The Odessa Record -

PDA discusses housing, projects, need for volunteers; summer reading

Series: Harrington News | Story 39

Courtesy photo

Harrington UFOlogist Peter Davenport shares his interest in UFOs and his work at the National UFO Reporting Center since 1994 to a small but enthusiastic group of children during a summer reading session at the Harrington Public Library on July 18.

Harrington PDA

Tuesday evening, July 16, the Harrington Public Development Authority held their monthly meeting at City Hall with Jay Gossett, Paul Charlton, Nathan Luck, Maddy Peters, Bunny Haugan, Tim Tipton, Jay Kane and Heather Slack present. Minutes of the June meeting were read and the treasurer's report given.

It was announced that the sign on Hwy. 28 will be changed to advertise the Pinewood Derby. Slack reported that the Harrington Golf Club is getting a banner made so that they can use the sign for advertising. Banners will be switched to accommodate the various events.

The Chamber of Commerce map, it was suggested, should be displayed in the City bulletin board. Comments were also made regarding the housing shortage. It was announced that several families had expressed interest in moving to Harrington but were unable to find adequate housing.

The Challenger Cafe building is still vacant, in spite of its recent sale. Since the property is zoned for commercial use, it cannot be used as a residence. The purchaser had been informed of the zoning ordinance the first time he came to City Hall. It was suggested that Margie Hall (Lincoln County EDC) be invited to attend a PDA meeting in order for her to inform PDA of any impact that Amazon might have in Lincoln County.

Tipton reported an update on the vacant lot project. He stated they had received $10,000 in matching donations and the deadline to qualify is Dec. 31, 2019. Memorial donations can be made for engraved paver bricks, benches or trees. Leveling and cleaning the lot prior to harvest is the next goal. The sidewalk on the north side of this lot needs to be restored. A grain bin, repurposed into a gazebo to use in the lot, is also being worked on.

Tipton also reported that DJ Kevin James is coming to Harrington on the Friday of Fall Festival to DJ a street dance. He also stated that a painting party was being formed. He would like to organize those interested in learning to "tuck point" bricks. If arrangements are made with the owner, they would be working on the south side of the Harrington Machinery building. Painting the Caterpillar sign on the building was also mentioned. The next meeting is planned for Aug. 20.

Summer Reading Program

Four students came for the Thursday Summer Reading Program at the Library. In spite of attempting to coordinate the time with the school program and with the Vacation Bible School programs, the conflict has resulted in very low participation this year. Those that chose to attend this week were thrilled with the presentation of Peter Davenport, director of the National UFO Reporting Center for more than 20 years. He introduced himself and gave the children information on the UFO hotline which he is responsible for. People all over the entire United States who believe they have seen a UFO are asked to report their sightings to the hotline, but callers must be 18 years of age or older. Davenport described the process and shared a tape recording of an actual call, "How cool is this?" He shared some of the guidelines he uses for documenting a report of a sighting of a UFO. He would explain a few things and be met with lots of questions, to which he patiently responded, including some definite, "I don't know the answer to that." He brought books on UFOs and aliens and shared them with the children who listened intently.

Davenport even shared his earliest sighting of what he believed to be a UFO when he was a child, and that memory has stuck with him a lifetime and caused him to keep an open mind to things we don't always understand. One student wanted to know how much education Davenport had to do the job he has; they seemed impressed with the variety of courses he had taken. Davenport asked them to spend some time this next week thinking about aliens from outer space and bring a picture of what each student thought an alien would look like. They could use crayons, pens or pencils. He encouraged them to use lots of creativity.

Jake & Martha Mann kinfolk

A descendant of Jacob and Martha (Witt) Mann came to Harrington Thursday in search of information on the death of an infant, Steven Aaron Cook, who died in October 1961 and was buried between his grandparents in Hillcrest Cemetery. The woman was pleased to find a copy of the Harrington Evangelicals, a history of the local Harrington Evangelical United Brethren Church to which the Jacob Mann family belonged.

Jacob Mann was born July 1, 1888 at Liepsic, South Russia. His route to the United States took him as a young man to South America for a few years, and in 1909 he settled in Spokane. In 1911, he went to the Odessa territory where he met and married Miss Martha Witt on July 4, 1918. They farmed in the Ruff country for five years and did not come to the Harrington district until 1924, when they took up farming in the Harrington Wheat Belt.

Martha was born in the U.S., in the rural district south of Odessa called Batum. She was one of eight children of Gottlieb and Pauline Witt. Jacob and Martha had four children: Elsie (Mrs Alvin Ottmar), Arthur, Ella Mae (Mrs. Warren Cook) and Leona (Mrs. Hugo Meske). They remained on their Harrington farm until Jacob's death in 1954, when she moved to town where she lived until her death in 1978.


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