Salisbury History: Saturday, Jan. 15, 1977

Saturday, Jan. 15, 1977

  • The tug “Interstate” broke enough ice on Friday to break loose the tug “Wicomico” and the oil barge it was pushing in the Wicomico River near High Banks Estates. The barge and tug had been trapped since Wednesday. No barge traffic has made it up the river in a week.
  • State Sen. Joe Long reported that Gov Marvin Mandel had promised to seek federal aid to help local watermen affected by severe icing conditions in the Eastern Shore’s rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. Frozen waters have kept watermen from working for several weeks; Mandel’s move could make them eligible for disaster assistance.
  • Stefan Graham, director of the Salisbury Zoo, reported that the facility has too many animals. He said over-inventory is a typical problem at zoos nationwide, as better nutritional programs have increased birth litter sizes and animal life span. He said officials might soon have to look at euthanasia options to prevent chronic overcrowding. He said selling some animals is an option, pointing out that young spectacled bears can sell for $4,000 each.
  • Bennett basketball coach Jim Rayne said that while he agrees the new Parkside High School “is a pretty building,” county redistricting has stripped his school of its potential basketball talent. Rams stars Mike Alexander, Vic Field and Brian Hart would all be Clippers, as would Wi-Hi’s Dana Jackson and Albert Turner.
  • The Greater Salisbury Committee has called for a full airing of a state proposal to reduce the number of patient beds at Deer’s Head State Hospital from 235 to 165. Only 99 beds would be available to chronically ill patients.
  • A telephoned bomb threat to Salisbury Mall at about 4 p.m. Friday prompted the mall’s closing for the remainder of the day. Shoppers were evacuated; the mall was searched; no device was found. The mall’s owners, Development Co. of America, were offering a $5,000 reward for information regarding the hoax.

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

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