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Stories of the Past: Sunday, March 30, 2008

March 30, 2008

>> 50 years ago — The possibility of four Pacific Coast League teams training in the Imperial Valley and Yuma next year is considered a definite possibility, it was revealed at a meeting at the Barbara Worth Hotel on Sunday.

Executives of three PCL clubs — Sacramento, Vancouver and Portland, were present. Vancouver is considering Yuma as a training base in 1959. The fourth team being considered is the San Diego Padres, with Mexicali as the possible spring camp.

The two teams that are training here this year, Sacramento and Portland, are very happy with the training conditions and weather. But there is one drawback — poor attendance at exhibition games.

>> 40 years ago — El Centro on Friday became the third city in Southern California to join the Pan-Am-West International Highway organization, a group of cities in three countries promoting travel between Fairbanks, Alaska, on the Alcan Highway and Mexico City on the Inter-American Highway.

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About 20 people composed of El Centro motel owners, Chamber of Commerce members and visitors from Riverside, met in El Centro to discuss ways of promoting tourist travel on U.S. Highway 80 through the city.

The organization, formed in Canada by Okanogan Cariboo Trail Association, originally publicized a route from Alaska to Mexico through Northern California, Reno, Las Vegas and Tucson.

>> 30 years ago — Brawley police are investigating the possibility that a band of gypsies arrested in Wynola, a small community near Julian, and suspected of making hit-and-run raids on small businesses is linked to an incident which occurred Monday at the W.J. Vogel Co. in Brawley.

Vogel manager Moe Ybarra told police that one woman entered the store first, followed by a group of about 15 short people dressed like gypsies.

“After the first woman came in, they all poured into the store and all hell broke loose,” Ybarra said today. “They were all over the place in a few minutes.”

The group drove off in three cars which might possibly match the description of the vehicles of the group arrested in Wynola.

>> 20 years ago — Despite objections by Councilman Jose Rodriguez Jr. and City Attorney Eduardo Rivera, the City Council on Tuesday approved a request by Allstate Developers to reassign its 24 lots in the Nosotros Subdivision to Valle Verde Associates, although Allstate would remain as a partner in the project.

Councilmen Arturo Rioseco, Patrick Hashem, Antonio Tirado and Mayor Fernando Torres voted in favor of the request. Councilman Jose Rodriguez Jr. voted against it.

“In effect, we are getting a developer that has never gone through an inspection and approval process by the council,” Rivera said.

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