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KPAY News Archives for 2019-11

Gridley Child Pornography Arrest

Detectives issued a search warrant at the Gridley home of 40-year-old Christopher McBride Monday. Computers and other electronic devices were located and detectives allegedly found hundreds of images of child porn downloaded from the internet. This after an investigation that began in August of this year led detectives to McBride. According to the Butte County Sheriff's Office, McBride was booked into the Butte County Jail for two felony counts of child pornography charges.

Aaron Rodgers and NVCF Give to Spring Valley School in Concow

A Concow School will get some help thanks to Aaron Rodgers and the North Valley Community Foundation. A $100,000 dollar donation from The Aaron Rodgers NorCal Fire Recovery Fund and the Butte Strong Fund of the NVCF will bring a new playground to the Spring Valley School near Concow. After the Camp Fire the Concow School was forced to close. The students then relocated to the Spring Valley School which had been closed since 2010. According to a news release, since that closure the school fell into disrepair. A new playground is one of the key needs of the Kindergarten through 8th grade school.

Storm Prep

Butte County officials are urging residents to be prepared for the storm that's expect to be here until Thanksgiving Day. Rain, strong winds, thunderstorms and mountain snow are expected. Residents are being urged to have a backup plan to be safe. Butte County officials say those living above 1,000 feet should make sure that your propane tank is full in order to have a backup source of heat and if you have a generator make sure it has enough fuel.  

Butte County officials also say we could see snow in areas that do not normally get snow. They say to make sure that you have a plan for how to dig out of your driveway and to stock your car with flashlights, food, water, a shovel, tow strap, and jumper cables. 

Multiple Suspects Arrested at a Butte County Marijuana Grow

Search warrants were executed Monday at three properties along Bonnie Meadow Lane in Brush Creek. This came after a traffic stop earlier this month where detectives reportedly learned that the occupants of the vehicle were traveling to Bonnie Meadow Lane to buy a large amount of marijuana. 
While servicing the search warrant, detectives allegedly found over 12 hundred marijuana plants, hundreds of pounds marijuana in various stages of processing. Two illegal rifles and other fire arms were found along with 14 thousand dollars in cash. While at the site detectives arrested 12 individuals for cultivation of marijuana.
Authorities say additional suspects are being sought.  

Cherokee Road Work Next Week

Motorist can expect delays next week as crews repair portions of Cherokee Road. Butte County Public Works will be replacing two failing 12-inch culverts on Cherokee Road. The repairs will take place from Monday through Wednesday next week from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm and will affect the area of Cherokee Road between Dutzel and Patterson lanes. According to Butte County officials, the roadway will be open, but motorists can expect delays around 15 minutes. Officials are encouraging residents to use alternate routes if possible.

Weapons Violation Arrest

State Parks Officers located a vehicle in the Sacramento River Wednesday and wanted to check on the owner's safety. Chico Police joined State Parks Officers at a residence on Roycroft Lane off of Nord Avenue for a welfare check where they found the reported owner of the vehicle, 36-year-old Dr. Alfred Villasenor inside. Villasenor allegedly was armed, wearing body armer, however, police say he chose to surrender to officers. According to Police, Dr. Villasenor is prohibited from possessing firearms due to a Restraining Order.

Butte County/Paradise Hazardous Trees Letters

Letters have gone out to Paradise residents who may have hazardous trees on their property. The letters from Butte County and the Town of Paradise advise residents who have hazardous trees on their property that could impact the public right-of-way or public property MUST enter into either the Government or Private tree removal program. Both require a right of entry form. According to Butte County, the deadline to submit right of entry or inspection access forms is December 20th.

CA Insurance Commissioner Issues Notice

Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara issued an emergency notice Wednesday requesting that all property and casualty insurance companies doing business in California expedite claims for those affected by wildfires across the state in order to help them begin the recovery and rebuilding process more quickly.

The Commissioner is asking insurance companies to provide greater flexibility with some deadlines and documentation typically required to pay claims.

For more information you can visit:

PG&E Community Resource Centers in Butte County


PG&E is opening Community Resource Centers for those impacted by the Public Safety Power Shutoffs. The centers provide water, coffee and tea, snacks, ice, charging stations, WiFi, restrooms, blankets upon request and heating or cooling.


In Butte County:


Parking Lot: Bangor Union Elementary School

7549 Oro Bangor Hwy

Bangor, CA



Costco parking lot

2100 Dr Martin Luther King Jr Pkwy

Chico, CA



Strip mall

14144 Lakeridge Court

Magalia, CA



Bird Street School

1421 Bird Street

Oroville, CA


All locations are open from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff Today

The PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff has started this morning and will happen throughout the day - some areas may not be impacted until 4 pm today.

