I was a teenage counterfeiter: Two Pleasant Valley High School students were arrested last week and charged with passing counterfeit $10 and $20 bills that were apparently made on a color copier. Chico police Sgt. Dave Barrow said the pair had passed the phony dough mainly at school, buying snacks and lunch. When they were busted, over $200 in non-legal-tender was found either in their possession or at their homes.

“They’re still investigating where they got these bills,” Barrow said. “It appears these bills were made simply on a copy machine. If it’s busy and there are people standing in line, you know, they could pass. They weren’t real good, but they weren’t real bad either.”

Counterfeiting used to be the kind of crime only experts delved in, but with new computer and printer technology, it seems anyone can get into the money-making business. However, with less cash being used and better detection methods, it is also becoming easier to get caught.

Death on the tracks: A 20-year-old Butte College student was fatally injured over the weekend when he crossed the path of a freight train near the Chico State University campus adjacent to the athletic fields.

Authorities were contacted a little after 1:15 early Saturday morning. The victim, Phillip Siver, was taken to Enloe Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead as a result of his injuries. Witnesses at the scene said that Siver seemed to be intoxicated. Chico police spokesman Sgt. Dave Barrow noted that there is an investigation under way into some suspicious aspects concerning Siver’s death, a direct result of information provided by witnesses.

Although a majority of deaths on the railroad tracks in past years have been determined to be alcohol-related, there have been deaths that include accidents from the inability to hear the train because of headphones as well as a number of suicides. Although the Chico Police Department does not keep statistics on accidents occurring on the train tracks, Barrow noted, “Every year we have incidents like these.”

Go forth and recreate: Chico State University students will soon vote on the proposed Wildcat Activity Center.

The $55 million facility is being fully supported by the Associated Students Government Affairs Committee, which has taken on the slogan, “You don’t pay until you play.” The structure is set to be completed in fall 2008, and it is then that students will begin paying the $175-per-semester increase. The fee will average out to about $29 per month, which rivals local gym prices. President Paul Zingg has also supported the project by pledging at least $5 million in university funds.

Students will vote during a special election on March 8 and 9. A similar $65 million project was shot down in 2001 because students weren’t willing to pay for something they couldn’t use.

The newly proposed 120,000-square-foot center will include an indoor track, a rock-climbing wall and a weight and fitness area. The center will be located on the corner of Second and Cherry streets.