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KPAY News Archives for 2013-08

No drinking and tubing on local rivers this weekend. That message from area Law Enforcement. Butte County Sheriff Jerry Smith says alcohol has been banned from tonight to Tuesday morning and officers will be citing people. 
He says those who think they can drink before hand will be cited for being drunk in public. He says this is the first year the alcohol ban will be enforced by Butte, Glenn and state authorities. 

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California school officials say fewer public schools at all grade levels met state and federal benchmarks that are used to evaluate how well schools educate youngsters. Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson released those results on Thursday. Torlakson says 95.5 percent of the Class of 2013 passed California's high school exit exam, which measures competency in reading, writing and math. But a higher percentage of schools failed to achieve the target score on the state's Academic Performance Index, which combines results from various standardized tests. More schools also failed to meet rising targets for student proficiency in math and reading set by the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The veteran district attorney in Sutter County is caught in a story fit for the tabloids.
The 65-year-old grandfather is being investigated in a fire that gutted the home of a former escort with whom he had an affair. Sutter County District Attorney Carl Adams was one of several suitors of 32-year-old Sarah Garibay. She showed police text messages from Adams saying he was jealous of her other lovers. An affidavit says Adams lied to investigators when they first asked him about whether he had sex with Garibay. He met her in 2010 when he prosecuted a case in which she testified. The affidavit says Adams also might have tried to steer fire investigators toward one of Garibay's other boyfriends. Adams hasn't returned calls seeking comment.

A fire burning for a week in Tehama County has been contained. Cal-fire says the Deer Fire burned more than 11 thousand acres east of Los Molinos. According to the agency, fire-line personnel will continue mopping 
up the interior of the fire area until its fully controlled. All hiking trails within the Ishi Wilderness are temporarily closed, but are scheduled to be re-opened to the public Saturday.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown is dismissing a proposal by Democratic allies in the state Senate, who want to seek a settlement of a federal lawsuit that could force the state to free thousands of prison inmates later this year. The Democratic governor says in a statement Wednesday that it would be irresponsible to leave the state's criminal justice policy in the hands of the private attorneys suing the state on behalf of inmates. 
He is insisting that the Legislature pass his own proposal to spend $315 million this year to lease empty cells in private prisons and county jails. Federal judges have ordered the state to reduce its prison population by 9,600 inmates by year's end. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg says Brown's proposal is essentially dead on arrival.

CHICO, Calif. (AP) — Authorities have released the name of the 18-year-old Chico State student who died after being struck in the head by a large tree branch that fell about 20 feet. Pa Houa Lor was sitting on a bench on campus Tuesday when the branch came down. Chico State spokesman Joe Wills said an arborist inspected some of the trees on campus before the semester began and there will likely be another inspection as a result of Tuesday's accident. The coroner's office says an autopsy is planned.

Chico Police say two men suffered minor injuries after being hit by a car during an assault at a local gas station. The two men who own the Valero Gas Station on Longfellow Avenue reportedly asked 30 year old Matthew Dorenzo to leave the business Wednesday.  Police say Dorenzo became irate and allegedly struck the two men with his vehicle.
One victim was clipped on the hip...the other man was knocked to the ground and the car drove over his leg. 
Dorenzo was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon.

Cal-Fire says firefighters have been able to protect 8 hunting cabins and powerlines threatened by the Deer Fire in 
Tehama County. As of Tuesday, the blaze had burned more than 10 thousand acres, with containment at 82 percent.  Full containment could come Thursday. Cal-Fire's Scott McClean says crews have received a lot of help from aircraft in order to get in and create containment lines.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to deal with a federal court order to lower the state's prison population faces an uncertain future in the state Legislature because of opposition from key members of his own political party.  If lawmakers fail to reach agreement quickly, they risk having federal judges override state law and take the step that is opposed by the governor, lawmakers and law enforcement — releasing 9,600 felons by the end of the year. Brown has support from three of the four legislative leaders of both political parties. But Senate Democrats are pushing their own competing solution. They plan to present their alternative Wednesday to Brown's proposal to spend more than $300 million this year to temporarily rent thousands of prison cells.

Two men arrested and more than 3 thousand pot plants discovered during a marijuana raid in Butte County. The Sheriff's Office says deputies, drug agents, and the US Forest Service raided a marijuana grow Tuesday in the Plumas National Forest near Jordan Creek. Police dogs were able to track down two suspects, who were arrested on drug charges.  One suspect was able to get away. Deputies say they found 31 hundred marijuana plants on terraced hillsides.

