing in this test of its ability to accomplish a search-and- rescue mission. The practice mission is being staged and graded by the 47th Air Rescue ' Service of Ellington Field, Texas. The mission, for all members of the Arkansas Wing, will be a daylong affair and extend through tomorrow morning if necessary. Capping the maneuver will be an Air Force air descue demonstration tomorrow morning at the air base. To begin between 10:30 and 11 a.m. tomorrow, the demonstration will include a JATO (jet-assisted) short field- take-off by an Air Force SA-16 Grumman amphibian and low-altitude parachute jumps by two Air Force para-medics. Today's practice mission involved a T-28 Air Force training plane which hypothetically left Springfield, Mo., at 6:10 this morning en route to Memphis. Due at Memphis at 7:40 a.m., the mythical craft was unreported there and presumed lost in this area, After one of the CAP planes locates the "crash scene." a ground rescue team will be dispatched to find survivors and give medical aid. Some 16 CAP planes and about 50 CAP members were on hand early this morning and more were expected during Operating from the air base here, the mission was under the command of Capt. Hank Dodd of the Blytheville CAP Squadron. The CAP was assisted today by the State Police radio network and day instead, a resolution which would place the Senate on record as declaring McCarthy's conduct as chairman of the Senate investigations subcommittee "is hereby condemned" as unbecoming a senator. Flanders said he will seek an immediate vote on it Tuesday— the same day McCarthy faces a threatened" showdown with subcommittee members seeking to force a shakeup of his staff appointees. "No Concern" McCarthy, watching his bubbling troubles on both fronts, said he feels "no concern" about Flanders' new move, and told reporters that "as far as I'm concerned" it will be all right for his subcommittee to bring the staff problem to a head at its 'osed door meeting Tuesday. He had blocked a staff shakeup move by- Sen. Potter (R-Mich) Thursday by throwing out as invalid the proxy vote of the absent Sen. McClellan (D-Ark). McClellan's vote, with that of the two subcommittee Democrats present, would have given Potter's motion a majority on the seven-man group. The Senate GOP leadership, clearly unhappy about £he whole business of fights involving McCarthy, cracked down yesterday on his plan to launch public hearings in Boston today to explore his charges of Communist infiltrations of defense plants. Majority Leader Knowland of California said he didn't want any committee meeting outside Washington with the Senate holding a session here today. McCarthy cancelled the Boston trip, and said he would hold the hearings in Washington instead, on Monday and Tuesday. Prepared Statement Flanders issued a prepared state- rt.ent to announce his switch in plans. He said his original reso- Published Daily Except Sunday SINGLE COPY FIVE CENT! Smith Arrives CHILD BRIDE COMES HOME - Twelve-year-old Reva Ellen Blankenship, who ran away from her Gosnell home Tuesday to marry her 17-year-old suitor, I. T. Walker, Jr., was back with her parents after the couple ended a three-day search by reporting to the sheriffs office here yesterday afternoon. Both of "the youngsters went home with their families following a conference over charges of enticement of a minor pending against the Walker youth. (Courier News Photo) CAP officials stressed that this | a State Police radio patrol car was demonstration will be open to the public. stationed at the air base during the mission. Post Office Committeeman House Member Tells Of Attempted Bribery .„ .„ _. , ( , WASHINGTON (AP) — Chairman Rees (R-Kan) said fuses, authorities discounted the j today the House Post Office Committee would "leave to the lution, which would have ordered McCa"rthy' > "fired-"as chairman of the investigations subcommittee and its parent, the Government Operations Committee, was designed "to give the Senate the opportunity to repudiate the conduct o't Mr. McCarthy who has brought dishonor and disrepute upon the the Senate of the United States." He said he was abandoning it Decause some senators disliked the idea of upsetting the Senate's traditional method of awarding chairmanships on a seniority basis. "Rather than risk any possible onfusion over the issue at stake m nay resolution," he continued, I am introducing a new one that will permit .a clear cut vote on \TcCarthyism." Knowland. who opposed Flanders' original motion, declined to disclose whether he would