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Jan. 1, 2002 stories of the past

December 31, 2001

50 years ago — Many motorists in Imperial Valley discovered during Christmas and New Year's holiday period that driving a car in violation of the state vehicle code had its consequences. These 240 drivers were arrested by the California Highway Patrol during road checks.

40 years ago — Brawley has another first. At 10 seconds after midnight Dec. 31 a member of the Brawley Sky-Divers, Bill Powers, made the first parachute jump of the year 1962 in this time zone. The jump was made from a Tri-Pacer over the city of Imperial.

30 years ago — The sand buggy will be the king of sports in the Imperial Valley this week at two popular events taking place at opposite sites of the Valley, drawing buggy enthusiasts from San Diego, Los Angeles and Arizona for the 11th annual Winter Nationals in Glamis and the inaugural Pop Memorial Races in Ocotillo.

20 years ago — 1981 was a lousy year for the Valley — especially Westmorland. A series of disasters and mishaps made the small Northend city the local story of the year. Talk of disincorporating Westmorland began in February because of debts. Allegations of truck spills of hazardous wastes on the way of the nearby IT hazardous waste dump surfaced in March. An earthquake rocked the town in April, knocking down older buildings and damaging the Westmorland water and sewage facilities.

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