Northern California briefs

Saturday October 28, 2000

Man convicted of manslaughter had 16 priors 

MARYSVILLE – An Olivehurst man who was recently convicted of manslaughter in connection with a drunken-driving car crash that killed two people had 16 prior drunken-driving convictions on his record, court records show. 

Ronald Bushers Sr., 51, is expected back in court Dec. 8 for sentencing. He faces a prison term of 15 years to life. 

The accident that killed the two Paradise people occurred November 1999 on Highway 70. 

California Highway Patrol officers said Bushers had a blood-alcohol content of .22. A level of .08 is considered legally intoxicated. 

Prosecutors said they found that Bushers’ first drunken-driving conviction was in March 1970. 

Treatment programs introduced in the 1980s seemed to have little impact on Bushers, said Yuba County District Attorney Patrick McGrath. 

The state chairman of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Linda Oxenreider, said she has never heard of anyone with more drunken-driving convictions. 


Former politician and wife busted for marijuana, could face other drug charges 

AUBURN – A former gubernatorial candidate and his wife on trial for growing marijuana may also have to defend themselves against other drugs found in their house. 

Prosecutors have pointed out that a half gram of a psilocyben mushroom was also found in the house of Steven and Michele Kubby. 

The drug, also known as magic mushrooms or shrooms, is usually ingested for its hallucinogenic effects. 

Defense attorneys say the mushrooms have been used as medicine and spiritual aids in other countries. 

The Kubbys argue they were legally growing more than 250 marijuana plants found in their Squaw Valley home last year. They have been vocal advocates of medicinal marijuana and say they had permission to use the drug to treat their ailments. 

Steven Kubby was the Libertarian candidate for governor in 1998. 


Students under fire for paper’s content 

SACRAMENTO – A behavioral hearing was postponed for two Sacramento students suspended for editing an underground newspaper. 

Administrators at Sacramento High School say the publication included several racial slurs and sexual references. 

School officials said the hearing was postponed Thursday because not all people involved in the hearing were available at the time. 

Some students say the publication was distributed off campus and brought to school by other students. 

One of the editors’ parents is protesting the suspension. He claims the boys have a First Amendment right to publish the newspaper. 

The hearing has not been rescheduled, school officials said Thursday. 


UC Davis police call for removal of their chief 

DAVIS – Police officers working for the University of California, Davis, are calling for the removal of their chief and asking for an audit of the entire department. 

Officers say they are frustrated by the mismanaged police force and the department’s practice of underreporting crimes that happen on campus. 

In a letter to university Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef, the officers and department staff announced a vote of no confidence in Chief Calvin Handy, who has been the department’s top officer for the past seven years. 

An attorney for the officers said there have been “serious allegations of abuse of authority” in the department. 

In a prepared statement, Handy said he was open to hearing any complaints from officers and hoped to revolve the issues dividing the department. 

UC Davis spokeswoman Lisa Lapin said Thursday that the officers’ letter was the first formal complaint of the department in 10 years. 

Similar problems recently bothered the Davis Police Department, where officers took a vote of no confidence against Chief Jerry Gonzales. The city hired a consultant to examine the complaints.  

Gonzales’ said his last day on the job was Friday.