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Archive for Sunday, January 19, 2003

Old home town - 25, 40 and 100 years ago today

January 19, 2003

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IN 1978

Psychiatrists completed their court-ordered mental examination of Eugene Westergren, 50, charged in the slaying and attempted rape of an elderly Lawrence woman, Vanera Smith, the past November. Doctors said, however, they had not yet decided whether Westergren was competent to stand trial.

"We can't be content with math computation skills that are below grade levels," said Mary Hatfield, school district math consultant, in record to standardized test scores that many considered unsatisfactory. "We don't want to turn out students who are going to fall apart if their calculator batteries run down," Hatfield added in her appeal for more action to upgrade local math skills.

President Jimmy Carter ended a yearlong search for a new FBI chief when he named William H. Webster, a federal appeals court judge from St. Louis, to succeed the resigned Clarence Kelley. Kelley was a 1936 Kansas University graduate and former Kansas City, Mo., police chief.

The area got a partial break when a serious snowstorm bypassed the region. However, the deep freeze continued, with highs seldom beyond the upper teens.

IN 1963

A three-mile county zoning strip that would fully rim the current Lawrence city limits was approved by the Douglas County Commission after a public meeting attended by more than 100. The county move followed a recent city decision to annex about 2,200 acres and increase the city area by about 40 percent. The city, however, decided to study the action a while longer.

Lawrence City Manager Harold Hron called the move by the county significant and highly important as a key cooperative venture in local planning and development.

Dean Harvey Jr., a 15-year-old Lawrence High student, died in a hunting accident.

The Kansas Board of Regents approved a KU loan effort for an 850-student dormitory, the largest ever planned for Mount Oread.

IN 1903

From the Lawrence Daily World of Jan. 19, 1903: "The officers have located the horse of John Banker, of Marion Township, which was stolen. The thief was J.B. Flora and he sold the horse south of Wellsville. The thief was the same man who perpetrated a major swindle in Franklin County last week. It will be remembered that Flora went to a wealthy farmer and purchased his big farm for $80,000. He (Flora) turned around and sold him back the personal property. The famer gave him a check in payment which Flora took to Ottawa and had cashed. He managed to escape officers after the horse theft but the animal was returned to its owner. If caught, the man will be prosecuted in Franklin County where his behavior was much worse than here."

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