A woman hit by a tree branch on the Chico State campus has died. Officials say the tree branch fell and hit the student on the head Tuesday afternoon near Butte Hall.  The victim had been sitting on a bench when she was struck. The woman was taken to Enloe Medical Center, where she died.  Officials say other trees in the area are expected to be evaluated. 

The Chico Fire Department says a cigarette caused a fire Monday that damaged part of a home. A neighbor spotted smoke at the back of a Normal Street home and alerted residents to the fire.  Four people evacuated. The fire burned a wall and a wood deck.

Cal-fire says the fire burning east of Los Molinos has destroyed one outbuilding...and threatens 8 others.  But fire crews are gaining ground on the Deer Fire.  At last report, the 10 thousand acre blaze was 70 percent contained.  Spokesman Jim Didio says whatmakes this fire so unique is the rough terrain.  He says firefighters have to be flowin into the remote area. There are now more than a thousand fire personnel on the fire. Tricky canyon winds have also made the fight against the fire difficult. Three people have reportedly been injured.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Lawmakers have sent Gov. Jerry Brown a bill designed to deter a repeat of the financial scandal that rocked the California Department of Parks and Recreation.  The bill by Democratic Sen. Richard Roth of Riverside requires that state department heads swear under penalty of perjury that they are sending accurate budget information to the state Department of Finance. Violations could bring prison terms of up to four years. SB801 is in response to the discovery last summer of $54 million hidden in two parks department special funds. Part of the problem was that parks officials did not provide proper financial data to state budget officials. The parks director and others lost their jobs. Senators agreed to Assembly amendments on a 37-0 vote Monday, sending the bill to the governor.

The Chico Police Department says officers had to put on helmets to clear a disorderly crowd late Friday night...that
incident saw a fight and cans and bottles thrown at officers. Police say they were called to an Ivy Street home to clear
unwanted people from a yard following a party.  Officers say Ivy Street filled with people, a large fight broke out, and police were attacked with bottles and cans. Police say they'll continue using the "Disorderly Events Ordinance" to break up events that get "out of hand."

More than 10 thousand acres have been scorched in Tehama County, as the Deer Fire continues to burn in rugged terrain and threaten powerlines. At last report, Cal-Fire says the blaze is 35 percent contained.  Officials say the effort to control the fire is being hampered by limited access for ground resources.  More than 300 fire personnel were flown into parts of the fire to cut containment lines. That blaze is burning near Deer Creek east of Los Molinos.  

Chico Police say 15 people have been arrested in connection with a gang-related robbery and assault over the weekend. Officers say two people were attacked by a large group of people early Saturday morning around 2nd and Broadway.  Officers located the suspects on a bike path near Nettleton Stadium. Witnesses identified 15 suspects who were allegedly involved in the attack. The 13 adults and 2 juveniles were taken into custody.

An apartment building evacuated in Red Bluff during a weekend fire. The Fire Department says crews were able to keep the flames confined to one room and the attic at the Lakeside Drive apartment Saturday night.  One person was taken to a local hospital for smoke inhalation. Investigators say the cause of the blaze was smoking materials that caused bedding to catch on fire.

A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board didn't release a cause for the deadly plane crash in Butte County last week. The small aircraft crashed near Neal Road, killing the pilot and a passenger. The Paradise Post reports the debris path was about 50 feet long and 20 feet wide.  The crash caused a fire, which burned 21 acres.

Firefighters have full containment of a blaze near Oroville.  The Swedes Fire was contained Thursday.  It burned more
than 2400 acres, one home, a garage, outbuildings, and vehicles. Cal-Fire says the cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

Drug agents raiding a large marijuana grow on the border of Butte and Tehama Counties...two people were arrested during that raid. The Butte County Sheriff's Office says more than 63 hundred pot plants were found growing on terraced hillsides in Lomo.  The two suspects taken into custody face charges including cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a 73-year-old Northern California tax attorney has been convicted of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from clients for his own expenses including personal trainers and travel. A U.S. attorney's statement says Stanford Law School graduate Orion Douglas Memmott of Willows was found guilty yesterday of tax evasion and subscribing to a false tax document after a five-day bench trial.

