Opening doors

The shuttered door factory in Durham is once again open for business. A new company called Feather River is manufacturing expertly crafted hardwood doors and expects to sell $5 million worth per year.

Owner Mark Medearis bought the door side of Feather River Wood & Glass out of bankruptcy several months ago and has brought back 21 jobs, many of them held by loyal former employees.

They held a press conference, which I couldn’t make, but someone was kind enough to drop off an information packet and a cool-looking block of wood.

“These beautiful doors are recognized as the finest doors in the world,” Medearis stated in the press release. “We had to find a way to keep this manufacturing tradition alive. And it was very important to me to put people back to work.”

A new line, called Craftsman, is in the rustic arts and crafts style. Medearis expects them to prove popular among people looking to restore or recreate traditional bungalow homes. For more, go to

Wear your boots

For many hard-working farmers, harvest time is winding up, checks are coming in and thoughts are turning to the hunting season and other opportunities for hometown fun. Some of those fun-seeking country guys (and gals) might just be found at Fall Festival 2001, hosted by Chico State University’s College of Agriculture and Superior Ag and held at the University Farm. The kickoff is Oct. 6, with farm tours and an evening dance.

Leslie Santos, the farm accountant who is chairing the festival, said it promises to draw quite a few students, parents and alumni. And don’t let the wine-and-cheese tasting part of the festivities throw you off. This is “down home casual,” Santos said, with “a country theme with gingham, scarecrows, pumpkins and hay bales.”

There will also be a silent auction to raise money for scholarships, and Jud Carter and Buel Mouser will be inducted into the Hall of Honor. Carter is in agribusiness, with the Bell-Carter olive processing plant, while Mouser is a Chico State professor who’s researching cotton at the farm.

Radio-free Jesus

This next report comes to you from one of our high school interns, Misty Harrold. (Our other one is the capable Amanda Johnson.)

Reality Radio Ministries (Y105) has set up camp to broadcast live all this week from the Carl’s Jr. on East Avenue and The Esplanade. Randy Zachary, general manager and a DJ, explained that a care package of letters, banners and a check would be sent to the families of missing New York City police officers, firefighters and employees of the Cantor-Fitzgerald Company, which lost 600 people. Zachary said his participation in this relief effort is “almost like therapy to me. You feel almost helpless.” Still, he said the losses had pulled communities and the nation together.

Zachary said the commercial radio station felt that it had to do something to help in any way, shape or form, and the relief effort seemed most appropriate. "We all feel like we need to do something," he said.