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KPAY News Archives for 2020-02

Butte County Officials are Encourging Participation in the 2020 US Census

Beginning March 12th the census questionnaire will be available online, by phone, or on paper.

County officials say the statistics from the Census are used for community development, emergency preparedness, job creation and infrastructure. The statistics are also used to help the county to allocate federal funding for important community services.

County officials say the Census Bureau is required by law to protect any personal information it collects and keep it confidential. They also say that the questionnaire does NOT include a question about citizenship status.

Visit for more information.

City of Chico Community Budget Fiscal Workshop

Chico city officials are inviting the public to a budget workshop. The City of Chico Community Budget - Fiscal Workshop will take place next month with the goal of informing residents on how the city receives and spend its money. The meeting will also show how the public can become more engaged in the process.

According to the City of Chico, the meeting will be on Thursday, March 12th from 10 am to 11:30 am, on the second floor of the Old Municipal Building at 441 Main Street.

Inaugural Butte County Museum Weekend

The event put on by Explore Butte County was created to promote and celebrate history, art, and culture through the county's network of museums and cultural centers. All participating locations will be open from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Entry at all locations will be free and a free shuttle service will also be available.

According to Explore Butte County, there will be 15 participating locations including the Gateway Science Museum, the Chico Air Museum, Oroville Chinese Temple, and the Gold Nugget Museum. For a full list of museums and cultural centers you can visit: com

Home Builders Resource Connection Tonight

Those looking to re-build in the Paradise Area are urged to come to the Home Builders Resource Connection today from 3 to 6 at the Paradise Alliance Church on Clark Road. The event is free to the public and will include officials from the Paradise Chamber of Commerce, Butte College, the Realtors Association and various Building Groups. Again that event is free, from 3 to 6 PM and is at the Paradise Alliance Church at 6491 Clark Road in Paradise. 

Chico Sexual Assault Arrest

A woman was walking on East 1st Street around 1:45 Tuesday morning, when she was approached by an unknown man. The man began talking to her and then allegedly started to touch her inappropriately. The victim was able to flee and then contact police. The man, identified as 25-year-old Adam Fulkerson had reportedly been contacted by officers earlier due to similar reports, officers however, were unable to develop probable cause for his arrest. Later Tuesday evening officers found Fulkerson on Mangrove Avenue. According to Chico Police, he was arrested after allegedly admitting to the sexual battery.

Magalia Residential Burglary Arrest

The Butte County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday the arrest of 32 year old Samantha Sappenfield for a February 18th incident in the area of Coutolenc Road. where several guns were taken. Deputies and detectives allegedly located stolen property at her Chico home. Detectives later found Sappenfield in downtown Chico where she reportedly admitted to the burglary. She was taken into custody for one count of burglary and being a prohibited person in possession of firearms. According to the Butte County Sheriff's Office, more arrests are anticipated. Anyone with information is asked to contact Butte County Sheriff's Detective Joe Hooks at 538-7671.

Butte County Museum Weekend This Saturday and Sunday

The event put on by Explore Butte County was created to promote and celebrate history, art, and culture through the county's network of museums and cultural centers. All participating locations will be open from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Entry at all locations will be free and a free shuttle service will also be available.

There will be 15 participating locations including the Gateway Science Museum, Museum of Northern California Art (monca), Chico Air Museum, Oroville Chinese Temple, and the Gold Nugget Museum. For a full list of museums and cultural centers you can visit:

Downtown Shooting Incident

Police are looking into a shooting incident in downtown Chico. Two men were walking on West 5th Street near the intersection of Oak Street around 1:15 Saturday morning when a small white sedan stopped in the roadway ahead of them. One of the occupants of the vehicle pulled a gun and allegedly fired a shot into the air and then a shot towards the two men, but they were not hit or injured in the incident. Police say the vehicle then sped off. According to Chico Police, there is no known motive for the shooting.

Chico Searching for Suspect in a Vehicle Pursuit

Chico Police officers responded to assist a CHP Officer who had conducted a traffic stop on the East Avenue off ramp of Highway 99 around midnight Sunday. The driver had been detained, but the male passenger allegedly locked the doors and jumped into the drivers seat. He reportedly took off and ended up on East 1st Avenue where police say he was speeding and failing to stop at red lights. For this reason officers backed off and the suspect, identified as 27-year-old Alex Bundlie of Paradise was able to get away. According to Chico Police, Bundlie is a wanted felon out of the Paradise Police Department and the Butte County Sheriff's Office

Anyone with information related to Bundlie's whereabouts is encouraged to contact the Chico Police Department at 897-4911.

