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150th edition


Section 7

Special 150th Anniversary Edition • Thursday, October 26, 2017



Ludington daily newS/SECTION 7


July 20, 1958

Officer slain By Paul S. Peterson Special to the Daily news


n the night of July 20, 1958, two Chicago men — Charles Hanna and Benjamin Davis — came to Ludington with the intention of getting back a car

Congratulations to Ludington Daily News on their 150th Anniversary

Providing Comfort To Your Family Since 1910

‘They began to take the pair into custody, but Hanna pulled out his gun and shot

officer Arlo Slagle in the chest at pointblank range, killing him almost instantly.‘

that had been impounded by Chicago police. Hanna had a police record, and came to Ludington armed with a pistol that he used to threaten a waitress at The Grand tavern while trying to get her to help get the car back. According to the book, “In the Line of Duty: A Tribute to Fallen Law Enforcement Officers from the State of Michigan,” the tavern owner said Hanna handed the waitress a .38-caliber bullet and said, “This one has your name on it if you don’t come to Chicago with us.” Police were summoned, and three officers responded — Wallace Karp, Stanford Kollar and Arlo Slagle. They began to take the pair into custody, but Hanna pulled out his gun and shot officer Arlo Slagle in the chest at point-blank range, killing him almost

Paul Peterson | Courtesy photo

Charles Hanna arrives at Mason County Jail following his arrest in Georgia for killing Ludington Police Patrolman Arlo Slagle. Flanking him are Ludington Police Chief Fred Nankee, left, and Mason County Sheriff Ed Anderson. instantly. Hanna ran from the tavern, and with pure luck came upon a car with a full gas tank. Davis surrendered at the scene. It’s unclear how far Hanna got before being apprehended. Some accounts state he was arrested in Illinois by Chicago police, others have him making it as far as Valdosta, Georgia. Hanna was convicted on Oct. 17, 1958 and sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison. While there, he became an expert at reading and writing brail. He was the subject of two detective magazines and newspaper stories throughout the Mid-

west. He was released from prison on Dec. 1, 1966 following a new trial, at which he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, having served about half of his minimum sentence. The 27-year-old Slagle was a Korean War veteran. He left behind a wife, son and daughter. The former Ludington Police Station, located on the southwest corner of Rath Avenue and Loomis Street (now the location of West Shore Bank) was named in honor of Slagle. His son, Duane, later went on to become mayor of Scottville.

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Ken Case

A paperboy remembers By James R. Jensen Mason County Historical Society


s the youngest of three Jensen brothers who grew up on North Washington Avenue I inherited the “family” newspaper route in the late 1950s. That job provided me with enough income to purchase my first new bicycle and an occasional treat at one of the many small “mom and pop” groceries that dotted the city during that time period. My first venture into the world of work also provided me with a basic understanding of how businesses function, fostered my interest in reading and history and introduced me to Ken Case, a truly interesting man. As a newspaper boy (in those days there were few, if any, newspaper girls) I was told to pick up the daily newspapers by entering through a thick steel door located on the alley side of the Ludington Daily News building. When you walked through the door you immediately stepped down into a room constructed almost entirely of concrete. To describe the room as Spartan would have been kind; a better description would have been indestruc-

tible. It was obvious that the management of the Ludington Daily News understood what mischief a group of 20 or so young boys could bring with them. The room had a concrete floor, concrete block walls, concrete benches around the walls and a large concrete table in the middle of the room, all painted industrial gray. There was an opening in the southwest corner of the room through which newspapers were distributed to the newspaper boys. That distribution process and that room were clearly controlled by Ken Case, whom I originally knew as the circulation manager of the Ludington Daily News. He personally counted the newspapers given to each newspaper boy daily, and he was the person we gave our money to on Saturday morning after collecting payment from our customers for the week’s newspapers. The weekly cost for home newspaper delivery at that time was such that I needed to receive and/or make change with pennies; I carried a metal coin changer on my hip to facilitate this task. Eventually I decided to separate these pennies out each week and save them for

