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KPAY News Archives for 2012-09

With the pot growing season winding down in California, authorities are noticing a different trend this year. There appears to be less pot grown on public lands and more grown on private lands. Butte County Sheriff Jerry Smith says it's tougher to search private property and some may be using medical marijuana laws as a cover.

Statewide, it's clear there will be less marijuana eradicated because of less pot grows on public lands.

A man accused of killing his mother in Chico last year and dumping her body in a septic tank has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.  The Chico ER reports Anthony Yee entered the plea in court Thursday...his defense attorney also entered a not guilty plea in the case.  Yee is accused of murder in the death of his mother last December.   A November hearing will focus on Yee's mental health status.

Butte County fire crews improving containment of a Concow blaze.  The Concow Fire has burned 60 acres and was 80 percent contained as of Thursday night.  The fire is expected to be fully contained today.

The CHP says a motorcyclist lost his leg after a collision in the Yuba-Sutter area Wednesday.  Officers say 40 year old Johnathen Fleury hit a car while rounding a curve...the motorcycle rider went down an embankment.  The CHP says Fleury was flown to Enloe Hospital, where one of his legs had to be amputated.

Two men from Washington state have been arrested in Tehama County for allegedly growing marijuana. Investigators with the Tehama County District Attorney's Office searched a Rory Lane property in Cottonwood Thursday. Officials say they found 180 pot plants and a gun. The DA's Office says David Mendoza and Luis Mendoza came to California earlier this year to allegedly grow marijuana under the guise of the state's medical marijuana law.

Officials at Chico State are looking at a campus based fee to restore some of the money lost over the last few years. Chico State University President Paul Zingg brought up the idea earlier this week. He says that continued state budget cuts have not only eroded the quality of education but made the future unpredictable. Chico State Spokesman Joe Wills...



He says other California State University campuses have fees. How much and how the fee would be levied are yet to be decided.

The Butte County Sheriff's Office says its still investigating the motive in a Chico murder.  56 year old Donna Teifer was found dead inside a Hampshire Drive home Tuesday after she failed to show up for work and her employer asked deputies to check on her.   The Sheriff's Office says Teifer was "suffering from injuries" that indicated she was the victim of a homicide.  Her son, 29 year old Adam Jacob, was arrested for murder and booked into the county jail.    An autopsy is set for later this week.


Butte County authorities, the DEA, and Forest Service teaming up Wednesday as part of a joint marijuana investigation that eradicated more than 900 pot plants.  The marijuana had an estimated street value of 34 million dollars.   Sheriff's Sergeant Paul Leveto says the agencies were conducting federal search warrants at 10 locations in the Forest Ranch and Palermo area.  The Sheriff's Office says 140 deputies, federal agents, and other officers participated in this week's operation.

Firefighters continue to battle a blaze in Butte County that has burned 40 acres since it began Wednesday afternoon.   Cal-Fire says the Concow Fire is 30 percent contained, with crews stopping the forward spread of the fire.  The blaze was reported just after 3 PM on Concow Road at Jordan Hill Road.   Meanwhile, several spot fires broke out yesterday along the Skyway, burning less than 10 acres.  

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - California's struggling economy is taking another hit of bad news: Cable provider Comcast says it is closing its three customer call centers in Northern California and moving the 1,000 jobs they provide to  Oregon, Washington and Colorado.  The company on Tuesday cited the high cost of living and doing business in California as the reason behind its decision to shut down the call centers in Sacramento, Livermore and Morgan Hill at the end of November.  Affected employees received information about relocating or taking severance packages.      Regional vice president Andrew Johnson says Comcast still will employ about 5,500 people in Northern California, and 20,000 statewide.  Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom says California can't afford to lose even one job and that leaders need to be more aggressive about wooing businesses that are being courted by other states.

What looks like a mountain lion kill of a deer has Chico authorities urging people to be cautious this time of year. The dead deer was found off Centennial Avenue Tuesday morning, not far from the 5 Mile Recreation area. Chico Parks and Natural Resources Director Dan Efseaff says there have been a number of sightings this summer in that area. But so far they've not posed a threat to humans.

He says if people encounter a moutain lion to walk away slowly and puff up to make yourself appear big. He also says don't think your guard dog will guard you--they'll most likely hide behind you.

Cal-Fire releasing information about a recent vegetation fire in Corning that led to an arrest.  Cal-Fire says Randy Stump was recently taken into custody in connection with a small blaze last week on Corning Road.  The agency says Stump is facing one count of arson to wildland.

Butte County investigators have a suspect in custody following the suspicious death of a woman in Chico. The Chico ER reports the body of a 56 year old woman was found inside a Hampshire Drive home Tuesday after she didn't show up for work. The Sheriff's Office tells the newspaper the victim's son was identified as a suspect in the death investigation and was taken into custody.

