Look Back … to a reporter’s tour of nerve gas igloos, 1997 | Features

Jan. 12, 1947, in The Star: Distribution of 96 new Junior Patrolmen uniforms was begun this week among 13 schools in the Anniston area and will be completed tomorrow, Capt. L. M. Owen, city policeman in charge of the school safety program, announced yesterday. Eighteen of the new uniforms – consisting of white caps and belts and an impressive patrolman’s badge of authority – will be used by new boys in the program. These boys attend Lutheran Grace School on West 15th Street and Calhoun County Training School in Hobson City. Junior Patrolmen, who now number 244, are divided into two groups which alternate active-duty service every six weeks or so. Also this date: Calhoun County Farm Supply recently moved from its old location on Noble Street to a completely new and specially designed building at 1005 Gurnee Avenue. The new store is one of the first of its kind, completed on a plan designed by the Ralston Purina Co. – which might be obvious from the exterior paint scheme accenting Purina’s familiar red-and-white checkerboard pattern. J. H. Heathcock, owner, is a farm-raised native of Calhoun County. He began his career in Jacksonville selling food product, seeds and animal feed.

Jan. 12, 1997, in The Star: With her insights and observations narrated in first-person style for a Page 1 article, Star health writer Elizabeth Pezzullo notes that she recently became the first reporter in modern times to be allowed inside an Anniston Army Depot chemical weapons igloo. And it took “only” five hours of background checks and safety instructions to gain that access. The “chemical limited area” features 155 igloos that contain about 2,000 chemical weapons each; GB nerve agent, VX nerve agent and mustard gas fill the fatal weapons. Affixed to the fence surrounding the area are signs reading “Use of Deadly Force Authorized.” Since 1983, 578 leaks have been detected, most of them in M-55 rockets. Also this date: Promotions have been announced in The Star’s advertising department. Ken Warren will be advertising director, a title which takes in ad sales responsibilities at Christian Net, the Cleburne News and the Local Edition cable TV news program. Trisha Flint will be responsible for the daily operation of The Star’s retail advertising department and the classified advertising department.

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