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Pages of the Past

120 Years Ago

June 8, 1894

The blowing open of the depot safe, and that of C.C. Combs, the Elma merchant, last Friday night, together with burning the stock of merchandise, was a most dastardly act, and should the guilty parties be apprehended they should be dealt with severely. The safe breakers got $65 or $70 in cash, from the safe of Mr. Combs, but the heaviest loss was the damage to his goods. The building was insured for $500 and the stock for $2,000, which we understand will not cover the actual loss.

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Wm. Thurman, who was released from the county jail on Wednesday, proceeded in the company of his wife to fill up on bad whiskey, but fortunately for the town, they returned to their home in Aberdeen. It was nearly killing his wife while he was intoxicated that he was sent to jail, and it would have naturally seemed that they would have kept sober at least one day after his release.

100 Years Ago

June 5, 1914

The jury in the trial of Otto Miller, for killing Frank Aschberg at Elma a few weeks ago, returned a verdict of murder in the first degree. Attorney J.A. Hutcheson made an excellent fight for his client and his plea to the jury brought tears to many eyes, but this case was too strong against the man.

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The Trial of Wm. Hacker, the Indian charged with the murder of John Benn, near Oakville a few months ago, was held Wednesday and Thursday in Superior Court, at the case went to the jury at five o’clock yesterday evening. The case was hard fought and a large number of witnesses were called for both sides. Hacker contended that he shot his father-in-law in self defense when the latter attacked him with a hatchet. The jurors returned a verdict of not guilty.

75 Years Ago

June 8, 1939

A new type of cedar shake, of striking beauty and unusual durability, has been developed by J.M. “Joe” Cartell, who is planning on putting his invention into production here.

By a specially developed method, Cartell splits the cedar with deep corrugations, which not only add distinction to the appearance of the product, but which form natural channels for carrying off water.

The product, which is termed “Nu-Way Shake,” is designed for roofing and siding. Plans already have been made for marketing the shake in California and on the Atlantic coast, where there is said to be a large demand for material of this type.

Cartell has purchased the former Montesano condensery on the highway near the east entrance to Montesano, where he has been installing machinery and perfecting his process.

50 Years Ago

June 4, 1964

Pick-Rite Thriftway and Valu-Drug are this weekend celebrating their first anniversary in the Montesano Shopping Center. Both firms are offering values in merchandise very seldom seen in Montesano during the three-day event.

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A comprehensive animal ordinance aimed at eliminating the stray dog problem in Montesano will go into effect on June 15. After June 15, it will be a misdemeanor for any person owning any animal, except a domestic male or spayed female cat, to permit it to run at large. Violators will be subject upon conviction to a fine not exceeding $300 and possible imprisonment.

25 Years Ago

June 8, 1989

In a frequently heated discussion Tuesday, Joe Blum, director of the Washington State Department of Fisheries, defended his agency’s decision to close the Simpson fish hatchery.

Blum faced a formidable array of Grays Harbor area leaders. Elected officials in attendance included Sen. Brad Owen, Rep. Bob Basich, County Commissioner Bill Vogler and Port Commission Chairman John Stevens.

“The Fisheries Department has “identified Simpson hatchery as one we should get rid of.” Blum cited its lack of productivity and the extremely low survival rate of its Coho fish. He said that there is a yet unidentified problem which is causing the low survival rate. A study due out in March of next year is seeking to account for the problem.

Meanwhile, Fisheries will place Simpson in a “care-taking status” pending the results of the study with an eye toward possibly restoring it to full operation by 1993.

Keeping the facility ready for a restart will cost $50,000 per year.

10 Years Ago

June 3, 2004

News that the Montesano City Council’s public safety committee met in secret one Sunday to discuss budget cuts in probable violation of the state’s open-meeting law has triggered a firestorm of reaction.

Montesano Councilwoman Vini Samuel is calling for the three committee members — Bud Owen, Walt Bussard and Greg Ballew — to resign, saying “it’s the right thing, the honorable thing,” for them to do, especially since the council had previously discussed how meetings should be scheduled in order to remain in compliance with the law.

Samuel was ill and was unable to attend last week’s meeting, which saw the committee recommend nearly $1 million in budget cuts by contracting with the Sherrif’s Office for police service, virtually eliminating the parks and forestry departments and canceling a laundry list of public works projects.

Later in the meeting, the three members of the public safety committee were joined by Councilman Scott Busz in voting to switch gears in mid-contract talks and offer firefighters a pay raise as well as other benefits.

“To anyone who cares about Montesano, the minutes of the last meeting are chilling,” Samuel says.

A group of residents, led by former mayor Doug Iverson, is consulting an attorney about suing over the alleged violations of the state public meeting laws.

If they decide to proceed, the Stephens Media Group, which owns The Vidette and The Daily World, will likely join the suit.