50 years ago — The proposed “pot check” of high school lockers to crack down on student marijuana users was greeted with little enthusiasm by Valley high school principals.

“We couldn’t physically do it,” said Robert Stobola, principal of Central Union High School. He added that individual locker checks had been done in the past but “circumstances don’t justify doing it on a mass basis.”

Dr. Max Rafferty, state superintendent of public instruction, sent letters to school administrators and principals earlier this week suggesting they invite plainclothes police to help with the inspections.

George Alexson, principal of Imperial High School said “We check lockers now on an individual basis and are very careful about students bringing things on campus.”

Alexson added the suggestion has had “quite a bit of publicity” and doubted students would attempt to bring marijuana on the school grounds.

At Calexico High School, Principal William Horstmann said “We’ve been doing this for years; we don’t make wholesale locker checks; but we do have keys to the lockers, and any time we have suspicion of a student, we search his locker.”

He added, “We haven’t had time to discuss Rafferty’s proposal. We want to talk it over with law enforcement officials. We’ll bring it up at the next meeting of the Law Enforcement Liason Committee.”

Two students already have been expelled this year at Calexico High after they allegedly were found under the influence of drugs while on campus.

Clayton Erickson, principal of Calipatria High School doubted that general inspection of student lockers would be necessary.

“The school does not usually “snoop” in student’s lockers. The school has and probably will in the future inspect lockers of individual students if we have reason to suspect something is there. The student always is present when the locker is opened,” he said.


40 years ago — Selwick’s Parisianne Parfumerie has come to El Centro’s Valley Plaza Shopping Center, bringing with it the fragrance of 380 different French and American scents.

The new mall store has just been opened by Marina Selwick, who, with her husband, Art, owns Botica Popular International in Calexico.

Selwick said he believes he is the largest independent perfume dealer west of the Mississippi.

The new Valley Plaza store will carry men’s and women’s cosmetics from 80 different manufacturers, plus a line of fine gifts, including Spanish porcelain and Cross pens.

Mrs. Selwick will manage the shop, assisted by cosmetician Josefina Figueroa, who was with the Calexico store for three years.

Mrs. Selwick, a state-licensed cosmetician, has attended both the Orlane and Lacome institutes in Paris. She was formerly personnel manager of the cosmetics department in the Calexico store.


30 years ago — The mystery surrounding a three-year-old local murder is closer to being unraveled today with a suspect awaiting extradition in a Washington jail and the victim finally identified through dental records.

Imperial County Sheriff’s investigators traveled to the Seattle suburb of Bremerton, Wash., last week armed with an arrest warrant made possible because the victim’s family and a friend finally began searching for the woman in September.

On Monday, the investigators arrested Lorna A. Thomas, 54, at her Bremerton residence, Sheriff’s Lt. Michael Hackett said. She is being held without bail in the Kitsap County Jail and faces charges in Imperial County that she murdered 26-year-old Retta Crandall, Hackett said.

The case began in the early morning hours of June 2, 1986, when a U.S. Border Patrol agent investigating a haystack fire on McCabe Road west of Barbara Worth Road discovered a badly burned body amongst the flames.

An autopsy the following day revealed the victim was a woman in her 20s who had suffered fatal gunshot wounds to the head and chest before her body was covered with hay, said Chief Deputy Coroner David Prince. Investigators also determined the fire was deliberately set to destroy evidence of the killing.


Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.