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“GO, MY SON” — Artesia junior varsity baseball coach Jerry Brown has never been characterized as a prophet, but Friday in a double header against NMMI, he was busy from his third-base coaching box as his Bulldogs scored 26 runs in two games, winning the first one 11-3 and the second 15-9. Here, he points out the way to home plate to Bulldog catcher Roy Richards. (Rick Hassler – Daily Press Sports Editor) (Daily Press 1978 File Photo)

Looking back 40, 30 and 20 years ago, the following are excerpts from the Artesia Daily Press from April 9-15.

40 years ago
April 9-15, 1978

As reported in the Pinon News: Jim McGee reported of meeting a boy from college in California Sunday morning. He was on a motorcycle in the Pecos Valley heading back to go to college when in an accident he ruined his motorcycle, so he was trying to hitch hike back to school, although he knew he could not get back by the time school classes began.

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“Oh, God!”, starring George Burns and John Denver, was the featured film of the week at the Landsun Theater, and “Ode to Billy Joe,” starring Robby Benson and Glynnis O’Connor, was the featured film at the Hermosa Drive-In.

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The Artesia Fire Department presented its first and only life-saving award to a city man who pulled a 7-year-old boy from a burning house last Dec. 17. Fire Chief Ray Castleberry presented the plaque to Mid Ray Clark “for his heroic action in saving a life.”

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The foursome of Sabra Lee, Michele Samora, Shay Cardwell and Carlette Lewis compose the Park Junior High School girls’ eighth-grade medley relay team, which set a school record in the event upon speeding around the track with a time of 2:04.8, nabbing third place and shattering the four-year-old mark of 2:09.0. the record was set at the Carlsbad Invitational, and the girls will have two more chances to officially break it at the Hobbs Invitational this Saturday and at the Border Conference meet here in Artesia a week later.

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The Classroom at the Hope School, used once a week by preschool children in the small village, was virtually destroyed Tuesday by two Hope juveniles who apparently broke into the building through a skylight in the kitchen. A dollar estimate of the damage has not been calculated as of yet, but Mayor of Hope Dolph Jones said many items were destroyed beyond repair. Slide and movie projectors and film were destroyed in the vandalism. The two youths were referred to the juvenile court Thursday. They are currently in the custody of their parents.

30 years ago
April 9-15, 1988

Local chiropractor Dr. Jillanna Burgess has been selected as the 1988 Woman of the Year by the Artesia chapter of the American Business Women’s Association. Born in Hobbs, Burgess was reared in Artesia. She attended Eastern New Mexico State University and Texas Chiropractic College. She has been a chiropractor for the past four-and-a-half years, practicing here the past three years.

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As reported in the Pinon News: Pat Ramsey came for his home in Monahans, Texas, Thursday of last week and J.B. Louden from the former Larry Jernigan ranch on Cuevo brought his well equipment and started pulling the sucker rods and tubing from the well at Daugherty tank Friday afternoon. The were trying to find why the well would not pump water. They got all the rods and tubing out; and it apparently had caved in, as the well had a lot of water and mud standing in the well. Some of the tubing was very thin and had some holes in it. Th plan to work on it Monday of this week with some new tubing and trying to bale out the mud and water.

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After poking through 35 applications and 13 interviews, it’s finally been decided: Artesia High School has a new head football coach. He is 39-year-old Barry Coffman, and he comes to Artesia from Dumas, Texas. Coffman is no stranger to Artesia football. His 1978 Bloomfield team faced the Bulldogs twice, once during the regular season and again for the state title. He lost both of those games, but his 1981 Aztec team defeated Artesia in a pre-playoff game. “Barry is one of the best coaches I’ve ever coached against,” said Artesia Public Schools Superintendent Mike Phipps. “We have no reservations about hiring him.”

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Artesia High School’s varsity baseball team made its district debut a successful one Saturday as the Bulldogs took both ends of a double header from the Portales Rams at Brainard Park. Artesia won the first game 12-2, then took the nightcap 7-6. The sweep upped the season record of the team to 9-3 and put them at 2-0 in district.

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Cord Wilburn will make a good politician someday. Or at least a good song-and-dance man. The 11-year-old Wilburn is not shy. About anything. The fact that he’s also an expert free-throw shooter only completes the circle that will come to a head this weekend at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, Ind. Cord will represent Artesia Saturday in the national finals of the Elks Hoop Shoot, a free-throw shooting competition that has featured some 3 million youngsters since local Hoop Shoots began all over the nation back in January.

20 years ago
April 9-15, 1998

The Artesia FFA Chapter returned from the State FFA Career Development Contest with three first-place teams, one second-place, three third-place awards, three fourth-place team plaques, and a fifth-place team award. They competed among 63 FFA chapters from around New Mexico. With the high placing of the Artesia FFA teams, Artesia took second behind the Clayton chapter for the state Sweepstakes award.

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For the first time, the Hearst Newspapers Lifetime Achievement Award for contributing to the oil and gas industry will go not to an individual but the entire Martin Yates Jr. family of New Mexico. Being honored are the sons and grandchildren of Petroleum Hall of Fame honoree Martin Yates Jr., who drilled the first commercial well in New Mexico, said a news release from Hearst Newspapers.

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Law enforcement officials confiscated 17 video slot machines from the Artesia Elks Club during a three-city raid Thursday. Lou Mallion, Department of Public Safety, Special Investigations Division agent, said no charges have been filed and the confiscation of the illegal machines is a tool in the continuation of the investigation. Gambling machines were also confiscated in Roswell and Hobbs Thursday.

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As reported in the Pinon News: Two people of other places report they are in the process of making plans to move to Pinon as soon as they finish clearing the title to homes they have bought here.

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A merger of Holly Corporation and Giant Industries is intended to create a company that combines the best of both operations. “I’m very positive about it,” said Navajo Refining Senior Vice President Bill Gray. Navajo has been owned by Holly Corp. since May 29, 1969. Gray said the merger is a way to make both operations better in a business world were mergers are commonplace.

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