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Stories of the Past: Wednesday, May 22, 2002

May 22, 2002

50 years ago — Because Napoleon Bonaparte's army couldn't get sugar during the Napoleonic Wars at the turn of the 19th century, Imperial Valley farmers will be able to harvest more than 39,000 acres of beets for sugar processing this summer. The English navy had the sea lanes blocked, making it hard for Napoleon to get needed supplies, so he ordered experiments on deriving sugar from beets.

40 years ago — Tall, slender, sunglasses pushed high on his angular face; hands set firmly on his hips and his jaw pushed forward in determination, Imperial Valley League's baseball "Coach of the Year," Chuck Le Pere was a familiar sight as he disputed a hairline decision.

>>30 years ago — Survey inspectors from Imperial County's Agricultural Commissioner's Office have found specimens of an insect not known to occur in California. The insects, known as the European corn borer, were found in debris around cattle feed mills in two areas of the Valley.

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>>20 years ago — A legal technicality may lead Calexico to delay, even call off, the first construction phase of the city's low-income Nosotros subdivision, the City Council informed Friday in a special meeting. City Manager Christopher Burt said the San Diego firm, which submitted the low bid to build the Nosotros houses under the 235 program, does not have a license, although its owners do.

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