(Excerpts from the Daily Herald-News from Oct. 20 through Nov. 2, 1979) Bridge named for Beecher

The bridge on Marion Avenue over Bass Inlet now has a new name. At a City Council meeting this week, a resolution was unanimously approved to name the crossing over Bass Inlet the Richard L. Beecher Memorial Bridge, named after the City Assistant Police Chief who died last week. The accident happened at a roadblock during the search for a murder suspect. Beecher’s widow, Paula, was present at the council meeting. “During the past week,” Mayor Charles Phipps told Mrs. Beecher, “thousands of words have been spoken and written about Richard. We want to express our deepest sympathy.”

The Vo-Tech Begins

The bids are in, the ground has been broken. All of Charlotte County should now be looking forward to the completion next fall of one of the county’s opportunities: The Vocational Technical Center at Murdock. School officials held groundbreaking Wednesday for the $3.4 million facility for the training of Charlotte County residents for productive jobs in the industrial or light manufacturing sector. A Vocational Technical School of this nature should provide vocational training for adults and high dchool “drop-outs.” The center could and should also be used as a selling point for industries that might want to relocate in SW Florida.

Park Grant Sought For Ponce De Leon Park

If state officials cooperate the city of Punta Gorda may be able to receive up to $50,000 to improve Ponce de Leon Park. City officials have sent the State Department of Natural Resources site drawings and aerial photographs of the area in an effort to obtain the state grant. “If we get the money, then we could extend water service and would be able to light the park and possibly add picnic tables,” according to city manager Robert Hollander. Currently the Park features a boat ramp, a small hut and undeveloped land. A state park designer has already looked at the park. His opinion was that the area is “loaded with potential.” Jet Port

Charlotte County Development Authority Chairman Robert Bass said the following this morning: “Adding 1,500 feet to a 5,000-foot runway at the Charlotte County Airport in Punta Gorda does not mean that the airport will turn into a Jet Port.” The expanded runway would be long enough for the DC-9, but by no means would Boeing “27s” be roaring out of here every 20 minutes. Development Authority member Jim Murphy, a pilot, said 6,500 feet is not long enough for that. Punta Gorda Business Women

Members of the the Business Women’s Club (BPW) of Punta Gorda showed the Bicentennial Bell. This special Bell they donated to the City of Punta Gorda in 1976 to kick off Business and Professional Women’s Week. The club members participating in the ceremony were Bernice Russell, Marie Frisch, Lois Peeples, Thelma Jacobs, Elizabeth Chambers, Eve Toni Czewski, Florid Strickland, Hildreth Waters and Leona Sjosstad. Real Estate Women Selected

New officers were installed to the Women’s Council of Realtors at a luncheon in the Holiday Inn, Punta Gorda. They are Norma Weyrick, vice president; Norma Henry, past president; Norma Morris, incoming president; Luella Christy, secretary; and Pauline Moore, treasurer. Atkinsons to Celebrate 60th Anniversary

Ira and Eddie Atkinson will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary Monday. Eddie and Ira met at the skating rink in Rainbridge, Georgia. They married in 1919 and moved to Punta Gorda in 1921. Ira joined the Punta Gorda Police Department under Police Chief Sim Holt. Later he joined the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Department under Sheriff “Capt. Fred” Quednau until his retirement in 1965. Volunteer Civic Patrol Promoted

Charlotte County Saturday will have an opportunity to learn more about Civic Air Patrol. The Squadron, commanded by Lt. William McCort, is one of the approximately 1,500 units of CAP. They are located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Civil Air Patrol was founded on December 1st, 1941 as a unit of the office of Civil Defense. It is celebrating its 38th anniversary. Civic Air Patrol is now a Civilian Auxiliary of the United States Air Force The organization is noted for its air search and rescue work. It also assists with relief work during disasters. Soccer Gets Chance in Charlotte County

Chances are that pretty soon new bumper stickers will be gracing the fenders of the Charlotte County cars. They will read: “Play Soccer For Fitness.” This advertising is part of a campaign which would bring soccer to the area, thanks to the interest expressed by the YMCA. Soccer has had a shaky start in our county. Organizing the game for adults and youngsters is long overdue. Soccer is catching on in just about every community on the eastern seaboard. Bill Helmling began holding practices at Punta Gorda Junior High School. Few of the children had kicked a soccer ball. The game caught on and after a few weeks 70 players showed up. Then it faded and YMCA is hoping to revitalize interest to develop a league and supply uniforms.

Compiled by Janine H. Smith (janinehs1@comcast.net)

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