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KPAY News Archives for 2024-01

Cal Trans 1 Way Traffic Control Hwy 70

Highway 70 is now open with one-way traffic control in the Cresta area just east of Storrie, Caltrans says. Officials say crews are still working to fully reopen the Highway. Caltrans says there is no estimated time on when Highway 70 from Jarbo Gao to Greenville Wye will reopen. Caltrans says this can change at any time with the upcoming storms.

Chico Police update Ped v Vehicle Incident

The Chico Police Major Accident Investigation Team (M.A.I.T.) has been investigating the collision that occurred early Saturday morning at 8th and Main Streets. The pedestrian that was struck was identified as a 32-year-old male from Chico. The pedestrian is recovering at a local hospital from major injuries and is expected to survive. The driver, Vitaly Smith, was arrested the night of the incident for Felony DUI causing major injuries. Smith was transported to Butte County Jail where bail was set at $125,000.

Gov Newsome vows to Save Salmon

California is launching a new strategy to save salmon. After ten years of drought and more extreme weather, the iconic fish isn't doing well. But Governor Newsom says he's "doubling down" to make sure the species adapts to a hotter and drier future, so the population remains for generations to come. He visited Humboldt County this week to lay out six priorities. They call for removing barriers, restoring habitat and protecting water flows

CSU Student employees Seek to Form Union

More workers at California State University are deciding whether to form a union. More than 20-thousand students from all 23 campuses began voting last Thursday. Organizers are hoping for a contract so they can bargain for more money, better hours, paid sick leave and free parking. If approved, the union would join others such as dining hall workers, faculty and adjunct professors. Election results will be revealed February 23rd.

Pedestrian vs Vehicle in Chico Driver Arrested DUI

Early Saturday at around 2am ., the Chico Police Department responded a vehicle versus pedestrian collision at W. 8th Street at Main Street. Upon arrival, officers discovered a pedestrian in the roadway with severe, life-threatening injuries. The driver of the vehicle, identified as Vitaly Smith, a 30-year-old male from Chico, cooperated with authorities and remained at the scene. Following a field sobriety test, Smith was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Chico Community Meetings on Downtown Complete Streets Project

The City of Chico will continue hosting outreach events for the Downtown Chico Complete Streets Project. Community workshops are scheduled for the following dates: • TONIGHT from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Chapman Elementary School (1071 16th Street) in the Multi-Purpose Room • TUESDAY from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Shasta Elementary School (169 Leora Ct) in the Multi-Purpose Room Officials are looking for the publics input on the project...if you are unable to attend either of the events you can look online at the City of Chico Website (Public Works)

Gridley Teacher Court Hearing Faces Felony Charges

A Gridley Middle School Teacher, facing felony charges over an alleged sexual relationship with a former student, did not appear at her hearing at the Butte County Superior Court on Thursday. Michelle Solis is facing two felony charges for both unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and distributing harmful matter. Thursday, She signed a 977 waiver which allows her attorney to represent her case without her present. The next court hearing is set to take place on March 7

Covered CA Enrollment Spikes

Heading into the final week of open enrollment, Covered California has continued to see signups surge. As of Jan. 20, over 243,000? Californians have newly enrolled in coverage for 2024, a 13 percent increase over the same period last year. Over 1.5 million Covered California enrollees have renewed their coverage. There is still time for uninsured Californians to sign up for coverage through Covered California, but only until Jan. 31.

PGE Rates Climb

Outrage is growing as millions of Californians see PG&E's new rate hike. The first bills began arriving this week and some are double, even forcing families to turn down the heat or stop using it altogether. The utility says the average increase is about 34-dollars, meaning customers are now paying more for power than anyone else in the state. But it could get worse. Regulators will decide on another rate hike in March to help cover last year's storm damage. If approved, that will tack on 14 more dollars.

Verizon Outages State Wide

Verizon says they are investigating multiple outages in California. Verizon says they are working to restore service as soon as possible. They said the restoration time can range from four to six hours. Verizon says this will ultimately depend on whether and when Verizon technicians can access the sites and the scope of repair required.

Trump Wins GOP Primary in NH


Butte Co Sups approve funding to demolish Old Sheriff SubStation

Butte County Supervisors voted for the old Sheriff sub station bldg at 479 East Park Ave. in Chico to be demolished. It will cost about $400,000 to tear it down. This building has existed since the 1970s. Behind the building, stands vaults and a tower that help support radio, phone, and data communications for the city and the county. The supervisors approved 150k to improve security at the site. There is no timetable to demolish the substation.

Newsome will not Back Youth Football ban

(AP) California Gov. Gavin Newsom says he will not sign a proposed ban on tackle football for kids under 12. A bill to gradually phase out tackle football for kids under 12 had passed a legislative committee last week. The bill had to pass the state Assembly by the end of January to have a chance at becoming law this year. But Newsom's pledge not to sign the bill into law effectively ends the proposal's chances.

