Five northern California counties including Butte, Shasta and Tehama have filed a lawsuit against PG&E over the destructive Dixie Fire. The second-largest fire in state history, the Dixie Fire burned over 963,000 acres, killed at least one person, and destroyed or damaged over 1,400 structures. The lawsuit was filed in San Franciso Superior Court and demands legal damages for injuries to public resources, natural resources, lost revenues, increased expenses, lost assets, injuries to infrastructure such as roads and water systems, and other injuries.
California's school walkout was this past Monday and Butte County's largest public school district was not spared the empty classrooms.
Data provided by the Chico Unified School District (CUSD) Wednesday show 1,347 student absences across its 23 campuses were unexcused. This translates to roughly 11% of the school community that is made up of 12,001 students as of the most recent data. According to CUSD's Assistant Superintendent of Business Services, Jaclyn Kruger, Monday's walkout will cost the school $101,025 at least.
The city of Chico is pursuing an "emergency non-congregate housing site" consisting of 177 microshelters with 354 beds at the current location of the Silver Dollar BMX Race Track, and released a request for proposals for management of the site late Monday afternoon.
According to the Request For Proposal overview, the city is partnering with Butte County on the project "to identify qualified and available organizations, agencies or other vendors to provide certain resources and services for unsheltered persons experiencing homelessness at a specified location." "The Site will serve as a first step to go beyond the provision of housing and assist individuals and families to connect to providers to graduate those experiencing homelessness out of homelessness," the RFP said. The city has "identified $600,000 in funding to support the operation of the site for the remainder of the fiscal year" and adds "additional funding may become available."
The release of the RFP comes following a period of court-ordered silence from the city, which has been under a preliminary injunction since July 9 in the Warren vs. Chico lawsuit
(AP) California is joining the vast majority of states in setting up a way to strip the badges of police officers who act criminally or with bias. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the law Thursday as one of several police reform efforts. The move comes 18 years after lawmakers stripped away that power from a state police standards commission. The most populous state was one of just four without such a system, alongside Hawaii, New Jersey and Rhode Island. The new law was driven in part by last year's murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis policeman. Newsom also signed bills limiting the use of rubber bullets during protests and barring a type of restraint hold that has led to deaths.
(AP) California regulators said they are preparing for the possibility of mandatory water restrictions if the state faces yet another dry winter. Department of Water Resources Director Karla Nemeth said the agency is working with state water agencies for the possibility they won't receive an allocation of water from the state next year. That could prompt mandatory water restrictions across the state. Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot said Thursday mandatory water restrictions "need to be on the table." But he indicated those restrictions likely would not come until regulators have a better picture of how much water the state will get this winter.
(AP) California's eviction moratorium ends Friday. But tenants with unpaid rent can still stay in their homes beyond that date if they apply for assistance from the state. California is using billions of federal dollars to pay off up to 18 months of most people's rent dating back to April 2020. That was the first full month of the state's stay-at-home order in response to the pandemic. As of Monday, more than 309,000 households have asked for nearly $3 billion in rental assistance. The state has paid nearly $650 million to about 55,000 households and has approved another $950 million.
Blue Shield of California is making a $1 Million Donation to help expand youth mental health services across the state's school system
The money is part of Blue Shield's BlueSky initiative, a multi-year effort that builds on existing work with the Department of Education to train educators to recognize and address mental health concerns in young people. According to a 2019 UCLA research study, nearly half of California teens say they've recently struggled with mental health issues.
THE GOVERNOR SIGNED TWO MEASURES INTO LAW WEDNESDAY....MEANT TO PROTECT THE PRIVACY OF ABORTION PROVIDERS AND THEIR PATIENTS. ONE LAW MAKES IT A CRIME TO FILM PEOPLE WITHIN A HUNDRED FEET OF AN ABORTION CLINIC FOR THE PURPOSE OF INTIMIDATION. THE OTHER LAW MAKES IT EASIER FOR PEOPLE ON THEIR PARENTS' INSURANCE PLANS TO KEEP SENSITIVE MEDICAL INFORMATION SECRET. DURING THE SIGNING CEREMONY, THE GOVERNOR SAID IT'S CRUCIAL FOR STATES LIKE CALIFORNIA TO DO THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT STATES LIKE TEXAS ARE DOING WITH TIGHTENING ABORTION RESTRICTIONS.
