Chico buys guns for cops to own City’s gun-buying escalated with Down Range

by Dave Waddell

In the last three years alone, the financially strapped city of Chico has paid out nearly $25,000 to buy at least 40 guns of undisclosed types for the personal ownership of its police officers, according to a search of online records by ChicoSol.

Such gun transactions – made possible by a $900 per year “uniform allowance” afforded to all of the Chico Police Department’s more than 90 “sworn personnel” – skyrocketed with the advent of the Down Range Indoor Training Center three years ago. read more

CSUC students to run World Championship Ten of the SAGE student mentors to travel to Ukraine

photo courtesy of SAGE
Chico State SAGE student mentors

by Hannah Yeager

When Chico State third-year student Jaclyn Soller arrives in Ukraine, she will not just help manage an event. She’ll also travel in a new country and meet other students from a total of 20 nations.

“Learning their different cultures and traditions is just so cool,” Soller said. “Especially the cultures I haven’t been able to encounter yet in my life. I mean, you’re in one place and can experience all of these cultures.”

Soller is one of 10 Chico State student mentors who will help run the World Championship event for Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship program (SAGE) in Odessa, Ukraine. read more

Ribbon-cutting opens Chico art museum MONCA promises to make art accessible

photo by Dave Waddell

by Dave Waddell

Art lovers came out in force Thursday evening for the ribbon-cutting opening of Chico’s Museum of Northern California Art (MONCA).

About 270 people attended the hour-long event at the museum, housed in the sprawling, historic Veterans Memorial Hall at 900 Esplanade, said Pat Macias, MONCA president.

“We signed up seven new members and also made many new friends,” Macias said.

Through Aug. 27, MONCA is displaying “paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures and photography from nearly 100 artists in Northern California,” says the museum’s website. Artists whose work is included in the collection include Ann Pierce, Claudia Steel, James Kuiper, Salvatore Casa and Richard Hornaday. read more

ChicoSol to be represented on national conference panel Editor to speak on covering hate incidents

Leslie Layton
Leslie Layton

By Dave Waddell

ChicoSol Editor Leslie Layton will speak Thursday in Phoenix at a panel discussion on covering bigotry, with journalists from publications that rank among the nation’s biggest names in investigative reporting.

Joining Layton to discuss “Investigating Hate” at the 2017 Investigative Reporters and Editors Conference will be Josh Harkinson, a senior reporter at Mother Jones; AC Thompson, a reporter for ProPublica; and Carlos Martinez de la Serna, director of innovation at Univision. read more

De-escalation makes a difference, Summers says Retired officer advocates 'Memphis Model'



Retired police officer Mike Summers of West Sacramento addressed a crowd of about a hundred people Thursday evening at a community workshop on Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training at Chico’s First Christian Church. Summers is an advocate of the so-called Memphis Model of de-escalation, which he said resulted in a dramatic decrease in officer-involved shootings in the Tennessee city beginning in the late ‘80s.

Summers said law enforcement officers are typically trained at police academies to exhibit a “command presence,” which doesn’t always work well in dealing with the mentally ill. Thursday’s event was hosted by Crisis Care Advocacy and Triage in the wake of the killing of Desmond Phillips, a mentally ill young black man who was shot 11 times by Chico police on March 17. ChicoSol will publish a follow-up story on the Phillips shooting on June 17. -- photo and story by Dave Waddell.

Sycamore Pool finally ready and waiting 57 truckloads of sediment removed

photo by Karen Laslo

photo by Karen Laslo

by Karen Laslo

Usually, the park maintenance crew has Sycamore Pool cleaned and ready for use by Memorial Day weekend, the official start of the summer swimming season — but not this year.

Heavy winter storms and a swift spring snow melt brought a greatly increased flow of water down Big Chico Creek, resulting in a pressure and volume of water too great to be accommodated by the underground tunnel the park maintenance crew relies on to divert the creek while it cleans the pool.  Finally, last week when the water flow had calmed, the crew began the yearly cleaning of the pool at the One-Mile Recreation Area. read more