These items were taken from the Sun’s editions 20, 30 and 40 years ago.
Dec. 5-6, 1980
Dr. Albert Upsher, a Joplin pathologist, donated between $60,000 and $125,000 of laboratory equipment to Labette Community College. Helen Jones, executive secretary of the LCC endowment association, said that the new equipment was the largest gift ever received by the college. Upsher had five labs in Kansas and Missouri and gave the college some of his extra equipment.
The city of Parsons was looking outside the Parsons Police Department for a replacement for Cyril Willey, who resigned as police chief Oct. 28. Neal Wilkerson, acting police chief, who was assistant chief under Willey, told Dennis Tinberg, city manager, that he didn’t want to accept the chief’s duties permanently. Tinberg said therefore that he would advertise in police journals across the state and maybe place notices in newspapers in large Kansas cities.
Dec. 5-6, 1990
Final preparations were being made for the annual Parsons Christmas parade. The final count showed that 66 entries had signed up for the parade. The grand marshal was former Mayor and City Commissioner Andy Plowman.
Dec. 5-6, 2000
The Parsons City Commission approved a 55% increase in water rates. The increase had been expected to be about 70%. The increase would cover debt service and operating costs on the new water treatment plant and would allow for some infrastructure improvements to the water system in the future. The city wanted to put in new water lines and maybe a new water tower on the east side of Labette Creek.
The owners of the Parsons Theatre hoped the third time would be a charm when they opened for business at the end of the following week. Owners Lee Salyers and Pat Haley planned to open the theater on Dec. 15 for the first time after the April 19 tornado damaged the building at 18th and Crawford. The April storm was the second disaster to hit the theater since Salyers and Haley took over the business in December 1998. A fire destroyed the old theater building on the Parsons Plaza that month. The new theater was open for a little more than a month when the tornado forced it to close. Contractors had to tear the building down to its red iron framework before rebuilding the walls and roof.