One shooting, one death
A teenager from out of town is lucky to be alive this week after being shot outside a Chico community event. A young woman found the previous day was not so lucky.

The shooting occurred on Friday night, when the 16-year-old victim was outside the Pleasant Valley Recreation Center on North Avenue, next to Bidwell Junior High School, where he had just taken part in a traditional pre-celebration of the Hmong New Year. According to police, the youth was approached outside the center by a group of young men, one of whom produced a semi-automatic handgun and fired several shots, hitting the 16-year-old in the chest. The suspects then fled in two separate cars, one a White Acura Integra and the other a Blue Honda Civic hatchback.

The victim, whose name was not released, was treated at Enloe Medical Center over the weekend and released Monday. Police suspect the shooting may have been gang-related, though they won’t say where the suspects or victim may have been from.

In an unrelated incident, a young woman was found dead in the public restroom at the Phoenix building downtown. Police say they found drug paraphernalia at the scene, leading them to believe the woman’s death was from a drug overdose.

The Butte County Coroner’s Office identified her as Sarah Lyn Rwoney, 21.

Chico City Council to hire legal help in Meghdadi case
Without evening mentioning his name, the Chico City Council approved this week allocations of $50,000 from the city’s General Fund to hire outside councel to defend the city in a lawsuit filed by developer Andrew Meghdadi. Last March Meghdadi cut down more than 100 oak trees on his Terra Bella subdivision in southeast Chico. The city said that was way more trees than it had allowed and subsequently ordered Meghdadi to conduct a “supplemental” environmental impact report, which has the potential of costing Meghdadi as much as $100,000. At the time, the name Meghdadi was on everybody’s lips. He was the bane of the developer community and the most unpopular man in town. Since then, he’s disappeared from the radar screen. On July 1, Meghdadi’s attorney’s filed suit against the city saying it was wrong to order the additional EIR. Now the city must defend its actions in court. The state previously rejected the city’s call for an investigation and possible revocation of Meghdadi’s contractor’s license.

University’s Graphic Arts program still alive—for now
Despite campus-wide rumors of its demise that were compounded by factual errors in a recent article in the campus newspaper The Orion, the Graphic Arts program at Chico State has yet to be eliminated, reported John Long, chairman of the Communication Design Department.

“In reality we cannot eliminate anything without approval from the dean, Academic Senate, president and eventually the Chancellor’s Office. That’s a year-long process at best,” Long explained.

Apparently, Communication Design’s Curriculum Committee has recommended that the option in digital publishing be reorganized. A vote will take place this Friday to determine what will happen, said Associate Professor Ronald Penne.

Long pointed out that the number of students in the Graphic Arts program represents only 2 percent of the students in the department. Those students would be hard-pressed to find a similar program elsewhere. Cal Poly SLO and Los Angeles State are the only other California schools offering options in printing technology.

The program is already suffering from the death, from cancer, of Prof. Rick F. Hanneman earlier this year. Hanneman had taught at Chico State since 1981 and was responsible for much of the development in the program.

Penne is now the only instructor dedicated solely to teaching graphic arts. Because of expected cuts in the state budget, the funding for part-time staff may be reduced, and instructors like Penne may be the first casualties. Only time, and a vote this Friday, will tell.