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KPAY News Archives for 2019-08

Body of Missing Chico State Student Found

The Butte County Sheriff's Office says it is the body of 22 year old Anthony Mahr of Chico who was first reported missing on the river on August 20th. Mahr's body was located about a quarter mile from Scotty's Boat Landing in the Sacramenot River after 10:30 Thursday morning. According to the Butte County Sheriff's Office, a fisherman called in about 9 in the morning to report the find.

The cause of death is under investigation. 

Butte County Pot Raids

From Feather Falls to Bangor, Butte County Authorities arrest 25 for illegal pot grows in a series of raids from July 9th through August 21st. In all, the Special Enforcement Unit removed more than 12 thousand six hundred marijuana plants and also 200 pounds of processed marijuana. Some 13 firearms were also seized. Some of those arrested were from Oroville but the others were mostly out of the area from Sacramento to Mexico City.

An Oroville Man Charged with Raping Three Woman Gave His Plea In Court

25 year old Nicholas David Snowden pleaded guilty Tuesday in a Butte County courtroom after he was arrested April 30th. Authorities say Snowden drove each woman to remote locations within the county and is said to have threatened them with a knife and sexually assaulted them.

Authorities first noticed his SUV on surveillance video in the area where one of the assaults happened. It was then an investigative assistant noticed a vehicle matching the description of the suspect's vehicle that led to the arrest. According to the Butte County District Attorney's Office, Snowden is set to be sentenced on September 26th where he could face 25 years or more in state prison.

Forest Ranch Murder Arrest

Deputies arrived before 9:30 Tuesday morning to a business in Forest Ranch, where they learned that 25-year-old Robert Anderson of Chico had been taken to a local hospital for a large laceration on his leg. Anderson told authorities that he had been in a physical altercation with another man at a home on Schott Road. Deputies discovered a deceased man in the driveway of that home. That man has been identified as as 30-year-old Gunther Rupprecht of Forest Ranch. According to a Butte County Sheriff's press release, Anderson was then charged and arrested for first degree murder.


Tree Climbing Man Arrested in Chico

Police, Fire, and EMS personnel arrived to the Chico K-Mart parking lot near the intersection of Pillsbury and Cohasset roads after reports of a man who had climbed 25 feet up a tree and appeared to be agitated. Witnesses told officers that it looked as though the man might fall or jump out of the tree. A fire truck deployed a ladder and officers convinced the man to come down. The man, identified as 52-year-old Mark Lee was found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia and was arrested.

Oroville Assault Arrest

An investigation in to an assault in Oroville leads to an arrest. The Butte County Sheriff's Office announced Monday that 30-year-old Colvin Archuleta was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon that took place last Thursday evening.

That night deputies contacted the victim who had sustained serious head injuries. He was taken to the hospital where he underwent surgery. According to a Butte County Sheriff's Office press release, the victim is currently listed in stable condition. Archuleta was arrested after detectives reportedly found evidence including a green baseball bat.

Anyone with additional information about the assault is asked to contact the Butte County Sheriff's Office at 538-7671.

Emergency Cooling Center Open Today and Tuesday

With temperatures being forecast early this week in the triple digits, the city of Chico has opened the emergency cooling center for today and Tuesday. The cooling center is located in the dining room at the Jesus Center at 1297 Park Avenue will be open from 10 am to 9 pm both days. City officials say there will be restrooms and hydration for those seeking a respite from the heat.

Mountain Fire

A wildfire burning northeast of Redding has caused thousands to evacuate Thursday. Cal Fire officials say the Mountain Fire started Thursday afternoon in the area of Bear Mountain Road and Dry Creek Road north of Bella Vista and has burned 600 acres and is now 40 percent contained. According to the Shasta County Sheriff's Office, over one thousand homes were threatened and nearly four thousand people were evacuated Thursday.

SR 299 is now reopened to traffic between Old Oregon Trail and Deschutes Road.

