Changes on the courts?

Tony and Heather DeLuca, who for three years held top management positions at In Motion Fitness, are now hoping to own a club of their own—the 22-year-old Kangaroo Kourts on the Skyway.

Tony DeLuca said he and his wife have always wanted to own their own club and they have great plans for this one, which is positioned to serve South Chico, Paradise and Durham rather than compete with other clubs in town.

“It’s going to be a unique approach to club management where the membership is really going to drive the changes,” DeLuca said.

The DeLucas and Kangaroo Kourts owner Gary Bright, who wanted to hold off on comment until the deal was final, jointly sent out letters to Kangaroo Kourts members informing them of the pending deal and some of the plans for the future.

Plans include expanding the group exercise programs, a commitment to racquetball, and adding equipment and a “Cardio-Theater” system.

Margaret on the move

The North Valley Community Foundation is looking for a new executive director following the resignation of Margaret Schmidt, who had held the post since March. Actually, pretty much all of the staff members at the Chico-based nonprofit are moving on to other jobs, although you should not take that as an indication there’s something wrong.

The foundation solicits and manages endowment funds and otherwise filters gifts from charitable folks who want to see good done in the community.

As for Schmidt, she just decided her life needed some rearranging—she has a husband and a 7-year-old son. She’s been taking him to school and picking him up, which is fun, and meanwhile planning part-time work.

“I’m just pursuing private consulting jobs,” said Schmidt, excited about some grant-writing and marketing gigs she’s anticipating.

Who’s buyin'?

Convenience store owner Frank Nijim is fed up with police trying to trick him into selling alcohol to minors.

Every so often, the police put together a “sting” operation, baiting liquor store clerks with underage buyers toting bad I.D.s. This time, the bust was led by Todd Lopez, a Chico Police Department alcohol-beverage-control officer.

“They’ve visited my store six or seven times already,” said Nijim, who has been in business since 1976 and has owned U.S. Market at 2101 The Esplanade since the mid-1980s. “I’ve never gotten busted in my life.”

And he didn’t this time, either. Nijim said when the police plant came in, Nijim threatened to call in the Sheriff’s Department. “We’re not going to make illegal money here,” said Nijim, who can spot a fake I.D. a mile away.

“It’s not fair,” he said. “They know they’re not going to succeed here. Why do they keep coming back?”

He’s also irked that the police don’t publicly recognize the “good citizens” who don’t get caught in the stings. Another piece of irony: Nijim said that while his taxes are going toward overkill, he can’t even get the Sheriff’s Department to investigate thefts and assaults that take place at his market.