FIRST NEW MID PRESIDENT IN 12 YEARS — After 12 years, the Madera Irrigation District has a new president. Stephen W. Erickson was elected president of the board earlier this month, replacing Johnny Deniz who has served as president since April 1975. Erickson is a diversified farmer in Madera County where he farms cotton, corn, alfalfa, vineyard, almonds, and tree fruit. Elected as vice president of MID was Rocky Teranishi, a former employee of MID.
PHILLIPS GETS STILL ANOTHER RETRIAL DATE — The penalty phase retrial for a man convicted of murder and attempted murder has been delayed until May 16. The defense attorney for Richard “Speed” Phillips, 38, asked for the continuance during a court hearing Friday. Superior Court Judge Edward Moffat vacated the scheduled Feb. 22 trial and set a May 16 date. Phillips has been awaiting retrial since the California Supreme Court reversed his death penalty conviction in 1985. He was convicted of the murder of two Southern California contractors.
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. PROGRAM SET — Dr. Albert T. Wilburn will be the keynote speaker at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. birthday celebration Sunday at the Millview Community Center. Dr. Wilburn is a native of Texas and moved to Madera with his parents in 1951. He was a valedictorian at Madera High and is a graduate of Stanford University. He graduated from UCLA with a medical degree in 1971 and has a medical practice in Los Angeles. Other speakers include Mary Long and Tony Brezeale, president of the Madera chapter of the NAACP. A community chorus from the Second Missionary Baptist, Galilee, and Mt. Zion Baptist churches will perform.
MADERA MAN CHARGED WITH KIDNAPPING EX-WIFE — A Madera man has been charged with kidnapping his ex-wife, who was injured Sunday when she jumped from the car he was driving. Anita Silva told police she was about to leave for work when she found Frank Silva in the back seat of her car. He then got out of the car and entered the driver’s side, pushing her away. She jumped out at the intersection of Barnett Way and Almond Avenue. Police apprehended Silva, who said he was just driving his ex-wife to work. He is being held in lieu of $7,000 bail on kidnapping charges...