Today in history: trial of two Rainbow Party members moved to Cadillac

Pictured is a clip from the May 16, 1998 edition of the Cadillac Evening News. “Kyle Hiltunen does a back flip into Lake Billings as his friends look on while finding relief from the record-breaking heat of a summer-like May afternoon in Manton.”

May 16, 1933

Wexford County’s recruits and first alternates for the reforestation project will meet at the City Hall at 1:00 o’clock Sunday afternoon to be examined before going to Camp Brady for a hardening period. Capt. E.K. Crowley, U.S.A., wired the local employment office today to say that it would be impractical for his representative to be here Friday, the day suggested by Arthur J. Harvey, who is in charge of selection of recruits from this county, but that he could come next Sunday afternoon. Elmer Pierson, in the absence of Mr. Harvey from the city, will notify the boys selected for first and second choices to be at the City Hall. The alternates are to be on hand in order that they may be given an examination in the event that any of the boys given first choice fail to pass their examinations. All young men selected for the reforestation work must be physically fit.

May 16, 1973

Motions filed in Benzie County Circuit Court on behalf of two members of the Rainbow People’s Party accused of armed robbery and extortion were denied Tuesday by Judge William Peterson. Judge Peterson, however, changed venue of the scheduled trial from Benzie County Circuit Court in Beulah to Cadillac, according to a court spokesman. The motions filed on behalf of Lawrence “Pun” Plamondon, 27, and Craig Blazier, 22, sought a delay in the June 11 trial date to prepare motions for a change of venue and sought a psychiatric examination of one of the main prosecution witnesses. Plamondon and Blazier are free on bonds on charges of armed robbery, conspiracy to extort, extortion and criminal usury in connection with an alleged attempt to collect $3,000 in a marijuana transaction with Uwe Wagner of Beulah. Attorney Hugh “Buck” Davis, representing Plamondon and Blazier, attempted to secure the motion for a continuance on grounds that more time was needed for preparation of other motions — including a motion for a dismissal of the case on grounds that the Rainbow People’s Party was the object of political persecution from the Michigan State Police and the Attorney General’s office. Plamondon was a key figure in a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year which declared that wiretapping of radical groups without a court order was illegal. The landmark ruling came after Plamondon had been charged with conspiracy to bomb a CIA office in Ann Arbor in September, 1968. The Department of Justice dropped charges against Plamondon rather than disclose its wiretap evidence. Davis announced no appeal plan but said he was “investigating” a plan for further action.

May 16, 1998

Two weather stations in Cadillac recorded temperatures higher than the official record high temp of 86 degrees Fahrenheit. The previous record for May 15 was established during a heat wave in 1991, when four consecutive daily high temperature records were set. Yesterday, the thermometer at the Wexford County Airport recorded 88 degrees at 4 p.m., according to assistant manager Bob Clark. That mark unofficially topped the ‘91 record by two degrees. Yesterday’s heat meant additional take-off calculations for two corporate jet pilots waiting for their passengers to return from a visit to town. “When temperature goes up, jets need more runway to take off,” explained Clark. “The hotter it gets, the less lift the air gives. Our runway is 5,400 feet. Jets this size need 5,000 for insurance purposes. On a hot day, they’ll use half to two-thirds of that.” On a cold day, however, when the air is heavier and denser, they’ll use half as much runway as on a hot day, said one of the jet pilots. All airplanes are affected by air density, he added, but jets feel the effect more than propeller-driven aircraft.