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BULLDOGS CONTRIBUTE TO LITERACY — Artesia High School football players Craig Riley, left, and Grant Taylor work with Central Elementary School first-grader Julienne Sims. The team’s 62 players read with first- and second-graders, as well as special education students, then helped the children take tests on the books they had just read. (Daily Press 1998 File Photo)

Looking back 40, 30 and 20 years ago, the following are excerpts from the Artesia Daily Press from Aug. 27 – Sept. 2.

40 years ago
Aug. 27 – Sept. 2, 1978

Katie Huffmon, assistant manager for the Department of Motor Vehicles for the last seven years, has been named Employee of the Week by the Daily Press. Huffmon has worked for the city since 1958, when she started as a dispatcher for the police department. After working there for three years, she transferred to the DMV.

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As reported in the Pinon News: Mr. and Mrs. Billy Joe Brooks had the misfortune to lose a storage tank of water while they were on vacation. Their son, Roy Clayton, thought there was a leak and rode the water line, but failed to find it until too late. Then they had a water line stop up, so Mr. and Mrs. Brooks have been very busy hunting that. They were very short on water in their home. Mrs. Brooks’ grandmother, Mrs. Linsley from Arizona, has been visiting them.

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Three juvenile boys have been identified in connection with the killing of more than 150 bats at the Endless Cave 20 miles south of Artesia in early July, according to the Bureau of Land Management. Spokesman Tom Kiddoo said the boys admitted to going into the cave, but they said they shot the bats in self-defense. A lock on the entrance to the cave was found blasted by a shotgun, and evidence inside the cave indicated the assailants had used a shotgun, .22 caliber pistol or rifle and a baseball bat in the slaughter. About 150 dead bats were found in the cave.

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“Bobby Deerfield” was the featured film this week at Hermosa Drive-In and “Capricorn One” at the Landsun Theatre.

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An eight-member committee is beginning to compile a list of factors to be considered for the location of a new hospital if one is to be built in Artesia. The site selection committee of the special hospital district steering committee met Thursday night to organize and map the criteria which a site for a new hospital would have to meet.

30 years ago
Aug. 27 – Sept. 2, 1988

Artesia football coach Barry Coffman’s assessment that the Ruidoso Warriors threw everything at the Bulldogs but the kitchen sink in Friday’s season opener seems correct. The Bulldogs made Coffman’s debut a successful one Friday as they nipped Cooper Henderson’s Warriors 27-25 in Ruidoso. The game was as close as the score indicated, as the Warriors had just four more yards of offense than did the Bulldogs. “I don’t know if I like ‘em that tight or not,” admitted Coffman, who watched his team come from behind four times during the evening’s work. “We knew Ruidoso was a good football team, and they’ve been doing things a lot longer than we have.”

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As reported in the Pinon News: Basil Holcomb was out some cattle, and H.A. and Herschel Stringfield were riding and hunting the cattle for Basil and found that someone had left a gate open into the John Rylee pasture, so Basil and Mrs. Holcomb went looking for tracks in the Rylee pasture and found the cattle. It was very late in the afternoon and they did not have time to get the cattle back into their pasture before dark so they spent Friday morning looking for them; and when they found them, they were not long getting them back home, and the cattle seemed so glad to be back in their pasture. They hunted the water and salt in a very short time.

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With the flip of three switches Tuesday, two four-foot by four-foot pressure slide gates at Brantley Dam closed and stopped the flow of Pecos River water in order to begin the reservoir filling process. “You’re witnessing a birth,” project manager Dewey Geary told a group of Artesia and Carlsbad chambers of commerce officials and news media members at the switch-throwing ceremony atop the six-story dam. “The Lake is being born today.”

20 years ago
Aug. 27 – Sept. 2, 1998

Gubernatorial candidate Martin Chavez watched as Park Junior High School teacher Scotty Stall called up the Bulldog homepage on a computer. Chavez was impressed with the district’s computer capability, saying Artesia is three to five years ahead of any other district in the state.

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Joe B’s Drive-In’s weekend special was a BBQ brisket dinner including a big sliced brisket sandwich with baked beans and potato salad for $3.99.

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The Artesia High School Bulldog varsity football team traveled to Las Vegas, N.M., Friday night, where they crushed the Robertson Cardinals, 66-8, in their season opener. “We had a pretty good ballgame,” said Bulldog football coach Cooper Henderson. “There are a lot of positives in winning your season opener. We had a lot of players who got to play and start the 1998 season well.”

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As reported in the Pinon News: Mr. and Mrs. Allen Henry of Cloudcroft, came to Pinon Wednesday morning of last week and spent some time with Mrs. Holcomb, teaching her some lessons on typing on a new typewriter for which she was so grateful. They were en route to Roswell, to see Allen’s father, Avis Henry. He was a friend of John and Oza Gentry and Basil Holcomb.

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The Artesia High School Bulldog volleyball team played a historic game last night. For the first time, a prep game was played at the all-new Bulldog Pit. The Pit was not packed, but nevertheless, there was a good turnout for all three matches last night. Leading off for the Bulldogs into the record books was sophomore Misty Crow, who on her first four serves scored the first four points ever in a prep game at the Pit, the first of which was an ace.

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