Apollo 13 returns, shootings at Virginia Tech: News Journal archives, week of April 14

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"Pages of history" features excerpts from The News Journal archives including the Wilmington Morning News and the Evening Journal.

April 14, 1999, The News Journal

Carper approves minimum-wage increase to $5.65

James S. Neri of Marydel, who works two jobs to support his family of four, will be among 10,000 workers in Delaware getting a raise May 1.

That’s when the state’s minimum wage goes from $5.15 to $5.65 an hour under legislation signed Tuesday by Gov. Tom Carper. A second increase to $6.15 an hour is scheduled for Oct. 1, 2000.

Front page of The News Journal from April 14, 1999.
Front page of The News Journal from April 14, 1999.

“The raise will help a little bit,” said Neri, who works part time, 32 hours, cleaning cars at Soft-Touch Car Wash in Dover for minimum wage. He also works full time at Steelworks, a Dover filing cabinet manufacturer, at a wage of more than $9 an hour.

His wife also works two jobs. It takes all they bring home, about $1,400 a month in net income, to support the family, Neri said.

The minimum wage is often thought to be a wage normally paid to teens entering the work force.

Neri, 33, is more typical. Department of Labor statistics show 85% of minimum-wage earners are adults….

Recent council news: In a long and passion-filled meeting, New Castle County lays out its new zoning plan

April 16, 1947, Wilmington Morning News

Dodgers defeat Braves in Robinson’s debut

Pete Reiser, key to Brooklyn’s flag chances, blazed a seventh-inning double off the screen a foot inside the right-field foul line at Ebbets Field yesterday to drive across the tying and winning runs as the Dodgers opened their 1947 campaign with a 5 to 3 victory over the Boston Braves.

Page 18 of the Wilmington Morning News from April 16, 1947.
Page 18 of the Wilmington Morning News from April 16, 1947.

Although he did not get a hit in four official times at bat, Jackie Robinson, the first Negro to play in modern big league ball, signalized his official debut as a Dodger by sprinting home with the deciding run on Reiser’s smash and playing perfect ball at first base….

April 17, 2007, The News Journal

33 dead in Va. Tech massacre, worst shooting in U.S. history

An outburst of gunfire at a Virginia Tech dormitory followed two hours later by a ruthless rampage in a classroom building killed 32 students, teachers and staff members and wounded at least 15 others Monday in the deadliest shooting attack in the nation’s history.

The shooter, whose name was not released Monday night, carried two 9mm semiautomatic handguns and wore a vest that carried additional ammunition, law enforcement officials and witnesses said.

Front page of The News Journal from April 17, 2007.
Front page of The News Journal from April 17, 2007.

Witnesses described the shooter as a young man — a silent killer who was calm and showed no expression as he pursued and shot his victims.

He killed himself as police closed in.

He had left two dead at the dormitory and 30 more at a science and engineering building, where he executed people taking and teaching classes and even shot a custodian who was helping a victim….

The campus community in southwest Virginia began questioning whether most of the deaths could have been prevented. They wondered why the campus was not shut down after the first shooting, in which two people were killed….

Based on witness interviews, police believed the first shooting was an isolated domestic case and chose not to take any drastic security measures, university officials said…

April 18, 1970, The Morning News

Imperiled Apollo trip ends on target

Days of cold and peril behind, three tired American astronauts splashed down in a happy, on-target landing in the Pacific yesterday, safe at last in the warmth of their home planet.

A doctor who examined the spacemen aboard the aircraft carrier USS Iwo Jima only minutes after their return to Earth reported that Fred W. Haise Jr. was suffering from a mild urinary tract infection and had a low grade fever….

Front page of The Morning News from April 18, 1970.
Front page of The Morning News from April 18, 1970.

Haise went right to bed after a medical examination and a meal. James A. Lovell Jr. and John L. Swigert Jr. revisited the space craft which had carried them back from a near-tragedy….

The Apollo 13 spacemen were back from moments of extreme danger, from long hours of discomfort, chilled by cabin temperatures in the 30s, tired by the constant battle to keep their battered ship going. Those trials began Monday night when an oxygen tank in their service module burst, exploding with it hopes for a lunar landing and putting the astronauts’ lives in jeopardy….

President Richard Nixon proclaimed Sunday as a day of national prayer and thanksgiving….

Catch up on history: President denies affair, electricity costs jump: News Journal archives, week of Jan. 21

April 20, 1995, The News Journal

Terror in the heartland; 300 missing in Oklahoma blast

A car bomb ripped deep into America’s heartland Wednesday, killed at least 26 people and leaving 300 missing in a blast that gouged a nine-story hole in a federal office building in Oklahoma City.

The dead included at least 12 youngsters, some just dropped off by their parents at a daycare center.

Front page of The News Journal from April 20, 1995.
Front page of The News Journal from April 20, 1995.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, the deadliest U.S. bombing in 75 years….

Attorney General Janet Reno refused to comment on who might have been behind the attack. President Bill Clinton called the bombers “evil cowards” and Reno said the government would seek the death penalty against them….

Reach reporter Ben Mace at rmace@gannett.com.

This article originally appeared on Delaware News Journal: Apollo 13, Virginia Tech shootings: News Journal archives, April 14