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Years ago in Madera for the third week of October

Madera County Historical Society

Twenty-five years ago, Madera’s Mike Murphy (left) and Moises Perez brought down Roosevelt’s Leron Cook as the Coyotes’ recorded their first win of the season. Madera had forfeited two previous wins due to the use of an ineligible player.


25 Years Ago Week of Oct. 15, 1992

COYOTES OVERCOME PENALTIES TO SLIP PAST ROUGHRIDERS, 12-6 — It wasn’t very pretty, but Madera coach Andy Beakes was just happy to come away with a win Friday night against Roosevelt at McLane Stadium. “I guess I am the first coach in the NYL to win their first game twice,” Beakes said after the 12-6 victory. After having to forfeit two wins earlier this week for the use of an ineligible player, Madera came into the North Yosemite League game with a 0-5 record. The coyotes had to overcome a rash of penalties on both sides of the football but still had enough to hold off Roosevelt in the final period for the victory.

DEPUTIES NAB ‘GORILLA’ FOLLOWING ROBBERY ATTEMPT — A robbery suspect discovered sheriff’s deputies don’t monkey around with it comes to crime. According to Sheriff Glenn Seymour, Theresa Carlile, 43, of Madera Ranchos, was at her home about 6:40 p.m. Thursday when she was attacked by a man in a gorilla suit who used tape to bind and gag her. After rounding up more than $25,000 in payroll funds from the office Carlile uses in her home, the suspect, Gregory David Ferris, fled in the victim’s car. He was arrested later on Avenue 12. Sheriff Seymour said, “It was a great disguise.”

PAPAGNI AND HIS SON SENTENCED TO PRISON IN GRAPE SCANDAL — A Madera winemaker and his son have been sentenced to federal prison for using inexpensive grapes instead of more expensive varieties. Both Angelo Papagni and his son, Demetrio Papagni, had pleaded guilty to misrepresenting the variety in nearly half a million gallons of wine they sold to well-known wineries. U.S. District Judge Oliver Wanger sentenced Angelo Papagni to 18 months in prison. Demetrio will serve six months but will be allowed to remain free during work hours. The 71-year-old father also was fined $25,000 and the son $10,000. Angelo Papagni lost control of his winery in Madera in 1988.

NASH JUMPS BAIL, MARSHALS ISSUE WARRANT FOR HIS ARREST — Ted Nash, a Madera resident arrested in a federal undercover methamphetamine sting operation, has jumped bail, and a federal warrant has been issued for his arrest. Nash apparently left town this weekend, leaving a note behind that indicated he was going on the run. “Now he’s a fugitive, and we’ve got to go after him,” said Supervising Deputy Beverly Bargamian. Nash was arrested Aug. 4 as he attempted to sell 55 pounds of ephedrine, which had a street value of $1 million. He was out on $100,000 bail. Nash recently lost a multi-million dollar lawsuit against two Madera County sheriff’s deputies for alleged brutality.

MAN RESCUED FROM BURNING HOUSE — Madera resident Victor Kelly, 38, was found unconscious in his burning home Thursday. A total of 15 firefighters battled the blaze on Sundance Lane for close to three hours. Captain Rick King found Kelly, unconscious and lying in a knee and elbow position on the floor between the bed and a closet in an upstairs bedroom. Paramedic Fred Capa assisted King in getting Kelly out of the house and onto the driveway where he was treated for smoke inhalation, and an IV started. It was determined that the fire’s origin was the downstairs living room. Loss from the fire is estimated at $45,000.

50 Years Ago Week of Oct. 15, 1967

SHERMAN THOMAS INVOLVED IN LAW SUIT — Sherman Thomas, owner-operator of extensive farming operations here and in other areas, is involved in a current Superior Court lawsuit. In a court action filed Thursday, Thomas is attempting to regain $54,449.85 that was embezzled from him. Thomas blames United California Bank for his $54,000 loss because the bank allegedly opened an account under the fictitious name of “Floyd Tate” for an employee of Thomas’ named Raymond Noble, received deposits of payroll checks and processed withdrawals. Thomas asked the court to award him the full amount of lost money in judgment against the bank.

MADERA HIGH SCHOOL BAND WILL GO TO LONG BEACH AFTER ALL — The Madera High School band’s annual trip to Long Beach has been approved by school trustees but not without a struggle. One board member, Paul Martin, said he feels that the same educational advantages could be achieved closer to home without making the overnight trip to Long Beach on the Thanksgiving weekend. Other trustees, however, supported the trip. Buck Melikian described the trip as traditional as “ham and eggs.” Dr. T.R. Gustaveson and Jack Desmond pointed to the number of trips that have been approved for the agricultural students. Band director Allen Harkins defended the trip as a unique, beneficial experience for the students.

MADERAN CAPTURED AFTER THREATENING TO KILL SELF — A Madera man was taken into custody this morning by city police after firing a shot into the ceiling of his home and threatening to shoot himself. David Espinosa, 35, became angry with his wife last night. She left the house and reported her husband to police. When the police tried to arrest Espinosa, he fired a shot into the ceiling. Police left the house to avoid harm to Espinosa’s father-in-law and seven children who ranged in age from 5 to 14. This morning after the children left the house, police arrested Espinosa. He offered them no resistance.

ANTHROPOLOGY TEAM ARRIVES IN MADERA — The anthropological team that will excavate the Hidden Dam site on the Fresno River arrived in Madera today. The team, headed by college anthropology chief Dr. William Wallace, planned to meet this weekend with old timers and local Indian lore buffs who may supply information for them. The team is expected to explore the entire reservoir site, which will be inundated by the dam and reservoir project upstream from Madera. Both Miwok and Yokut Indians are believed to have inhabited the area. Several graves of area pioneers, including the Hensley family are located in the area. “Surprises can be expected,” said Wallace due to the fact the area has never been excavated before.

MID DIRECTOR CAMPBELL DIES AT AGE 80 — Madera Irrigation District director Donald Campbell died Sunday in a local hospital after a brief illness. He was 80. Campbell has been a director of the MID since 1951 and was the current vice president of the board. He also was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, Lions Club and American Legion. He came to Madera in 1932 and operated a dairy, later purchased by Sherman Thomas. In partnership with Dee V. Romans, a former MID director, Campbell owned the 240 acres now farmed by Robert Saulsbury and Son.

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