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In the News -
Friday, JUNE 2, 2006
River's Middle Fork during Spring 2006 runoff.
plucked from river
In what’s becoming an all to familiar scenario, an
Orange County man had to be rescued from an island in the middle of the
Kaweah River last weekend. The call for assistance came at approximately
12:40 p.m. on Sunday, May 28, during the busy Memorial Day holiday period.
Swiftwater rescuers from the Tulare County Sheriff’s
Department and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF)
personnel were able to reunite Dehdrel Madrigal, 31, with his family at
about 2 p.m. The Santa Ana man, a guest at Kaweah Park Resort, had been
warned by resort staff not to enter the water.
Madrigal chose to risk his life and float the waste-deep
water in an inner-tube. Once in the powerful current he immediately capsized
and lost the tube but managed to get to an island in the middle of the
CDF Battalion Chief Mike Davidson said Madrigal did a smart
thing by waiting for rescuers to mobilize. When they attempted to throw
him a rope to pull him back across the channel he admitted he was too
exhausted and might not be able to hold on.
Swiftwater technicians then entered the water and transported
a life vest, helmet and lifeline to the island where the victim was waiting.
With the aid of the secured lifeline, rescuers were able
to assist the man back to shore.
The Kaweah Park Resort location has been the scene of several
dramatic rescues. Several years ago, William Shatner of Star Trek fame,
happened on a rescue at the same location while on a whitewater rafting
trip with family members.
Shatner, with help of his guide, was able to maneuver his
raft to a position where the victim could be pulled from the water and
onboard his raft.
On that occasion it was not necessary for any personnel to
enter the dangerous current.
fortunate this season because the cooler weather has kept some potential
victims from entering the water,” said one rescuer. “With
the warmer temperatures in the forecast, however, it’s inevitable
that we will have more incidents.”
A detachment of 20 Marines was in Three Rivers this past
Memorial Day weekend and the battles they waged on Saturday were with
some outstanding Class IV rapids on the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River.
They were here as guests of the Bruce and Patricia Turner family, who
have lived in Three Rivers for nearly 30 years.
One of the Marines, Steve Turner, a staff sergeant who is
the grandson of Bruce and Pat, suggested Three Rivers as an ideal place
for some rest and relaxation for his fellow members of the H-1 Upgrade
Operational Test Team. All the members of Turner’s company are career
Marines stationed in Southern California, the majority of whom have recently
served in Iraq.
rafting trip was absolutely amazing and proved to be a challenge for some
of the toughest Marines around!,” reported Staff Sgt. Turner.
Diana Glass, a local agent with Century 21, furnished dinner
for the Marines at Pizza Factory after their day on the river. In addition
to the rafting trip with Kaweah Whitewater Adventures, on Sunday, the
contingent visited Moro Rock, the General Sherman Tree, Halstead Meadow,
and Lodgepole in Sequoia National Park.
“We salute you
for your warm hospitality, Three Rivers,” said Staff Sgt. Steve
Turner. “The chow we had at Pizza Factory, We Three Bakery, and
Serrano’s was excellent. No mess hall ever fed us so well. We are
all grateful for a Memorial Day weekend we will always remember.”
UC Berkeley anthropology students, with help from some local
Three Rivers volunteers, are getting down and dirty in another field season
at the Advance site on North Fork Drive. The historic location of one
of the prominent Kaweah Colony road camps has been located by the team
and is yielding a trove of small things forgotten including square nails,
ceramics, glass, and most recently, a machine part that might tip researchers
to industrial activity at the site occupied ca. 1890.
On Monday, June 5, Stacy Kozakavich, project director, Ph.D.
candidate, and U.C. instructor, will reveal the team’s most recent
findings and introduce the volunteers who have been assisting in the fieldwork.
The archaeological program will feature a digital media presentation,
highlighting Stacy’s several years of research on the history and
archaeology of utopian colonies.
