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KPAY News Archives for 2013-02

Red Bluff Teen Reported Missing


Red Bluff Police are looking for a missing 14 year old girl.  Officers say Marysa Nichols was reported missing on Tuesday.  Details are limited, but officials say the teen had been dropped off at Red Bluff High School and did not return home.
 

Long Jail Sentences Increase the Cost of County Jails in CA


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California counties are housing more than 1,100 inmates on long-term sentences in jails designed for stays of a year or less.  A report obtained by The Associated Press details the growth in that population under Gov. Jerry Brown's criminal justice realignment strategy. The oversight of so many inmates serving sentences of five years or more is presenting challenges for county sheriffs, especially with the number expected to grow in the future.  In addition to finding adequate space to house the new population, the sheriffs also must provide the inmates with education, treatment programs, rehabilitation services and recreation. That adds to their costs. Nick Warner of the California State Sheriffs' Association, which compiled the report, says most county jails are not set up to house inmates for more than a year.

Bomb Scare Causes Chico School to Evacuate


A bomb scare at Fair View High School today prompting the campus to be evacuated. Chico Police say authorities are still searching the campus after a bomb threat was reportedly phoned in last night. At last report authorities say nothing suspicious has been located.

Butte Supervisors Approve New Medical Marijuana Cultivation Rules


New rules will soon go into effect for growing medical marijuana in Butte County. Come next month, the guidelines go into effect after Butte County Supervisors Tuesday gave the go ahead to the county's new medical marijuana ordinance. One feature of the new ordinance is grows on smaller properties will be permitted, as long as they are done in a seperate building and done indoors. County administrator Paul Hahn says the ordinance is an attempt at compromise. The ordinance is complaint driven, meaning if growing on a nearby parcel bothers you, you can complain to the county.

Oroville Leaders Look at Ways to Cut City Expenses


The city of Oroville looking at what to cut to eliminate a 1-point-5 million dollar deficit.  The Oroville Mercury Register reports the city manager is asking city staff and council members to suggest options to help balance next year's  budget and trim more than 12 percent in expenses.  So far, suggestions range from a shorter work week to selling city property.   City Council members will focus on the budget at a March 7th meeting.
 

Flames Damage Chico Business


The Chico Fire Department says several businesses evacuated their employees Tuesday, after a fire broke out in south Chico.   That fire reportedly began in the landscaping around Grid Alternative on Morrow Lane and spread to the building.   Flames damaged the walls, roof, and attic.  No one was hurt.  
 

Low Water Supply Predicted for Some CA Farmers


FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — California water officials say a combination of dry winter conditions and restrictions on pumping is leading to an outlook of a low water supply for some farmers in 2013. The Bureau of Reclamation said on Monday that a stormy December was followed by one of the driest combined Januarys and Februarys on record.
Officials say the snowpack and amount of precipitation in the Sierra Nevada is below normal, while the snow water content statewide is 70 percent of average. And water supplies from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta have been reduced this year to protect the threatened delta smelt. Reclamation official say as a result of the dry weather, agricultural contractors on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley will receive an initial water allocation of 25 percent of requested deliveries. Municipal, industrial and other water contractors will receive 75 percent.

TIDE Agents Find Meth and Heroin During Big Rig Search


Tehama County authorities say they found 8 pounds of heroin and 2 pounds of meth during a weekend search.  The Tehama Interagency Drug Enforcement task force says the driver of a semi truck was stopped at the Cottonwood scales Saturday on suspicion of drinking alcohol.   Agents located the 10 pounds of drugs during a search of the vehicle.   A Washington man was arrested on charges including transportation of meth and heroin.

Man Injured in Paradise Park Assault


Paradise Police say one man was attacked while on hiking trails near Bille Park Monday night.  The unknown attacker allegedly hit the victim in the head and fired a gun at him during a struggle.  That assault happened around 6:30 PM.  Police say the victim was injured and robbed, but did not suffer a gunshot wound.  Officers searched the area but did not locate the suspect.
  

Butte County Leaders Look at Medical Marijuana and a New Noise Ordinance


Butte County is set to have new rules on the cultivation of Medical Marijuana. The Board of Supervisors Tuesday is expected to make minor revisions to the measure, and if given full approval, the ordinance goes into effect in 30 days. The ordinance is complaint driven, and those complaining must be impacted by the grows. It also states that growers must be residents of Butte County for at least a year.

