KPAY News Archives for 2019-05

Chico Police Summer Street Crimes Unit Is Now Active

For the next few months the Street Crimes D Unit will focus on quality of life crime in the City of Chico for the next few months. Activity in the South campus area is greatly reduced as college students have finished the spring semester. Chico Police say this allows the department to dedicate an entire patrol team to street level crime such as robbery, burglary, gun, and drug offenses. According to Chico Police, the team will be active until mid-August at which time the team will resume normal south campus patrol duties.

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A New Location in Chico for a Butte County Department

An open house will take place tomorrow morning from 10 AM to noon for the County Employment and Social Services Department at it's new location is at 765 East Avenue, Suites 120 and 200 in Chico.

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NVCF to be Honored in Sacramento Next Week

The North Valley Community Foundation will be honored at the State Assembly Next Week. Northstate Assemblyman James Gallagher selected the NVCF as the 2019 California Non Profit of the Year. NVCF President and CEO Alexa Benson-Valavanis will travel to Sacramento to join 100 other nonprofit leaders statewide to be honored by legislators during luncheon as part of California Nonprofits Day on June 5th. NVCF has raised about 55 million dollars, so far, to Camp Fire help efforts.

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Suspicious Package Found at the Chico Library

Police respond to a suspicious package at the Chico Library. The staff at the library reported to police that they saw a suspicious package that was left near the front entrance. No one reported seeing any one leave the package. Officers arrived and looked at the parcel, but could not determine if the package was safe. The Butte County Interagency Bomb Squad arrived and authorities closed a portion of Sherman Avenue and the Library was evacuated. According to a Chico Police press release, after the package was examined, it was determined to be innocuous and the roadway and Library were reopened.

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3 Deaths in Oroville UPDATE

OROVILLE, Calif. (AP) —

Authorities say a man shot his wife and 8-year-old son to death before killing himself at an Oroville home.

 

The Butte County Sheriff's Office says deputies found the bodies Tuesday night in Oroville after receiving a call from the woman's brother who said he hadn't seen her in more than a week.

 

The man told authorities there was a smell coming from the sister's home.

 

The Sheriff's Office says investigators determined that a domestic dispute within the past two weeks led 32-year-old Francesco Milone to shoot 30-year-old Kaela Steele and their son, Franklin Milone, before taking his own life.

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Butte Strong Foundation Grants for this Week

The Butte Strong Fund has awarded more than $100,000 for recovery efforts for the Camp Fire this week. More than $27,000 went to the Paradise Alliance Church to cover the cost of the regular Community Dinner for another three months and $25,000 to the Sacramento Grove of the Oak which provides refilled propane tanks for Camp Fire survivors. The rest of the grants were awarded to St. John's Episcopal Church, the White Pony Express who are in partnership with the North State Food Bank and Listening Sessions who are working with Community Based Recovery.

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A Deputy Responds to a Suicidal Man on the Cherokee Bridge

Deputy John Thomas arrived to the bridge on Cherokee Road where he found a man reportedly leaning over the bridge making suicidal statements around 8:45 Tuesday morning. Deputy Thomas was able to safely remove the man from the bridge. Authorities say Deputy Thomas then talked with the man, de-escalating the situation. The man then agreed to go with the deputy to the hospital where a clinician with the Butte County Behavioral Health met with the man for a mental health evaluation.

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Investigation Into Oroville Suspicious Deaths

A man called the Butte County Sheriff's Office around 8:45 Tuesday night saying that he had not heard from his sister in over a week. He said that he was at his sister's residence in the area of Yellow Hammer Drive and Tyme Way where he described a smell coming from the driveway. He then opened a window and said he could see her lying on the floor. Deputies arrived and entered the home where they reportedly found three deceased individuals. The deaths are under investigation. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Butte County Sheriff's Investigations Unit at 538-7671.      

