Local students score big in scholarship test
On April 20, 237 Chico area high school students came $1,000 closer to achieving their college education. The $1,000 came in the form of a scholarship, called the Governor’s Scholarship, awarded to those who scored in the top 10 percent of their schools on tests taken last spring. The Stanford Achievement Tests are given to all ninth-, 10th- and 11th-grade students. Of the 237 students, 108 attend Chico High School, 128 attend Pleasant Valley, and one is enrolled in independent study.

The students were notified of the good news in a letter from Gov. Gray Davis. Chico High sophomore Lia Deromedi said, “Getting the scholarship was pretty exciting. … My parents were especially proud. I was surprised … because I just did what I knew. … It makes taking the test more gratifying.” CHS senior Cameron Smith said, “It’s great having my education paid for.” After claiming their scholarships, those students also enrolled in any AP (Advanced Placement) or IB (International Baccalaureate) courses will have the opportunity to receive another $2,500 scholarship from the state.

Davis takes a pass
Former Chico City Manager Fred Davis declined an offer to temporarily head the county’s Department of Development Services last week. Davis cited the department’s shaky status with the Board of Supervisors, several members of which have said they might want to scrap it, and a job offer from the Chico Area Recreation District as his reasons for declining the job. The CARD job, by the way, reportedly pays $75 an hour.

Davis will serve as CARD’s interim general manager until the agency finds a permanent head. The Board of Supervisors is now back to square one in finding a replacement for former DDS head Tom Parilo, who was abruptly fired in March.

Academic Senate ponders campus smoking ban
The university’s Academic Senate is considering a ban on smoking on much of the campus. The policy would ban smoking within 25 feet of all building doors, windows, breezeways and awnings. It would take effect in the 2002-03 school year and make smoking in a prohibited area subject to fine. The senate discussed the proposal at its April 19 meeting but didn’t vote to adopt it. It will be on the senate’s agenda again on May 3.

Pedestrian killed by train near Amtrak station
Talk about cruel irony. Three months ago local public-safety agencies scheduled a press conference for Friday, April 20, at the Chico Amtrak station to emphasize the dangers presented by trains traveling through Chico. Then, just 12 hours before the conference, a northbound freight train struck and killed a 21-year-old bicyclist crossing the tracks near the station. The accident happened Friday morning, at 3:42, when former Chico State University student Joshua Perez apparently tried to cross the tracks while riding a bicycle westbound on W. Third Street.

Besides the news of the unfortunate death of Perez, the press conference also announced that on May 11 at 9 a.m., at the Second Street crossing, the Chico Operation Lifesaver Program will conduct a "mock train collision" demonstration to educate young drivers about the dangers of rail crossings. For info contact Chico Fire Department Inspector Marie Fickert at 895-4937.