Compiled by Tom Heitz/SHARON STUART, with resources
courtesy of The Fenimore Art Museum Research Library
100 Years Ago
The Sullivan bill making it a felony to carry concealed weapons has been signed by Governor Dix. Among the provisions is one putting restrictions upon dealers. Every person selling a pistol or revolver must keep a register in which shall be entered at the time of sale, the date of sale, name, age occupation and residence of every purchaser of a revolver, together with the caliber, make and manufacturer’s number of the weapon. The dealer shall also, before delivering a firearm, require each purchaser to produce a permit for carrying or possessing the same as required by law, and shall also enter in such register the number thereon, if any, and the name of the magistrate or other officer by whom the permit was issued.
80 Years Ago
Peter J. Pidgeon, 30 years old, of 27 Cherry Street, was fatally injured Monday afternoon at 12:15 o’clock when he fell between two freight cars of a D. & H. train at Dundaff, Pennsylvania. Mr. Pidgeon was knocking up the retainers on the freight train when the accident happened. Suddenly he fell between two of the cars and the wheels severed his legs. Engineer Anthony Farone and Conductor Wesley Powers stopped the train and ran back to where the injured man was lying.
When reached, he was in a semi-conscious condition. Besides his legs being severed, Mr. Pidgeon was badly mangled and had head lacerations and contusions. He died while being rushed to a hospital in Wilkes-Barre in the Hudson Coal Co. ambulance.
60 Years Ago
New York State Police last night flashed a 14-state general alarm asking law enforcement officials to be on the lookout for James J. Sweet, 47, a parole violator who is a suspect in the slaying of Corporal Arthur M. Diffendale on Thursday afternoon. Sweet is also wanted for violating his parole from Clinton prison at Dannemora. He was last seen in the Syracuse area about 10 days ago. Sweet has been on parole since April 1950 from a 15-year to life sentence as a fourth offender, having been convicted on a charge of possession of a gun after a previous felony conviction. Sweet was first convicted in 1926 of shooting a Pennsylvania state policeman near Bradford. The truck used by the killer was stolen from New Haven, Connecticut. The cow found with the truck at
another location less than an hour after Diffendale’s slaying on Winney Hill road was also stolen. Bloodhounds picked up a scent at the site where the stolen truck was found and followed it through the woods, across a road and down the meadow side of a fence to Upper West Street and then towards Oneonta where the dogs lost the trail.
40 Years Ago
Twenty-nine Oneonta Little League boys have been named to participate in tryouts for the All-Star team which will represent this city in the upcoming national tournament. Oneonta will open play July 16 at MacArthur Field in Binghamton where the locals will compete against Binghamton East. Boys selected for the tryouts are Barry Barnes, John Grammer, Jeff Blanchard, Bill Bliss, Bob Clune, Bob Decker, Vince Foti, Don Kelly, John Lingner, Ron Losie, Mark May, Todd Moore, Dave Munson, Greg Olive, Ricky Parisian, Doug Polley, Lou Pondolfino, Mike Ryan, Mike Shea, Nelson Short, Brian Smith, Dwight Spence, Wayne Terrell, Ken Tiffany, Dave Vergari, Jeff Wallace, Bob Waters, Steve West, and Pete Worley. Tryouts for the All-Star team will take place at 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday at Doc Knapp Field. Selections will be made by July 1 and practice will begin shortly thereafter.
30 Years Ago
A new residential wing, able to accommodate up to 24 severely and multi-handicapped youngsters, will be completed this summer at the Upstate Home for Children in Portlandville. The wing, which will also include an infirmary and physical therapy room, is the third and last phase of the home’s building project. A similar residential wing opened in 1976, and an educational activity center with a pool and gym was added in 1977. George Bookhard, the home’s director of development, said the new addition will initially accommodate 12 youngsters. The wing could house 12 others later. The maximum number of youngsters currently served by the home is 36. Completion of the $700,000 wing will also mean staff expansion. Bookhard estimates that 12 to 20 new employees will be needed.
20 Years Ago
Darrin Kibel and Sean Rivers, basketball coaching assistants to former Oneonta State men’s basketball coaches Steve Garner and Don Flewelling, are among a group of seven selected coaches chosen by the People-To-People Sports Committee to go to Albacete, Spain to teach children ages 10 to 13 from the Castilla La Mancha region how to play hoops. Kibel and Rivers have worked for the Red Dragons the past two seasons. The two men are currently working at the Oneonta State Big Guy Camp. Kibel is a candidate to fill the head coaching vacancy at Oneonta State.
10 Years Ago
Custom Electronics Inc., an Oneonta firm, recently received state funding to develop technology which could improve the performance of space vehicles and military equipment. “We think we found a way to improve the reliability of capacitors, John Bowers, Custom Electronics’ engineering manager said. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has given the company $165,480 to create a new type of capacitor that will lose power over time instead of breaking suddenly, a common occurrence for contemporary capacitors. Custom Electronics will match the NYSERDA grant to finance the project. Capacitors store energy and release it when needed, Bowers explained.
“Often, capacitors can experience a catastrophic breakdown,” Bowers said. The new capacitor will be monitored as it loses strength, allowing for timely replacement before it breaks down and fails.
“It was an idea we’ve been kicking around for a long time,” Bowers said. If the venture is successful, Bowers expects the company to grow which will improve the local economy and create more jobs. A team of five engineers will work on the project.