Meanwhile, Butte County officials will get their first review Tuesday of a new noise ordinance. The county law is required by the General Plan. Development Services Director Tim Snellings says the ordinance spells out the noise threshold limit on a person's property line. It also gives county staff more authority to enforce noise violations. Supervisors are expected to look over the draft ordinance and bring it back for adoption at the Board's next meeting.

Chico Police Stretched Thin This Weekend


The Chico Police Department says a busy patrol shift pushed staffing beyond its breaking point. Police say between Saturday night and Sunday morning, officers encountered several large fights connected to house parties in the college housing area. Several people were injured. 10 separate fires were set around W. 6th Street. Police say 22 officers were on duty, but it wasn't enough to provide adequate coverage for the city during that time frame. According to a police department statement, 90 percent of the city went without service at different times.

Butte County Car Chase Ends In Arrest


Butte County authorities make two arrests after a high speed chase in Magalia, Forest Ranch, and Chico. The pursuit began Saturday after a deputy spotted a stolen car. The Sheriff's Office says speeds topped 100 miles per hour. Officers used spike strips to stop the car on Highway 32. 18 year old Breanne Sharpe was taken into custody. 20 year old David Milliron was arrested after a search.

Cost of Benefits for Retired State Workers in CA Jumps


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The long-term cost of providing health and dental benefits for retired state workers has jumped up $1.7 billion in a year.  State Controller John Chiang released a new report Thursday showing that California taxpayers are on the hook for an estimated $63.8 billion over 30 years. The unfunded liability as of June grew from $62.1 billion a year earlier.  Chiang says the liability grew less than expected due to fewer and less expensive claims. California follows a pay-as-you-go method and allocated $1.8 billion in the current budget to pay for current and future retirees. Chiang says California should have really put in $5 billion to meet its long-term obligations.  The controller is urging lawmakers to pre-fund the benefits just as the state does for pension benefits.

Tehama County Crash Injures CHP Officer


A crash on Highway 99 in Tehama County involved a CHP officer.  Officials say the officer suffered major injuries and
was flown to a Redding hospital Thursday night.  The officer was reportedly trapped and had to be freed from the wreck after his vehicle was hit by a Jeep.    The crash also tied up traffic on the highway.
 

Two Killed in Concow Crash


Two passengers have died after a truck rolled down a Butte County canyon, but two Chico men survived that crash Wednesday afternoon on Concow Road.   The CHP says all four people in the truck were not wearing seat belts and were ejected.   19 year old Charles Taylor and Samuel Montgomery were able to hike to the top of the canyon and flag down help.  They were flown to Enloe Hospital with moderate to major injuries.   The CHP has identified the two passengers killed in the crash as 24 year old Tyler Matlock and 39 year old Kara Hanson.   Officers say the cause of the accident appears to be distracted driving.

Fire Damages Chico Home


A woman was able to escape a Chico blaze Wednesday afternoon. The fire at a home on W. 21st Street is believed to have been caused by a burning cigarette.  It took fire crews about 45 minutes to control the flames.  No injuries were reported.
 

Storm Brings Hail, Snow, and Tornado to NorCal


The latest storm to hit northern California brought snow, hail, and a tornado to the region.   The National Weather Service reported a tornado near Red Bluff and Vina Tuesday.  Another tornado or funnel cloud reportedly damaged a Gerber storage building.   Hail caused some traffic problems around Hamilton City.  One accident was reported on Highway 32. 
 

CA's Energy Crisis from 2000 Could Lead to Refunds


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California electricity consumers could see $1.6 billion in refunds from the state's energy crisis more than a dozen years ago if an administrative law judge's recommendation holds up under review.  The California Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday praised the judge's interim ruling as a victory for a state that saw energy prices spike to unprecedented heights amid rolling blackouts in the summer of 2000. The judge sided with the state in finding that more than a dozen electricity wholesalers artificially manipulated the energy market to drive up prices. The commission calculated the potential rebates from the formula adopted by the judge in a decision issued Friday. The recommendation now goes before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  Bonneville Power Administration spokesman Michael Hansen says the utility is "disappointed" with the recommendation.

