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ARCHAEOLOGISTS RETURN - A crew of 12 student archaeologists is back at work this summer in the Seven Rivers area, unearthing artifacts from past cultures in the Pecos Valley dating back to about 4000 B.C. The project, headed by Joe Gallagher, a Southern Methodist University graduate student, is funded through the Bureau of Reclamation with U.S. Parks Service money. The crew plans to excavate eight sites this summer in the area, which will eventually be underwater when Brantley Dam is completed sometime in the early 1980s. (Daily Press 1976 File Photo)

ARCHAEOLOGISTS RETURN – A crew of 12 student archaeologists is back at work this summer in the Seven Rivers area, unearthing artifacts from past cultures in the Pecos Valley dating back to about 4000 B.C. The project, headed by Joe Gallagher, a Southern Methodist University graduate student, is funded through the Bureau of Reclamation with U.S. Parks Service money. The crew plans to excavate eight sites this summer in the area, which will eventually be underwater when Brantley Dam is completed sometime in the early 1980s. (Daily Press 1976 File Photo)

Looking back 40, 30 and 20 years ago, the following are excerpts from the Artesia Daily Press from June 19-25.

40 years ago
June 19‐25, 1976

Kay Hart, vice president and secretary-treasurer of Valley Savings and Loan Association, was recently presented a gift in appreciation of 20 years of service. Hart has been with the association longer than any other employee.

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Pumpjacks, winch trucks, a garage, and now a hay barn have been added to the list of bicentennial displays patriotic Artesians have masterminded in recent months. The latest, a hay barn located on the Kermit Southard farm southeast of Artesia, was in need of a paint job anyway, so son-in-law Jerry Burk decided it would be appropriate to paint it in bicentennial colors.

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As reported in the Pinon News: Jack Merritt sold his sheep to Billy Joe Brooks and Larry Williams because the predatory animals were killing his lamb crop and he decided the loss would be so great he could not make a profit from the sheep. The coyotes and cats are now killing Larry and Billy Joe’s lambs. Merritt has been trapping, trying to help them save their lambs from destruction.

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President Ford is ordering a massive spraying program to combat an infestation of range caterpillars in eastern New Mexico. Ford ordered the insecticide treatment for 137,000 acres of federal land in the infested area after appeals by farmers and ranchers to the U.S. Department of Agriculture proved futile.

30 years ago
June 19‐25, 1986

Shaun Standard and Ryan Faulkenberry exchanged congratulations on learning each will be part of the inaugural baseball program at College of the Southwest in Hobbs next year. Both recently accepted partial-ride baseball scholarships there. Standard was recruited as a catcher and Faulkenberry as an outfielder, and both will major in physical education. Both are 1986 Artesia High School graduates.

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City of Artesia construction workers began leveling ground at Jaycee Park in preparation for installation of an underground sprinkling system to provide water for grass for soccer fields. Estimated cost of the project is $80,000. The project was approved in April by city councilors after being approached by soccer league officials who said the fields were needed by the city’s 400 soccer players.

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As reported in the Pinon News: Fred Gage reported the Weed cheerleaders came to the Gage store and station here Saturday and worked most of the day washing cars to raise money for their expenses. It rained a light shower so they had to quit earlier than planned but he thought they made enough money to help if not enough.

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Rocky arroyo south of Artesia was flowing almost to the top of the bridge along U.S. 285 Tuesday morning. After 24 hours of steady rainfall here and in the Sacramento Mountains west of Artesia, all draws and arroyos are flowing with water. Water along Eagle Draw was crossing 26th Street, and Eddy County road crews were preparing to block the street to traffic. As much as five inches of rainfall was reported in Mayhill, while city dwellers received about 2.26 inches of rain. Rainfall total for the year exceeds seven inches.

20 years ago
June 19‐25, 1996

As reported in the Pinon News: The Robert Bells had a work day May 25 at the Bell ranch. Robert is in the process of building a cross fence on his forest permit. He cleared much of the right of way and needed help with the air compressor and jack hammer to dig post holes. The grandchildren, Ty, Mandy and Andy Prude, came for the work days and stayed a week. They were a big help to Granddad. They tramped all over the hills, moving and gathering cattle.

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No bottle rockets. No firecrackers. Not even any sparklers will be allowed during the July 4 holiday. It’s illegal for New Mexicans to shoot off any fireworks. The State Corporation Commission on Tuesday indefinitely banned the sale and use of fireworks in New Mexico because of severe fire hazards from a lingering drought. Only organized public displays of fireworks will be allowed.

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A branch from an elm tree at Central Park partially covered a car owned by the Givens family. The branch fell during a storm Saturday. Gary Givens said he sent a letter to the city in April expressing his concern about the condition of trees in the park, many of which have died or are in poor condition. The car was not damaged.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Looking Back is compiled each week by Daily Press Community Living Editor Teresa Lemon.)