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KPAY News Archives for 2022-12

Lawmakers keeping eye on Flight Mess

State leaders say they are keeping an eye on the flight cancellations issue. A spokesperson for Governor Gavin Newsom said yesterday that his office is monitoring the situation. With prices surpassing one-thousand dollars for flights between cities in California, including some from Sacramento to San Diego for example, the state attorney general's office said Tuesday it could not comment on, confirm, or deny a potential investigation into the high prices. The state's price gouging laws are not triggered unless there is a federal, state, or local emergency declaration.

Dept Forestry Rural Wildlfire Map

For the first time, more than half of California's rural and unincorporated communities could soon be classified as "very high" fire hazard severity zones, according to a proposed map from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Officials unveiled the new map — which ranks the likelihood of certain areas to experience wildfire as "very high," "high" or "moderate" — this month and are taking public comments through February. If approved, nearly 17 million acres will fall under the worst ranking from the Office of the State Fire Marshal, a 14.6% increase since the map was last updated in 2007.

State Population Declines

According to the latest data from the U.S Census Bureau, California's population continues to decline. Figures released last week showed that the state's resident population was just over 39-million in July, which is a decline of over 113-thousand since July of 2021. This year's number is also down more than a half-million people since July of 2020. Officials with the California Department of Finance told the Sacramento Bee that the shrinking population reflects the state's housing affordability crisis.

SCOTUS will review Student Forgiveness in February

The Supreme Court will hear arguments over President Biden's student loan forgiveness plan in late February. Biden earlier this year unveiled a plan to cancel up to 20-thousand dollars in student debt for tens of millions of borrowers. Republican states and organizations filed a series of lawsuits to stop the policy from going into effect, arguing it's an overreach of executive authority. The policy remains on hold as the high court will ultimately make the final decision.

Chico PD Arrest Man on Chico Sex Abuse

Chico Police arrested a Chico man after a year-long investigation into sexual abuse at a Chico daycare facility. Officers said they began an investigation in September 2021 and identified 66-year-old Salvador Calvillo Juarez as the suspect. Investigators obtained evidence that Calvillo Juarez committed sexual acts against children at his home, which was a small informal daycare in south Chico. He was arrested at his home on Tuesday and booked into the Butte County Jail.

Chico State President Addresses Latest Issues on Campus

Chico State's President supports an independent investigation into how the the University handled an alleged affair between a professor and a student and alleged threats of violence. Gayle Hutchinson says it has been a tumultuous week after a report by EdSource indicated that Biology Professor David Stachura allegedly threatend to kill two professors who cooperated in an investigation into the affair. Hutchinson says she welcomes the Chancellor's Office independently looking at the case. While Stachura was being investigated for the alleged threats he was still working on campus. Fellow professors said it led to an uncomfortable work environment and students have said they would have steered clear of the department had they known about the threats. Last week Chico State's Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Debra Larson announced her retirement. The decision was less than a week after there were reported she signed off on the light discipline of a biology professor clearing his way to promotion.

More Califonians Getting Covid Relief

About 100-thousand Californians are getting another chance at COVID money. Those who were denied for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program can now reapply for retroactive benefits. The change comes after the government added new reasons to explain being out of work. They include reduced hours or laid off due to the public health emergency, or refusing to work at a place not complying with COVID safety standards.

Butte County Supervisors make Budget Changes

Butte County Supervisors voted for significant budget changes to offset increased costs in employee benefits and salaries at a meeting on Tuesday. More than $26 million in increased costs for employee benefits and salaries were not included in the 2022-2023 budget with $9 million of that in the General Fund. About 103 vacant positions in the county will remain unfilled.

PUC New Solar Rules For Homeowners

Changes are coming to California's rooftop solar rules. The Public Utilities Commission voted to reduce payments to homeowners from THE BIG UTILITES ....PG-and-E, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas and Electric. This is only for new customers. The New rules will pay less back to Solar owners who sell thier power back to the utility.. Critics argue those who don't have solar panels end up with higher bills, while supporters say it means less pollution and protects against power shutoffs.

