>> 40 Years Ago — CALEXICO — There are some things that an Imperial Valley resident just doesn’t expect to run into during the course of a day.
When field worker Ramon Tolano woke his boss Raul Estrada at 2 a.m. today and reported an elephant loose in one of Estrada’s alfalfa fields, Estrada peered at his employee skeptically. He decided his hired hand had been sipping too much tequila.
Tolano, however, was not to be passed off quite so easily. In carefully chosen Spanish, Tolano advised his boss that the elephant was not pink it was, in fact, grey and it was nearly as big as a house.
Estrada decided he’d better have a look.
At 8 a.m. today Estrada was convinced. He had not moved since being led to the area by his hired hand to witness what was indeed an elephant eating his green alfalfa.
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>> 50 Years Ago — PICACHO — A State Beach and Parks surveyor was killed near here yesterday afternoon when his vehicle overturned on a winding, mountainous road. Two other state employees, passengers in the vehicle, were uninjured.
The victim was identified by the California Highway Patrol as Tony T. Ynouye, 25, of Elk Grove. Inouye was staying in Winterhaven while Surveying Picacho State Park.
>> 30 Years Ago — The Federal Aviation Administration is planning to close the Flight Service Station at Imperial County Airport in 1986.
It is part of FAA’s scheme for consolidating flight service functions nationwide. New equipment, including automatic, computerized weather stations make the consolidation possible, according to Ron Summers, an air traffic control specialist at Imperial County Airport.
But county Airport Manager Don Pavao called the consolidation a “hellacious consolidated deal,” and admitted, “I am not enthusiastic about it.”
>> 20 Years Ago — CALIPATRIA — Magma Power Co. Wednesday bought Unocol Corp’s., geothermal assets, making Magma the undisputed leader in alternative energy in the Imperial Valley as one of the largest single geothermal sales ever was finalized.
The $22-million sale includes three geothermal power plants near the southeast end of the Salton Sea that generate a total of 80 megawatts of power. It also includes 40,600 acres of lease holdings. Also included in the sale are leases in Mammoth and Nevada.