Shortly before 2 a.m. Saturday the fire alarm was sounded for the Second Ward. The scene of the fire was the Young building on East Main street, occupied by F. J. Brockway & Co. department store. The fire was discovered by Night Policeman James Payton who turned in an alarm and the fire boys were soon at work. All the doors and windows were securely fastened and the store had to be broken into to gain entrance. The fire originated in the cashier's desk which was completely destroyed and the fire spread from this up the stairs to the balcony and from this to the stairway leading to the upper story, these being badly burned. There was plain evidence that the store had been set on fire, dippers which had contained kerosene were found near the cashier's desk, the stairways leading to the upper story had evidently been saturated with kerosene and this fluid scattered over the floors. Over all the interior there is a coating of black, greasy smoke which always accompanies burning kerosene and the heat was greater than would be the case from burning wood alone. Every window in the building was broken, including the large plate glass front, which is fully thirty feet from where the fire originated.
Who set the fire? That is a question which everybody is asking, but which may never be more satisfactorily answered than the same questions propounded after the Weart & Lysaght lumber yard fire, and the atrocious attempt to burn the George Wilson residence.
While the exterior of the building is not badly damaged, the fire loss on building will be considerable, the plastering is so badly cracked that it is feared that it may have to be removed, while the thick, greasy kerosene smoke has probably ruined a good portion of the woodwork and fixtures. It is hard to estimate such a loss, but many place it as high as $1,500 on building and fixtures. These were insured in the German American and Queen Insurance Companies, represented by McCalla & McCulla.
The stock is badly damaged, the higher priced dress goods and suits beyond salvage, but this loss is also hard to estimate which is placed by various guessers at from $2,000 to $8,000. This was covered by insurance in companies represented by the J. S. Green agency. At the time of the fire Mr. Brockway was absent from the city, he and his wife having gone to Sioux City on the afternoon train. He was wired of the fire and came back by automobile. The insurance adjusters are expected here this week and their investigation may throw some light on this mysterious conflagration.
An early diagnosis campaign in the drive against tuberculosis opened this week with the distribution of material to all schools of the county. Educational leaflets, obtained from the Iowa Tuberculosis association of Des Moines thru the sale of Christmas seals, have been put in the hands of each township chairman, Miss Dorothy Freriks, school nurse, and Miss Irene Brooks, county superintendent, who in turn placed the material in the schools.
For the first time, the public schools of Cherokee will sponsor a tuberculosis clinic, tuberculin to be supplied by the state department of health.
Any pupil with a case of tuberculosis in the family or with tubercular symptoms will, with the permission of parents, be given the tuberculin test by the family physician. Parents of other children, whether of pre-school age of in school, may make arrangements with Miss Freriks for having them tested.
John Dillinger with his wooden gun has nothing on R. C. Wachtler, former Cherokean who is now manager of a store in Stockton, Calif.
Wachtler's pointed finger and command, "Stop or I'll fire," enabled the manager to capture a "bad check" man who attempted to escape after passing a bad $10 check.
Warned that a rubber check man was victimizing stores in his community, Watchter suspected a G. B. Jones after accepting his check. He called police and tried to keep Jones in the store. When the man started to run Wachtler made use of the finger "pistol."
Several sisters of Wachtler live in Cherokee and Mr. and Mrs. Frank Sanborn are parents of his wife.
Sheriff A. N. Tilton and Marshal Albert Hurd searched northeast of Cleghorn Friday morning for several hours for the man who stole a car last Thursday night from Cleghorn. The hunt was unsuccessful, however.
The Chevrolet sedan belonging to Will Miller of north of Cleghorn was taken from the streets of Cleghorn at 8 p.m. last Thursday night, driven four miles northeast of town on highway "M" and demolished when the driver collided with a livestock truck driven by Henry Anderson of Paullina.
After the collision the driver of the stolen car ran into the field. Bloodstains enabled officers to track him for three-quarters of a mile before losing sight of his tracks.
Officers found a United States navy blanker, a sailor's sea bag with shirts, a pair of trousers labeled "Spud's Place, Honolulu," other clothing, several bottles, a 38 revolver and a pair of shoes which the robber left in the car. Many of the articles were soaked with blood. Officers believe the thief was cut by shattered glass.
Hurd and Night Marshal Wm. Huber, called about 11 o'clock last Thursday night searched for three hours but were unable to overtake the hunted man.