7 arrests so far in an ongoing investigation by Butte County Drug Agents and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Jeff Smith with the Butte County Interagency Drug Enforcement Task Force or BINTF says the majority of those arrested were from the greater Oroville area. Agents confiscated some 10 pounds of meth, 5 firearms and 70 thousand dollars in cash in the year long investigation. He says there may be more arrests in the case. 

Butte County fire crews are still expecting full containment today of a wildfire burning southest of Oroville.  At last report, the Swedes Fire was 95 percent contained after scorching more than 2400 acres. That blaze destroyed 1 home, 1 garage, 6 outbuildings, and multiple vehicles. Cal-Fire says unburned vegetation within the fire perimeter will be burning over the next few days and residents should expect more smoke.

The Swedes Fire that's been burning east of Oroville could be contained tomorrow. Cal-Fire says the blaze has so far burned 2400 acres and is 90 percent contained. All evacuations have been lifted.  There were five minor injuries to firefighters, most of them heat related. 

Chico's Fire Department getting creative to meet its budget cuts. The Department plans to save 1 point 6 million dollars by not paying any overtime and going to what the Fire Chief calls "Strategic Closures". Chief Keith Carter stresses these closures are not 'brown outs.'   If a Fire Station were forced to close, the personnel there would be used to fill in for people who are sick or on vacation. Chief Carter says if there's a closure and the city gets two calls at the same time, one fire will be covered by Chico Fire, the other by county fire through the mutual aid agreement. 

A Redding man arrested after a high speed chase and collision that injured a passenger. Authorities say Anderson Police tried to stop 37 year old Silas Madden Tuesday night, when the driver allegedly sped off.  The chase topped speeds of 100 miles per hour. The driver crashed into a tree and rock embankment in Redding.  Madden allegedly resisted arrest and was hit with a stun gun. A passenger in the vehicle suffered major injuries.

The Chico City Council rejecting a proposed sit-lie ordinance. The proposal would have prohibited sitting or lying on downtown sidewalks for most of the day, with fines for violators. The Chico E-R reports critics of a sit-lie ordinance told the council Tuesday night that it unfairly targeted the homeless and infringed on constitutional rights. A motion to approve the ordinance failed to get enough votes.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A bill headed to the governor's desk will allow voters to find out if their mail-in ballots are actually counted. SB589 by Democratic state Sen. Jerry Hill of San Mateo would require county officials to establish a system allowing vote-by-mail voters to learn if their ballot was counted and, if it was not, why that is. Democratic Assemblyman Kevin Mullin of San Mateo told his colleagues that the bill he co-sponsored would require registrars to notify voters "so they can address the problem" in future elections. About half those who voted in California's 2012 general election, 6.7 million people, did so by mail. SB589 received unanimous support in the Assembly on Monday and will be sent to Gov. Jerry Brown.

A guilty verdict Monday in the Butte County murder trial of Jeffrey Menzies. He was accused of the sniper style killing of 26 year old David Yang near the intersection of Highway 32 and Bruce Road in Chico in September of 2011. The Oroville Mercury Register reports the jury was in deliberations for less than two hours before returning with the guilty verdict. Menzies will be back in court in October for his sentencing hearing. The District Attorney's office says Menzies was found to be lying in wait and using a weapon so he could face life in prison without the possibility of parole. 

Butte County authorities say they were able to identify the two victims of a fatal plane crash using dental records. The Sheriff's Office says 54 year old Frederick Lewis and 26 year old Matthew Moody died after their small plane crashed in a remote canyon area off Neal Road last week and was engulfed in flames. The two were reportedly doing contract work for PG and E at the time of the crash.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Cal-Fire says all evacuations have been lifted as firefighters gain ground on the Swedes Fire burning near Oroville.  As of this morning, the wildfire had burned more than 2100 acres, with more than 300 structures still threatened.  But Cal-Fire says containment is at 75 percent. State fire Capt. Scott McLean told KPAY Monday that the weather and dry conditions posed big challenges to fire crews. McLean says the fire has burned one residence, a garage and three outbuildings since it broke out on Friday outside Bangor. It's one of 10 significant wildfires burning around the state after tens of thousands of recent lightning strikes.

Hundreds of firefighters continue battling the Swedes Fire near Oroville. Information changes throughout the day as crews are able to give updates whenever possible. For the latest information, head to Cal Fire's incident page and hit the refresh button on your browser. For public information inquiries, call (530) 538-7826. KPAY will bring you on-air updates throughout the day as well as when information breaks.

