The Odessa Record -

This Week in Odessa History

Merchant marine draft, school starts, Highway 21 realignment discussed


August 16, 2018

100 years ago

The Odessa Record

August 16, 1918

Merchant marine wants young men. Fred Thiel, local enrolling officer for the United States Merchant Marine recruiting service, has just received instructions from the U.S. shipping recruiting service at Seattle to enroll youths from 18 to 20 years of age, a new are limit having been established for men entering the merchant marine. Men between the ages of 32 and 35 will also be accepted for training for sailors, cooks and stewards. Prior to this, all the 3,000 men a month accepted for training by the shipping board and subsequent service in merchant crews have been within the present draft age limit, 21 to 31, but in order to draw more lightly on men available for military duty under the present draft regulations, the shipping board will hereafter accept men of draft age only as firemen. New age limits for firemen are 21 to 31 inclusive. Firemen who have fired six months will be given special training as oilers and water tenders.

Edward N. Hurley, chairman, of the board, states that he expects the new age limit regulations to stimulate recruiting for the merchant marine service. There have been several thousand letters from youths under draft age who want to go to sea. We are building for the future and hope that a majority of youths under 21 to trained by the shipping board as sailors will stick to the merchant marine after the war is over.

The training station at Seattle consists of the shore station and two training ships, U.S. Iroquois and the U.S. Chippewa are now in commission and at the present time there are 300 recruits in training. The stations capacity is 750 and it is urged as a patriotic duty for young men to enlist and assist in manning the ships of the United States government and thus assist materially in winning the war.

School opens September 2nd. September 2nd, Labor Day, is the date set for the opening of the Odessa public schools and no doubt will be considered a day of labor by the young hopefuls of this town.

Although the attendance is expected to be smaller this year, a thorough course is planned for the high school. The commercial course of which Miss. Gladys Larabee of Genesee, Idaho will have charge will be as thorough a course as is taught in any Spokane business college. A combination of bookkeeping and mathematics will be taught in both the eighth grade and freshman classes. A special invitation is extended to those on farms who cannot take a whole year of this work, to take a one semester course as it has come to be a necessity with farm work.

This year instead of chemistry, physics will be taught and Miss Dorothy Neff of Yakima will have charge of the sciences and mathematics. German has also been cut out and it been considered practical to give three years of history instead. Prof. A.H. Albert, the former German teacher, will handle this subject.

An advanced course in domestic science and manual training has been planned, but as yet no teacher has been engaged for the manual training course. In case one cannot be secured, Superintendent Cherry will teach the department. Miss Mathews, who has been in the English department for the past two years, has been released to accept a position on the coast. As yet no one has been elected to take her place, but the board has several high grade applications and expects to engage two more teacher to complete the corps at the next meeting.

The high school teachers now under contract are Superintendent Cherry, Principal A.H. Albert, Miss Ruth Floyd, Miss. Dorothy Neff and Miss Gladys Larabee.

The teachers for the grades are as follows: First grade, Miss Cora Brown; second grade Miss. Mamie McKay; third grade, Mrs. Amanda Pitts; fourth grade, Mrs. J. Almack; fifth grade, Miss. Mabel Johnson; seventh grade, Miss Mae Phillips. The eighth grade work will be divided among the different school teachers.

75 years ago

The Odessa Record

August 19, 1943

Grasshoppers plenty despite poison use. Grasshoppers continue plentiful despite the use of poison baits. The baits appear successful on any of the pests on hand at the moment, but a countless horde of fresh ones arrive to replace them.

Tony Neves, commercial gardener, reports that he has made continued efforts to control them, only to have their numbers increase. They attack the growing tomatoes and other plants.

Raugust heads war fund drive. W.C. Raugust has been appointed to the county chairmanship of the Washington State war fund drive which will soon launch its campaign for funds.

Mr. Raugust stated that the local war fund organizations would be set up immediately after harvest, and would dovetail their work with existing community chests, which will represent in their own areas both the state and national funds.

The campaign will be part of a million combined fund which will finance the U.S.O., United Seaman’s Service, War Prisoners Aid and the relief associations responsible for aiding people of war-devastated nations.

Washington has been given a quota of $762,000 and Lincoln county a quota of 5,957, stated Mr. Raugust.

To handle the drive the state has been divided into 12 districts, Lincoln county falling in district nine, including Stevens, Pend Oreille, Lincoln, Spokane, Adams and Whitman counties, under the general chairmanship of Wiley W. Brown, Spokane. E.C. Cross is Adams county chairman.

Jack Schaefer has escape from fire. Jack Schaefer, 15, Ritzville, formerly of Odessa, suffered burns on his right arm and face when he had to make a dash for his life, Tuesday, in a fire that destroyed a combine, heavy bulk truck, light pickup and burned over hundreds of acres of pasture, wheat and barley 15 mile northeast of Ritzville.

Jack, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Schaefer, was attempting to start the bulk truck and move it when the fire closed in around him. He was taken to Ritzville for medical attention. Jack was working for H.H. Smith, owner of the two trucks and combine lost in the fire.

From the Smith farm, the blaze jumped across the Ritzville-Harrington highway and into a field of wheat belonging to the Jacob Stromberger estate. Fire trucks from Ritzville and Sprague were called out but at a late hour the fire was still unchecked in some areas along crab creek.

