Today In Salisbury’s History: Wednesday, Jan. 18, 1978

Wednesday, Jan. 18, 1978 —

  • Wicomico County Council members were distressed to learn on Tuesday that only one contractor has stepped forward to build the new Wicomico Youth & Civic Center and the building will cost at least $8.4 million. The old Civic Center, destroyed by fire last year, cost $500,000 when it was built 20 years ago. J. Roland Dashiell & Sons Inc. was the lone bidder and will build from the designs of a Salisbury architectural firm, Todd & Associates Inc. The building will be two stories tall, have two escalators and seat 6,400 people. Funding will come from four sources: a $1.8 million insurance settlement, $200,000 in cash left over from last year’s capital budget, a $2 million federal grant that the county has applied for, and $4.4 million from a 20-year bond sale.The county would have a $429,000 annual debt service to cover.
  • The County Council approved an amendment that will allow an evangelistic group to build a 62-unit mobile home park on Morris Road near Pittsville. The Rev. Ray Chamberlin, president of the Evangelistic World Outreach Inc. of Salisbury, said most of the park’s residents will be elderly. Council approval was needed so a centralized water and sewer system could be installed.
  • Norman Michaud of Salisbury was one of five NASA/Wallops Island employees recognized for their work on a developmental project that created a new flight data processing system. Oran Nicks, Deputy Director of the Langley Research Center, presented the award.
  • John Travolta was staring in “Saturday Night Fever,” now playing at the Salisbury Mall Cinema 2. Disney’s “Pete’s Dragon” was the featured attraction at the Boulevard Theater on East Main Street.
  • Following a growing season hampered by drought, this winter’s excessive rain and snowfall has left many farm fields looking like small lakes. With a rising water table, local extension agents said, the standing pools of water leech much-needed nutrients from the soil. Since Nov. 18, more than 20 inches of rain has fallen on local farms. Agent Robert G. Miller said the rainfall is endangering about 5,000 acres of winter wheat and barley.
  • Marianna and Melissa Batie had the honor of cutting the ribbon for the new Gordy’s Riverside Pharmacy, located just past the old Victor Lynn Building on Riverside Drive. The girls are the daughters of the pharmacy’s owners, Fred and Marilyn Batie. Gordy’s had previously been located for decades on East Main Street. Attending the ribbon cutting were local dignitaries, including Mayor Elmer Ruark, Chamber of Commerce President Samuel Carey, and County Council President Albert Bailey.

Greg Bassett is editor and general manager of Salisbury Independent. Reach him at gbassett@newszap.com

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