Cool cats have new digs
Butte Humane Society has been enjoying some breathing room lately. As the organization and the city of Chico put the finishing touches on a contract for the operation of the Fair Street animal shelter, BHS has expanded into a 1,500-square-foot office south of town.

The leased space—2704 Hegan Lane #136, in a warehouse building down Russ Drive—houses the administrative staff but soon will be home to some of BHS’ cats, too. “It’s hard being here without all the animals—it’s a wonderful fix every day, seeing the dogs and cats,” Executive Director Cathy Augros said, “so we’re eager to get the cats in here.”

The new office partially alleviates the Fair Street facility’s space crunch, one of the problems addressed in the ongoing contract talks. “It’s amazing how detailed this agreement is,” Assistant City Manager Dave Burkland said. Since the City Council will have to approve a new contract, the current month-to-month arrangement will continue at least into January.

Your plaza connection
MySpace fanatics, take note: Chico’s City Plaza is now YourSpace for accessing your favorite Web site. The city of Chico announced this week that it is now providing wireless at all times in the downtown square.

Anyone with a laptop and a wireless card is now able to connect with the world while enjoying the new plaza. The city’s press release said the service had been installed as an experiment to see if it would assist business people and others utilizing the plaza.

The strongest signal, it added, can be found on the Main Street side of the plaza. The city “is investigating different providers to provide a stronger signal,” the release said.

This Flake’s no slouch
Chico State University will have a new provost beginning April 2. She’s Sandra Flake (pictured), and she currently serves as provost at the University of West Florida, in Pensacola.

Flake, who is 60, was selected from among three finalists for the position, including Arno Rethens, the university’s current vice provost for planning, resource allocation and evaluation. She will be the first woman to serve as provost and full-time vice president of academic affairs at Chico State, which also has never had a female president.

Flake will replace Scott McNall, who after 13 years as provost reportedly is close to retiring but for now is taking on an assignment as President Paul Zingg’s special assistant on campus sustainability. As provost, Flake will be in charge of all things academic, including faculty staffing and academic programs.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in English from the College of Saint Catherine in St. Paul, Minn., and her doctorate in English from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. She previously served as a dean at the University of Northern Colorado and the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse.

Flake will be paid $195,000 annually. McNall’s job, an exercise of his retreat rights, will pay the top salary for a full professor. The exact figure was not available at press time.