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This week in Walla Walla Valley history: Building permits soar with the start of two housing projects, Dec. 15, 1948 | History

This week in Walla Walla Valley history: Building permits soar with the start of two housing projects, Dec. 15, 1948 | History

From the archives of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin:

Dec. 15, 1948

Building permits in Walla Walla soared Wednesday with the issuing of several residential permits signaling the start of actual construction of two housing projects. Permits totaling $54,000 were issued the Fred Hair Development Co., as construction started on the Frazier Heights project. Work is also progressing on construction of the Milbrooke project east of Walla Walla.

Everything possible was being done by the Walla Walla street department to facilitate pedestrian and vehicle traffic as a result of Tuesday’s heavy snowfall, recorded as 9.1 inches. Two small sidewalk tractors were used 13 hours Tuesday afternoon and evening to clear paths in the residential areas. Between 2 a.m. Tuesday morning and noon Wednesday, Fred Needham, acting street foreman, had just two hours sleep, he confessed, having been out directing crews the rest of the time.

Mothers of 17 Athena boys who will be inducted into the Cub Scout movement Friday night at a ceremony to be held in its school building met there Tuesday afternoon. The January program of the new pack, which has been given the number 52, was planned. The meeting was at the home of Robin Woodroofe, cubmaster.

Dec. 18, 1978

For the first time in U.S. history, a case involving a husband raping his wife goes to trial. “If we win, it is going to show men they can’t do what they want with women,” said Greta Rideout in this AP wire story from Salem, Oregon. “It is inhuman to think you can abuse and manipulate your spouse because you have a legal document behind you.”

Local children from low-income families enjoy an annual Christmas shopping spree to buy gifts for their family members courtesy of the Walla Walla Jaycees, the local branch of the U.S. Junior Chamber. Each child had $3-$4 to spend per gift. “We had one kid last year who wanted to buy his dad a hunting rifle,” recalled Jack Schoessler. “We try to explain what we can spend for each family member. Sometimes that’s hard to do with a 6-year-old.” The children each received a wrapped gift for themselves and a holiday party as well.

“Ex-witch finds devil in music, movies, football,” one headline reads. U-B reporter Michael Prager writes that Johnny Todd, “once a witch, but now … saved by Jesus Christ,” spoke with a Cordiner Hall audience Saturday night about how Lucifer and his earthly demons are trying to take over the world. “A lot of people think witchcraft does not exist,” Todd said. “Satan is very happy with that.” Records online show that Todd, who spoke across the nation against “Dungeons & Dragons,” Catholicism, Neopaganism and Christian rock, was convicted in South Carolina of rape and sentenced to 30 years in prison in 1988.

Dec. 18, 2000

Walla Walla schools receive an anonymous $100,000 donation and plan to form a trust fund so the money can be spent on a specific project: an all-weather track. Without a trust fund, the money must go into the district’s general fund, according to Superintendent Rich Carter. And many district’s lose such financial gifts when they can’t be spent on what the donor requests.

The city of Walla Walla, Walla Walla Community College, Walla Walla County and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are putting together funding to build a flood control levee on Mill Creek. The Walla Walla School Board was considering a $15,000 contribution toward the project.

Gottschalks, at the Blue Mountain Mall off Rose Street, offers a last-minute, two-day gift sale, with 20-6% off clothing, sheets, pillows, cookie jars, candles and more.

A new winery may soon be joining the rapidly growing list in Walla Walla County. College Place businessman Chuck Nelson is granted a conditional use permit for a winery and tasting room at College Avenue and state Route 125.

Coinstar expands into Eastern Washington, offering cash or store value for spare change in the Yakima and Tri-Cities area. “However, they won’t be making their way into Walla Walla anytime soon.” But if your pockets are feeling weighted down with coins while you wait, U-B staff write for the Monday Wash column, “feel free to lighten your load by dropping your quarters, nickels, dimes and pennies in one of the many Salvation Army kettles around town. They’ve been running short this holiday season.”

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