Madera County Historical Society
Twenty-five years ago, Supervisor Rick Jensen went on a hunger strike to protest the failure of the state to adopt a budget. Jensen confined himself to water and juices to make his point with the legislature.
25 Years Ago
Week of Aug. 6, 1992
HERMAN PEREZ SEEKS SEAT ON MADERA CITY COUNCIL — Pointing to tough economic times and the need for better cooperation between government agencies, Herman Perez announced this morning that he would run for the Madera City Council. Perez is director of the Madera Private Industry Council and has been in community service for many years. “The time has come to build bridges, not to burn them,” Perez said. “We must make friends, not adversaries, and we must work together to solve the problems of today before they become insurmountable tomorrow,” he added. Perez has served with the Madera County Economic Commission, the Madera District Chamber of Commerce, and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
NASH ARRESTED IN DRUG BUST — Ted Nash, who only recently was embroiled in a multi-million dollar lawsuit against two Sheriff’s deputies for alleged brutality, was arrested Tuesday along with six other Madera County residents during an undercover drug sting operation. Nash was arrested Aug. 4 after agreeing with two undercover agents to exchange five acres of land in lieu of the $36,000 asking price for 55 pounds of the restricted chemical ephedrine, a precursor used to manufacture Methamphetamine. Sgt. Dave Bradford, director of the county NET team said, “We’ve got a big fish. Nash is numero uno in meth production around here.”
MEDELLIN WON’T SEEK RE-ELECTION TO COUNCIL — Madera City Councilwoman Margaret Medellin has announced she will not run for re-election in November. She cited wanting to spend more time with her family as the main reason. She joins Mayor William “Bill” Weber, who also said earlier he would not seek re-election. Both City Council positions up for grabs will not have incumbents running. Medellin had been elected in 1988 at the same time as Weber and served a year as mayor. Three persons have officially filed for the open council seats. They are “Zak” Zacharia, William “Terry” Parkhurst, and Herman Perez.
FLORENCE SCHNOOR TO BE FEATURED IN SCHOOL REUNION — Like an episode of “This is Your Life,” Florence Schnoor will revisit her past Saturday night. She will be the featured guest at the reunion of classes that attended the old Howard School. The event will be held in the old building, which is now owned by Dino Petrucci, a student of Schnoor’s who rents the building out for special occasions. Schnoor’s family moved to Madera when she was five. She attended the old Alpha School and graduated from Madera High School. She began teaching at Howard School in 1926 and stayed there for 40 years. There were only three teachers at Howard when she began. Schnoor taught first and second grades.
JENSEN STARTS HUNGER STRIKE — District One Supervisor Rick Jensen has decided to handle the state budget somewhat differently than the rest of us. Starting this morning he has embarked on a hunger strike to protest the 42-day-old impasse. “It has been 40 days and 40 nights and we still don’t have a state budget,” said Jensen. “I’m going to do something really weird,” he continued. “I am in good shape, and you can live on water and juices for a long time. This stalemate has gone on long enough; I hope my action will in some small way get their (the Legislature’s) attention and emphasize to them to end the budget crisis.”
50 Years Ago
Week of Aug. 6, 1967
MRS. JACK BICK DIES SUDDENLY — A summer vacation tour of Europe by Dr. and Mrs. Jack Bick of Madera ended in tragedy in Capri Monday when Mrs. Bick suddenly died. Exact cause of death has not been learned yet, but unconfirmed reports say she suffered from food poisoning. Sons Roger, Michael, and Paul are awaiting the arrival of their father before arrangements are announced. The couple had planned to return home around the first of September.
2 BODIES FOUND IN CANAL HERE — The Madera County’s Sheriff’s Office today recovered the second body from the Madera Canal. The body was identified as Walter Young of Fresno. The recovery came four days after the pickup in which he was riding crashed into the canal above the Hwy. 41 bridge. The vehicle was found almost a mile downstream. Another passenger in the pickup, Ordian J. Nadeau, was found late Tuesday afternoon. The driver of the ill-fated vehicle, Donald H. Sahm, managed to reach the canal bank and pull himself from the cold water. Both passengers were able to get out of the cab but were swept downstream by the fast-moving currents.
STORE OWNER CLAIMS COACHES ACT AS SPORTING GOODS AGENTS — Mrs. Pete Minneti, co-owner of Pete’s Sport Shop, Tuesday night charged Madera High School coaches with receiving gifts from sporting goods dealers and favoring them in purchases. At least one coach, she charged, is acting as an agent for a sporting goods store in Fresno. Mrs. Minneti came to the board to complain about the award of bids for equipment to Fresno stores whose prices were higher. Mrs. Minneti said a Fresno store’s station wagon was seen on campus and deliveries were made out the back of the vehicle. District Superintendent Duane Furman denied the charges but agreed to conduct an investigation.
JOHN OWENS, PIONEER STAGE DRIVER, DIES — John Owens, pioneer county resident and former Madera County hospital administrator, died Saturday. Owens, age 75, succumbed to a heart condition only three weeks after the death of his wife, Isabel. The son of Samuel Owens, John Owens was one of two remaining Yosemite stage drivers. William Sell of Oakhurst was the other. Owens served as administrator of the hospital for 10 years ending in July 1957. At the time of his death, he was the oldest living past master of the Madera Masonic Lodge.
MAN MANGLED IN FALL FROM TRAIN MIRACULOUSLY SURVIVES — John Albert Chambre, 21, has his surgeon calling his survival from a fall from a Southern Pacific train a “miracle.” Chambre was found lying beside the tracks Saturday night with his right leg twisted loose from his body, his left foot severed, his left arm torn off, and the back of his head severely cut. City policeman Sgt. Kenneth Shrum found Chambre 40 minutes after he fell from the train calling for help. Shrum believes Chambre fell from the train at the Sixth Street crossing and was dragged for about 70 feet.