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Oroville Domestic Violence Arrest

Deputies were dispatched to a residence in the area of V-6 Road and Lower Wyandotte Road in Oroville after a report of domestic violence Monday. Before arriving deputies learned that the suspect, identified as 26-year-old Robert Kongle had allegedly twisted the victim's hand causing injury. When the first deputy arrived he found two people inside a vehicle. Shortly after the victim was allegedly pushed out of the driver's side door. During this time Kongle would exit the vehicle and then get back into the car, ignoring orders from the deputy. For fear Kongle was going to evade arrest by vehicle pursuit that, along with his aggressive behavior prompted the deputy to deploy his K-9 partner "Rico". Kongle however, fought with the dog including punching and attempting to smother Rico Kongle was finally arrested after other deputies arrived. He was taken to the hospital for treatment before being booked into the Butte County Jail for a slew of charges.

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Downtown Chico Strong Arm Robbery

Officers arrived to the Children's Park around 11 Thursday night where they found a man laying on the ground bleeding from his head. The victim told officers that four young males approached him and allegedly attacked him, then took his property. The victim was taken to the hospital for facial injuries. According to a Chico Police press release, the suspects were described as two black males, one white male, and one Hispanic male.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Chico Police Department at 897-4910.

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Underground Power Lines Will Be Apart of the Paradise Rebuilding Process

Aaron Johnson, Vice President of Electric Operations at PG&E made that announcement Wednesday at a special meeting of the Paraidse Town Council.

He said that PG&E will put all electric distribution power lines in the town of Paradise and some surrounding areas, including parts of Magalia. Johnson said reducing wildfire risk and residents desire to not have obstructions, along with other factors helped with making the decision. He also said that Paradise is well suited for the underground build as PG&E already needs to replace nearly 75 miles of damaged natural gas and drainage systems.

According to a PG&E press release, the underground rebuild should take about five years to complete.

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Chico Traffic Stop Arrests

The man who struggled with deputies after an early Monday morning traffic stop has been identified. 31 year old Shelton Wardsworth of Chico attempted to take off on foot after Butte County Sheriffs Deputies stopped a vehicle he was inside in the area of East 1st Avenue and the Esplanade before 2:30 Monday morning. Authorities say before fleeing Wardsworth was noticeably nervous while deputies were patting him down. While deputies were reportedly struggling to detain Wardsworth they allegedly found a gun in his pocket. He was arrested for mutiple charges. 30-year-old Shatana Goods of Chico and 44-year-old Andrea Reichenbach of Oroville were also arrested, both for possession of drug paraphernalia.   

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National Dam Safety Day Next Week

PG&E is urging residents and those who recreate below dams to have an emergency plan as a part of National Dam Safety Awareness Day. That day happens every year on May 31st which commemorates the failure of the South Fork Dam in Pennsylvania in 1889. PG&E encourages those living, working, and visiting downstream of dams to have an evacuation plan and be able to recognize the signs of a potential dam breach. According to a PG&E press release, those signs are intensified sound of rushing water, increased water speed or depth, an unusual amounts of debris in the water, a change in water from clear to muddy, and unusually cold water temperatures.

For more information go to www.pge.com/hydrosafety and www.fema.gov/protecting-our-communities/dam-safety

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Skateboarder Stabbed and Robbed in Chico

A 31-year-old man walked into Enloe Medical Center's emergency room suffering from multiple stab wounds around 6:15 Monday night. The victim told officers that he had been traveling on Magnolia Avenue near the 8th Avenue roundabout, on his skateboard when he was confronted by a man who demanded his belongings. The man then allegedly stabbed the victim numerous times and took his backpack. The victim had limited information hindering officers from developing leads. Chico police are urging anyone who has information on this incident to contact the Chico Police Department at 897-4900, reference case #19-003667.

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A Man Was Struck and Killed by a Train in Chico Over the Weekend

An Amtrak train that was traveling south, rounded a slight curve near West Sacramento Avenue, before 5 Saturday morning when the engineer noticed a man laying across the tracks. The Engineer attempted to stop the train, but was unable to avoid striking the man. The railroad crossing at West Sacramento Avenue was closed for about an hour while officers investigated the collision. According to Chico Police, the identity of the man has not yet been made.

