An envelope mailed to the News & Review last month contained a CD, a threatening note, and a metal aerosol can marked "anthrax," reports the paper. After notifying the authorities, the weekly's offices were visited by local police, hazardous-materials experts, G-men and assorted officials associated with the local Joint Terrorism Task Force. The sender turned out to be a local crank/activist named Marc Keyser, who had been the topic of a 2002 News & Review cover story on his efforts to protect a local water system from terrorist attacks. Keyser, who claimed the package was meant to alert the paper to the anthrax threat, was not prosecuted. "The FBI showed up at my door and said it caused a bit of a scare," Keyser tells the alt-weekly. "We had a nice chat. They and their families are not vaccinated. But they carry guns."

Continue ReadingAnthrax Prank Rattles Nerves at Sacramento Weekly

Tom Gascoyne, who resigned from CN&R in March after 11 years with the paper, has a new biweekly publication called The Chico Beat. According to his column in the inaugural issue, the paper has an initial print run of 10,000 copies. "Here's how it happened. Two out-of-work journalists stumbled across a generous offer they couldn't refuse and the rest is history," Gascoyne writes. The other unemployed journalist is award-winning reporter Josh Indar, who also used to work for CN&R. Without mentioning his former employer by name, Gascoyne adds, "That paper, by the way, is a fine paper, has always been a fine paper and will continue to be a fine paper -- just different."

Continue ReadingFormer Chico News & Review Editor Launches Competing Paper

Tom Gascoyne is ending his 11-year tenure at CN&R, he announced in his regular column yesterday. Gascoyne jokes that he was "scooped" by the Chico Enterprise Record, which published a front-page story on his resignation. ("Talk about your slow news days," he says.) Gascoyne told AAN that he has "become sort of disenchanted with the game. While we try, as a wiser newspaper person once said, to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, in the end it is the comfortable who buy all the advertising."

Continue ReadingChico News & Review Editor Resigns

Inspired by German illustrator George Grosz, Rick Sealock takes an ornery-manner approach to his art. He distorts the humans and animals he creates in the hopes viewers will draw a social and political message from his work. The Canadian illustrator took both first-place AltWeekly Awards in Illustration this year. This is the 11th in a "How I Got That Story" series highlighting the AltWeekly Awards' first-place winners.

Continue ReadingRick Sealock: Can He Make It Any Uglier?

Chico State University won't distribute the paper's "Goin' Chico" edition (pictured) to incoming students because of an article, "The Party Rules," that one school official calls "really hurtful." Officials deny physically removing copies of the paper from racks, but News & Review editor Tom Gascoyne says the school "grabbed 5,000 issues and put them in a room." Gascoyne describes the article as "a satire and sort of a cautionary tale" about the school's drinking culture.

Continue ReadingUniversity Pulls Chico News & Review from Orientation Packets