Chico Police say a man on a motorcycle got away after a weekend chase. Officers spotted a man who matched a suspect wanted for felony warrants Saturday night.  Officers tried to make a traffic stop, but the motorcyclist sped off.
Police say they chased the man until he lost control around Glenshire Lane and fled on foot.  The man was not located.

Two teenagers killed in a northstate collision. The CHP says a car drifted and crashed into a Winnebago Sunday on Riego Road in Sutter County, killing a 17 year old boy and a 19 year old man. The car's driver suffered major injuries.
The fatal collision shut down the roadway for several hours.

OROVILLE, Calif. (AP) — Erratic winds are fueling a fire southeast of Oroville that is threatening more than 400 structures and forcing hundreds of people and animals to evacuate. Cal-fire is warning that the shifting winds mean the direction of the nearly 2,000-acre Swedes Fire in Butte County can change rapidly.  The fire is 45 percent contained.  So far, the blaze has destroyed 1 home, 1 garage, 3 outbuildings, and multiple vehicles. Cal-Fire says crews continue to strengthen existing containment lines. All evacuation warnings and orders remain in effect.
The 900 firefighters on the scene are among 5,000 firefighters battling 10 wildfires burning in California. A fire weather watch begins Monday for the Northern California mountains and foothills. Predicted thunderstorms could heighten fire danger.

Evacuation warnings have been expanded as the Swedes fire near Oroville continues to burn. Cal Fire says because the fire is dynamic, evacuation orders and warnings can change quickly. Residents are advised to be prepared:


"EVACUATION WARNING ISSUED: Butte County – Warning Evacuations are being issued for Forbestown Road from Lumpkin Road to Old Olive Highway and for all portions of Hurleton Road. All of Hurleton Road, Hurles Circle, Mackey Court, Mather Lane, Hershel Lane, Roosa Way, Romelt Lane, Angel Way, Nice Place, Finlayson Court, Stringtown Road, Diamond Bar Court, Gold View Court, Gloriana Road, Harry Lane, Old Post Drive, Kim Drive, Mountain Oak Road, Empire Point Drive, Lothrop Lane, Maidu Run, Dancing Wind Drive, Summer View Drive, Rebel Lane, Elams Ranch Road, Wicks Way, Lakeview Ridge Road.

Evacuation Orders -Chinese Wall Road, Swedes Flat Road from Chinese Wall Road to Oro Bangor Highway, Fox Lane, Romo Road, Nichols Ranch Road, Spring Creek Road, Cole Lane, Cornett Lane, Mission Crest Drive, Rutherford Lane and the east side of Oro Bangor Highway from Swedes Flat to Mission Crest. All of Hurleton Swedes Flat and all roads that run off it between Swedes Flat and ForbestownRd. Swedes Flat Road from Turkey Creek to Hurlton Swedes Flat Road, Deer Valley Road, Cedarwood Ddrive, Stoney Oak Loop, Stoney Oak Blvd., Gold Mountain Road, Olive Gaston Booth Road, Olive Obert Drive. An Evacuation Order requires the immediate movement of people out of an affected area due to imminent threat to life.

Evacuation Warnings - All residents that are not covered by the Order above within the boundary of Miners Ranch Road from Oro Bangor Highway to Oroville Quincy Highway (Hwy 162), Oroville Quincy Highway to Forbestown Road, Hurleton Swedes Flat Road to Swedes Flat Road. An Evacuation Warning alerts people in an affected area of potential threat to life and property." 

Conditions: Current Situation: Crews continue to strengthen existing containment lines and build additional containment lines. Shifting and erratic winds and steep and difficult terrain remain a challenge. All evacuation warnings and orders remain in effect.

Evacuation Center: Church of the Nazarene, 2238 Monte Vista Avenue, Oroville

The North Valley Animal Disaster Group has been activated for assistance with animal evacuations. For assistance with animals contact 530-895-0000. 
Animal Shelters: 
Small Animals – dogs, cats, birds, and self contained rodents: 2279 Del Oro Avenue, Oroville (Old County Hospital) 
Large animals and small livestock – sheep, goats, pigs, horses, llamas, and mules: 1985 Clark Road, Butte Valley (Camelot)  

Phone Numbers  (530) 538-7826 (Public Fire Information Line ) 


City of Chico firefighters returned from fighting other fires in the state and will join Cal Fire crews this morning as they continue battling the Swedes fire. At last report, the blaze SE of Oroville had grown to 1,850 acres with 20% containment and 400 structures threatened. Evacuation orders were expanded twice on Saturday. Below is evacuation and shelter information provided by Cal Fire's incident page:



Because the spread of this fire is dynamic, the evacuation orders and warning below can change rapidly. Be prepared. Be aware of your surroundings. Evacuate if you feel you are in danger, with or without an order or warning.