Chico Fatal Motorcycle Collision Victim Identified

Timothy Sonnenberg, 66-years-old of Chico was the victim of a fatal motorcycle accident Wednesday afternoon. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. This after an elderly woman driving a Nissan was heading the wrong way on Forest Avenue near Springfield Drive around 4 Wednesday afternoon and reportedly struck a motorcycle head on. The Nissan then hit a white sedan, and then hit an S-U-V head on. The drivers of the vehicles were sent to the hospital for minor injuries. According to Police, the wrong way driver was determined to have a potential medical condition during the collision.

Oroville Residential Burglary Arrest

The Butte County Sheriff's Office announced Thursday arrested 24 year old Douglas Dotson of Oroville for a burglary of a residence earlier this month on Oro-Quincy Highway. He was reportedly identified because the homeowners had surveillance video. Some of the pictures were posted on social media and Dotson was identified from those. The Butte County Sheriff's Office is still looking for a second man who may have been involved in the burglary.

Several Arrested in Magalia for Burglary and Drug Charges

7 people, all from Magalia, were arrested Thursday after a residential burglary investigation. The robbery reportedly took place earlier this month on Honey Run Road in Chico. The prime suspect was 41-year-old William Lowrance. He was already in custody, and a search warrant on his residence turned up items related to the burglary.

Six more suspects were arrested:

21-year-old Heather Baker for residential burglary and 47-year-old Michele Cummings was taken into custody for an arrest warrant. While 47-year-old Derek Boni, 31-year-old Robert Dorle, 46-year-old Jodi Gillis, and 22-year-old Gary Sapien Jr were all taken into custody for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Butte Strong Fund Community Development Projects

The Butte Strong Fund is accepting inquiries from organizations seeking funding for community development projects in the Camp Fire Burn area. Officials with the Butte Strong Fund say they remain focused on its top two priorities of housing and health, however, they say this year groups can make requests for funding to augment larger projects to help build or rebuild community landmarks and gathering places. According to David Little of the North Valley Community Foundation, examples include historic landmarks, museums, and community centers. Grants would be between 50 thousand to 150 thousand dollars.

For more information on eligibility and how to apply you can visit 

Concow Fire Recovery Meeting

The meeting runs from 7 PM to 8 PM tonight and is at the Schoolhouse on 11666 Concow Road. Topics include the Tree Removal program, taxes, the Concow Hazardous Fuel Removal and other issues. 

Tree Removal Program Deadline

Tomorrow is the deadline to submit right of entry forms for the tree removal program. That is for either the Government or Private tree removal program. Both Butte County and the Town of Paradise require property owners to remove those trees burned by the Camp Fire.


ROE Forms and Inspection Access Forms can be submitted in Person at the Tree ROE Center at the Paradise branch of the Butte County Library in the Community Room at 5922 Clark Road - Monday through Friday 9 am to 5 pm.


The forms can also be submitted by mail:


Tree Removal ROE Prossessing Center


205 Mira Loma Drive, Suite 50


Oroville, CA 95965


or email:


For more information you can go to


Again, the deadline is tomorrow, Friday, February 21st.

Butte County Road Work

Butte County Road Crews will be working into April along Highway 70 to remove brush and overpopulated small trees. The fuel management project goes along Big Bend Road from Highway 70 to Nobb Road and on Dark Canyon Road from Big Bend to the end of the County maintained roadway. As well as on Pinkston Canyon Road from Highway 70 to Concow Road. Work will continue through April 17th. Officials say during work hours, roads will be reduced to a single lane of traffic. According to the Butte County Department of Public Works, motorists can expect delays of up to 15 minutes. The project will run from 7 AM to 3 PM.

CA Senate Republicans Package of Bills to Repeal and Replace AB 5

California Senate Republicans have introduced a package of bills which they say counteracts a recently passed job killing assembly bill. According to the California State Republican Caucus, The package of 11 bills aim to repeal and replace

According to the Los Angeles Times, A.B. 5 which sets a new standard for hiring independent contractors, by requiring many to be reclassified as employees. Two of the 11 bills have been authored by North State Senator Jim Nielsen. Those bills would exempt healthcare facilities and licensed pharmacists.

