Donuts are the big news

I could be here, writing for the business section, uncovering corporate greed and harsh injustices to Chico’s workers and writing award-winning investigative stories that would get me hired away by some big-city paper, or at least some shoddy, high-paying Internet magazine. But no; everyone I talk to wants to know why Krispy Kreme donuts hasn’t moved in yet.

Here’s the tasty update:

“We’re really looking forward to being up in Chico,” said Tim Hinchey, the vice president of brand development for Golden Gate Donuts, the area developer for Krispy Kreme.

Krispy Kreme had hoped to open a shop on Business Lane (just past In-N-Out) by this spring, but now the target date is June.

The delay, Hinchey said, came because Krispy Kreme had to get through projects on its development plan for the 12-month period ending Jan. 31, and the shops in Santa Rosa, Elk Grove and Pinole have taken longer than expected.

But Hinchey said that, once the final building permit application is submitted to the city of Chico, probably this month, it shouldn’t take long to get down to business.

“Chico is our No. 1 objective for this fiscal year,” he promised. “We’re poised to move forward.” It will be the company’s northernmost Krispy Kreme in the state.

Brokerage breakdown

The Chico branch of Morgan Stanley is closing, and other brokerages are snapping up its workers.

A spokesperson from the firm’s corporate communications office in New York confirmed the impending closure but would not give details, including where clients will be referred and why the company—its Cohasset Road office small by Morgan Stanley standards—decided to leave the market.

Word is that employees, who heard about the closure back in November, will be transferred to other offices or just plain laid off by the end of this month.

“My layoff was planned a good week in advance and I exited gracefully,” said one financial advisor, Randall Stone, who quickly landed a new job. “In fact, the company was very good to us, giving us plenty of warning and opportunity to find other employment and allowing us to use the office to seek other employment.”

Enloe rethinks strategy

Chico State University’s nursing program will no longer get a monetary boost from the local hospital.

In August 2000, Enloe Health System announced with much fanfare that its foundation would be giving about $200,000 over three years to the School of Nursing.

The money meant that 20 “extra” students, in two groups of 10, could study nursing by virtue of the hiring of several part-time faculty members, who would be different each year. The idea was to help the impacted program make a dent in the nursing shortage.

“They’re keeping their end of the bargain,” said Sherry Fox, who directs the nursing program at Chico State. “What they decided not to do was continue beyond that three-year period.”

That’s OK with Fox, who didn’t push Enloe to keep it up, mainly because she believes the nursing shortage is a state and national problem that shouldn’t fall on local hospitals. She’s hoping Gov. Gray Davis will come through with part of $24 million promised under the state’s Nursing Recruitment Act. “It’s a public-health crisis, and public funds need to be going to it,” Fox said.

Enloe spokesperson Ann Prater said the $200,000 was an unusual, one-time award "to help a global problem," and because the university hasn’t asked for more, the foundation hasn’t considered it. The hospital continues to spend money on recruiting nurses and retaining the employees it has, including paying some of them to go to school so they can move into more-skilled positions.