Evacuation Orders -Chinese Wall Road, Swedes Flat Road from Chinese Wall Road to Oro Bangor Highway, Fox Lane, Romo Road, Nichols Ranch Road, Spring Creek Road, Cole Lane, Cornett Lane, Mission Crest Drive, Rutherford Lane and the east side of Oro Bangor Highway from Swedes Flat to Mission Crest. All of Hurleton Swedes Flat and all roads that run off it between Swedes Flat and ForbestownRd.

Evacuation Warnings - All residents that are not covered by the Order above within the boundary of Miners Ranch Road from Oro Bangor Highway to Oroville Quincy Highway (Hwy 162), Oroville Quincy Highway to Forbestown Road, Hurleton Swedes Flat Road to Swedes Flat Road.  


Current Situation: Additional fire crews and equipment were added to the fire fight throughout the day. Limited access with steep terrain, narrow roads and the evacuation of threatened structures slowed the progress of increasing the overall containment. Over 400 structures were threatened by the changing path of the fire.

Evacuation Center: Church of the Nazarene, 2238 Monte Vista Avenue, Oroville

The North Valley Animal Disaster Group has been activated for assistance with animal evacuations. For assistance with animals contact 530-895-0000. 
Animal Shelters: 
Small Animals – dogs, cats, birds, and self contained rodents: 2279 Del Oro Avenue, Oroville (Old County Hospital) 
Large animals and small livestock – sheep, goats, pigs, horses, llamas, and mules: 1985 Clark Road, Butte Valley (Camelot)  

Phone Numbers  (530) 538-7826 (Public Fire Information Line ) 


Cal Fire has expanded evacuation orders as they continue fighting the Swedes Fire SE of Oroville. From Cal Fire's information page:


* Mandatory evacuation orders for residents of: Chinese Wall Road, Swedes Flat Road from Chinese Wall Road to Oro Bangor Highway, Fox Lane, Romo Road, Nichols Ranch Road, Spring Creek Road, Cole Lane, Cornett Lane, Mission Crest Drive, Rutherford Lane and the east side of Oro Bangor Highway from Swedes Flat to Mission Crest. Advisory All residents within the boundary of Miners Ranch Road from Oro Bangor Highway to Oroville Quincy Highway (Hwy 162), Oroville Quincy Highway to Forbestown Road, Hurleton Swedes Flat Road and all roads that run off it between Swedes Flat and Forbestown Rd.

* Evacuation advisory for all residents within the boundary of Miners Ranch Road from Oro Bangor Highway to Oroville Quincy Highway, Oroville Quincy Highway to Forbestown Road, Hurleton Swedes Flat Road to Swedes Flat Road.  

For Fire Information call: 530-538-7826

Cal Fire says the Swedes Fire Southeast of Oroville grew signifigantly overnight causing evacuations. The fire that started Friday afternoon has scorched more than one thousand acres burning a home, garage, three outbuildings and several vehicles. The Red Cross shelter is set up at Church of the Nazarene at 2238 Monte Vista. Cal Fire says residents evacuating should check in at the shelter whether they require assistance or not. That will help provide residents with updated informtaion. The North Valley Animal Disaster Group has been activated. For assistance with animals contact 530-895-0000.


Evacuation Order (mandatory): Chinese Wall Road, Swedes Flat Road from Chinese Wall Raod to Oro Bangor Highway; Fox Lane to Romo Road, Nichols Ranch Road; Spring Creek Road, Cole Lane, Cornett Lane,Mission Crest Drive, Rutherford Lane; East side of Oro Bangor Highway from Swedes Flat Road to Mission Crest. 