Chico Leaders Vote to Support Smoke-Free City Parks


Chico leaders voting to move forward with a smoking ban at city parks.  The Chico City Council voted 4 to 3 Tuesday night to draft an ordinance to prohibit smoking at city parks, greenways, and open spaces.   Councilmember Ann Schwab says the proposal would promote safe, clean parks.
  

Butte County Deputies Arrest Suspect in 2010 Killing


The Butte County Sheriff's Office says a fatal shooting more than 2 years ago followed a confrontation over a marijuana deal.  A suspect in that murder was arrested Tuesday at the Butte County Courthouse.  The Sheriff's Office says 23 year old Justin Foster of Honcut is charged with murder in the 2010 death of Andres Mendoza.  The victim's body was discovered along the side of Lower Honcut Road.  Investigators say recent information in the case led authorities to search the Foster home.  The suspect's 70 year old father was also arrested and charged with cultivation and sales of marijuana.
 

Biggs Man Injured in Crash


A Biggs man suffered serious injuries after his truck rolled in Yuba ounty. That accident happened on Mathews Lane Sunday night. Officials say 36 year old Nicholas Evans was injured when his truck rolled and landed in a ditch.

Suspect in Chico Fire on Probation in Arson Case


More details are available about a suspect in a Chico blaze.  The Chico ER reports the man accused of setting fire to the Regal Inn Saturday was already on probation for another arson charge in the northstate.  42 year old Vernon  James was arrested at a nearby local trailer park following the weekend fire on the Esplanade and booked into the Butte County Jail.  The newspaper reports James had been convicted of arson in Mendocino County several years ago.
 
 

Fire Damages Chico Hotel; One Person Arrested


One man arrested in connection with a weekend fire at a vacant Chico motel.   The fire caused about 18 thousand dollars in damage to the Regal Inn on the Esplanade Saturday night.    Chico Fire Inspector Marie Fickert says the latest fire at the hotel was spotted by a person passing by the area.  Flames had also damaged the building in December.

Chico City Manager says Re-structuring Could Save a Million Dollars


Chico city government is on the brink of its biggest change in years. The plan for reorganization that goes before the City Council Tuesday would reduce the number of city departments from 10 to 6. They would be Administrative Services, Community Development, Public Works, Police Fire and Community Enhancement. City Manager Brian Nakamura estimates the reorganization, or right sizing, would save about a million dollars a year.  He stresses this reorganization is a work in progress, and he cannot know right now how many department heads and employees would be absorbed or let go from city staff.

Two Injured in Chico Crash


A crash on Highway 99 in Chico Sunday sent two people to the hospital.  Officials say a woman driving north allegedly fell asleep at the wheel, lost control, and hit a southbound car.   The driver had to be extricated from the vehicle.      Officials say the driver and a toddler were taken to Enloe Hospital.
 

CA Wants to Expand Program to Recover Wildfire Costs


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California officials are pushing hard— some say too hard — for money to recover the costs of fighting wildfires. The Sacramento Bee reports that for the last eight years, the state has more aggressively gone after businesses and individuals it blames for starting wildfires. The newspaper says the state's Civil Cost Recovery Program is considered such a financial success that Gov. Jerry Brown is asking lawmakers to expand the unit's staff of lawyers, fire accountants and investigators from 14 to 24. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection officials say the unit goes after people who spark wildfires, costing millions of dollars to put out. But state Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber — who represents a vast rural area in far Northern California — says the state should put limits on its attempts to recover money.

Chico Man Convicted of Tax Fraud


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a Butte County man who belongs to a group that believes tax laws are unconstitutional has been convicted of committing nearly $1 million in income tax fraud. U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner said Thursday that Randy Barker of Chico falsely claimed more than $1.4 million in income for 2008 and that the same amount had been withheld in taxes, leading to a refund of nearly $1 million. During the two-day trial in Sacramento, evidence showed Barker and his wife spent most of the refund within weeks, including buying a house for $495,000. Court documents also say Barker is a member of the "Tax Challenger," a group that doesn't believe in tax laws. Barker could get 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he's sentenced May 1.

Overturned Big Rig Delaying Traffic near Yuba-Butte Co. Line


The CHP warning drivers of a possible delay near the Yuba-Butte County line because of a traffic accident on Highway 70.   The CHP says a big rig overturned just before 5:30 AM.  Officials say the southbound lanes of Highway 70 are blocked about 1.5 miles south of the Yuba-Butte County line.   Drivers could see delays in the area.
  

