City funds will let victim’s advocate stay
The Chico City Council quietly approved spending $11,000 to keep an advocate for domestic-violence victims on duty at the Chico Police Department. The council voted to accept Police Chief Mike Efford’s recommendation as part of its March 20 consent agenda.

That buys Catalyst Victims’ Advocates some time—the money will cover the agency through June—to seek out grants and other funding that could continue the position. The nonprofit agency had recently been denied a renewal of the state Office of Criminal Justice Planning grant that had sustained the position, and as Catalyst’s money ran out the position would have had to be discontinued on March 30.

A counselor named Pam, who asked that her last name not be used for confidentiality and safety reasons, said that as part of the Domestic Violence Response Team (DVRT) she does everything from responding with officers to the scene of a violent incident to accompanying the victim to court.

In an interview, Efford called the role “a valuable position in the Police Department. It provides an immediate and continuing system of support to victims of domestic violence.” This, he added, helps “break the cycle of violence.”

Councilmember Coleen Jarvis had brought the proposal forward. “This position has just done wonders,” she said. Having a advocate makes victims feel safer, Jarvis added, and the fact that Pam is a Catalyst employee ensures confidentiality will never be compromised, even for the sake of a police investigation.

Parade may march again
Raising a few eyebrows—skeptical that a volunteer group could pull it together so quickly—the Chico City Council voted 6-0 on March 20 to conditionally waive fees relating to the Celebration of People Parade.

The parade was started in 1996 by Paul DiGirolamo, a Chico State University Associated Students vice president who later died in a car accident. This year, the A.S. declined to continue the $10,000 funding for the annual event.

The city fees, which could total more than $3,000, cover such services as traffic, police and insurance. The committee’s entire budget for the May 5 parade is about $12,000, and if it’s raised half of that in cash and in-kind donations by the council’s April 24 meeting, the council will waive the fees. “We certainly are out looking for sponsors, raising some money,” said Charlie Preusser, who was joined by another volunteer, Barbara Kopicki. “We’re just asking for some help to get this continuing and going this year.”

Mysterious missing man found dead
A Chico man, missing for almost a full month, was found dead in a remote area near Cohasset March 13.

The discovery of Joshua Tyrone Strieby, 25, solved the mystery of his strange disappearance Feb. 21, but exactly how and why he went to the wooded area he was found in is still unknown. An autopsy revealed “no signs of foul play,” but investigators are keeping the cause of Strieby’s death secret.

Nothing in Strieby’s life, as reported by his family, points to foul play, either. He was a well-liked and quiet computer programmer and a recent graduate of Chico State. He was last seen at a church prayer group meeting at the Neighborhood Church, and his apartment was left in immaculate shape.