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Butte County Measles Outbreak Has Been Interrupted

Butte County Public Health says the measles outbreak in Butte County has been successfully interrupted. According to a Butte County Public Health press release, if no additional cases occur, the outbreak will be declared over on June 2nd after two incubation periods have passed since the last case.

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Paradise Water Sample Volunteers

Paradise Irrigation District is looking for volunteers to allow water sampling at their properties. The district plans intensified water quality samplings the first two weeks of June. According to a PID press release, they will be sampling services at standing structures that include businesses, homes, and temporary housing as well as locations which have been issued a building permit.

If you can have your service shut off from June 1st to June 15th -- they ask that you register online at www.pidwater.com/watersampling or call PID at 877-4971 by May 24th.

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A Vehicle Burglary in Chico Leads to a Pursuit

A witness spotted a man allegedly breaking into a car at the Chico Kmart parking lot around 3:45 Wednesday afternoon and reportedly saw him take items from the vehicle. Officers arrived and found the suspect as he was driving in the area of East Avenue and Floral Avenue. Officers attempted to stop the vehicle but the suspect drove off. Officers pursued the suspect briefly but decided to terminate the pursuit due to the way the suspect was driving, coupled with the wet weather. Minutes later an officer spotted the suspect, identified as 35-year-old Robert Gonzalez walking near Lindo Channel. According to a Chico Police press release, officers found and searched his vehicle where they allegedly located burglary tools and the stolen items.

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A Chico Man is Sentenced for the Murder of His Mother

32-year-old Alton Facciuto was sentenced to 30 years to life in state prison, Wednesday, for the murder of 60-year-old Sherry Facciuto. The incident happened in January of 2018 when Sherry's husband reported her missing from their home in north Chico. Deputies arrived and found Sherry's body in an outbuilding at the residence. Later that evening her car was found crashed into a fence behind a business on Dr. Martin Luther King Parkway and police say Alton was seen fleeing the area. He was found and arrested the next day. Arresting Officers said that Alton had scratch marks on his face. According to the Butte County DA's Office, DNA evidence collected at under Sherry's finger nails connect Alton to the murder.

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A Multi-Car Crash Near Pleasant Valley High School Leads to an Arrest

The Chico Police Traffic Unit responded to the crash after 7:30 Monday morning. Officers learned that 66-year-old Clarence Perry Jr. was traveling southbound on Ceanothus Avenue at allegedly twice the posted speed limit for the school zone. His car then reportedly collided with a slower moving vehicle ahead of him. According to a Chico Police press release, the force of the collision caused a chain reaction of impacts that involved four vehicles. Several passengers were taken to the hospital, but police say no one was seriously injured. Parry was arrested for driving under the influence of a controlled substance, causing injury along with other related charges.

 

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Glenn County Pot Grow Arrest

Two men are arrested in Glenn County after authorities find a marijuana grow that violated county code in Orland. 30 year old Omar Prado of San Jose and 37 year old Rafael Acosta-Gomez of Modesto were reportedly on the property at 4550 County Road FF west of Orland Thursday. Authorities found a dog that was improperly chained up along with unsafe electrical lines. The two were arrested for animal cruelty, cultivating marijuana and maintaining a place for the cultivation of marijuana. 

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CA Insurance Claims at 12 Billion After Wildfires

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Insurance claims have topped $12 billion for the November wildfires in California, making them the most expensive in state history.

The figure released Wednesday by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara covers the fire that destroyed the town of Paradise and two Southern California blazes.

Most of the damages relate to the Paradise fire, which killed 85 people and destroyed nearly 19,000 buildings.

The increasing destruction by wildfires is making it harder and more costly for people to obtain homeowners insurance in the state.

A series of sweeping fires in California in late 2017 had been the most expensive, with claims topping $11.8 billion.

