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SOUTHWESTERN SNOW – Snow finds a safe spot in the spines of a yucca plant at Norwest Bank. The wintry weather was a contrast to the sunny days and warm temperatures of last week. Area residents reported receiving 6-8 inches of snow by this morning. Light snow continued falling at press time today. (Daily Press 1997 File Photo)

Looking back 40, 30 and 20 years ago, the following are excerpts from the Artesia Daily Press from Jan. 8-14.

40 years ago
Jan. 8‐14, 1977

Lt. Gov. Robert Ferguson reaffirmed in Artesia that he has unofficial intentions of seeking the Democratic nomination for New Mexico governor in 1978.

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The Artesia Bulldogs suffered their first loss of the season Friday when a strong squad from Jal took advantage of several key turnovers to knock the Big Orange out of contention for the Weed Tournament title, 55-41. Artesia’s Jacklyn Cole, who is leading her team in total points, steals and assists, was hoping to get several easy shots when the Bulldogs met the Cloudcroft girls for third place in the tournament. But that cold winter storm which dumped several inches of snow across the state was not welcomed by the girls, who could not make it to Weed and were forced to forfeit a third-place match to Cloudcroft. Head coach Ronnie Null said he and his team made it as far as Mayhill Saturday before the icy road conditions and poor visibility forced them to turn back to Artesia.

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As reported in the Pinon News: Fred Gage and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. W. F. Gage have decided they would like to sell the Pinon Store and Station. Mrs. Oma Gage and her late husband “Chuck” owned the business for 34 years. When she was ready to retire, she sold to Fred and Nickey Gage. Mr. and Mrs. Gage bought Nickey’s interest. They have had the store six years. A number of persons have remarked that they hate to see the Gages sell, as Gages have had it so many years that it will seem strange for them not to be there. Also Leon Ham reports the Pinon ranch is for sale and that they have some buyers interested. He and his family plan to move back to Texas. The Ham family have been good neighbors, so it is hated that they plan to move.

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The City of Artesia’s request for a $498,167 grant to build a law enforcement center has been turned down by the Economic Development Administration, but Artesia Mayor Ernest Thompson said city officials have not give up on getting the grant. Thompson said he has talked with EDA officials, and they have suggested that Artesia resubmit the grant application within 30 days for reconsideration. Thompson said the law enforcement center plans and application package will be kept intact and will be used for reapplication within 30 days.

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The Artesia Bulldogs used a pair of crucial free throws by David Navarette in the final seconds of Saturday to halt a late Tularosa charge and take a slim one-point cage victory, 58-57.

30 years ago
Jan. 8‐14, 1987

It’s official. The campus of the former Artesia Christian College belongs to the City of Artesia. Closing of the sale did not take place until about 8:30 p.m. Thursday in Council Chambers at City Hall. Cost of the property was $500,000, with $250,000 coming from the City of Artesia and $250,000 from the Greater Artesia Foundation. The foundation received private contributions from 30-35 donors.

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The Artesia Bulldogs shot down Ruidoso for the second time in as many tries this season, but it wasn’t the prettiest thang you’ve ever seen. Coach Rob Young’s varsity girls’ basketball team held off a stubborn group of Warriors by a 48-40 count Thursday at the high school boys’ gym, upping Artesia’s season record to 4-5.

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This time, the Pecos Eagles only had Scott Ford to be mad at. The Artesia High School varsity basketball team’s senior guard completed a three-point play with six seconds left, leading his team to a 71-69 victory Friday at the high school boys’ gym. As a junior, Ford had done the same thing in Pecos a year ago, but it also took two free throws by Keith Meeks to ice that three-point Bulldog win.

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Officials at Navajo Refining Co. aren’t too worried about the sale and reopening of the Southern Union petroleum refinery in Lovington. “We had this same competition before they closed,” Navajo senior vice president Bill Gray said. “If it goes through, we welcome the competition. Competition never hurt anything.”

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The Artesia City Council unanimously approved hiring a lobbyist to help the city find a state use for the former Artesia Christian College campus and to represent the city in other issues during the upcoming session of the state Legislature. Former State Rep. Tom Brown Jr. has agreed to act as the city’s lobbyist. Mayor Ernest Thompson said the city will pay Brown’s hotel bill and up to $6,000 for the 60-day session. This is the first time the City of Artesia has hired a lobbyist.

20 years ago
Jan. 8‐14, 1997

Opponents said a proposal to store nuclear material in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad has been inadequately studied, while proponents said it has been studied nearly to death. Today marks the second day of a two-day hearing in Albuquerque on the proposed nuclear waste repository.

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Paul Maupin won three awards while Kirk Robbins and Josh Miller won two each Thursday at the Bulldog Football Banquet. Maupin took home the Leadership, Most Valuable Player and Corey Tolle Fighting Heart awards, while Robbins got the nod for Offensive Player of the Year and Special Forces Player of the Year. Robbins shared the latter award with Corey Brower. Miller shared Golden Helmet Player of the Year honors with Michael Rogers and Most Improved Player honors with Nathan Halsell. Three other boys also took home awards as Jimmy Hamilton was tabbed Defensive Player of the Year. Julian Carrillo got the nod for Sportsmanship, and Joseph Araujo copped the Meacham Tackle award.

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Lt. Col. Terry L. Hill assumed command of the Fourth Battalion (AVENGER) 200th Air Defense Artillery during a ceremony Jan. 4 at the Curry County Fairgrounds in Clovis. The Artesian and B operator at Navajo Refining Co. took over leadership of the New Mexico Army National Guard battalion from Lt. Col. Jack L. Davis.

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Artesia did it again — turning what looked like a sure easy win into a nail-biter. The Bulldogs held off a furious second-half Carlsbad comeback to nip the Cavemen 66-65 Friday in the home opener at the high school main gym. The win lifted coach Bubba Jennings’ team to 8-3 on the year. Jennings, who watched his team blow a 15-point lead, had a simple answer. “The last three or four minutes, we started the turnovers, got passive, and didn’t play very tough defense,” he said. “Carlsbad started getting to the basket real easy.”

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