Butte Co Health Officials see Spike in Flu

Butte County Health Offcials say they have seen a spike in Flu cases based on reports from Hospitals and healthcare providers. Officials are urging residents to get the flu vaccine. Health Offcials expect the cases to remain elevated in the next several weeks.

Jan 6 Cmte to release Report Dec 21

The House select committee investigating last year's attack on the U.S. Capitol is winding down its public meetings. Chairman Bennie Thompson said the January 6th panel will hold its final session next Monday, December 19th. The committee plans to vote on criminal referrals that could include former President Trump. Its final report is set to be released on December 21st.

Chico Names New Chief of Police

Chico Police Department Captain Billy Aldridge will be appointed as the city's next police chief, effective Sunday, the City of Chico announced on Tuesday. City Manager Mark Sorenson said the city used an outside recruiting company to find a new chief..ALdrege was selected from that search. Aldredge will take over as Chief on Dec 18th..he's a 17 year veteran of the Chico POlice Department.

Parties reach Settlement in MIll Fire

A lumber company that owns a Northern California wood veneers manufacturing plant linked to a deadly fast-spreading blaze that killed two people and sent thousands fleeing for their lives has reached a settlement agreement with more than 700 people who filed wrongful death, personal injury, and property loss claims. Roseburg Forest Products of Springfield, Ore. said in a statement Tuesday that it has agreed with four law firms representing the majority of claims stemming from the Mill Fire, which sparked on Sept. 2 The company says that the terms and amount of each family's settlement will remain confidential as part of the agreement.

Redding Man faces Life Sentence

A Redding Man considered dangerous to society faces life behind bars for multiple sexual assaults. 25 year old Lance Pasalich was found guilty last week of forcible rape against multiple victims, forcible penetration, and forcible oral copulation. The Shasta County District Attorney's Office said the jury also found that Pasalich's violence is a danger to society. He faces 180 years to life in state prison with sentencing set for early Februrary.

Chico State Professor sanctioned but Back on Campus

A Chico State biology professor disciplined for a student affair allegedly threatened two colleagues who complained about it. EdSource reports Chico State contacted a retired FBI agent to evaluate the alleged threat - that David Stachura told his estranged wife he was going to shoot the two women who cooperated with the university's Title IX investigation of the alleged affair. The retired agent concluded "It may be appropriate to conclude that (Stachura) does pose an unacceptable risk of violence to the workplace, but he didn't act on the threats, and the university sanctioned him for the alleged affair, both sides agreeing to an unpaid suspension for a third of a semester after his appeal. Chico State spokesman Andrew Staples told EdSource the university believed a harsher punishement could have been overturned in arbitration since the affair was consensual, but today the circumstances may be considered differently. Stachura denies all allegations including the affair. He told EdSource the investigation was a witchunt.

Former Twitter Employees Sue Musk

Two women who lost their jobs at Twitter when billionaire Elon Musk took over are suing the company in federal court, claiming that last month's abrupt mass layoffs disproportionately affected female employees. The discrimination lawsuit is the latest in a series of legal challenges over Musk's decimation of Twitter's workforce through mass layoffs and firings. Days after the world's richest man bought the social media platform for $44 billion, the company told about half of employees on Nov. 4 that they no longer had a job but would get three months severance.

Tribe V Natl Highway Admin

A Northern California Native American tribe is searching for human remains on what was once a tribal village, but time is running out. Construction began in July on the former tribal village site near Redding. The Federal Highway Administration is building a parking area, restrooms and a path where the village once stood. Tribal leaders are looking for Ancestors of the Wintu Tribe who were buried in that area. Remains have been found, but the coroner's office reported them as nonhuman animal remains or inconclusive. The search team has also found some artifacts, including arrowheads and mortars. The tribal leaders and the Federal Highway Administration have clashed over whether the tribe was properly notified of the construction, which is scheduled to finish this month.


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