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Ice skating on DeWine’s pond was made possible by last week’s cold weather. Above: Saturday’s all-day-long hockey battle was photographed against a background that includes Whitehall. (News archive photo, Dec. 24, 1973)

News from the Past: November & December 1973

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Compiled by Don Hollister

50 years ago: 1973

“Village voters call for change” — “Proponents of limiting village growth and critics of the public schools were swept into office in yesterday’s election. All three school board members up for [re-]election were defeated, and Paul Webb was the only incumbent councilman to escape defeat. … The new 8-mill school levy got big support, 881-587.”

“School board responsibility” — “Village voters’ wholehearted approval of new money for schools Tuesday shows the commitment of the community to better education … [however] the ousting of all three incumbent members of the Board of Education … shows that the community does not like what it thinks has been happening in the schools.”

“No increase in drunkenness!” — “Voter approval of the sale of hard liquor here also places responsibility on those who voted this to see that the admitted bad effects of the consumption of alcoholic beverages do not increase here. The NEWS is going to cry out for no toleration of drunkenness, drunken driving, [or] the sale of alcohol to minors.”

Beloved town employee dies — Ralph (Rufus) Benning was one of three brothers who spent their lives working for the Village utilities. “Mr. Benning began his part-time chores in 1914 when he was 17 years old. He was full-time from 1922 until his retirement [in 1961].”

Football success — “The Yellow Springs High School football team finished its regular season with a ten games won, no loss record.”

“Handcrafts own electrical car” — “Made from scratch, Rusty Neff’s little blue ‘zip-zip’ looks like it came from a tinkertoy box, but actually has a high strength-to-weight ratio, he claims, with its oak-trimmed super-plywood 1180 pound body, held together with more than 1,000 nuts and bolts. Not seen around these parts since soon after the turn of the century [1900], electric cars, Neff thinks, might be the coming thing.”

“Indecent?” — [Letter:] “On the night before Thanksgiving my girlfriend and I were standing in front of the Village Variety store at about 8 p.m. and we kissed. One of the Yellow Springs Police cruisers was passing at that time, pulled over and the policeman within proceeded to give us a lecture about carrying on in such a manner in public … [saying] ‘There are little children around.’”

W.A. Hammond dies Founder and President of the Drierite Company, Xenia. “Dr. Hammond came to Yellow Springs in 1930 as associate professor of chemistry at Antioch College where he taught until about 1940. He was elected in 1939 to the Yellow Springs Board of Education, after serving on the Village Council. Building Bryan High School’s northwest wing, completed in 1941, was made possible by his then anonymous gift to the school district. Hammond moved his business in 1942 to Xenia.”

“Antioch to drop 25% of faculty” — “All independent colleges were hit by big enrollment drops last year and this [year], but Antioch is believed to have suffered more severely because of the uncertainty produced by two crippling strikes early this year and previous unrest on the campus.”

“Named county engineer — “Richard (Dick) Eastman, Vale Community, Hyde Road will become Greene County Engineer Jan. 1, following his unanimous appointment Thursday by the Greene County Republican Central Committee.”

“Hooper Construction Co. to close” “Hooper Construction Co. and its predecessors [Porter Construction] built most of the buildings for Vernay Laboratories and Yellow Springs Instrument Co. and several buildings for Antioch College. They also built Central Chapel A.M.E. Church and, most recently, the Glen Helen [Vernet] Building. They pioneered in the construction of private interracial housing, and were the second contractor in the nation to construct a nonsegregated subdivision [Ridgecrest, Robinwood, Keystone Court], integrated and open to all.”

“Teachers blow whistle on dogs” — “The teachers of Mills Lawn School would like to report to the community that we are FED UP with dogs on the Mills Lawn grounds. … Dogs have been frequenting the school grounds almost daily — often in packs.”

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