Chico Attorney’s Water Project Quenches Thirst, Ambition

Ron Reed Loading Drill

photo by Erik Aguilar

by Ron Reed

When Besta Mlowe was born 18 years ago in the town of Ifunda in Tanzania, it seemed this would be her future: she would marry young, have many children, be dominated by her husband and live in a mud hut.

Mlowe was the second born in a family of four children. When she was 2, her father abandoned the family. When she was 14, her mother died. She and her siblings had been working in the fields to get money for food, and Besta had been to primary school and had learned to read in Swahili.

After her mother’s death, the four Mlowe children went to live with their grandparents in a village in the Kilolo District of Iringa. Now, her grandfather is 85 and unable to work. The children cultivate maize and beans, living in a small hut with a dirt floor. read more

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Caught up in ICE’s Net

by Leslie Layton

At about 6:30 a.m. on a recent March Monday, a Chico dad left his home with a friend to pick up some milk before going to a construction job. He noticed he was being followed by a Durango van that had parked near his house, and when he stopped, the van parked, too.

He was approached by officers from Immigration, Customs & Enforcement (ICE) who had a few questions. They wanted to verify his name, see identification and know whether he had “papers” that prove legal residency. He and his friend — both undocumented immigrants — were soon handcuffed and placed in the back of the van. read more

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