Evacuation Warning (voluntary/precautionary): Caroline Drive

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A long-delayed cut to California's Medi-Cal program for the poor will take place next month — slashing reimbursements to health care providers by 10 percent. A lawsuit delayed implementation of the cuts proposed two years ago. But the Los Angeles Times says they'll be phased in beginning next month. Dentists and medical transporters will be hit first, with doctors, pharmacists and nursing facilities avoiding reductions until January. A federal appeals court in June ruled that the cuts can proceed. The state Department of Health Care Services says they'll save $387 million. Opponents say the cuts are unnecessary now that California's budget has improved, and ill-timed because they make Medi-Cal less attractive to providers as California expands the program under President Obama's health care overhaul.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California's auditor says the state has failed to properly monitor nearly $7.4 billion in voter-approved money for mental health programs and cannot reassure the public that it is going to help those most in need. State Auditor Elaine Howle says in Thursday's report that the agencies in charge met their minimal legal requirements but had no effective review system to assess how counties spent the money. Howle's audit came in response to an Associated Press investigation last year that found tens of millions of dollars raised under 2004's Proposition 63 have gone to programs for people who have not been diagnosed with any mental illness. Those programs include yoga, gardening, art classes and horseback riding. The audit recommends the new agency overseeing mental health spending rigorously review the county programs.

Glenn County authorities are looking for information in a July sexual assault investigation. The Glenn County Sheriff's Office says a woman thought she was being following in a vehicle from Colusa to the Bayliss area.  She told investigators she drove on rural roads to try to get away and ended up at a dead end. A man allegedly got out of his vehicle, hit the victim, sexually assaulted her, then drove off. The Sheriff's Office learned of the alleged assault last week. The suspect is described as a Portuguese or Hispanic man driving a silver truck. 

Two people in jail following a large marijuana bust in Butte County. The local Sheriff's Office says deputies and drug agents raided a pot garden in a remote area known as Little Rock Creek in upper Concow  Thursday. 7300 pot plants were eradicated. Deputies arrested two men found walking on a trail toward an encampment.  But officials say they believe two other suspects got away.

Still no official confirmation of the identities of two people killed in a Butte County plane crash this week. But the small plane was reportedly registered to a Vacaville man. The pilot and passenger had been contracted to work for PG and E when the plane crashed near the Neal Road Landfill Tuesday and sparked a vegetation fire.  The crash is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board.

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (AP) — A California prosecutor in the trial of a former photographer charged with the decades-old killings of four women says his diary shows how he would stalk and approach victims.  Two of the victims were found in Yuba County. The Marin Independent Journal reported that Marin County prosecutor Rosemary Slote read from the diary of Joseph Naso during closing arguments that began Wednesday. She says the entries date back to the 1950s and give descriptions of rape and sexual assault. Prosecutors have called some 70 witnesses during the two-month trial as they sought to prove that Naso drugged and photographed victims before strangling them. The 79-year-old Naso is acting as his own attorney and is scheduled to give his closing argument on Friday.

The Butte County Health Department is reporting 3 new human West Nile Virus cases. Authorities say one person was hospitalized in serious condition with a West Nile Virus brain infection. The new cases live in Chico and the south county area.  So far, sixteen different counties in the state have reported human cases of West Nile this year. The Health Department is telling local residents to ramp up mosquito prevention efforts for the next few months.

A Butte County judge denies a reduction in a prison sentence for a man convicted of manufacturing meth and
sentenced under California's "Three Strikes" law. The local District Attorney's Office says 63 year old Rodney Poor was convicted in 1997 with four prior "strikes." He was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.  Poor appealed his sentence after Proposition 36 was approved by voters last year...that allowed prisoners to seek resentencing if their "3rd strike" was not a serious or violent felony. According to the DA, the local judge ruled Poor posed  an "unreasonable risk of danger to public safety" because of his record and prison behavior.

PARADISE, Calif. (AP) — Officials say two people are dead after a small plane crashed and started a brush fire that consumed it near Chico.  The two were reportedly contracted by PG and E to check gas transmission lines in the area. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor says the plane crashed at about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday near the Neal Road Landfill. Cal-Fire said in a statement that the crash caused a brush fire that grew to about 15 acres before it was contained. Only the frame of the plane remained after the fire. The statement says two people were found dead inside, and at last report, their names have not been released.

