A long-awaited study of the municipal electric system’s rates, described as “complicated,” was about to begin.
City Commissioner George Mosely, who supervised the system, said selection was imminent of a “nationally known firm” to conduct the study.
He said the choice of firms had been narrowed to two: one based in Washington, D.C. and one in San Francisco.
The decision was hailed by the Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce and its industry-hunting Committee of 100.
“This is a very forward step,” said Guy Botts, chamber president. “In the industrial development of the area, we have been handicapped by this complicated rate structure.”
He said a more simplified structure would make it easier for the chamber to explain to industrial prospects.
“It has been difficult trying to explain the present structure — I think there are some 21 different rates — to people who are thinking of building a plant here,” said Committee of 100 Chair James Lumpkins.
Botts said the chamber wasn’t contending the rates were too high or too low. “They’re just too complicated for the layman,” he said.
The future economy in Jacksonville and its “vitality to attract more industry” would create more jobs and high payrolls, but it depended upon favorable electric rates, Mosely said.
He did not speculate on how much the report would cost, but said he expected it to exceed the $15,000 budgeted for it.
• The sixth annual WJCT TV-7 television auction ended with more than $100,000 in donated merchandise sold to North Florida residents.
The final event of the auction — the sale of fine art drawn, painted and sculpted by local artists — brought in an additional $2,300, said auction Chair Robert Phillips.
The works were sold by Jacqueline Mullikin, director of Group Gallery. She was assisted by Ira Koger during the three-hour art auction.
Phillips said since the art sale was so successful as a separate part of the general auction, he was sure it would become a permanent feature of the annual fundraising project.
• Horton Reed, assistant headmaster of Lancaster Country Day School in Lancaster, Pa., was named headmaster of the planned Episcopal High School of Jacksonville.
The appointment was announced by the Very Rev. Robert Parks, dean of St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral and chairman of the school’s board of trustees.
Selection of the Pennsylvania educator came after the trustees’ selection committee led by Lucius Buck, an attorney and communicant of the cathedral, interviewed more than 50 candidates.
“Time and a patient search have resulted in selection of a very fine Christian gentleman, a scholar and a knowledgeable administrator,” Parks said.
Reed, 35, would assume his duties July 1 in temporary offices at Cathedral House on East Church Street.
Parks said the new headmaster’s primary responsibilities before the school opened would be consulting with architects, developing the curriculum, hiring a faculty and enrolling students.
The school, along the St. Johns River near Highland Avenue, was scheduled to begin classes in fall 1967.
• The opening of Mailbox Improvement Week was marred by reports that mailbox vandalism was on the increase, rural post office patrons were getting fed up with the necessity of frequent replacements and one of the most attractive mailboxes in Duval County had been destroyed.
The notably attractive mailbox was a simulated bee hive in front of H.M. Thomas’s home at 10065 Scott Mill Road.
It was smashed flat with a concrete block.
Mailbox vandalism was “just pure destructiveness,” said Postmaster James Workman Jr.
“It can’t be much fun, just a little work, to ruin these boxes,” he said.
While postal inspectors investigated reports of mailbox vandalism, culprits seldom were apprehended unless caught in the act.
Workman said most of the vandalism wasn’t reported. People felt it would be of little use to make such a report, so they just replaced the damaged or destroyed mailbox, he added.
The postmaster did point out that anyone convicted of willfully destroying any letter box or other receptacle intended or used for the receipt of mail was subject to three years in prison and a fine up to $1,000.
• Mayor Lou Ritter proclaimed June as “Convention Month in Jacksonville.”
The city was a prime, year-round convention destination, hosting hundreds of conventions and thousands of delegates who contributed millions of dollars to the economy, Ritter said.
He urged residents to join in the observance by increasing the spirit of hospitality and friendliness toward visitors.
The mayor also proclaimed May 22-28 as “Realtor Week 1966.”
• The Laurence F. Lee Sr. Boys Club was formally dedicated with a speech by Warren Brown, regional director of the Boys Club of America.
He said one of the chief purposes of the club was to help boys find moral, stable personalities and character identities, and to become useful, productive citizens.
Telegrams of congratulations were read from James Gleason, national director of the Boys Club of America, and Richard Nixon, chairman of the board of directors.
The club, located at 10th and Liberty streets, was open 3-9 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.
A $1 fee was collected when a boy registered for the program, after which no further payment was required.
• A former bank employee who fell into a trap set by vice squad officers was sentenced to one year in county jail for obscene telephone calls made to a 15-year-old girl.
Wayne Stover, 26, pleaded guilty and was sentenced by Criminal Court Judge Hans Tanzler Jr.
Stover got six months for using lewd language on a telephone and six months for trying to induce the girl to become a delinquent by committing intercourse.
Assistant State Attorney Homer Humphries Jr. said Stover’s arrest on March 18 ended an intensive investigation by vice squad Sgts. J.L Pfeiffer and N.P. Patterson.
Humphries said the trap was set after the victim received a couple of obscene calls at her home in North Jacksonville and, pursuant to instructions from the officers, made a date with Stover the night of his arrest.
Humphries said Pfeiffer and Patterson hid inside the home and when Stover came to the door and entered, the girl — as previously instructed — exited through another door on the pretense of looking for her dog.
When Stover saw her run out of the gate toward a neighbor’s home, Humphries said, Stover ran to his car with officers in pursuit.
When shouted warnings did not stop Stover, Pfeiffer shot out the car’s left rear tire, but the suspect kept going.
A neighbor gave the officers a ride to their patrol car parked in front of Oceanway School.
They then searched the area and apprehended Stover on Camden Road off New Berlin Road.
Humphries said warning shots again didn’t stop Stover. The officers had to force him off the road, where he was forcibly removed from his vehicle.
Tanzler indefinitely deferred sentence on Stover’s plea of guilty to resisting arrest without violence.
• In Ocala, three young men were being sought by Marion County sheriff’s deputies for questioning about unauthorized use of a credit card belonging to Duval County Schools Superintendent Ish Brant.
Bill Peterson, an attendant at Buckner’s Shell Service Station, told police the young men bought $11 worth of goods and paid with a credit card.
He said the name on the card, Ish Brant, sounded familiar but it was not until they left that he recalled where he had heard it.
“Somehow, I don’t think they were Mr. Brant’s type,” Peterson said.
Reports indicated Brant’s son, William, had lost the card.
• A young bandit, who was found dead outside a North Jacksonville store after a robbery, was killed by a bullet wound to his heart, according to the autopsy report.
Police Capt. R.B. Whittington said one of two bullets that struck Jimmy Cox as he ran away from the store proved fatal and he was apparently dead when the getaway car ran over his chest.
Police were searching for the accomplice who helped rob Jackson’s Minit Market at 7308 Pearl St.
Manager Leo McCormick fired six shots from an automatic pistol at the robbers, who fled with about $90 in cash.
Police speculated Cox’s partner in the crime got to the getaway car first, started the motor and sped away from the store, running over Cox.