Photo courtesy of Redding Pilgrim Congregational Church

This week's story starts with a confession: I am a sucker for a great title, which is how I first got hooked on Oaksong Society for Preservation of Way Cool Music up in Shasta County. I was a huge fan before I ever heard a lick of its way-cool music.

Redding police Tuesday announced the arrest of five men allegedly involved in a string of serious crimes across the region, including a murder, a shooting, and three armed robberies.

The arrests were made as an ongoing investigation reached across the nation over 10 months. Authorities are still trying to identify other possible accomplices.

Dignity Health, the parent company of Mercy Medical Center in Redding, is set to begin construction on a $50 million wellness campus adjacent to the Sacramento River. It will not only offer outpatient services like oncology and senior care, but it will also employ up to 180 people and bring an estimated payroll of $14 million annually to the area.

The project has been controversial from the start due to its location near what is known as the Henderson Open Space — property that's been set aside for public use.

Quality of life is a frequent concern in Redding. Not surprisingly, candidates for Redding City Council are keen to address the issue. NSPR’s Kelly Frost talked to three candidates.

One issue that continues to pop up for candidates is that of homelessness and mental health.

Julie Winter is a nurse practitioner who has lived in Redding since 1989 after receiving a master’s degree from UCLA. She’s past president of the Redding area nurse practitioner alliance and board member of Advance Redding.

Election Day may be more than three months away, but campaigning among candidates for local offices is already underway. Here’s an initial look at two of the five candidates seeking a seat on Redding’s City Council

 Gary Cadd is the sole incumbent seeking reelection and arguably the most conservative. Though he foresees being part of an over-ruled minority in the next few years, he feels compelled to remain and push his ideas.

Some inconveniences ahead for Redding drivers. The Hilltop Drive overpass over Interstate 5 will be closed to overnight Tuesday as contractors and Caltrans repave the structure.

The closure is scheduled from 7 p.m. Tuesday through 7 a.m. Wednesday.

The work is in addition to daytime sewer construction work in the vicinity expected to conclude Friday. 

Drivers using State Route 299 between Redding and Round Mountain can expect 10- to 15-minute delays today and for the rest of the week.

One-way traffic controls will be in place all week near Ingot, about halfway between Redding and Burney. The $2.3 million work will straighten a dangerous curve, widen shoulders and install stronger guard rails. Work on this phase is expected to wrap up Friday afternoon.

Advocates of drastically changing how Shasta County deals with the homeless remain optimistic.

This, after plans to move toward a “housing-first” model received lukewarm receptions from both the Redding City Council and the Board of Supervisors. A presentation for the Shasta Lake City Council is scheduled for Tuesday.

Lawmakers appear reluctant to commit money to the initial phase, which involves better coordinating services and collecting more data.

Redding City Councilwoman Kristen Schreder is among the proponents.

Earlier this week, the Redding City Council put off a vote to fund a plan to address homelessness.

The Redding Continuum of Care on Homelessness is a signature issue for Councilwoman Kristen Shreder who asked the council to put up $65,000 a year for the next two years to fund the project. The council seemed receptive to the idea, but the majority decided to wait and see what Shasta County, Anderson and Shasta Lake do first.

The First 72 Hours Matter. That’s the title and conclusion of a 2016 Shasta County Grand Jury report on mental health services.

Through its investigation, the Grand Jury wanted to find out what happens to a person having a mental health crisis and what happens to them during an encounter with authorities.