Twenty-five years ago, Madera postal clerk John Ortiz carried the Olympic torch through Madera as Jose Ruiz pushed Ortiz’ son along D Street to the post office. The torch was on its way to the U.S. Olympic Festival ’91 that took place in Los Angeles in preparation for the Olympic Games in Barcelona in ’92. (Courtesy of the Madera County Historical Society)
VALLEY CHILDREN’S HEADED TO MADERA COUNTY LOCATION — Valley Children’s Hospital plans to construct a $90 million new facility in Madera County south of Avenue 10 and west of Highway 41. According to Supervisor Gail Hanhart McIntyre, the hospital plans to construct a 400,000-square-foot facility on the bluffs overlooking the San Joaquin River. The property was donated by Richard Gunnar. Madera Community Hospital Administrator Bob Kelly said he was pleased at the addition of another hospital in Madera County. “It’s a nice complement to the county. The citizens use the Children’s Hospital, and we are pleased it will be closer,” he said.
INMATE DIES IN JAIL — An inmate in the Madera County jail with a history of heart problems died Saturday evening after spending a number of days in the facility’s infirmary. Curtis Caywood, 67, was pronounced dead at 5:23 p.m. after being taken to Madera Community Hospital by ambulance earlier in the day. Caywood’s leg was recently amputated, and Sheriff Glenn Seymour said he would have to wait until a toxicology report is completed to determine the cause of death. A resident of Coarsegold, Caywood has been in custody since April 23 for parole violations. Three deaths and an attempted escape by two prisoners have occurred at the jail in the past 18 months.
SECOND MUSEUM CLOCK STRIKES AGAIN — The Madera County Museum clock is working and striking the hours of the day following repair work by jeweler Richard Wright. The Madera County Historical Society paid Wright $3,000 to complete the task. The work included the fabrication of some broken parts and cleaning and timing the clock. The museum clock was installed in the building’s new tower in 1907 after a Christmas Eve fire in 1906 destroyed the first tower. The fire was the work of an arsonist who lit a pile of oily rags and left them on the top floor. The first courthouse clock rang for the first time in 1902.
FIRE UNCOVERS MARIJUANA FARM NEAR HIGHWAY 49 — Five gardens containing 2,438 marijuana plants were discovered by firefighters putting out a fire following the explosion of a generator in Eastern Madera County Wednesday. The plants were in their infancy, six to 12 inches in height. Madera County Narcotics Enforcement Team Commander Dave Bradford said they would have been full grown in a few months and carried a value of approximately $9,752,000. Bradford said the plots could not be detected from the air or the road. Investigators had to crawl on their knees under brush to reach the gardens...