allow aii immediate test on the new Flanders motion Tuesday or insist that the resolution be sent to the Teenage Bridegroom. Still Facing Charges A charge of enticement of a minor against the 17-year- old bridegroom of 12-year-old Reva Ellen Blankenship of Gosnell and the-youth's father and grandmother had not been withdrawn this morning following the return of the voung couple yesterday after a three-day search had failed to disclose their whereabouts. Arriving in Blytheville. on a bus* yesterday afternoon, I. T. Walker, Jr., and his young bride reported to the office of Sheriff William Berryman, where they were reunited with their families. Young Walker told Sheriff Berryman and Prosecuting Attorney H. G Partlow the couple spent Tuesday Wednesday, and Thursday nights in different Memphis motels. Both the newlyweds told their families they had no knowledge of the furor caused by their elopement until they read newspaper accounts of the runaway marriage, which caused them to return home. ''We'd been planning to get married for two or three months—since we started going together," Walker told this reporter while officials questioned his young bride .out of the youth's earshot. The'upset but calm-spoken lad. who farms with his father. I. T. Walker, ST.. near Gosnell. steadfastedly denied that his family had known of the couple's plans. Had Scheduled The opportunity to make the elopement—to Hernando, Morse Criticizes 'Giveaway' Bill On Atomic Power possibility. Know Which Machine Col. Harry S. Russell, Chestertown Civil Defense director and plant officials said "survivors knoiv exactly which machine the (the blast) started on" in Building B. the first to blow sky high. Mayor Philp G. Wilmer, who is also president of the company, shared the opinion the jets had nothing to do with the blast. However, Fire Chief Alex Herzberg said he was investigating the See ARMY on Page 8 FBI' 3 an investigation of a reported attempt to bribe a member of the committee. Rees declared himself "stunned" by the report, but said he planned no independent HAYTT— the safe they started to take from! the Rhoades Lumber Co., last! night turned out to be bare of legal tender, according to the Pemiscot County sheriff's office. Bill Rhoades. owner of the company, told county officers that he worked in the office until about 11 p.m. last night and the office was opened again at 7 a.m. this morning. Gaining entrance through the lumber shed by prying a hasp from the back door, the burglars moved the safe out a side door of the office to the driveway before they discovered the vault was unlocked, county officers said, Mr. Rhoades said that there was . rio money in the safe. Officers surmised that the burglars left the inquiry because "it's a matter for the Depart mem of Justice." Atty. Gen. Brownell late yesterday verified widely circulated ru mors that the FBI was looking into a report that a committee member had been approached in a purported attempt to influence his vote on legislation to'raise the pay c' postal workers. Brownell told newsmen the report was made by Rep. Broyhill, Virginia Republican and wealthy building contractor of nearby Arlington, Va. $500 Offer According to the report to the FBI. the alleged bribe attempt was in the form of an offer of a $500 Broyhill is year. Neither Brownell nor Broyhill would say who made the alleged offer, who received it, or when it took place. Broyhill is a committee member. The heads of two AFL unions which have been seeking a pay raise for postal workers "both denounced the reported overture. Leo E. George, president of the National Federation of Post Office Clerks, termed it "so reprehensible that it is impossible to believe" and urged a full investigation. William C, Doherty, „ president of the National Assn. of Letter Carriers, called it "preposterous — unthinkable." Rees and othe~ members of the j Committee who could be contacted But Rep. Gross (R-Iowa) told reporters he Was "surprised that Broyhill didn't come to the committee in the first place." The Post Office committee has been engaged in a long and bitter wrangle over legislation to give a p?y increase to the half a million members of the Post Office Department. Postmaster General Summerfield has insisted that any pay increase bill carry authority to reshuffle and consolidate the myriad of job and salary schedules within th postal service. On the other hand, organized postal employe organizations have asked for a minimum $800-a-year pay hike, and have opposed any bill which would give the postmaster general