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Ben Franklin Store in Fort Plain Holds Grand Reopening: Pictured above is a night, winter scene of the new Ben Franklin store in Fort Plain, which is celebrating a grand reopening in the former American Legion building the fourth week of January, 1963.


Looking Back - 01/23/2014

Thursday, January 23, 2014 - Updated: 12:19 AM

-- Canajoharie

Twenty Years Ago

The Canajoharie Volunteer Fire Department will conduct its annual community fundraising drive to benefit the Tri-Valley Association for the Handicapped. The association is a group of parents and interested community members of the villages of Fort Plain, Canajoharie and St. Johnsville who have joined to promote the interest and general welfare of all individuals with handicapped conditions.

The Canajoharie Central School Board of Education accepted a proposal from the state Education Department to permit students who achieve Regents scores ranging from 50-64 to be considered as having passed the Regents Competency Tests in U.S. history and government, global studies, English, mathematics and science between June, 1994 and June, 1997. The proposal is designed to encourage more students to become Regents diploma candidates starting with the 1993-94 school year.

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Kim L. Armstrong Jr. has been decorated with the Air Force Commendation Medal. The medal is awarded to those individuals who demonstrate outstanding achievement or meritorious service in the performance of their duties on behalf of the Air Force. It is her second award. Armstrong, a fabrication and parachute supervisor, is the daughter of Joan T. Crabill of Canajoharie and Charles Crabill of Norfolk, VA.

Thirty Years Ago

What do a 100-pound strawberry, the village of Canajoharie and kids between the ages of eight and 15 have in common? They are all part of a $3.5 million promotional campaign for a new candy that will begin production locally at the end of January, "Bonkers!" is Life Savers, Inc.'s first entry in the chewy candy market and by Jan. 30, the company's Canajoharie plant will begin manufacturing the product, according to Plant Manager Gerald Chesser. As part of the promotional campaign, the "Bonkmobile," a camper-type vehicle made an appearance at the Canajoharie Municipal Building and brought with it the story of Bonkers candy. According to Life Savers spokesman Wally Meyers, Bonkers is a chewy candy that offers something different — it is a candy within a candy. A darker-colored center contains 50 percent more flavor than the shell, he said. Barbara Goldberg, another company representative said that a media blitz will take place in the candy's first year of production that will be geared solely toward children in the eight to 15-year-old age group. Television advertisements featuring 100-pound strawberries, grapes and oranges are shown falling on — or Bonking out — people who try the new candy. Life Savers experienced an overwhelming success in its Charlotte, NC test market last year, according to Meyers, who said "Bonkers could become one of the most important items this company makes."

The Canajoharie Redskins enhanced both their hold on the top rung of the Tri-Valley basketball league's Southern Division and their climb up the rankings for small schools in the state with impressive victories over Fort Plain, 73-47 and Bishop Scully, 74-59 recently.

Forty Years Ago

"I have every intention of announcing by bid for the office of lieutenant governor very soon," said state Senator Mary Anne Krupsak. The Canajoharie resident said she hopes to win because of her record and because she would be a "full time" lieutenant governor.

Canajoharie firemen are now set to begin their 1974 drive for the March of Dimes.

-- Fort Plain

Twenty Years Ago

On its second try, the village of Fort Plain successfully obtained a $387,200 Department of Housing and Urban Development Small Cities Block Grant for housing rehabilitation in the Greenbush section of the village. In this year's bid for the housing rehabilitation grant, Mayor Albert Nalli reported to the Village Board recently that Fort Plain ranked 52nd out of 182 applications processed by HUD's Buffalo headquarters. Colin McKnight, of Avalon Associates, Glens Falls, was present at the board's recent meeting to outline revisions in some of the requirements and eligibility factors in applying for housing improvement grants through the Small Cities program.

It has been a long time coming, but, residents of the sister villages of Fort Plain and Nelliston will soon be enjoying the best water out of their taps to be had in many a year. The Fort Plain Village Board recently authorized the release of $35,061.55 to the A. Ritz, Inc., Renssalaer or about half of the five percent retainer it is holding for its $1.7 million slow sand water filtration plant project. The general contract portion of the project runs at $1,426,000, with the electrical portion costing $48,252, from Farina Electric, Inc., Mechanicville. The recommendation to release the funds came from Tom Bates, an engineer with the plant's designer John M. McDonald, Schenectady, based on a Certificate of Substantial Completion of the project, which began April 21 of last year.

Fort Plain Central School Youth and Justice Class will present Law Night at the high school auditorium.