Woman Burned in Red Bluff Fire has Died


The woman critically injured in a Red Bluff fire has died. Authorities say 77 year old Louise Gerrodette died Wednesday night at St. Elizabeth Community Hospital after suffering serious burns  in the fire this week. Crews were called to an apartment building on Main Street Wednesday and found a kitchen fire on the 2nd floor. The fire broke out about 1 pm, and was reportedly sparked when clothing came in contact with a hot electric stove burner.
 

Two Arrested on Guns and Explosives Charges in Paradise


Butte County authorities arrest two ridge residents on explosives and gun charges following a tip from the FBI.  The Butte County Sheriff's Office says members of the local bomb squad received information that there may be materials capable of being turned into explosives at a home on Melody Lane in Paradise.   Authorities searched the home Thursday.  The Sheriff's Office says officials found illegal assault weapons and bomb making materials.  55 year old Helen Murphy and 50 year old Clifton Murphy were arrested in the case.

Senate's Top Democrat hits GOP for Blocking Hagel


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate's top Democrat says Republicans are mounting a full-scale filibuster of Chuck Hagel's nomination to be President Barack Obama's secretary of defense.  Majority Leader Harry Reid says Thursday there has never been a filibuster of a secretary of defense in the country's history. The Nevada senator says it's "shocking" and "tragic" that Republicans would block Hagel's nomination. Reid filed a motion Wednesday to limit debate and force a vote on Hagel's nomination, which is expected to be held Friday. While Democrats hold a 55-45 edge in the Senate and have the numbers to confirm Hagel on a majority vote, they need the backing of five Republicans to clear the way for an up-or-down vote on him.

 

Man Arrested for Allegedly Threatening CA Senator


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A state senator confirms that he was the target of a threat that led to the arrest of a Santa Clara man and the confiscation of explosive materials and a loaded handgun. Forty-five-year-old Everett Basham was being held without bail yesterday in Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of threatening a public official and possessing a concealed firearm. It was not clear if he had retained an attorney. Adam Keigwin, a spokesman for Democratic Sen. Leland Yee of San Francisco, says Yee received the threat and passed it on to the CHP. He says Yee isn't commenting because of the ongoing investigation.
 

Woman Injured in Red Bluff Blaze


An elderly woman has been critically injured in a Red Bluff fire. The Fire Department says crews were called to an apartment building on Main Street Wednesday and found a kitchen fire on the 2nd floor. The blaze had been knocked down by maintenance but an elderly woman suffered serious burn injuries. She was taken to a local hospital...at last report, she was in critical condition. The Fire Department says the blaze appears accidental, but the cause is still under investigation.

Plane Hits Trees in Colusa County; Two Men Hurt


WILLIAMS, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say two men are hospitalized after a pilot of a small plane tried to make an emergency landing on a road in rural Colusa County and the plane hit trees. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor says the two men were in an experimental Lancair 360 flying from Willits to Lake Tahoe when the pilot tried to make the landing around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday because of smoke in the cabin. Gregor says the plane hit orchard trees as the pilot tried to land the aircraft on a roadway in Williams. Colusa County officials say one of the men was airlifted to a hospital with what was described as major injuries. The second man was also hospitalized, but officials provided no details about his injuries. The names of the two men or additional details about the incident have not been released.

Woman Rescued after Chico Fall


The Chico Fire Department says a woman who fell down a steep embankment this week was unconscious when rescuers reached her. Officials say the victim fell 20 feet next to a bridge on Main Street Monday night. Firefighters were able to get the woman back up to the street, where she was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

"Suspicious" Package Detonated Outside Chico Bank


Chico Police say the bomb squad detonated a suspicious package left outside of a bank Tuesday morning.  The bag was outside the main doors of US Bank on East 2nd Street. Authorities shut down nearby roadways. Police say the bomb squad rendered the package safe just after 12:30 PM.  The bag reportedly contained water bottles, socks, and other personal items.


    
 

Man Arrested After Chico Foot Chase


Chico Police have arrested a man wanted for assault after a short foot chase.  The Police Department says an officer spotted 18 year old Deshawn Dean Tuesday afternoon.  The man reportedly escaped into backyards around E. 4th Street following a short pursuit.  He was eventually taken into custody.
  

