Shooting OK: As expected, DA Mike Ramsey cleared of any wrongdoing the five Chico police officers who shot and killed Nathan Butts during a traffic stop last weekend. Butts was a parolee from Susanville who was allegedly in town trying to sell a loaded gun. He was shot as he tried to evade police after a traffic stop, endangering the lives of both his own associates and responding cops.

Strangely, Police Chief Bruce Hagerty defended officers’ decision to allow the driver of the car, an unidentified 17-year-old female, to leave the keys in the ignition when she exited the vehicle. This allowed Butts, who jumped from the back seat into the driver’s seat, to start the car, smash it into a patrol vehicle and then careen towards officers, resulting in his being shot six times. Hagerty said the officers at the time did not consider the stop to be “high-risk,” even though they were acting on information that the occupants of the vehicle had been trying to sell a loaded pistol.

Speaking of shots: Flu season is a comin’ to town. The Butte County Public Health Department has the first shipment of this year’s flu vaccination ready for at-risk citizens (65 and older, under 2, those in between with poor health, pregnant women and certain health care workers). Shots will be administered beginning Oct. 27 at the Calgary Chapel, 1888 Springfield Dr., Chico for free from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. On Nov. 1, between the same hours, shots will be offered at Manzanita Place (more commonly known as the Elks’ Lodge) 1705 Manzanita Ave. For more info call the health department at 891-2732 or 538-7581

Do they get a vote? The seat of the “student trustee” is being quietly eliminated from the Chico Unified School District Board of Trustees dais, but so far no one’s complaining.

Trustees and new Superintendent Chet Francisco are confident they’ll find another way to get student input—one that doesn’t involve having a teen stay up late at a boring meeting.

At Oct. 19’s board meeting, trustees tentatively decided to suspend the position of student representative to the board. “It’s clear it hasn’t been as successful as we would like,” said Trustee Rick Rees.

Over the years, there have been student trustees from each of Chico’s three high schools, sometimes taking turns and other times serving for an entire semester. Some weighed in frequently, some sat silently and others—a lot of them, actually—seldom showed up at all. Their vote was only advisory. Unfailingly, it was the student trustee’s duty to lead the room in the flag salute.

The district’s bylaws had allowed for a student rep to the board since 1987.

GET SMART: Shasta College students will soon be able to earn their four-year degrees without having to make the trip to Chico.

A grant by The McConnell Foundation will allow students to earn degrees from Chico State in business administration, liberal studies, nursing and environmental sciences. Over the next five years, the $782,500 grant will go toward faculty teaching costs, educational materials and new classroom technologies. Classes will be held at Shasta College until construction of the new Health Sciences and University Center is completed.

While some Chico State professors will travel to Redding, some classes will be offered online.