BOARD MAY ALLOW SMOKING INSIDE — County workers who smoke may be given a place to light up inside county buildings. County Assessor Dick Gordon asked supervisors Tuesday to provide designated, inside smoking areas for employees who smoke. His suggestion met with some resistance by the board, which finally agreed to study the matter. Supervisor Gail Hanhart McIntyre said she couldn’t support the idea unless the area could be enclosed. Supervisor Harry Baker suggested that smokers go to their cars to smoke. Supervisor Al Ginsberg said, “I can’t see a person not being able to go without smoking for three or four hours, and I’m an ex-smoker.
SCHOOL CHILDREN FIND MURDER VICTIM — A group of school children discovered the body of Lloyd Amey, 51, of Madera in the back seat of a car Tuesday morning. He had been stabbed. Ricky Sepulveda, 14, said he knew the man was dead when he saw him. “I watched his stomach for a long time. There was no fog, you know, your breath makes fog when it’s cold,” he said. Lisa Rodriguez, 12, said she tried to get a neighbor to call police, “but she just told me to forget it.” Lisa said she ran home and asked her dad to use the phone and dialed 911. “My mom said more people are starting to die around here,” said Amano Rodriguez. “She don’t want us out late anymore.” The kids were waiting for a bus to Eastin-Arcola School.
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., HONORED — The program to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Sunday at the Madera Community Center featured six young speakers who centered on what can be done to keep the slain civil rights leader’s dream alive. “You have to be in your 30s to understand segregation,” said Bobbie Cox, one of the speakers. You can’t keep the dream alive if you don’t know what it is, noted Lisa York, mistress of ceremonies. York and the speakers who followed said the responsibility falls on parents to keep King’s teachings in the minds of the young. “It’s up to us to go beyond the Encyclopedia Britannica,” stressed Leon Bass, president of the Madera County Board of Education.
NO GUARANTEE FOR STUDENT SAFETY IN MUSD — Madera Unified School District Superintendent Tom Riley said there is very little schools can do to protect students from assaults like the one that killed five students at a Stockton elementary school Tuesday. “It is the price of an open society. Even if we had armed police on every campus, it probably wouldn’t stop a mad man,” he said. “Barbed-wire fences and armed security guards have been installed in some urban campuses in Los Angeles, but the options in Madera are few. Riley said when he was first named superintendent in July 1987, he walked on to each campus without checking in. “At almost every campus I was stopped within 30 seconds, and the ones where I wasn’t I had a good talk with them.” ...