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Citizen and officers escape from death

This week in history

99 years ago in 1921

Two police officers and a citizen riding with them in the police cruiser had a narrow escape from death or serious injury when a Baltimore and Ohio freight train crashed into their automobile at the South Pine street crossing. The car was turned completely over on its top at the impact, pinning all three men under the wreckage. The train, brought to a halt, suddenly started again as the men were trying to clamber out to safety and the automobile was struck again, turning it over to an upright position. It was in this second crash that the men were hurt.

The first crash had thrown the automobile 10 feet and the uninjured occupants were unable to get out from under the wrecked machine, when the switch engine again started and the second crash resulted.

The police machine was completely wrecked in the crash. The occupants suffered cuts and bruises, some severe, but witnesses to the accident described the escape of the men from more serious injury as almost miraculous.

50 years ago in 1970

An ill woman and her son escaped injury when smoke and flames from a basement blaze made them to flee their home about 3 in the morning, causing about $4,000 damage before the fire was extinguished by the Kinsman Volunteer Fire Department.

Mrs. Lester (Edna) Swick, and her son, Ivan, occupants of the one and one-half story frame dwelling, were taken to the home of neighbors Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Robison. Mrs. Swick, mother-in-law of Sgt. Karl Fenn of the Trumbull sheriff’s department, was carried to the home of neighbors, and was reported unhurt.

Acting Fire Chief Richard Bloss of the Kinsman Fire Department said the fire apparently started in a coal pile in the basement located near the furnace. He was told by occupants that a load of coal had been dumped into the basement and some of it landed too close to the furnace.

About the same time Mrs. Swick and her son were awakened by smoke that filled the dwelling, a passing truck driver saw the smoke and flames and notified the fire department.

The loss to the structure owned by Mrs. Swick’s daughter and her husband was partially covered by insurance, Chief Bloss said.

25 years ago in 1995

John Boldan of Warren was getting his coffee on the run because the Dunkin’ Donuts on Youngstown Road went smoke free.

“I stop for a coffee a day ’cause I love it,” the retired Warren resident said. Over his head hung a banner: “Let’s clear the Air. This is a Smoke-Free Environment as of Jan. 1st.”

Before the no-smoking signs had gone up, Boldan made three or four trips per day to the doughnut shop, meeting his retired friends there for coffee, conversation and a few cigarettes.

“I don’t think it’s right,” he said of the new policy. “We all have our rights. In all fairness, one’s rights are as good as another’s. It’ll hurt business, that’s for sure. At least the counter business.”

“The smokers are upset. But the non-smokers are happy,” waitress Vickey Yale said.

Regular customers estimated the non-smoking crowd at a mere 10 percent at the counter.

The Warren Dunkin’ Donuts was one of the five in the Mahoning Valley that voted collectively to go smoke-free in 1995.

10 years ago in 2010

Empty, the expansion of the National Packard Museum looked massive. As board members checked out progress on “The Great Hall” and its 10,000 square feet of exhibition space, a proposal included a counter-clockwise walk for visitors around the perimeter of the Great Hall to view displays charting the history of the Packard motor cars and the family’s other innovations. The center space was to be devoted to cars themselves, with about 17 vehicles on display at any time.

The original concept considered squeezing twice as many cars into the hall.

“If we show everything at once, there” never a reason for people to come back,” Director Mary Ann Porinchak said.

The original museum building, to be known as the Legacy Gallery, was to be devoted entirely to Packard’s history in Warren.

Construction, expected to be completed in April, was funded by federal money and local fundraising. The museum was in the process of trying to raise $3 million for its endowment and capital funds, with about $500,000 already raised.

— Compiled from the archives of the Tribune Chronicle by

Emily Earnhart

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