Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Local News

April 18, 2012

‘The Crash of Continental Flight 11 – 50 Years Later’ at Historical Society annual meeting

CENTERVILLE — It’s been 50 years since that fateful night when 45 people lost their lives in an explosion that occurred in the sky over Appanoose County. Continental Flight 11 was en route from Chicago to Kansas City on the evening of May 22, 1962, when passenger Thomas Doty went into the lavatory of the Boeing 707 and placed dynamite in the used towel bin. The explosion ripped an enormous hole near the rear of the plane.  The plane descended rapidly over Cincinnati, then finally crashed into a farm field just over the state line in Missouri.

The Appanoose County Historical Society will be revisiting this event with a presentation at their annual meeting, to be held Monday, April 23 at 7 p.m. at Centerville City Hall. Mike Halupnick, president of the Historical Society, has studied this event in depth and has created a great video presentation. Film footage and an extensive collection of photographs from the Centerville Sheriff’s Department and other donors were used to create the presentation. We’ll learn a little more about the details of some of the people involved and little known facts about the aircraft. It will recount the aftermath of the crash, the reconstruction of the airplane, the FBI in Centerville and much more. On display will be a few pieces of the actual airplane that have been donated to the museum.

After the presentation, we would like hear of any other first-hand accounts of the event. We will record your memories for safekeeping in our files at the museum. There is no admission fee to this event.

There will be a very short business meeting before the presentation to review the activities of the Historical Society over the past year, and the election of officers. Returning officers are President Mike Halupnick, Vice President Dave Walljasper, Treasurer Bruce Dickerson, and Secretary Judy Lamb. Returning board members plus three new board members will be filling the vacancies left by the passing of Dave Stuart and O.R. Parks, and the move out of the county by Connie Stater. We are grateful to these individuals for their many years of faithful service.

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

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