Shasta College's campus has been closed.

Chico Bank Robber Sentenced

56-year-old David Curry of Sacramento was sentenced Wednesday to 40 years to life in prison for a bank robbery in Chico.

That robbery happened at the U-S Bank on the Esplanade back in 2016. Authorities say Curry pulled a gun and threatened to kill one of the tellers during the robbery. Curry was found in Tacoma, Washington six months later after committing a bank robbery in that area. According to the Butte County District Attorney's Office, Curry has committed a total of six bank robberies in four states. He has sustained three prior convictions for bank robberies which qualifying offenses under California's Three-Strikes law resulting in a life sentence.

District Attorney Mike Ramsey says he hoped Curry's long and checkered bank robbery career is finally over.

I-5 South of Willows Fatality

At least one person is reported dead after a car collides with a party bus south of Willows this morning. A Honda Accord in the southbound lane of Interstate 5 reportedly crossed over into the northbound lane and collided head-on with a Ford F-550 party bus just after 12:30 this morning. CHP officers shut down both northbound lanes of the highway. Enole Flight Care landed on the highway and took one patient. CHP is also reporting at least one fatality.   

Butte Strong Fund Latest Grant

The Butte Strong Fund has recently awarded 17 grants totaling more than 800 thousand dollars for Camp Fire Recovery Efforts.


Over 200 thousand dollars went to the Roadmap to Recovery Program from the nonprofit, United Policyholders. The program includes free workshops to help fire survivors receive insurance settlements.


50 thousand dollars is going towards the reopening of Pee Wee Preschool which is one of the only remaining preschools in Paradise.


25 thousand dollars went to Campaign Propane which works to deliver propane to areas affected by the Camp Fire.


According to a press release from the Butte Strong Fund, the rest of the grant funding went to various organizations and local schools.

Chico PD Large Amount of Arrests Wednesday

The Chico Police Department says Wednesday was a bad day to commit crimes. Between the hours of 9:30 am and 4 pm, officers made a reported 11 arrests. The department stated that this was an abnormally large amount of arrests for such a small amount of time. The arrests ranged from shoplifting to domestic violence. One man was arrested after reportedly striking the rear window of a patrol car with his forehead, breaking the window.   

Chico PD Traffic Alert for Burnie Sanders Town Hall

The Chico Police Department is alerting residents to increased traffic today in the area of 1110 West East Avenue due to Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders hosting a town hall event at the Masonic Family Center. Police say traffic could be impacted between 9 am through 2:30 pm.

Police are advising residents to use alternative routes during that time frame.

South Chico Shooting Manhunt

Chico Police received several reports of shots fire near the intersection of Forest Avenue and Humboldt Road around 2:30 Thursday afternoon. Police units arrived and located an occupied vehicle that had allegedly been struck by gunfire. Police say no one was injured. The suspected vehicle was located at an apartment complex near Hank Marsh Jr. High School. Officers were at the scene for several hours and evidence was recovered. However, the suspect was not located. During the incident Marsh Jr. High and Little Chico Creek Elementary School were placed on lock down. According to a Chico Police Department press release, there were very few students at Marsh Jr High School because it was a half day. Students at Little Chico Creek were safely released to their guardians during the incident.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Chico Police Department at 897-4911.

Chico Fire Investigation

The fire started along the Comanche Creek Greenway and bike path near East Park Avenue about 3:15 Wednesday afternoon. Chico Fire and Police responded to the area. Firefighters quickly contained the fire to about a forth of an acre. According to the Chico Police Department, officers and fire personnel determined that the fire originated from a small encampment along the creek. Officers searched the area for those responsible for staring the blaze.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Chico Police Department 897-4900.

