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Declining COVID-19 cases | Needs of Chico’s unhoused | No water for farmers

Russian military forces and Russian-backed separatists have invaded Ukraine. Follow the latest updates on the crisis from NPR news.

Here’s the latest North State and California news on our airwaves for Thursday, Feb. 24.

COVID-19 cases declining from omicron peak in Butte County

COVID-19 case numbers have been declining across the North State.

In Butte County, public health officials say they’re now seeing about 60 to 70 new cases per day. Butte County Public Health Director Danette York told the Board of Supervisors this week that those numbers are down from the peak of the omicron surge, which at one point resulted in hundreds of new cases per day.

“It’s actually odd for me to say that that’s declining,” York said. “Because that’s really a high case rate.”

Health departments in Shasta, Tehama and Plumas counties report similar declines.

 Andre Byik, NSPR

California farmers won't receive water deliveries from federal government

California farmers won’t receive water deliveries from the federal government, according to The Associated Press.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation cited severe drought in the West, which has left its system of reservoirs depleted, the AP reports. Environmental laws also require that system to have supply to maintain water quality throughout the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta.

Affected farmers will likely be forced to plant fewer crops, according to the AP.

 Andre Byik, NSPR

Interview — ‘We can’t have one gigantic shelter that’s going to take care of everyone’: Safe Space’s Rick Narad on the needs of Chico’s unhoused residents

Sub-freezing temperatures will persist across the North State through Saturday.

The city of Chico has opened an Emergency Warming Center for unhoused residents at Comanche Creek Greenway through Friday morning, but development of the city’s new homeless shelter site is still underway. City officials anticipate a March opening.

One of the places that is up and running is Safe Space. It’s a nonprofit, rotating, low-barrier shelter that mobilizes during the winter.

NSPR’s Sarah Bohannon recently spoke with Rick Narad, one of Safe Space’s operations managers, about the ongoing needs of Chico’s unhoused residents. Listen to the interview in today’s Headlines.

 Sarah Bohannon, NSPR

Data show how many college students use CalFresh

A new report from the non-partisan California Policy Lab shares insights on college students and food insecurity. The numbers focus on how many students take advantage of the state's CalFresh program.

The enrollment data for the 2019-2020 academic year show just over 10% of California community college students, just under 12% of University of California (UC) undergrads and 4% of UC grad students were getting CalFresh benefits.

Elise Dizon-Ross, a postdoctoral scholar at the California Policy Lab who worked on the report, said the low percentages could mean a lack of information about how to take advantage of CalFresh.

 CapRadio Staff

Stories from NPR partner stations are edited by NSPR Staff for digital presentation and credited as requested.

In other news

  • Lawsuit alleges violations of public records laws: “The City of Chico may have lost or destroyed public records related to police killings, and has stonewalled for more than a year in response to record requests, says a lawsuit filed Feb. 18 against the City.” — ChicoSol
  • Biden wants to cut into China’s electric battery dominance: “The Democratic president announced his administration is giving $35 million to MP Materials, a company that mines rare earth metals near the Nevada border in Southern California … He also touted efforts to extract lithium from geothermal brine found around California’s Salton Sea.” — The Associated Press
  • Candidate filing is underway in Colusa County: “Colusa County residents interested in running for an office in the June 7, 2022 Statewide Direct Primary Election may now obtain and file their candidate filing documents through March 11 at 5 p.m.” — Colusa Sun Herald
  • Russia invades Ukraine: live updates: “Russian military forces and Russian-backed separatists have invaded Ukraine. President Biden warned of a ‘catastrophic loss of life and human suffering.’" — NPR

In case you missed it

Headlines is published every weekday morning at 8:30 a.m. Subscribe on SpotifyApple Podcasts and NPR One. Theme song Borough is courtesy of Blue Dot Sessions


Sarah is an award-winning host, reporter, producer and editor. She’s worked at North State Public Radio since 2015 and is currently the station’s Assistant Program Director. She’s responsible for the “sound of the station" and works to create the richest public radio experience possible for NSPR listeners.
A graduate of California State University, Chico, Andre Byik is an award-winning journalist who has reported in Northern California since 2012. He joined North State Public Radio in 2020, following roles at the Chico Enterprise-Record and Chico News & Review.
Angel Huracha has been a part of the journalism field since 2006 and has covered a range of topics. He is a graduate of Chico State with a Bachelor's degree in news-editorial and public relations with a minor in English.
Adia White is a broadcast journalist and producer with nearly 10 years of experience. Her work has appeared on WNYC, This American Life, Capital Public Radio and other local and national programs. She started at North State Public Radio as a freelance reporter in 2017 before leaving for a stint at Northern California Public Media in Santa Rosa.