(AP)California will be the first state to bar mega-retailers from firing warehouse workers for missing quotas that interfere with bathroom and rest breaks. The legislation signed Wednesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom grew from Amazon's drive to speed goods to consumers. The measure also prohibits disciplining workers for following health and safety laws and allows employees to sue to suspend unsafe quotas or reverse retaliation. It applies to all warehouse distribution centers, though proponents were driven by Amazon's dominance. Amazon didn't comment. But business organizations objected that California is home to thousands of warehouse distribution centers that provide quality jobs to hundreds of thousands of working-class Californians.
California is one of three states where transmission of the Coronavirus is
dropping. Even though the numbers have climbed significantly over the last month
California is seeing positive cases drop along with Vermont and Delaware.
The three states have one thing in common......strict and stringent masking
guidelines in public places.
California is also seeing high vaccination rates in certain urban areas.
Butte County reports that the total population fully vaccintated now almost 53%
Three weeks ago Butte County saw 949 positive cases....two weeks ago the
numbers dropped to 845 and last week there were 647 cases.
The Butte County Health Department says 89 percent of positive cases
are the highly contagious Delta variant.
9 Butte County residents have died from COVID in the past month
221 since pandemic began
California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has emphatically defeated a recall aimed at kicking him out of office. Newsom bolted to a quick victory Tuesday boosted by healthy turnout in the overwhelmingly Democratic state. He cast it as a win for science, women's trights and other liberal issues. It ensures the nation's most populous state will remain in Democratic control as a laboratory for progressive policies. Newsom overcame Republican criticism of COVID-19 restrictions that shuttered schools and businesses. The outcome was being watched nationally with the 2022 midterm elections on the horizon, when control of Congress again will be at stake.
(AP) — President Joe Biden is set to campaign for California Gov. Gavin Newsom in the final days of a recall campaign. Biden will join the Democratic governor in the Southern California city of Long Beach on Monday. Voting ends Tuesday. Biden is the latest in a string of prominent Democrats who have helped Newsom during a campaign that's trying to kick him out of office. Vice President Kamala Harris, who is from California, urged voters to reject the recall during an appearance in the state Wednesday. Biden's stop is part of a two-day trip that also will take him to Idaho and Colorado. He's set to tour wildfire damage in Northern California.
(AP) — California lawmakers have approved more than $2 billion in new spending aimed at preventing wildfires and addressing the drought. The votes on Thursday mark the end of lawmakers' work on the state's $262.5 billion operating budget this year. New approved spending brings the state's wildfire prevention budget to more than $1.5 billion. Lawmakers also approved $1.2 billion to address the drought and climate change. Republicans bemoaned the lack of funding for more water storage projects. And lawmakers from both parties complained about pay raises for commissioners on the Public Utilities Commission. The budget bills now go to Gov. Gavin Newsom's desk
(AP) The Los Angeles Unified School District has ordered that students age 12 and older must be vaccinated before they can return to classrooms next year. The board of the nation's second-largest school district voted Thursday to require vaccinations for roughly 630,000 students. Those who can't show proof of full vaccination will have to study remotely. Some parents opposed the mandate, arguing that they should have the final say on vaccinating their child but the board overwhelmingly approved the measure as a way of keeping classrooms safely open. Public health officials say that between mid-August and Sept. 7, nearly 8,000 student cases of COVID-19 were reported in LA County, most of them in Los Angeles Unified.
Covered California announced a special-enrollment period for Californians who will soon be losing the federal financial help that is allowing them to continue receiving health insurance through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, better known as COBRA. Under one provision of the American Rescue Plan, Californians have been eligible for financial help that pays 100 percent of their COBRA premiums from April 1 through Sept. 30.
