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D.B. Shira of 206 Texas Ave. claims to have the biggest tomato plants in town. In the above photo, he is shown standing between two plants, which he planted in mid-May. He said the reason the plants grew so big was because they were planted in a compost pile. “It took no great skill to grow these plants,” said Shira. “Just watering them, playing with them, and babying them did the trick.” (1975 Daily Press File Photo)

D.B. Shira of 206 Texas Ave. claims to have the biggest tomato plants in town. In the above photo, he is shown standing between two plants, which he planted in mid-May. He said the reason the plants grew so big was because they were planted in a compost pile. “It took no great skill to grow these plants,” said Shira. “Just watering them, playing with them, and babying them did the trick.” (1975 Daily Press File Photo)

Looking back 40, 30 and 20 years ago, the following are excerpts from the Artesia Daily Press from Sept. 13-19.

40 years ago
Sept. 13‐19, 1975

As reported in the Pinon News: Mr. and Mrs. Basil Holcomb went on Monday, a week ago, to the Dalton Bell farm on Cottonwood Creek for a load of hay. Mrs. Holcomb’s mother, Mrs. Edith Atkins spent the day visiting Mrs. Ethel Smith. Mrs. Charlotte Gage was away two days last week and Mrs. Jim Gillium and Mrs. Glenn Stevenson worked in the Gage store and station while she was gone.

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Bulldog kicker Toby Rhodes was named “Mad Dog of the Week” by Artesia football coaches for his outstanding punting efforts during Friday’s game against the Clovis Wildcats. And when a good punter can make the difference, as it did Friday, Toby is one Bulldog to be reckoned with. Toby punted six times Friday night averaging 41 yards per kick.

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As reported in Big Orange Country: The Bulldogs will travel to El Paso to do battle with Parkland tomorrow. Coach Phipps said he would like to have everyone come to El Paso to support the Bulldogs. According to the coach, Parkland is fast but the defense will not give them a chance to run. Parkland’s stadium is on the north side of El Paso. Fans and family may eat with the team at the Desert Air in Alamogordo at 11 p.m. on the way back to Artesia. Beat Parkland! So long!
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Sandra Canales, Gabriel Samora and Melissa Hernandez of Artesia were arrayed in festive Mexican costume Saturday as they took their places on the Atoka HELP Center float presented in Artesia’s first 16th of September Fiesta parade. The two-day fiesta, recognizing Mexico’s independence from Spain, continues this afternoon at Atoka with horse races, two sack races, a greased pig race, and game and food booths. The celebration is sponsored by the Atoka-Penasco Association. A fiesta queen was to be crowned Saturday evening.

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Kodak film developing was on special for $2.77 per 12-exposure roll at Palace Drug Store, motor oil was 49 cents a quart at Gibson’s Discount Center, and a man’s leisure suit was on sale at Anthony’s for $24.88.

30 years ago
Sept. 13‐19, 1985

Some people see Friday the 13th as a day to spend in bed with the covers over one’s head. Not Artesia Police Department records clerk Ann Bannigan. She tempted fate today by spilling a salt shaker and opening an umbrella inside the building. Superstitious folks will round out the day avoiding ladders, black cats, cracks in the sidewalk, and breaking mirrors.

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Artesia Chamber of Commerce members and guests heard state prison warden George Sullivan “tell it like it is” in the New Mexico Penitentiary during a talk here Monday. In his eighth month as warden, Sullivan said coming to New Mexico was the major challenge of his professional career. He reviewed conditions at the prison, warning that the facility is being controlled by the predatory convicts and another prison riot is in the making unless more changes are made.

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Three AHS varsity football players won awards for their performances in last week’s 34-12 loss to Roswell. They are Bill Glass (Offensive Player of the Week), Ricky Aguilar (Defensive Player of the Week) and Jay Worden (Mad Dog Player of the Week).

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Employees of First National Bank and tenants of the bank building were evacuated around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon after a bomb threat was received. City police Chief James MacKenzie said the bank received a call saying they had 10 minutes to evacuate before a bomb would go off. “They immediately notified the police,” MacKenzie said. “The whole bank was evacuated in less than six minutes. Everything was shut down and the money secured, of course, prior to their leaving the bank.” MacKenzie said the call was made by a female and police are “currently working on some possibilities.”

20 years ago
Sept. 13‐19, 1995

Artesia City Councilors voted Tuesday to reverse an earlier decision to reduce the speed limit to 30 miles per hour on Richey Avenue from U.S. 285 to 26th Street. The speed limit will remain 45 miles per hour until a traffic survey is completed by the New Mexico Highway Department.

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Opal Rhyne’s oil painting “Curry County Homestead” took first place in the Russel Floore Memorial Art Show, judged by San Patricio artist Michael Hurd. Taking second place was Thelma Lewis’ oil “Yonder Comes the Sun.” Taking third place was Jo Ann Lo Bianco’s watercolor “Flower Market.”

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As reported in the Pinon News: H.A. Stringfield came Thursday to the ranch and spent the day, checking on hunters, pumping water for the cattle and making repairs on the pressure pump on the ranch, but he lacked a few parts to finish the job. He returned to Alamogordo in the afternoon. The grass on the ranges is turning white again because of the lack of rain. There are a goodly number of grass seeds, but if the ranges do not receive rain soon, they will not mature. All the ranchers are hoping for rain soon. Thursday night, there was thunder and lightning; and Friday morning, there was a heavy fog in this area, but no rain had been reported.

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A state proposal to designate the Dune Sagebrush Lizard as an endangered species won’t automatically lead to restrictions on land used for oil and gas production as some in the industry are warning, the state Game and Fish Department says. “The potential effects are considerably exaggerated,” department spokesman John Crenshaw stated. Crenshaw emphasized that if the commission designates the lizard as an endangered species, the department would not have any power to stop or restrict oil and gas production to protect the lizards’ habitat.