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Blast from the past

From The Herald-Mail files

From The Herald-Mail files

June 25, 2008

Week of June 22, 1958

· Harry G. Wise, who lives along Mount Aetna Road, will be careful in the future when he's preparing rags for sale. He picked up a vest that had been discarded, and was removing the buttons prior to dropping it into the bag of rags, when he felt a squirming inside. Cutting the lining, he found a foot-long snake holed up in the vest. He didn't know of what species the snake might have been, having dispatched it as it squirmed from the vest.

· Welfare assistance to Washington Countians during the month of May totaled more than $52,000. The biggest category was aid to dependent children. A total of 613 children in 187 families were aided by the Welfare Department in May.

Old age assistance was the second largest category. The number of individuals in this category was 383, for a total of more than $18,000.


Other forms of assistance in the report were assistance to needy blind; aid to permanently and totally disabled; general public assistance; and foster care of children.

· An F-27 airliner built in Hagerstown was the first American-built propjet transport to be delivered to an airline, in an impressive dedication ceremony yesterday at the Hagerstown Airport.

The jetliner will go into service for West Coast Airlines in Seattle.

The craft can cover the 72-mile distance to Washington, D.C. in about 10 minutes, less than half the time required on normal airline schedules.

Week of June 22, 1983

· The Hagerstown City Police Department wants to remind area residents that on July 1, several new state laws affecting motorists will go into effect.

As of that date, drivers picked up for suspected drunken driving will no longer have the choice of taking a blood or breathalyzer test. Police said unless the driver is unconscious or seriously injured and therefore incapable of taking a breathalyzer, the breathalyzer test will be mandatory.

Another law that will go into effect is one that requires drivers to securely strap any child under 5 in a child safety seat. Anyone caught violating the law will be subject to a fine of $25.

· A fight brewed over the location of the Maryland Correctional Training Center 23 years ago - much like the battles that erupted recently when new prisons were planned for Washington and Somerset counties. Front page headlines screamed in 1960 as they have in more recent times during the dispute, as Washington County lawmakers went to bat for their constituents against corrections officials. But at that time the legislators wanted MCTC in Washington County. Oddly enough, corrections chief James W. Curran wanted to build the prison in Baltimore.

The state faced similar problems then as now: MCTC was to relieve the Reformatory of its serious overcrowding. It was filled to almost twice its capacity in the early 1960s.

There were also economic reasons. The county wanted the prison jobs, and the expected $1 million payroll that would go with a new prison.

When ground was broken north of Roxbury Road in 1962, Gov. J. Millard Tawes said that MCTC was to "strengthen the correctional program of the state by preparing young people for a successful return to a free society."

- Compiled by Kelly Moreno

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