Thirty Years Ago

Members of the Fort Plain Central School Board of Education have not yet started what promises to be a difficult budget session, but recently, they got a glimpse of some of the tough decisions that lie ahead. The portent came as Thomas Dylag, district instrumental music teacher, asked the board to add a second instrumental instructor beginning with the 1984-85 school year. Since he took over the instrumental position in 182, Dylag said the number of students in the instrumental program has jumped from 45 to 115 in grades 4-12. He predicted the number will continue to increase dramatically as classes with only a handful of musicians graduate, and new groups of fourth graders take up instruments. 

Ken Rose, of Fort Plain, was honored at a dinner program recently in conjunction with his retirement from the Mohawk Valley Pennysaver. Several special guests attended the party at the Elm Tree Restaurant. Among his various accomplishments, Rose and his brother Austin established Rose Brothers Red and White Supermarket — now the Big M on Willett Street.

Village residents will meet to choose candidates for upcoming Village Board elections. Both incumbent Republicans whose terms expire this year — Guy Barton and Robert Stetin — told the Courier-Standard-Enterprise that they are candidates for reelection. Mayor Richard Jacksland and trustees Loring Dutcher and Albert Nalli do not face reelection this year.

Illness at Cobleskill and an off day combined to give the Hilltoppers' boys basketball squad a 10-day hiatus for the last couple weeks. But when the break ends, Coach Charlie Karker's charges will find themselves with perhaps their best chance yet to break a losing streak that stretches back to the end of the 1981-82 season. Fort Plain — now 0-10 in league play and 0-12 overall — will host the Mayfield Panthers on the home boards.

Forty Years Ago

Fort Plain Central School is set to host the 19th annual Montgomery County Music Festival in the Harry Hoag Elementary School gymnasium.

-- St. Johnsville

Twenty Years Ago

Testing of a section of land on the Richard Triumpho dairy farm for its suitability for the construction of the village of St. Johnsville's federally mandated $1.6 million slow sand water filtration plant is tentatively scheduled to begin Wednesday, Jan. 26. Project manager Alan Yauney said the village notified Triumpho that testing was scheduled to begin this week, and gave a three-day time span for the testing. "Under ideal conditions the testing could be done in one day," Yauney said, "but with the snow, it could take two or three days, we need to clear a path for the equipment to get in." The soil testing includes the digging of test pits, borings and the taking of soil samples to determine the viability of the site for construction of the filtration plant. Location of the filtration plant on a privately owned dairy farm has been at the center of a growing controversy since last spring when village officials contacted Triumpho with an offer to purchase five acres of farmland for the plant.

When the St. Johnsville Junior-Senior High School Student Council generated $100 during a recent fundraiser, they were asked by their advisor, Rose Sammons, what they'd like to do with the money. Student Council member Steven Swartz quickly said 'Let's give it to the Reaney Memorial Library,' or something like that. And that's just what the council decided to do.

The St. Johnsville Central School District Class of 1994 is selling yearbooks for the 1993-1994 school year.

The technology, agriculture and business classes at St. Johnsville Central School soon may be networked together via computer. The district is working to obtain a Legislative grant from Sen. Hugh Farley's office to fund the necessary up-to-date computer equipment that would put these three instructional areas together electronically. Advantages for students include instruction which would parallel the "real world," according to district business instructor Mary Bernard. Students will be able to "talk" to each other from their computer terminals, electronic mail will travel from computer to computer. And the business class could place actual "orders" with the agriculture or technology classes similarly to the real business world, among other interesting features available with today's computer equipment. Bernard said that the district's grant application has been completed and soon will be off to Farley's office for consideration in next year's state education budget. She and agriculture instructor Ben Conte wrote the grant.

When the creators of the Farm Safety Game decided it was time to market their game nationally, they came to the St. Johnsville Central School District to see how well it would play. Not that they were worried that it wouldn't be well received. The New York Center for Agriculture Medicine and Health [NY-CAMH], of Cooperstown, has been using the game for several years now and they know how well it's been received. It's done so well in classrooms that a demand is now there to make the game available as a purchased item for the classroom. According to Laura Marvel, of NYCAMH, who created the Farm Safety Game several years ago as a teaching device for children and young people, "this is the only game in existence."

Thirty Years Ago

The St. Johnsvillle Saints continued on the losing track as they were blown away by Perth Red Raiders, 80-44, and lost a closely-contested game against Galway, 55-54, both on the team's home boards. The pair of losses dropped the Saints' Tri-Valley League record to 3-8, while their overall record slumped to 4-9.

Forty Years Ago

Town Supervisor George Matis reported that work is scheduled to replace the antiquated Penn Central railroad bridge in the village of St. Johnsville. Work is to begin as soon as the necessary right-of-ways are acquired by the county.

Mrs. Edmund Dockerty is chairwoman of the 1974 March of Dimes campaign.


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