Officials with PG&E say more than 13 thousand customers will be impacted in Butte County including portions of Chico, Oroville, Paradise, Magalia, Stirling City, Bangor, Berry Creek, Butte Meadows, Clipper Mills, Cohasset, Forbestown, Forest Ranch.

Flourney, Manton, and Mill Creek in Tehama County are among the communities PG&E removed from the list of impacted areas to make a smaller power outage footprint.

Oroville Man Accused of Murder Changes Plea

42-year-old Brian Madding changed his plea from not guilty to no contest Monday to the charges of first degree murder during the commission of first degree burglary. According to the Butte County District Attorney's Office, Madding changed his plea as the jury was being picked for the trial.

Maddind allegedly stabbed 86-year-old Greta Putnam to death at her Oroville home during a burglary back in 2018. Oroville Police detectives found evidence reportedly linking Madding to the crime. Madding faces a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Red Flag Warning

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for portions of Northern California from late Tuesday night through Thursday morning. According to the Weather Service, the combination of low humidity, extremely dry fuels, and gusty winds from the north is leading to critical fire weather conditions. The portions of the Sierra Foothills and the Sacramento Valley are under the warning.  

PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff Latest

PG&E has added three more counties that could be impacted by the possible power shut off Wednesday. Monday the utility added Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, and San Mateo to the list, now making it 22 counties that could be impacted by the power shut off. Butte, Glenn, Tehama, and Shasta are among those counties. PG&E says about 300,000 customers will be affected.

This due to high winds forecast for Wednesday and Thursday along with high fire risk.

Butte County Energy Authority Inaugural Meeting

The Butte County Energy Authority will meet at 5:30 tonight at the Board of Supervisors Chambers. The Energy Authority is a joint powers agreement between the city of Chico and Butte County. It is a Community Choice Aggregation Program, which allows most county residents a choice for where they purchase their energy from.

According to a Butte County press release, County and City officials expect the Butte County Energy Authority to launch in 2021.

Tree Removal Meeting Tuesday Evening

The latest in a series of tree removal meetings will be from 6:30 to 8:30 Tuesday night at the CMA Church on Clark Road in Paradise. The meeting gives residents information about the Tree Removal Program. Should residents want to Government to remove trees they'll need a right of entry form.

The deadline to enroll for that is Friday December 20.

PG&E is Warning of Another Public Safety Power Shutoff This Week

According to a PG&E press release, their metrologists are monitoring a potentially strong offshore wind event on Wednesday. Wind gusts are being forecast in excess of 50 miles per hour in the Sacramento Valley and Sierra foothills along with the North Bay Wednesday through Thursday night. This could prompt a power shut off to several Northern California counties including portions of Butte, Glenn, Tehama, Yuba, Sutter and Shasta counties on Wednesday and Thursday. Officials with the utility say the power shutoff could impact around 250 thousand customers.

Ranch Fire 100% Contained

Cal Fire is reporting that the Ranch Fire in Tehama County is 100 percent contained. The blaze started November the 3rd and burned 2,534 acres southwest of Red Bluff. 

Changes to Fair Plan

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California residents who lost their home insurance because of the threat of wildfires could soon buy comprehensive policies from a state-mandated plan funded by the insurance industry.

Private insurance companies have been dropping policies of many people who live in fire-prone areas as wildfires continue to threaten the state.

Most turn to the California FAIR Plan, an insurance pool mandated by state law that is required to issue policies to people who can’t buy them through no fault of their own.

But the FAIR Plan policies are limited. On Thursday, Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara ordered the plan to begin selling comprehensive policies by June 1. He also ordered the plan to double homeowners’ coverage limits to $3 million by April 1.

Lara said the changes reflect the state’s “new reality.”

South Chico Shooting Suspect Found and Arrest

On Thursday Chico Police Detectives spotted 25-year-old Cody Pettigrew driving a vehicle in the area of Humbodlt Road and Forest Avenue. Multiple patrol officers assisted the detectives making a traffic stop on Pettigrew's vehicle. Pettigrew was arrested after a brief foot chase.

The arrest stems from an incident on August 15th when Pettigrew allegedly shot at an occupied vehicle near the intersection of Forest Avenue and Humboldt Road. According to Chico Police, no one in the vehicle was injured in the incident.

An Oroville Man Arrested For Inappropriate Contact With a Minor

28-year-old Trevor McElhaney was arrested in Oroville Thursday, this after he was suspected of having unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.
Detectives conducted several interviews including with McElhaney who allegedly admitted to the crime. According to the Butte County Sheriff's Office, McElhaney was arrested for two felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor.

