Raising the Courtain

As quickly as he had gotten the boot from KHSL-TV Channel 12, sportscaster Royal Courtain was snatched up by competitor KRCR, based in Redding. Courtain will work out of the station’s Chico office, just a few paces from his former home of 22 years at KHSL, covering Friday-night high-school football games and offering up feature stories.

Mike Mangas, sports director at KRCR, said getting Courtain on board for the part-time gig was a coup. “To have somebody with that kind of experience and knowledge and talent is definitely something we’re excited about,” he said. “It was an opportunity that presented itself and we took advantage of it.”

KHSL unceremoniously fired Courtain on July 11, with Connecticut-based station owner Raymond Johns, of Catamount Broadcasting Group, saying later only that a variety of “behaviors” by Courtain gave the company no choice but to let him go.

Mangas said that whatever Courtain may have done to offend KHSL brass isn’t an issue for KRCR. “We certainly wanted to check it out as best we could,” he said, but ultimately “nothing” made the Redding station balk at hiring the sportscaster.

Courtain himself said he’s excited about his new post. “It’s a little more flexible. I think it’s going to be fun.” He said he hopes to play a role in expanding KRCR’s coverage in Butte, Glenn and Tehama counties.

Courtain also said that since his firing “the community support has just been incredible.” He said he was still trying to get Johns to tell him where he thinks he went wrong and had hired an attorney.

Candy woman

I was at The Graduate Sunday evening so my old man could watch the Dodgers game. Everyone was busy yelling at Eric Karros and I had finished my Uncle Melty, so I was people-watching. Most interesting was a woman who had come to refill the candy machines. This was too cool.

So, I did one of those interviews where I write on a napkin—about as professional an approach as one I did when I finally cornered a prominent downtown property owner and set to him with a Hello Kitty notepad and pink highlighter.

As the woman, Lisa Faust, plugged lollipop sticks into tiny holes, she let me in on the secrets of her business. She lives in Mt. Shasta and Sacramento, and her main job is as a restaurant server. She picked up the candy gig a few years ago after answering a classified ad.

“It’s fun,” she said, but “it takes about three years before you make a profit,” what with the cost of the machines—$2,000 for the Lollipopper—and having to pay a percentage to the businesses in which they’re placed. Faust’s machines are in eight spots in Chico, but she has them from Oregon to Sacramento. The most popular candies, which she has to fill once a week, are peanut M&Ms, Reese’s Pieces and Skittles. In the lollipop machine, “the WarHeads seem to be the most popular because of the sour things.”

She finished up about an hour later, pouring M&Ms and other candy from big bags into another, more-traditional machine. About that time a man walked in, eyed the fresh treats, and exclaimed: "Oooo, my favorite lady!"