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KPAY News Archives for 2019-09

Willow's Pot Grow Bust

Glenn County authorities shut down an illegal marijuana grow in Willows. Drug agents were called out to a property on County Road KK after ongoing complaints from neighbors about a large outdoor grow. Agents found and destroyed 189 Marijuana plants. They also found a hand gun and two rifles along with nearly 12 thousand dollars in cash.

According to the Glenn County Sheriff's Office, investigators contacted 56-year-old Jorge Rojas and 47-year-old Elizabeth Navarro reportedly live at the residence. They also found another man living in a trailer on the property. All three were arrested on miscellaneous felony charges.


Camp Fire Victim Update

The Butte County Sheriff's Office has reduced the known Camp Fire Victims from 86 to 85. It was found by some anthropologists at Chico State that one of the cases previously classified as "unidentified" is actually a bone fragment belonging to 74 year old Robert Quinn of Paradise. He'd previously been identified as a victim back in January. The number of unknown victims is at one.

PG&E Customer Resource Centers in Butte County

PG&E says Customer Resource Centers will be open today at 8 am until power restoration is complete in the impacted areas of Butte County. A center set up at the Harris Stadium Parking Lot on Third and Mitchell avenues in Oroville and in Magalia at the center on the 14 thousand block of Lakeridge Court. 
The centers provide restrooms, water, charging for mobile devices, and air conditioning.

PG&E Power Restoration Update

Some Butte County residents remain with out power as PG&E restores power after Wednesday's Public Safety Power Shutoffs. According to PG&E this morning, power has been restored most of the counties of the North Bay and Sierra foothills impacted by the power shut offs. As of this morning's update from PG&E over 3,440 Butte County residents are still without power. PG&E spokesperson Paul Moreno says crews are safely working to restore their power. Service is expected to be returned today.

No Classes Today for Paradise Unified School District

Classes are canceled today for all schools in the Paradise Unified School District. This due to the PG&E power shut off. School officials say the schools are closed for the safety of the students.  

Caltrans Motorist Alert

Caltrans is asking motorists to be alert this morning due to the PG&E power shut offs affecting stop lights around near Smartsville, Oroville, and along the ridge. They say to take caution at the intersections and to treat it like all stop intersection.

Classes Cancelled at Butte College's Main Campus

Butte College has posted on their twitter page that their main campus is closed and classes are cancelled due to PG&E's power shut off. 
The Chico Center, Skyway Center, Cosmetology Center, and Glenn County Center are not effected by the poweroutage and will have classes as normal. 

PG&E Second Public Safety Power Shutoffs

PG&E is confirming, this morning, that it has shut off power to seven North Bay and Sierra Foothill counties including portions of Butte County. The shutoffs started around 2 am due to hot, dry, and windy weather conditions. According to PG&E, over 48 thousand people in portions of Butte, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sonoma, and Yuba counties will effected by the shutoffs.

According to PG&E spokesperson Paul Moreno, after the dry and windy weather has passed, PG&E crews will visually inspect over 27 thousand miles of power lines to ensure they are free from damage and safe to energize. Depending on weather conditions and if any repairs are needed, outages could last longer than 48 hours.

PG&E Community Resource Centers

PG&E has set up Community Resource Centers in areas affected by the Public Safety Power Shutoff. The centers will be open during daylight hours only and will provide restrooms, water, charging for devices, Wi-Fi and air-conditioned for 100 customers. 
The centers in Butte County are located at Harrison Stadium parking lot at Third and Mitchell avenues in Oroville and at 14144 Lakeridge Circle in Magalia. 
In Yuba County there will be a center in Oregon House at 9185 Marysville Road. 

PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff Butte and Two Other Counties

PG&E has shut off power to portions of three northern California counties. The utility initiated a Public Safety Power Shutoff affecting about 27,500 customers in portions of Butte, Nevada, and Yuba counties in the Sierra foothills. According to PG&E spokesman Paul Moreno that number went up from 21 thousand after two transmission lines were added due to increased vegetation concerns. 
Moreno says customers in the affected areas may have their power restored for a brief time on Tuesday before a second power shutoff Tuesday night.    
Butte County affected areas include: Bangor, Berry Creek, Brush Creek, Feather Falls, Forbestown, Hurleton, Oroville, Palermo, Rackerby, and Yankee Hill. 
PG&E says there are over 15 thousand customers in Butte County that are affected by the shutoff. 

