Courtesy of Madera County Historical Society
Madera High wrestling coach Corky Napier talks to his son Jason following a match in the North Yosemite League tournament 25 years ago. The younger Napier won the NYL title at 171 pounds.
25 years ago in the week of Feb. 26, 1992
GUNMAN ORDERED TO PAY BORDER PATROL AGENT — A Fresno judge has ordered a gunman to pay $1.3 million to a former Border Patrol agent for injuries he received in a 1989 shooting. Superior Court Judge George Brown ordered Florentino Mujica-Nunez to pay damages to Ted Jordan of Madera, who was shot during an undercover operation at a mini-mart. Brown ruled that Mujica-Nunez carelessly and negligently fired the gun, causing the agent to suffer a collapsed lung and other injuries. Jordan’s partner, Special Agent Keith Connolly was killed by another man in the shootout. Jordan hopes to collect from the defendant’s insurance policy.
LILE GIVES BOARD MHS BEAUTIFICATION UPDATE — The pride is back at Madera High, thanks in large part to the beautification project organized last spring by the student council. Senior student council member Todd Lile, chairman of the project, said students have begun to get involved in activities again since the project, which saw approximately 500 people from the school and the community come together to work and have fun. “I think it looks good, and we’ve been getting a lot of comments on it,” Lile told Madera Unified trustees last night. Approximately 103 yards of concrete, 50 trees, 800 cement blocks, and a drip system went into sprucing up the campus, at a cost of about $9,500.
MOORE GIVES LIFE AS SURROGATE MOM — Melinda Moore of Chowchilla believes in the gift of life for everyone. So much so, in fact, she became a surrogate mother. Moore, 27, gave birth to a 7-pound baby boy on Feb. 4. The couple who received the baby had been trying for over 10 years, had several miscarriages and had undertaken several surgical procedures. There are still people who do not believe in surrogate motherhood and have called it, “baby selling.” But Moore and her husband, Mike, believe differently. “It is a wonderful thing; not everyone is a self-centered person,” he said. It took his wife about four months to become pregnant.
HINTON MIXES TEACHING AND POLICE WORK — The Madera Police Department recently named Sgt. Jonathan Hinton as Reserve Officer of the Year. Reserve officers work part-time with the department, handling special events and regular patrol duties to bolster the department. Hinton, a full-time teacher at Madera High School, called being a reserve officer, “like a hobby with a big commitment to it.” His career teaching biology and industrial arts began in Arizona in 1969. He came to MHS in 1984 where he is happy and plans to stay. The award was a pleasant surprise to Hinton who humbly said, “I didn’t think I had done anything to get it.”
WRESTLING IS A FAMILY AFFAIR FOR COYOTE COACH AND SON — Over the past four years, Corky and Jason Napier have enjoyed a dual relationship. The former is Madera High School’s wrestling coach, and the latter is one of his varsity wrestlers. Two weeks ago, Jason won the North Yosemite League championship at 171 pounds. Saturday he will go into the Valley Championships as one of the favorites to win the title. The son has never had any problem with what to call his father at practice. “I call him coach. That’s what works best at getting his attention,” Jason said. “It is something that seems natural. Every since I was little, I have heard him called that.”
50 years ago in the week of Feb. 26, 1967
MAN MURDERS WIFE — ENDS OWN LIFE WITH SHOTGUN — Murl Kay Foster, 51, ended the life of Hattie Emma Foster, his 46-year-old wife Sunday with a blast from a 12-gauge, double-barrel shotgun and then emptied the second barrel into his own chest. Two of the couple’s sons watched their mother fall and then heard the blast, which took their father’s life. The couple had been separated for the past two weeks, and Mrs. Foster had been living with a son in Kerman. She had returned to Madera to pick up some of her personal belongings. Foster was arrested in April of last year on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon. He was accused of threatening his wife and a daughter.
DR. GUSTAVESON FILES FOR SCHOOL BOARD POST — Madera dentist Dr. T.R. Gustaveson filed Tuesday for election to the Madera Unified School Board. Dr. Gustaveson, age 37, has been in active practice for the past 8 ½ years in an office on East Yosemite Avenue. He is a veteran of U.S. Army infantry service in the Korean War. His professional affiliations include the Fresno-Madera, California, and the American Dental Societies. Also, he is a member of the Elks Club and the PTA at Millview School. Dr. Gustaveson and his wife, Sandra, have four children, Steven 3, Paul 5, Jamie 7, and Laurie 10. They attend Millview School.
ATTORNEY, FORMER DA AIDE, CHARGED IN THEFT — A criminal complaint charging more than $4,000 in grand theft was filed this morning against Madera lawyer Carson Rapp, former assistant district attorney. Rapp is charged with forging a $3,932 check in the name of Orville and Grace Willhite of Chowchilla in February of this year and also of stealing $1,000 in cash Willhite had given him for his wife. Rapp was handling a divorce action for the couple when the alleged thefts occurred. The complaint was filed by District Attorney James Hanhart. Rapp was assistant district attorney while Lester Gendron was district attorney. He was active in social circles and in Republican Party affairs.
DEATH TAKES GEORGE SHEDD —HERE 92 YEARS — George Shedd, early day Madera resident, died in a local hospital Thursday. He was 94. Although born in Modesto, he had lived in the county since the age of two. Shedd’s father was a grain rancher in the Eastin Arcola district, and he and his brother entered the same business in his early years. He established residence in the City of Madera in 1895, building a house in the Hughes Addition that year. For 16 years, Shedd was the city clerk of Madera. He also operated grain warehouses, a tire shop, and a real estate and insurance agency. He was honored as the community’s Old Timers’ Day king in 1965.
PICKETS MARCH IN FRONT OF COURT HOUSE FRIDAY — Pickets carrying signs accusing the Board of Supervisors of discrimination against Mexican-Americans paraded back and forth in front of the County Government Center Friday and hinted at a return today. The purpose of the picketing is to publicize demands for Mexican-American representation on the Economic Development Planning Committee. Supervisors announced 41 members last week without including any Mexican-Americans as had been requested previously. The board indicated it may name more members.