Butte County Official says New Medical Pot Ordinance Deals with Nuisance Issues, not Permits


The man who oversees Butte County's Code Enforcement sees some big changes in the county's new Medical Marijuana Cultivation Ordinance. Tim Snellings says this is not a permitting program.



Snelling says the other big change in the ordinance is a person must be within a thousand feet of a property to lodge a complaint. Snellings is Director of the County's Development Services Department. He was on the committee drafting a new ordinance, which goes before Butte Supervisors today.

Cosco Busan Pilot Wants to Regain Mariner's License


OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The cargo ship pilot who caused a massive San Francisco Bay oil spill is making another attempt to regain his mariner's license. The San Jose Mercury News reported Monday that 65-year-old John Cota has filed a lawsuit alleging that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Coast Guard violated his civil rights by denying his request to renew his merchant marine license. Cota was piloting the Cosco Busan ship in heavy fog on Nov. 7, 2007 when it sideswiped the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and spilled more than 50,000 gallons of oil into the bay. He pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges of illegally discharging oil in the bay after the Coast Guard concluded he was impaired by prescription drugs and failed to follow safety precautions before the crash.
 

Police Find Guns and Drugs During Red Bluff Search


Red Bluff Police say they found guns, heroin, meth, and thousands of dollars in cash at a local home. Officers searched the residence on Lakeside Drive Monday as part of an investigation into the alleged sales of drugs and guns.   Jerry and Vanessa Billingsley were arrested in the case. They face charges ranging from child endangerment to possession of a controlled substance.

Robbery Attempt at Chico Pharmacy



Chico Police say a man tried to get oxycodone during a robbery attempt at a local pharmacy this morning.   A man reportedly gave a note to the pharmacy clerk at the East Avenue Walgreens around 5 AM demanding the oxycodone inventory.  The clerk refused.  Officers say the suspect warned the employee not to call police then fled.   No weapons were seen during the attempted robbery.
 

Two CA Lawmakers Want an End to "Last Minute" Bills


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Two California lawmakers want to end the Legislature's practice of jamming major bills through at the 11th hour. The practice has been used often on budget bills, forcing lawmakers to vote on spending plans without having the ability to actually read what's in them. That would change under legislation proposed by Democratic Sen. Lois Wolk of Davis and Republican Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen of Modesto. They want all legislation to be in print and online 72 hours before it comes to a vote. Both bills would be constitutional amendments and would have to be approved by the voters. Olsen calls it "bad public policy" when lawmakers are forced to vote on bills introduced at the last minute. Opponents of a three-day rule say the requirement could impede deal-making on hot-button subjects.

Man Arrested for Alleged Knife Attack in Paradise


A 21 year old man is accused of attacking his father with a knife in Paradise.  Justin Caddy was taken into custody Saturday around Bille Road.   Police say Caddy was an unwelcome guest at his father's home, punched the victim in the face, and allegedly tried to stab his father.   Police say the victim suffered serious injuries to his hand while defending himself.   Caddy was booked into the county jail for assault with a deadly weapon.

3 Stabbed During Downtown Chico Fight


Three people stabbed during a downtown Chico fight. The Chico Police Department says the fight happened just before 1 AM Sunday on West 2nd and Broadway. Officers say two victims were located downtown and were taken to a local medical center for treatment. A 3rd victim was found at the hospital. The victims told investigators they had been in a fight with several Hispanic men when they were stabbed.

Man Arrested for Indecent Exposure at Bidwell Park


A Paradise man is facing six counts of indecent exposure at Bidwell Park.  24 year old Ryan McDaniel was arrested Friday frollowing a series of incidents in December and January.  Chico Police say they had received multiple reports of a man exposing himself to women.  McDaniel has been booked into the county jail.

Butte County Looking for Ways to House More Jail Inmates


Butte County is gearing up for more jail space. The jail has more inmates because of the state's Realignment Program where counties oversee low level offenders. Butte County Administrator Paul Hahn says the county could need a new jail, and the State will help pay for building it.



Hahn says county leaders are looking at all options, including a new jail, an expansion, or a remodeling. He says the county is also looking at continuing to house inmates in surrounding counties.

