Today In Salisbury’s History: Wednesday, Jan. 14, 1970

Wednesday, Jan. 14, 1970

  • A vacancy on the Peoples Court bench is imminent as temporary Judge Raymond S. “Steve” Smethurst Jr. announced he would return to full-time private practice. Just 34, Smethurst has served as a temporary judge for more than a year. A Republican, Smethurst said pressing business concerns — he is representing several Assateague Island landowners in condemnation cases in federal court — were the cause of his resignation; Gov. Marvin Mandel will appoint a successor. People’s Court judges are paid a minimum of $2,500 a year, but if a judge has sit sit for more than 50 days, the judge is paid an additional $50 per day.
  • Five men from Philadelphia were injured when the plane in which they were flying from Miami Beach to Philadelphia crashed in a wooded area about a half-mile from Fooks Road near Twilley Bridge Road. The turbo-jet aircraft crashed at about 1:15 a.m. The pilot said they were flying at 12,000 feet when both engines quit, and they were attempting to land at Salisbury-Wicomico Regional Airport. The crash wasn’t reported for nearly two hours — one of the crash victims wandered through the woods until he found a farm, where he awoke and alerted Homer Gravenor, the Fooks Road farm owner. Two of the men were admitted to Peninsula General Hospital with serious injuries.
  • Some 11,000 pounds of food was flown from Salisbury and Richmond to Tangier Island in Virginia, which has been iced in for several days and whose residents are nearly out of food and supplies. The Coast Guard was working to break up severe ice around the island, but the 975 residents there reported supplies too low to wait out arriving supply boats.
  • A safe stolen from the Salisbury State College Bookstore was located on the college grounds and $935 in cash was missing, according to college President Dr. Walter Douglas Smith. The thief or thieves left several checks untouched.
  • Elsie Mae Banks, a 52-year-old widow who lives on Abbott Drive, narrowly escaped death from carbon monoxide poisoning when her son found her unconscious in her home and pulled her to safety. Fire officials said they believe ice fell into Banks’ gas tank regulator, blocking the gas flow. She said she had felt extremely drowsy the previous day, but had no idea her home was filled with carbon monoxide fumes.
  • Trinity captured its third straight win with a 53-30 rout of Bethesda. Morgan White scored 14 points and Johnny Mitchell had 10 points; nine Trinity players were in the scoring column. The Wicomico Church League contest was played at the Youth & Civic Center.
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