some unknown purpose. My stash of pennies grew to the point that I realized I could pay my entire weekly bill for newspapers using only my pennies. I decided to do just that. One Saturday, I carried my pennies to the newspaper office and placed several bags of them on the counter as payment of what I owed for the week. I can still recall Ken Case looking down at me over his glasses with a puzzled, but somewhat stern look on his face. He then explained to me in a firm voice that he was not about to count these pennies himself. He told me that I should take the pennies home, count them and put them in rolls. I did as I was instructed and returned the next week to pay my bill. Ken Case shook his head when I walked in and he saw what I was carrying, but he agreed to accept the roles of pennies as payment. He also arranged to have my picture taken to commemorate that event. Over a period of time I came to know more about Ken Case. I became aware that he took periodic trips via bus or plane to Chicago, but I did not know at first for

what purpose. I later learned that he frequently stayed at the Bismarck Hotel, visited bookstores and attended numerous theatrical performances in that city. Many years later he also wrote of his earlier time in New York City and “...going to Broadway shows, which undoubtedly led to my later interest in theater.” He went on to play an active part in the local theater scene in both Ludington and Manistee. He was an avid reader of books and newspapers; the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle was a favorite of his. Any conversation with him illustrated the range of what he read. He truly appreciated the written word; in fact his obituary indicated that “Memorials may be directed to the Ludington branch of the Mason County Library.” He was also a prolific writer for the Ludington Daily News. As a sportswriter in 1958 he reported on a recent basketball game this way: “Some days you just can’t make a nickel and some days you just can’t win a ball game. St. Simon’s Rocks pulled themselves up by their bootstraps here Friday night, only to come up

on the short end of a 48-43 score against Manistee St. Joseph.” That story may well have been written based on only a telephone call from a coach of one of the teams. He wrote many reviews of local theater performances. In 1972, he wrote, “Three firsts highlighted last night’s opening of ‘Camelot’ at West Shore…it was the first night of the first show to be staged in the new theater and also the first appearance — locally, at least — of a young man who turns in one of the most impressive performances I have seen hereabouts in years. … it’s Mark Vondrak’s portrayal of King Arthur that makes the musical really memorable.” He wrote periodic reviews of movies playing at local theaters. First, in Flicker Preview by Ken Case, and later in Cinema Scene by Ken Case. Those previews covered all four theaters in the area: the Lyric Theater in Ludington, the Starlight Drive-In Theater just East of Ludington, The 4-Star Theater in Scottville and the Pentwater Theater in Pentwater. He was an entertaining and amusing columnist. One column called “On The Town”

by Ken Case described the local social and entertainment scene. A second, titled “Case’s Column: A collection of odds and ends” — with some of the ends being pretty odd — allowed Ken Case to show the broad range of his knowledge and interests. That column ran in the Ludington Daily News from the 1950s until 1995; at various times appearing once, twice or three times per week. Perhaps the best description of Ken Case was written by another columnist of the Ludington Daily News. In 2003, after Case’s death, Bob Sculley wrote a column entitled “Enigmatic Ken Case — A very private thespian.” This is what he wrote: — He neither attended nor belonged to any church. — He never owned or drove an automobile. — He never married, but doted on his nieces and nephews. — He spent decades performing in West Michigan theater, but remained the most private of persons. — He soldiered in World War II, but told none that he had earned both the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. I am, of course, talking about Ken Case.

