CHRISTMAS SEASON OPENS STRONG IN MADERA — Friday after Thanksgiving started the traditional shopping season for Christmas in Madera, and local stores encouraged it by holding sales. People swarmed into stores such as Kmart, which opened at 7 a.m. to the rush. Clerk Mary Lou Contreras rescued a sale sign for comforters, which were being purchased almost as fast as she could bring them out of storage.
COTTON PLOW DOWN — Another cotton season has come and gone, and now it is time for growers to plow down their fields to prevent the spread of pink bollworms, which grow in old cotton stalks over the winter. One farmer could be seen plowing his field next to the Madera District Fairgrounds. The deadline date for plowdown is Dec. 31.
FINGER MAN ROBS BUSINESS — Like the tough guys from the old Hollywood movies, a man using a finger poked into his jacket pocket to simulate a pistol made off with an undisclosed amount of money from Yum Yum Donut Shop on West Yosemite Avenue. The man described as in his 20s entered the shop around 2 a.m., pointed what appeared to be a pistol in his jacket pocket at the counter clerk and demanded money. No suspect has been arrested.
FRAZIER TAKES PICCOLO’S SOUTH — Steve Frazier likes to say his Piccolo’s Bake-N-Save Pizza franchise business now stretches from California to Alabama but then adds there isn’t any in between. The founder of the second bake your own pizza service in California, Frazier has watched his business grow from a single store on Shaw Avenue in Fresno to nine stores, including one in Mobile, Ala...