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.