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1967: Indoor pool opens in Price, Vietnam hits home

The Science Building at the College of Eastern Utah under construction in 1967. The building was undermined by an underground river and was torn down after 40 years.

Sun Advocate publisher

Editor's Note: This is one of a series of articles about the history of the Sun Advocate and the county it covers as a newspaper. These articles are being prepared in commemoration of the 120th anniversary of the newspaper's birth in 1891.

The winter of 1967 was cold and wet, and extra wet when a new indoor pool opened in Price. The pool, which today sits next to the Wave Pool, was quite controversial during its development. The $275,000 facility was at first going to be built by Wood Hill just below the "C" rocks. The neighbors protested and the city instead built it where it is now located. In February the city council called for a contest to have the pool named (something other than the Price Municipal Pool). When the pool was dedicated in March the name Youth Memorial Pool had been selected for the name.

The county hospital board also decided for various reasons that the county hospital needed an addition to accommodate the growing need for medical care in the area. A bond election to fund the $250,000 addition was held on March 7. The bond to add to the structure was approved 1,726-227.

In late February the county's nursing home received a shock. As the books were being audited in regular fashion, the director of the home, Sylvan Oritsky told his wife and others that he was going to the state legislature to work on some legislation having to do with nursing homes. But he never showed up at the place his wife expected him to be. He instead had left his car parked in the Hotel Utah garage and had bought a plane ticket to Las Vegas, Nev. from where he mailed his wife a letter. The books showed a shortage and the county immediately took over the books and within a few days an arrest warrant was issued for Oritsky. The next week the paper reported that authorities (now the FBI was involved) found he had spent the week after the Las Vegas visit in Los Angeles, Calif. According to reports he had then bought a one way ticket to St. Louis, Mo. Also it was revealed that a shortage was found in the nursing homes books, reportedly less than $10,000. A month later the search for Oritsky ended when he surrendered to the FBI in Philadelphia, Pa. his home town. On April 13 he was bound over for trial as he waived the preliminary hearing. He later pleaded not guilty to the charge of embezzlement.

In an odd turn of events in early March, five people were killed in three separate automobile crashes within 36 hours. Two the accidents actually occurred within 100 yards of one another. The first accident on Highway 6 in Helper killed two residents of Murray when the station wagon they were in ran off the road and rolled over three times. The third crashed took place a football field away at an intersection in Helper on the same road, the next day, and it killed two people too. The third crash occurred between the other two accidents east of Price when a migrant worker was thrown out of the bed of a truck he was riding in.

The year also brought a first to Carbon County and Utah as a whole. It was the first time that Utah went on Daylight Savings Time in the spring. Clocks were set ahead on April 30 and on Oct. 29 they were set back an hour.

This was the year when a well known event started in Carbon County as well. The first annual Kiwanis Radio Auction took place at the KOAL studios and selling donated items which included everything from "literally soup to nuts" the club earned $1800. The money was donated to the Ann Self Opportunity Center.

That same week it was announced that an apparel firm chose Carbon County for a manufacturing facility. While the firm was unnamed at the time in October it was announced the company was Koret of California, with the plant being located on South Carbon Avenue near the UDOT complex.

In mid-April an airplane carrying three Carbon County residents who were employees of Mountain Fuel Supply crashed north of Huntington. The plane was on a mission to examine right-of-ways for a pipeline when it apparently plowed into a hillside.

A fire at the Henrie Construction Company in southwest Price caused extensive damage to the companies assets in late April. The fire was discovered by a neighbor about midnight and the before fire fighters could arrive many of the storage buildings were engulfed in flames. The company lost four dump trucks, a pickup truck, three buildings and many other kinds of tools and equipment. Two of the trucks were new, and were the only ones insured. The fire it was thought may have been caused by someone trying to steal gas out of one of the vehicles, because a five gallon "jeep" can was found standing by one of the trucks.

Two boys, one 14 and another 15, found themselves in trouble in the outdoors of Carbon County in the summer of 1967. A Wellington youth became separated from a family fishing party in the Avintaquin area of Duchesne County in late June. He was found 26 hours after he was reported missing by two of the searchers, after over 100 people had turned out to find him. The other boy was not so fortunate. He drowned in July trying to get to a drifting boat near the old dam structure at Scofield. His older brother tried to save him, but even though the older sibling caught up with the 15 year old, his panic almost dragged his brother down with him. The older brother was saved by a passer-by who left his car and dived into the water when family members flagged him down.

July also brought the report of other local military men who had been wounded in Vietnam. It was reported that Louis W. Wahl of Helper had suffered multiple injuries to the face, abdomen, both his legs and his right arm. Later in the month it got worse when it was reported that Donald Sower of Carbonville was in critical condition from injuries incurred while his unit was clearing trees from a combat area after they parachuted in. A tree fell on him causing the injuries, which he died from Aug. 3 while at a hospital in the Philippines.

The end of August brought honor to Helper as the WBBA All Stars won the WBBA World Championship after 16 years of trying. For the championship they beat a Salt Lake City team from Rose Park. In the previous five tries at the championship they had come in second four times and third once.

The year ended with a happy story as a 16 year old Indiana girl was rescued from her kidnappers in Carbon County the day after Christmas. The girl had been kidnapped on Christmas Eve from Crawfordsville, Ind. after she came out of a market shopping for final trimmings for a holiday dinner. The two kidnappers took her and the car and drove across midwestern states and into Colorado and Utah while an intense search went on across the middle part of the country for the girl. She reported that the men burglarized service stations along the way to obtain gas for the car and to get candy bars to eat. They were apprehended in Cat Canyon after they talked to a Utah Fish and Game officer when the pulled over at a service station. They offered to sell him some items and he went with them to the car and saw the spare tire was missing. He thought the fact the vehicle had come so far without a spare strange. Because of this he asked the man offering the goods for his car registration. The man closed the trunk hurriedly and then bolted into the car and drove away. The officer informed the Carbon County Sheriff's Department and they sent out cars to look for the car. A Wellington marshal spotted the car and tried to stop it. He even shot at it with a shot gun and one of the kidnappers bailed out as the car turned east on Highway 6. The marshal pursued and finally he stopped the car in Cat Canyon. The driver told him he didn't want to see the girl get hurt in the incident. Later it was discovered she was a kidnap victim and the next day her father flew out and was reunited with her.

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