Thugged out: Chico State police arrested three 15-year-old juveniles for allegedly beating and robbing two people separate incidents that occurred just after midnight Dec. 19. The first victim was a 22-year-old man, a CSU employee who was hit and kicked repeatedly in front of Shurmer Gym after he failed to produce the beer his assailants demanded from him, CSUC Police Sgt. Robin Hyrne said. The next attack occurred a short time later, when the group of four or five assailants demanded money from a 20-year-old Butte College student near the campus tennis courts. The victim “was attempting to give the subjects his wallet,” a campus police press release states, when he was knocked to the ground and repeatedly kicked in the head and upper body.

The suspects were arrested that night near Nord Ave. and booked on robbery and assault charges. One or two other assailants are thought to still be at large.

Dirty deeds: In what turned out to be a 12-hour day of testimony, members of a local community group testified at a Tehama County Courthouse appeal hearing Dec. 20 in a last-ditch effort to stop a medical waste treatment-plant from being built just south of Red Bluff.

Lupe Green, who represents Citizens for Review of Infectious Medical Waste Imports into Tehama County, told the CN&R that it was a good day for the group, who contend that Integrated Environmental Technologies (InEnTec) tried to backdoor the project into Red Bluff in December 2004.

The citizens group brought in Amy Kyle, an assistant research scientist and lecturer at University of California, Berkeley, who testified about dioxin intake.

Green said Kyle backed up the group’s claim that even small amounts of dioxin released into the air can’t be accurately measured due to the fact that dioxin already exists in meats and dairy products. Kyle said it’s also difficult to measure how certain people will react to dioxin.

Jeffrey Surma, president and CEO of InEnTec, described the Plasma Enhanced Melter, a relatively new technology that would break down waste into a glass-like substance using gas.

Green said Surma acknowledged that it would be difficult to keep the plant operating unless it brought in waste from as far as southern California, which is another concern of the group. She added that there was also misinformation on InEnTec’s Web site about dioxin, which Green said Surma attributed to a miscommunication with the marketing department.

“I am absolutely appalled that Jeffrey Surma is not aware of what’s happening with the company,” said Green, adding that InEnTec’s actions have damaged its credibility.

Closing arguments were scheduled to continue Dec. 21 with a public comment period to follow.

Bigg deal: The financially strapped Biggs Unified School District cut a deal with its teachers last week on a compensation and benefits package that should at least get them through this school year.

A district press release does not offer salary information but states that the teachers union agreed to a cap on their benefits and to forgo a cost of living adjustment.

“Everybody in the district has made a sacrifice,” the release quotes Superintendent Lee Funk as saying. “the classified group … has suffered reductions in staff. Management has taken voluntary reductions in pay. Now the instructors have assumed a monetary limit on the overall compensation package. The employees and community are all pulling together to get us back on track.”