January 9, 2000 |
Winter comes to this beleaguered farm town the same way every year: The last vineyard is picked and the jobless rate soars to 30%, rain falls, fog descends and the boys from McFarland High--running for a town's pride--try to bring home another state championship. This winter, the cross-country team, drawn from farm worker families in the tiny Kern County community, won its seventh state title in 13 years of competition--more championships than any other high school in any sport in California.
December 7, 1997 |
The mailbox at the small, tired house on Cliff Street began to fill up last week--letters from around the state sent by complete strangers. How some of them got here was a small miracle. They bore no address or ZIP Code. Only "Jim White, Coach, McFarland, CA." Inside were checks for $20, $100, $500 and one for $1,000 for the high school cross-country team in this poor farm town.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 30, 1986 |
Six recent deaths, including those of two girls struck by a car while running on a rural road Monday, have left McFarland High School students stunned. Cross-country runners Sylvia Diaz, 16, and Herlinda Gonzalez, 14, were practicing on a road near this Kern County farm town and veered into the westbound lane to avoid eastbound traffic. They apparently did not see the car, which was approaching from the rear, the California Highway Patrol said. "A lot of the kids are asking, 'Why these girls?'
July 12, 1992 |
Suppose your town is being stalked by a serial killer. Five people have been slain so far, all of them children. Detectives track several suspects, but eventually the trail turns cold. Fear lingers, and windows are latched snugly each night. Who can say, after all, when the killer might strike again? Such is the state of life in McFarland, a threadbare town of farmers and farm workers in the San Joaquin Valley.
September 4, 1994 |
As schools around the country open for the fall term, teachers wary of battles with conservative Christians are thinking twice before asking children to write in journals, use their imagination or study people from other cultures. Kevin Teeley, president of the Lake Washington Education Assn. in Washington state, said curriculum challenges by religious conservatives have a chilling effect on teachers.