YUBA CITY, Calif. (AP) - Authorities say one person is missing and another injured after their boat capsized in a Northern California reservoir. Yuba County Sheriff's Sgt. Wence Kemp said that the men were thrown into the water after their boat hit another boat's wake at a difficult angle at the Bullards Bar Reservoir Sunday afternoon. As of Monday, searchers are still seeking the missing boater, 30-year-old Matthew Camp of Lincoln.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California has become the first state to enshrine certain rights for transgender K-12 students in state law, requiring public schools to allow those students access to whichever restroom and locker room they want. Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown announced Monday that he had signed AB1266. The new law gives students the right "to participate in sex-segregated programs, activities and facilities" based on their self-perception and regardless of their birth gender. Supporters said the law will help reduce bullying against transgender students. It comes as the families of transgender students have been waging local battles with school districts around the country over what restrooms and locker rooms their children can use. Detractors said allowing students of one gender to use facilities intended for the other could invade the other students' privacy.

One man rescued during a house fire Monday in Concow. The blaze on Aureole Way destroyed the home and several
vehicles...but fire crews were able to prevent flames from spreading to nearby vegetation. One man was reportedly escued. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

Two fires in Butte County Sunday; one destroyed a mobile home...the other damaged a house. The first fire on Oakvale Avenue in the Kelly Ridge area started in a boat,  then burned a garage and attic. Damage is estimated at 80 thousand dollars. That blaze is considered suspicious. The 2nd fire happened on Royal Oaks Drive and destroyed a mobile home.  The cause of that fire is under investigation.

Investigators say a 63 year old Paradise man is a suspect in three recent robberies. Chico Police say Douglas Friedrich was arrested Saturday night after allegedly trying to rob the Sierra Wine and Deli at gunpoint.  Police say he was disarmed after a struggle with the store clerk. Police say Friedrich is also a suspect in robberies at the Circle K on Friday and Shell Station in Oroville on Thursday. He's been booked into the county jail.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The leader of the state Senate is backing Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal to send thousands of inmates to private prisons rather than free them early to comply with federal court orders to reduce prison crowding. But Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said Wednesday that the state should also spend more money on mental health and substance abuse treatment programs. He says those programs would reduce the prison population in the long run by helping ex-felons stay out of prison. Corrections Secretary Jeffrey Beard told The Associated Press this week that the Democratic governor will ask federal judges to let the state send at least 4,000 inmates to private prisons to help cut 10,000 inmates from the state's major prisons by year's end.

Butte County authorities hike a steep canyon and climb down rope ladders as part of a marijuana raid this week. The Sheriff's Office says deputies found more than 27 hundred pot plants in the Lost Creek area of Clipper Mills Wednesday.  Deputies say a search of the area turned up a hand-dug underground bunker.  The Sheriff's Office says deputies surprised one suspect on a trail...the man fled into the canyon.

    A man has jumped from the overpass at Highway 99 and 20th street. Chico Fire
Inspector Marie Fickert says just before 11am a man jumped from the overpass onto
the freeway below....

    The Chico ER says the black man who jumped suffered two broken legs. He has
been transported to the hospital. Fickert says they have no idea
why the man jumped. Highway 99 southbound was reduced to one lane.
But, traffic is now flowing freely again.



Butte County has its first case of West Nile Virus affecting a human this year.  The Public Health Department reports an elementary school aged child from North Chico has tested positive for the West Nile Virus. This is the first confirmed human case of the virus in Butte County for this year. Public Health Officials are urging residents to take all precautions against the virus, and that all ages are vulnerable to infection.

A Bangor man charged in an alleged assault that led to  a toddler's death has been bound over for trial. The Oroville Mercury-Register reports 25 year old Michael Dollar was in court Tuesday for a preliminary hearing, following the death of his 16 month old son in 2010. According to prosecutors, Dollar reportedly claimed the child suffered a head injury in a fall.  An autopsy determined the boy's death was caused by blunt force trauma. Dollar is set to return to court later this month.

Chico has a new mayor.  During Tuesday's city council meeting, Mary Goloff said she was stepping down as the city's mayor because of health reasons. But Goloff will stay on the council. Council member Scott Gruendl was appointed Mayor, and Mark Sorensen selected as vice mayor. The Chico City Council also voted to authorize four new police officers and took action to allow two businesses to sell alcohol.

Three people facing drug charges in Butte County, after authorities found hundreds of pot plants in Berry Creek. The

Sheriff's Office says investigators searched the Bell Ranch Road property Monday and eradicated more than 300 marijuana plants. The Sheriff's Office says the land had been clear cut...and pot plants were growing along the steep hillside above Lake Oroville. Authorities also located more than 6 thousand dollars in cash during the search.