Yuba Co Elections Office receives Letter laced with Fentanyl

Authorities are investigating a suspicious envelope that was sent to the elections office in rural Yuba County. A county spokesperson said the package didn't look suspicious at first, but a worker found a powdery substance inside and called law enforcement. A field test revealed traces of fentanyl but more testing will be done. A slew of suspicious packages, including some laced with fentanyl, were sent to election facilities in at least five states last November. Letters intended for election offices in Sacramento and Los Angeles were among those intercepted by the U.S. Postal Service..

Oroville Woman Arrested for Fatal Hit n Run

An Oroville woman was arrested Wednesday for a deadly hit-and-run. On Dec. 29, 2023, police responded to a hit-and-run in the area of Feather River Cinemas located at 2690 Feather River Blvd, which killed 56-year-old Gail McLroy of Oroville. During the initial investigation, police said they located damaged silver-colored vehicle debris at the scene. Officers obtained video footage from nearby businesses confirming that the suspect's vehicle was a silver sedan. Oroville police were able to use their Automated License Plate Reader System to identify Elora Hubbard, 33, of Oroville, as the driver, she was arrested and faces charges.

HIgh Speed Rail Trains could be Built in Sacto

California's high speed rail trains could be manufactured in Sacramento as a capitol-region manufacturer is in the running to get the contract. Siemens Mobility makes light rail and other public transit vehicles for cities around the world. The California High Speed Rail Authority is selecting Siemens and French manufacturer Alstom to bid on the project. California recently got over three-billion dollars in federal money to revive the plan to build a section of high speed rail between Merced and Bakersfield in the Central Valley. 561-million dollars is up for grabs in this round of bidding to build train cars. The Sacramento Bee reports delivery of the first two trains is expected by 2028.

1 dead Single Vehicle Rollover on Esplanade

Friday Morning just before 8am the Chico Police Dispatch Center started receiving multiple 911 calls of a vehicle collision on the Esplanade at 11th Avenue in Chico. A single vehicle collided with a tree . Chico Fire arrived along with Chico Police units. Chico Fire conducted an emergency extrication on the sole occupant of the vehicle but the 77 yr old man was pronounced deceased at the scene. Officials believe he may have suffered a medical emergency . Traffic will be impacted with a four way stop until the Traffic Light pole can be replaced, Public works says that could happen by Tuesday.

Chico Offers Free ADU Plans

The City of Chico recently received grant funds to provide free ADU site plan preparation services in addition to ADU building plans. The Accessory Dwelling Unit or "Mother in Law" suite is either detached or unattached dwelling on a residential property. for more information visit the City planning division thru the city website

Chico Man Gets Life in Prison CA 3 strike law

A Chico man was sentenced in Butte County Superior court Thursday to a term of 25 years to life in state prison under California's three-strikes law for forcibly raping a local woman, Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey said. Leonard Wilson, 41, was sentenced following his plea to one count of forcible rape and an admission that he had suffered two prior convictions in 2003 when he was sentenced to 14 years in state prison.

Congress Proposes CA Reinsurance Program

Some new hope for the state's home insurance crisis. A California congressman introduced a federal bill this week aimed at creating a public reinsurance program. It would require all companies participating to provide coverage for natural disasters. This comes after some of the big name insurers like State Farm and Allstate said last year they would stop writing new policies in the State due to rising business costs and the increased risk of wildfires

Early Single Vehicle Accident kills 1

Friday Morning just before 8am the Chico Police Dispatch Center started receiving multiple 911 calls of a vehicle collision on the Esplanade at 11th Avenue in Chico. A single vehicle collided with a tree . Chico Fire arrived along with Chico Police units. Chico Fire conducted an emergency extrication on the sole occupant of the vehicle but he was pronounced deceased at the scene. The identity of the driver will be withheld pending notification of next-of-kin. the Chico PD Major Accident team is conducting the investigation into the accident

Chico and Safe Space Officials to meet Tuesday

It's been a battle between the city and Safe Space. Safe Space Chico Was served a cease and desist letter to stop operating out of the old 7-11 on Main Street, they then moved to the Parking lot nest to City Hall..The City said they couldn't operate there. Then Safe Space moved to the parking lot at Trinity United Methodist Church. City Manager Mark Sorenson, Safe Space, and Chico council members Addison Winslow and Sean Morgan will meet Tuesday, Jan. 9 to discuss the future of the intake center privately.

NTSB Investigates Alaska Air Door Plug Blowing Out

The door plug that was blown out of an Alaska Airlines plane leaving Portland, Oregon en route to California last week apparently slipped out of position. The door plug was supposed to be held in place with four bolts, but those bolts are missing. They don't know if they are gone because of the accident or if they weren't installed. The door on the other side of the aircraft does have the bolts and they were not loose. The NTSB says it's too early to determine whether this is connected to loose bolts reportedly found on other Alaska Airlines and United Airlines planes.

