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


July 20-21, 1979

Residents in southwest Parsons the previous night heard repeated explosions and saw 50-foot flames leaping up by the U.S. Army Reserve center, 2700 Southern. The fracas wasn’t a bomb attack but a chance for area firefighters to practice fighting propane gas fires. The Parsons Fire Department hosted the demonstration, which was one of four in the state and one of about 30 in 26 states put on by the Ranger/Pan American Insurance companies based out of Houston. About 89 firefighters from area cities and the Kansas Army Ammunition Plant attended the fire school. A 500-gallon standard tank and a pipe tree stand were used to give firefighters practice.

Merger of the Sperry Funeral Homes in Chetopa and Altamont were announced by the principals, headed by Lloyd and Irene Sperry of Chetopa. The consolidated name was Sperry-McConnell-Bath Funeral Homes. Lloyd Sperry was president of the corporation. Other stockholders were David McConnell of Chetopa and Herbert Bath of Altamont. McConnell was managing the business in Chetopa and Bath was the manager at Altamont.


July 20-21, 1989

Labette County Ambulance Service’s Oswego base would no longer operate as a full-service station after ongoing contract negotiations were complete. Dave Nicoll said although final plans hadn’t been made, ambulance repair work probably would be done at the station and part of the building at 810 Eighth would be rented out. Dave and Joan Nicoll planned to continue to operate their Parsons base to provide service to the north part of the county.

Three police officers were called to pull three marijuana weeds that had managed to take root along the north side of Main Street just a few feet west of the Labette Creek bridge. Police Chief Neal Wilkerson said the plants were growing along with other weeds and looked like normal weeds from a distance, which could account for the Main Street marijuana growing to be 4 feet high. Officers were notified of the illegal plants by a citizen’s report.

A mere tenth of a point separated Annie Elsen from a national championship in tumbling. As it was, the 14-year-old Parsons girl happily claimed the second-place, silver medal in the 13-14 division of the American Trampoline and Tumbling Association Championships in Ogden, Utah.


July 20-21, 1999

The Parsons City Commission rejected an ordinance that would have required hunters to buy a permit to hunt on city-owned land near Lake Parsons. The ordinance was part of an update of city codes that City Attorney Richard Dearth and his staff had been working on for several months. Commissioner Anita Westervelt said she would like to see no fee charged for a permit but a higher fine to pay if caught hunting without one. Commissioner Tommey McLarty and Mayor Bob Bartelli voted against the ordinance while Westervelt and Commissioner Bill Wheat voted for it. Commissioner Marvin McKnight didn’t attend the meeting.

The Labette Community College Board of Trustees was going to look further into selling the college’s 28.66-acre farm north of town. LCC obtained the farm in September 1981 through a lease-purchase agreement with the LCC Endowment Association for $95,332. For several years the property was used for rodeo club activities and one time the metal building was used for welding classes. Most recently the college’s only use had been to sponsor a gardening program for senior citizens. The property had been leased out since 1989.

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