Days Gone By: Getting a handle on drug use

The Examiner

From The Examiner during the week of Oct. 12-17, 1970:

• “NEW POLICE UNIT SOUGHT” – Independence Police Chief George D. Owen has recommended the creation of a new police unit which would be aimed at controlling and preventing drug use among Independence youth. The Chief said that during the past year, drug use has gone up markedly in Independence schools, and something must be done to curb this. The main increases seem to be among the hallucinogenic-type drugs, Owen said, because these are usually easier for youth to acquire.

“If we can prevent just one youth from falling into the hands of ‘pushers,’” Owen said, “the program will be worthwhile.”

Wild Woody's Bargain Barn ran this ad in The Examiner 50 years ago this week.

• “NO PRIORITIES ON BUILDING PACE” – The loss of several prime months of valuable construction time here will undoubtedly affect the originally announced opening dates of the Jackson County Sports Complex. There is a remote possibility, said Sports Complex Authority Dutton Brookfield, that the football team may get into its stadium toward the last half of the 1971 season. Plans before the five-month construction strike called for the football stadium to be ready in August 1971 for the ‘71 season. The baseball stadium was to be ready for the opening of the 1972 season. (Note: Arrowhead Stadium opened for the 1972 season, and Royals Stadium opened for the 1973 season.)

From The Independence Examiner during the week of Oct. 11-16, 1920:

“Colonel” William Southern Jr., who founded the paper in 1898 and was editor and publisher until 1951, wrote a column 100 years ago this week, airing a beef about train service. The column, under the headline “Can Force Train Stops” and signed “Wm. S., Jr.,” read in part:

“Coming home from St. Louis I left the union station there at 11:43 p.m., over the Chicago and Alton. This is one of the best trains running between Kansas City and St. Louis and is called The Nighthawk. It is a no-stop train and makes the run in eight hours.”

“No persuasion I could offer would induce the conductor to stop the train here and I had to go on into Kansas City and pay the extra fare for the ten miles I did not want to go at all. We passed Independence about 7:20 in the morning and did not even hesitate. Had I been able to get off here, I would have had breakfast at home and been at the office at the usual time. Instead I had breakfast at the union station and got to the office at 10 o’clock.”

“There is no question but that these fast trains can be made to stop here. The law is plain. I do not think the road should be compelled to stop all the fast Chicago and St. Louis trains here regularly, but they certainly should stop the Red Flyer, the train from St. Louis which reaches here at 5:55 in the afternoon and also stop the Chicago through trains for Chicago and the St. Louis through trains for St. Louis passengers.”

“Travelling nowadays is no joke from a financial standpoint. The railroad fare between Kansas City and St. Louis is $10.89 one way, and the Pullman fare one way $4.05. The customary tip to the porter has not been war-taxed or increased otherwise and you can still get by with 25 cents. I have made many round trips to St. Louis at less expense than the one-way trip now.”

– Compiled by Jeff Fox