PORTLAND – The fire which completely destroyed City Hall together with valuable records, and did considerable damage to nearby buildings, was under control at 11 o’clock this forenoon. The fire was discovered by City Editor Francis Littlefield of the Argus at 2:30 a.m. The loss is estimated at about $1 million. There were no fatalities and but two men were seriously injured. Both the local and visiting firemen did valiant service. Lewiston sent the first out-of-town apparatus to reach the scene of action and the “Spindle City” boys did great work.

50 years ago, 1958

• The Maine Turnpike Authority said today it failed to raise enough money to meet bond interest and provided no funds for bond retirements in 1957, despite a 5.7 percent increase in traffic. The authority has $78,600,000 in bonds outstanding and due for redemption Jan. 1, 1989.

• One of four Lewiston supermarkets whose give-away programs were halted yesterday by authorities will donate $2,500 in intended prize money to the Auburn- Lewiston United Community Chest. None of the affected markets disclosed any plans to fight the clamp-down on free prizes, and there were no indications the ban might spread to similar sales promotions in other Maine cities.

25 years ago, 1983

• In an effort to serve “more individualized orders” that are “less institutional,” Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston late this month will begin offering patients a choice of 25 different entrees and a daily chef’s special. CMMC Food Service Director Roger Simard said CMMC patients will be able to choose specially prepared meals from a “restaurant-style menu.”

• The Dark Crystal takes a fresh approach to fantasy filmmaking. Using sophisticated puppets and high-tech production devices – there’s not one human character in the whole movie – directors Jim Henson and Frank Oz (of Muppet fame) have opened up new territory between traditional cartooning and “live action” drama.

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