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25 years ago in the week of Sept. 25, 1991

Courtesy of The Madera County Historical Society
Bank of Fresno’s Madera Valley branch was the winner in the window display contest for Old Timers week activities 25 years ago. From left, Liz Salas, Kathleen Finnigan and Melinda Burtan added costumes to the display of old cars in the bank’s lobby.


SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE CLIFFORD PLUMLEY DIES — Former Superior Court Judge Clifford Plumley died Monday in Fresno Community Hospital. Plumley came to Madera in 1950 to practice law with Denslow Green and the late Sherwood Green. In 1979, he was appointed to the county’s newly created second superior court seat. One of Plumley’s most famous cases was that of Rosalie Tarpening, a midwife accused of murder following the death of a newborn. Judge Plumley threw out the murder charge, and Tarpening was found guilty of practicing medicine without a license, a misdemeanor.
OLD TIMERS PARADE GOING ON WITHOUT FAIR — For the first time in many years, the Old Timers Day parade is being held without the Madera District Fair going on at the same time. Old Timers Week officials chose to keep the parade and other activities during the traditional fourth week of September. The annual parade will make its way down East Yosemite Avenue beginning at 10 o’clock Saturday. Following the parade, numerous events will be held in Courthouse Park in honor of Old Timers Day, including a barbeque, parade awards, arts and craft booths, a car show, and entertainment.
MAN CHARGED WITH MEAT CLEAVER ATTACK — A Madera man ended up in jail after he allegedly barely missed hitting a woman with a meat cleaver in their North O St. home. Miguel Angel Flores became angry at Carmen Hernandez Monday night for keeping the TV too loud. The anger turned into an argument, and Flores allegedly said he would kill Hernandez. Police Capt. Charles Dickison said Flores tried to stab the woman with a meat cleaver but missed and hit the wall instead. Flores then punched her in the face and knocked her to the floor. When officers arrived they found injuries to Hernandez’ face and arrested Flores.
POYTHRESS RETURNS HOME AS MADERA VALLEY BANK OF FRESNO VICE PRESIDENT — A man with lifelong ties to Madera — Robert L. Poythress — has been named vice president/commercial banking manager for Madera Valley Bank of Fresno. The 35-year-old native of Madera is the son of L.R. and Carolyn Poythress of Madera. He is a graduate of Madera High School and holds a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Poythress says he has a strong agricultural background as he grew up on a farm in the Madera area. His brother, Roger, is currently farming in the Howard area. Poythress and his wife, Carol, and three children — Richard, Rachel, and Laura — live in Madera.
SCHNOOR WILL BE EXTENDED TO AVENUE 16 — The Madera City Council took a major step to clear up the Cleveland/Gateway intersection this week by approving funding to extend Schnoor Avenue to Avenue 16. Construction has already begun on the road, which currently ends at Ironwood Way, three blocks north of West Cleveland Avenue. As part of the project, stop signs have been installed on Sunset Avenue and Schnoor, making the intersection a four-way stop for the first time. Drivers on Schnoor formerly were the only ones who had to stop at the intersection. The new signs come only three blocks west of another recent stop sign installed at Sunset and Orchard.

50 years ago in the week of Sept. 25, 1966
FORMER UNDERCOVER AGENT FOR FBI WILL SPEAK HERE — Miss Lola Belle Holmes, an undercover agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 1957 to 1963, will speak Friday night at theThomas Jefferson Junior High School auditorium at 8. Her subject will be “Why I became a Communist for the FBI.” She was assigned by the FBI to report on Communist activities within the civil rights groups in which she was active. While an undercover agent, she had seven years of Marxist/Leninist training at the Chicago School of Social Science, a school run by the Communist Party of Illinois. She emerged in 1963 to testify concerning the involvement of the American Communist Party in the civil rights movement.
RAYMOND JAIL BEING RESTORED — “I can remember making coffee for my husband’s prisoners,” commented Mrs. H.A. Phelp, who still lives by the old Raymond Jail and is in the process of restoring it now. Although most of the prisoners were common drunks, this was back in the days when saloons and drinking were the town’s main causes of activity and excitement. Her husband came to Raymond in 1914. He was deputy sheriff of Madera County for 36 years, and when the county no longer needed the old wooden jail, he and his wife bought it. The jail will soon be restored and will be a permanent landmark.
FUNDRAISER WILL ADD $3,000 TO REAGAN POT — A $20 a plate Ranchers for Reagan fundraiser Wednesday evening will add more than $3,000 to the campaign coffers of gubernatorial candidate Ronald Reagan. The success of the venture was announced this morning by Will Gill Jr., Madera County Ranchers for Reagan Committee chairman, at whose home the steak barbecue event was held, and D.W. (Bill) Holmes, Reagan’s county chairman. The event attracted more than 150 Reagan supporters from the entire county. Sen. Howard Way, R-Tulare, spoke to the gathering before leaving to deliver a major address to the Madera County Young Republicans.
LOCAL DEMOCRATS ANNOUNCE BARBECUE-RALLY — A barbecue-rally expected to draw several thousand persons was scheduled today by the Madera County Democratic Central Committee. It is set for 1 to 5 p.m. Oct. 23 at the Madera District Fairgrounds, and tickets are now available. The barbecued beef dinner, entertainment, and top party office holders, all for the price of $1 will be the main attraction. Nancy Culp, “Miss Jane” on the Beverly Hillbillies show will headline the entertainment for the evening. Joseph Cappelluti, Madera’s most experienced amateur chef, will be in charge of the barbecue.
1,500 CHICKENS READY FOR SATURDAY BARBECUE — Chickens, 1,500 of them, have been ordered by sponsors of the Old Timers Day Barbecue to be held in conjunction with the parade Saturday. The barbecued chicken meal will be ready for serving at 12 noon at the Madera District Fairgrounds. Included in the menu with 1/2 chicken are beans a la Malick, Italian salad, bread and butter. Only 3,000 meals will be served, and tickets will be available at the gate. Advanced tickets may be obtained from Young Farmers, Young Homemakers, Future Farmers or the Agriculture Dept. at Madera High School.