Chico Shoplifting and Resisting Arrest

Officers were called out to Kohl's and Springfield Drive before 7 Sunday night after a man was allegedly seen shoplifting merchandise from the store. An employee pointed out the suspect to officers who attempted to detain the suspect. The man reportedly struggled with officers. Police say the suspect, identified as 25-year-old Mark Bailey was eventually taken into custody. According to Chico Police, Bailey and the an officer sustained minor injuries during the struggle.

Chico Police Looking for a Stabbing Suspect

Chico Police are on the lookout for a stabbing suspect. Officers arrived to the intersection of West 3rd and Cedar streets around 2 Saturday morning where they located a man suffering from several significant stab wounds. The victim was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

According to Chico Police, witnesses saw two Hispanic males flee the area before officers arrived. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Chico Police Department at 897-4911.

A Report of a Shooting Death Leads Authorities to an Illegal Pot Grow

Around 1 Saturday morning deputies were dispatched to a residence in Berry Creek after a report of man who had allegedly shot himself. The man was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. Detectives at the residence discovered a large marijuana grow. According to the Butte County Sheriff's Office, numerous illegal items were located at the property including a butane honey oil lab, processed marijuana, and an illegal assault weapon. 40-year-old Jeramy Claflin and 31-year-old Carl Lee were arrested for manufacturing a controlled substance and other related charges along with weapons charges. Authorities are on the lookout for 25-year-old Romtin Ziaee who they say left the residence before deputies arrived.


Romtin Ziaee pictured below:

Search for Woman Accused of Embezzling an Elderly Camp Fire Survivor

An arrest warrant was issued Friday for 29 year old Brenda Asbury for elder abuse, embezzlement and grand theft. Authorities believe she took more than 63 thousand dollars from a 75 year old Camp Fire survivor. According to the Butte County Sheriff's Office, the money was part of an insurance settlement. If you have any information on Asbury's whereabouts, you're asked to call Butte County Detective Will Brewton at (530) 538-7671.

93.9 KPAY New Frequency

93.9 KPAY Newstalk has a newly updated Twitter page! you can now follow local news, weather and sports highlights on Twitter.

DNA Helps Chico Police Nab a Burglary Suspect

On January 22nd a burglary was reported on the 13 hundred block of Ridgewood Drive. Justice Department recently gave the Chico Police a report on the lab work which found D.N.A. on various items reportedly left at the crime scene. That led to 29 year old Kyle Richard Baldwin, a transient from Chico. According to a Chico Police Press Release, Baldwin was arrested recently for Burglary and for three out of county warrants.

Three Arrested in Chico for Sexual Assault of a Minor

22-year-old David Hamilton was taken into custody late last month after detectives received information that he had allegedly been molesting the juvenile. As detectives further investigated the incident they discovered information that 23-year-old Vincent Baldera and Hamilton's girlfriend 27-year-old Chelsey Klein were also reportedly found to be assaulting the same victim. Baldera was arrested earlier this month and Klein was arrested Wednesday. According to Chico Police, all three were arrested for sexual assault of a minor. Both men were also charged for possession of child pornography.

Chico Police believe there are additional victims in this case. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Chico Police Department.

Butte Strong Grants

The Butte Strong Found has committed an additional $1 million in grants, this week, for Camp Fire recovery.


According to a press release from the North Valley Community Foundation:


$500,000 was granted to the Butte County Fire Safe Council to keep tree removal projects moving before the rainy season hits.


$200,000 was provided for caseworker positions because, according to the North Valley Community Foundation, there weren't enough government funded positions to address the need.


Adventist Health Feather River received a $49,000 grant to help pay for a facility to allow ambulance service to return to Paradise.


Grants were also given to assist recovery centers in the upper ridge area and a meeting space in Concow.

Missing Chico Woman

The Butte County Sheriff's Office is alerting the public of a missing Chico woman. 84-year-old Barbara Olmstead was reported missing earlier thie month. Investigators suspect that Barbara is with her niece 55-year-old Rebekah Vierow of North Highlands. On September 10th investigators spoke with a woman who identified herself as Barbara. According to authorities, she was supposed to contact the local CHP office to be removed from the missing person system. However, as of Tuesday Barbara has not been officially located and the phone numbers for Barbara and Rebekah are reportedly not working.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Detective Jake Smith with the Butte County Sheriff's Office at (530) 538-7321.