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PG&E Board Members Ordered to Tour Paradise

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal judge on Tuesday ordered board members of Pacific Gas & Electric to tour the Northern California town of Paradise, which was leveled by a wildfire that may have been caused by the utility’s equipment.

The judge ordered the tour as part of the utility’s punishment for violating its felony probation terms, reported the San Francisco Chronicle.

PG&E was convicted and placed on felony probation after one of its natural gas pipes exploded in 2010 killing eight people in the San Francisco suburb of San Bruno.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup says he wants the utility’s newly appointed board to focus the company on complying with new wildfire safety plans approved by regulators. Complying with the plan is the utility’s top probation condition.

Alsup said during a court hearing in San Francisco that PG&E’s top executives need to “see the gravity of what happened up there” and indicated he will likely join the tour too.

“The board of directors ought to see firsthand the devastation” in Butte County, Alsup said.

After the hearing, PG&E’s newly appointed chief executive Bill Johnson told reporters he also planned to tour Paradise.

PG&E announced last month it was hiring Johnson and replacing 10 of its board members as part of a dramatic overhaul of a company that filed for bankruptcy in January in the face of billions of dollars in potential liability from huge wildfires in California in 2017 and 2018.

The utility has been blamed for more than a dozen of California’s most destructive wildfires in the past two years. The November fire that essentially wiped out Paradise was the deadliest and most destructive in state history.

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Orland Barn Fire Body ID

The woman who died in a barn fire near Orland late last month has been identified as 50 year old Christina Hicks of Orland. Authorities were able to use Rapid DNA testing to identify the remains. The barn fire happened on April 25th. According to a Glenn County Sheriff's Office press release, it was believed that Hicks had been living there. There is no known cause for the fire or whether foul play was involved. The investigation continues.....anyone with information on this case is urged to contact the Glenn County Sheriff's Office Major Crimes Unit at (530) 934-6431 or contact them in person at 543 West Oak Street in Willows.

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A Section of Oro Dam Blvd. Will Briefly be Closed Later Today

Oroville Dam Blvd. East will be closed between Glen Drive and Hyatt Powerplant Access Road between 4:45 to 5:15 pm Today. DWR Officials say the closure is due to construction blasting in the area. Officials say motorists in the area can avoid the bypass by taking Canyon Drive to Olive Highway or Glen Drive to Oro-Quincy Highway to Olive Highway. 

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A Traffic Stop in Oroville Leads to a Drug Arrest

A Butte County Sheriff's Deputy conducted a stop on a vehicle with expired registration on Monte Vista Avenue near Farley Street after 11 Sunday night. The deputy reportedly recognized the driver of the vehicle as 30-year-old Cameron Ponce of Oroville. Authorities say Ponce had an active felony warrant for his arrest. The deputy searched the vehicle and allegedly found over 5 ounces of heroin, nearly 2 grams of methamphetamine, steroids, Narcan and items used for the sale of narcotics. According to a Butte County Sheriff's Office press release, the deputy also allegedly found counterfeit money. Ponce was arrested for the sales and transportation of narcotics along with other charges.

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Wanted Chico Man Found in Florida

58 year old Michael Manning was going to be sentenced in 2015 for possessing and manufacturing child pornography when he failed to show in court and a suicide note was found on the Golden Gate Bridge. According to Chico Police, no body was ever found. Chico Police with the help of various agencies chased Manning through several communities in California and outside of the state. Then finally on May 3rd Manning was arrested using a false passport in Key West, Florida on a burglary call. He will be extradited to California.

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Shots Fired in Chico Leads to an Arrest

The Chico Police Department received multiple reports of what sounded like gunshots in the area of Porter Way and Rio Lindo Avenue around 9:30 Friday night. Witnesses told officers that they saw a man fleeing the area on foot. Officers found and detained Jordan Tapp behind a closed business on Rio Lindo Avenue. Tapp, who is a convicted felon currently on parole was found with a handgun. He was arrested for possessing that handgun, possessing meth, and being in violation of parole.

