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City street crews applied popcorn sealant around these two pickup trucks parked in the 300 block of South 11th Street. Although one has a flat tire, both are operable and legally parked, and cannot be towed away for paving, city supervisor Tommy Howell said. City crews will patch the spot when the trucks are moved. (Daily Press 1986 File Photo)

City street crews applied popcorn sealant around these two pickup trucks parked in the 300 block of South 11th Street. Although one has a flat tire, both are operable and legally parked, and cannot be towed away for paving, city supervisor Tommy Howell said. City crews will patch the spot when the trucks are moved. (Daily Press 1986 File Photo)

Looking back 40, 30 and 20 years ago, the following are excerpts from the Artesia Daily Press from Aug. 21-27.

40 years ago
Aug. 21‐27, 1976

A million-dollar drilling rig owned by Moranco Drilling Co. of Hobbs was threatened late Friday when a large sink hole caved in beneath the rig’s foundation, nearly toppling the massive structure’s tower. Crewmen for the drilling company secured extra guy wires in an effort to prevent the towered structure from falling further into the massive sink hole. Efforts were to be made to fill the hole with dirt in order that the rig can be skidded away from the dangerous location. The rig, which was erected in the middle of an alfalfa field, had drilled only 386 feet when its foundation gave way.

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The fall sports season at Artesia High School will have something more to offer than just football. For the first time in two years, girls’ volleyball will be part of the AHS sports program, and head coach Jeanne Sategna says her team has the potential of going all the way to the state championships.

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A very critical Artesia Bulldog coaching staff got its first good look Saturday at how the 1976 Big Orange football team may fare against other top high school teams when the Artesia boys squared off against the Las Cruces Bulldawgs in the first of the AHS preseason scrimmages. “We’re going to have to improve a lot between now and the start of our regular season if we expect to win again this year,” Mike Phipps said. “But we did about what we thought we could do against them considering the number of inexperienced players on the team this year.”

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Pioneer Savings and Loan of Artesia this week erected a 75-foot flagpole at its new Main Street office and atop it placed a massive 20-by-30-foot American flag of the type flown over U.S. military posts, according to office manager Wendell Crabb. Crabb said six people are required to properly raise and lower the flag, and he said he hopes to contract a local Boy Scout troop to perform the raising and lowering ceremony each day.

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Offensive line coach Vernon Asbill says his linemen this year are some of the biggest, meanest and strongest the Bulldogs have seen in years, despite the fact the squad has no returning starters from last year. The linemen, carrying an average weight of 250 pounds, are John Gill, John Riley, James Hedin, Terry Sosa, Tommy Riley, Steven Joyce, Jimmy Hamilton, Fred Watson, Gilbert Almager, David Wilson, Mitchell Johnson, Allen Tice, Danny Donaghe, Mark Williams, Roy Crouch, Larry Hobbs, Steve Gray, Oscar Bejarano, Randy Hill and Baron Chandler.

30 years ago
Aug. 21‐27, 1986

Artesia resident Tommy Holbert isn’t afraid to let people know what he thinks about things. In fact, he insists on telling them what’s on his mind from day to day. To do that, Holbert has created an area he calls “Billboard Corner.” It stands on a portion of the four acres surrounding his home at 1802 W. Grand Ave. Signs on the lot have covered many subjects. From the latest political candidate to the state of the state to things that just plain make him mad, Holbert has put his two cents in over the years.

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For the first time since 1959, the family of 82-year-old Virgie Powell will all be home. Relatives have traveled from as far away as New York City and San Diego and Oakland, Calif., and as near as Carlsbad — plus Dallas, Houston, Arizona, Arkansas, Denver and Albuquerque. Between 300 and 400 relatives are expected.

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Artesia farmers are being sought to join “The Great New Mexico Hay Bailout” in an effort to send hundreds of tons of hay to drought-stricken farmers in the South.

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Artesia’s Culy Hawkins was high-point individual in the wildlife contest conducted during the State 4H Conference. Shirley Hebert was winner of the home economics presentation contest. She won a tuition scholarship to New Mexico State University.

20 years ago
Aug. 21‐27, 1996

Artesia High School varsity softball coach Brady Tigert has accepted a position as first assistant coach in the women’s softball program at the University of Oregon in Eugene.

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Bulldog quarterback Paul Maupin threw scoring passes of 54, 18, 40 and 70 yards as Artesia racked up a 9-2 edge in touchdowns overall during Thursday’s varsity football scrimmage with West Las Vegas at Bulldog Bowl.

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“Twister,” “Alaska” and “Independence Day” were the featured films at Cinema Twin.

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A total of 38 runners and 17 walkers took part in Saturday morning’s “Bulldog Run” at Jaycee Park — a 5K run and one-mile walk that raised funds for Artesia High School’s cross country program. Both events took place on wet roads under soggy skies. Bulldog coach Shelley Ebarb said about $1,000 was raised from entry fees, sponsor donations, and ticket sales on a drawing for a grill.

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As reported in the Pinon News: Twenty-five members of the Hayhurst family met in the Community Building in Weed on Saturday, Aug. 10, for a family reunion. Mr. and Mrs. Loy Thomason of Arizona came early and visited with some of the family. It was reported they had an enjoyable day.

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