Newspaper Archive of
The Gridley Herald
Gridley , California
February 27, 1980     The Gridley Herald
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February 27, 1980

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Wild car chase Sunday man Jesse White Sunday afternoons are usually quiet in this small town; people coming home from church, kids playing basketball on the Syca- more School courts and husbands taking advantage of the sunshine to mow lawns. But last Sunday, the routine was interrupted as ten police cars chas- ed a robbery suspect in a silver Mercury Bobcat station wagon through the streets of Gridley at speeds reaching almost 100 mph. It started at about 3:30 p.m. when a man walked up to Spruce Drugs owner Ruth Rush and de- manded the drugs dialaudid, co- deine and morphine. The man allegedly brandished the barrel of a gun at Rush as she obeyed his request, filling a plastic bag with several bottles containing the drugs. That was apparently all he was after, he didn't take any money as he sprinted out of the drug store on Spruce Street and sped away, almost hitting several cars. The report of the robbery first went to sheriff deputies, although it occurred in the city limits. Butte County deputies converged on the scene, searching the area and even going inside the neighboring Safe- way store. Then a youngster asked one of the deputies if he was looking for somebody. The youngster told the officer that he had seen a curly haired man carrying a paper bag running out of Spruce Drugs just minutes ago. Later, deputies and Gridley police said the youngster's tip helped them get a description of the suspect and asked him to call the police. "What he did is what a citizen should do," said one deputy. "He was aware and got involved. We want to talk to him and thank him. We hope he'll contact us." Ditto, said the city police. Meanwhile, at least ten law en- forcement cars, including the CHP, Gridley PD, county deputies, and Biggs PD, were searching for the silver station wagon. A deputy had ordered road- blocks set up at strategical loca- tions and was heading west on Gridley-Colusa Highway when he spotted the suspect's vehicle whizz- ing east. And, the chase was on. The police vehicles followed the station wagon as it roared through the streets of Gridley and east into the country. Later, a man who was on his roof fixing an antenna and having a bird's eye view of the chase said, "boy, it was better than watching a TV show." As the chase continued at speeds closing in at 100 mph, the police began to box the car in near the Farm Labor Camp on Oro-Gridley Highway. But still the suspect eluded cap- ture, as one deputy later said, "he was either too gone to realize it or boy, that guy sui'e could drive." Finally, CHP OffiCer Joe Lewis managed to force the suspect's ve- hicle off of the roadway and it swerved into a ditch and blew a tire 200 yards east of Larkin Road on Oro-Gridley Highway. As Lewis prepared to make the arrest, two sheriff's vehicles roared in and rammed the suspect's ve- hicle, damaging all three cars. Sheriff's Sgt. Mike Yugo and Deputy William Sumner jumped out and assisted in the arrest just after 4"20 n.m. Yugo said it was necessary to ram the vehicle to keep the suspect from escaping. As about 20 Gridley area resi- dents looked on from the roadway, officers arrested 27-year-old Gregory Doyle Odom, of Marys- ville. He was charged with armed robbery and possession of a con- trolled substance. Officers reportedly did not find a gun when the suspect was placed under arrest. Odom was also re- portedly out on bail after being charged in Yuba County on a forg- ed prescription charge. Dilaudid, a pain killer, has just recently become popular as a street drug. It gives the user a euphoria type feeling for about four hours and runs $30 to $35 a tablet on the street. race Note: This is the a series of articles on four candidates seeking to the Gridley City when voters go to April 8.) By Michael Gardner Herald Editor A former state legislature e and retired USPS 859-420 man for South- Vol. 100 No. 52 15c Copy Gridley, Butte County, CA 95948 Wednesday, February 27, 1980 Railroad has an- he will seek election Gridley City Council eSse White joins incum- Doris Long and challen- Mike Greer and James Jr. in seeking one of vacant seats on the 65-year-old White cites ;-time work in Sacra- as a state legislature e, which is an- Word for lobbyist, as his qualifications. the union 1 was the state legislature in 1967," said. "I spent a lot of Sacramento. I think of state govern- Sacramento would council. whose work includ- the rails across the as a maintenance 1, first came to Gridley 25 