Senator Brian Dahle of Bieber also authored one the bills which would assist the timber industry.

Veteran's Treatment Court Ceremony

In 2018 Travis Bond was facing a possible jail sentence for felony vandalism. According to Collaborative Courts Coordinator Jennifer Hard, After years struggling to overcome Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Bond was accepted into the Butte County Veteran's Treatment Court in 2019.

Bond will be honored today at a graduation ceremony for completing various programs to help him gain skills to combat the disorder. The ceremony takes place at 2 PM at the Butte County Superior Courthouse in Oroville. Officials say as a successful graduate Bond is eligible to have his court case dismissed.

Chico Hardware Store Robbery

Officers responded to a report of a robbery at the True Value Hardware Store on West East Avenue around 1:15 Monday afternoon. A store employee told officers that he confronted a man who was allegedly stealing power tools. According to Chico Police, the suspect reportedly attacked the employee with pepper spray and then fled the store with the tools on a bicycle.

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

Butte Strong Fund

The Butte Strong Fund committee has approved several grants this month.


A 50 thousand dollar grant is going towards redesigning the clubhouse of the former golf course in Magalia into a conference facility for the Magalia Community Center.

50 thousand dollars is going towards a new service from the Paradise Alliance Church that will help residents who do not qualify for the government tree removal program. The program will partner with the Fuels Reduction Assistance Program.


Another 50 thousand dollars will go to the Gridley Live Spot Youth Center to provide meals, counseling, and mentoring for middle school and high school students. This after the influx of young Camp Fire survivors to the community.


A grant for 30 thousand dollars will help Chico Meals on Wheels deliver food to the ridge because Paradise Meals on Wheels no longer exists.


For a full list of grants you can visit:

Chico Party Shooting Investigation

Officers arrived to a house party in the area of West 2nd Avenue and Warner Street just after midnight Saturday to find party goers dispersing. According to Chico Police, many of those who were contacted denied any knowledge of a shooting. Minutes later however, a 20-year-old man arrived at Enole Medical Center suffering from a gunshot wound. The man told officers that he had been shot outside of the party after a large fight had broken out.

Police are asking anyone who witnessed the fight and the shooting to contact the Chico Police Deparment.

2 in Custody for the Shooting Death of an Oroville Man

Chico Police Officers arrested 33-year-old Justin Cozakas and 33-year-old Monica Stanton Ruggiero both of Chico Wednesday for the murder of 41-year-old John Noonan of Oroville. They were also charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Ruggiero had an additional charge for possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute/sale. The incident happened January 23rd when medics found Noonan suffering from gunshot wounds at the Motel 6 on Manzanita Court. According to Chico Police, Noonan was pronounced dead at the hospital.

PG&E Metallic Balloon Safety

With Valentine's Day this Friday, PG&E wants to show Chico residents how to safely handle and dispose of metallic balloons. PG&E representatives will be at the Sycamore Pool at the One-Mile Recreation Area at Bidwell Park this morning at 11:30 in order to warn customers about the pubic safety risks associated with helium-filled metallic balloons. They will show how to weigh down the balloons in order to keep them from floating into power lines causing power outages and fires. PG&E staff will also show how to properly deflate the balloons for re-use.

An Investigation Into a Two Year Old Berry Creek Murder Leads to an Arrest

40 year old Jasson Stepp was charged with the 2018 murder of 68-year-old William Chrisman in the Berry Creek area. Stepp was already in jail on an unrelated burglary charge when investigators tied him to the murder. He'll be arraigned Friday afternoon in Butte County Superior Court.
Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact Butte County Sheriff's Detective Joe Hooks at (530) 538-7671.

BCEA New Website

Butte Choice Energy Authority or BCEA is preparing to start its Community Choice Aggregation program. That program will serve electric customers within the City of Chico and unincorporated areas of the county. Officials expect the service to be available in the spring of 2021.

A website has been established with information about the Community Choice Aggregation process, board meetings, and status updates. You can access that website at:

New Director of Butte County Behavioral Health

The Supervisors Tuesday appointed Scott Kennelly as Director. Kennelly has been serving as Interim Director for the past 8 months. He'll now be tasked as overseeing Behavioral and Mental Health Services in Butte County.

According to a Butte County press release, Kennelly has been with Butte County Behavioral Health for 20 years.

