Lookback: Week of May 11 to May 18

Press Republic-8 months before

• Phyllis Betters gives a hearty laugh, gut deep, when she answers the question: “How was it raising 11 children?” “Hectic!” She folds her arms on the kitchen table, laughs again and glances at her son, Gary, and daughter, Terry, like they’re remembering one of their unforgettable childhood moments. From giving life, to enduring the pain of the death of her son, Stephen, from celebration to tragedy, Mrs. Betters is the solid foundation upon which her children grew, they say. Mrs. Betters husband, Donald “Husky” Betters, worked for the railroad and spent a lot of time out ...f town, so the demands of raising the children fell mostly on her. For Mother’s Day, the family will gather for dinner, and Mrs. Betters will spend the day surrounded by the most important people in her life.

• Plattsburgh Air Force Base personnel will have an opportunity to land new jobs at the facility in the future thanks to training being offered by an environmental cleanup group. Iowa State and Battelle Memorial Institute representatives outlined a four-week training course on environmental restoration for about 20 former and current base employees. Trainees will learn about soil and water contamination, well construction and restoration technologies.

• Reversing a recent trend, southbound border traffic went up 6 percent in April in what appears to be a slight increase in cross-border shopping. There was also an increase in buses coming to the U.S. Car and truck traffic at the Champlain Port of Entry has climbed from 88,914 in April 1993 to 91,907 in April 1994 to a high of 101,756 last month, according to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. “Even with the exchange rate, the Plattsburgh area remains a very popular place for the Canadian shopper,” Canadian businessman Joe Coogan of Champlain Services Inc. said.

• May 7, 1945 was V-E Day, the day Germany signed unconditional surrender terms at Reims. Several Plattsburgh residents were asked by the Press-Republican to recall that day 25 years ago and remember what they did and felt when the heard the news. Leon Filion, standing on the corner of Clinton and Margaret Streets, pointed across Clinton and said “Right there, I was about 16 and standing right there. There used to be a taxi stand there and that’s where I was when I heard the news. I saw lots of people on the streets. The streets were very crowded, much more than they are now. Everybody was kind of hell-raising.”

• Dr. William Lawrence says he thought the recent activities of Plattsburgh State University College students have been “healthy.” Dr. Lawrence has been appointed acting president of PSUC when President George Angell takes a sabbatical leave. In an interview, Dr. Lawrence was asked his reaction to the students’ activity beginning with demonstrations on US involvement in Cambodia and the deaths of four Kent State University students. “It’s been health, and a lot of good things have come of it,” he said. At the time of the demonstrations, Dr. Lawrence said he was “naturally concerned” as to the direction the students would take. But he added “it was a good investment. It’s stirred our consciences.”

• A new face was added to Plattsburgh’s police department yesterday when the 4-12 shift reported for duty. It was Wilbur (Bill) Purick, who Friday night received a temporary appointment based on action by the Common Council. The appointment of Purick brings the force to eight patrolmen. Purick is a former member of the 28th Infantry and was a member of the regimental wrestling team.

• Donald Mitchell, 12-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Mitchell of 25 Clinton Street, has been conducting a one-man combined scrap paper buy more war bonds drive. In one week, Donald, who is in the seventh grade at St. Peter’s School, collected 2,800 pounds of scrap paper from all over the city and transported it in his small wagon to a garage on Oak Street whose friendly owner had given him permission to store his paper there. On Saturday, the paper was collected by a city truck — lent for the purpose by Superintendent of Public Workers Thomas G. Burke — and taken to the city salvage headquarters on Bridge Street, weighed and sold. They said at the salvage office that Donald’s efforts had netted more paper than the city salvage itself collects in a week.

• Having flown at half mast since reveille on April 13 in honor of the late President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the flag at Plattsburgh Barracks this morning was raised back to full mast. It is military custom that Old Glory be flown at half mast for one month following the decease of a president.

• Plattsburgh Air Force Base will not observe Armed Forces Day with a general open house this year, according to Col. Charles D. Gunn, base commander. Armed Forces Day is May 16 and military installations throughout the United States and in many overseas areas will hold open houses as a means of acquainting civilian communities with military life. PAFB’s annual open house will be held Aug. 24. The USAF Air Demonstration Squadron (Thunderbirds) will perform at the base that date and open house is being delayed to coincide with the aerial demonstration.

• The Plattsburgh Post No. 20 of the American Legion is planning to pay due tribute and honors to their fallen comrades of the late war on Memorial Day. Following the laudable example of the G.A.R. and Spanish War Veterans, the American Legion will decorate the graves of their fallen comrades with flowers and the flag under which they so nobly served. The Legion is very anxious that the flag shall float over every grave and that none may be neglected, asks the relatives of all veterans of the World War who are buried in Plattsburgh to communicate at once with Robert C. Booth to give the name of the deceased, former organization and rank, and the cemetery where the deceased is buried.

• Plattsburgh City Band is making a membership drive with the object of having every brass or reed musician in Plattsburgh enrolled on the roster. With this end in view, a special meeting and rehearsal will be held at the band room in the old High School Building. Every musician in Plattsburgh is requested to attend this meeting. Those who have instruments are requested to bring them. Those who do not have instruments may obtain them by coming to this rehearsal and stating what instrument they play.

• In order to acquaint the people with the importance of the nationwide Work and Save Movement, all libraries across New York state will hold exhibits of printed works on the subject of the economy and savings, as well as safe investment, during Library Work and Save week. This movement aims are reducing the high cost of living, stabilizing the purchasing power of the dollar, and regulating the present unsettled economic and industrial conditions.

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