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

25 years ago

April 8, 1996

RICHFIELD SPRINGS — While state police continued to report no significant progress in their search for Gordon “Woody” Mower Jr. and Melanie Ann Bray over the weekend, investigators were hoping for a helping hand from the television show “America’s Most Wanted.”

State police first approached the program’s producers a few days after the March 26 or 27 shooting deaths of Mower’s parents, Gordon Mower Sr., 53, and Susan Mower, 50. Police have identified Mower Jr. as a suspect in the double-homicide, and investigator Joseph T. Valentine says exposure on the nationally televised show could bring more leads in the case.

“Negotiations are still going on,” with the producers, Valentine said Sunday. “We’re attempting to get all the coverage we can.”

Meanwhile, investigators spent the weekend following up on reports of potential sightings of Mower Jr., 18, and his friend Bray, 14, whom investigators do not consider a suspect, and other potential leads. So far, none of those leads has been helpful, Valentine said.

50 years ago

April 8, 1971

Welfare programs in Otsego County directly touch about one in every six persons, David Brenner, vice chairman of the Otsego County Board of Representatives, told members of the Oneonta Area League of Women Voters last night.

Brenner noted that about 8,000 of the county’s 56,000 residents are receiving some kind of public assistance.

But the Oneonta representative stressed welfare abuses are no greater here (and may be less) than in other areas.

“Let us not be misled into thinking that these people (on public assistance) are all malingerers. Most of them are elderly, dependent children, or disabled,” Brenner said.

He told League members county officials have been “very vigilant” in checking out alleged welfare abuses.

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