Chico Shooting

Chico Police received several calls of shots heard near the intersection of East 10th and Palm avenues around 9:30 pm. Officers arrived and began canvassing the area but could not locate a victim or a suspect. Police say about an hour and 15 minutes later, a 24-year-old man walked into Enloe Medical Center reportedly suffering from a gunshot wound. He was treated for a non-life threatening wound and is listed in stable condition. According to police, the victim acknowledged that the shooting occurred near Palm Avenue.

Police are asking anyone who may have seen or heard something, to contact the Chico Police Department and reference case # 19-005927.

Chico Late Night Pursuit

Chico Police are searching for suspects in a late night pursuit. An officer initiated a traffic stop on a Honda CRX for reckless driving on East Lassen Avenue before 11 Wednesday night. However, the driver of the Honda reportedly kept driving leading the officer on a chase. Another officer joined the pursuit and a third officer deployed a spike strip on Keefer Road which police say flattened the vehicle's tires. The suspect reportedly drove into an orchard west of Highway 99. Police later found the car abandoned. According to a Chico Police Department press release, officers searched the area, but could not find the two male occupants of the Honda.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Chico Police Department at 897-4910.

Chico Animal Cruelty Arrest

Officers located a motorhome parked on Orchard Drive in Chico, around 1:15 Tuesday afternoon. Officers noticed several dogs had been left unattended in 95 degree heat. Police say one of the dogs died. There was allegedly no water available and the ventilation was poor.

42 year old Annabella Ray reportedly admitted she'd left the dogs unattended for 3 and a half hours. According to a Chico Police press release, Ray was arrested for cruelty to animals while the remaining 7 dogs were taken to a local vet clinic.

Assault Weapons and Drugs Allegedly Found At a Residence of a Felon

The Chico Police Department received information before 8:30 Sunday night that 26-year-old Francsico Ramirez had violated the terms of a domestic violence restraining order. About an hour later officers attempted to contact Ramirez at his apartment on Notre Dame Boulevard. Due to Rodriguez being on probation for domestic violence, officers forced entry into Rodriguez residence. Officers searched the apartment and reportedly found two assault rifles and an alleged stolen pistol along with ammunition. According to police, officers also found nearly three kilograms of marijuana and evidence of drug sales. Ramirez was arrested for multiple charges.

Chico Vehicle Pursuit

A vehicle pursuit in Chico early this morning leads to arrests. While an officer was at a call at a business on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive after 4:30 am the officer spotted the driver of a vehicle allegedly speeding through the parking lot in a reckless manner. The officer attempted to stop the vehicle but the driver reportedly failed to yield initiating a pursuit. Police say the vehicle ended up driving down a bike path along Comanche Creek west of Park Avenue. At the end of the bike path the vehicle stopped and two occupants got out and fled on foot. According to a Chico Police press release, other officers arrived and found the two suspects, identified as 49-year-old Bennie Dickinson and 32-year-old David Miles both of Chico.

Chico PD Responds to Syringe Distribution Proposal

Police Chief Michael O'Brien sent a letter Monday to the AIDS Center for Infectious Diseases of the California Department of Public Health where he stated that although he appreciated the motives of the N-V-H-R-C he was concerned how their current proposal would allow the distribution of syringes adjacent to Chapman Elementary School and Community Park.

According to a Chico Police Department press release, Chief O'Brien also stated his concern that the proposal was NOT a syringe exchange, but a distribution program. He says there is no requirement in the proposal for anyone to exchange used syringes for clean ones.

Butte County Vehicular Manslaughter Plea

A Rackerby Man charged with vehicular manslaughter gives his plea in court. 65 year old William Mandril pleaded guilty in Butte Superior Court Wednesday to the charges following a multi-vehicle collision on Lower Wyandotte Road last October. The investigation found Mandril's vehicle crossed the center line and struck two vehicles and also struck three bystanders who stopped to help a disabled vehicle. 20 year old Hillary Wilhite of Oroville was killed and seriously injuring the other two.

According to authorities, multiple drugs were allegedly found in Mandril's system.