According to a Chico Police press release, officers did not locate any property damage and no one was injured from the shooting.

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LA Man Arrested for Sexual Assault in Chico

A woman was walking in the area of West 20th Street and Broadway back in March when she said she was forcibly grabbed and forced to the ground by an unknown man. He then sexually assaulted her. The victim said that she didn't know the man. Late last month Chico Police Detectives received a report from the California Department of Justice detailing DNA evidence collected that reportedly linked 34-year-old Ishmael Smith. According to police, he was located and arrested in Los Angeles. According to Chico Police, Smith is from Los Angeles, but police say their records indicate that he was a transient while he was in Chico. Smith will be extradited back to Butte County for prosecution.

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A Suspect in a Series of Armed Robberies is Now Behind Bars

Detectives have been investigating two armed robberies and an attempted robbery at Chico businesses that happened over a the last few months going back to December of last year. Based on evidence and surveillance video collected from the various businesses, detectives connected the robberies to Jesus Damian. 
According to the Chico Police Department, on April 20th a handgun was reported stolen from the Sportsman's Warehouse with Damian believed to be the suspect. 
Chico Police Detectives with the assistance of Glenn County Sheriff's deputies arrested Damian at his residence in Hamiton City.

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Teen Admits to School Shooting Threats

The 14-year-old boy admitted to a felony charge of criminal threats in Butte County Juvenile Court Wednesday. District Attorney Mike Ramsey said the felony charge arose from threats the boy made on social media sites back in February. Authorities say the teen posted on those sites using a fake account with another student's name. The school which is at a temporary location in Chico was put on lockdown when they found out about the threat. Chico Police were able to trace the posts to the boy's computer I-P address and email.

According to the Butte County District Attorney's Office, the teen faces up to three years in juvenile custody.

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Oroville Many Arrested for Sexual Assaults

25 year old Nicholas Snowden of Oroville was arrested near the Gold Country Casino Tuesday morning and charged with three counts of rape and false imprisonment along with other related charges. Authorities say the victims reported the rapes in February, March and April and in all three cases Snowden allegedly took them in his vehicle to secluded areas in South Oroville and sexually assaulted them and then released them. Detectives were able to use video surveillance video to locate Snowden's vehicle at the Maidu Mart Gas Station near the Casino where they found Snowden.

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Oroville Grants permit for FEMA Housing

The Oroville City Council voted unanimously, at a special meeting Tuesday morning, to approve a permit to allow FEMA to place 40 temporary housing units at the Rosewood subdivision on Mono Avenue. Oroville city officials are calling it transitional housing and that the permit will only be issued for 18 months. According to the Chico E-R, the city plans to place a permanent subdivision on the property after FEMA trailers have been removed, using some of the infrastructure which is now in place for the trailers.

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Oroville Grants permit for FEMA Housing

The Oroville City Council voted unanimously, at a special meeting Tuesday morning, to approve a permit to allow FEMA to place 40 temporary housing units at the Rosewood subdivision on Mono Avenue. Oroville city officials are calling it transitional housing and that the permit will only be issued for 18 months. According to the Chico E-R, the city plans to place a permanent subdivision on the property after FEMA trailers have been removed, using some of the infrastructure which is now in place for the trailers.

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NVCF Grants for this Week

The North Valley Community Foundation released 22 Camp Fire Relief Fund grants this week, totaling more than $457,566.

 

The Boys and Girls Clubs of the North Valley received $25,000 to cover the expenses related to operating a new facility to meet the increased demand for services in the wake of the Camp Fire.

 

$25,000 also went to Herff Jones Yearbooks for assistance to do a professional scan of past yearbooks to those who lost theirs in the Camp Fire, going back as far as 1962.

 

 

RV4Campfirefamily also received $25,000 to purchase used RVs and make ongoing repairs to recently purchased RVs.

 

For a full list of Camp Fire Relief Fund grants go to http://www.nvcf.org/nvcf-camp-fire-grants-made/

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