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Years ago in Madera for the week of Oct. 22

Courtesy of the Madera County Historical Society

Madera High School Homecoming King and Queen Ariel Cabrera and Tammy Vega waved to the crowd during halftime at the MHS homecoming game 25 years ago.


25 Years Ago Week of Oct. 22, 1992

MANFREDI TO BE INTERIM MANAGER — Assistant City Manager Ron Manfredi will start the new year off as interim city manager for Madera. He will officially take the reins of the city on Jan. 1, 1993. The unanimous vote came during a special Thursday meeting of the Madera City Council, in which the restructuring of city hall was discussed. The move came 17 days after the Oct. 5 announcement by City Manager Nick Pavlovich that he would leave his post at the end of the year. Manfredi will remain the interim city manager during the search for a new city manager.

DRIVER INJURES FOUR D.O.C. OFFICERS — What began as a mere traffic stop culminated in the injury of four Department of Corrections officers when a Fresno man went berserk and tried to escape the Madera County Jail Tuesday evening. Eddie Martinez, 28, was pulled over on Highway 99 for driving only 50 miles per hour in the fast lane. As officers approached his car, Martinez sped off. The fugitive was caught and taken to jail where he asked to make a phone call. After the call, Martinez walked over to the coffeepot and shattered it against the counter. He then grabbed a piece of glass in each hand and attacked four officers who eventually handcuffed him. One officer was cut in the throat and one under the chin. The other two suffered wounds to the arms and the chest.

FEDERAL PRISON MAY BE SOUGHT — Is another prison — a federal prison — in Madera County’s future? There is a possibility the county could be in the running for one. The Board of Supervisors will be asked in the near future by the Madera County Economic Development Commission if it wants to pursue landing a federal prison. The Federal Bureau of Prisons is seeking a 1,000-acre site within 50 miles of Fresno to build a 1.38 million square foot facility to house 3,800 inmates. The plan calls for a $150 to $200 million facility that would have 850 full-time employees with a projected annual economic impact of $35-$38 million on the county.

MENNONITE CHURCH CHANGES ITS NAME TO THE MADERA AVENUE BIBLE CHURCH — Members of the Madera Avenue Mennonite Brethren Church have changed the name of the church to the Madera Avenue Bible Church. According to the Rev. Bob Kroker, Madera Avenue denoted the location while “Bible” tells everyone that the Bible is the center of the church’s teaching. “We are proud to be Mennonite Brethren. Because the name is different to people who don’t know us, we have decided to change our name in this decade of the ‘90s in order to reach out to everyone,” Kroker said. The church was founded in 1919 as the Fairmead Mennonite Brethren Church. It was moved to Madera Avenue in 1969.

CHOWCHILLA KIDNAPPERS, VICTIMS MEET ON ‘POVICH’ — The events leading up to the famous Chowchilla bus kidnapping will be relived Wednesday on the syndicated “Maury Povich” Show as convicted kidnappers Rick and Jim Schoenfeld make an on-air apology to their victims. The kidnappers will address their appeal specifically to two of the 26 children kidnapped July 15, 1976 from a school bus and were later buried alive for 16 hours before digging themselves out with the help of their driver, Ed Ray. Both victims, Jodi Heffington and Jennifer Brown, have rebuked the kidnappers’ pleas for forgiveness.

50 Years Ago Week of Oct. 22, 1967

FORMER DEPUTY D.A. PLEADS GUILTY TO FORGERY, THEFT — Carson Rapp, former assistant district attorney, pleaded guilty in Superior Court to grand theft and forgery. Rapp was to have gone to trial today on a series of theft, forgery, and insufficient funds charges arising from his handling of cases while in private practice after he left the district attorney’s office. The forgery charge involved a $3,032 check in a divorce action. The grand theft charge involved a client trust account of $10,000. Judge Leonard Myers of Fresno set the sentencing date for Nov. 10.

LIONS CLUB PARK PROJECT GAINS SUPPORT — The city last night renewed its support in helping to bring about the development of Lions Club Regional Park. The City Council gave its approval to the club’s turfing plans “subject to the availability of city forces.” It was pointed out by Alan Brown, Lions Club major activities chairman, that the project was not a major one, but only a matter of digging a ditch and laying pipe. He pointed out that the Lions Club would supply the materials for the project. He asked the city to supply the labor. The Council indicated it would lend the support contingent upon the availability of city labor.

MADERA HIGH’S WALLS COULD ‘BLOW DOWN’ — The third little pig’s brick house wouldn’t blow down, but Madera High School’s walls might, according to principal Alex MacDonald. In fact, the mortar is spilling out, and bricks are separating and cracking both high and low near the foundation. The approximately 13-inch walls just stand there, held up by mortar, their own weight, and that of the roof. The two-story classroom building at MHS is not considered capable of surviving a strong wind or an earthquake. The building was erected in 1931, prior to the establishment of earthquake safety standards.

SHOT KILLS BOY; SUSPECT ARRESTED — Donald J. Richardt, 33 is out on bail after being booked in Madera County Jail on a manslaughter charge. Richardt is charged with the fatal shooting of Charles Galvan, 16, on Speckerman Mountain east of Sugar Pine yesterday. Galvan had been shooting apple cores with a friend, Robert Burton, when Richardt approached from behind with a 30-30 rifle and asked, “Which of you wants it first?” Richardt’s weapon then discharged, the bullet entering Galvan’s abdomen. He died at the hospital. Burton said the shooting was deliberate, and Richardt says it was an accident.

ALPHA SCHOOL CLASSROOMS UNSAFE — Tree-shaded Alpha Elementary School south of Madera has a covered entryway flanked at the left by a bell on which the date is inscribed. It reads 1916. When Alpha was constructed 51 years ago, schools weren’t designed and built like they are now. Alpha has a foundation barely above ground level on which the walls sit, with no connection. Atop the walls, the roof also is unconnected and is now suffering with inadequate bracing. The roof over the north wing and center classroom appears to have held itself up over the years through the combined forces of shingles, stripping, hip struts and ceiling finish.

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