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History from 25, 50 years ago

Madera County Historical Society Twenty-five years ago Madera veterinarian Dr. Ed LeTourneau won his second consecutive senior world bull riding championship title in Reno, Nev.


25 Years Ago

Week of Dec. 10, 1992

POLICE CHIEF MAKES APPEAL FOR SALVATION ARMY — “We can help the less fortunate of our community have a Merry Christmas and give them new hope for the coming year by supporting the Salvation Army’s Christmas and Welfare appeal.” That’s the word from Police Chief W. Horace Dowell, chairman of the local Salvation Army Service Unit Committee. A mail appeal has gone out here, according to Dowell. “Let us retain the traditional meaning of the Christmas seasno,” he asks, “by helping others. Let us try to accomplish more each year in this meaningful way.” The Salvation Army tries to help men, women, and children of all ages, races, and creeds.

MADERAN GETS INVITATION TO WHITE HOUSE — Cornelius C. Noble of Madera has been invited to witness President Johnson sign the meat inspection bill Friday morning in the White House. Noble, owner of Noble’s Independent Meat Company is a member of the executive board of the American Meat Institute. Noble and the Institute have for many years been advocating a uniform standard of meat inspection, which is provided in the bill that will be signed into law. Joseph A. Califano, one of the President’s top advisors on domestic affairs, signed the telegram, which was received by Noble today. The Maderan said he has not decided whether he will attend the ceremony.

ELMER RAU WILL BE ROTARY DISTRICT GOVERNOR IN 1969 — Elmer Rau, owner of Madera Lumber Company, will be governor of Rotary District 522 for the 1969-70 fiscal year, it was announced by Truman Parker, local Rotary president. He will be the spokesman for 2,400 Rotarians in 43 clubs in the district, which extends northward from Fresno County to San Joaquin County. Monterey Peninsula clubs from Pacific Grove to King City are also in the district. Part of his duties as district governor will include extensive travel. Besides visiting each club in the district at least once, Rau and his wife Eleanor will attend a two-week training session in Lake Placid, New York.

CRLA FILES NEW SUIT AGAINST WELFARE — California Rural Legal Assistance has filed its second claim against the Madera County Welfare Department for forcing aid recipients to help harvest grapes The latest claim asks for $3700 damages for Jesus and Trinidad Segovia and four children. The claim alleges that a social worker, Ralph Schleich, ordered all children above age 10 to work in the vineyards during the Sept. 19-22 week that schools were closed. It also alleges that members of the family were harrassed and finally had their aid cut off when they came home after the harvest in the field in which they had been working had been completed.

CHOWCHILLA GIRL CHOKES TO DEATH — A two-year-old girl choked to death Friday after swallowing a screw. Lesa Jeannett Croney died after she was rushed to the Chowchilla hospital by her grandfather Everett Wilkerson and Samuel Freeman, who had been babysitting the child. Upon observing the child choking, Freeman tried to dislodge the object by putting her head down and slapping her on the back. When this brought no results, he put his finger down her throat to dislodge the screw. He felt it in her throat but could not remove it. Dr. Royal D. Carty attempted to save the girl on her arrival at the hospital, but it was too late. He listed strangulation as the cause of death. 50 Years Ago

Week of Dec. 10, 1967

ED LETOURNEAU TOP SENIOR BULL RIDER FOR SECOND YEAR — Local veterinarian Ed LeTourneau won his second consecutive senior world bull riding championship recently in Reno, Nev. LeTourneau not only won the title for the 50-60 age group, but shattered the record for total points in a season with well over 2,200. LeTourneau was paid the honor of being introduced as the reigning king at the rodeo. It added a little pressure to win, but he said when it came time to ride, “you get used to the recognition, put it aside, and try your best.” The champ rode in 53 of the 73 rodeos in the western states, not bad for a 57-year-old man who says that riding bulls is still a lot of fun.

SHOTGUN SLAYING BREAKS MADERA’S HOMICIDE RECORD — A shotgun slaying Sunday night broke the homicide record for the City of Madera. According to Captain Charles Dickison, the 11th murder victim is Willie Beals III, 28, of Ashlan Avenue. He was the passenger in a GEO Metro being driven by Eddie Bolden of Chowchilla. The two men were traveling on South Lake Street when they spotted a man they thought they knew. The suspect walked to the stopped car, pulled out a shotgun and stuck it into the driver’s window. After telling the pair to put their hands up, he pulled the trigger, striking Beals. Bolden sped away after the shots were fired. Beals was dead at the scene.

‘OLD MADERA’ WILL BE THEME OF DOWNTOWN RENOVATION — The Madera Redevelopment Agency decided last night that the plan for Downtown Madera Revitalization will focus on “Old Madera.” According to Agency Director Leona James, “remodeling, facades, and new construction in downtown will be encouraged to follow an ‘Old Madera’ theme, recreating turn-of-the-century or early 1900s ambiance, the period when most of historic downtown Madera was built.” An Architectural Review Board will be formed and will be required to approve architectural plans for the renovation. James said, “We want to do everything in our power to urge all the property owners to participate so we don’t end up with a piecemeal look.

MEDELLIN ‘SURPRISED’ AT LACK OF WOMEN CANDIDATES — Margaret Medellin, once mayor and three-term council member, doesn’t know what to think about the chronic lack of women candidates in Madera. The first and only woman to serve on the Madera City Council, 55-year-old Medellin says she sees herself as a role model. “I really thought I was going to motivate other women,” she said, “I was really surprised that not one woman came forward in the recent city council election.” She added, “This was supposed to be the year of the woman.” Overall, Medellin says her years on the council have been enjoyable.

TEACHER TO FACE TRIAL FOR LEWD CONDUCT — Former Madera substitute school teacher Christopher Small will face charges in Superior Court for employing a 15-year-old girl as a nude model. Small was arrested for using the teenager for nude modeling and lewd conduct with a child and other misdemeanors such as possessing pornographic magazines. His attorney, Ahuva Novak, said she was looking forward to the trial. The girl answered an ad placed by Small and arrived at the photo shoot with her mother. Deputy District Attorney Paul Avent tried to establish that Small had hired the youth for self-stimulation and hid it behind the facade of being an artist.

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