Courtesy of The Madera County Historical Society
Fifty years ago, this T-33 jet trainer rolled down Yosemite Avenue on its way to a permanent off-street location at Swimming Pool Park. The former Air Force jet was sealed and ready for Madera’s children to play on her.
CANDIDATES WOO SENIORS VOTE — Candidates for the Madera County Board of Supervisors District 3 seat squared off in front of an audience made up mostly of seniors at the Frank Bergon Center Friday morning. Ralph Larsen opened by saying his election to the Board would help restore the collective effort between that body and the Madera City Council. District 3 incumbent Gail Hanhart-McIntyre said she had spent the last 10 years working hard for senior programs. She also blasted Larsen for leaving an expensive legacy in the troubled Municipal Golf Course. She said Larsen and the council failed to buy an insurance policy to cover losses there.
MADERA JAIL ESCAPEE COMES OUT OF THE CLOSET — One of the four inmates who escaped from the recreation area of the county jail was arrested this morning when Madera police discovered him hiding in the closet of his girl friend’s 4th Street apartment. Francisco Martinez, 20, was captured after two state parole agents “paid a visit to the house and noticed some clothing moving in the closet.” The agents left and notified police who came and arrested the fugitive who was still in the closet. The girlfriend is on parole and is subject to supervision by agents. Martinez’ fellow fugitives remain at large.
CORONER SEEKS IDENTITY OF TEEN-AGER WHO DROWNED — Is your teen-aged son missing? If so, you might want to check with the Madera County Sheriff’s Office. Roy Broomfield, Madera County’s chief deputy coroner, said that Sunday evening a Hispanic male was swimming or wading in the San Joaquin River below Scaggs Bridge when he drowned. The youth is believed to be 13 years old, is 5-feet-8-inches tall, weighed 150 pounds, and has black hair and brown eyes. He was wearing blue jeans and had no identification on him, Broomfield said. Anyone having any information about young “John Doe” is asked to contact Broomfield.
SECOND ESCAPED MADERA INMATE CAPTURED IN FRESNO — The second of four inmates who escaped from the county jail Monday was captured in Fresno Wednesday afternoon. Raymond Elisarras, 18, of Madera, was arrested after a tip led the Department of Corrections team to an address in Fresno where Elisarras and another escapee, Keith Hodges were reportedly hiding, said DOC Chief Al Hahn. “Hodges was there too, but he took off and eluded pursuit,” Hahn said. Elisarras had been in jail awaiting trial on burglary charges. Hodges had been waiting to be sent to prison on a parole violation. Hodges and Francisco Venegas are still at large.
BOARD QUESTIONS MUSD BUDGET — As the deadline for passing a budget nears, Madera Unified trustees are still uncertain whether they like the one proposed by the administration. Robert Garibay was the most vocal at a meeting between trustees, the administration, and the Finance Advisory Committee this week. “I’m not sure the board is in a position where it understands this document,” said Garibay. “I can’t in good conscience say I will be ready to adopt it on June 9.” One of Garibay’s contentions was the lack of a capital outlay plan from principals, which he feared would give them a chance to horde money for years that the district could be using to balance its budget.
50 Years Ago Week of May 21, 1967
SUICIDE BY SITTING ON TRACKS — Samuel Johnson, 44, died Sunday after being hit by a slow-moving freight train just south of the Central Avenue crossing. Jackson was pronounced dead at Madera County Hospital. The Southern Pacific train engineer, Ted Sanford, said he saw the man sitting but thought he was a transient sitting between the tracks. He told police he blew his whistle and expected the man to move. Witnesses told police that Jackson was sitting between the tracks with his head between his legs and his arms wrapped around his knees. His body was thrown 18 feet from the tracks by the impact. Police Chief Dowell said Jackson had been drinking and arguing with his wife prior to his death.
STRONG WINDS CAUSE BETHARD SQUARE DAMAGE — Strong wind gusts blew down the wood framework of two shops at the Bethard Square shopping center construction site Wednesday. Damage was estimated at $2,000 in the collapse of framework for a shop on the corner of the center and two walls for the Cornet and Joseph’s Department Store. The two biggest stores in the project, Mayfair and Thrifty are of concrete construction. The remainder of the stores and specialty shops, however, will be of wood frame and stucco, according to Project Foreman Tom Kenley. Construction is scheduled to be completed in August, with store openings planned for the following month.
RIGBY NAMED WELLS FARGO MANAGER — Loren C. Rigby, well known in Madera, has been named manager of Wells Fargo Bank’s new Madera office. The office, Wells Fargo’s first in Madera County, will open for formal business Monday, June 26. Rigby was formerly manager of Wells Fargo’s San Joaquin office. He entered banking in 1921 at Fowler and pursued his career in Madera from 1933 until 1943 when he went into business for himself as owner of the Madera Hardware Company. He returned to banking in 1959 when he joined the State Center Bank of Fresno, which merged with Wells Fargo in 1963. A native Iowan, Rigby was reared in Fowler.
ALESSINI, HAYES PRESENT NEW PARKING METER PLAN — Downtown merchants today armed themselves with a new weapon in its struggle with the City Council to remove parking meters from the downtown area. Alessini, chairman of the Merchants Parking Committee and Les Hayes, president of the association presented a plan they say will remove the council’s main objection to removing the meters — loss of revenue. Alessini said the merchants are willing to take responsibility for the Christmas street decoration. He said this will save the city about $2,500, which is the approximate amount it would lose by the removal of parking meters. Hayes said the council’s only objection has now been eliminated.
CHOWCHILLA SCHOOL BROKE; ASKS FOR LOAN — Chowchilla Union High School District is looking for $15,000, the amount it will need to pay all of its bills by the end of the month. Superintendent J.R. Daughenbaugh told trustees the district will be $5,000 short in meeting its teacher’s payroll and is in the red in several other accounts. The board questioned how the district could have gotten into this trouble. It postponed action until June 27, just before the payroll must be met. Board member Merle Fuller said he felt sorry for the trustees who hire and depend on a competent superintendent. Daughenbaugh said he accepts the blame and said he cannot fully explain the situation.