Chico PD Turn Your Vape Program

The Chico Police Department's School Resource Unit says any school aged youth in Chico that turns in a vape device to any School Resource Officer will receive coupons for free items at local businesses, no questions asked and no discipline as a result of turning in the devices. .

According to the Chico Police Department, certain restrictions may apply and there's a limited quantity of coupons.

Gridley Man Sentenced for Stealing Truck and Injuring Truck's Owner

24-year-old John Dudley Pilgram received five years in State Prison and was ordered to pay more than $27,000 in restitution to the victim.

The incident happened on July 10th when Pilgram stole a truck from a Gridley Auto Body Shop. The owner of the truck tried to stop him, but was dragged as he hung on to the door and the inside of the truck. The owner ended up getting injured when he fell to the pavement as Pilgram accelerated. According to the Butte County District Attorney's Office, the victim was airlifted to the hospital for significant injuries. Pilgram took the truck to Yuba City, where he admitted he intended to sell it to buy heroin.

A Chico PD K9 Aids Officers in a Drug Arrest

Officers conducted a traffic stop in the area of the Esplanade and East Lassen Avenue before 2 Saturday morning. A K-9, named Aron, was deployed and reportedly detected narcotics. Officers allegedly found Methamphetamine in the vehicle and on the driver, identified as 37-year-old Ricardo Castrejon. He was arrested for possession of a controlled substance and for drug paraphernalia.

Police say K-9 Aron was rewarded for his hard work with an extra scoop of dog food.

Arrests Are Made During a Stabbing Investigation

Officers arrived to a business on Myers Street in south Chico around 10:30 Saturday morning where they found an Hispanic man who had been stabbed nearby on Valine Lane near Comanche Creek. During the search a suspect, identified as Christian Roberts was found and arrested for assault with a deadly weapon. During the investigation officers contacted Janelle Pineda who was said to be a witness. During questioning she reportedly became combative and allegedly reached for a knife. According to the Chico Police Department Pineda was arrested, after struggling with officers, for resisting arrest and for being in possession of methamphetamine.

Chico Collision and Arrest

Officers arrived to the area of Cohasset Road and the Esplanade around 5:30 Sunday evening where they found a 64-year-old man suffering from major, but non-life threatening injuries. He was taken to the hospital for treatment. During the investigation officers learned that the pedestrian was believed to be outside of the crosswalk at the time of the collision. Police say one driver, traveling northbound, hit an item that belonged to the pedestrian. A 2nd driver, also traveling northbound, reportedly struck the victim. According to Chico Police, one of those drivers, 63-year-old Karen Bumgarner was allegedly found to be under the influence of alcohol and was placed under arrest.

Ranch Fire Latest

Diminished intensity of fire behavior has allow crews to make headway on the Ranch Fire in Tehama County. 
The blaze has burned 2,534 acres and is 45% contained. 
According to Cal Fire, crews continue to mop up and construct containment lines. 

Three Men From Outside of the Area are Arrested By Butte County Deputies

A traffic stop leads to 3 arrests and concealed weapons for Butte Sheriffs. The incident happened early Wednesday morning when Deputies on patrol stopped a GMC Yukon. A K9 smelled narcotics and a search yielded a firearm and several large duffel bags that were empty plus more than $164,000 in currency. According to the Chico Police Department, three men, identified as 47-year-old Tan Tran of Caledonia, Wisconsin, 55-year-old Hershell Chambers of Conyers, Georgia, and 31-year-old Miguel Aponte of Los Angeles were arrested and charged with possession of a concealed firearm, conspiracy to commit a crime and possession of U.S. currency.

Felon Arrested During Traffic Stop in Chico This Morning

Officers conducted an enforcement stop in the area of the Esplanade and 7th Avenue in Chico before 1:30 am. Officers contacted the driver, 43-year-old David Sumahit of Orland and determined that he was on Post Release Community Supervision and the subject of an active felony warrant.

Officers reportedly found a loaded sawed-off shotgun, a switchblade, and pepper spray. According to Chico Police, Sumahit was arrested for a variety of felony weapon charges and the active felony warrant.

Highway 70 Fatal Crash

A collision on Highway 70 in Palermo leaves one man dead this morning. CHP reported that a woman from Oroville was driving south on Highway 70 between Ophir and Palermo roads in Ford Fusion before 4 am when they say she struck a man walking in the road. CHP officers say the pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene, he is being described as a middle-aged African American man. The driver was treated for minor injuries from broken glass. The CHP says they are attempting to determine why the man was walking in the roadway.