the overhaul authority he wants. Sharply Split The Post Office committee has been sharply split over the admin- stration proposals. It first voted out a bill for a 7 >er cent pay hike, but omitted au- .hority for an overhaul of post of"ice job and salary schedules. Laer, however, it approved a "com- jromise" measure calling for a 5 per cent pay increase and a plan o put Summerfield's proposal in- o delayed operation. While Broyhill would not discuss Committee. Flanders told a news conference ne is thinking of releasing to the press Monday the text of the speech he intends to deliver Tuesday so that fellow senators will know just what he has in mind. Then, he said, if they do not show up and vote Tuesday, their constituents will know they did not want, to place themselves on record. Flanders said defeat of his resolution "would be a body blow at the Republican party." "I don't expect that failure," he added. "If the Democrats are shy about voting, then they have lost the nation," he said. "They would share with the Republicans the onus of not having disowned or endeavored to curb the senator. "Fundamentally, it is a test of me political morality of the U.S. S;nate. It is a national rather than a party question." when the elder Walker told the youth to return his grandmother, who had been visiting with the family, to her home in Memphis in''the family truck Tuesday, I. T., Jr., said. "We even had a schedule of what we were going to do," he added, nodding at Reva. who stood a scant- dozen yards away, awaiting the arrival of her parents. Walker said that when Reva went to school about 6 a. m. Tuesday. she walked to a nearby pre-arranged meeting spot, where she joined the youth and his grandmother who were prepared to start for Memphis. Instead or driving to Memphis, the group went directly to Hernando, where a license was issued by Circuit Clerk Robert Ross, who told press services that the couple Senator Calls For Government Development WASHINGTON (fl—Sens. Morse (Ind-Ore) and Lehman (D-Lib-NY) called today for government development of atomic power, and criticized as a "giveaway" pending legislation to permit private firms to take it over. The provision, included in a general revision of atomic energy laws, would allow the granting of licenses to "a ver, few large and monopolistic private companies" to develop industrial atomic power, Lehman told the senate. It would give away the public's rights to the peacetime development of atomic energy, he added, calling it "a giveaway of such pro- i portions as to dwarf the imasrina- *; nn »* i Final Peace Bid French, British Plan Early Conference Bf EDDY GILMORE GENEVA (AP). — U. S. Undersecretary of State Walter Bedell Smith arrived by plane today to strengthen France's hand in the rough bargaining for peace in Indochina. The U. S. diplomat, returning to head the delegation he left four weeks ago. was greeted by members of all the non- Communist delegations. Significantly, the delegations of * • the three Associated States of Indochina, Viet Nam, Cambodia and j f* « Compromise Housing Bill Stirs Solons Laos, were represented at the air- j port by the heads of their delegations. The three states are counting heavily on the influence of the United States to save them from submission to excessive Commu- ! nist demands in the impending | armistice negotiations. j French Premier Pierre Mendes- | France and British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden arranged to confer with Smith after his arrival. Gloom spread over the conference last night after Mendes- France and Eden spent three apparently fruitless hours wrangling with Russia's V. M. Molotov over differences blocking a truce agreement. No Progress" authoritative source said One there had been "no progress at all on any of the real issues." It was Mendes-France's second abortive parley with Molotov in 24 hours. Earlier th Rds had boost- d Western hopes they were ready ;o compromise and allow the French premier to win his dramatic race to end the Indochina War. The French premier has promised Conference Group Cuts Into Program WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate-House conference committee surgery on President Eisenhower's public housing program stirred scattered bipartisan outcries in the Senate today. But. Sen. Knowland (R-Calif), Senate majority leader, predicted quick Senate approval of an over- to resign if he doesn't achieve a a11 housing measure. And Chair- ceasefire agreement by July 20. j man Wolcott (R-Mich) of the Although western diplomats