Durham Crack Sealing Road Work

The dry weather gives Butte County Work Crews a chance to do crack sealing and other pavement maintenance work in the Durham area. Work begins February 13th and will go through February 28th. The treatment starts at Peterson Ranch Subdivision and then on various nearby roads. Workers will be placing sealant into cracks in the asphalt in order to help prevent the deterioration of the roadway surface and potholes from forming. According to Butte County Public Works, motorist in the area can expect minor delays while crews work from 7 am to 3 pm.

Zink Road Vegetation Removal and Fire Fuel Management

Butte County Work Crews will be performing fuel management along the gravel portion of Zink Road through April 10th. Work will also be going on at Bald Rock Road and Oro Quincy Highway from French Creek to the Plumas County Line. The work mostly involves removal of brush and over-populated small trees. Motorists can expect delays of up to 15 minutes. Work will go from 7:30 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon. According to Butte County Public Works, the gravel portion of Zink Road will be closed during work hours and officials say motorist should use Bald Rock Road as an alternative route.

Chico Resident's Death

Chico Fire and Rescue were dispatched to a possible medical issue at the bus stop near the Chico Cemetery on Mangrove Avenue just before 1 Sunday afternoon. When fire and medical personnel arrived it was determined that 54-year-old Bruce Bewley had passed away. According to Chico Police, there were no signs of criminal activity and the death appeared to be from natural causes.

A Traffic Stop in Chico Leads to an Arrest

Officers stopped the car near the intersection of Mangrove Avenue and Manzanita Court just before 10 Friday night. A K-9 responded and reportedly detected narcotics in the vehicle. Officers found over 82 grams methamphetamine and a large amount of Vicodin pills along with a digital scale and cash. According to a Chico Police press release, the suspect, identified as 48-year-old James Marshal was arrested for various drug charges.

Chico 7-Eleven Ice Cream Robbery Arrest

Officers arrived to the 7-Eleven on Forest Avenue around 11:30 Friday night where they learned the suspect had attempted to leave the store with an ice cream desert and when the employee confronted the man, he reportedly brandished a knife. Officers found 37-year-old Jeffry Williams near the corner of East 8th and Forest Avenue and officers reportedly found him in possession of a knife....he was positively identified as the suspect in the robbery and was arrested. According to the Chico Police Department, officers also learned that Williams has an outstanding warrant for a parole violation.

Chico Police Searching For Mountain Mike's Armed Robbery Suspect

A man entered Mountain Mike's Pizza on West 5th Street after 1 Sunday afternoon. The man was allegedly armed with a revolver and demanded money. The suspect was given an undisclosed amount of cash. He then fled the business running down West 5th Street. No one was hurt in the incident.
According to Chico Police, the suspect is a white male about 45 years old. Anyone with information about this robbery is encouraged to contact the Chico Police Department at (530) 897-4900.

PG&E Power Line Inspector's Report with PG&E's Response

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric is still operating a rickety power line near the one that ignited the Camp Fire. That's the finding of an expert inspector hired by lawyers for wildfire victims who lost family members and homes. PG&E filed for bankruptcy last year because of $50 billion in claimed losses from wildfires in 2017 and 2018. The findings released Thursday by the attorneys come as PG&E tries to persuade California Gov. Gavin Newsom the company has turned over a new leaf. PG&E has told a judge that it inspected 50,000 transmission structures in high-risk areas since the fire.

Meanwhile, PG&E Spokesperson Paul Moreno reached out to KPAY FM and said that last week after concerns were brought up about the transmission lines at Cresta Rio Oso crews checked those lines and did not find any immediate issues.

Butte County Theft Sentence

A woman falsely claimed to be a Camp Fire victim in an attempt to avoid a criminal sentence. 45-year-old Traci Wright was in court Thursday for her sentencing for grand theft charges. Those charges stemmed from the theft of clothing, jewelry, checkbooks, prescription medicine, and other items from a former roommate's residence in December 2017.

According to the Butte County District Attorney's Office, during her sentencing Wright claimed the reason for turning to theft was because she lost her home during the Camp Fire. However, the prosecutor pointed out that the theft happened a year before the fire and that Wright had been residing in Chico at the time. That prompted the Judge to give the maximum upper term of 3 years in county jail.

