COULTHARD NAMED SENIOR FARMER OF THE YEAR — Benton H. Coulthard, a 68-year Madera County resident, has been chosen as the recipient of the Senior Farmer of the Year Award by the Madera District Chamber of Commerce. Coulthard has been farming for 49 years. Currently he manages 1,500 acres with diversified crops of corn, pistachios, almonds, hay, grain, cattle, bees and pasture. His name was placed in nomination by the Madera County Farm Bureau, which agreed that Coulthard is a “hard working, dedicated person whose involvement in the ag industry and the community is not for self-glory. He has a sincere interest in the preservation of a vital industry and the betterment of this community.”
POOL STILL LOVES CROP DUSTING AFTER 40 YEARS — This man’s dedication to flying might be considered extreme to some, considering it nearly cost him his life a couple of times, but 40 years later, he’s still at it. “I love flying and farming, and they fit together like a glove,” says Pool, a crop duster of legendary proportions in Madera County. “I don’t know why everyone thinks I crash all the time,” he says, laughing at the persistent rumor. “That all happened a long time ago. I was young and foolish once, and I did some foolish things.” Pool still has the original plane he started his business with in 1961. He says he tries to find good used planes, but his wife “thinks I’ve already got too damn many planes. She’d rather have a new car or something. (Editor’s note: Ray Pool will turn 89 on Saturday.)
TRIBUTE PAID IN CINCO DE MAYO CELEBRATION — Nine individuals were honored with Distinguished Hispanic Awards at the Cinco de Mayo reception Friday night. They were Maltida Torres, Manuel Jimenez, Emily Mayorga, Charlotte Lo-pez, Tillie Zaragosa, Mary Garza, Cecelia Rios, Geronimo Manzanarez, and Margaret Medellin. In addition, nine students from Madera Unified School District were honored as winners of an essay contest on Hispanic culture and the value of education. Keynote speakers for the evening were local television anchorman, Rudy Trevino, and Vice Principal of John Adams School, Sylvia Trevino. The event was held in the Madera Methodist Church.
WASHINGTON SUMMER SCHOOL A SUCCESS — According to summer school principal, Augie Valencia, the pilot summer school program at Washington School is improving self-confidence among students. Washington’s vice principal Tom Barile agrees, and in a report to the school board said, “While test scores are important, they do not always reveal the intangibles that are hard to measure. These include increased self-confidence and a better school attitude.” In studying the effects of the program, Barile said that if the students did not pass their exams when they were retested, they at least failed by a lesser degree. Attention is focused only on the students’ deficiencies during summer school...