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(Daily Press 1977 File Photos)

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, 1978

The year of 1978 is already one week old, and Artesia area businessmen and financial people are thinking it could become one of the best years on record, business-wise. One person who is in a position to know what is going on is David Dillard, Artesia’s executive administrator and chief industrial development searcher. He calls Artesia’s current economic status “fantastic” and sees nothing but good things to come in the future. However, Dillard is concerned with Artesia’s apparent semi-lack of shopping facilities compared to Roswell or Carlsbad. “I know we are a lot smaller than either of those two cities, but having a few more big stores would not hurt us,” Dillard said. He would like to see a large discount house here, similar to something like K-Mart. “A store like that would be very beneficial to Artesia,” he said.

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About 100-125 people attended the opening of Lt. Gov. Bob Ferguson’s campaign for governor headquarters here, and more people were arriving as the day wore on. Ferguson told the Daily Press from now on, it’s an “all-out effort” to capture the Democratic nomination for governor. The lieutenant governor from Artesia said the progress of his campaign in the last month has been good.

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Jacklyn Cole set a new scoring mark, everybody got to play, and the Artesia girls’ varsity basketball team took the first official step in the direction of defending their Class 3A state title. They did it in Hobbs, soundly beating the Eagles 74-31 in a game which saw senior Cole become the all-time leading scorer in Bulldog girls’ basketball history, as she drilled in 19 points, surpassing Gogie Moreno’s career total of 633 points. Cole tied the record with a free throw in the second quarter and later broke it on a field goal minutes later. She now has a total of 643 points.

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Lee Roy Howard, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Howard east of Artesia, graduated from the New Mexico State Police Academy Dec. 30. A 1975 graduate of Artesia High School, Howard attended NMSU for two years. He will be stationed in Vaughn.

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Since the farmer took to the streets in mid-December to protest the prices they receive for their goods, government officials, industry executives, and the consumers have expressed concern for the farmers’ plight. In a man-on-the street feature, Mrs. Frank Pinson, A.G. Samora Jr., Bill Krogman, Bob Ferguson Jr., Socorro Gomez, Mrs. E.M. Fuller, Jeff Stephenson and Rita Harcrow all said they were behind the farmers on the issue.

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The Eddy County Commission allocated $63,269 in funds to cover the projected cost of the construction of a juvenile detention center in Artesia. Ballard and Sons Construction of Carlsbad was awarded the contract for the construction of the center, which will be adjacent to the new law enforcement center currently under construction.

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Pete’s Hamburgers was offering its famous six-for-a-dollar hamburgers, and Big T Family Restaurant advertised steakfingers with fries, toast, slaw and gravy for $1.79. T-bone steaks were $1.79 per pound at Furr’s, and Panda Records & Tapes, 520 W. Main St., was open Thursday nights till 9 p.m.

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Artesia General Hospital could become a “first aid station” between Roswell and Carlsbad without some financially assistance to either rebuild or remodel to meet accreditation requirements, State Rep. Tom Brown Jr. said. He made the announcement a bill will be introduced in the 1978 state legislature that could provide relief for AGH and other small hospitals in the state by allowing Special Hospital Districts to call for a bond election to finance such efforts.

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Dedication ceremonies for the Artesia High School Natatorium were set for Jan. 29. Artesia Public Schools Superintendent Warren Nell met with Mayor Ernest Thompson regarding suggested operations for the facility that would separate the school’s and city’s dual responsibilities. It was suggested the school would operate the facility during the school year and the city during the summer months.

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Twelve music students from Artesia High School departed for Albuquerque to participate in the All-State Music Festival. They were Mike Thompson, Donald Brower, Judy Gressett, Kelly Brower, Lori Hand, Bruce Campbell, Tonya Coursey, Peggy Miller, Marcia Jordan, Mary George, Mary Arndt and Nathan Bowen.

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In a move unexpected by many people, the Artesia City Council voted unanimously to give all city employees a 5-percent, across-the-board pay increase effective Jan. 1. Councilman James Guy said it is within the city’s capabilities to pay, because revenues in other areas are running higher than expected.

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If all goes well in a meeting with the New Mexico Activities Association, New Mexico may have its first look at six-man football. Lake Arthur school superintendent Dan Salzwedel and representatives of six other small schools currently not involved in an 11-man program are to meet and discuss the possibility. “I think it can be done,” Salzwedel said.

30 years ago
Jan. 8-14, 1988

Legend has it that many years ago, when Artesia was just a fledgling town, somebody had the bright idea to import pigeons so the parks and town squares would have the look and feel parks and town squares are supposed to have. But something went wrong. The pigeons didn’t stay where they were put. Instead, they began roosting on building tops and in air conditioner systems. Exterminator Johnny Puckett has devised a scheme to capture the pigeons in a humane and hopefully lasting way, however, implementing a net contraption in which three cans of compressed air, when triggered, shoot a new over the birds as they feed.

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The Smokehouse Bar-B-Q advertised a hickory smoked half-chicken dinner with two vegetables and Texas toast for $3.95, while Pecos West Restaurant had catfish, chicken, salad and desserts on offer every Friday, and Old West Burgers offered steakfingers for $2.95 Fridays and Saturdays. Kmart had Christmas merchandise at 75-percent off, and The Purple Iris and Anne’s Hallmark were also advertising after-Christmas sales.

