Make do or step it up? Student officers debate new computers
In perfect world, everyone who works at the Chico State University campus would have brand-new computers. And they could also have little pixies and leprechauns helping them through their day.

Associated Students leaders ditched the fantasy and discussed a real-world compromise at their Nov. 12 Governmental Affairs Committee meeting. Some wanted to go whole hog and buy new computers plus RAM upgrades for the Government Affairs Office, while others balked at shelling out up to $14,000 while A.S. programs like the Community Legal Information Center (CLIC) are getting by with old clunkers.

Mario Sagastume, the A.S. commissioner of activity fee, said his office computer is fine, and he wouldn’t feel right getting a new one when seven A.S. programs have “crap” for computers.

But others said it’s just not efficient to be hopping from computer to computer looking for one that can open, for example, a pdf file. “We have to think of other [future] officers, too,” said Eleni Theodorou, the A.S. commissioner of the multicultural council.

Brian Oppy, the faculty representative to GAC, said six years is way too long to keep computers, and professors usually get theirs replaced every three to four years.

GAC members voted to approve $7,202 in other capital expenditures—computers for C.A.V.E. and the Women’s Center and playground equipment for the Children’s Center—and will take up the computer discussion again at their next meeting. Any decision there would go before the A.S. Board of Directors.

Sheriff accused of moving violation
Outgoing Butte County Sheriff Scott Mackenzie was headed home to Paradise after a day’s work Thursday evening when he was pulled over and ticketed by one of his own deputies for allegedly making an unsafe lane change. Deputy Pat Dickie, who’d been told that day that he was the subject of an internal-affairs investigation, issued the ticket on County Center Drive, about a half-mile from the Sheriff’s Office.

Dickie, who was busted from the rank of sergeant a few years ago, told the Enterprise-Record newspaper that the investigation had nothing to do with his handing out the ticket and also said the citation had disappeared.

The ticket, said District Attorney Mike Ramsey, is “in the system.”

Ramsey described Dickie as an unhappy employee, questioned the deputy’s motivation and said he found it odd that Dickie issued a citation while within the jurisdiction of the Oroville Police Department.

Mackenzie, who steps down at the end of the year, said he would fight the ticket.

Halloween bomb determined to be a fake
Despite reports to the contrary in the local daily, the pipe bomb found in a Dumpster behind the Fifth and Ivy Market on Halloween night turned out to be a dummy. The pipe, said Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey, was filled with sand, not gunpowder. He said that fact lessens the charges he can file should the person or persons who placed the pipe, should they be identified and arrested.

“When [bomb experts] detonated the bomb [at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds],” said Ramsey, “it left a trail of sand on the ground.”

Ramsey said that, upon the bomb’s discovery, two of the four experts brought in said they thought it was filled with sand rather than an explosive. However, lead expert Phil Porto of the California Department of Forestry said he was suspicious after looking at the pipe’s filling under a microscope. So the remaining contents were sent to the Department of Justice. The results came back Nov. 8 and were negative for explosives, said Ramsey.

"In some cases the bomb will be packed with gunpowder in the middle and sand on each end," the DA explained. That possibility, he said, may have been what triggered the bomb squad’s suspicions.