Commentary

Looking back... Through The Reporter Files

10-20-40-100 YEARS AGO

100 YEARS AGO....

Local baker Joe Stein took out an ad to apologize for recent nationwide “bad bread.” Stein said World War I government regulations on wheat were responsible for bread going stale sooner than normal. “I will make good on any order that spoils on my customers,” he said.

Hog cholera was found on the Lee Hillin farm south of Rockdale. County Agent George Banzhaf consulted Texas A&M and a veterinarian was dispatched to vaccinate the entire herd of 300.

Lightning struck the Ernest Lehman home in western Milam County, stunning the owner “almost to the point of unconsciousness.” He recovered but the resulting fire destroyed the house.

Noting the Rockdale Post Office had received 30 bags of mail order catalogs, Reporter Publisher John Esten Cooke took the opportunity to boost newspaper advertising to local businesses as antidote to the mail-order deluge. “Local merchants are standing in their own shadow if they fail to advertise,” he said.

FORTY YEARS AGO....

Rockdale’s Tax Equalization board noted an outside appraiser had increased appraisals by 50 percent in the city and told the city council if it were to also raise the tax rate “you would have a lot of disgruntled people on your hands.”

A 24-year-old Somerville school teacher died when his motorcycle struck a horse on Texas 36 south of Milano.

Enrollment continued to increase in the Rockdale ISD, totaling 1,773 after a week of classes. Rockdale High School enrollment was 561.

A 64-yard run by Don Wesley was the difference as the Rockdale Tigers came from behind to edge Taylor 9-7 in a matchup of old football rivals.

TWENTY YEARS AGO....

City council members approved a two-cent tax increase—to 52.26 cents—and okayed switching Rockdale’s health insurance carrier away from Blue Cross/Blue Shield for the first time in 25 years.

Salaries were a point of discussion before Milam County Commissioners Court with two elected officials voicing concerns over what they felt were in equities in granting raises.

A 36-year-old mother and her 18-year-old daughter were picked up in separate drug arrests in Rockdale and Cameron within a five-day span. Both listed Cameron addresses.

Police Chief Stan Powell said his department was investigating a unique “car theft.” Powell said an inoperable car was pushed from the driveway where it was parked and down the block.

TEN YEARS AGO....

Rudy Gutierrez won the race for a vacant city council seat by four votes. He polled 83 votes to 79 for Doug Williams and 11 for Ralph Sifuentes.

Rockdale was planning a “cleanup crackdown,” targeting abandoned houses and junked cars. Officials were threatening to place liens on the properties.

County commissioners heard a rarity. A meeting visitor asked commissioners to raise the county tax rate, saying he did not feel the current rate would generate enough operating expenses.

A workforce of 462 was in hand at the Sandow 5 Power Plant construction site, which was put at 15 percent complete. The new plant was scheduled to go online in summer, 2009.


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