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Years ago in the week of Dec. 18

Courtesy of The Madera County Historical Society

Twenty-five years ago, Doug Nelson (left) gathered in groceries for the Christmas Baskets Program from Al Mayorga (center) and Joe Yepiz of the Pan American Club. In addition to the canned goods, the program was enhanced by a $500 donation from the Pan American Club.


25 years ago in the Week of Dec. 18, 1991 VARGAS REPRESENTS MADERA IN NATIONAL 4-H CONVENTION — Lisa Vargas, a member of the Dixieland 4-H club, represented Madera County and California at the 70th annual National 4-H Congress in Chicago Dec. 7-11. A seven-year 4-H member, Vargas was named the California State winner in the 4-H beef program. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ron Vargas. The Madera High School junior says that 4-H has taught her about responsibility and how to manage her business records and financing. “You learn a lot about life through 4-H involvement. You learn to socialize and work as a team,” Vargas said.

TWO OFFICERS HURT IN ARREST — Two Madera police officers were injured while trying to make an arrest for drug sales Friday. Police were called to a disturbance in the 100 block of South Lake Street about 7 p.m. When they arrived, they observed three men huddled together near a pickup truck in what appeared to be a typical drug deal. When officers began to question two of the men, the third man ran away. Officers caught up with Jimmy Jacob Garcia, 19, but were unable to handcuff him. In the tussle that ensued, one officer suffered a fractured finger, and a second had a hand injury. Garcia was booked in jail on charges of possession of narcotics for sale and assaulting police officers.

STATE WATER RULE MURKY IN MADERA — By a narrow 3-2 margin, the Madera City Council took steps toward meeting a state law requiring water meters on new homes and businesses as of Jan. 1. However, the new law created confusion as the city council held a lengthy and confusing discussion on the new rule. The law calls for meters to be installed but doesn’t mandate reading them. Public Works Director David Chumley suggested the city could read the meters via telephone lines attached to each meter, but Councilwoman Margaret Medellin pointed out that many residents don’t have phones. A majority of the council voted to follow the law and leave the matter of reading the new meters to future discussions.

SUPREME COURT DECISION MAY JEOPARDIZE MEASURE ‘A’ — Madera County’s one-half cent sales tax for roads that was passed in 1990 may be in jeopardy. Measure A, which took effect on Oct. 1, 1990, with a life of 15 years, was approved by 61.2 percent of the voters. Thursday the California State Supreme Court, reverting back to a 1982 decision, ruled that any new special taxes get a two-thirds approval from voters. If the ruling applies to Measure A, it could cost Madera County $3.5 million said Eric Outfleet analyst/planner for Madera County. “If it impacts us, the results could be disastrous,” said Madera City Manager Nick Pavlovich.

BARSOTTI TO PLAY IN BLUE-GRAY CHRISTMAS DAY GAME — Mark Barsotti will appear on national television Wednesday in the 54th annual Blue-Gray all-star football game being played in Montgomery, Ala. Barsotti will be at quarterback for the Blue squad, which is being coached by Fresno State coach Jim Sweeney. This will be the first national television exposure for the former Madera High standout. Auburn and Mississippi have the largest contingents on the Gray squad with four players apiece. Fresno State has four players on the Blue Team.

50 years ago in the week of Dec. 18, 1966 HAMMERBERG APPOINTED JUDGE — Jack Hammerberg of Madera will take the oath of office as Superior Court Judge in ceremonies set for Wednesday afternoon. The Madera attorney said his appointment to the judgeship by the governor, announced Thursday, will extend to the next general election in 1968. At age 45, Hammerberg is one of the younger judges of the county’s highest court. Both Judge M.D. Crocker, now a federal jurist, and the late Stanley Murray took office in their 40s. The new judge has been a Madera resident for 15 years. He started his career in law here as a deputy district attorney, moving into private practice 13 years ago.

MADERA AIR BASE TO BECOME JOB TRAINING CENTER FOR INDIANS — The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs will take over the abandoned Madera Air Force Station and turn it into a job training center for Indians. A total of 334 Native Americans are to be given one-year courses at the center in a full range of job skills. The program will provide opportunity for Indians to acquire skills that will allow them to find employment locally. The base fell to the Indian Affairs bureau as one of the federal agencies to which it was offered. Local farmer groups had hoped federal agencies would pass up the offer so that it could be obtained to provide a housing center for farm workers.

ARSON ATTEMPT MAY CLOSE MADERA HIGH SCHOOL — Another case of arson was reported Monday at Madera High in the boys’ gymnasium. According to Principal Alex MacDonald, contents of a metal wastebasket were deliberately set afire at 3:40 p.m. Towels had been stuffed in the bottom of the container to aid the blaze. Last week, a similar incident took place in the gymnasium. A wastebasket with towels lining the bottom burst into flames seemingly from no natural cause. MacDonald says he hopes responsible students will help in curbing these fires. He warned the Board of Education could close the campus if necessary.

BULB SNATCHERS HIT CEMETERIES IN MOUNTAINS AND MADERA — “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,” a character and story created by children’s book author Dr. Seuss, apparently has been going through Oakhurst and Madera in the past couple of years. The Grinch, or somebody, made off with 35 ornaments and colored light bulbs from a decorated tree in the Oakhill Cemetery a couple of days ago. Last year somebody stripped the tree decorations and smashed them while downtown. Two potted Christmas trees standing in front of stores were also stolen. The Arbor Vitae Cemetery in Madera last year lost about 70 bulbs to the Grinch or his friends.

HEARING SLATED ON POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA CHARGE — A preliminary hearing for a charge of possession of marijuana is slated Jan. 11 for Phillip Clayton Inglis, Sandra Henshaw, and Peggy Morris. The three were arrested this weekend when CHP Sgt. John Voss found six cans of marijuana hidden in a service station restroom. Miss Henshaw and Miss Morris had scooted in there after Inglis pulled into the station and complained of being sick. He told Sgt. Voss that he had just smoked a marijuana cigarette given to him by the girls after he had picked them up on the highway.

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