Gov Newsome sets Date for McCarthy Election

Governor Newsome has set the date for A special election to replace former Rep. Kevin McCarthy following the speaker's resignation last month . Newsome said the date is May 2.1 The primary for the special election is set for March 19

State Lawmaker Pushes Back on MediCal for Illegal Migrants

Efforts are underway to change a new state law. California became the first in the nation this week to provide health insurance to undocumented immigrants. But Assemblyman Bill Essayli claims the state can't afford it given a projected 68-billion dollar deficit. He just introduced a bill to stop taxpayers from funding the law. He says it's "unconscionable" to spend billions caring for people from other countries before Americans.

Vallejo Man Sentenced in ATM Card Skimming Scam

A Vallejo man has been sentenced to 10 years jail and 10 years probation after being found guilty of over 40 felonies connected to a card skimmer found inside a Walmart in Chico. In mid-December 2023, Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey says 30-year-old Alexandru Bambaloi, a Romanian National , was found guilty of 43 counts related to the theft of nearly 4,400 peoples' ATM card numbers. Ramsey says Judge Kristen Lucena sentenced Bambaloi to a total term of 20 years: 10 to be served in the Butte County Jail, followed by 10 years of probationary supervision.

Butte Co Public Heath Releases 2023 CHA

The Butte County Department of Public Health (BCPH) has released the 2023 Community Health Assessment (CHA). The CHA tells a story of the population's overall health using various types of data, including community input, providing information about the county's health status, including needs, issues, and resources. The 6 areas of concern are Access to Care, Income and employment , Community Safety, Housing , Food Securityand Behavioral health You can find teh full report thru the Butte County Website

PGE Highest Rates in State

The state's largest utility is now the most expensive. That's because of PG&E's latest rate hike. The company started charging 13-percent more for power on Monday. Customers will see that on their next bill, averaging an extra 33-bucks a month. But come March, it could be even higher if a seven-percent increase is approved. PG&E says the money is needed to bury power lines and other efforts to reduce wildfire risks.

BCSO offers signing bonuses

The Butte County Cherrifs Office is still in need of correctional deputies to help staff its expansion. The hiring bonuses for correctional officers are still in place. A $10,000 bonus is available for anyone without experience. The bonus goes up to $30,000 for those with time on law enforcement teams. BCSO says they are down to about 16 officers to fully staff the current jail.

Snow Pack Survey

Tuesday the Department of Water Resources conducted the first snow survey of the season at Philips Station. The DWR said the manual survey recorded 7.5 inches of snow depth and snow water equivalent of three inches, which, the officials say is 30 percent of the average for this location. Across the state, the snowpack is 25 percent of average for this date, The DWR says the start of this water has been dry despite some recent storms in the last weeks of December that provided a small boost in the snowpack

Fast Food Others get Wage Boost

New laws are in affect for Californians in 2024. Governor Gavin Newsome signed two union-backed bills to boost minimum wages across the state. Two industries in particular are seeing the highest pay hikes: fast food and health care. In June, healthcare workers will earn a minimum of $18, $21 and $22 per hour, depending on where they are employed. Fast food workers now have a minimum wage of $20/hour—$4 higher than the U.S minimum wage for 2024: $16/hour. This applies for chains with 60 or more locations across the nation, and is effective as of Jan. 1, 2024.

CA to give Medical to Illegal Migrants

California is becoming the first state to offer health insurance to all illegal migrants. Governor Gavin Newsom told ABC News that everyone deserves access to quality, affordable health care coverage, "regardless of income or immigration status." There are more than two-million undocumented immigrants in California. Experts estimate that providing health insurance for illegal migrants will cost Californians upwards of three-billion-dollars a year.

Chico Police Investigate Downtown Shooting New Years Wknd

Chico Police continue to investigation what lead to gun fire in Downtown Chico Early Sunday Morning. Chico Police (CPD) say that at 12:55 a.m. on Sunday, they received reports of gunshots in the area of East 3rd Street and Wall Street. CPD says that a fight had broken out in the parking lot, and escalated when a suspect fired multiple shots. No injuries have been reported, but CPD says a bystander's vehicle, as well as nearby businesses, were damaged by the gunfire.

New CCW Gun Law Appeal in works

A new law, in effect as of Jan. 1, means you can no longer carry a gun in most public places in California even if you have your concealed carry permit. Along with banning guns in many public places, the law sets the age for obtaining a gun license at 21 and adds more requirements before getting a license. U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney said the ruling abolishes Second Amendment rights to bear arms and defend themselves. On Saturday, An appeals court paused the injunction, allowing the law to take effect for now while the court decides the constitutionality of the law. Attorneys are expected to file arguments to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in January and February.


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