The actual site of Advance is located near the present-day
BLM recreation site by the same name. But the archaeological research
is demystifying some of the site’s lore and its socialist utopian
inhabitants who were eventually thwarted by the federal government in
their attempts to cut timber in the vicinity of the Giant Forest.
The program will be held at the Three Rivers Arts Center
on North Fork Drive at 7:30 p.m. and is being sponsored by The Kaweah
Commonwealth, not coincidentally the name of the colony’s historic
newspaper. Admission is free and everyone is invited.
Men’s softball sets
In Three Rivers, summer just wouldn’t be the same without
those hot nights and the even hotter Poison Oak League softball action.
League play is set to begin in the men’s slow-pitch league Sunday,
June 11, with a customary evening of short-format practice games scheduled
for Wednesday, June 8.
A special managers’ draft of new players, or returning
players who want to apply to change teams, will be conducted June 6. In
order to be eligible for the draft, players must have completed the eighth
grade, live or work in Three Rivers, and register via any of the sign-up
sheets posted around town.
During a managers’ meeting held last Sunday, a 16-game
schedule with a post-season tournament similar to what was in use last
year was approved for 2006. Each of the five teams meet four times during
the regular season. The post-season consists of a double-elimination tournament.
Jim Vines, activity director, said the Three Rivers Recreation
Committee is offering to finance some improvement to the League’s
field at Three Rivers School. The offer is being extended because men’s
softball, first organized in the 1970s, has consistently shown the most
profit of any of the commission’s activities.
League games will be played Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday
nights. The fee per player is $25.
For more information, call 786-0733.
Industrial arts training
Sierra Forge & Fire, located in the historic Waterman
foundry in Exeter, will be holding a series of summer workshops for teens.
Skills taught will be forging, bladesmithing, glassblowing, and bronze
casting. Steve Crigler of Three Rivers will be assisting interested teens
in fundraising for all costs associated with attending during the weekend
of July 21 to 23. A meeting will be held Thursday evening, June 8. Call
for more information: 561-4439.
1913 ~ 2006
Bernardine Susan Bettendorf Wollenman, a resident of Three
Rivers for 59 years, died Tuesday, May 23, 2006, at her home. She was
Bernie was born Feb. 21, 1913, in Chicago, Ill., to Nicholas
and Elisabetha Bettendorf. She was raised in Anaheim, graduating from
Anaheim High School in 1931.
In 1933, she married her high school sweetheart, John Wollenman.
They resided in Lancaster and Fullerton prior to moving to Tulare County.
In 1947, the couple built their home in Three Rivers and
lived there for the rest of their lives. Her grandchildren continue to
manage the citrus and olive ranch (today, JNJ Farms) that the Wollenmans
founded near Lindsay.
Bernie was a member of the St. Clair’s Altar Society,
Sierra Traditional Jazz Club, Redbud Garden Club, Three Rivers Lady Lions,
Three Rivers Woman’s Club, Three Rivers Travel Club, and the Three
Rivers Senior League. She was also the organist for St. Clair’s
Catholic Church for many years and had a large organ in her home that
she would play for friends and family.
Bernie was instrumental in the founding of the Three Rivers
Volunteer Ambulance service in Three Rivers. Her grandson, John, has followed
the tradition, serving as an ambulance volunteer for nearly 20 years.
Bernie enjoyed tending her beautiful garden, cake decorating,
tole painting, candle-making, and needlework. She was a great hostess
and threw many wonderful parties and dances on their river-view patio.
She and her husband, John, loved to travel together, especially aboard
the Mississippi River steamboats.
Bernie was preceded in death by her husband, John Wollenman,
and sister Agnes Keefer.
She is survived by her son, Jimmie Wollenman; daughter Barbara
Delgado of Three Rivers; three grandchildren, Nikki Gibler, Jody Hanggi,
and John Hanggi; and five great-grandchildren, Daniel, Gwen, Jennifer,
Cassandra, and Courtney; one great-great-grandchild, Ethan; and several
nieces and nephews.
A service was held last week at St. Clair’s Catholic Church with
burial at the Three Rivers Cemetery.