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History in the Week of Feb. 25

Madera County Historical Society Madera’s John Jones put the tag on Sanger’s Dumar Lee 25 years ago in the McLane Tournament. The Coyotes scored a 9-7 win over the Apaches.


25 Years Ago

Week of Feb. 25, 1993

HARPER CLAIMS HE WAS SET UP BY RILEY — “I feel Tom Riley set me up and mishandled this investigation,” Perry Harper told the Madera Madera Tribune Wednesday. Harper, vice principal of Madera High South Campus, and Madera High Principal Beau Carter have been reassigned due to alleged improprieties at MHS with regards to student body funds. “I feel I have been set up on this thing,” Harper said. “I want the people of Madera to know that there is no way my family could ever repay them for their loyalty and their love during this whole thing.” Riley said, “I have no comment to make on any of Mr. Harper’s statements.” The stress on Harper, 59, has been so great he has had to take medication and see a counselor, he said.

PG&E WON’T COLLECT UTILITY TAX FOR COUNTY — A household utility flat tax proposed by the Madera County Board of Supervisors has been leveled by PG&E’s refusal to participate in the collection process. “A household tax does not qualify as a utility users tax,” said Robert G. Scott, Madera Area Manager for PG&E. “The only connection between PG&E and the household tax is that the county intends to ask PG&E to act as the collection agency for the tax, Scott said. Scott went on to say that although the County has implied that non-compliance with the tax will result in a resident’s utilities being discontinued, PG&E is not allowed to turn off essential utility services for non-payment of a tax.

MEASURE A IS NECESSITY FOR SCHOOLS — A spokesperson for the Citizens for Better Schools Committee says overcrowding in Madera’s schools makes passage of a school bond essential. Mary Farrell, a member of the committee, said a “wish-list” of $64.35 million in building projects has been determined, but it was felt that the community would not support a bond of this size. It was determined that the district would go for a $26 million bond. The state has financed Alpha, Berenda, Madera High School South campus, and Lincoln Elementary at 100 percent. However, from now on, local communities are going to have to raise 50 percent of new building funds locally.

GARCIA A BIG RELIEF FOR COYOTES — Junior Jesse Garcia may be establishing himself as Madera’s stopper out of the bull pen after just two varsity games. After hurling two innings of hitless relief Wednesday, Garcia came back Thursday to quell a Sanger rally in the fourth and get the win as the Coyotes downed the Apaches 9-7 in the McLane Tournament. “He has done a great job in relief,” said Madera coach Dan Ascanio. Garcia kept the Sanger hitters off-balance with a good breaking ball and what Ascanio called a sneaky fast, fastball. “Offensively, we seek to be more aggressive; I’m pleased with our intensity.” Said Ascanio

RESIDENT SUPPORTS PERRY HARPER — “To say the community is saddened by the way Perry Harper has been treated is an understatement. This community has stood by and watched as part of our family has been destroyed. And I say family because that is how many of us in the community feel toward Harper. They say money was not used in the proper way; we say any money that Harper used was for the good of the school and not for any personal gain. They say the investigation is over; we say it has just begun. We also say, Perry Harper, get out in the community, hold your head up high; you have nothing to be ashamed of.” Signed, Susan Vizcarra. 50 Years Ago

Week of Feb. 25, 1968

PETITIONS SEEK SCHMITZ RECALL — Approximately 30 petitions for the recall of District 1 Supervisor Jack Schmitz are being circulated now on a “trial basis,” it was announced Thursday. Don Wallis of Coarsegold is head of the recall movement. Several charges have been made against Schmitz including, 1) He has brought disrespect and discredit to the county by upbraiding his fellow supervisors at public meetings of the board; 2) His conduct has been arrogant and contemptuous of the electorate; 3) He discriminates against mountain residents; 4) He has lost public confidence by his callused indifference; and 5) He has exhibited a bored and tired attitude at board meetings.

MUSHROOM HUNTER OK AFTER BEING LOST — Joe John Cisterino, 44, who disappeared Friday afternoon while hunting for tree mushrooms along the Fresno River east of Madera was found Saturday morning. Cisterino told sheriff’s deputies that he was cold and “gimpy-legged” but all right after he spent the day and night walking 35 miles along the river. Cisterino said he and Samuel McGuire decided to look for mushrooms Friday morning. They each took opposite sides of the river, and Cisterino became lost. He said he became confused and walked uphill instead of downhill. McGuire reported Cisterino missing after he failed to return to his pickup truck.

CHOWCHILLA GI DIES IN VIET COMBAT ACTION — Timothy Lynn Collier of Chowchilla was killed in Vietnam action last week. Collier, a 1965 graduate of Chowchilla Union High School, had previously been reported missing in action. He enlisted in the Army in December of 1966. He was married last November to the former Lola May Williams. In addition to his widow, survivors include his father Byron Collier of Chowchilla, his mother, Mrs. Ladie Smith of Menlo Park, one brother and two sisters. Military rites will be held in Merced.

J.B. WILLIAMS TO BE 100 SUNDAY — The man who has lived in Madera longer than any other living person will be 100 years old Tuesday. J.B. Williams, who still remembers and delights in telling anecdotes of early Madera, was honored Sunday at the First Baptist Church. Lured by the promises of promoters of the John Brown Colony, the Williams family moved to Madera in 1890. In 1893, J.B. graduated from the ninth grade—the last to do so in Madera. The next year he entered Madera High School and was in its first graduating class. J.B. Williams still lives in the home he built in 1910 at 901 Yosemite Avenue. The house is surrounded by large shade trees.

SARDINES MAY HAVE SPARED HIS LIFE — Hard-luck Taft W. Allred may owe his life today to a couple cans of sardines. The 53-year-old transient recently was brought before Justice Court Judge Alec Brown on a charge of stealing two cans of sardines. Judge Brown imposed a 60-day stay in jail on Allred. However, after the court action, things got better for Allred. The judge ordered a physical exam for the prisoner because “he just didn’t look good.” The checkup disclosed Allred had a severe case of tuberculosis, and the doctors reported back to the court, “This man should have been in a hospital a long time ago. Judge Brown then sent Allred to the Ahwahnee Sanitarium until he fully recovered. Without those sardines and the court appearance, Allred may still have been a free man today, but his days would have been numbered.

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