Leave the goats alone, city pleads
Goats may be tough critters who eat poison oak for lunch, but they need to be left alone. So says Chico Parks Director Dennis Beardsley in a vaguely cryptic statement this week urging “respect” for the goats that graze in Bidwell Park.

Beardsley said that, while the goats enjoy wide support from the community, there are “well meaning” people who see goat owner Danny Mitchell with the animals and distract him from his goat care by repeatedly asking him if they have enough food and water. Beardsley said the goats are “very well taken care of,” and that Mitchell needs to be able to concentrate on his animals.

There have also been a couple of “incidents” of people leaning over the fences to feed the goats, Beardsley said, and that’s a big no-no.

Inside candidate steps up to plate to succeed McGuire
Just a couple of weeks after Jerry McGuire announced he would not be running for a fourth term as Butte County superintendent of schools, a colleague has put his hat in the race.

Don McNelis said he would never have dreamed of running next year, but McGuire’s exit come December 2002 changes things in the Butte County Office of Education, where McNelis has been an assistant superintendent since 1998.

“We all anticipated that Jerry would run again for another term,” McNelis said. “It was a surprise to all of us that he chose to retire at this time.”

McNelis said he has the support of McGuire and several superintendents and will face the spring election on a “fairly simple” platform based on what he believes is important to education. He is currently in charge of programs including the Regional Occupational Program, Child Welfare and Attendance, a component of migrant education and, more recently, special education. Before taking his post at BCOE, McNelis was principal and then superintendent in Durham.

Chico police: Labor Day partiers need to take a break!
Chico State University may not be a “party school” anymore, but you’d never guess it from all the rowdy parties held over the long Labor Day weekend.

Chico Police Lt. Mike Weber said he’s never seen anything like it. “From Friday night all the way through Monday, it was absolutely non-stop,” he said. Calls for service came “one on top of the other,” all weekend—and while traditionally it’s Labor Day itself that is the major law enforcement problem for the police, this year it was the days leading up to Monday.

“The tubers out on the river, they were a problem too,” Weber said. “But looking at all the reports and the calls for service, it was Friday, Saturday and Sunday that were the really bad ones.”

The department was flooded with calls from the neighborhoods south of campus, for problems that stemmed mostly from alcohol-fueled violence, noise and crowd problems. There were so many calls, Weber said, that officers were unable to get to some party complaints.

The arrest statistics for the weekend were not yet available, Weber said. He expects that next year’s Labor Day celebrations will be even bigger than this year’s.