Royal blue

Royal Courtain, the popular sportscaster who was booted from KHSL-TV last July after 22 years with the television station, is fighting back, having filed suit July 3 against Catamount Broadcasting.

Courtain’s civil suit, which seeks monetary, non-monetary and punitive damages, claims that he was wrongfully terminated and discriminated against based on his age (he was 45 at the time).

“Plaintiff was wrongfully terminated from his employment by the Defendants because of their desire to employ more youthful, and consequently less expensive, on-air employees,” reads one cause of action. He lost wages and other benefits, Courtain alleges.

He also claims he was defamed when Catamount “engaged in disseminating false statements and innuendos” about him.

Catamount President Raymond Johns told the CN&R at the time that the corporation had no choice but to fire Courtain, referring to “a series of behaviors that over time was a problem [and then] a serious infraction that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

Connecticut-based Catamount has yet to file an answer to the complaint, which is scheduled for a conference on Sept. 23 before Judge Steven Howell.

Jamba mambo

Pleased with the reception of Chico residents to the downtown location he opened in July 1999, Jamba Juice franchisee Trevor Sanders is set to open a second smoothie shop this week. Sanders said if all goes as planned workers on Aug. 2 will be blending up fruit, yogurt and more at the Pheasant Run Shopping Center, at Forest Avenue and East 20th Street, where Best Buy and Old Navy reside.

Sanders said the downtown Jamba Juice draws a lot of business but mostly from students and people who work in the area. “I felt like we’re limited,” he said, largely by parking problems downtown. “The locals haven’t even really experienced Jamba.”

Sanders, 32, has been promoting the experience for years now. He was one of the first eight employees when the company opened as Juice Club in San Luis Obispo, and now he owns five of the smoothie shops.

Still, he said, Jamba Juice remains a relatively small company. “I do feel the need to let people know [the Chico franchises are] something I own. It isn’t like a Starbucks or something that’s a huge corporation.” Sanders said he pays a bit more than minimum wage, has very low turnover due to flexible scheduling and is getting 20 to 30 job applications a day for the Chico Jambas, which will now employ 45 people.

BIG deal

The CN&R’s illustrious editor, that master of sarcastic wit, Tom Gascoyne, is doing something good for a change: He’s agreed to help Big Brothers Big Sisters of Butte County by competing as a “BIG Celebrity” to try to raise more money for the cause than other BIG Celebrities around town. This could mean thousands for local youth development programs.

Tom and I may be sending you a letter or calling to ask you to clean out your piggy banks. Or you can write or call us (894-2300 ext. 2240 or ext. 2248); $25 would be a goodly amount—or whatever you can afford. The deadline is Sept. 20.

If Tom raises the most money, that means he’s cooler than other celebs such as Todd Thornton of KCHO and yet-to-be named TV big shots. And then maybe he’ll quit making us ask him for autographs and bring him coffee and such.