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Today in Johnson City History: April 11

Rebecca Henderson and Johnson City Press • Apr 11, 2019 at 8:00 AM

April 11, 1885: Johnson City’s stormwater problems were included in an address by Mayor Seth H. Yocum reprinted in The Comet. Yocum, who had served a single term in the Congress from 1879-81 as a resident of Pennsylvania, opined that because the streams that catch runoff were at the same level as the city itself, resolving the town’s flooding issues would require the best of engineering for sewer placement and road grading. It would take about 130 years for Yocum’s hopes to be realized, as flooding continued to plague downtown until the city’s extensive mitigation efforts took hold this decade.

April 11, 1928: Wade McNeese was fined $3 for crossing railroad tracks while railroad bells were ringing.

April 11, 1967: Johnson City residents learned they would not be able to officially register their thoughts about Vice Mayor Mitchell Thorp, who had been the subject of controversy regarding the city’s water supply. The Washington County Election Commission ruled against a petition seeking a two-question referendum in the upcoming municipal election about Thorp, who was amid his four-year term on the City Commission and therefore not up for re-election. One question was to ask whether voters would support him were his name on the ballot, while the other was whether he should be the city’s next mayor. He was not. That honor went to Hal Littleford.

Sources: The Comet; Johnson City Court Records, 1928; Johnson City Press-Chronicle.

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