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Stories of the past: Wednesday, January 30, 2002

January 30, 2002

>> 50 years ago — A hasty fire at the feet of a belligerent drunk quickly restored order at a roller skating rink just north of El Centro on Tuesday night, the rink manager told deputy sheriffs.

>> 40 years ago — A boxcar full of wine caught fire near Niland on Monday night as a Southern Pacific freight train rumbled through. Yuma Fire Chief Jesse King said sparks from dangling brake shoes set fire to the car siding. Damage to the boxcar was slight and there was no damage done to the wine.

>> 30 years ago — The 1972 edition of Inland Empire is being distributed today to home subscribers of the Imperial Valley Press. The magazine, an annual publication by the newspaper, will be available at newsstands throughout the Valley.

>> 20 years ago — A total of 18 employees at Pioneers Memorial Hospital have been given their severance pay and no longer are on the staff, acting Administrator Paul Bitter said Friday. By next Friday, another 25 nursing service staff members will have been terminated by the financially imperiled hospital. In all, the equivalent of 40 full-time jobs are being slashed as PMH struggles for financial support.

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