'Easier' driving test brings more traffic to Bel Air

As taken from the pages of The Aegis dated Thursday, May 16, 1963:

Harford County officials who were previously promised that the weekend traffic in Bel Air, caused by scheduled weekly driver's tests, would come to an end, were unhappy 50 years ago this week. When the new Motor Vehicle building opened south of Baltimore, many believed the driving test was too difficult. This forced many Baltimoreans to travel to Bel Air to take their tests where it was easier to pass. On Saturday, Mayor Buchal complained about the number of cars he witnessed lined up on Lee Street, Hickory Avenue and Broadway. The mayor said that he counted more than 200 cars in line waiting to take their test, and many of them belonged to Baltimore driving schools. Mayor Buchal threatened to erect no parking signs if relief was not forthcoming. Sen. James was preparing a strong letter to the Commissioner of the Motor Vehicles.

An alert bread truck driver witnessed the driver of a dump truck slump over the steering wheel as it was going up a hill on Route 22 toward town. The bread truck driver was able to jump from his own vehicle and quickly stop the dump truck before an accident occurred. The driver of the dump truck, 52-year-old Francis Ward of Baltimore had an apparent heart attack and died at the scene.

The second person to die while working on the Northeast Expressway bridge over the Susquehanna River was Leonard Frick of Elsemore, Del. He fell 180 feet to his death.. The 49-year-old iron worker was working on the construction site when he apparently slipped while changing positions and plunged into the Susquehanna. Fellow workers rescued him immediately and he was rushed to Harford Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

April 1963 was a busy time for the members of the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Department. A total of 1,010 man hours were spent on emergencies. An alarm sounded on the average of every 15 hours and 18 minutes. A total of 47 alarms were answered – 28 for fields and woods.

Several Harford Countians reported seeing a strange object in the sky this week 50 years ago. State Police said several calls concerning the UFO were received from the Fork, Bel Air and Hickory areas. The UFO gave off a blue light larger than a star and flickered rapidly. It appeared stationary for a time and then moved in an erratic manner until it disappeared. The light lasted for approximately a half an hour, starting around 10 p.m.

A new postmaster was named in Churchville, Mrs. F. Mitchell Coale was to succeed Minni Hamby, who retired after many years of service. Just recently the post office department decided to continue the Churchville post office after residents appealed to Congressman Long for help. The post office department also appointed William McNutt as postmaster at Fallston. McNutt had been acting postmaster for several months at Fallston, where previously his father also held the post. Both Coale and McNutt were recommended by the Harford Democratic State Central Committee.

A pilot, en route from Baltimore to Reading, Pa., attempting to make it to the Aldino Airport, lost altitude and decided to land in a wheat field at the Harlan Farm in Churchville. He overshot the field and went through a fence, coming to rest in a stream. The pilot, who was unhurt, walked to the Harlan residence and telephoned a friend in Baltimore to come get him. The plane was a total wreck and had to be removed for study by Civil Aeronautics Authorities who investigate air accidents.

An early morning burglary occurred at the Capri Pizza Shop on Thomas Street in Bel Air. Bel Air Police discovered that the front door had been forced open. Nothing in the store was bothered, except for the cash register, where $50 was missing.

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