This week’s From the Archives brings you stories from the front page of 1976!
From The Chadron Record – July 12, 1976!
Shooting, Tomahawks, Planned For ‘Rondyvoo’
By Jayne White
The Muzzle Loading Rifle Association Rondyvoo scheduled July 10-17 at Fort Robinson is sure to offer some interesting enjoyment.
Billed as the Fort Bob Rondyvoo and sponsored by the Alliance Rifle Club, the gathering will bring together members from Chadron, Scottsbluff and Alliance with an estimated attendance of 100 persons. Young and old alike are members of this organization, whose objective is to maintain the skills and history of the rugged pioneer fur traders, according to Norm Martin of the Association.
Shooting events will be held with a $400 silver belt buckle awarded for the aggregate, which involves shooters competing in knife and tomahawk throwing, rifle and pistol shooting. The highest combination of these scores will show the winner. Only black powder muzzle loaders are used in the competition.
A children’s potlatch will also be included in the outing. This event involves the drawing of names in which the winners, in turn, pick a trade good that is donated by members and thrown onto a blanket preceding the drawing. Gifts may range in value from 5 cents to fifteen dollars.
Other events scheduled will be standard shoots, Seneca, egg shoots, axe split, hawk and knife throwing, kid races, cooking contest, music and a liar’s contest.
July 12-17 will be spent hiking, chewing the fat and whatever one pleases, according to Danny Downs of the Association.
Calling themselves Mountain Men, the Chadron Muzzle Loading Association organized in 1973. The members meet every other week, yearly, with summer meetings held in the woods where the group practices shooting muzzle loaders. During the winter months, they take turns meeting in their homes.
Persons interested in becoming members must attend three meetings and one outing and give the history of three pioneer fur traders. The group performs no special projects but gathers together now and then to throw tomahawks and knives, according to Martin.
All interested persons are invited to attend and participate in the Fort Bon Rondyvoo activities.
Countywide Radio In Operation
By Bill McCoy
Testing, checking and retesting of the new Dawes County Communications Center are now complete, ending the work of a year and a half by dozens of person.
“We had six weeks to work the bugs out and wait for things to bust,” said Motorola Project Supervisor Jim Catlin of Denver Friday. “Some things busted, and we took those out.”
Now the installation phase of the operation is over, and the maintenance phase begins. This means the radio system, which provides a linkup among all law enforcement, fire protection and medical services in the area, is fully operational.
Catlin has been in Chadron since June 29 and was scheduled to leave Firday morning after working with local personnel and Motorola technicians from Los Angeles and Chicago on final testing of the system.
Some of the work late last week included fine tuning the passive microwave reflector or “billboard’ located west of Chadron on Highway 20. The billboard, which reflects the microwave signal, or carrier of all the radio signals, had to be adjusted one quarter of a degree.
The billboard is one of four major components in the radio system. The others are the central console located in the Chadron Police Department, the “head” of the microwave system at the Dawes County Courthouse and microwave “tail” is located south of Chadron.
The central control includes desk sets in the offices of the police chief, city Community Hospital. The equipment at the courthouse includes the law enforcement base, doctors’ paging base, a short tower and antennas. Located south of town are the microwave tower and more radio equipment.
The last items to be turned on were the doctors’ paging system and the recorder in the police station, Catlin said. The doctors’ paging system includes 12 “beepers” carried by each local doctor. When the doctor is away from the office, a nurse at the hospital may signal him and give a message for him to telephone the hospital or clinic.
The recorder tapes all telephone conversations on seven lines and radio transmissions on 10 channels. This means anyone phoning the police will hear an intermittent “beep” in the background, indicating that the conversation is being recorded.
All police department dispatchers and most of the officers have been trained in the use of the complex control outfit, Catlin said. For several weeks the dispatchers have had to operate the complex new system, sometimes working their way around Catlin and other electronics experts.
“it’s sat and cooked for five or six weeks, and how it is now is how we we’re going to leave it, “ commented Catlin.
He said Roy Bickle of Rapid City, S.D., helped install the radio system and will now serve as the maintenance man.
“He’s been working hand in hand with us for two months,” Catlin said. “It’s a good idea to have the same guy put it in that’s going to fix it.”
Many sub-contractors in the Chadron area supplied construction and electrical work, and corpsmen from the Pine Ridge Job Corps Center helped install the tower south of town. Helping to coordinate personnel in Chadron was Assistant City Attorney Bill Howland. Sale of the system to Dawes County and the City of Chadron, which used Law Enforcement Assistance Administration funds for its installation, was made by Motorola’s Joe Brott of Omaha.
The entire project began with former Chadron Police Chief Bob Beers, who encouraged city and county officials to install the new system over a year and a half ago.
The plan was questioned last December when several Chadron citizens suggested that the console be located in the courthouse or a new law enforcement building rather than at City Hall. However, the contract for installation was signed shortly thereafter, with the police department the chosen site.
The biggest boost for the communications system came during the new Year’s Eve Blizzard, when Catlin and another Motorola representative installed the console in the police office. Unable to return to Denver because airlines were grounded, they wired up the new equipment almost a month ahead of schedule. Shortly after that, the police department was remodeled to accommodate the system.
Beers retired February 1, having seen much of his dream come true, and Ted Vastine took his place.
July 4 was a more pleasant holiday than New Year’s Eve for Catlin, who spent what amounts to weeks in Chadron. He said he brought his wife and children to Chadron this time, and they spent the holiday at Fort Rob. His job is finished, but he plans to return in about a month, “just to see how things are going.”
Native American Counselor Appointed At Chadron State
J. Leonard Cox at Fairfox, Oklahoma, has been appointed Counselor to Native American students at Chadron State College, according to CSC President Edwin C. Nelson.
The 35-year-old Cox began his duties July 1.
Cox holds B.S., M.S., and Ed.S. degrees in industrial education from Kansas State College in Pittsburgh, Kan. He has completed all course work for his Ph.D. in occupational education at Kansas State University and expects to complete his dissertation in 1977.
During the past year, Cox has served as a research assistant at Kansas State.
Cox, an Osage Indian, plans to spend considerable time on the road during his first few months on the job at Chadron State.
He says he hopes to help remove the “feeling of isolation” that overcomes most Indian students when they go to college. Cox says a large percentage of the Indian students who enroll remain in school only a short time before they leave. He wants to pinpoint just why they leave and already has begun a survey in that direction.
Cox is CSC’s first full-time Native American student counselor.
He and his wife, Bonnie, live at Haag’s Trailer Court in Chadron.