Tour de schools: There was no hair-pulling or gum-chewing on the school vans, and the group in question may or may not have stopped at Spike’s Bottle Shop for water and sodas.

Chico Unified School District trustees went on a field trip Aug. 13, touring recently improved facilities at Chico High, Pleasant Valley, Marigold Elementary and Marsh Junior High schools.

It’s hard to believe most of it will be done by the time school starts, but project managers are optimistic. Among the cool sights were: a new band room and choir room, complete with risers, practice rooms and a rubber floor to absorb sound and a drama room with theater seating and a control room at Chico High; a newly paved parking lot at PV; new playground equipment at Marigold (which the PTA kicked in $15,000 to upgrade); and—our personal favorite—the long-awaited Marsh gym, which features locker rooms, electronically retracting bleachers that spell out “MJHS” as they close and awesome alligators designed by Magoon Signs and painted on the basketball court.

The trustees were duly impressed, and several engaged in some impromptu one-on-one with district staff.

Chico crimefighters: A Chico High School graduate’s mom called us this week to brag on her boy: While on a road trip with friends to Ventura, Garrett Glass ran after, tackled and held down a man who was being chased by police.

“He’s always been a gentle bear kind of guy,” said Debbie Glass, somewhat surprised at her son’s bravado.

Garrett was modest about the whole thing, and gave credit to his buddies, also former Chico High students, who were with him on the post-graduation adventure: Joey Foy, Kyle Abraham, Murri Babin, Dan Clements and Chris Larsen.

They were in their car when they saw the fugitive duck into the center divider area. “We just followed him,” Garrett said. “Joey Foy boxed him in and I ran up from behind the car and hit him up against a tree.”

At first, he thought the cops would be mad, but instead, the City of Ventura Police Department on Aug. 20 presented the 18-year-old with a Certificate of Excellence for Service.

Clubbin': Baseball bat killer Reigh Ellis was sentenced to at least 15 years in prison last week for caving in the skull of fellow Butte College classmate Randal Clark after a party conflict turned violent, then racial, then deadly.

Ellis, 22, was convicted of murdering Clark with a bat in front of the Campus Gardens apartment building in February 2002, after an unrelated group of white youths attempted to assault Ellis (who is black) and his friends in their nearby apartment.

That assault, in which racial epithets were used, was supposedly in retaliation for an earlier incident where Ellis allegedly broke a man’s jaw at a Campus Gardens party. Clark had apparently heard a commotion outside his window and went to check on his pickup truck, which was parked nearby, when Ellis mistook him for an assailant and delivered several blows to Clark’s head.