Lloyd Wallace

42 years of local sports coverage Jun 18, 2008

By Steve Begnoche Special to the Daily News


or just shy of 42 years, Lloyd Wallace was sports editor of the Ludington Daily News. Wallace took over the sports desk from Richard Dancz in early 1970. He turned over to Dave Bossick in 2012. It’s a job that grew as prep sports grew. “Every year we were adding, adding, adding for a long time,” W a l l a c e said. “When Lloyd Wallace I started we had the basics ­— football, cross country and golf in fall. Winter was basketball. Spring was track, baseball and tennis. There were no girls sports. “It just grew. It about doubled with MHSAA (Michigan High School Athletic Association) and Title IX.” Title IX prohibits sex discrimination in any educational program or activity receiving any type of federal financial aid and was signed into law in 1972 by President Richard Nixon. Revisions and challenges to Title IX followed for decades. During his first couple of years, Wallace wore more than a sports cap. He’d finish his sports pages, and then perhaps take an obituary before heading out to do the police and courts

All Real

Chad Pleiness: A multi-talented athlete By Lloyd Wallace Daily News Sports Editor Chad Pleiness earned all kinds of accolades for his athletic accomplishments in high school at Mason County Central, in college at Central Michigan University and in the minor leagues as a pitcher in the Toronto Blue Jays organization. And he worked hard for all of them. Pleiness is the only Mason County athlete to earn All-West Michigan Conference, all-area and first-team all-state honors in football, baseball and basketball in the same season. On Saturday, Pleiness will be inducted into the Mason County Sports Hall of Fame. He is one of five inductees in this year’s class, the others being John Goulet, Sharon (Stickney) McCumber, Wally Sadosty and Jim Schulte. In 1998, Pleinness made the Associated Press All-State football team as a punter in the fall. “Even in practice, he would dive to beat. There were only five staffers then, although college students Todd Reed and Vans Stevenson would help when they were back in town for the summer. “I thoroughly enjoyed my work. It wasn’t what I called lucrative, but I met so many good, interesting people. It was just good,” Wallace said. “The nice thing about my job was every three months, sports changed, coaches changed. It wasn’t the same every day all year


catch the ball. He’s worked very hard at it,” said Don Peterson for a Daily News story on Pleiness in 2001. Peterson was Pleiness’s football coach when he was a sophomore in high school. “In practice, sometimes the kids just kind of stick their hands out, but Chad is always working hard,” said Peterson. During the winter season, he was the leading scorer at 22.1 points per game and a consensus first-team all-stater on a 26-1 team whose only loss was to Detroit dePorres in the Class C state finals.

The Ludington Daily News sent staffers Lloyd Wallace and Jeff Kiessel (who photographed the image here) to Florida to cover Pleinessf for spring training as a Toronto Blue Jays pitching prospect.

long. I got a new look every three months. It was just fun, a lot of good people. I think we were blessed with athletes that were a cut above. I covered a lot of good teams, probably more than my share,” Wallace said. The small districts like Free Soil, Custer (Mason County Eastern) and Pentwater forged sports identities of their own, he said. “In a small town, if you have sports — successful sports — that’s just a big thing,” he said. What’s one of those mem-

Congratulations Ludington Daily News on your 150th Anniversary!

ories? “Pat Jensen and Ludington gymnastics, that was special,” Wallace said. “She took a sport, literally from nothing, and turned it into the premier program in the state and set a national record for consecutive victories that may still stand.” Another special memory was seeing Fred Horstman build a soccer program at Ludington. Wallace recalls being highly skeptical when Horstman first brought up the possibility of soccer here. “Fred Horstman did the

Lloyd Wallace served as sports editor of the Ludington Daily News for nearly 42 years. He retired in 2012, turning the role over to current Sports Editor Dave Bossick. Above, Lloyd shows some of his AP awards from a newswriting contest in the mid 1980s. same thing with soccer. He turned it into one of the best Class B soccer programs in the state. Those were the special things,” Wallace said. The area’s great heritage in turning out long distance runners is another special memory. “They were good kids. They are good adults,” he said, noting some of those kids he watched are now retiring from adult work careers. Wallace, who umpired in summer for years and helped form the Mason