Oklahoma Woman Arrested for Embezzling Thousands From Elderly Camp Fire Survivor

The Butte County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday the arrest of 29-year-old Brenda Rose Asbury for elder abuse, embezzlement and grand theft. She's charged with taking more than 63,000 dollars from a 75 year old Camp Fire survivor. She'll be arraigned on the charges Thursday, November 7th.

Sate Assembly District 1 Special Election Results

Megan Dahle wins the District 1 State Assembly special election. The California Secretary of State's website lists Republican Megan Dahle with more than 57 percent of the vote topping Democrat Elizabeth Betancourt who received 42 percent of the vote. Megan's husband Brian Dahle left that assembly seat vacant after winning a State Senate seat. District 1 stretches from suburban Sacramento to the state's northeastern corner including portions of Butte and Shasta counties.

Chico Southbound Highway 99 Collision

The CHP reported a multiple vehicle collision on southbound Highway 99 just north of the Skyway off ramp just before 8 this morning. A Nissan Altima collided with a Toyota. One or two other unknown vehicles were also caught up into the crash. Minor injuries are being reported. At last report the CHP is saying southbound traffic is at a complete stop from East 1st Avenue.

Hit & Run Arrest

Chico Police make an arrested after a hit and run incident. A woman had been walking her dog on Petersen Memorial Drive after 2 Monday afternoon when she was reportedly struck and knocked to the ground by a passing vehicle. The pedestrian was able to provide a description of the vehicle and the driver. The victim was treated at the scene for her injuries. According to Chico Police, officers found and stopped the suspected vehicle driven by 30-year-old Brian Dinsmore of Paradise who was arrested for felony hit and run and D-U-I.

Tree Removal Meeting Wednesday Night

The meeting from 6:30 to 8:30 PM will be at the Spring Valley School on Pentz Road in Oroville. Both Paradise and the county recently passed ordinances calling for the removal of hazardous trees from the Camp Fire that could fall into public roadways. Property Owners can have their trees removed at no out of pocket cost by enrolling in the Government Tree Program but it requires a right of entry form. More information will be at the meeting. 

Butte County Sheriff's Office Camp Fire Badges

Members of the Butte County Sheriff's Office will be wearing newly designed badges to commemorate the one year anniversary of the Camp Fire. The badges feature a center seal depicting the Honey Run Covered Bridge which was destroyed during the fire. The seal also includes the phrases "Camp Fire 2018" and "Butte Strong", which the sheriff's office says signifies our resiliency in the aftermath of the disaster. Sheriff's office members are said to have collaborated on the design of the badge and they are authorized to wear the badges for one year. According to a Butte County Sheriff's Office press release, the badges are to be worn the month of November in subsequent years.

10 Oroville Area Residents Arrested Last Week

Multiple individuals were arrested late last week at a home in Palermo for various charges including drugs sales, illegal possession of firearms, and possession of stolen items. This as Butte County detectives followed up an investigation after a driver, Shane Keck lead deputies on a vehicle chase earlier last week. He was arrested for vehicle theft. A welder and a lumber rack were reportedly removed from the vehicle. This lead authorities to the home in Palermo.

Chico PD 2019 Halloween Arrest and Citation Statistics

Chico Police have released their 2019 Halloween statistics. The arrest and citation statistics covered Friday October 25th, Saturday the 26th and Halloween night last Thursday. Chico Police increased staffing levels for the that three day period and focused on the south campus area where officers were kept busy with large parties and crowds.

There were a total of 22 misdemeanor arrests and three felony arrests during that three day period. There were a total of 65 citations handed out. More than 50 of those were for minors in possession of alcohol.

According to a Chico Police press release, last year at this time saw 51 traffic citations, but this year there were only 12.

Chico Police Catch a Burglary Suspect Earlier This Week

Staff of Coast Physical Therapy on Mangrove Avenue drove to the business just after 9 Tuesday night to find a broken window at the business. When they went to check, they reportedly saw a man inside the business. That man, identified as 30-year-old Christian Berkeley walked off into an alley. Officers arrived and quickly located Berkeley. According to Chico Police, Berkeley was booked into the Butte County jail for burglary.


Check Before You Light Season Begins Today

Check Before You Light advisories will be issued from the Butte County Air Quality Management District on days when strong inversions take place between November 1st and February 29th. County officials say excessive wood burning can create conditions that are unhealthy for sensitive groups and during days when advisories are issued they ask residents to voluntarily refrain from using wood-burning devices if possible. Officials say to Check Before You Light by visiting or by calling the District Hotline at 332-9409 or toll free at (855)332-9409.

Wood stove and fireplace use within in Chico City limits on advisory days is restricted by a city ordinance. Call the City of Chico at 896-7241 for more information.


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