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Old Sparkey Retired

Hollie Newton • Jul 6, 2013 at 7:30 AM

50 years ago, 1963: The mandatory death penalty for persons convicted of premeditated murder was abolished in New York State. The new law stated the penalty for premeditated murder was to be life imprisonment unless a jury unanimously agreed on the death penalty.

25 years ago, 1988: A Painsville business man, attempting to land his aircraft at Griffing Airport, crashed his plane into shallow Lake Erie waters just north of the Sandusky Airport. Harry Griffing watched the plane come in, touch down, then pull up and clip a tree - that is what caused the crash. He landed in about three feet of water behind the airport.

10 years ago, 2003: The Island Rocket III returned to Sandusky's Jackson Street pier after spending seven months as a chartered ferry for New York Waterway. The ferry was recruited to supplement the company's fleet, which were swamped with increased commuter traffic after portions of the Manhattan subway system was destroyed after Sept. 11.

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