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STROKING A PUTT – Though he’s only a ninth-grader at Park Junior High School, Clay Wilburn was playing in the No. 1 spot on the Artesia High School boys’ golf team Saturday as the Artesia Invitational was played at the Artesia Country Club. Here, Wilburn hits his putt on the 345-yard, par-four fourth hole. Looking on is Scott Shauff, the No. 1 player on the Portales team. Seven teams competed Saturday. (Daily Press 1987 File Photo)

Looking back 40, 30 and 20 years ago, the following are excerpts from the Artesia Daily Press from April 2-8.

40 years ago
April 2-8, 1977

As reported in the Pinon News: Dennis Aiden, the first patrolman for this area stopped at the Basil Holcomb ranch Saturday. Mr. and Mrs. Holcomb were out on the ranch feeding cattle, so he visited a short time with Edith Atkins, Mrs. Holcomb’s mother. He lives in the Mary White cabin at the mouth of Bear Canyon. He is new in the area and wishes to become acquainted with the residents of his patrolling area. The ranchers are glad to know the forest workmen that work in their area, and are glad to have them stop.

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The Artesia girls’ 440 relay team, comprised of Jacklyn Cole, Susan Starkey, Dana Lee and Debra Earl, finished third in Saturday’s competition in the Portales Invitational Track meet. The team’s performance helped the Bulldogs to an overall team total of 72 points, good enough for fourth place. Three Artesia High School shot putters, deprived of competitive action earlier last week when Roswell cancelled a scheduled track meet in Artesia, made an unscheduled trip to Portales and tallied 20 points in the field action and brought home fifth place as a team. Competing against eight full teams, Mitchell Johnson, John Gill and Randy Hill massed sufficient points in the shot put and discus throws to place in the middle of the field.

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The Artesia bowling team of Jeanie Clack, Barbara Boans, Rita Beadle, Wilma McCasland and Carolyn Shearman were recently named New Mexico champions after recording a handicap series of 2,952 in competition among 250 teams in the state tournament held in Las Cruces.

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Jeff Miller, son of the Rev. and Mrs. Steve Miller, is the Zia Intermediate School spelling bee champion who will go to the Southwestern Championship Spelling Bee in El Paso, Texas. Jeff said he felt “marvelous” about being the winner over four other semifinalists. The words “caption” and “concave” were the two words that won him the contest Monday.

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A State Highway Department crew is this week preparing the intersection of West Main and Seventh streets for installation of a new traffic signal light. The crew was preparing for the laying of concrete bases on the curb corners where street light poles will be installed. The traffic signals will be removed from the Sixth and Main streets intersection and replaced at Seventh and Main, where numerous traffic accidents have occurred in recent months. Crewmen said the transfer of signal lights will take several weeks to complete.

30 years ago
April 2-8, 1987

Nobody knows for sure when the last time it happened was — or even if it ever happened before. History may have been made Saturday at the Artesia Invitational Golf Tournament played at the Artesia Country Club course — a Bulldog sweep took place. Artesia golfers claimed medalist honors in both the boys’ and girls’ divisions. Artesia teams claimed both the boys’ and girls’ team titles, as well. The boys qualified as a team for the state tournament for possibly the first time ever. The Bulldog boys (Jason Muncy, Darin Dodd, Jud Hightower, Clay Wilburn and Toby Byers) shot a team score of 313. The Bulldog girls (Bridgette Alaniz, Kim Muncy, Karyn Estrada and Berna Alaniz) shot a 436.

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If you think they can cheer loud, then you probably could have heard their screams of delight all the way back to Artesia. Artesia High School’s varsity and junior varsity cheerleaders combined to put the whammy on 15 other Class 3A cheerleading squads Saturday in the Cheerleader and Drill Team State Competition in Albuquerque. The Artesia 11 — Rene Rascon, Missy Lain, Shelli Peyton, Patty Crenshaw, Suzi Carter, Kim Tasker, CaraBeth Gray, Kristy Standard, D’Nan Price, Tammy Brixey and Genna Simer — grabbed second place in the Class 3A competition, finishing behind the squad from Silver City.

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The American Home Building, located at 405 S. Fourth St., was among five buildings in New Mexico named “Honorable Mentions” in the 1987 Best Building Designs by New Mexico Business Journal. Judges commented, “This was a nondescript building the architects and builders made something out of. It is imaginative with spirited spatial quality.”

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Penasco School students who recently attended the International Olympics of the Mind in Albuquerque are Rachel Hendricks, Joni Pate, Cody Harwell, Riann Stewart, Lorissa Pate, Drew Hendricks, Sara Harwell and Sam Gutierrez. The older students had to design and build a quick-assemble vehicle. They took second place in their division. The younger students were required to build a structure weighing less than 15 grams that could hold 100 pounds. They placed fifth.

20 years ago
April 2-8, 1997

Artesia students’ hopes blasted off with the Space shuttle Columbia this afternoon, the start of a mission that is planned to include radio contact with 16 students here. The Artesia Public Schools were selected last year to participate in the Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment, but plans to speak to astronauts aboard the Shuttle Atlantis were postponed until a future mission because of changes during the mission. The 16 students are Rocio Delgado, Delilah Coss, C.J. Lara, Gabriel Varelas, Lacy Wilson, Mandy Prude, Jacob Teel, Jeremy Perez, Suzanah Weatherford, Erin Chaney, Ruben Trujillo, Aaron Michael Wagner, Meghan Mellard, Caleb Caley, Michael Rivera and Heather Aguilar. Each student will be able to ask two questions, time permitting. The questions range from, “Have you ever seen an alien?” to “What does it feel like to take off?”

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Wanda Cates is the Artesia Women’s Bowling Association’s 1997 Hall of Fame inductee, honoring years of service. The charter AWBA member has served as ABWA vice president, held every office except secretary, bowled in each state tournament since 1978, and attended the Jamboree four times. At the national level, Wanda has bowled in 12 National WIBC tournaments — where she has bowled three 200 games while carrying a 145 average — and is a member of the National 500 Club.

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The Artesia High School cheerleaders recently placed second in Class 3A at the New Mexico High School Cheer and Drill Spirit Competition held in Albuquerque. Juniors are Xochiti Carrillo, Mercy Salazar and Alysia Tucker; sophomores are Amy Fiebig, Candice Shearman, Valerie Fernandez, Shawna Analla and Jessica Karr; seniors are Kendra Lewellen, Krista Joseph, Ashlie Woods, Mary Ann Valenzuela and KayAnne Rogers. They are coached by Shelli Taylor.

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As reported in the Pinon News: Mrs. Holcomb has been going with the group on the senior citizens’ van to High Rolls for lunch since the Cloudcroft Center has had its problems. She has met more people and they will say, “Oh! I know you I read your column every week in the paper, because it is so interesting.” When Mrs. Holcomb started writing the news some 40 years ago, people did not like to have their names in the paper. So they were not too pleasant about it. Monday she met Emmitt and Sally Savage and they were very nice and reported they read the Pinon News every week.

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