The District Attorney's Office says sentencing for Mandril is set for October 18th where he could face six years in prison.

Willows Stabbing Investigation

Deputies arrived to the Cedar Hills Apartment Complex, around 11:30 Monday night, where they found a man outside the laundry room who had been stabbed multiple times. The man told deputies that a man in a black hoodie had allegedly accosted him and stabbed him several time before running away. Deputies spoke with several residents who said they heard an altercation between several people prior to the stabbing. According to a Glenn County Sheriff's Office press release, the unidentified victim was taken to Enloe Medical Center where he was treated and released. 
The investigation is on going. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Glenn County Sheriff's Office at 934-6431. 

Chico PD Reassuring Residents in the Wake of Mass Shootings

The Chico Police Department is reaching out to reassure people in the wake of the shootings in Texas and Ohio. Chico Police Chief Mike O'Brien reminds people that active shooter drills were just conducted at the two Chico High Schools and that first responders will be prepared and deployed quickly. He adds the public is important, too, and must report any suspicious activity. Chief O'Brien reminds people the most effective action is PREVENTING such incidents and for that his department relies on a vigilant public.

Chico Shoplifting Confrontation and Arrest

A man entered Anthony's Liquor on the Esplanade and a customer reportedly spotted the man attempting to conceal a bottle of alcohol. When the clerk and the customer confronted the man, identified as 57-year-old Francisco Franco who allegedly started swinging the bottle of alcohol. Police say the bottle broke and Franco reportedly cut a customer several times. The clerk and other customers reportedly tackled Franco to the ground and held him there until officers arrived. According to the Chico Police Department, Franco was treated for a cut to his eye before being booked into the Butte County Jail for robbery, criminal threats, and assault with a deadly weapon. Police believe Franco was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident.

Nation Night Out In Chico Tuesday Night

The Chico Police Department is encouraging neighbors throughout Chico to spend tomorrow evening outside together from starting at 5 pm. During these neighborhood events Chico Police personnel will come by and visit. There will also be an event at Caper Acres in Bidwell Park where members of the Chico Police Officers' Association will be grilling hot dogs with appearances by a Chico Police K-9, Chico Fire and Rescue and other public safety personnel.

The annual campaign promotes the building of strong police and community partnerships.

The Chico Police Department says to register your neighborhood for the event you can call 897-5812.

Chico PD Street Crimes Unit Week 10

The Chico Police Street Crimes Unit completed its 10th week with a number of arrests. Officers with the unit made 17 arrests with many of those in the Esplanade Corridor from East Avenue to 11th Avenue as well as Bidwell Park. Many of the arrests were drugs or weapons related.

According to a Chico Police Department press release, the Street Crimes Unit has arrested a total of 150 people during its 10 weeks in operation.

Man Charged with Selling Cannabis Gummies to Students Gives Plea in Court

Jacob Murray of Oroville plead guilty late last week to selling marijuana gummy candies to Las Plumas High School students. An investigation led by school administrators and a school resource officer started after several students reportedly suffered adverse reactions.

Murray's vehicle was spotted in the campus parking lot back in April. A sheriff's deputy stopped the vehicle and contacted the driver, who authorities identified as Murray. A 15-year-old student was reportedly in the car with Murray. According to the Butte County District Attorney's Office, the deputy searched the vehicle and allegedly found a number of individually packaged cannabis gummies and several loose bills.

Chico Home Invasion Robbery Arrest

Chico Police received a report of a burglary after 3 Thursday afternoon at an apartment complex on North Cherry Street. Police were told that the suspect allegedly entered the apartment and tased the resident several times before the victim was able to flee. Officers arrived and reportedly found the suspect leaving the residence. Officers allegedly found a taser on the suspect, identified as 34-year-old Lawrence Studyvin along with property belonging to the victim. According to the Chico Police Department, Studyvin was arrested for home invasion robbery, assault with a deadly weapon along with other related charges.


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