Chico Police have arrested a 22 year old man on suspicion of arson.  Police say firefighters extinguished two fires last week next to a dumpster outside the Regency Apartments on W. 4th Avenue. Police say a former tenant is accused of starting both fires. Arrison Aquino was taken into custody Monday and booked into the county jail.

Chico Police say three suspects in an armed robbery were able to escape Monday, despite a quick response by officers.  Authorities say a woman knocked on a door at the Holiday Inn Monday night. When the door opened, two men with guns went into the room, stole the victim's property, then took off.  The 28 year old victim was not injured.

Chico Police say officers were on the scene in less than a minute after receiving the call, but the suspects were not located.

Several apartments evacuated in Chico, while authorities investigated what looked like a pipe bomb. The pipe was discovered inside an apartment on Mission Ranch Boulevard by a maintenance worker Monday.  The local bomb squad detonated the pipe, which turned out to be full of marijuana.



Chico officials have a plan to restore four police positions. The plan is to restore two Community Service Officers and bring in two sworn Police Officers.  The City Council wanted to restore six positions at its budget hearings in June, but the 4 is the best City Administration could come up with. The good news is that the 4 will go some ways in helping restore some of the 19 police positions targeted for elimination, but the bad news is if other costs increase, which could very well happen, the officers will have to be funded by cuts elsewhere in the city. The matter goes before the City Council Tuesday night.

Cal-Fire says a blaze burning near Cherokee was contained this weekend.  The Branch Fire burned 92 acres since Thursday.  Investigators say it was caused by a large bird making contact with power lines.  Officials say fire crews will continue to patrol the fire and work to extinguish hot spots.

Butte County firefighters say there were four blazes within a five hour period this weekend...two of those are considered suspicious.  The fires happened in Palermo and Paradise between Saturday night and Sunday morning.      In Paradise, flames broke out at a home on Rosemary Court around 2 AM Sunday.  The fire caused an estimated 150 thousand dollars in damage.   A small vegetation fire was reported on Upper Palermo Road Saturday night.   A vegetation fire also occured around Melvina Avenue...another fire damaged the Christian Faith Center.  Those two fires are considered suspicious and are under investigation.

No charges will be filed in the vehicular death of a Paradise teen in May. Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey says though quote "tragic", the death of 13 year old Skyler Milner is not criminal, so no charges will be lodged against the man whose vehicle hit him, 63 year old Kenneth Hunt. Ramsey reportedly says video shows Hunt was not impaired and was driving at 30 miles an hour when Milner entered a cross walk on the Skyway on May 31st. The 13 year old Milner was killed.

A 26 year old man has been arrested in Butte County following an accidental shooting that injured a juvenile.  The Sheriff's Office says the girl suffered a gunshot wound to her back Sunday.  Authorities searched several homes looking for Donald Browning and located stolen guns.   Browning was found Thursday at a home in Thermalito and arrested on weapons charges.


Cal-Fire says a blaze near Cherokee has burned 25 acres.  Authorities say crews face poor access and steep terrain while battling the Branch Fire.  The blaze, which started Thursday, is 15 percent contained.  The cause is under investigation.

A Chico transient arrested after allegedly assaulting another man with a guitar outside of a local bar.   Chico Police say the 28 year old victim was found on the sidewalk on East 2nd Street early this morning with a head injury.   Witnesses told investigators the victim was hit in the head multiple times with a guitar.   The victim was taken to a local hospital.  Police arrested 21 year old Jacob Miller on suspicion of assault.

Butte County will purse civil actions against some property owners who are allegedly performing illegal grading operations. Those operations are for suspected marijuana grows. The lawsuits target 7 different properties, mostly in the upper Oroville area, for being a public nuisance. The suits also order each owner to remove all plants, structures and equipment from grading sites. The Public Works Department says one operation involved building a greenhouse without permits. 

The search is on for a new city administrator in Oroville.   The Mercury-Register reports the City Council held a round of interviews Wednesday and will interview more applicants next week.  The city started looking for a new city administrator in May after the council was unable to negotiate a long term contract with Interim Administrator Peter Cosentini.

ATLANTA (AP) — U.S. Department of Defense officials have identified a Tehama County soldier who was killed in Afghanistan. Officials say 22-year-old Army Spc. Nicholas Burley of Red Bluff, Calif. died Tuesday about 70 miles south of Kabul. Department of Defense officials say Burley died after enemy forces attacked his unit with indirect fire.

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