OSCODA – In this second part of a two-part series, take a look at some of the events that happened in the community during the second half of 1969 beginning in July 1969.
County funeral directors gave up their duties as ambulance drivers in the county, in an ongoing crisis in the county. According to reports, the only ambulance services in the county that were established were in AuSable and Oscoda townships.
A string of unexploded bombs from World War II were discovered by the Wurtsmith Air Force Base bomb disposal unit in Van Etten Lake. The public was cautioned against touching any unexploded ordinance if found.
The first drowning death of the year was recorded in Hale after Elroy Rees was found drown in Long Lake. According to authorities, he fell from a boat while fishing. A second drown was recorded a week later in Van Etten Lake in Oscoda when Airman Raymond D. Delaney drown.
Tried on a charge of 1st-degree murder, Alvin E. Reed of Union, Oregon was convicted on a charge of manslaughter in the shooting death of Norma Williamson in Whittemore. The shooting took place in December of 1968. Reed was sentenced in August of 1969 to 12-15 years in prison for the incident.
East Tawas Michigan State Police troopers began using a new piece of computer technology the “VASCAR,” or Visual Average Speed Computer and Recorder,” top enforce traffic and speed laws in the county.
The 10 cent bounty on rats in Iosco County was eliminated by the Iosco Board of Supervisors. According to the board, the cost of processing the claims was costly for the county, and very few people had claimed bounties in recent years.
The Iosco County Sheriff Department were on the search for a new dog catcher for the county after the resignation of two dog catchers.
According to then Sheriff Ivan O’Farrell the individuals did not resign for low pay of the job, but because dog owners threatened to harm the dog catcher when he caught their animals running around.
A happy ending was reported on in September after two children, a four year old and an eight year old, were found safe in the woods near Silver Valley. The children, who wandered away from a picnic, were found by rescuers.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources aimed to upscale its sea lamprey eradication efforts in Lake Huron after many coho salmon caught during their season were found to have scars from the eels.
The fifth annual Tawas Hamfest held in Tawas City by the Iosco Amateur Radio Club was deemed a success in early October, drawing in more than 300 participants for the event.
Ralph Limbach, a volunteer firefighter in Oscoda, was named as the first ever “Man of the Year” by the Oscoda-AuSable Chamber of Commerce. Limbach was selected for his volunteer work on many different area events.
Members of the striking Local 1545 at Oscoda Area Schools returned to their teaching jobs after a court order from a judge in an ongoing strike situation by the teachers. The teachers went back to work on Oct. 22 and originally went out on strike on Oct. 2.
Authorities with Tawas Area Schools and the Michigan State Police were perplexed after a school bus turned up missing, and was apparently joy ridden 56 miles through Iosco County. The bus was abandoned, undamaged, on Camel Road. After the incident the school district updated its policy on leaving keys hidden in school buses for use by drivers.
A helicopter accident in Vietnam claimed the life of James Specner, 22, of AuSable.
Spencer was a trained helicopter pilot in the Army who went to Vietnam in July. According to the report, he was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery.
The search for two Oscoda youths, Pamela Hobley, 15, and Patricia Spencer, 16, continued. The youths were last seen leaving the area of the Oscoda High School on Oct. 31, 1969 at around 2:30 p.m. and to this day they have never been found.
Members of the U.S. Department of Agriculture searched through the woods in East Tawas surveying for barberry bushes. The bushes, which were found in the area in 1930, were a carrier of stem rust, which lead to the disease of wheat, rye and oats in the area.
A flight of 18 F-106 Delta Dart aircraft flying over the Wurtsmith Air Force Base, marked the arrival of the 75th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, transfered in from Selfridge Air Force Base.
The squadron replaced a squadron of F-101B Voodoo aircraft that were transfered to North Dakota.
East Tawas homeowner Robert Marsh reported that as much as 30 feet of his Lake Huron shoreline eroded into the lake after a fierce December storm. Marsh, and others, were concerned that storms, high lake levels, and other factors, would continue to damage property.