For rugby club, getting there is half the fun
Getting to the national championship game seemed to be more of a challenge for the Chico Rugby Club than actually winning it. It took the Mighty Oaks 19 hours to get from Sacramento to Pittsburgh to face the Muddy River Rugby Club of Clinton, Iowa, for the U.S. Club Division III rugby football championship.

Scheduled to leave Sacramento International Airport at 6:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 30, the members of the club found themselves waiting an hour and one-half for a “defective bathroom” to be fixed. By the time the Oaks arrived in Houston, they had missed the flight that would have taken them to Pittsburgh. After a six-hour layover in Houston, the road-weary club arrived at its final destination at 12:15 a.m. on Saturday. The eternal trip didn’t seem to affect the Oaks, as they beat Muddy River 27-5.

Now, after a 19-0 regular-season finish and a championship, the members of the team are looking forward to going back to their normal routines. Coach Matt Fahy and his wife Erica are expecting a baby girl in July. Fahy said most of the players are “working professionals” and will resume their jobs. John Cooprider, who won most valuable player in the title game, just graduated from Chico State University and will enter the credential program next fall while coaching football at Pleasant Valley High School.

“It was a hell of a two weeks graduating and winning a championship,” Cooprider said.

$5 million for the children
Butte County children will have a whopping $5 million to add to their collective piggy banks this year. Through a variety of programs, they’ll see the benefits of Proposition 10 tobacco tax dollars, as a county commission this month decided where the local dollars should go.

The goal of Prop. 10, which voters passed in 1998, is the healthy development of children prenatal to 5 years old, and the Butte County Children and Families Commission was set up to allocate the funds.

The commission spent four months surveying more than 1,000 participants in the Chico, Gridley, Oroville and Paradise communities.

“We asked parents and caregivers in Butte County what they needed and which programs would have a tangible, positive impact on our children,” said Cheryl Giscombe, program manager of the commission.

The Butte County Behavioral Health Youth Services will be given an award of $570,000 toward the understanding of infant and toddler mental health. Children subjected to prenatal substance abuse will have new assets as Enloe Medical Center puts a $563,959 grant toward its Clean Start/Healthy Beginning program.

Calvary Lutheran’s Church children’s center will receive a grant of $187,000 to upgrade its facilities and improve transportation.

Feather River Tribal Health, Inc., which works to alleviate the high rate of dental ailments among low-income families—and Native Americans—will receive more than $320,000 to educate caregivers about how to care for teeth and gums. Maria Hunzeker, the executive director of Feather River Tribal Health, Inc. stated in a press release, "Minority children are four times more likely to have dental disease than non-minority children."