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Days Gone By: New road set-up is perplexing

Staff Writer
The Examiner
Anyone remember the bowling alley downstairs at the Blue Ridge Mall? This ad appeared in The Examiner 50 years ago this week.

From The Examiner during the week of Aug. 3-8, 1970:

• “NOLAND ROAD TURN LANES CONFUSE DRIVERS” – The completed section of Noland Road from 23rd Street to 39th Street has two asphalt turning lanes running the entire length of this stretch. Actually this makes six lanes, two for travel in each direction and one for turning each way.

Traffic officers say many motorists are unfamiliar with this type of lane and do not know how to use them. Consequently, instead of expediting the flow of traffic in each direction – in the manner these turning lanes are supposed to – north and sound bound traffic is still slowed by motorists failing to take advantage of the convenience of the turn bay lanes.

For instance, if a motorist is southbound and wishes to make a left turn at Truman High School, the driver should pull completely into the asphalt turn bay lane and leave no part of his vehicle extending over the concrete through-traffic lane. Police advice motorists to take advantage of the turning lanes to speed traffic flow.

• “ANNEXATION, BONDS LOSE” – Five annexation proposals and a $1 million general obligation bond proposition were defeated here Tuesday in an extremely light voter turnout. The areas up for annexation were to the north and southeast of the city. The vote against the annexation was better than 2-1.

• “RED CARPET TREATMENT GIVEN ED AMES” – Independence rolled out the hospitality carpet this week for Ed Ames, television, stage and singing star. Amid a flurry of activity, Ames was here the better part of the day Monday and was besieged by autograph hunters wherever he went. In the morning, Ames visited with former president Harry S. Truman and Mrs. Truman. Ames dropped into The Examiner office about noon and posed for several pictures with some of the staff members – he kept busy signing autographs, too. He is starring at Starlight theater through Sunday in “Man of LaMancha.”

From The Independence Examiner during the week of Aug. 2-7:

• “WHEAT IN BY TRUCK” – Much wheat now being thrashed in Jackson County is coming to Independence in trucks. Big trucks and little trucks and middle-sized trucks are being used and the paved space in front of the unloading dock is filled all day with trucks. In one day, seventy-four truck loads of wheat were bought. The Waggoner-Gates Milling Company grinds 5,600 bushels of wheat in a day of 24 hours and runs three eight-hour shifts.

• “EXPLOSION RUINS WELL” – A 35-foot well, dug more than 50 years ago on the farm now owned by Palmer Snodgrass, one-half mile north of Grain Valley, and which has always furnished a plentiful supply of water for household uses and stock water even in times of drouth, was suddenly emptied of ten feet of water by a mysterious underground explosion Sunday afternoon. When water was drawn for the noonday meal the well appeared to be almost one-third full as usual. Thirty minutes later a neighbor boy, stopping at the well to get a drink, found it entirely empty.

Investigation showed that the solid rock bottom had been broken up, leaving a large hole through which the water had quickly sunk. Mr. Snoggrass says that during the past year a quantity of oil has appeared on the surface of this well, it being especially noticeable when water was allowed to stand over night in a bucket. Geologists who have examined the land around Grain Valley in past years have found many indications of the presence of oil and gas. The explosion in the Snodgrass well evidently shows that there is gas very near the surface of the ground.

– Compiled by Jeff Fox