25 Years Ago
Week of Nov. 20, 1991
MAJOR SOURCE OF MCNALLY PARK DRUGS ARRESTED — A Fresno man labeled as a major figure in furnishing drugs to one of Madera’s most troubled areas was arrested and $5,100 of cocaine and marijuana confiscated by the Madera County Narcotics Enforcement Team Tuesday night, NET Commander Dave Bradford said. “He is the primary individual supplying crack cocaine to the McNally Park area,” Bradford said in reference to David DeSoan Chinn. Chinn was taken into custody after officers set up a buy in Madera and arrested him at Avenue 17 and Melba Drive. Chinn attempted to throw the cocaine he was going to sell the officers out the window of his car but it was recovered.
SEARCH BEGINS FOR A NEW CITY TRAFFIC COORDINATOR — The Madera City Council gave its go ahead to begin the search for a traffic coordinator to clear up congestion on the north side of the city. The ramrod will be responsible for fighting through state, railroad, and Caltrans bureaucracies to get permission to construct the Highway 99 overpass at Cleveland Avenue, the Avenue 16 overcross, and a Fresno River overcross at Schnoor Avenue among others. When the council was told it would also have to deal with state Fish and Game approval, Council Member Patrick O’Rourke said the number of groups the city had to deal with is “exactly why a ramrod is needed.”
LACK OF EXPERIENCE WILL SHOW ON NEW SCHOOL BOARD — T.R. Gustaveson hoped to be reelected as a Madera Unified trustee because his experience in finding problems and solving them is needed, and he sees an inexperienced board as having a difficult task ahead. “The new board members are very capable, but before you can do anything, you have to have knowledge that there is a problem and want to do something about it. Then you have to know how to change it,” he said. Gustaveson, Bill Driggs, and Benny Barsotti finish their terms on the board tonight, with Gustaveson taking 16 years of experience with him.
WIND CREATES HAVOC IN VALLEY — High winds wreaked havoc in Madera County Friday afternoon, especially in the rural areas where blowing dust was to blame for numerous accidents and power outages. Several accidents were reported on Highway 152 and on county roads as wind made visibility almost impossible in places. Reports from the county’s road department said trees were down all over the county. Multi-crop grower Bill Hagopian said the wind was “terrible, I can’t think of any crops the wind is good for. Wind is real good for sails and not much else,” he quipped. Hagopian said he had to stop work on his farm because visibility dropped to zero.
CITY COUNCIL INFURIATED BY GOLF COURSE MARKETING PLAN — Madera City Council members were infuriated Monday night over an improvement plan for the municipal golf course submitted almost a week late by Golf Corp, the course’s management firm. Council members complained that it is not only late, it contains “few viable suggestions.” The report opened with a letter from Gulf Corp, which stated the financial problems the course is experiencing, will soon be resolved. City Manager Nick Pavlovich said he is talking with Gulf Corp to try to get better results out of the firm. “We ought to talk faster,” responded council member Bill Weber.
50 Years Ago
Week of Nov. 20, 1966
ATTORNEY’S WIFE PASSES BAR EXAM — Mrs. Virginia Gendron was notified today that she has passed the state examination for the bar. Passage of the bar exam climaxes four years of law study in a Fresno night school for Mrs. Gendron, wife of Madera Attorney Lester J. Gendron. She is a Madera Union High School graduate and has a bachelor of arts degree from the University of California at Berkeley. Mrs. Gendron plans to enter her husband’s North F Street law office. Husband and wife legal teams are unusual she noted, although usually both attend law school and graduate at the same time. The Gendrons have three children.
TONS OF CORN MOVED TO REACH SMALL FIRE — Fighting the fire was a cinch; getting to it was the chore. Madera County’s Division of Forestry wrestled an unbelievable 25 hours with 998 tons of corn Saturday and Sunday before the weary crew could reach a smoldering two tons of the corn. Responding to a fire call at 11:01 a.m. Saturday, the team rushed to Valley Grain Drier Inc., only to find a mountain of corn facing them with smoke slipping out the bottom. All the way through the day, night, and next morning the crew shifted corn to one side. Finally, at noon on Sunday the smoldering corn was exposed, and a few squirts put it out in two minutes. Damage to the corn was estimated at $1,000.
MRS. ARNOLD MOVES TO EDITORIAL POSITION — Mrs. Carol McAlister, Daily Tribune Community Activities editor, will retire as of today and will be replaced by Mrs. Pat Arnold. Mrs. Arnold is known to The Daily Tribune readers as the author of the “This ‘N That” column, which she will continue in addition to the active editing of the community activities page. Mrs. McAlister is the wife of William McAlister, high school swim coach. Mrs. Arnold’s husband, Pat, is in real estate. Both are active in community affairs. In announcing the change, Editor Don Brown said the newspaper was sorry to lose Mrs. McAlister but feels Mrs. Arnold will be an effective replacement.
WILLIAM ISAKSON SR. DIES AT 73 — Funeral services for Mr. William J. Isakson Sr., 73, will be held Friday at 2 pm. at Jay Chapel. Burial will be at Arbor Vitae Cemetery. Isakson is a native of San Francisco but had resided in Madera for 68 years. He moved to the Adobe Ranch on River Road at an early age and grew up there. A graduate of Madera High School, he worked as a car salesman for several years. Isakson was associated with the California Farm Labor Department until three years ago. He was also associated with the Madera Stationers. He belonged to the Elks Lodge and the Madera Sportsmen Club.
EVERETT L. COFFEE RESIGNS JUDGESHIP — Everett L. Coffee has resigned from the Madera Superior Court bench, it was disclosed today from the governor’s office. No reason was given for the resignation, but Coffee, age 64, has been in ill health for the past several months. Coffee was appointed to the judgeship Nov. 25, 1965 to replace former judge Mason Bailey. Coffee had previously served as district attorney during two different periods of time and as its county counsel. He was also in private practice in Madera for 16 years. Governor Edmund G. Brown will have the choice of naming a new appointee to the bench.