These items were taken from the Sun’s editions 20, 30 and 40 years ago.
April 27-28, 1979
Track crews were scheduled to begin work on the building of the Katy Railroad’s main line between Parsons and Paola. Equipment was being loaded in Texas and would be moved over the weekend to Moran, where it would be unloaded, B.R. Music, northern district superintendent of the Katy, reported in Parsons. About 90 people had been hired locally for the project that would cover 105 miles, with sidings, of the Katy’s Kansas City division. The total cost was placed at $7.35 million.
A 16-year-old resident of the Parsons State Hospital and Training Center, John Luton, was named to the Kansas Special Olympics Hall of Fame. Luton was one of five in the state who received the honor in Hutchinson. It was the third year the award had been given. Luton received the honor for participation in basketball, volleyball and track and field. It was the first time a Parsons resident had been so honored.
April 27-28, 1989
The Labette Community College Board of Trustees accepted LCC President Gery Hochanadel’s resignation at a special meeting. Hochanadel’s resignation would become effective July 6. He planned to begin as president of Jefferson College, Hillsboro, Missouri, on July 10. Hochanadel had been president at LCC since August 1982. He previously served as dean of instruction at the college.
Representatives from the Union Pacific Railroad and the United Transportation Union began talks again in Tulsa. The Katy Railroad union was the only one that hadn’t negotiated a labor agreement with the U.P. The return to the bargaining table had come on the heels of filing and counterfiling with the Interstate Commerce Commission and other correspondence between the union, railroad and the arbitrators, who were called in when negotiations first cool in November 1988. Negotiations between the union and the railroad officially began June 20, 1988.
April 27-28, 1999
Parsons High School video production students were discussing the issue of school violence in front of the camera in hopes someone would listen. Copies of the tape would be sent to a number of government organizations and officials, including President Bill Clinton, and to numerous school organizations, PHS video productions instructor Linda Potter said. Some of the students said they knew someone they believed could commit acts of violence similar to those at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, the previous week. They also admitted they never told anyone they felt those students were disturbed and needed help.
A decision by Labette County Medical Center to end its sponsorship of a tennis tournament left the annual event in limbo. The Fun and Fitness Tennis Tournament formerly sponsored by LCMC had attracted more than 100 tennis players at the end of June each year to Forest Park. LCMC had sponsored the tournament for about 12 years, but Bob Mac Devitt, LCMC administrator, said the hospital decided to invest its money in events that were more directly related to health care.