GORDON SKEELS BEHIND THE HEADLINES — Madera Police Chief Gordon Skeels is The Tribune’s person behind the news this week. He was born in Palmyra, New York, is married, and has six daughters. His favorite toy as a child was an erector set, and his favorite toy as an adult is his wife’s Pontiac Fierro. His favorite music is anything from the 50’s, and if he could change anything about his appearance, it would be to grow his hair back. If he could go back in time, he would be an old time, frontier marshall. He keeps himself occupied by working in his church and keeping all of the vehicles in his family running.
RACIST MATERIAL EDITED OUT OF JAIL MANUAL — Madera County jail officers are using a heavily edited version of a much maligned training manual. Local officials have edited out profanities and references to inmates as animals. In the original version, prisoners are referred to as cats, noting “you have your lions that come from Africa, your Bengal tigers that come from Asia, your pumas that come from south of the border, and you have your leopards. They ain’t the same; they don’t speak the same language, and they don’t necessarily like each other.” Al Hahn, the County Corrections Chief, condemned the manual and ordered the book to be cleaned up before used in the county.
BOARD TURNS OVER REST OF ROTARY PARK — In the interest of good relations with the city, supervisors agreed to transfer ownership of a 73’ by 346’ strip of land by Rotary Park for future expansion. Supervisors were unaware the county owned the land, thinking the entire strip had been given to the city when the county handed over the land for Rotary Park. Some supervisors, however, suggested a quid-pro-quo arrangement. Supervisor Jess Lopez said, “Why not a trade-off?” Supervisor Gail Hanhart McIntyre noted the county had believed the land had been turned over, and in good faith it should be turned over to the city. She said the board should “be on its toes” to make sure the county doesn’t give land away in the future.
MADERA HIGH TO REGAIN CAMPUS OFFICER IN FALL — Madera Unified School District’s outrage inspired by the absence of a Madera High School campus officer has abated since the Madera City Council and MUSD reached a compromise on the issue. The city and MUSD will share in the funding of a police car and its maintenance, and the school district will pay the salary of the full-time officer on the campus. “We really need a full-time security officer on campus, Superintendent Tom Riley maintained. The money will come from the MUSD drug suppression program...