#Arson #suspected #Museum #Club #fire
100 years ago
1922: Thompson brothers, the Belmont merchants, are the first airplane owners in this county. What are they going to do with it? One of the brothers says it will come in mighty handy coming to Flagstaff to get supplies from Babbitt’s, and D. G., the other brother, says after they get tired of flying or trying to fly, maybe they can hitch the dinged-up machine to the big saw. They had a Ford car hitched there last winter, and, in some way, it got started and pulled the saw halfway over to Kendrick Park before they could head it off. If the airplane breaks loose, with the saw hitched to its tail, there’s no telling what damage it will do. G. A. Porter landed too soon last week in the Flagstaff ballpark and smashed the plane, which he and his buddy Jordan, were flying from California where they had just been discharged from the Navy. They bought the bird for $500 to fly home to Longmont Colorado and “surprise paw and ma.” After a new propeller plane was installed, the plane was towed back to Belmont. Then it wouldn’t go up. Anxious to get home, they hocked it to the Thompson boys for enough to pay railroad fare.
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A young horse thief, figuring it all out how he could make his getaway more scientifically than the other two young horse thieves who failed a few weeks ago to make theirs and are now in the state penitentiary thinking it over, found out that no matter how well one’s plans are laid, something may go amiss. His name is A. L. Parker. He is about 30 and is silent about where he came from and why. He cooked for a while for a cattle outfit, then worked on the road. About two weeks ago he went up on the mesa west of Flagstaff and outfitted himself with a horse and a mare belonging to Ambrosio Gonzalez. He rode through town to Winslow, then struck south. Unfortunately for him, Jim Newenz saw him going through here then saw him again east of here and finally talked with some of the sheepherders with whom Parker had breakfasted the next day. Jim new the horses but thought nothing of it until he realized that the man was getting a long distance from town. Undersheriff and the deputy sheriff set out in a car after Parker. He had discarded the horse, which was old and not much good, out near George Ferrell’s ranch, but he kept right on with the mare. Two days later they came up on him in the forest, where he had accommodatingly crossed the line from Navajo back into this county. “I hate to be arrested for stealing this horse,” he said, “but if it wasn’t for such damn fools as me, you fellows wouldn’t have anything to do.”
75 years ago
1947: Tuesday, Sept. 30, the taxpayers of Flagstaff who are otherwise qualified voters will go to the polls to decide whether the city will issue bonds for several projects — all badly needed and of the utmost importance to the city and its future. Mayor Harold Sykes has been invited to submit his views on the various issues. Here is the first one. Advantages of the proposed new airport over the present one including location (less than half the distance from Flagstaff). It will be more accessible to a paved highway, availability of city water and power lines, better surrounding terrain, better possibility for ultimate extension of principal runway to more than 8,000 feet, if necessary, proximity of location to Fort Tuthill where the Arizona National Guard holds encampment. The runway into the prevailing southwest wind will be the most economical one to build. Flagstaff is acquiring the land for the new airport at no cost to Flagstaff. The value of Koch Field as farming land is considerable.
Mayor Sykes also elaborated on Lake Mary and the reasons for constructing a gravity flow pipeline from upper Lake Mary to lower Lake Mary dam. An enormous amount of water is wasted without a pipeline through greater evaporation and directly into sink holes in the bottom of lower Lake Mary. Experts say that the geological formation of the lower lake, for the most part consisting of a thin layer of silt over a permeable strata of limestone, will preclude the possibility of permanent repairs to the bed of the lower lake. Increased population and water use will force Flagstaff to depend to a greater and greater extent on lake water in the future, even during wet years. The recommendation of Flagstaff’s water engineers is a combination of 15-inch and 18-inch centrifugally spun concrete pipe will not be a bottleneck in the supply system as it will carry more water by gravity at no cost for pumping. Tests of water from the two lakes have shown that the water from the upper lake is superior in quality to that from the lower.
50 years ago
1972: Flagstaff police and fire departments are investigating the possibility of arson in a blaze that damaged a landmark nightclub early today. Fire Chief Don Vorhies said structural damage to the colorful Museum Club was small, with the fire starting on the outside of the northeast corner of the building, and then spreading into the eaves and into the attic of the aging log structure. Flagstaff police reported a call shortly before 4 a.m. that the building was on fire. Police officers arrived in time to get inside the building and rescue the operators of the club. Two fire captains received injuries as a result of the blaze. There was found a bottle near the area where the blaze had apparently started, and the bottle smelled of flammable liquid. The owners of the club were unable to think of any possible enemies who would want to burn the building. Police also checked several service stations in the area of the fire to see if anyone had purchased a bottle of gasoline just prior to the fires breaking out. The investigation continues.
Somebody is minus a banded pigeon and Kim Hope of 226 Campus Heights has it. Kim is a third-grader at the Beaver school, and she informed the Daily Sun today that she caught the pigeon Sunday afternoon at Campus Heights on the Northern Arizona University campus. She was able to catch him as he ran because “he can’t fly too good.” The number on the band is Aug. 72 F 5045. The pigeon can be claimed by calling Hope at 774-4835 after she gets home from school. The friendly bird is housed in a box and being fed bird seed and crumbs.
25 years ago
1997: Northern Arizona is battening the hatches today as the region awaits the biggest cloudburst in the area in years. National Weather Service officials in Flagstaff said 2 inches of rain are expected to fall today and Friday as a result of tropical storm Nora, downgraded from hurricane Nora at 8 a.m. today. But it could be more in some areas. The Weather Service said that in 1976, a similar storm took a similar path across Arizona and dumped 4.44 inches in some portions of northern Arizona. The Weather Service said the storm has not missed Flagstaff. It is still coming.
Flash flood warnings are in effect around the area, with specific concern for steep canyons where walls of water can easily build. But even the urban areas are in jeopardy of sustaining heavy flooding. City crews were out Wednesday clearing debris from culverts. The City of Flagstaff is providing sand and bags as is the Kachina Village fire department. The residents will have to fill those bags themselves.
The Africanized honeybee is believed responsible for the sharp rise in complaints about bee swarms this year in the Flagstaff region. Flagstaff and Doney Park officials have responded to about 665 calls this year, up from few or no calls in preceding years. The Doney fire department alone has responded to roughly 45 calls. An entomologist with the University of Arizona has confirmed that several bee samples from swarms in Flagstaff this summer have been Africanized, a year after the Africanized strain were first confirmed in Flagstaff. Experts attribute the increased swarm activity to abundant vegetation caused by the extended monsoon season and the fact that Africanized bees tend to move more often than their European cousins and defend their hives more aggressively when disturbed. Experts also believe the Africanized colonies wintered over in Flagstaff rather than migrating to warmer areas as had been expected after their discovery in the region last summer. The most serious incident involving Africanized bees was Aug. 2 when bees attacked two dogs and their owners. While the owners were not hurt, one dog died when the animal disturbed bees under a doghouse in the backyard.
All events were taken from issues of the Arizona Daily Sun and its predecessors, the Coconino Weekly Sun and the Coconino Sun.
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