Blast from the Past

February 28, 2008

Week of Feb. 24, 1958

· Approximately 313 more acres of farmland in the Boonsboro District is being purchased by an unidentified company, through its representative, E.R. Wallace of Newcastle, Pa.

This brings total acreage upon which options have been exercised in excess of 800 acres. Wallace had exercised options on the Shiffler, Cook, Finfrock and Poffenberger farms about a month ago.

Wallace is reported to have options on four more farms. One of the owners who gave an option on his farmland said that various but liberal prices have been offered for the land.

Mr. Wallace has given no indication what interests he represents in purchasing the large acreage, but he did inform a newspaperman some months ago that the development would be quite worthwhile for the entire area.


One of the farmers who has agreed to sell his land says that the agreements in writing say that the purchaser is interested in the limestone underlying these farms.

· The City of Hagerstown today asked the Court of Appeals in Annapolis to allow it to charge more money for water delivered outside the city limits. The appeal is the final step in a long fight which has included two Public Service Commission hearings and a Circuit Court case.

Hagerstown boosted the water rate to 60 cents per 1,000 gallons to county customers Nov. 1, 1955. The Washington County Commissioners and the towns of Smithsburg, Williamsport and Funkstown protested to the PSC and asked that body to fix the rate. The PSC set the rate at 43 cents, and the Washington County Circuit Court later upheld the PSC in principle but increased the rate to 45 cents.

This case is the first of its kind to go before the high court. The judges took the arguments under advisement, but an opinion is not expected for at least one month.

Week of Feb. 24, 1983

· According to the findings of a standardized test given last fall to 1,454 freshmen, clerical jobs and sports and recreational work are the two most popular career choices among ninth-graders in Washington County's public schools, while physical education and mathematics are their favorite classes. English was the least popular class, favored by only 5 percent. Foreign language was next, also at about 5 percent.

About 36 percent intend to enter college - primarily at Hagerstown Junior College - while 11 percent plan to join the military, and 24 percent were undecided. Twenty-five freshmen said they did not expect to finish high school.

· A Williamsport resident says it's downright embarrassing sometimes to use his toilet. It can blow up on you. On and off during the past three years, the water in the toilet bowl has shot up without warning like a small geyser.

As it turns out, the problem isn't with the resident's toilet - it's with the town's sewer system. It seems the problem is caused by built-up underground air pressure that is released through the toilet and a nearby manhole. Town engineers, consultants and Maryland health officials who have examined the town's sewer system theorize that grease is clogging the system, but they don't know where the grease could be originating.

The problem is "hard on your nerves," especially because it's unpredictable, the resident said.

- Compiled by Kelly Moreno from The Herald-Mail files

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