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Sen. Budd Hebert, R-Chaves/Eddy, told members of the People’s Commission for Criminal Justice how to get appeal bond reform passed by the upcoming legislature. Hebert said the “hows” included labeling and constantly referring to the legislation as the “Dena Lynn Gore bill” in honor of the 9-year-old Artesia girl who was murdered in 1986 by a convicted felon free on appeal bond. The bill was designed to simply deny bond to convicted felons while they await the outcome of their appeals.

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Dormitory rooms that once housed college students soon may be occupied by agents of the U.S. Border Patrol and other branches of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, who would receive advanced training on the former Artesia Christian College campus. Top INS officials visited Artesia to look over the campus as they made their decision.

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There’s a new wave among Mary Kay consultants. It’s not a new line of cosmetics or a new shade of nail polish. Consultants, their friends, and family members have started coming to Artesia to make their first free-fall jump from an aircraft. The jump, participants say, helps them overcome fears that hold them back and keep them from being all they can be, and they’ve come from all over the nation to take the leap.

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Tammy Dolan, owner of CJ’s Restaurant, 900 W. Main St., may have a hard act to follow – beginning a new food business at the former location of Huckabee’s. “We want to bring fresh foods to the people, just like my brothers Kevin and Joe (Huckabee),” Dolan said.

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David Malkowski figures his 18 years in retail marketing will stand him in good stead as executive director of the Artesia Chamber of Commerce, a post he was named to by the chamber board of directors. “It won’t be an office job,” Malkowski said. “My responsibility will be to go out and go to the chamber members and say, ‘What do you need?’ and try to fill those needs the best we can.”

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Unless Artesia schools show a growth in the number of students next year, the school system may be sailing in rough waters financially, superintendent Taylor Stephenson said Monday. He said the potential for growth in the number of students next year exists. About 140 seniors will graduate, and 320 kindergarten students will advance to the first grade. “If those students stay in Artesia, in spite of the economy, we’ll be in good shape,” Stephenson said. “I don’t know. We lost 140 students last year.” In other school news, Grand Heights Early Childhood Center was named a 1987-88 Inviting School, making it one of 22 receiving the honor from the International Alliance for Invitational Education, principal Kate Asbill said.

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The six winners in Artesia’s Elks Hoop Shot were Lesa Mallett, Lanci Craft, Stacie Scott, Paul Maupin, Cord Wilburn and Jesse Mesquita.

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Brantley project director Dewey Geary of Carlsbad and Bureau of Reclamation archaeologist Bobbie Ferguson of Amarillo, Texas, were hard at work examining the oldest known gravesite in the Seven Rivers Cemetery, that of W.S. Keith, believed to have been killed by Native Americans in 1873 while on a cattle drive. The full excavation of the graves at the cemetery to make way for Brantley Reservoir was slated to begin Jan. 26.

20 years ago
Jan. 8-14, 1998

A slew of candidates filed for Artesia City Council positions Tuesday. Filing for mayor were Carl E. Barnes, Floyd A. Economides, Fred T. Alvarez, Daniel Reyes Jr. and Barbara Gandy.

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Artesia elementary school students winning an art contest on cultural unity, sponsored by the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) were judged by the Artesia Equal Employment Opportunity Committee. Winners included Saul Escoto, Miranda Apodaca, Naomi Perez, Clara Aguilar, Ellen Hayes, Angel Gutierrez, Dominic Salmon, Zachary Sarabia, Denny Burnett, Sage Franklin, Arin Bratcher, Roxanne Chapman, Laura Dominguez and Sarah Garcia.

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Padrinos offered free brisket for those participating in its weekly pool tournament, Joe B’s Drive-In had fajita platters for $4.99 and catfish dinners for $4.50 on offer, Tastee-Freez invited Artesians to their Friday Night Fish Fry, all-you-can-eat catfish for $6.29, and The Fillin’ Station in Riverside’s daily specials included hamburger steak with brown gravy, enchiladas, pork chops, smoked brisket, and famous catfish and shrimp, each special for $4.99.

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Central Elementary School custodian Alex Esquibel put the finishing touches on a pinon tree planted at the entrance to the school and donated by Brownie troop members Alyssa Johnson, Ashly Martz, Rosemary Bohaty, Daniella Ruiz, Clara Aguilar, Kayla Patterson, Kassie Patterson and Chelsea Vest.

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Artesia High School football players Jimmy Hamilton, Chris Olivas and Michael Parra were selected for the Class 3A-4A South All-Star team.

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Pam Allen rejoined the Artesia Public Schools staff as the new head volleyball and girls’ track and field coach at Artesia High School. “I’m really pleased to be a part of an organization that places so much emphasis on student achievement in both athletics and academics,” she said.

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In the Daily Press’ Looking Back section, it was noted that in 1963, Hank Avenue was named to honor Albert Benjamin Hank, a Baptist preacher whose name can be linked to every African-American Baptist church in New Mexico.

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The Artesia City Council learned that construction to close the city’s old landfill had been completed. The final cost of the project was $1,529,234.38, $5,546.87 under the bid amount. The project was funded by $2 million in gross receipts tax revenue bonds, $500,000 in legislative funds, and a $50,000 state grant, and was completed in 192 days.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Looking Back was compiled this week by Daily Press Editor Brienne Green.)