now ! House Banking Committee indi- " are less optimistic about chances j cated confidence of final passage for a truce they think the Reds *^~ ""'^ ; ~"~ "" r " might still come around before the deadline date. Informants said Mendes-France ast night handed Molotov the first tion. He said the measure virtually prohibits the Atomic Energy Comi mission (AEC) from detailed draft of Western proposals. The Communists and the Western ministers have failed to agree on a partition line through the 3ix r otal Indochinese state of Viet N"am. Hanoi May Be Last Mendes-J^'rance reportedly wants the line cut at the 16th Parallel. The Communists want the state divided at the 14th latitude whic would give them most of Viet Nam including the important air and naval base of Tourane and the old nnamese capital of Hue. Mendes-France has indicated he is ready to give up Hanoi, war capital of northern Viet Nam, but he insists on at least temporary control of the big northern port of Haiphong. Still to be settled are other key issues, such as scheduling free elections for Viet Nam and setting terms for neutralizing Indochina's two other states—Laos and Cambodia. Secretary of State Dulles has developing j told Mendes-France and Eden that electrical energy from atomic prcj- the United States would not block ects. their efforts to negotiate a peace Lehman and some other senators j Dased on partition of Viet Nam. nave offered amendments to permit the AEC to produce the atomic presented affidavits certifying the I uower ages of the boy and girl as 18 andj Both Morse and Lehman con- 17 respectively, and signed by a' But he made it clear the Eisenhower administration frowns on a mil- on the sother side of Capitol Hill as well. A majority of the conference group, after two weeks of daily- sessions, agreed late yesterday on a compromise bill that in most respects would carry out major elements of President Eisenhower's housing program. However, instead of recommending Eisenhower's proposal for a four-year public housing program of 35.000 new units a year, the majority called for only a one- year program — and that restricted to families actually forced out of their homes by slum clearance projects in which the federal government takes a hand. There was some question just how- many families might be eligible. The conference group fixed a 35.000-unit ceiling for the one year. Signature Withheld Sen. Ives tR-NY) and Sparkman tD-AIa), together with all three House Democrats on the conference committee, withheld their signatures from the report in protest against the majority's refusal to adopt the President's public housing recommendations. Ives termed the limited one-year program "virtually useless in my state." He said in an interview he would support a move—if one is made— to send the compromise bill back to conference. Sen. Lehman iD-Lib-NY) called "Mrs. L T. Walker" and Mrs. Imo Blankenship. tended full debate is needed. Lehman said the bill contains issues so j important they should be debated plan which would place new lions under Red rule. j the Senate-House sroup action Smith must work out -a formula j "terrible" and Sen Humphrey (D- \vhich would allow the United j Minn) said the conference commit- States to stand clear of a partition } tee "emasculated" what he called Questioned as to who signed the fr-r weeks. Morse who blocked ad-1 arran .S ement - but at ^ sam e time Eisenhower's "fas'cimile of a pub• ,_ ,. . . . . ' ""'-' ""JV-a-CU «1U n ,,_ rnir Tir.jcUif.oTm-, fn avronrt oiX *~ t.-_ • documents, the couple said the signatures were those of "a worn- ministration efforts to limit debate on the bill, contended he alleged eadily told bribe attempt, he reporters he was gainst "strategy and methods" sed in efforts to force passage of he bill which ignored Summer- eld's proposals. He referred to an attempt to^LJ^±—* * ~ii!*L *"L!?" "• >>-"<-,. k£ £ H™R^ =„« unlocked *n4 trnpfcy. of tins alleged bribe offer. i BR1BB m Fat* Kendall Berry Buys Interest in W. Memphis Bank Kendall Berry. Blytheville businessman and banker, has become one of the majority stockholders who yesterday bought controlling interest in the Bank of West Memphis. Other new majority stockholders include Jack W. Rich, of West Memphis, who will' be president; Beverly J. Lambert, Jr., formerly of Holly Grove, Miss., who will be executive vice president; B. G. Dickey of Earle; J. H. Spears of West Memphis and Earnest Williams of Memphis. They, with D. B. Wollard of Clarksdale, will form the new board of directors. Sale of interest in the