STO­RIES FROM THE PAST

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50 years ago

The Nov. 21 elec­tion on El Cen­tro school uni­fi­ca­tion is now of­fi­cially can­celed.

Mrs. Frances Camp­bell of the county su­per­in­ten­dent of schools of­fice, this morn­ing said that County Clerk Harry Free has been given writ­ten no­ti­fi­ca­tion to ter­mi­nate the sched­uled vote.

The Nov. 2 pub­lic hear­ing on the El Cen­tro mas­ter plan has also been can­celed, she said.

Free con­firmed the ac­tion with an “its of­fi­cial.”

Ques­tions about whether or not the elec­tion could or would in fact be can­celed de­spite the El Cen­tro school boards’ ac­tion re­quest­ing it arose ear­lier this week when it was learned no of­fi­cial ac­tion to call off the vote had ac­tu­ally been taken.

Free then said he had had no word in­struct­ing him to do so. County Su­per­in­ten­dent Olin Gre­sham said he had just re­turned to the Val­ley and wished to con­fer with County Coun­sel James Miller on the cor­rect way to han­dle the mat­ter, and Miller was out of town. Miller later ad­vised he was “study­ing” the mat­ter.

40 years ago

Fed­eral of­fi­cials in Wash­ing­ton D.C. Fri­day is­sued an­other state­ment, this time to lo­cal U.S. Bor­der Pa­trol of­fices, reaf­firm­ing the Depart­ment of Jus­tice po­si­tion de­nounc­ing Ku Klux Klan bor­der watch ac­tiv­i­ties along the United States-Mex­ico bor­der.

But after two nights of the KKK’s pri­vate-pa­trol op­er­a­tion, in­tel­li­gence sources are in­di­cat­ing the fed­eral gov­ern­ment may be deal­ing with a “ghost” force of Klans­men whose prime ob­jec­tive is noth­ing more than pub­lic­ity.

One in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cer re­ported Fri­day he had checked out sev­eral “leads” re­lat­ing to the KKK pa­trols and found “ab­so­lutely noth­ing to sub­stan­ti­ate their ex­is­tence here in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia.”

When asked about me­dia cov­er­age of pa­trols re­port­edly work­ing Wed­nes­day night in east San Diego County near Dulzura, the of­fi­cer said the ac­counts re­lated the bor­der-watch ac­tiv­i­ties for three men “which could have been ar­ranged by a good press agent for the KKK.”

When David Duke, grand dragon of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan first an­nounced the KKK’s in­ten­tion to set up pri­vate pa­trols along the 2,000-mile Mex­i­can bor­der, he es­ti­mated 230 Klans­men would pa­trol the bor­der in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia with an­other 150 in Texas, 60 to 75 in New Mex­ico and a hand­ful in Ari­zona.

30 years ago

Two sin­gle-seat A7-E Cor­sair II Navy jet bombers col­lided in mid-air and crashed Thurs­day within the Choco­late Moun­tains Ae­rial Gun­nery Range about 40 miles north­east of Braw­ley, Navy of­fi­cials re­ported.

The pi­lots, Lt. Cmdr. Ron McGarvy, 40, of Le­moore, and Lt. J.G. D. Peter Sch­norr, 24, of Philadel­phia, suc­cess­fully ejected from the air­craft fol­low­ing the col­li­sion. “Both pi­lots were re­ported to be in good con­di­tion,” said Dennis Mc­Grath, pub­lic af­fairs of­fi­cer at the Le­moore Naval Air Sta­tion in Cen­tral Cal­i­for­nia’s Kings County.

20 years ago

HOLTVILLE — Fire­fight­ers from this city re­sponded to an ex­plo­sion at the U.S. Bu­reau of Land Man­age­ment camp­grounds north of the nat­u­ral hot springs near In­ter­state 8 and High­way 115 on Tues­day.

Holtville Fire Chief Karl Gron­st­edt said his fire crew ar­rived at the camp­grounds east of Holtville shortly after 1 p.m. and found a small travel trailer en­gulfed in flames.

“We don’t know whether it ac­tu­ally ex­ploded and caused the fire or it ex­ploded during the fire. It’s hard to say be­cause there were no eye­wit­nesses,” Gron­st­edt said.

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