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Looking back: Safe robbers arrested, boy survives ‘freak accident’ and a giant mushroom

The Rigby High School prancing Troyettes in summer uniforms. June 1966. | Courtesy The Rigby Star
IDAHO FALLS — EastIdahoNews.com is looking back at what life was like during the week of June 17 to June 23 in east Idaho history.
1900-1925
BANCROFT — A boy, about 16 years of age, accidentally shot and killed his nine-year-old brother while the two were shooting rock chucks, The Pocatello Tribune reported on June 18, 1923.
“According to the best information available, the two boys were out shooting rock chucks when the eldest who was carrying a .22-rifle, stumbled over a badger hole, causing the gun to discharge, the bullet lodging in the abdomen of his brother,” the paper said. “Medical aid was summoned and later the boy was taken to the Soda Springs Hospital.”
Once he arrived at the hospital, it was discovered the bullet punctured the boy’s liver. He died early the next morning.
“The surviving brother is heart-broken over the accident,” the article reads.
1926-1950
REXBURG — A trio was arrested following the thefts of cash registers and safes in four counties, The Rigby Star reported on June 22, 1944.
Dale Woolf, of Idaho Falls, Elbert Ritchie, of Idaho Falls and Horace Mundell, of Menan, were charged with “being implicated in the thefts” of the safes and cash registers that were stolen in Teton, Madison, Jefferson and Bonneville counties. The robberies were all committed during the first week in June 1944.
“The arrest of the trio … was the result of the combined effort and vigilance of the officers in the four counties,” the paper said.
The paper said Ritchie and Woolf acknowledged their participation in the thefts but Mundell denied that he had anything to do with the thefts.
“(Ritchie and Woolf) stated that the safe stolen from the Menan Co-op, as well as the cash register, taken from the same place, were thrown into the Snake River from the Roberts bridge, after the safe was opened,” the article reads. “The cash was taken but the checks and papers in the safe were tossed into the river.”
The safe from the Modern Cigar store in Rexburg was thrown into the North Fork of the Snake River. The safe stolen from the Tetonia store was thrown into the Teton River, and a cash register from the Drive-In-Market in Idaho Falls was found on Iona Road.
“It is estimated that valuables and cash to the amount of $10,000 were in the various safes that were stolen,” The Rigby Star said. “However, Ritchie and Woolf, stated that about $800 in cash was split four ways.”
Woolf was arrested in Boise and $6,000 worth of bonds allegedly stolen from one of the safes in Teton County were found in his car. He was being held in the Madison County Jail.
Ritchie and Mundell were arrested by Madison County authorities. However, after Mundell posted bond, he was arrested again, this time in Teton County in connection with a safe theft at Tetonia. He was being held in the Driggs Jail.
1951-1975
RIGBY — A child was miraculously unharmed after a “freak accident” involving a loose wire, The Rigby Star reported on June 19, 1958.
Mr. and Mrs. Keith Madsen’s son, Brian, touched a loose wire near a pump house which takes water out of a canal not far from the Madsen home. The child was in swim trunks and was standing on the canal bank when he was “knocked down.”
“It is believed the pump was shorted electricity feeding into the wire, which was wrapped around a pole,” The Rigby Star mentioned.
Carpenters working near the canal “answered the screams” and one of the workers “knocked the wire from the child’s hands with a board.”
Other than shock, the child suffered “no ill effects.”
1976-2000
POCATELLO — A local family was on a fishing trip when they discovered a 21-pound giant mushroom, the Idaho State Journal reported on June 22, 1977.
The Irv Browning family, of Pocatello, found the mushroom growing east of Malad. The paper said it is called a “genus calvatia or puff ball.”
Tim Diffenbach, who worked at the Idaho State University Biology Department, said the giant puff ball is “commonly found growing wild.”
“It’s the same class as the normal mushroom,” he added.

A 21-pound mushroom found was found by a local family in 1977 east of Malad.| Courtesy Idaho State Journal
The post Looking back: Safe robbers arrested, boy survives ‘freak accident’ and a giant mushroom appeared first on East Idaho News.
Source: eastidahonews.com

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