Body Found Near Chico Church

The Chico Police Department received a call around 4:15 Tuesday afternoon stating that a body was found near a church on the 2000 block of Magnolia Avenue. Officers and Chico Fire personnel arrived and confirmed that the unidentified man was deceased. According to Chico Police, a preliminary investigation indicates the death was most likely the result of a medical condition.

Glenn County CodeRED Alert Test This Morning

The Glenn County Sheriff's Office will be conducting a test of the CodeRED and Nixle mass notification systems this morning. Glenn County officials say this is just a drill to test the functionality of the system and not an actual emergency. According to a Glenn County Sheriff's Office press release, those registered can receive alerts in various forms including a voice call, text, email, and through the CodeRED App. The drill is conducted annually in September as part of National Preparedness Month.

There are three ways to register for Glenn County alerts:




2. Text:


CodeRed: Text GlennCodeRed to 99411


Nixle: Text your zip code to 888777


3. Download the CodeRED mobile app to your smart phone through the Apple or Google Play stores

Chico Missing Man

31-year-old Nicholas Smith was reported missing Monday night after he called a friend and told them that he was possibly lost in Upper Bidwell Park. A Search and Rescue team went into early this morning, but was called off until 5 am when further personnel could assist with specialized equipment. Police say they have not yet found Smith.

Anyone who has had any contact with Smith since he's been reported missing is asked to contact the Chico Police Department at 897-4900.

Chico Bike Store Burglary Arrest

Chico Police Officers responded to a report of a burglary at North Valley Bicycle on Cohasset Road early Tuesday morning. A nearby officer saw a man riding a new bicycle. Officers reportedly confirmed that the bike had been stolen and found additional evidence linking the man, identified as 29-year-old Robin Fox. According to Chico Police, he was arrested for commercial burglary and was booked into the Butte County Jail.  

Chico Police Arrest an Alleged Drug Addict with Firearm

A gun found in a car leads to an arrest in south Chico. Officers on patrol around 1230 Saturday morning at the Walmart Parking lot on Forest Avenue where they found a woman slumped over the wheel of a vehicle. Officers checked on the woman and determined the woman had allegedly used heroin causing her to pass out. Officers located a backpack with a gun inside belonging to a passenger of the vehicle who was believed to be on foot in the area. That passenger was identified as 28-year-old Ian Broughton who was reportedly spotted at In-N-Out Burger. Police say he went into the bathroom to allegedly disguise his appearance. He was arrested after exited the bathroom and charged for being an addict in possession of a firearm.

Chico Fatal Train Verses Pedestrian

Chico Police officers were called out to a fatal train verse pedestrian collision over the weekend. Officers arrived north of West 1st Street after 9:30 Saturday night where the train was stopped on the tracks. According to Chico Police, the pedestrian was found nearby and pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of the incident is being investigated. Anyone with information is asked to call the Chico Police Department at 897-4910.

Man Accused of the Head-on Collision That Killed a Popular PV High Teacher and Coach Gave his Plea

Ramon Barrera Jr. plead guilty in a Glenn County courtroom Thursday to vehicular homicide. According to the Glenn County DA's Office, Barrera drove his Ford Fusion recklessly passing vehicles on Highway 32 in 2017 which resulted in a head on collision with a vehicle driven by Brett Silva. Silva died in the crash and his two children were severely injured.

Barrera Sentencing is set for October. He faces up to six years in prison.

Oro Quincy Highway to Reopen Near Mountain House

A section of Oro Quincy Highway near Mountain House damaged by storms will reopen later today. Butte County Department of Public Works officials announced Thursday that all roadway repairs on the highway have been completed and that the roadway is scheduled to reopen to traffic at 5 this evening.

According to officials, two locations on the highway near the community of Mountain House experienced catastrophic failure during storms in 2017.

The over 2 million dollar price tag for the project was primarily funded by Federal Emergency Relief funds with supplemental funding from the SB1 state gas tax.