County Sports Hall of Fame, was kind of the unofficial record keeper of county sports records during the four decades that he was behind the Daily News sports desk. He’s impressed, he said, with how current sports editor Dave Bossick “is taking it well beyond where I did.” One thing that helped Wallace in his day, he said, is, “I grew up here. That counts for a lot. I’m familiar with the background of the players.” He also recalled both fondly and kind of with a shudder the Update Editions the Daily News cranked out over the years. The Updates were large products, sometimes in excess of 100 broadsheet pages on differing topics each year. The shudders were because of all the extra work the Updates required beyond putting out the daily newspaper. But there was pride taken in the quality and breadth of the Updates, which included local history, extended day- or days-in-the-life photo essays, top sports figures, World War II veterans and carferry history, to name some. It was and is really all about the people, whether on the news side or the sports side. “I don’t miss the deadlines. I do miss going to the games, the people I covered both on the court and off the court, field or diamond or whatever,” he said.

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843-2809 • 245-7360 609 S. Washington Ave. • Ludington


Col. Harlan S Ludington to of Kentucky More than 72 inches of snow falls in January and February

New high school completed in Scottville Fire damages Oriole Cafe in Ludington, Scott-Mason Variety Store and Burt’s Restaurant in Scottville


New telephone dial system goes into effect

First dial call made in Scottville; city had last handcrank system in Michigan Bell Telephone territory

C & O freight train derails at Free Soil

Veterans memorial completed at Stearns Park


Mason County becomes first county in Michigan to attempt oral immunization against polio

Ludington, Scottville phone customers can dial each other directly without going through long distance


Kenneth Cartier, local marina operator and salvage diver, attempts — and fails — twice to remain underwater in a 9-foot-deep, 3,000 gallon tank for more than 28 hours

County voters reject proposal to build new medical care facility


Louis Armstrong, Tommy Dorsey and Sammy Kay orchestras play Raymar Gardens

1961 News of constructing a Pumped Storage Plant is confirmed

Construction begins on minimum security prison camp in Free Soil; new jail in Ludington completed

Free Soil boys basketball loses only game of season, 68-61, to Marquette Pierce in Class D state championship game

1962 Consumers announces investment of more than $58 million in Pumped Storage Plant

30 inches of snow falls in 48-hour period in December

Raymar’s, popular entertainment spot near Stearns Park beach, burns to ground; blaze guts Fireside Inn

Carr Telepho Settlement is dent telepho switchboard

1963 Carferries have trouble maneuvering thick ice in Ludington harbor

Pres. John F. Kennedy assassinated in Dallas

196 Discussion begins on developing a community college

Kick-off campaign to raise $500,000 construct Memor Hospital of Luding

Did y

President John F. Kennedy’s assassination on Nov. 22, 1963 in Dallas shocked the nation. Civil Rights Leader and renowned activist Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee.

In This


1959 — About 25 months after landing a band of 81 armed revolutionaries on the Cuban coast, Fidel Castro forced dictator Fulgencio Batista to flee office Jan. 1. Castro was sworn in as Cuba’s prime minister Feb. 16. Also during the year, Alaska was granted statehood Jan. 3 and Hawaii was granted statehood Aug. 21. 1960 — OPEC was formed in September by Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. 1961 — The Peace Corps was founded March 1. 1962 — The United States and Soviet Union engaged in a political and military standoff in October over the installation of Soviet missiles in Cuba, according to the History Channel. The standoff ended when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev offered to remove the missiles and President John Kennedy promised not to invade Cuba and to remove American missiles from Turkey. 1963 — President John Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, Nov. 22. Vice President Lyndon Johnson then became president. 1964 — On Feb. 9, The Beatles made their first American television appearance live on the Ed Sullivan Show. 1968 — Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated April 4 in Memphis, Tennessee. U.S. Sen. Robert Kennedy was assassinated June 5 in Los Angeles, California. 1969 — U.S. Astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the moon on July 20. 1970 — Four unarmed students protesting the Vietnam War at Kent State University were shot and killed by members of the Ohio National Guard.

Neil Armstrong, a U.S. astronaut, left the first human footprints on the moon on July 20, 1969.