bank, which was organized in 1928, included the $250,000 building. The bank has resources of $2,332,168,01, capital totaling $100,000, undivided profits of $26.121.28 and deposits of $, according to a June 30 statement of condition. Mr. Berry also' is president of the Merchants and Planters Bank of Hornersville, Mo., owner of Franklin Press and Berry's Ladies - it is ! an we paid in Hernando." At one I "being rushed through the Con-1 point the boy said he had paid the I gj ess ... without adequate con- ! woman, "a stranger," $5 for sign- sideration. i ing the papers, but the girl later | ] said she understood S10 was paid! for "taking care of the papers" i Mrs. Rudy Blankenship, Reva's: Forfeits Speeding Bond mother, later questioned her daughter on the point of the signatures. asking if they had not been made James Kelliam forfeited bond in Municipal Court S10 this See TEENAGE on Page 8 morning on a charge of speeding. permit Washington to extend aid to j lie housing program, the south Vietnamese state. Laos ,- - •' ~ f ' and Cambodia. - TD f P f stlgns °, f a . j ditch attack on the whoie housing I * \Af L. c J i bill- Know ^ and sa '' d ^ an inter- Jet Wreckage Spotted jview he expected neither long de- TOKYO fcP) — A helicopter today I bate nor a successful recommittal spotted the wreckage of two U. S. ! ' raori °n when the Senate takes a F84 Thunderjet fighter planes; final look at the oiil - He did not which crashed into a mountain i sa - v when this would come, west of Yokahama yesterdav. ! Wolcott said the House would There was no sign of life. A i ta * :e U P tiie legislation Tuesday ground party was en route to the i See HOUSING on Page S scene. I RedsMakeShiftin E.Germany By TOM REEDY BERLIN (AP) — The sudden replacement of Soviet High Commissioner Vladimir S. Semyenov by ace diplomat Georgi Pushkin aroused speculation today whether Russia has devised some new scheme for selling the West on its East German "republic." Announcement of the diplomatic reshuffle came as some 18 million West Germans edged closer to their promised "sovereignty." The Russians have been boasting for several months that their captive zone is now a Republic and entitled to consideration in the West as a, sovereign state. The West has snubbed the idea. Pushkin returns to the East Ger- state. He brought the fledgling So- , man problem. One American offi- Two Autos Collide At Intersection Here i ! 1 Automobiles driven by Harry W. Haines, Joe Evans and an uniden- Tosrrer- '•ere ana a member of; man state he set in notion in he board of director* of Arkansas-! 1049 when he .served as Moscow's * p«w»r C*. viet state into being even as he created the Red gox'ernment in postwar Hungary. The terse announcement broadcast over Moscow radio said Sem- yenov would take up new duties, but what his post would be remained a mystery. Semyenov has been regarded as somewhat friendly to the Germans. He followed the theory that they cculd be won over to Soviet ways by use of the velvet glove rather than the iron fist. Pushkin, on the other hand, has been regarded in Western circles as a man who would not hesitate to resort to force if the need arose. The switch from Semyenov to Pushkin aroused speculation ;n Western quarters that Moscow is tryinf m new approach to tb« O«r- cial commented: "The Russians feel they have the French on the run with ^ome solution to Indochina just around the corner. If they put a man like Pushkin into Germany now. it may show the French they have no intention of t allowing the Germans ever to I reach any real stature." j $350. Announcement of Semyenov's re- j placement came on the heels of rumors that he was ill in Moscow. There also were reports that he ha? been in hot water as a result of the June, 1953 uprising of East German workers. Observers long have predicted that Semyenov was headed for obvlivion because of his past association with Lavrenty p. Beria, Soviet secret police boss who was executed on charges of being a traitor. j tified third party were involved in a collision near the intersection of Chickasawba and Sixth Streets yesterday. The accident occurred when the leading car stopped. Mr. Evans' car hitting it and Mr. Haines' auto smashing heavily into the rear of Mr. Evans' car. Damage was reported at around Weather ARKANSAS— Partly cloudly and hot this afternoon, tonight and Sunday. A few i«olated thunderstorms. MISSOURI — fair west, partly cloudy with local thunderstorms east portion this afternoon and •v*nk*f. OtoaraUr Mir

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