25 Years Ago in the Week of Dec. 11, 1991
POLICE BLOCK LEFT TURNS OFF CLEVELAND — Heavy traffic has forced the city to come to grips with one of its most vexing intersections — Cleveland Avenue, Gateway Drive, and Highway 99. The Madera Police Department has eliminated left turns from Cleveland Avenue onto Highway 99 as of today. Traffic heading westbound on Cleveland will not be able to go southbound on Hwy. 99 but will still be able to go north. Likewise, Vehicles going eastbound will not be able to turn left onto the northbound lanes of Hwy. 99. Officers will be concentrating on drivers who do not keep the Cleveland/Gateway intersection clear. The tickets will run about $100.
MUSD DRAWS IRE OF HIGH SCHOOL AG DEPARTMENT — Madera Unified’s attempt to tackle the problem of replacing the current transportation facility is drawing criticism from some members of the Madera High School agricultural department who are opposing the move to expand the yard onto ag farmland. The previous board and the current board are in favor of the move. Superintendent Tom Riley calls it a “sticky situation.” The transportation yard is located on Olive Avenue next to the MHS baseball diamond. Trustee B.J. Robinson said if taking some ag land will guarantee safety for students, it should be done. The board will be asked to make a decision in January.
PASSENGERS ATTACK, ROB CAB DRIVER — A cab driver who picked up an early morning fare Saturday got more than he bargained for when his two passengers attacked and robbed him. John Reis of the Madera Cab Co. picked up two males at 3:40 Saturday morning at the corner of C Street and Yosemite Avenue. After driving them to the Amtrak station, one of the men grabbed him by the jacket and started punching him in the face. They also kicked him in the ribs several times before making off with his money, wallet, boots, watch, and keys to the cab. Reis suffered moderate injuries in the attack and lost approximately $140 in cash and property.
CHOWCHILLA MAN KILLS HIS MOTHER; SHOOTS HIMSELF — A Chowchilla man who had suffered from Parkinson’s disease for some time became so depressed Saturday morning that he apparently strangled his mother before shooting himself to death, Sheriff Glen Seymour said. Aldo Rabbiosi, 58, having gone through extended treatment became despondent. “For reasons known only to God,” Seymour said, “he killed his mother before shooting himself in the chest with a shotgun. Victoria Rabbiosi, also of Chowchilla, was found along with her son at 9:58 Saturday morning by a family member. Victoria Rabbiosi was caring for her son at the time of her death.
BOARD PUSHES BACK IN UNION CRITICISM — A charge that the Madera County Board of Supervisors is not doing enough to create job opportunities in the county met with a strong reaction from the board on Tuesday. The charge of inaction was brought by Robert Ward, of the Plumbers & Pipefitters Local No. 246. “This board has spent the last two years working exhaustedly,” Supervisor Rick Jensen said, “This board hasn’t shirked its duties; there’s just some circumstances we can’t control. Supervisor Al Ginsburg said that Ward “obviously doesn’t know what he’s talking about, and I resent someone being critical of something when he doesn’t know what is being done.”
50 Years Ago in the Week of Dec. 11, 1966
GUNMAN GETS $295 FROM SIERRA FOODLAND MARKET — A lone gunman escaped with $295 in small bills from Sierra Foodland shortly before 7 Tuesday after displaying an automatic pistol to clerk William Spikes and rifling the cash drawer. Spikes said the man walked into the store, strolled to the back and picked up a quart of milk. As Spikes told him the price of the milk, the gunman barked for him to “move over” and pulled out his pistol. While 10 onlookers stared, the gunman collected just bills from the register and walked out the front door. Don Conklin, owner of the store, said his insurance covered the loss of the money.
FIRE CREWS RUSH TO RED TOP AND MADERA HOSPITAL — The building belonging to Ray Flanagan known as the Red Top Y, was hit by fire this morning. Forestry crews from Madera and Merced battled the blaze for two hours before it was contained. The fire was reportedly started by a faulty butane heater flue. An employee, Earnest Henry, who lived on the place, called the Merced station after waking up and seeing flames flickering along the ceiling of his living quarters bedroom. Meanwhile, an entire Forestry battery rolled out when a call from the Madera County Hospital said the whole kitchen was in flames. That fire turned out to be merely a burning cooler in the kitchen.
SUPERVISORS WANT SALES TAX INCREASE — The Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution calling for new or increased sales taxes to help pay for widespread governmental services, which benefit all residents. Real property owners have been “hit with an excessive and unfair amount of property taxes and are thereby threatened with loss of property,” the resolution declares. “Counties, cities, school districts, irrigation districts and other special agencies “have overburdened the real property,” the resolution reads. Copies of the resolution are being sent to the governor, legislators, and the other 57 counties in the state.
PROBE OF SCHOOL CONDITIONS SOUGHT BY TEACHERS’ GROUP — A California Teachers Association investigation of “unsatisfactory working conditions” in Madera Unified School District was called for here Thursday night. Gathering in a midnight meeting, local teachers asked the CTA to launch the investigation. The investigation is expected to be underway while salary negotiations with the teachers continue. Darrell Merriman, president of the Madera Unified Teachers Association, says the range of the investigation will include “irritance between the teachers and the new district administration.
BARDEN ANNOUNCES NEW DIALING CHANGES — Telephone users in Madera will dial just the digit “1” to place direct dial long distance calls after Jan. 8. Pacific Telephone manager, J.J. Barden said the procedure for dialing long distance calls will now be to dial “1” then the area code and the desired number. In the past, Madera customers have had to dial 112 to use the direct dial system for calls outside Madera. For the convenience of customers, a package containing an explanation of the new system and reminder stickers for telephones has been mailed out. Barden cautioned that the new system would not become operative until 12:01 a.m. on the eighth.