1957-1971 12 crewmen rescued from barge aground off Little Sauble Point; City of Midland carferry runs aground outside Ludington harbor

one swithboard at Carr s one of last indepenone companies with a in a home


Mrs. Wallace (Audrey) Bentz, wife of sheriff, dies in an unusual auto accident while she and her husband pursue escapee from Mason County Jail

held 0 to rial gton

Groundbreaking ceremonies held for new college

Bill and Martha “Marty” Paine purchase Savage Manufacturing in Ludington, now known as Metalworks

Michigan Conservation Dept. stocks area rivers with serveral million coho fingerlings

Daily News celebrates centennial


Michigan Highway Department places traffic lights at intersection of U.S. 10 and 31

you know?

(p. 85 Snapshots)

Sheriff’s deputy Max Altman dies when his patrol car crashes while pursuing suspect

Sanders visits o mark grand opening Fried Chicken


Ludington Orioles boys basketball team advances to state semifinals, loses to River Rouge

1967 Alewives washing ashore along coast cause problems

Strike idles C & O carferries; City of Flint phased out

Mason County Medical Care Facility completed

Leaks from Dow Chemical result in Pere Marquette Lake being declared usafe for swimming

Memorial Hospital completed

200 LHS students hold pro-American march and rally

Victor Johnson attempts unsuccessfully to cross Lake Michigan in bathtub


Pumped Storage Plant employs 3,000 people

1969 Ludington approves first million dollar budget

Northeast corner of Stiles and Sugar Grove roads chosen for new college

Epworth celebrates 75th anniversary

Michigan DNR acquires option to purchase 400 acres of sand dunes south of Ludington State Park


City of Ludington work crew walks the picket line; Jackson Vibrators employees hold 69-day strike; C & O operations stall as four unions strike nationwide

Pollution control devices installed at Great Lakes Foundry

Gov. William Milliken speaks at Mason County’s Lincoln Day dinner

St. Mary’s School of Custer announces it will close


Steel bridge constructed across middle bayou at Hamlin Lake

In This


Did you know? The modern U.S. flag was designed by middle-schooler Robert Heft as a class project. Angry after he recieved a B- on the project, Heft got his teacher to agree that, if the United States Congress accepted the design, the grade would be changed to an A. Heft turned to Congressman Walter Moeller for help, and the pair brought the 50-star design before Congress. It was adopted in 1959 by presidential proclamation. And yes, the grade was changed to an A.

In This


Today’s flag is identical to the one designed by Heft. He created the flag by cutting up an old flag belonging to his grandparents.

Congratulations Ludington Daily News



from all the Students, Alumni & Staff at Mason County Central Schools

Mason County Central Schools 300 W. Broadway • Scottville 231.757.3713

Ludington Daily News Nov. 22, 1963 T

his edition of the Ludington Daily News, from Friday, Nov. 22, 1963, features the massive headline of the day — the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Also making the front page were stories on the addition of a medical school at Michigan State University and a bank robbery.

A need for a community college

WSCC gets its start Historic community college, marina projects in Mason County

Finally, in 1967, Mason and Manistee counties voted to form a community college district. Although Manistee rejected the millage proposal, Mason County voted heavily in favor of passing the measure.


or at least a decade, there had been talk of a community college being built in the area. Finally, in 1967, Mason and Manistee counties voted to form a community college district. Although Manistee rejected the millage proposal, Mason County voted heavily in favor of passing the measure. Then came a year-long court battle over site selection, with the present location finally approved. West Shore Community College began as a collection of evening classes taught at Manistee and Scottville high schools. In 2016 it was ranked among Michigan’s 10 best community colleges. Today, WSCC sends students on to four-year universities, and prepares others for the skilled work force. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the college. The year 1967 also marked 100 years of newspaper publishing in Ludington. In the 100th anniversary edition published Sept. 30, 1967, the newspaper told readers “It was 100 years ago this month that the first newspaper, The Mason County Record, was published on a small hand press. Through mergers and purchases, the Daily News traces its history back to that first publica-

