Professor finds a home in nature Former KZFR host keeps it simple in classroom

photo by Karen LasloRandy Larson

photo by Karen Laslo

Randy Larsen

By Hannah Panten

In an “Environmental Ethics” class of 10 students who would rather be sleeping, it’s a few minutes before 8 a.m. when Randy Larsen enters, exclaiming “good morning scholars!” with a wide grin and scruffy beard.  Pulling up a chair to the family-dinner-style seating arrangement, Larsen begins class with his usual pep (and his red, ceramic coffee mug, of course).

When interrupted by a student trailing into class late, he greets the tardy student with a genuine, “thanks for coming,” then proceeds teaching.  Sporting a plain T-shirt, patched denim, and a neon-green knit hat, his appearance sums up his personality and teaching style quite well — unconventional and refreshingly simple. read more

March for Science in Chico attracts crowd Science supporters celebrate Earth Day with rally and march

photos by Karen Laslo

About a thousand people gathered at Trinity Commons on the CSUC campus Saturday to listen to speeches about the importance of scientific study and how science can help save the planet from environmental degradation. A march through Chico followed, in solidarity with a large event in Washington, D.C., and marches around the world to stand up for the value of scientific study. Who knew that in 2017, science would be considered subversive in some circles and Americans would feel compelled to stand up for an academic discipline. read more

Swift siege leads to fatal shooting, family’s ire Home had calmed at time cops entered

photo by Karen LasloDelphine Norman, mother of Desmond Phillips, protests outside the April 17 town hall meeting held by Rep. Doug LaMalfa.

photo by Karen Laslo

Delphine Norman, mother of Desmond Phillips, protests outside the April 17 town hall meeting held by Rep. Doug LaMalfa.

by Dave Waddell

The night of Desmond Phillips’ March 17 killing, a Chico police officer shined a flashlight at a window a few paces to the left of the front door of his father’s apartment.

Before that door was forced open, before the knife-holding Desmond was first shot with a Taser and then riddled with police bullets, and before Dave Phillips, shocked and wailing, crawled down the hallway to his dying son’s side, the officer saw an eye peeking through the closed blind.

Behind the blind were Desmond Phillips’ two nephews, ages 12 and 18, together in one of the small home’s two locked bedrooms, on the phone with their mother. Dave Phillips, who had grown increasingly frantic about Desmond’s behavior, had locked himself in the other bedroom and was talking with a police dispatcher. read more

Fatal shooting by Chico police sparks protests Community calls for probe by outside agency

photo by Karen Laslo
 

photo by Karen Laslo

Bethel AME Church service 

by Dave Waddell

An estimated 200 people turned out Sunday evening to protest the fatal shooting by Chico police of a mentally ill black man who officers say threatened them with a knife.

The demonstration began with a remembrance for Desmond Phillips, 25, at the Bethel AME Church on Ninth Street. It then moved to the front of the Chico Police Department, where an emotional candlelight vigil was held. Speakers expressed outrage at the killing “of this dear brother of ours,” as one put it, and called for a federal investigation into the shooting. read more

Non-sanctuary resolution dies at county meeting Supervisors vote only to oppose state legislation

photo by Karen LasloDistrict 2 Supervisor Larry Wahl

photo by Karen Laslo

District 2 Supervisor Larry Wahl

by Leslie Layton

Supervisor Larry Wahl retreated Tuesday from an effort to officially declare that Butte County is not a so-called “sanctuary jurisdiction” – a designation adopted by some counties in response to federal immigration policies.

Wahl declined to move for passage of a draft resolution that he had requested, after the board heard a detailed 60-minute presentation by Sheriff Kory Honea and testimony from a dozen members of the public. Most speakers viewed the resolution as unnecessary and warned that it would be perceived as a hostile gesture. read more

Police-community relations on the mend after low point Critics say more change needed at CPD; cell phone case looms

photo by Karen LasloMike O'Brien assumed the chief's post almost two years ago when Dunbaugh left.

photo by Karen Laslo

Mike O’Brien assumed the chief’s post almost two years ago when Dunbaugh left.

by Dave Waddell

Two years ago, Mike Dunbaugh came out of retirement to set the Chico Police Department on a path to reform. His five-month stint as interim police chief ended with a June 4, 2015, final report. In that confidential memorandum sent to the City Council and other officials, Dunbaugh described Chico PD as having abnormally poor relations with the community it served, as well as being unwelcoming to women. 

“The failure of the Police Department to maintain healthy community connections is extreme,” Dunbaugh wrote.  “In over 40 years of being associated with the law enforcement industry in California, I have not seen a department from a city this size dig a hole this deep for itself. City leadership played a role in this happening; and, it is going to take significant effort and time for the police department to reconnect and correct.” read more