Strike, or not: Enloe Medical Center’s nurses can strike—not that they want to or anything. Members of the California Nurses Association voted Feb. 23 to OK a strike, if it comes to that.

Of the 450 registered nurses eligible to vote, 292 did so. The vote came down 263 in favor to authorize union leaders to call a strike and 29 opposed. By Enloe’s count, there are more than 600 RNs employed there full-time.

CNA David Welch said before the vote that the nurses want to “send a message,” after feeling challenged by Enloe to prove they have the votes to strike.

The nurses’ contract expired Jan. 14 and the CNA and Enloe have been negotiating with the help of a mediator since then. Contract negotiations have stalled, say the nurses, but Enloe officials think they’re making progress. Bargaining sessions are set for Feb. 28 and March 7.

Issues on the table include pay, benefits, working conditions, patient care, union rights and “floating” nurses among departments.

Blarney Fife: Chico police are finalizing their plans for St. Patrick’s Day, and so far they don’t include dressing up as leprechauns and playing mischievous tricks on gold seekers. Instead, cops will saturate downtown and the west side with around 65 officers starting the morning of March 17.

A few years ago, St. Patty’s was fast becoming a rival to Halloween in terms of student partying, but the university helped change that by scheduling Spring Break to coincide with the holiday, drawing many students out of town. With this year’s celebration falling on a Friday, cops worry some students will return early for a three-day weekend binge of green beer and Irish whisky.

In addition to foot and vehicle patrols, there will be squads of mounted officers and an undercover team from the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control office. No DUI checkpoints are planned.

Found on the cold, cold ground: An apparently homeless man identified as Fred Tate was found dead in the Sycamore Field area of Bidwell Park Friday. According to police, a park visitor discovered the man lying on the ground near a picnic table just after 8 a.m. There were no signs of foul play. An autopsy will determine cause of death.

old guy gets his dough back: Apparently there is no Canadian Lotto. A 74-year-old Oroville man found this out the hard way recently when a crew of phone scammers conned him into sending $20,000 in cash to a Montreal P.O. box under the guise of needing the money to “process” his phony $2 million prize. It was the second time he had sent the conniving Canadians a large sum of money in hopes of getting rich.

A relative of the rube reported the case to the D.A.’s office, which made contact with COLT, a multi-agency team made up of U.S. Customs and FBI agents working with Royal Canadian Mounties. They tracked his package and returned his cash, which is unusual, D.A. Mike Ramsey said in a press release. Typically, scam victims are S.O.L. when it comes to reclaiming their funds.