Nebraska Man Arrested for Forest Ranch Robbery

Butte County authorities believe 36 year old Robert Johnson to be the ringleader of a group of four that held three people at gunpoint and a large amount of money and marijuana was allegedly taken. On February 5th Investigators traced Johnson to the San Francisco Airport and they issued an Alert. Local authorities found Johnson in Placer County and reportedly found 28 thousand dollars in his vehicle. Johnson has since been booked into the Butte County Jail on charges of robbery and kidnapping. According to the Butte County Sheriff's Office, investigators are working on identifying the other three suspects in the robbery.

Butte County Drug Lab Arrests

The residents of Maple Lane in Oroville 9 called the Butte County Sheriff's Office Wednesday morning claiming that they were attacked by armed men.

Deputies reportedly discovered that the call was unfounded. However, in responding to the incident Deputies reportedly found items associated with a Butane Honey Oil Lab and illegal firearms in plain view. They also reportedly found meth, heroin, psilocybin mushrooms and a stolen ATV. According to Butte County Interagency Narcotics Task Force Sergeant Sam Burnett, they arrested 36 year old Tyler Birkley and 27 year old Marco Dagnino and booked them on several charges.

Chico Vehicle Pursuit Arrest

29-year-old Joshua Masterson was taken into custody Monday for a vehicle pursuit with Butte County Sheriff's Deputies in Chico on December 11th. This during an investigation when Butte County Detectives viewed video surveillance from a local store on the Vehicle Pursuit that occurred after an attempted traffic stop near West East Avenue. Masterson allegedly drove head-on into a Sheriff's patrol vehicle. No one was reported injured. According to the Butte County Sheriff's Office, Masterson was arrested for felony assault with a deadly weapon and felony evading deputies. He was also charged by State Authorities for a parole violation.

Offender Watch Recognizes Butte County Sheriff's Office Employees

A special ceremony is planned this morning for 2 Butte County authorities who will receive national recognition. Detective Jason Miller and Investigative Assistant Jennifer Celentano of the Butte County Sheriff's Office are being rewarded for excellence in overseeing the county's 395 sex offenders. The national organization Offender Watch will recognize the two in a ceremony that takes place at the Sheriff's East Facility at 11:30 AM. According to the Butte County Sheriff's Office, the two were chosen from some 14 thousand Offender Watch users out of more than 3 thousand agencies.

Chico Arson Arrest

A possible arson started fire was reported at the Chico Trailer Haven on Nord Avenue around before 5 Monday evening. Firefighters arrived and quickly extinguished the blaze, but according to police, one vehicle was destroyed and two fifth wheel trailers were damaged. No one was reported injured. Officers followed the suspect from the scene to the intersection of Nord and West Sacramento avenues. Officers learned that the suspect, Sarah Almanza had a felony warrant out for her arrest. Police also learned that she was allegedly known by one of the victims of the fire. According to the Chico Police Department, Almanza was arrested for the warrant and for arson.

California Dam Inspections Report

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A state auditor says only 22 of 650 major dams in the state have finalized emergency plans and that water infrastructure remains a high-risk issue. State Auditor Elaine Howle says in a report issued Thursday that the vast majority of California’s major dams aren’t adequately prepared for an emergency. The Sacramento Bee reports the Legislature required the emergency plans after the crisis at Oroville’s flood-control spillway prompted the evacuation of 180,000 downstream residents in February 2017. The auditor says dam operators have submitted emergency plans, but state officials have asked for changes or are still reviewing them.

Prop 13

SAN PABLO, Calif. (AP) — The only statewide measure on the March 3 ballot is Proposition 13, a $15 billion bond to build, repair and modernize schools in California. If voters approve it, $9 billion would go to K-12 schools. The priority is on health and safety concerns, including earthquake risks, and removing toxic mold and asbestos from aging classrooms and lead from drinking water. The rest would go to public universities and community colleges. Teachers unions, doctors and firefighters are among the backers. The main opposition comes from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers' Association, which says the state should use its budget surplus to pay for school improvements rather than borrow the money.

PG&E Reps at the BRC in Paradise

Pacific Gas and Electric Officials will be at the new Resilience Center (BRC) in Paradise as of this Tuesday. Two P.G.&E. officials will be on hand from 9 till noon to answer questions about rebuilding after the Camp Fire and can also talk about the company's vegetation management program. According to PG&E, the representatives will be at the center once a week. The BRC is at 6295 Skyway and for more information you can go to: and questions can also be emailed to


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