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25 years ago in the week of May 29, 1991

Jean Stone, wife of author Irving Stone, returned to Madera 25 years ago to meet with the Minturn Scholars, the Howard School sixth grade class that wrote the Minturn Chronicles. Stone is seen here holding a copy of that first Madera Method book. (Courtesy of The Madera County Historical Society)


BISHOP MADERA REPLACED — The Most Rev. Joseph J. Madera is being replaced as bishop of the Roman Catholic Church’s Fresno Diocese. Taking his place as interim bishop as of July 1 will be Bishop Norman McFarland. In the past, McFarland has been dispatched to help financially troubled dioceses. “I’m here to keep the machinery going,” McFarland, 69, said Tuesday. Madera, 63, was appointed bishop 11 years ago in an announcement that was a surprise because he was serving as a parish priest in Fowler. His new appointment will be as minister to U.S. military personnel and their dependents.

MAN ROBBED AT KNIFEPOINT BY WOMEN — Madera police are looking for two women who robbed a man at knifepoint Monday morning near C and 10th streets. Capt. Charles Dickison said Santiago Alvarado was walking on C Street about 12:30 a.m. when a woman approached him and put a knife to his side and forced him into a car. The car was driven by a second suspect to the railroad tracks between D and E streets. Alvarado then gave the robbers his wallet, which contained $30 before being dumped out of the car when the suspects fled. Dickison said the first suspect was described as a Hispanic female adult with a big build and in her thirties. The second was a white female adult with a heavy build.

BOOKING FEES CAUSE BUDGET SHORTFALL FOR CITY — Madera city staff is trying to fight off the negative effects of the county-sponsored booking fees to avoid a deficit in the budget for the 1991-92 fiscal year. The imposition of the fees did not sit well with councilmen such as Patrick O’Rourke who said the county was doing the politically expedient thing. “The city taxpayers are county taxpayers, too,” said O’Rourke. Councilman Bill Weber agreed, noting city residents are “paying twice for the jail.” “We’re viewed as an extra source for revenue,” Councilman Marc Scalzo added. City Manager Nick Pavlovich said the city staff will continue to work on the budget.

MADERA METHOD TOASTED BY ALUMNI — The first authors of the Madera Method met Thursday morning in the Madera High School library to relive old memories and talk with someone who greatly influenced that original work. Jean Stone, wife of the late author Irving Stone, told the 21 assembled students they were the driving force behind the projects that are being continued today. The students belonged to the sixth grade class from Howard School six years ago who researched and wrote the biography of Madera County pioneer Abby West Minturn. Student Susan Rhodes, commenting on the original project, said, “It was a lot better than the traditional method of reading a chapter and answering questions. It kept us going and kept our interest focused solely on the new book. We learned something new every day.” ...

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