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ALIEN CRASH LANDING? — Two legs sticking out of a dumpster in the alley near Fourth and Main streets caught the eye of motorists, pedestrians and office workers earlier this week. With all the excitement about alien landings and Air Force dummies in Southeastern New Mexico, this unidentified object turned out to be only a discarded store mannequin. (Daily Press 1997 File Photo)

Looking back 40, 30 and 20 years ago, the following are excerpts from the Artesia Daily Press from June 25-July 1.

40 years ago
June 25 – July 1, 1977

A new reformer at the Navajo Refining Co. in Artesia is expected to double the plant’s output of unleaded gasoline when it goes into full operation within the next three weeks. The reformer, which was brought to Artesia from Canada, houses chemical reactions that increase the octane and decrease the amount of lead in naphtha, which is distilled from petroleum and used to make gasoline. Previously, the output of unleaded gas at the plant was 6,000 barrels a day, so the new reformer should boost the total to 12,000 barrels.

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As reported in the Pinon News: Wayne McDonald, who is staying at the Welch Cabin and studying deer feeding habits for the forest Service, visited at the Basil Holcomb ranch Thursday evening of last week. He reported he had six helpers. Jerry Lockwood from Sacramento and with the Forest Service was in the Avis area Sunday morning reporting he wanted to see as many of the ranchers as possible to warn the people that the forest is closed to all visitors as the fire danger is extremely high, and that the ranchers are not allowed to brand on the forest.

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Artesia Municipal Judge Donald Price says that if coins are not placed in the proper slots on parking meters, users will be ticketed for violations. He said there have been complaints recently from people who said the meters were not working, when in fact they had put their coins in the wrong slots or had left the money on top of the meters. Price said the meter readers will not put money left on top of the meters into the meters, and that coins not inserted in the proper slots would not excuse users of meters from tickets for violations.

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“Mr. Billion” was the featured film of the week at the Hermosa Drive-In, and “Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo” was the featured film of the week at the Landsun Theater.

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Twenty-one All-Star selections from Artesia’s Little League teams were announced Thursday night. Fourteen of these players will later be chosen to play on Artesia’s All-Star team. They are: Brian Gurley, Anne’s; Gabriel Samora, Guy Chevrolet; Joe Franco, Cottonwood; Todd Butts, Atoka; Scott Bannister, Anne’s; Jerome Briseno, Navajo; Renard Earl, Bearing Service; Keef Kimbell, Guy Chevrolet; Don Lancaster, Jessie Saiz, Atoka; Joe Bach, Kevin Graham, Hall Auto; Donnie Rutledge, Hall Auto; Dera Clark, Anne’s; Leroy Richards, Larry Cravins, Wade Johnson, Steven Calwell (honorary), Jason Smith, First National; Tim Holland, Hall Auto; and All-Star coaches Ricky Madron and Grover Smith.

30 years ago
June 25 – July 1, 1987

Lori Berghorn of Artesia presented a trophy to Mack Chase of Mack Chase Inc. after Berghorn’s team won third place in the women’s division of the Gus Macker Three-On-Three Western Regional Basketball Tournament in Roswell last weekend. Also playing on the team were Terri Worden of Artesia and Lisa London and Stasia Spurrier of Carlsbad. Chase put up the entry fee for the team, “Mack’s Chasers,” which went 1-2 in the tournament, losing its first game, winning its second and losing its third.

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Christians refer to the Bible as the “Good News” of man’s salvation from sin. But a group of Artesia Christians is also happy over the good news that their two churches are consolidating into one. They feel the consolidation will make them more effective in spreading the good news of Christianity to the rest of the city. As of Sunday, Emmanuel Baptist Church and Trinity Baptist Church will consolidate into West Main Baptist Church. The new church will occupy the building that formerly housed Emmanuel Baptist, at 1701 W. Main St.

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As reported in the Pinon News: Mrs. Oza Holcomb went to the Vaugh Teel ranch for a short time of relaxation one day the past week and stopped where the old Avis School building burned in the early 1920s. Also there was a little one room store near the ground where the old school building was. The store belonged to the Colvil Family. Mrs. Holcomb found foundation rocks, pieces of desks, burned glass, nails and parts of an old stove. Mrs. Andrew Boyce was the last teacher to teach in the building and she had fifty pupils in all grades. The older children would help out by hearing the younger children in their reading and spelling lessons, and some of the grades would have the same classes in spelling and arithmetic. The people of the area were all ranchers and farmers who would work at odd jobs if it was possible to find work. Nearly all of the men raised corn, beans, and some hay. Mr. Will Smith of the antelope area raised big fields of can and made molasses that he sold to area people and then would take a load “peddling” to different parts of the county. The Smith family, John Harbert and his son, Will, as well as a number of others also raised goats. Nearly all the people had cattle, milk cows, horses and hogs, too. If a family needed help, neighbors were ready to do everything from building a house or barn to cutting and putting up hay. Everyone knew everyone in the area, their problems, troubles and pleasures.

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Jean Gray’s “Reflections at Sunrise” took second place in the amateur color category at the annual Petroleum Museum photo contest in Midland, Texas. A copy of the print, which depicts Navajo refinery and its reflection in standing water, currently is on display at Navajo’s administrative offices. It also will be on display at the museum through July.

20 years ago
June 25 – July 1, 1997

Outgoing Artesia Rotary Club President Mike Anderson and incoming President Paul Lasater congratulated Emily Moore and LuAnn Beardemphl, who were named Paul Harris Fellows “in recognition of many years of faithful service and fellowship.” Rotary past president and Paul Harris Fellow Carl Barnes made the presentation. The Paul Harris Fellow is the top Rotary award.

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The beginning of July is every baseball and softball fan’s dream come true. With so many good teams representing Artesia, the city should be at Carlsbad today, Jaycee Park next weekend, and back in Carlsbad July 11-13. The district softball tournament concludes today in Carlsbad. If the Artesia teams will play to their potential, the town could send these squads as the top seeds to the state tournament July 11: Flame in 10-and-under; Phorce in 12-and-under; and Pecos Inn in 16-and-under. However, Rage in the 12-and-under division was impressive in its win against the Carlsbad Sliders, 9-1, Friday. So don’t count that squad out of the mix.

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As reported in the Pinon News: Loren Jackson recently retired from Chaperal Junior High and, in spite of his inability to find an arrowhead, we at Pinon would like to wish him luck. Recently there was street dancing in the streets of Cloudcroft. Junior Daugherty of Alamogordo, his sister, Ruby Davis, from Phoenix, Ariz., and their cousin, Maynord Danley from near Tularosa, played for the dance. There were a number there that had not seen street dancing and were curious about it. There were quite a number watching the dancing.

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Officer Danny Kiper has been named New Mexico State Police Officer of the Year for 1996. Kiper was presented with three plaques by Capt. John Balderston, area state police commander, during a ceremony at the Artesia Police Department Monday. “This profession is difficult on the family. I appreciate my wife and her support,” Kiper said. Kiper, who is being promoted from senior patrolman to sergeant, will be transferred to Espanola. He is to report there July 26. Monday was also the Kipers’ 13th wedding anniversary.

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