The county wants to thank local residents for their patience as officials worked for federal funding and environmental approvals necessary to allow the repair project to move forward.

PG&E Settlement

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric and a group of insurers say they have reached an $11 billion settlement to cover most of the claims from the 2017 and 2018 wildfires in California. The utility said in a statement Friday the tentative agreement covers 85% of the insurance claims, including the Camp Fire.

Over $1 Million of Grants Going Towards Camp Fire Relief

The North Valley Community Foundation, Camp Fire Long Term Recovery Group, and Community Housing Improvement Program have received a grant of $1.1 million from a national charitable organization, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.


A $500,000 grant to the N-V-C-F will help fund the Butte County Office of Education's Trauma Response and Recovery Project. That project pays for healing and recovery initiatives for Butte County Schools.


A $250,000 grant also went to the N-V-C-F which will support the foundation's housing project to provide permanent housing in the burn area for dozens of families and individuals.


The Camp Fire Long Term Recovery Group was awarded over $114,000 to support the Camp Fire Resource Center.


The Community Housing Improvement Program or CHIP received $250,000 to support the reconstruction of affordable multi-family housing in Paradise destroyed by the Camp Fire.

Assemblyman James Gallager Helps to Secure Funding for Ridge Charter Schools

Gallagher announced Wednesday that he was able to secure an amendment to a budget bill that will ensure backfill funding for Camp Fire impacted charter schools in the Paradise ridge area. According to Gallagher's office, without this backfill, impacted school districts could have lost anywhere between 3 million and 11 million dollars for this school year and between 12 and 36 million for the next school year. Gallagher says it's crucial to the economic recovery of Paradise and other affected areas.

Chico Shoplifting Arrest

A shoplifting suspect is arrested by Chico Police after returning to the scene of the crime. Officers responded to the Safeway on Mangrove for a report of shoplifting around 2 Tuesday morning. The suspect fled the area before officers arrived. Employees told officers that the suspect frequents the store at the same time every night. Early Wednesday morning officers conducted extra patrols throughout the parking lot of the supermarket. An officer spotted a man matching the suspect. Safeway employees identified the man as the suspect. He was identified as Daniel Cooper of Chico. 

Chico Stolen Vehicle Arrest

The owner of the stolen vehicle reportedly saw a woman driving her car about 1:15 Tuesday afternoon. Officers found the car near Manchester Road allegedly driven by Jennifer Wilder and another woman, a passenger, was not involved, according to police. Wilder was arrested for being in possession of a stolen vehicle. Officers also reportedly found Wilder in possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia.

Tehama County Man Arrested for Stash of Guns and Ammo

RED BLUFF, Calif. (AP) — A Tehama County man has been arrested after authorities say he stashed an arsenal and thousands of rounds of ammunition in a survival bunker.

The Red Bluff Daily Record says Gary Stiles was arrested Monday for weapons violations.

The Tehama County district attorney's office says the 62-year-old Red Bluff man had to surrender his guns because of a restraining order against him for allegedly harassing numerous people but prosecutors received tips that he still had them — and was still threatening people.

Investigators went to Stiles' remote home and found a steel bunker buried 10 feet underground.

Investigators say on Stiles' property, they found 60 handguns, rifles and shotguns, including seven illegal semi-automatic rifles; 50 high-capacity magazines and some 50,000 rounds of ammo.

North State Fires Updates

Firefighters a battling wildfires around the North State......

the Swedes Fire burning east of Oroville on Swedes Flat Road and Oro Bangor Highway has burned 400 acres and is now listed at 60 percent containment.


The Forbestown Fire burning east of Oroville in the area of Forbestown and Hurleton roads has burned 58 acres and is still at 90 percent containment. Cal Fire officials say the blaze is in a burn scar from two years ago with dead and downed trees.


The U.S. Forest Service says containment on the Walker Fire in the Plumas National Forest is still at 10%. That fire has burned over 44,300 acres.


Further north in Tehama County, fire crews have now contained 55% of the Red Bank Fire that has destroyed two structures and burned 8,838 acres. The blaze started by lighting on Thursday has burned through brush and timber west of Red Bluff.

It led to mandatory evacuations that remain in place.