Highway 99 was closed for several hours Thursday morning in Tehama County after a deadly head-on crash involving a wrong-way driver and a tanker truck. The crash happened just before 12:30 a.m. Thursday on Highway 99 just south of South Avenue in the Vina area of Tehama County. The CHP said a wrong-way driver in an SUV went northbound in the southbound lanes slamming head-on into a tanker truck. The driver of the SUV was killed. The CHP said he is a 28-year-old man from Red Bluff
The California Senate has voted to make sure all active registered voters will get a ballot in the mail at least 29 days before every election. A majority of California voters have been voting by mail for years. But they had to ask for a ballot in the mail. California temporarily changed the rule for the 2020 and 2021 elections to mail all active registered voters a ballot during the pandemic. Thursday, the state Senate voted to make that permanent. The state Assembly must vote on the bill one more time before sending it to Gov. Gavin Newsom's desk.
A group of election security experts is calling on California's top election official to take an additional step to protect the upcoming gubernatorial recall. This comes after copies of systems used to run elections across the country were released at an event last month sponsored by a key ally of former President Donald Trump. The experts sent the letter Thursday to the California secretary of state calling for a rigorous type of post-election audit to be conducted statewide that can help detect malicious attempts to interfere. The letter says such an audit would provide "strong public evidence" to counter any effort to discredit the outcome.
Butte County Public Health announced in a press release that A third dose, also known as a booster dose, for individuals who are moderately to severely immunocompromised has also been approved on the news the FDA has Fully approved the Pfizer vaccine . Third doses of Pfizer and Moderna may be given 28 days or more after a person completes the initial two-dose series, . Currently, persons who received the Johnson & Johnson are not recommended to receive additional doses. Butte County Officials say they are waiting to hear from the State Health Dept and CDC when the thurd dose will be available to the general public. They anticipate approval by mid September.
The private information of nearly 130 Chico State students requesting exemptions
from the COVID vaccine after what the Sacramento Bee is calling a data breach.
The students made formal requests to not be required to take the vaccine
through religious exemption. The information of the students was dumped on an
anonymouss internet message board that documented the approved and
denied requests from students between June 7th and August 10th.
The names, phone numbers and addresses were listed. Students
who requested religious exemption included several NCAA athletes.
Chico State officials said they are investigating the incident.
The True North Housing Alliance and Torres Shelter announced Friday that Executive Director Joy Amaro will be stepping down and moving on. Amaro will contiue working with the Alliance thru the End of this year and will support the New Exeuctive Director in the transition. Amaro has been with the Alliance since 2017 ..the search for a new Executive Director has started..
Nine of the 20 schools in the Chico Unified School District have reported
positive Coronavirus tests among students and staff.
Positive cases were expected as students returned to school but
the scope of cases at different schools shows how prevalent the virus is.
The Chico Unified School District website says there have been
cases Emma Wilson, Rosedale, Shasta, McManus Elementary Schools.
Also, Marsh Junior High, Chico and Pleasant Valley and Fair View saw
cases. 15 students and staff tested positive for the virus.
Cases and hospitalizations from the Coronavirus continues to climb in
Butte County. Wednesday there 63 new cases of the virus.
Butte County health officials say there are 69 people hospitalized
with the COVID-19 with nine people in the ICU. These are the highest
numbers since mid-January.
The county's positivity rate has doubled in the last month
with a better than 10 percent positivity rate.
While the rate of total vaccination is climbing...Butte County
is still one of the worst county's in the state in getting vaccinated
ranking 47th out of 58 counties
The 2020 Census found that more than half the counties in the United States had lost population since 2010, and Butte County was one of them.
Butte County's case was different though. The bulk of the other losses reflected the continuing migration from rural areas to cities. Butte County lost people due to fire.
According to recent Census data, The county had been growing steadily from the 2010 Census total of 220,000, to an estimated 230,330 on July 1, 2018. People displaced by the Camp fire and moved out of the area , and by July 1, 2019, the Census Bureau estimated there were just over 218,000 people in the county. The latest Census count, dated to April 1, 2020, put the county's population at 211,632.
Monday Evening , Chico Police Officers responded to the One Mile Recreation Area of Bidwell Park on a report of a possible drowning in the creek, according to the Chico Police Department. Officers report that they found park goers pulling a woman from the water downstream from Sycamore Pool.
Chico Fire Department and Butte Emergency Medical Services attempted lifesaving efforts for some time but were unable to save the woman.
Officers have initiated a death investigation. The woman's identity is being withheld pending next of kin notifications.