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Flashback Friday

By DARREL RADFORD - dradford@thecouriertimes.com

The following are snippets of news and feature items from Courier-Times archives. 

50 Years Ago

A former Cambridge City resident became one of the latest casualties of the Vietnam War. The death of Second Lieutenant Ronald L. Frazier was reported on the front page of The Courier-Times Monday, June 3, 1968. A 1963 graduate of Lincoln High School, Frazier was a bonafide war hero, receiving the Silver Star for bravery under enemy fire just a month before his death.

“The Chosen Few,” a five-piece Ball State dance band, was scheduled to help provide entertainment at the New Castle Chrysler High School Senior Nite Club party. 

Jill Bettner, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Bettner, was announced a recipient of a journalism scholarship to Indiana University presented by The Courier-Times. She planned to enter Indiana University in September as a journalism major.

John Harp and Cathy Woods, New Castle Chrysler High School seniors, appeared ready for the national bowling tournament after winning at state Youth Bowling Association events. Harp won the high actual series for the boys, including one game with a 247 score. Woods took the high girls series, including one game of 233.

Eaton’s Market and Bakery was the place to shop for summer picnic items. Ham salad was on sale for 49 cents a pound, while five cans of Brooks Pork and Beans were available for $1.

Diplomas were presented to 383 graduating seniors at New Castle’s 92nd annual commencement program in the fieldhouse. Seniors were led by class officers David Dickey, president; Gregory Crider, vice president; Marjorie Hurst, secretary, and Janis VanDam, treasurer. Supt. Dr. Donald Turchan joined school board members Mary Morris, James E. VanMatre, William Charlesworth, Alan Fromuth and Thomas B. Millikan in the presentation of diplomas.

25 Years Ago

Blue River Valley’s David Moore spoiled a no-hit bid by Shenandoah’s Bruce Stanley, but it was the only hit the Vikings got as the Raiders cruised to an 18-0 victory in the first game of the New Castle baseball sectional. Todd Salkoski’s Raiders, on the other hand, pounded out 19 hits in the game, led by Scott Cole, Matt Pierce and Stanley, who each hit home runs in the game.

New Castle’s Matt Fitzgerald was selected to compete for Team Indiana in the Hawaii International Wrestling Festival June 12 at Honolulu. The Trojan junior was a 1993 state finalist in the 145-pound class and won three North Central Conference championships.

Like mother, like daughter. And sister. When Jenny Wight was officially announced as the 1993 New Castle Chrysler High School valedictorian Wednesday night, her family tree of education success grew a little taller. Miss Wight duplicated the academic feat of her sister, Anna, who was valedictorian two years prior. The girls’ mother – New Castle resident Jane Pidgeon – was also valedictorian of her senior class at Spiceland High School.

A group of New Castle Chrysler High School students literally took the controversy of graduation prayers in their own hands during commencement. While a U.S. Supreme Court ruling had muddied the issue for school officials, senior Carmela Malpica rose from her seat when senior Shanna Ford said the word rainbow during her address, went to the podium and offered a prayer. Her unsanctioned action created a domino effect throughout the fieldhouse. When she began her prayer, a few of her classmates stood and bowed their heads. Soon, virtually everyone was standing in a spontaneous, reverent silence. When she concluded the prayer, applause seemed to state that in the majority opinion – at least of those present – prayer was an important part of a graduation ceremony. Two Indianapolis television stations filed reports on the student action at New Castle.

For months, Aaron Snavely and Rachel Wright had been peeking over each other’s shoulder when test results were distributed. They’d teased each other about point totals and blamed each other in jest for the few points that got away. The Tri High School classmates stood side-by-side as co-valedictorians with identical grade-point averages.

Andy Lane was a wide-eyed spectator two years ago when his sister, Jenny, was introduced as Shenandoah High School’s 1991 valedictorian. It was little brother’s turn, as Lane, the 1993 Class valedictorian, lead a group of 116 Shenandoah seniors during commencement ceremonies.

10 Years Ago

Approximately 75 people attended a South Henry School Board meeting to hear the positives and negatives of closing Spiceland Elementary School. A week later, the board voted to close the school in a 4-3 vote.

Frustration continued to grow over railroad cars sitting idle on tracks in New Castle. The cars had been there since February and even generated a story from The Wall Street Journal on the controversy. 

Gabriel J. Clark was valedictorian of Tri Junior-Senior High School’s graduating class of 2008, while April Schelle earned salutatorian honors.

Four students from New Castle Area Career Program’s Chapter of Business Professionals of America recently attended the 2008 National Leadership Conference in Reno, Nev. The students – Sean Dungan, Rusty Roser, Zach Rupe and Zach Stamper – participated in the Software Engineering Event, placing second at the March state conference.

The Sky Vue Drive In’s double feature paired Kung Fu Panda with Indiana Jones for the weekend.

Henry County Healthy Families was recently honored by the State of Indiana for its home visitation services to families who want to improve their child’s health, nutrition and developmental outcomes. Gov. Mitch Daniels presented awards to local officials Christi Howard, Staci Howe and Judge James W. Payne.