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Shasta County supervisor loses vice chair title | Dixie Fire clean-up progress report | Bok Kai Festival showcases Chinese history

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The latest North State and California news on our airwaves for Wednesday, March 16.

Shasta County Board of Supervisors votes to remove Supervisor Rickert as vice chair of the board

One of the first orders of business at Tuesday's Shasta County Board of Supervisors meeting was the removal of District 3 Supervisor Mary Rickert as vice chair of the board. She was appointed to the position in early January, alongside now-recalled supervisor Leonard Moty, who had been elected chairman. Happy Valley School Board President Tim Garman replaced Moty as supervisor, and was seated on March 1.

At this week's meeting, some residents voiced their support of Rickert, while others saw her appointment as a mistake that needed to be corrected.

The vote to remove Rickert passed 3-2, with Rickert and Supervisor Joe Chimenti voting against. District 4 Supervisor Patrick Henry Jones was appointed vice chair in a 4-1 vote, with Rickert being the only no vote.

— Alec Stutson, NSPR

Dixie Fire: Debris removed from 75% of properties

Following last year’s Dixie Fire, crews continue to clear properties of fire debris in Plumas County to pave the way for homeowners to rebuild.

About 480 properties enrolled in the state debris-removal program have been cleared of fire debris. That amounts toabout 75% of properties in the program, according to the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

Many of those properties, however, must still undergo soil testing, tree removal and other work before property owners can rebuild.

The nearly 1 million-acre Dixie Fireburned in five counties and destroyed more than 1,300 structures last summer and fall.

A community meeting put on by the Dixie Fire Collaborative recovery group is set for 11 a.m. Saturday at Greenville Elementary School.

— Andre Byik, NSPR

Oldest continuous parade in California is in Marysville and celebrates Chinese water god, culture

Marysville is home to the oldest continuous parade in California. The Bok Kai Festival and Parade has been celebrated for 142 years.

Thousands come from across the region to visit the Bok Kai Temple and pay tribute to Bok Eye — the Chinese god of water — who many believe protects the city from flooding.

This year’s event took place earlier this month. See photos and read the full story.

— Angel Huracha, NSPR

California will continue COVID-19 state of emergency

California will remain in a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic after a push to rescind the emergency failed in the Legislature Tuesday.

Republicans have long pushed for an end to the state of emergency, arguing the law gives Gov. Gavin Newsom too much power and that it’s no longer necessary. Sen. Melissa Melendez introduced a resolution to terminate it.

“It is time for the Legislature to reassert its constitutional authority as the legislative body of this state and end this endless emergency,” Melendez said.

She added local governments are able to call emergencies if the virus surges again.

But with the California State Association of Counties and several local officials opposing the measure, Democrats in a senate committee voted it down.

The California Hospital Association also argued ending the emergency would hurt their efforts to maintain adequate staffing and hospital beds.

— CapRadio Staff

Newsom announces $22M for drought programs

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced $22 million in new drought spending. The state recorded its driest consecutive January and February on record. More than a third of the new spending will go toward what Newsom’s office described as outreach efforts to educate Californians about saving water.

Counties with high water use will be targeted with digital ads and a social media campaign. Last year, the governor asked people to cut water use by 15%, and Californians saved about half that on average. So far, state officials have avoided issuing mandatory water restrictions.

— Kevin Stark (KQED), The California Report

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

In other news

  • Chico council narrows redistricting down to five maps: “In its latest public hearing surrounding redistricting, the Chico City Council voted to narrow down to five potential maps and hold a special meeting for additional discussions.” — Chico Enterprise-Record
  • Here's what county officials want to do with $35 million in federal aid: “While Shasta County officials said Tuesday they wanted to hear from the public about how to spend $35 million in federal pandemic recovery funds, two members of the Board of Supervisors already have their minds made up on how to spend the money.” — Redding Record Searchlight
  • COVID numbers in Plumas hold steady: “The Plumas County Public Health Agency released its latest numbers March 14, indicating seven positive cases were reported to the agency during the past seven days. On March 10, the agency had reported eight cases over the past seven days." — Plumas News
  • Judge says more research is needed; calls CCC closure case more complicated than attorneys realize: “On Monday, March 14, Lassen County Superior Court visiting Judge Robert Moody continued his slow, deliberate and methodical approach to resolving the city of Susanville’s lawsuit against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation et al regarding the proposed closure of the California Correctional Center in a public proceeding held in at the Lassen County Hall of Justice via Zoom.” — Lassen County Times

In case you missed it

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Sarah is an award-winning reporter, producer and editor. She’s worked at North State Public Radio for six years and was previously the station’s News Director before leaving to study at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.
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.