THIRD DRY YEAR MAY BE AHEAD FOR FARMERS — It looks like another dry year may be in the cards for San Joaquin Valley growers. During the 1987-88 water year, the Madera Irrigation District was only able to provide three-quarters of an acre-foot of water for 71 days. The average water season should last 210 days with 1.8-acre feet of water available. An acre-foot of water is one acre of land covered with one foot of water. It takes approximately three-acre feet of water to raise the average crop. “It was the second year of a drought,” said Robert Stanfield, MID general manager. “Growers had to go to the groundwater basin.” The year before, MID had to raise prices and deliver less water due to a dry winter and summer, shrinking the water supply to only 35 percent of a normal water year.
TACO BELL SHUTS DOORS AFTER 20 YEARS — Customers in the mood for some Mexican fast food arrived last week to find Madera’s Taco Bell closed and replaced this week by a different business. Taco Bell had been a landmark on the corner of Gateway Drive and Fourth Street for 20 years. But the franchisee is considering legal action to get his business back. Warren Hughes of Clovis said the parent company did not renew his franchise in November of last year. His lease on the property was renewed, however. Plans are on the drawing board to construct a Taco Bell, owned by someone other than Hughes, on Howard Road next to Monty’s Liquor Store.
FEWER DISQUALIFICATIONS FOR DAHMAN — Post-election results indicate Madera Justice Court Judge Victor Dahman has continued to reduce disqualifications in his court. Since the election, disqualifications in Dahman’s court have dropped to about one percent. Out of 2,800 cases since the election, the judge has been disqualified only 27 times. “We still have some old cases grinding through the system,” Dahman said, “but we’ve got the disqualifications way down.” Dahman has argued that Les Gendron, a pubic defender, was partially responsible for the high disqualification rate. John Barker now has the public defender contract.
SORDI CLAIMS TITLE AT CLOVIS TOURNEY — Robbie Sordi captured the 105-weight division championship at the Clovis Invitational Wrestling Tournament Saturday night. Sordi, now 14-0 on the season and last year’s state champion at 98 pounds, defeated Selma’s Joseph Mares 11-2 in the championship bout. It was Sordi’s first championship in the Clovis meet after reaching the finals two previous times. “Robbie went out after his opponent and stayed on the attack,” Madera coach Corky Napier said. “He got his first two points relatively early and that helped him.” “It feels great,” Sordi said. It’s the first time I’ve ever won the championship here.” ...