Looking back week of April 5

70 Years Ago

April 7 , 1948

– Napanee Legion president Laverne O’Connor appeared before town council with a request that the Royal Canadian Legion be able to use the old East Ward School after it ceases to be used by the school board. O’Connor also brought with him two proposals regarding future ownership of the school.

Councillors passed a motion that would allow the Legion the first chance to procure the school building when it becomes available.

– Judge Wilfred Lane offered harsh sentencing for Edward McCoy and Dorothy Wheeler, a Napanee couple accused of abusing Wheeler’s four-year-old son. McCoy was given the maximum three-year penitentiary sentence, while Wheeler was given two years less a day, definite, and one year indefinite in the Ontario Reformatory.

Calling it “as difficult a case as I have dealt with,” Lane said he couldn’t understand a grown man abusing a child and surmised McCoy’s abuse was a “calculated course of treatment over time.” He said the offence probably should have carried a much longer prison sentence. He told Wheeler that in some ways, her offence was greater as the child was hers and one expects a mother to protect her child. “You haven’t done your duty,” he said.

– A bylaw to restrict the type of buildings to be erected in the residential block on Dundas Street between West Street and Robinson Street was supported by six of 10 councillors, but it failed as a two-thirds vote was necessary to enact the change.

40 Years Ago

April 5, 1978

– A convict held at the Millhaven Institution escaped from the County Memorial Building where he was attending a preliminary hearing for allegedly sawing his way out of his cell while serving a 12-year sentence for armed robbery.  Allan Tracey slipped his leg irons and one handcuff before escaping out a bathroom window. He commandeered a Yarker woman’s car and drove west. Belleville police stopped the car and arrested Tracey before turning him over to the OPP.

– Parents of H.H. Langford students who would be transferred to The Prince Charles School took their protest to the Lennox and Addington County Board of Education. North Fredericksburgh trustee Roy Dannold urged his peers to make a decision as the strife had continued for too long.

– Arrangements had been made to fly 21-year-old skier Scott Finlay from Calgary to Kingston to continue daily treatment following a devastating crash in February. His parents reported that he had been showing signs of progressive improvement daily.

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