“Brothers” tried together: The seven former members of Chi Tau charged in the hazing death of Matthew Carrington will be tried together, a judge ruled this week.

Butte County Superior Court Judge Stephen Benson shot down motions by defense attorneys to hold a separate trial for the three members charged with misdemeanor hazing and said the trial is still scheduled to begin Nov. 8.

Defense attorneys argued that much of what took place the night 21-year-old Carrington died occurred after their clients had left the frigid basement of the Chi Tau fraternity house. Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey said charges of hazing applied to all seven defendants.

“[The charges] are absolutely relevant to their clients,” Ramsey told the judge.

Judge Benson also ordered an Oct. 14 court date where Ramsey will have to produce a witness list as well as a DVD of testimony from Carrington’s pledge brother Michael Quintana.

CNA + AFL-CIO = TLA: To gain support for their bid to align with the once powerful AFL-CIO, the California Nurses Association’s biennial convention on Sept. 23 featured Actor Warren Beatty, his wife, actress Annette Bening, and actor/activist Sean Penn. The nearly 500 possibly star-struck delegates passed the affiliation proposal almost unanimously, which now leaves the final decision in the hands of the AFL-CIO’s executive council.

The 65,000 member CNA’s plans to affiliate with the AFL-CIO come just after that national organization was weakened by a severe blow in July, losing part of its membership to a new coalition that favors organizing new members to backing political candidates.

Local board member and Enloe Medical Center nurse David Welch said the CNA has been slowly moving this direction for a while. “The labor movement as a whole is under attack,” said Welch. “It seemed like this was the time to make a statement by joining.”

Study: Families founder financially: Here’s a shocker: Northstate families aren’t making ends meet.

A family of four needs more than $50,000 a year to achieve a modest standard of living in Butte County, according to a study released Sept. 28 by the California Budget Project (CBP) in which the nonprofit advocacy group evaluated 10 regions in the state.

“We’re looking at something that is one step above a bare-bones budget,” said Jean Ross, executive director of the CBP.

Counting housing, child care, transportation, food, health care, taxes and miscellaneous expenses, a hypothetical family with two children in Butte County in which both parents work would have to bring in a total of $27.78 an hour. The CBP’s calculations do not allow for savings, either for retirement or college. It also assumes the families rent, rather than own a home.

CBP, a nonprofit advocacy group, hopes to make the points that minimum wage is too low, workers don’t make enough and the federal poverty level—$19,157 for a family of four—is “an outdated measure of what it costs to live in California,” Ross said.