These items were taken from the Sun’s editions 20, 30 and 40 years ago.


July 19, 1979

Fire destroyed the contents of the Smith Jewelry store at 427 Maple, Chetopa, causing $35,000 to $40,000 damage, all of it uninsured. Glen Nicholson, secretary for the Chetopa Fire Department, said the fire was discovered at 9:15 a.m. July 18 when Edwin Smith, owner, opened the front door and thick smoke poured out. Eleven of Chetopa’s volunteer firefighters squelched the flames within 30 minutes, but most of the contents of the store were still a total loss. Neither Ruby’s Fabric to the west of the jewelry store or D&M Hardware Co. to the east was damaged by the fire. Smith said he had operated the downtown Chetopa jewelry store for about 30 years.


July 19, 1989

Representatives from the United Transportation Union based in parsons and the Union Pacific Railroad continued discussion at the Parsonian Hotel on a proposed labor agreement. The proposal detailed how the merger of the U.P. and the Katy Railroad would affect UTU workers. The UTU had about 130 railroad workers based in Parsons.

John Ellis, a U.S. Air Force staff sergeant, safely completed a two-week bicycle ride to Parsons from the East Coast. He had planned and prepared for the ride while stationed the previous four years in West Germany. His trip started July 3 at Springfield, Virginia. From Parsons he would drive to report for duty at Colorado Springs, Colorado.

A 1943 boxcar located south of Erie was repainted fire-engine red and was in the process of being remodeled. It was the studio and performance hall for Quasi Modo, a three-man rock band. The band had recorded an album of all original material, which was produced in Olathe by the producer of the bands Motley Crue and Viper. The band planned to go to Los Angeles to negotiate a deal for a possible national release on a major label. The band was composed of Jeff Lansdowne, bass player, Mark Pontious, drummer, and John Pontious, lead guitarist and lead singer.


July 19, 1999

Some local dog owners were upset over possible changes in the Parsons animal control ordinance. A roomful of citizens met with city commissioners to air concerns about a proposed ordinance to require greater control over certain breeds of dogs. The ordinance update would require owners of several large breeds of dogs to keep their animals in an enclosed, locked pen; on a chain with a muzzle; or on a leash with a person in control of the dog. Breeds to be added to the proposed ordinance were boxers, chows, Doberman pinschers, German shepherds, great Danes, Siberian huskies, Rottweilers, wolf-cross breeds and any mixture of the breeds. No action was taken on the ordinance because it wasn’t complete. Pitt bulls were banned by the city under an ordinance passed in 1997. Most of the dog owners at the meeting thought it was unfair to single out specific breeds of dogs.

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