Courtesy Photo

West Shore Community College’s first graduating class walks proudly in 1971, four years after the college’s groundbreaking at 3000 N. Stiles Road, Victory Township. Today, the college has thrived and grown significantly, with several expansions through the years. tion.” In the same centennial edition of the newspaper, then-editor Paul Peterson, in a column titled “Economic Future of Mason County Remains Bright,” addressed

the city’s approach to not put “all of its eggs in one basket. “Ludington has evolved from a community which rested its whole economy on lumbering to a city

which draws its benefits from a mighty transportation complex, a mixture of light industry, chemical manufacturing and tourist and resort,” Peterson wrote. He also looked ahead to

some major projects that would eventually come to Ludington, including a new municipal marina and the extension of U.S. 31 to Ludington. “A marina has not gotten beyond the talking stage but it must be considered as an important part of the future. A master plan for Ludington, drawn by Development Planning Co. of Pontiac, lists the development of a public marina as one of the key factors to economic development,” Peterson stated in his column. “Because of the area’s natural assets, such as beaches, inland lakes, rivers and streams, sand dunes and pleasant summer weather and the parks and tourist and resort facilities available, the area will continue to be a major attraction for those who wish to spend a day or a summer vacationing here,” Peterson concluded. During the Mason County Centennial in 1955, the Daily News reported there were 38 industries in the city limits employing as few as five to as many as 150 to 300 people. Today, the number of industries here is closer to a dozen.

Daily News headlines in this era


his period included construction of new schools in Ludington and Scottville, as well as in Pere Marquette and Riverton townships. The era also marked the arrival of the Spartan and Badger carferries and several new businesses, including Straits Steel and Wire, Harrington Tool, Ludington Seating Corp., Ludington Injector Service Corp., and Harbison Walker.

In 1962, Consumers Power announced it would invest more

than $58 million in a Pumped Storage Plant. In 1962, Consumers Power announced it would invest more than $58 million in a Pumped Storage Plant, which would become the largest construction project ever undertaken in this area. At the peak of construction, 2,796 people were on the payroll, the high school jumped from Class B to Class A in athletics, apartments were a scarcity within a 30-mile radius, and the project’s personnel was extremely active in civic affairs. As one of its leading engineers said, “There was nothing like it in the world.” The Pumped Storage Plant was an engineering feat that won the Major Achievement Award in Civil Engineering from the American Society of Civil Engineers.

t u a l r a g t i n o o n s C Ludington Daily News on your 150TH Anniversary!


1971-1974 John and Dolores Gillies opened an automotive service store (building rented in Giant Plaza) in Ludington April 1, 1971. Appliances and television were in the showroom to sell. Chris Gillies (Boerema) became office manager and John Gillies III store manager. In 1984 property was purchased across the street. The parking lot and building were not maintained as required in the lease. The new place required all kinds of work. Equipment, inventory, etc. were moved from the old to the new location. 1987 The Midas franchise was added to serve customers locally and offer nationwide service as they travel, with fast quality service. At the same time, they added the 10 minute oil change franchise. 1997 The Midas store in Manistee was purchased and a new 52 by 45 foot building was added for 10-minute oil service. 1999 The stores were sold to John Gillies III from John and Dolores Gillies. 2002 A 3600 square foot upstairs was added to the Ludington Midas store. 2010 John Gillies IV advanced to store manager of Ludington Midas store. 2016 The store took back its original name of Avenue Tire & Service. Brian Gillies joined forces with us in October. We are happy to provide the same high Quality workmanship as we always have. Everything is covered under a nationwide parts and labor warranty. We look forward to being there for you to help with all your automotive needs.

Your friends at

Avenue Tire & Service 5797 W. US-10 • Ludington Nationwide Parts & Labor Warranty We are proud to celebrate

46 Years

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Profile for Shoreline Media

Ldn 150th section 7  

Ldn 150th section 7