Butte County authorities say a man allegedly shot his brother early this morning in Oroville. The Sheriff's Office says it received a call from the victim's mother just after midnight, reporting her son was shot in the stomach with a shotgun on Oro Dam West Boulevard.  Authorities say 34 year old Donovan Castro was taken to a local hospital where he immediately underwent surgery.  No word on his condition.  25 year old Sean Acker was arrested in the shooting.

Two men arrested following a weekend stabbing in Chico.  Police say the attack happened early Sunday morning, after several men spotted the two suspects allegedly looking into vehicles on W. 5th Street. Police say the victim was stabbed multiple times during a confrontation and fight. 21 year old Justin Cervantes was taken into custody for assault with a deadly weapon.  20 year old Zachary Foster was arrested on suspicion of battery.

Chico Police say a 300 pound bear was tranquilized and released to the mountains east of the city after roaming a local neighborhood Sunday.  Police say the bear climbed backyard fences around the Springfield Manor neighborhood and officers trapped it inside a garage. Officials with the Department of Fish and Game hit the bear with a tranquilizer gun, tagged it, and took it out of the city.

Census figures show more than 23 percent of Butte County residents are living in poverty. The American Community Survey also showed that many Butte County residents are without health insurance. Census Analyst Chuck Nelson...


The survey also showed that the level of povery in Butte County was higher than that of the state or nation. Nelson says the American Community Survey replaces the old Census long form.

A man has died following a late night crash near Manton.  The CHP says the driver was speeding, hit a fence off Highway 36 East, and his SUV went airborne just after 11:30 Wednesday night.

Officer Shaun Hoover tells KPAY the driver was a 31 year old Colorado man.

Red Bluff Police say officers found a bank robbery suspect sitting in his car in the bank parking lot. 76 year old Glenn Chase is accused of telling a Wells Fargo bank employee he had a gun and was robbing the bank Thursday.  He left with cash.  Police say detectives located the stolen money but did not locate a gun. Chase was booked into the county jail on a robbery charge.

Chico Police identifying the cause of death in two separate death investigations. Police say 29 year old Daniel Early was pulled from Sycamore Pool in Bidwell Park in August.  Investigators say he drowned and alcohol intoxication may have been a factor.  Police say 25 year old Shaun Summa was found dead in a backyard on W. 1st Street last month after consuming a large amount of alcohol. Police say he died of asphyxiation, with acute alcohol intoxication also a factor.

Chico Police did all they could before fatally shooting a man earlier this month...That's the finding of District Attorney Mike Ramsey on the September 11th killing of Wayne Renner at an apartment complex off Burnap Avenue. Ramsey says Renner suffered from a mental illness that went untreated for several decades.

No criminal charges will be filed against the officers involved. He adds the SWAT team filled the house with tear gas, but that apparently didn't work.

Voter registration goes high tech as the Secretary of State Wednesday launches online voter registration. The long awaited plan means first time voters or those who have moved can register to vote online, and qualify for the November election. Assistant Election Clerk for Butte County Laurie Cassidy says the system is aimed at registering voters, not voting.


Those who register will be certified by the Secretary of State and then local officials.The close of registration for the November 6th election will be October 22nd.

The field of six for the State Senate race has been narrowed to five. Nevada City Rancher Ben Emery says he was forced to withdraw because he may have a conflict of interest with challenger and Assemblyman Dan Logue. Emery reportedly says he's a board member for a homeless organization that has business with Logue so he is stepping down. If none of the five candidates gets more than 50 percent of the vote in November, a special runoff election will be held January 8th.

  SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Census figures show nearly seven
million Californians are living in poverty.
     The Census Bureau's annual American Community Survey also shows
26 percent of Fresno residents are below the poverty line to rank
the second-highest in the nation.
     A family of two adults and two children counts as poor if its
household income is less than $22,811.
     The San Jose Mercury News says the statewide
poverty rate hit 16.6 percent last year, up by 0.8 percent from
     The survey shows the median household income of Californians
dropped nearly 4 percent last year to $57,287.

A man convicted of a D-U-I crash that killed three people in Butte County has been sentenced in court.  The Chico E-R reports a judge ordered Robert Barnes to spend 19 years to life in prison following the 2010 crash on Highway 99 that killed three people.  Barnes had two previous DUI convictions.

