Courtesy of Madera County Historical Society
Twenty-five years ago, Jack Netherton had an emotional final week at Alpha Elementary School. The school principal retired after 38 years with the Madera Unified School District.
25 Years Ago
Week of July 30, 1992
McCLURE KILLED IN CAR ACCIDENT — Dr. Cuvier Dean McClure, 69, the benevolent physician who had overseen the Madera County Health Department for most of the past 19 years, was killed instantly Thursday after his car was broadsided while crossing Highway 152 at Road 16 near Chowchilla. McClure had been working to establish health centers in Chowchilla and Oakhurst. County Administrative Officer Stell Manfredi said of McClure, “He was a gentleman’s gentleman with an impeccable family. The county family will miss him tremendously.” Board of Supervisors Chairman Al Ginsburg said, “I was absolutely shocked to learn of his death. I couldn’t believe it” Supervisor Gail Hanhart McIntyre said, “It is a real tragedy. He was an excellent department head who was well respected at the state level.”
MADERA WINS LITTLE LEAGUE TOURNEY — For the first time in Madera Little League history, a Madera team will be playing in the divisional tournament for the Northern California State Championship. The Madera National Little League team, behind the pitching of Danial Ferrell, shut out Visalia Wednesday night in Selma 2-0 in the Section Six Tournament to advance to the Divisional Tournament Sunday in Petaluma. In eight tournament games, Madera has outscored its opponents 80-12, thanks to the strong pitching of Mark Davis and Ferrell. Madera will be among six teams playing Sunday. The teams range from the Oregon/California border to Bakersfield.
GALVAN IS OUTSTANDING CORRECTIONAL OFFICER — County Correctional Officer Frank Galvan was the fifth person in as many years to be honored by the Madera Kiwanis as Outstanding Correctional Officer of the Year Thursday. “Keep in mind that it is the corrections department that has to deal with those criminals for days, weeks, and months at a time,” said Kiwanis President Zak Zakaria. Department of Corrections Chief Al Hahn told the audience how Galvan’s persistent pursuit of a drunk driver who had crashed his car with two small children in the back led to his arrest. Galvan was off-duty and unarmed. He caught the fleeing suspect in a canal and made a citizen’s arrest.
‘MODEL PRINCIPAL’ CALLS IT QUITS AFTER 38 YEARS — It’s going to take a while to get used to the “new” Alpha Elementary. That’s because Principal Jack Netherton retired Friday after 38 years with the district. He is widely regarded as the model for principals in Madera Unified. Netherton’s first teaching assignment was at Madison Elementary School in 1954. He then became joint principal at Millview and the old Pershing School in 1958. In 1960, he went to John Adams for two years then transferred to Madison in 1962. Netherton says the most important part of his job is interviewing and hiring teachers. He says he looks for people who love children, who ask questions, and are willing to expend a maximum amount of energy.
DAVE BERRY PROTESTS HIRING OF ENGINEERING FIRM — The proposed Schnoor Street Bridge took another step toward becoming a reality although it drew howls from local builders. The city’s traffic coordinator, Les Jorgensen, suggested hiring Boyle Engineering Corporation to do the job, but local contractor Dave Berry blasted the idea, partly because Boyle was not local. Berry’s idea was for his own company to design, then bid for the project, and then build it, saving the city more than half a million dollars. Council members, however, voted 3-1, with Councilman John Wells dissenting and Councilwoman Margaret Medellin absent, to go with Boyle Engineering.
50 Years Ago
Week of July 30, 1967
MADERA MAYOR BLASTS PRESS COVERAGE — A nervous looking Madera Mayor D.R. (Bud) Stephenson had some strong words for whoever had “popped off” to the press about the delays in voting on pay raises for city employees. The council is considering a pay hike but postponed a vote on the measure Monday because of the absence of Councilman Charles Marsh who had left word not to okay the salary boost without his being present. As the slightly disappointed crowd left the chambers grumbling, Stephenson attacked a newspaper article about city employees wanting “wages, not promises.” The mayor labeled the article as “a notion the paper got in its head.”
RANGERS HUNT FOR MISSING MEN IN PARK — A Texas man and a Richmond youth lost here since Friday, were the objects of a full-scale ground search which resumes today. Kenneth Klein, 23, San Antonio, and John Gunn, 19, left Friday to hike to Yosemite Falls. They are employees of the Yosemite Park and Curry Co. service station in the valley. Rangers found Klein’s car at Camp Four and his motorcycle on the old Gentry Stage Coach Road. Searchers said the location of the two vehicles indicated they intended to hike to the falls on the trail and return by another route where they would ride back to the valley on the motorcycle. Rangers on horseback and a helicopter have joined in the search.
SCHOOL DISTRICT WILL ASK VOTERS FOR $2.5 MILLION — Madera residents will be asked to support a $2.5 million “bare bones” school bond issue this October in order to construct a new junior high school, build an additional wing in the present junior high school, and replace or repair as many classrooms as possible in other schools. A new junior high school is expected to eliminate ninth graders from Madera High, a school with many classrooms not conforming to the Field Act. The new junior high and Thomas Jefferson junior high would house 7th, 8th, and 9th graders while all of the elementary schools would have grades K through 6.
SEWAGE SYSTEM CLOSES PINES RESORT — An order issued by the Madera County Health Department and delivered today by Deputy Sheriff Tiny Baxter has closed all major businesses in the Pines Resort at Bass Lake. The order is directed to all businesses in the Pines Resort complex that use the present sewage system. Affected businesses include the Pines Fountain, Pines Office, Pines Grocery Store, Pines Coffee Shop, Pines Bar, Pines Laundromat, and Pines Village Bakery. The Pines businesses must remain closed “until a new, adequate and sanitary system has been installed, constructed and approved by the county health officer.”
DINO PETRUCCI TO HEAD TEACHERS ASSOCIATION — Dino Petrucci, head of the vocational agricultural department at Madera High School since 1963, has been elected president of the California Agricultural Teachers Association. The honor is the latest of many that Petrucci has gained since beginning as a student at Madera High School. His ability was recognized as early as 1947 when he served as president of the State Future Farmer organization and also was state FFA public speaking champion. Petrucci joined the vo-ag department here in 1954 and since he assumed the directorship of the program, the department has grown.