CA Lawmakers Detail Gun Control Proposals


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Weeks after New York enacted the nation's toughest gun laws, California lawmakers want the state to do even more in response to recent mass shootings, particularly the Newtown, Conn., school massacre.  Democrats, who control the state Legislature, revealed 10 proposals Thursday that they say would make California the most restrictive state for possessing firearms. They were joined at a Capitol news conference by the mayors of Los Angeles and San Francisco.  Among the measures is one that would outlaw the future sale of semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines, a restriction that would prevent an assailant from reloading quickly. Lawmakers also want to make some prohibitions apply to current gun owners, not just weapons sold in the future.  Like New York, California also would require background checks for buying ammunition.

Driver Arrested After Pedestrian Hit in Chico Collision Dies


A pedestrian hit by a vehicle in Chico in late January has died...and the driver has been arrested.  Chico Police say 55 year old Tobias Vigil died earlier this week, as a result of injuries he received after being struck by a car on Park Avenue.   Police say William Llamas stopped to allow pedestrians to cross the street.  Vigil reportedly shouted at the driver and banged on his car.   Officers say Llamas then drove forward and knocked Vigil to the ground...Police say it appears he hit his head on the pavement and died 5 days later.   Llamas is accused of voluntary manslaughter.

Chico Blaze Considered Arson...One Person Arrested


The Chico Fire Department says a house fire earlier this week was arson...and one person has been arrested.  The blaze on Nancy Lane caused about 20 thousand dollars in damage Tuesday.   The Fire Department says fire crews found a smoldering blaze in a converted garage that was being used as a bedroom.   60 year old James Kehrer was arrested for allegedly starting the fire.

Gov. Brown tells Farmers He'll Protect Water


COLUSA, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown waded into potentially hostile territory as he pitched his plan to reshape California's water-delivery system with a $14 billion tunneling project below the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The governor on Wednesday spoke during the annual breakfast of the Colusa Farm Show, one of the biggest such events on the West Coast. He acknowledged that many people in the region north of the state capital have a different political philosophy than he does, noting that he has never won Colusa County in any of his statewide races. Yet he told hundreds of attendees that he would promise to protect their water. After his speech, several farmers said they were wary of the tunnel project, fearing it would siphon more Northern California water to farms and cities to the south.

Human Remains Found in Redding Expected to be Sent to Chico Lab


Human remains found in Redding are expected to be sent to Chico State University for analysis. The bones, including a human skull, were discovered Tuesday in a steep ravine. Redding Police say the bones will likely be transferred to the Human ID Lab at Chico State. Officials say at this time, there's no information regarding the identity of the remains.

5 Hurt in Yuba County Crash


Five people, including an Oroville woman, have been injured in a Yuba County collision.  The CHP says the five were in a car that hit a tree off Highway 70 Wednesday afternoon.  28 year old Kristin Valadez of Oroville suffered moderate injuries in the crash.  Officers say a 16 year old boy suffered major injuries and was in critical condition.
 

CA Lawmakers Propose Liability Insurance for Gun Owners


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Democratic lawmakers are proposing legislation that would require California gun owners to buy liability insurance to cover any damages or injuries caused by their weapons.  The National Conference of State Legislatures says similar bills have been introduced in other states after the Newtown, Conn., school massacre. They include Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and New York.  The pending legislation, AB231, was announced Tuesday by two members of the Assembly, Philip Ting of San Francisco and Jimmy Gomez of Los Angeles.  Ting equated the idea to requiring vehicle owners to buy auto insurance. Gomez said it would encourage gun owners to take firearms safety classes and keep their guns locked up to get lower insurance rates. Organizations representing gun owners have said lawmakers should target criminals instead of law-abiding citizens.

LAO: CA Missing Out on Medicaid Money for Prison Inmates


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A study is blaming bureaucratic problems for California's failure to claim millions of dollars in federal reimbursements for sick prison inmates.  The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office said in a report Tuesday that California is missing out on Medicaid money because a court-appointed receiver has not signed agreements with every county.  That has left the state unable to claim Medicaid reimbursements for about 30 percent of its inmates, many of whom come from rural counties. The state also is failing to process about two-thirds of inmates' claims because of software and staffing problems. The report says the state could be claiming nearly $70 million from the federal government by next year if the problems are fixed. Receiver's office spokeswoman Joyce Hayhoe says the office is working to improve the system.

Chico City Manager Turns to Consultant for Help with Restructuring Cost Study


The city of Chico turning to a consultant to help with a cost study for restructuring city government.   City Manager Brian Nakamura...
    