50 years ago

The Odessa Record

August 15, 1968

Busing and Special Education are topics at board meeting. Bus reassignment to better handle loads were topics of discussion at the routine School Directors’ meeting Monday evening at the school. Under consideration was the exchange of buses driven by Jasman and Reuben Heimbigner and those of Stehr and Lamar Heimbigner. It was also determined that an effort would be made to find a driver to bring students from Irby area to the highway.

Copies of the examination of the School District financial affairs for the 1964-1967 period from the state auditor’s office were reviewed by the Directors. The report indicated that all was in order for the period other that some of the board minutes had not been signed by the president or secretary. Cost of the audit to the district was in excess of $600.

The board also discussed the Special Education program which is to be instituted this fall. Completely state -funded by $15,000 alloted between Odessa and Wilson Creek, Mrs. Mildred Deife has been hired to instruct half -days here and half-days at Wilson Creek. Additional funds for material and equipment in addition to those from the state, are expected to assist in getting the program established.

Contracts were signed for newly-hired teachers and payment of bills and payroll was authorized.

Marvin isn’t Marvin. Marvin Greenwalt of 306 W. Second who works at the Grange Supply has been taking some “ribbing” during the past week about his accident while driving a truck south of Ritzville. But he wasn’t involved. Closest thing to an accident for him that day would have been falling off his chair at the office.

Marvin’s cousin, Marvin, son or Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Greenwalt, Route 1, received the injured shoulder in the accident at the Lind turnoff on 395 reported in last week’s record.

Town to receive $5,000 in airport improvement fund. Gov. Dan Evans announced today that the Odessa airport has been awarded $5,000 for repair and improvement of existing facilities.

The revenue is derived from House Bill 4 which established an aviation fuel tax in the amount of 2c per gallon. The airport fuel tax passed by the past session of the Legislature is the first in the state’s history.

Governor Evans said he personally had sought legislative approval for the bill due to his long-standing interest in the development of the sound air transportation program for the state.

“This new program has been designed to meet the increasing demands for the public improvement and development of the vital segment of our total transportation system,” the governor said.

Thirty-five communities requested funds for the repair and improvement of existing airport facilities throughout the state. Nineteen airports will receive funds.

Governor Evans said the money will be used to meet specific airport requirements such as paving and runway lighting to increase the safety and utility of airports.

Additional funds for community airport aid and development will be appropriated by the next session of the Legislature, the Governor said.

Communities interested in applying for assistance should contact the State Aeronautics commission for all information related to the submission of applications.

Councilman Al Wolf, chair of the airport committee, states that the council had hoped to be able to pave the runway at the airport, and that the $5,000 could be utilized for that purpose if other requested federal funds become available; otherwise the funds could be utilized for general airport improvement.

25 years ago

The Odessa Record

August 12, 1993

Confusion on proposal. “I don’t even know where Alder Street is,” said one Odessa resident this week as she looked at the opinion poll sheets on the counter at The Odessa Record office.

The poll is to determine what Odessa people want, if anything at all, in way of an improved north-south arterial through town. The route is officially known as State Highway 21. One of the poll sheets is for signatures of those in favor of the proposed North Alder Street route, and the other is for those opposed.

Not knowing the whereabouts of Alder Street is just one of the many misunderstandings which confuse the highway issue. The very word highway has scared off a few people, who envision a freeway project wiping out entire homes and businesses through the heart of Odessa.

There are other very valid concerns about the project displacing facilities of Odessa grain companies. And a few feel that even though-the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act funds with matching money from the state is earmarked for the project and available to the Town of Odessa at no cost, its somehow just not right to build a new street when fixing up the preset route would do.

The council first proposed the Alder Street route last spring after the state Department of Transportation ruled out one plan for the alternate heavy-traffic route on Marjorie Avenue from division Street to Alder and then south on Alder, rejoining Highway 21 at First and Alder.

The council has considered Birch Street as an alternate route. It would have deviated from Highway 21 at First Avenue and Alder Street, run westward to Birch, north on Birch to May Avenue, then east on May to pick up Highway 21 at Division and May.

DOT engineers said the turn at First and Marjorie was just as sharp as the one at First and Division, which is the root of the Highway 21 problem through Odessa. On three separate occasions the lamppost at the northwest corner of that narrow crossroad has been taken out by semis attempting to make the difficult curve.

The DOT also turned down the Birch Street route, citing the sharp, narrow corner at Birch and May, which is bordered by the K&B Trailer Court.

Hospital is allocated grant for rooftop helicopter pad. Odessa Memorial Hospital has received from the Aeronautics Division of Washington State Department of Transportation that $54.572 has been allocated for the design, planning and construction of a heliport on the hospital roof.

Lincoln County Hospital District #1 applied for the grant in June. The rooftop pad will replace an inadequate landing site beside the hospital which medical evacuation helicopters have been using. The facility will be located on the roof of the northwest wing of the hospital building, with the hospital’s elevator being extended to the roof for easy access to helicopters.

The cost of the landing pad and a reinforcement structure to support it are covered by the state funding. Making up the $73,000 total cost of the project will be contributions from the community of $7,000 and $10,800 in in-kind volunteer work and services by community members and hospital personnel.

Aviation consultant David Ketchum, of Bellevue, planned and designed the new facility for Odessa. He has designed similar heliports for hospitals in Quincy, Grand Coulee and Colfax.

State funding for the Odessa Project is made available through tax on general aviation fuel. These revenues until recently were applied only to general aviation and airport improvement projects. The funding now has been extended to include such projects as landing pads for emergency evacuation aircraft.


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