Step Back in Time features news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.

25 years ago

May 23, 1995

DOWNSVILLE — Jennifer Reed struggled to quiet the shaking baby as its plaintive cries echoed through the classroom.

“You can’t put him on your shoulder or turn him over,” Jennifer explained as the convulsive crying continued on and on. “Richard cried for three hours straight the other night, slept for half an hour and the cried for another 2½ hours. After I couldn’t calm him down I just tried to sleep.”

Jennifer’s baby isn’t real. It is one of four computerized “Baby Think It Over” dolls given to Downsville eighth graders recently in home economics class. The dolls are designed to simulate parenting.

“He’s a crack baby,” Jennifer said. “So when he cries he shakes and has seizures that last from 50 seconds to a minute and 20 seconds.”

Theresa McTighe, who teaches the class, said she has used 5-pound bags of flour and eggs to simulate babies in the past, with minor success. But the new lifelike dolls are really having an impact.

50 years ago

May 23, 1970

CALLICOON — Plans to protect the upper Delaware River under the Federal Scenic and Wild Rivers Act ran into some angry opposition in an informational meeting Thursday night in Delaware Valley Central School.

A vocal 25 per cent of the 125 people who attended the meeting consistently objected to the plans to place 75 miles of the river from Hancock to Port Jervis under a law to conserve natural waterways. At times, the opposition was even larger.

Within minutes after Edward F. Hoppe, chief of Resource Area Studies for the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, northeastern region, began to explain the Scenic and Wild Rivers Act of 1969, the opposition shot up.

“A couple of years ago there was commotion about the Delaware River being included in an act, and people from Hancock down were worried about losing their property,” said Charles Holchak of Long Eddy.

“They have given people peanuts for their property that was tantamount to confiscation. They just about lost their homes,” continued Holchak. “The people on the river are not rich, they are being victimized.”

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