Nakamura recently proposed reducing the number of city department heads and staff to help reduce city expenses.

CA High Court to Hear Arguments on Medical Pot Dispensaries


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California's medical marijuana dispensaries are preparing for the next word on how far state law goes in giving them a right to exist. The state's highest court is scheduled to hear arguments Tuesday on whether local governments can ban retail pot dispensaries within their borders. About 200 cities and counties already have, but this will be the first time the California Supreme Court entertains the question. Medical marijuana advocates maintain that the state's medical marijuana laws, the nation's oldest, allow local governments to set limits on dispensaries, but not to outlaw them altogether. The arguments come in a case out of Riverside, where city lawmakers used their zoning powers to ban storefront pot shops in 2010. One of the pot shops threatened with closure sued to stop the city from shutting it down.

Three Charged in Chico Brothel Case Plead Not Guilty


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Federal authorities say three illegal immigrants have been charged with operating five Central Valley brothels that used other illegal immigrants as prostitutes.  Officials say 35-year-old Roberto Urbina-Gonzalez, 43-year-old Everardo Ibarra Regalado and 25-year-old Corina Dominguez were arrested Jan. 17 and arraigned Friday in federal court in Sacramento. They pleaded not guilty.  According to court papers, the prostitutes ranged from 18 to 25 and were rotated weekly among brothels in Chico, Fairfield, Sacramento, Stockton and Yuba City.  Officials say most of the women are from Mexico, but some were recruited from El Salvador, Honduras and Colombia. The defendants advertised the brothels by handing out business cards at Central Valley flea markets and other locations. The investigation into the "human trafficking organization" began 2 ½ years ago when an informant approached Stockton police.

Three Injured in Two Chico Stabbings


Three people injured in two Chico stabbings less than an hour apart. Chico Police say a local transient was stabbed in the leg just after 8 PM Monday during an argument with another man at One Mile. A short time later, officers were notified that two stabbing victims were at a local hospital. Police say the 19 year old victims were injured in a fight on Holly Avenue. One victim needed surgery. Police arrested 18 year old John Jenkins III for assault with a deadly weapon.

3 Stabbings in Chico Sunday


Three separate stabbings in Chico Sunday.  Chico Police say a man allegedly stabbed two people with a pair of scissors during a fight on Nord Avenue around 9 PM.   32 year old Joverly Rayford was taken into custody.     Meanwhile, police were called to The Handle Bar on 20th Street a short time later, where a juvenile allegedly attacked
two men.  One victim was hospitalized...as of this morning, he was listed in stable condition.  Chico Police arrested the juvenile suspect in that stabbing on Notre Dame Boulevard.   The Butte County Sheriff's Office says a woman reported being assaulted from behind while running along Guntren Road in north Chico Sunday morning.  Authorities say she had an apparent knife wound to her side.  At last report, no suspect had been identified in that case.
 

Paradise Police Arrest Woman for Assault with Car


Paradise Police have arrested a woman for allegedly hitting her husband with her vehicle Sunday. 46 year old Kara Conn is facing charges including assault with a deadly weapon, DUI, and domestic violence.   Witnesses told police the suspect allegedly ran up on the curb and purposely struck her husband.  The victim was not seriously injured.

Woman Killed by Train in Chico


The CHP says a woman died after her car was hit by an Amtrak train in Chico.  Officers say the vehicle was stopped on the tracks around Nord Highway early Sunday morning.  A train hit the car...ejecting the driver.  The CHP says the woman suffered fatal injuries.  At last report, she has not yet been identified.

Two Men Indicted After Heroin Bust in Redding


A father and son are facing a heroin trafficking charge following a Redding traffic stop. The Department of Justice says Benjamin Soto and Joaquin Soto have been indicted in the case. The two were arrested in January after authorities stopped a car on I-5 north of Redding and found nearly 5 kilos of heroin. The two will be arraigned next week.

Chico Apartment Part of Prostitution Probe


Federal investigators say a Chico apartment was being used as a brothel.  The alleged prostitution reportedly involved illegal immigrants, with brothels in five cities, including Chico and Yuba City.   Three people have been indicted in the case...the 3 are accused of "harboring illegal aliens."  The Chico apartment was located on Shoshone Avenue.  

 

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