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(Daily Press 1979 File Photo)

Looking back 40, 30 and 20 years ago, the following are excerpts from the Artesia Daily Press from Jan. 21-27.

40 years ago
Jan. 21-27, 1979

Artesia Pain and Framing, 824 S. First Street. Was gutted by fire as flames swept through the one-story building Saturday afternoon. Firemen battled the blaze for about one hour before finally controlling the fire and entering the building. The alarm was called in after persons heard and saw an explosion which sent shards of glass flying into the street. The business had apparently closed at noon and the fire broke out about 1 p.m.

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Artesia’s Dean Puckett, 24, won a saddle and the silver buckle after placing highest tin the bull riding competition at the Turquoise Circuit Rodeo Championship Finals held earlier this month in Phoenix, Ariz.

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Victor Wallace was presented with a plaque Tuesday evening for his efforts in catching a boy who fell from the bleachers during one of the Artesia High School football games. The boy Scout troop of which he is a member, Troop 227, sponsored the award. Russell Gail, senior patrol leader, made the presentation.

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As reported in the Pinon News: Don Gage, of Roswell spent the weekend at his home here in Pinon. He visited his mother and other relatives while here. Herbie Gage took his grandfather, W.A. Gage, to Alamogordo Friday of this week to attend to some business and to visit a daughter, Mr. J.W. Withers. W.A. Gage was to celebrate his 90th birthday Tuesday, Jan. 16. The members of the community are planning the usual birthday party Tuesday evening by gathering in his home for supper and gospel singing. The trappers have not done so well this year as it has been so wet and muddy with snow and frozen ground until they could not set traps or look after them.

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The First National Bank of Artesia announced four of its bank officers had been promoted. Receiving the promotions were George Ferriman, senior trust officer; Kemerick Hayner, trust officer; David Simons, senior vice president; and Neal Johnson, executive vice president.

30 years ago
Jan. 21-27, 1989

Michael Haynes, a fifth-grade student at Central Elementary School, won the school’s geography bee conducted Jan. 11 and a chance at a $25,000 college scholarship. Haynes is the son of Michael and Linda Haynes of Artesia.

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As reported in the Pinon News: Monday of last week was beautiful but cool. It seemed so nice to be able to be outside without getting so cold that a person had to hurry back in the house unless things had to be done. Then they were so miserable. The bookmobile was at Pinon Tuesday afternoon, and there was a large number of persons there getting books. It was thought there was more interest shown than usual.

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The Pecos Valley is one of the most economical areas in the nation for daries, banker Joe Mangum said at Monday’s City Hall town meeting on economic development. Mangum said dairy cows raised in the Pecos Valley are more productive than cows in Wisconsin. He said a dairy cow in Wisconsin produces on average about 56 pounds of milk per day, and in Chaves County dairy cows produce 72 pounds of milk per day. “Whether it’s the good feed or milder climate, I don’t know, but we’ve been successful so far in luring more dairies t the area,” Mangum said.

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Perhaps it was only fitting that Artesia’s final points in Tuesday night’s 83-67 beating of Tucumcari came on a 3-point shot. Spectators at the high school boy’s gym were blinking in amazement as the Bulldogs were shooting and hitting 3’s like there was no tomorrow. Artesia sank 10 of the things – including five by senior point guard Jud Hightower – and notched its first district win of the season. The Bulldogs stand 1-0 in district and 11-3 on the year. Brian Taylor popped in two 3-pointers and Michael Norris, Art Gamboa and Clay Wilburn drilled one apiece.

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Artesia archer Jeff Bratcher displayed the trophy he won for shooting 586 out of a possible 600 score in the Young Adult Freestyle Class in an archery shoot in Espanola. He scored a 291 the first day and a 295 the second day. He is the son of Ronnie and Cheryl Bratcher. At the same tournament, Ronnie Bratcher took first place in the Second Flight in Men’s Freestyle.

20 years ago
Jan. 21-27, 1999

Recently the New Mexico Activities Association’s executive board voted unanimously to create a Class AAAAA, which will go into effect in the 2000-01 school year. Some Artesia coaches and area athletic directors were able to express their feelings on the matter, good or bad. Cooper Henderson, Athletic Director and head football coach at Artesia High School, says, “We knew they had been working on it for quite some time,” and went on to say that he wasn’t happy about the change. “I think it should work smoother, I just wish they would have gone ahead and completed the plan,” says Henderson of the board’s decision to pass the proposal before clearing up which schools would be in what district.

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Artesia High School senior Jeannine White was crowned 1999 AHS Basketball Homecoming Queen, at an assembly Friday afternoon. White’s flower girl is Whitley Ledbetter, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lee Johnson and Mr. and Mrs. Lee Ledbetter and crown bearer Brandon Worley, son of Randy and Lynn Worley. Maid of honor was Brande Gunn and princesses were Shawna Anaya and Krista McKamey.

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As reported in the Pinon News: The First Baptist Church of Pinon celebrated its 95th anniversary on Jan. 10. A special worship service was held with former pastor, Wayne Brazil, bringing the message. The worship service was followed by a covered dish luncheon. After the luncheon was a special music service, which included the Roy Merworth Band from Artesia, as well as several local musicians and singers. A cake and punch reception followed the music service.

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The City of Artesia is taking steps toward making Artesia ready for the transition into the year 2000 by approving the purchase of generators for possible Y2K power outage.

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