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SCHMITT REPRESENTATIVE — Betty King, representative for U.S. Sen. Harrison Schmitt, was in Artesia to meet with people who wanted to relay messages to the senator. Shown talking with Ms. King is Fred Collins, a local rancher. King apparently survived a shakeup in Schmitt’s staff which led to the firing of his Albuquerque office manager and two legislative assistants. (Daily Press 1978 File Photo)

Looking back 40, 30 and 20 years ago, the following are excerpts from the Artesia Daily Press from Jan. 15-21.

40 years ago
Jan. 15-21, 1978

What is most impressive about Artesia to Zayra Choy, a 16-year-old foreign exchange student from Panama who arrived here Jan. 6? “The people are friendly,” said Zayra with a grin. Choy is staying in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Lowell Irby at 1807 Ray Ave. She was an exchange student in New York, but the weather got too cold for her, so the American Field Service moved her to Artesia. When Zayra graduates here, she will be finished with high school in Panama.

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Artesia’s girls’ varsity basketball team went to Portales Friday and, to quote Julius Caesar, they came, they saw, and they conquered. Artesia took its first step toward conquering the world with an easy 51-35 romp over the Ramettes, a team many think will challenge the Bulldogs for the district title before it’s all said and done. “It was a typical Artesia girls’ basketball game,” commented Coach Ronnie Null. “We played a great first half, pressed the whole game, and really took it to ‘em.”

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Four Lake Arthur varsity players were selected as All Tourney players after their performance in the Smokey Bear Classic Invitational Basketball Tournament in Capitan. The selected players are Lupe Salmon, Brian Lilly, Tammy Merritt and Vicki Ron Robinson.

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As reported in the Pinon News: The old Weed School Gymnasium is being repaired at the present time. Vaughn Arvel Teel is among the employees working there. Fred Gage went to Roswell Tuesday afternoon of last week to register for another semester of college work in the college there. Eddie Row and Preston Brantley of Alamogordo were visitors at the Brantley and Lane ranch north of Pinon and at Pinon Thursday afternoon of last week checking the cattle and their water.

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Coach Rusty Heskett had been waiting for it, and it finally happened. His team ran its fast break to perfection most of the game, was hitting the basket, and generally did all the things which make a high school basketball coach’s dreams nice ones. This came in the form of Artesia’s 98-61 win over the Eunice Cardinals, which showed that the Bulldogs are ready to start district play, that everybody is healthy, and that all it takes to win is execution. Richie Price, hitting from near and far, gunned in 27 points while Dwayne Dickey and Bubba Cunningham each added 18. These two latter drove the Cardinals nuts with a combination of drives to the basket and jump shots from the outside.

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After months of fooling the weathermen and depriving farmers and ranchers of needed moisture, Mother Nature finally sent the first snow of the season to north Eddy County. Unofficial reports have the snow beginning around 1:15 a.m. today, Jan. 20.

30 years ago
Jan. 15-21, 1988

Though they probably could have celebrated like mad had they wanted to, they didn’t, because there are more important things about to happen. Artesia High School’s girls’ varsity basketball team pinned a 22-point loss on the Ruidoso Warriors Thursday in a makeup game in Ruidoso. Artesia’s 49-27 victory over the Warriors — a team that this year has beaten Portales and Goddard twice each and Roswell High once — gave Coach Rob Young’s team a 5-7 record to take into district play.

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“Fatal Attraction” and “Overboard” were the featured films of the week at Cinema Twin for 99 cents any movie, any time.

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It was Lesson Time once again for the Artesia Bulldogs. The teacher turned out to be the Ruidoso Warriors, who administered a first-half lesson in Never Underestimating Your Opponent 101. Coach Jim Wilburn’s Bulldogs eventually pinned a 76-55 loss on the Warriors at the high school boys’ gym. The victory upped Artesia’s season record to 7-3 while Ruidoso dipped to 4-7.

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As reported in the Pinon News: Monday and Tuesday, the sun shone here most of the day. Mr. and Mrs. Basil Holcomb left early Monday morning thinking they would have a good day for going to Artesia for ranch supplies. By the time they got to Highway 82, it was looking very stormy and before they got to Hope, the whole countryside was heavy cloudy and looked like it would begin snowing any time and a cold north wind was blowing. They got their supplies in Artesia and started home when they hit a few light rain and sleet showers. After they passed Dunken, the cloud began to break and sky could be seen and before they got to Pinon, the sun was shining and no wind.

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Mayor Ernest Thompson presented an engraved plaque to Maurine Mathis upon her retirement from the Artesia Historical Museum and Art Center Commission and Foundation. Mathis served on the boards for 25 years.

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Artesia High School boys’ basketball coach Jim Wilburn was smiling a bit more after the dust had cleared Tuesday night at the high school boys’ gym. His Bulldogs had just beaten the Carlsbad Cavemen 69-61, finishing a two-game sweep of the Cavemen this season and getting in their final tune-up prior to opening District 4-AAA warfare next week.

20 years ago
Jan. 15-21, 1998

Artesia High School football players who received awards at Monday’s Bulldog Football Banquet were Gabriel DeHoyos, Special Forces award; Chris Olivas, Golden Helmet award; Mitch Stuffelbeam, Corey Tolle Fighting Heart award; Erich Hardt, Offensive Player of the Year award; and Cole Golden, Most Valuable Player award and Leadership award.

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As reported in the Pinon News: Mrs. Oza Holcomb and her daughter, Mrs. Frankie Lacer, were in the southwestern part of Roswell, and in some fields there was a large herd of antelope grazing. They did not get excited about the people or cars any more than cattle would have. The snow has been so deep that the ranchers have had airplanes hauling hay to them, so it has been hard for antelopes to find food and the fields near town are more open and the snow melted until there is some grass and weeds they can get to, to graze. They did not get excited at seeing people or cars. The people were very surprised at seeing them and would drive slowly or stop by the roadside and get out watching the antelope.

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