These items were taken from the Sun’s editions 20, 30 and 40 years ago.
Aug. 31-Sept. 1, 1979
Thirty-three witnesses testified in the two-day inquisition into alleged voting irregularities in Parsons spring city elections before the proceeding was concluded in a Labette County District Court. James Flory of Topeka, assistant state attorney general, said it would take about two weeks for the testimony to be reviewed to decide if any charges would be filed.
One or two new public telephones that didn’t require coins for operator-assisted calls probably would be installed in Parsons in two or three months, John Schmitz, Parsons Southwestern Bell manager, said. The phones were included in plans for installation of nearly 200 of the “Charge-a-Call” phones that the company planned to install by January. The new phones allowed long-distance callers to dial zero, the area code and the telephone number desired, without use of coins. The new service catered to a growing number of people who used telephone credit cards for long-distance calls.
Fifty-four students were released from Parsons schools on Aug. 30 after their parents decided it was too hot for them to be in class. S.J. Alioto, superintendent, said the students were picked up at Parsons Junior High School, Parsons Senior High School, Garfield Elementary School, McKinley Elementary School and Washington Elementary School. Guthridge and Lincoln elementary schools were not affected because they were air conditioned. The students were excused under a new school board policy allowing parents to take their children out of school on hot afternoons.
Aug. 31-Sept. 1, 1989
Parsons USD 503 gained one student from the first day of 1988 to the first day of 1989, reversing an enrollment skid. Parsons schools recorded 1,944 students on the first day of school. The number was not official as afternoon kindergarten class numbers remained an estimate in the morning. In 1985, 2,012 students were enrolled. That dropped to 1,973 in 1986 and 1987 and 1,943 students in 1988.
Parsons Viking girls opened their dual high school tennis slate at Pittsburg. They won all of their matches to defeat Labette County and Pittsburg by identical 4-0 scores. Wendy Alloway and Jatena Rike gave Parsons a sweep in singles. Jill and Bridget Brandenburg and Melissa and Megan Malone did the same in doubles. Coach Dick Vernon said the team’s conditioning may have been a factor.
Aug. 31-Sept. 1, 1999
City and county workers and volunteers at hazardous household waste collection sites in Parsons and Oswego continued dumping several hundred gallons of paint into large barrels. Labette County was the first Southeast Kansas county to take advantage of a household hazardous waste trailer owned by Montgomery County. The county received a grant to hire Montgomery County workers to bring the trailer to Parsons and Oswego for a day and to pay for costs of disposal of the materials.
The Parsons United Way changed its name to reflect the full area it served — United Way of Labette County. Before the name change, few donations came from outside of Parsons, United Way’s former president, Kim Welden, said. One reason was that the agency had not solicited many funds in those areas or made residents aware that the services covered more than Parsons. Joe Paden was still cutting hair at Paden’s Barbershop in Chetopa. Paden’s father, George, bought the barbershop i 1920. The building, which had always been a barber shop, was built in the late 1800s. Joe Paden went into business with his father after finishing barber school. He bought the building from his father in 1951, but the two remained partners until his father retired in the late ’70s.