The Odessa Record -

Football team wins district, lawsuit dismissed, south hill annexation

Series: This Week In Odessa History | Story 11

November 14, 2019

100 years ago

The Odessa Record

November 16, 1919

News updates: Odessa had a quiet Armistice day, as contrasted to the noisy one of last year when news came that the war had ended. The town closed for the day and the school for half a day. Captain J. Chas. Evans delivered an address in front of the Union State bank building.

The Rev. H.P. Christensen has announced that henceforth he will give sermons in English, every second Sunday.

Odessa won last week’s debate with Chelan. The next state debate is with Wenatchee.

Two boys were added to the enrollment at the high school, Irwin Oertel and Nate Meyer.

Miss Ruth Kidder, teacher of the Walters school, has arranged for a basket social next week.

Heavy rains in the east have delayed mail trains, one coming in 40 hours late.

City merchants have upped the price of potatoes by 50 cents a sack. A grand jury meeting has determined to prove the need of the increase.

Royden Schoonover returned the first of the week after a year of overseas service.

Alva Clark returned Saturday from Spokane where he had proved up on his homestead.

John Haase gets the credit for getting the first goose of the season from a stubblefield.

A letter from F.J. Hoagland states that he is located at Puyallup and last spring was elected police judge.

Fuel has been arriving and the fuel famine is easing up.

75 years ago

The Odessa Record

November 16, 1944

Odessa takes district win: The Odessa high school football team won the bi-county championship by defeating Ritzville, 21 to 6, for an undefeated conference season.

Odessa was slow in showing its strength. Early in the second quarter Merlin Jantz, right tackle, recovered a Ritzville fumble and in two plays Schafer, quarterback, carried the ball over on a pass. Heimbigner’s kick was good. A second touchdown followed, Heimbigner carrying the ball through the line. His kick was good.

In the third quarter Schafer ran around right end for another six points. Again the kick was good.

Ritzville intercepted in the fourth quarter and was downed on the 15-yard line, where a pass from Kiehn to Plager scored.

In his second year as coach at Odessa, LeRoy Hook produced a championship team, the first since 1935. The team suffered a loss to Grand Coulee in an early non-conference game. The team’s conference record was: Wilbur, 19-0; Davenport, 13-0; Harrington, 40-7, and Ritzville, 21-6.

Card party given on Monday night: A public pinochle party was given by the Altar society on Monday night, with Mrs. Al Wagner and Everett Kissler winning high scores, Miss Mildred Smith and Reinhold Roloff low, and Mrs. Fred Lenhart the traveling prize. Hostesses were Mrs. Louis Kremsreiter, Mrs. Emma Aherin and Mrs. Frank Horak.

50 years ago

The Odessa Record

November 13, 1969

Suit against town is dismissed: The suit was filed against the Town of Odessa by the A.J. Webers, and others, was dismissed in a Superior Court trial at Davenport, Thursday, Judge B.J. McLean of Grant County ordered the case dismissed after less than three hours of hearing.

The plaintiffs contended that Local Improvement District 1, which would provide for a sewage collection and disposal system for Odessa, had been protested out by over 60 percent of the value of the proposed assessment.

The town council had voted, on May 5, to proceed with the project––after a 30-day, then extended, protest period––based upon the contention that valid protests had amounted to less than 60 percent. (Had valid protests reached 60 percent of the value of the project, they would automatically kill the project.)

Representing the plaintiffs was Roland C. Wightman, Spokane. Counsel for the Town of Odessa was Robert E. Blair, Spokane, and Howard E. Phillips, city attorney.

Wightman opened his case with a statement that the defendants counsel and he had agreed that $275,266.02 (54.053%) of the protests filed would be considered as the protests filed would be considered as legal; that defense would allow $2,069 (.406%) with questionable property description as valid protests.

The balance of the protests, $29,881.35 (5.867%) were held in contention, the majority of which did not bear signatures.

Plaintiff’s counsel stated that all the protests were valid; that they totaled 60.326 percent of the project, therefore the LID was invalid.

Mrs. Dorothy Schauerman was the first witness to be called to the stand. Questioning by Mr. Wightman concerned the protest filed by the Grange Supply which contained a statement and a signature, “Board of Directors.” The protest was admitted as Exhibit 1. Other questioning concerned how the protests were handled; a meeting on Saturday, May 3 of the clerk, Councilman Henry Braun and Don Gray, Yakima engineer for the project, to go over protests; and Council meetings and minutes.

During the questioning of the witness other exhibits were admitted as evidence, these being the minutes of the May 5, 1969, council meeting, a file of 24 protests without signature, two protest with signature, one document not listed as a protest by the clerk in that objection was made to description of the property and not protest of the project.

Not pertinent to case

In the maneuvering which took place at this time Plaintiff’s attorney was attempting to build his case on the fact that no special committee of the council was appointed to consider the protest; that the council itself did not act on them individually. The judge indicated that this line of questioning was not pertinent to the case, that whether protests were valid or not was the question under consideration. He twice admonished counsel to “get the protests admitted as evidence and then let me rule on them.”

When the Clerk was asked whether the town council had taken action of the protests individually, which it had not, the judge informed the plaintiff’s attorney that it was general practice to operate in this manner. He cited bid calls and other decisions by local government representatives who rely on consultants, engineers, their clerks, etc. to do the detail work.

“The court is not interested in whether they considered each protest individually,” the judge stated.