years ago. he made his home Street and recently to the Ayers tract Wife Lena. He has three living away from why he decided to said at first he plans to seek election, Bill Oakley One day, "why don't into it." He made up when Oakley and Tony Panecaldo an- they would not seek Can't change the city but I certainly to help the commu- he said. sees growth as the One issue in this city, "one thing you're to have to deal with is Gridley has to grow we want to or not. need controlled growth need light industry. we'll sit here and would in a desert if we don't grow. a nice city, but we cope with growth." the present for doing a ob on a lot of the Problems which have over the past few he says Gridley " its money on the beautification pro- adds that since he is he can spend more with city prob- those who own here. The Board of Trustees of the financially troubled Gridley Union School District will begin a series of meetings tonight on how to deal with their budget problems. Tonight's meeting at 7 in the school library will concern the cafeteria, which has not been pay- ing for itself. Options to be explored include eliminating the service, cutting back on foods offered, raising :-5. -~ ~ 'b ".."~".~."~ '~ .~ .,~--.~ It has been a mad house at The Herald since the big folder for the press arrived last Friday. The 1964 press was limited to 16 page capac- ity by the original folder, and in order to continue to grow with the needs of a growing Gridley, we made a move up. It's not a new folder, ten years old in fact. h comes from Tracy, where the Tracy Press made the next step up with an even bigger folder and more press units. Saturday we made an emergency call to Alan Fife at Fife Engineer- ing ... the folder required a custom drive shaft before anything else could be done. Alan came to the rescue, and the erector from the Goss Company in Chicago was able to start work. Monday the work continued. Parts were needed from Builders Supply, Gridley Equipment Rental, Rice Growers district meeting is March 13 The Rice Growers Association of California 1980 district meeting for Butte County will be held on Thursday, March 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Village Inn, Oroville. RGAC district meetings are designed to give the grower insight into problems faced by the associa- tion plus provide a review of critical drying, milling and market- ing demands that will help the grower keep abreast. I-A Council will meet Wednesday The Gridley Inter-Agency Coun- cil will be meeting today from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the City Council Chambers to list com- munity needs and select projects. The I-A Council is open to the public and everyone is invited to attend the brown bag luncheon meeting. Gridley Tractor, Bremer Hard- ware, and Bearing, Belt and Chain. Bud Waterbury of North Valley Electric was aware of the project and prepared. He sent in electrican Sparky Neiswanger with a load of copper wire to feed the 40-horse motor and fancy control panels. During all this work on the folder installation, there were still newspapers to print. Much of the work had to be torn down in order to run the remains of the old press, and then put back together again. Concrete had to be poured around the anchors and founda- tion. Jack hammers and drills add- ed to the noise. The regular newspaper printing customers were given their papers in two and' three sections and the parking lot was turned into a mail room for a dozen or more in- serters. Fortunately, the weather cooperated; wind or rain would have really presented a problem. Neighbor Vic Parker at Gridley Plumbing loaned three pieces of pipe which made it possible to move the three ton printing unit to make way for the seven ton folder. A five ton auto hydraulic jack and two dollies made it possible to move the folder ... ever so slowly and carefully ... with manpower. Tuesday afternoon, the original deadline for changeover, proved optimistic. Perhaps right now, as you read this, we are pushing the START button ... but then, per- haps not. The annual Marysville Buddhist Temple Tempura chicken and steak teriyaki dinner is being held this Saturday and Sunday. Tickets and reservations are advised. Call Roy Sasaki in Gridley, 846-2323, if you would like to attend. Gridley lost a leading business- man, and all-time dedicated volun- teer fireman last Friday, Jack Roberson. Many a time we wit- nessed his fearless efforts to save a life and pr' perty, perching on the top of a ladder, climbing across burning roofs, entering smoke fill- ed buildings. He did it all. His memory should prove an inspira- tion to the volunteer firemen who follow. may prices or not