Red Bluff Police have arrested a 25 year old man for allegedly attacking a teenage girl and stealing her money during a reported drug deal. Police say a 13 year old girl told investigators she had tried to buy pot from two adults at Red Bluff City Park Monday, when the two tried to give her meth instead. The victim said she was attacked and robbed of cash after refusing the deal. The girl apparently spotted the suspect, identified as Anthony McKinnie, at the park Tuesday and called police. Officers say McKinnie was booked into the county jail for robbery.

More than 1200 pot plants eradicated during a Butte County marijuana raid this week. The plants were growing in the Plumas National Forest near Berry Creek. One man was arrested during the raid. The marijuana had an estimated value of nearly 2 million dollars.

Federal money may soon be on the way to Tehama County to make up for the funds already spent fighting the Ponderosa Fire. The Board of Supervisors today will seek reimbursement through a federal grant for costs of the fire that broke out August 18th and led to evacuations in Manton in eastern Tehama County. Sheriff's Sgt. Rod Daugherty oversees Tehama County Emergency Services and says the money will cover county costs for manpower and even things like road crews that had to respond to fire damaged roadways. The fire burned more than 26 thousand acres in Tehama and Shasta Counties.

A Glenn County man has died from the West Nile Virus. The Chico ER reports the elderly man was already in poor health and contracted West Nile fever.  He died last week.  So far there have been six human cases of West Nile in Glenn County this year.  Meanwhile, Tehama County health officials are reporting their first human case of West Nile for 2012.  The Health Department said Monday the person was hospitalized, but is now recovering at home.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - California State University trustees are set to vote on a plan that would raise tuition by 5 percent next year if voters reject Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative in November.  The CSU board of trustees' finance committee is scheduled to vote on the "contingency strategy" at its meeting in Long Beach on Tuesday. The full board is expected to vote Wednesday.  The 5 percent tuition hike would go into effect in January if Proposition 30 fails, triggering a $250 million mid-year funding cut to the 23-campus CSU system. In-state undergraduates would pay an additional $150 per semester. The committee is also planning to vote on imposing new fees on students who repeat courses, take more than 16 units a semester or have earned more than 150 units.

A revised ordinance regulating noise in the city of Chico goes before the City Council Tuesday Night. Here's KPAY's Bruce Lang with the story.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A federal appeals court is considering one of the hottest privacy issues of the day.  On Wednesday, the judges of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments over a California law ordering the collection of DNA samples from all people arrested for felonies.  The California electorate passed the law as Proposition 69 in 2004 and it went into effect in 2009. The collection effort is meant to help solve so-called cold  cases. The California Attorney General says the state's DNA database spits out some 425 hits per month.  The ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of three people arrested for felonies who were later cleared of felony charges. The lawsuit claims the law is an unconstitutional "search and seizure" of people who are presumed innocent.

The CHP says a search of a vehicle turned up an improvised explosive device following a Sutter County pursuit.  Authorities say Michael Hesse ran from the van Friday night and was arrested. The CHP says officers discovered a bullet proof vest, chemical mask, and explosive device inside the vehicle.   Nearby buildings were evacuated.   The Beale Air Force base explosive ordinance disposal team retrieved the device.   Hesse was booked into the Sutter County Jail on multiple charges.

A Yuba City motorcyclist has been killed in a head-on collision with a car Sunday night.  The CHP says 46 year old Ted Clinton hit another vehicle on Loma Rica Road while trying to pass a truck towing a ski-boat.  Officials say Clinton was killed on impact.   The CHP says alcohol may have been a factor in the crash.

Butte County authorities say a Magalia man found his wife dead and his son critically injured with a gunshot wound after arriving home from work Thursday.  The local Sheriff's Office sent deputies to the home on Fir Haven Drive and provided medical aid to 25 year old Travis Leroux, who later died at the scene.  The other shooting victim has been identified as 50 year old Kelli Leroux.  The Sheriff's Office says initial reports indicated the possibility of a “murder-suicide” but no determination will be made until after autopsies and the investigation is complete.  The Paradise Post is reporting investigators are handling the case as a double murder.

It was part anger and part coincidence that led Chicoan Jann Reed to seek the State Senate Seat. Here's the story from KPAY's Bruce Lang.

Red Bluff Police say a self-proclaimed Satanist has been arrested for allegedly starting a fire at a local church as a statement against organized religion.   38 year old Jodie Houtman is facing charges including arson.   Police say a fire at the Methodist Church on David Avenue caused about 10 thousand dollars in damage Thursday morning.

    A pipe bomb was discovered in Chico Wednesday as authorities
searched the apartment of a man shot and killed during a standoff
this week.
    The device was reportedly located in the apartment bedroom
of Wayne Renner.  The neighborhood off Burnap Avenue was evacuated.
    The local bomb squad was called in to detonate the pipe bomb.
    Renner was shot and killed Tuesday following a day-long standoff.

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