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Stories of the Past: Tuesday, February 12, 2002

February 12, 2002

>> 50 years ago — Members of the Imperial Valley Pioneers' Society today requested that county residents take stock of their belongings to determine if they have any items of significance that could appropriately reside at the society's museum at the fairgrounds.

>> 40 years ago — Andy Almueti Jr. of Niland won the tomato-packing world championship at the Niland Tomato & Sportsman's Festival on Saturday night at the festival grounds. He defeated his brother, Domingo Almueti, in a run-off contest with a time of 1 minute, 34.5 seconds.

>> 30 years ago — Slow industrial growth, expanded recreation and soon-to-be-tested geothermal potential were foreseen for the Imperial Valley. A panel of four county officials, however, also recognized problems: high unemployment and welfare rates, competition for jobs by Mexican residents and the need to protect the desert from destruction.

>> 20 years ago — The best- kept secret in Imperial County was the pullout of Cochise Airlines. The Arizona airline ceased California flights including Imperial County on Wednesday without prior announcement and Thursday moved the furniture from its Imperial County Airport offices. The move left travelers with confirmed reservations flightless and furious. It also left SunAir as the only airline serving the Valley.

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