doing anything at all. The meeting will be one in a series exploring all alternatives to the current budget woes at Gridley High School, which is "vital to our ... we will take a long look at everything from agriculture to ath- letics." In inviting the public to attend these meetings and express their continued survival," according to one trustee. In a regular session last Thurs- day night, the trustees promised many students and parents attend- ing that they would explore all ave- nues of budget cutting, including academic and sports programs. The parents and students were basically concerned with the FFA summer program, which was ru- mored to be considered for eli- mination. Ken Olson, speaking on behalf of thosepresent, said the FFA summer program includes year- round activities such as fairs and shows out of town. Many parents were concerned that the FFA students would not be able to show and sell their proj- ects, resulting in financial losses. According to Dr. Donald Sulli- van, chairman of the board, "the board never considered cutting any- thing ... the board is considering trimming back a lot of things." Trustee Ron Sanford, who has called for the series of meetings, said: "there won't be any area of the school sacred for our survival views, Sanford said: "we will prob- ably have many interesting discus- sions. ' ' As for immediate financial prob- lems, the state handed the district a $40,000 headache just recently. Last fiscal year, GHS received $40,000 more than what it was sup- posed to that money has al- ready been spent. So, the state dip- ped into the 1970-80 budget to get its money back. And that's not all. The trustees are currently involved in contract negotiations with the staff, which means pay raises and more money out of a depleted budget. Staff salaries, which includes teachers, classified employees and administrators, amount to about $1 million of the approximately $1.22 million district budget. The pay raises, dependii:g upon how much is granted, is the key to the problem. "We are attempting to give the staff a raise to help them battle in- flation," Superintendent-Principal Charles Nelson said last week. "We can't give raises and maintain programs." VISITS HERE - Speaking on issues from Gov. Brown to Proposition 9, State Senator Ray Johnson gave an informal talk before a dinner meetlnll last Thursday of the VFW, Warren H. McCutcbeon Post 5731. Johnson was warmly received by the VFW members. He is shown here with local Commander Bart Frates. Also looming on the horizon is loss of Proposition 13 bailout monies because of a depleted state reserve and the spectre of Jarvis il on the June ballot. Virginia City is next Seniors trip The next senior trip sponsored by the City of Gridley and coor- dinated by the Community Action FAldfiency, will be to Virginia City on day, March 14. The trip will include transporta- tion to.and from Virginia City, a rest-stop along the way, three fun filled hours to test your gambling skills at "The Red Goner," and an additional three hours touring his- torical Virginia City itself. The bus will leave at 7 a.m., so everyone will be given the opportu- nity to tour at their leisure. The cost of the trip to all participating seniors will be $5.85. Since the last trip was booked full, those interested in partici- pating are encouraged to sign-up as soon as possible at the Gridley Multi-Service Center, 209 Syca- more St. Those living within Gridley will be given first priority when signing up for the trip, although those seniors living outside of the city limits will be put on a waiting iis! if interested. If there are any questions and/or snggestions concerning the trip, call the center at 846-4737. Farm Labor Camp rents to increase Housing rents at the Farm Labor Camp in Gridley must be increased by at least $20 a month or the Butte County Housing Authority will face a $29,990 budget deficit this year, according to executive director Jim Bowling. Bowling, however, said the in- crease would not eliminate the de- ficit, but just lower it to $16,890. That money will be made up from reserves. To completely offset the deficit this year, housing rents at the 131- unit camp would have to be raised by $45 monthly. Rents currently range from $67 or $100 a month there. Bowling's comments came before a public heating called by the Butte County Housing Authority to con- sider the increases. Several residents of the camp said they could afford to pay much more for housing because their pay has only increased from $2.90 an hour to $3.10. Because of itmreased operational costs, Bowling added that residents at the Farm Labor Camp can ex- pect rent inCreases yearly. t