50 years ago — Three persons were arrested by Holtville police Tuesday evening and charged with having set fire to a Sheriff’s Office car.

The three, charged with suspicion of arson, are Marvin Crockett Marshall, 29; Rudolph Richard Garcia, 17, and Frank Mejia Cerda, 16.

Marshall gave his occupation as an unemployed land leveler. The two youths are students at the Sam Webb Continuation High School.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, a car assigned to an investigator was doused with a flammable liquid and set on fire early Monday morning. It was extensively damaged.

Yesterday another county car was assigned to the same investigator and parked in the same spot. Shortly after 9 p.m. a passing Holtville officer smelled gasoline or kerosene on that second auto. It had not been set afire.

Shortly thereafter the trio was arrested in the Marshall pickup at ninth and Brentwood. They were turned over to sheriff’s deputies for prosecution. They are expected to be arraigned at Holtville Justice Court this afternoon or tomorrow.

This morning Sheriff Ray Rowe said that he saw no connection between this case and the rash of anti-police violence elsewhere.


40 years ago — Some 40 nervous county Health Department employees were to be evacuated today from their offices in the shadow of the battered County Services Building.

Meanwhile, the county’s demolition contractor, the Evans Bros., began assaulting the now five-story building with a 4,000-pound wrecking ball.

The Board of Supervisors today decided to evacuate the Health Department immediately, although the contractor and other county officials say the current wrecking operation poses no threat.

Supervisor Tunney Williams said, “If my memory serves me correctly, at 7 a.m. Sunday they thought 60 pounds of dynamite would blow it, too.”

According to Yvonne Smith, Health Department administrator, all the department’s employees would be moved to other facilities by about noon today.

She said nearly all the department’s duties will still be performed, “even if we have to hold clinics in the parking lot.”

Many of the Health Department employees will be moved to the environmental quality control offices next to the Municipal Court on Broadway. 

Health Officer Dr. L. Lee Cottrell said employees had been moved out of the portion of the department closest to the services building on Monday.

But he conceded the employees were less than enthusiastic about working in any part of the building.


30 years ago —  Toni Jackson did not seem to mind as kids and adults lined up to throw cream pies at her during a Halloween carnival Saturday at Ben Hulse Elementary School.

In fact, she seemed to enjoy it. Many times she left her mouth wide open as a cream pie — actually whipped cream on a paper plate— was flung in her face. She even licked the sides of her mouth in between throwers.

“It’s all for fun,” said Jackson.

“How else can I get free whipped cream?”

The cream pie toss was on the most popular booths at the carnival.

But Jackson, whose hair was drenched with whipped cream said “Next year, I want a dunking booth. It’s cleaner.”

The little Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dick Tracy’s clowns, ballerinas and witches did not seem to mind that there was not a dunking booth at the carnival.

They kept bust throwing rings over bottles, knocking down bowling pins with softballs, tossing ping-pong balls into fish bowls, sticking their hands into a treasure chest and taking hay rides.

“I like throwing the pies at the people best,” said Ross Hartsock, a fourth-grader at Ben Hulse, “I like to see the people get splashed.”



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