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Blast from the Past

March 14, 2007

Week of March 11, 1957

The public schools of Washington County will cooperate with Goodwill Industries of Hagerstown in a big way this year, according to a decision made yesterday by the BOE. The Goodwill organization was given permission to collect used clothing and other articles in the different schools in the city and county. Pupils will gather articles at their homes in special bags provided by the organization and will bring them to schools. The articles, including appliances and toys, will then be taken to the Goodwill headquarters in Hagerstown for reconditioning by handicapped persons.




The County Commissioners decided to spend $9,000 instead of the originally proposed $50,000 for a new bridge along Dog Street Road in the Keedysville section. The original bridge washed out in the floods of last July. Instead of building a more expensive steel bridge, the board decided to build a much cheaper metal pipe and concrete type of bridge. "The people down that way don't want us to spend $50,000 on a new bridge, because the road is not used that much," said one board member. "They would rather us spend less on the bridge and do work on some of the other roads in their area."

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In case you're wondering what happened to all those displaced persons who settled here soon after World War II and then moved away, one of them has just won a coveted Fulbright Scholarship. She is Mara Ekstein, who will graduate from Hood College in Frederick this spring. Mara's family had moved to the Clear Spring area in 1949, after the Eksteins had fled Latvia during World War II and took refuge in Germany. After the turbulent times of the 1940s, the whole Ekstein family seems to be sharing Mara's good fortune and success. The Eksteins now live in Baltimore. The father has a good job with a furniture company there, and Mara's brother Juris is studying engineering. Mara is proud of her U.S. citizenship papers, which she received last March.




Week of March 11, 1982

Ward One Councilman Bill King and Ward Two Councilman Bob Schleigh said that Hagerstown has more pressing needs than to change the Public Square to the German scene that Mayor Don Frush has said he envisions. It would cost $7,000 to $10,000 to redesign the square so that it would better suit the downtown area's architecture. The 5-year-old square renovation project cost about $1 million, and has been controversial since it was completed. Frush said complaints about the square's "French" design prompted him to try to solve the problem once and for all. While King said a more colonial look would fit in with the architecture, he said he believes the most practical thing to do is to leave the square alone. "We could spend a million dollars on the square and you would still have the handful of people who don't like it," he said. "There are too many other places to spend the money." Architect Jack Burrey said the square's design "has nothing to do with France or Germany or anywhere else." He said "The design is timeless."

- Compiled by Kelly Moreno

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