Blast from the Past

February 07, 2007

Week of Feb. 4, 1957

The Washington County Free Library enjoyed a big increase in use by the public at the start of the new year. The gain at the adult desk of the library amounted to 11 percent, while the children's room showed a 9 percent gain in January. More persons than ever were using the institution. Moreover, local residents aren't reading just for the purpose of relaxation. Figures show that 47 percent of the books borrowed in the adult department were nonfiction and informational volumes.

The closed-circuit television project in Washington County's public schools is continuing to attract the interest of the nation's most important publications. United States News and World Reports, a nationally circulated weekly, devotes two pages to the local program in the Feb. 8 issue. Included are several pictures of local teachers and pupils, in connection with the educational televising.

Something of a record for the selling of pies in Hagerstown must have been set last Wednesday at the special sale by the H.L. Mills supermarkets. A total of 1,600 pies were sold when the two stores offered customers two pumpkin pies for the price of one: Fifty cents. The stores' baker could not keep up with the demand, and a spokesman for the supermarkets said that between 600 and 800 additional pies could have been sold if they could have been baked in time.


Community Rescue Service made 139 runs during January, traveling a total of 1,128 miles. The monthly report shows this is the largest single monthly total since the service began operations two years ago. A breakdown of the services rendered is as follows: Eight automobile accidents, two pedestrians, 43 emergency transports, six maternity, two fire calls, 68 routine transports and 10 miscellaneous.

Week of Feb. 4, 1982

The Two Guys department store in Hagerstown has closed because the parent company wants to get out of the retail business, a spokesman said. The company board of directors decided to close all 12 of its stores in Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The closings will affect about 100 employees at each store.

Washington County home builders don't have much to do these days, except wait and hope that interest rates will drop. "1981 was one of the worst years we've ever had," said Jack Byers, an official of Home Construction Corp. The culprit is mortgage rates that have hovered between 17 percent and 18.5 percent for almost two years. The rates - which can put monthly payments on a $50,000 mortgage at $700 and above - have crippled home construction nationwide.

The cost of a visit to Washington County Hospital went up about 20 percent last year, but it remains well below the statewide average, according to a report by a state health agency. A report says the average hospital stay at WCH cost $1,605 in 1981, compared to $1,320 the year before. Statewide, the average hospital stay cost $2,456 in 1981. Dr. Harold Cohen, a cost review commission official, said inflation and the $22 million expansion project at the hospital are at the root of the increase.

An attorney for the developers of Washington Gardens apartment complex has filed suit in Circuit Court in an attempt to force Hagerstown sewer chief Mike McGaubey to release the development's sewer permits. The suit says that the city's only rationale for the denial was provided by Councilman Ron Coss, who said the city didn't want to encourage any more subsidized housing.

- Compiled by Kelly Moreno

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