During the morning search, officers found tracks in the mud along the road but lost them after a mile and a half where the roadbed was hard. Farmers at whose homes they inquired had not seen the robber.
As Charles Maher was backing from the curb on West Willow Thursday morning, his auto hit the fender and bumper of a car driven by Kenneth Patterson. The latter was traveling east on Willow. Damage to Patterson's car was estimated at $76.
In another collision Thursday morning, Mrs. Irene Smiley of Newfane, Vt., scraped the left, rear door and fender of a car owned by Jess Garris as she was backing in the Sioux Valley Memorial Hospital parking lot. Damage to the Garris auto was estimated at $49.
An accident at the intersection of Second and Main Thursday afternoon involved cars driven by Raymond Timmerman and Harry Curtis. The Curtis car clipped the right, rear fender of Timmerman's car, the latter was turning south onto Second Street. Curtis was heading east on Main. No damage estimated has been filed.
The second afternoon accident took place at 5:15 p.m. on North Second as Malva Jean Foley pulled out from a parked position in front of a city police car, traveling north on Second. In the resulting collision, the rear fender and splash guard of the Foley auto and the headlight ring and bumper of the police car were damaged. Policeman George Ferrin was driving the city vehicle.
The fifth collision of the day occurred at 11:15 p.m. in the Cherokee Clinic parking lot north of the post office. Charles Fangman, driving a motorcycle, swung into the alley and struck a parked car owned by George Harold Burch, Jr. The left door and panel under the door of Burch's car were scratched by the motorcycle.
Cherokee high school students who lie about violating the student activities code may find themselves facing stiffer penalties next year.
A tougher penalty clause for students who plead innocent to violating the code and are later found guilty of that violation was one of several policies discussed at Monday night's Cherokee School Board meeting.
No action was taken at the meeting, however, board policies are usually approved in August.
Superintendent Mick Starcevich proposed adding to the code a provision that when a student denies possessing or using tobacco, and is later proven guilty, the violation will be treated as a third offense. The penalty would be ineligibility to participate in the next five events for which the student would normally be eligible.
If the student has violated the law or possessed or consumed alcohol, the violation would be treated as a second offense. The penalty for a second offense is a year's suspension from participating in activities.
That revision was informally approved by the Cherokee School Board Monday, pending a legal opinion about whether the change conflicts with the law.
"I agree with it, but I am just apprehensive about it standing," said Board Member Robert Lundquist.
Vicki Wittgraf, another Board member, agreed. "If (students) want a trial, I can see somebody recommending that they not admit their guilt to anyone before a trial," she said.
However, Washington High School Principal Larry Shiley said a student's confession to a violation would have little or no bearing on a plea entered in court. "I don't think we should get tangled up here between legal law÷and school rules," he said.
Board members agreed. "It really isn't fair the way it is now," said Board member Gerald Namanny. "If you lie, your penalty is no more than if you tell the truth. You have done two wrongs and you still only have to face up to one." Board President Joe Lundsgaard said he agrees with the suggestions. "I think it's an imbalance. I don't think it's inhibitive."
Tentative approval was also granted to include student council members, class officers and National Honor Society members, all of whom represent the school in the code of conduct.
Under the proposed clause, members of those groups would be removed for the remainder of their elected term upon violation of the code.
The Board also took the following action:
Declined to modify the present student absence policy after reviewing the policies of 30 schools. Shiley conducted a policy survey after several parents said their children's absences should be at their discretion, but the school's. Shiley recommended making no change, pointing out only a fifth of the schools surveyed left excused absences up to the parents. Assistant WHS Principal Clayton Courtright agreed, saying excessive absenteeism is a problem with only a small percentage of students.
Reviewed a cost estimate for leveling an area west of the middle school addition at Roosevelt for a ball field, but decided to table the matter indefinitely. At Starcevich's invitation, Northwest Iowa Technical College estimated the project, conducted as a practicum for students, would cost $4,966. While Starcevich recommended holding off on the project, he suggested it is one the Board may wish to pursue next year or later.
Approved the resignations of Lincoln, custodian Leo Mahoney, effective June 15, and special education aide Colleen "Cooky" Waggoner, effective April 12. Mahoney's position will not be filled and Waggoner's will not be filled immediately, Starcevich said.