South Chico Pursuit

A man is custody after allegedly using his vehicle as a weapon and leading Chico Police on a pursuit. Officers arrived to the Chico Mall before 1:30 Monday afternoon and learned that man, identified as 43-year-old Nathaniel Lowe came up to someone claiming his girlfriend had been kidnapped. Officers were then called out to Highway 32 and Bruce Road where a woman told them that the driver of a maroon pickup allegedly intentionally hit her car. The woman was unhurt in the crash.

Officers located the pickup truck in the area of Highway 32 and Forest Avenue where the driver, identified as Lowe reportedly lead officers on a pursuit. According to a Chico Police Department press release, officers immobilized the vehicle and Lowe was taken into custody. The kidnapping claim was found to be false.

Chico Naked Burglary Suspect Arrest

Officers arrived to West 4th Street just before 6 Sunday morning after receiving a burglary call. Officers learned that a man allegedly entered the residence and took items. The 21-year-old female resident told officer that she confronted the suspect after she awoke to allegedly find him laying next her to naked. Officers found a man fitting the description, now fully clothed about to leave in a vehicle in the area of 2nd and Hazel streets. That man, identified as 19-year-old Jaquane Baldwinbadger of Sacramento was reportedly found in possession of property taken from the victim and was arrested.

Forbestown and Stone Fires

The Forbestown Fire is getting closer to full containment. That fire has burned 58 acres 85 percent contained. The blaze started Friday in the area of Forbestown Road and Hurleton Swedes Flat Road east of Oroville. According to Cal Fire, the forward spread has been stopped. The cause of fire has is under investigation.



Crews have stopped the forward progress of a wildfire burning in northeast of Oroville. The Stone Fire started around 10:30 Sunday night near Berry Creek and has burned over 3 acres. Cal Fire says Bulldozer lines have stopped the forward progress of the blaze.

The Butte County Sheriff's Office posted this morning that the evacuation warning has been lifted for Encian Grande Road and all roads coming off of it.

Swedes Fire UPDATE

Crews continue to make progress on the Swedes Fire burning east of Oroville. The blaze has burned 400 acres and is now 40 percent contained. The fire started Saturday afternoon in the area of Swedes Flat Road and Oro Bangor Highway.

All evacuation orders have been reduced to evacuation warnings. According to Cal Fire, two structures have been destroyed by fire. Authorities say only residents in those area will be allowed back in with identification.

Assemblyman James Gallager's AB 430 Is Now Before Governor

Assemblyman James Gallagher's AB 430 is now before the Governor. Gallagher's housing bill moved through the full Assembly Thursday and was sent to the Governor's desk. A.B. 430 is officially called the Camp Fire Housing Assistance Act of 2019 and will help fast track housing construction by streamlining environmental regulations. Chico will NOT be part of the measure, after asking to be excused from the legislation because it supports the State's Environmental Quality Act or CEQA. Those cities that will benefit include Biggs, Corning, Gridley, Live Oak, Orland, Oroville, Willows and Yuba City.

Red Bank Fire in Tehama County

The Red Bank Fire burning west of Red Bluff has now burned 6,500 acres and is 5 percent contained. 
The blaze started Thursday afternoon off of Hammer Loop Road and Petty John Road. 
There are evacuation orders for Petty John Road to the Forest Service Boundary and for Red Bank Oaks Subdivision, and R-Wild Horse Ranch. 
According to Cal Fire, the blaze is burning in a remote location with difficult access.

Chico Police Labor Day Weekend Stats

The department increased staffing for the holiday weekend, but police say there were no significant events in the south campus area.

Police say there were 48 misdemeanor arrests and 6 felony arrests. Along with that there were 64 traffic citations, 34 vehicle impounds, and 37 alcohol citations.

According to the Chico Police Department, the numbers represent a decrease in arrests and citations from the previous year.

Millions in State Funding Heading to Chico and Oroville

State Senator Jim Nielsen and Northstate Assemblyman James Gallagher have announced securing 5 million dollars in the state budget to help cities that have absorbed a large population of Camp Fire survivors. Chico will receive 3 million dollars and Oroville will receive 2 million dollars. That money will go towards replacing and improving the infrastructure of the two cities.

According to the press release, Chico and Oroville officials will decide in the coming weeks how to allocate these funds to address public safety, roads, traffic, and other impacts.


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