Also during this early period of the trial Mr. Blair, counsel for the city, stipulated (agreed to) as valid protest 138 and 220, as well as that of Grange Supply.

Mr. Wightman stated that he had not an opportunity to examine the protests during several visits to the clerk’s office, to which the judge replied that he was sure counsel was aware that he could go to the court for an order to show the records if he needed it.

At one point in the arguments the judge stopped the proceedings to inform members of the audience, “Don’t draw the conclusion that this is a proper way of handling a case.” He was obviously perturbed over the maneuvering of counsel, lack of records, getting exhibits filed, etc. There had been considerable confusion in the court.

Four witnesses called

Four other witnesses were called. They were Ray Schorzman, John Schorzman, Don Gray and Mayor R.L. Tanck. Little, if any, questioning was accomplished other than establishing their identity.

Plaintiff’s attorney questioning of Ray Schorzman was directed at pointing out that the Grange Supply protest had been signed as directed by Mr. Gray, however, questioning was sustained (stopped). It was irrelevant in that the protest was now being considered valid by counsel for defense.

John Schorzman identified his statement on his protest. It was not signed. This line of questioning was brought to a halt when the judge stated the court would rule that handwriting, on the protests was that of the property owner and if it wasn’t it was written with the owner’s direction.

The town’s engineer for the project was called to the witness stand after a one-hour lunch recess. Work that his firm had done regarding preparation of the assessments, the notice forms, his advice to the city council on protests, etc. were covered. He stated that detailed plans and specifications for the project had not been authorized by the council.

Dr. Tanck’s questioning was sustained with the query: “Did the council consider protests individually?”

Depositions (statements under oath) by members of the town council were admitted as part of the court record. They had been taken in Odessa in late October before counsel for both plaintiffs and defense.

Summations were brief

In summation the plaintiff’s attorney again made a valiant effort to contend that the town council never considered the protests individually, therefore this was an arbitrary act.

Counsel for defense made a brief statement and submitted a statement of law concerning filing of protests which states that they must be signed, to which plaintiff’s attorney replied that it “doesn’t say signature.” Mr. Blair moved for a dismissal.

The judge proceeded to go through the evidence submitted. Although the defense attorneys stipulated during the trial that the Grange Supply protest was valid, he said the court would have ruled it being invalid. It was signed “Board of Directors” with no signatures of officers.

The judge leafed through some additional protests, only two of which contained signatures, and stated individually that 24 were invalid and tow were valid.

In answering an implication of the confusion of older people, the judge stated that those not able to read or write have the responsibility to seek help. If they don’t, and if they don’t comply with normal procedures, their objection is not good.

The case was concluded at shortly after 2 p.m. when the judge instructed the defense attorney to prepare the necessary order for “order for dismissal.”

Approximately 40 people attended the court session, all of them being from Odessa other than counsel and court personnel.

OTC is nation’s largest farm machinery co-op: The Odessa Trading Co. was advised Monday that it is the largest Farmers Cooperative farm machinery dealership in the United States.

The firm’s status was reported to W.C. Raugust by Lloyd Biser, agriculture economist, Farmer Cooperative Services, United States Department of Agriculture.

Although there are many thousands of cooperatives in the country now, of those that deal in farm machinery the Odessa Trading company has the largest volume of business. Second largest honors go to a firm at Pendleton, it was reported.

25 years ago

The Odessa Record

November 17, 1994

Council talks about annexing areas on hillside: It may have been big talk or it may have been small talk, but it seemed to make sense to members of the Odessa Town Council.

At their session last week, they considered a suggestion that the unincorporated area on the south hill be included within the town limits. This would add approximately 40 to Odessa’s population. It would include residences now located west of Eighth Avenue and along Highway 21.

Council members asked if an annexation would require a vote by residents in these areas. They asked if residents would find it advantageous to be within the town. They now receive municipal water and fire and police protection. They are not charged with paying for Odessa’ water recreation center, the only bond levy for which in-town residents are presently being taxed.

The discussion about the south hill annexation led to talk of taking in other outlying areas, including unincorporated neighborhoods north and east of the town limits.

Town attorney Mark DeWulf was asked to research legal ramifications and other aspects related with possible annexation.

The additional residents would probably boost Odessa’s population above 1,000. It fell below that mark by 57 inhabitants in the official 1990 census.

Water meet is tonight: Big Bend Water Resource Committee membersw ill begin hemmering out strategy for a plan of water re-use and the rehydration of Lake Creek when they meet at 7:30 tonight (Thursday) in Record Square.

To be considered will be the means of providing information about the project to state legislators, from whom the committee is seeking support and funding. Authoring House and Senate legislation to establish the project as an eastern Washington pilot program for water re-use is also to be discussed.

Water re-use is to be a major issue before the legislature in its forthcoming session. Committee delegates presented the Lake Creek water re-use plan earlier this month at the meeting of the Water Policy Leadership Team in Ellensburg earlier this month.

The team consists of key legislators who will be shaping policies on water rights, water conservation and water re-use during the legislature’s 1995 session. They were favorably impressed with the committee’s proposal. They urged the committee to formalize its request for funding of studies to determine parameters of the overall project. It has been estimated the cost would be $50 million.

Other aspects of tonight’s discussions will focus on available funding sources for the project, drafting a work statement for studies, the selection of a possible general contractor and subcontractors and contacting various state and federal agencies for letters of approval of the program.


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