Persistent drought predicted | Tribal justice helps create missing person database | $400 rebates proposed
The latest North State and California news on our airwaves for Friday, March 18.
NOAA climate outlook indicates California will see dry spring
Scientists with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are worried California is heading into a third year of drought. Brad Pugh, meteorologist with NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, said concern is very high going into the spring and early summer.
“The snowpack is below average for much of California and there's really very little time now to make up any precipitation deficits as we move into April," Pugh said.
NOAA issued its U.S. Spring Outlook Thursday. Forecasters predict prolonged, persistent drought in the West. NOAA is also expecting above-average temperatures for most of the U.S.
The agency says nearly 60% of the continental U.S. is experiencing minor to exceptional drought conditions.
— CapRadio Staff
Yurok tribal justice works to create database of missing Indigenous people
Thousands of Indigenous girls and women are reported missing in the U.S. every year — over 5,600 in 2019, according to FBI statistics.
In December the Yurok Tribal Council, frustrated by the low priority these cases receive, put out an emergency declaration to bring attention to the plight of abducted and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
Abby Abinanti, chief justice of the Yurok Tribe, is working to help create a database of cases, which doesn’t exist elsewhere. Abinanti said much of the problem solving cases stems from the federal government’s decision in the 1950s to cede its responsibilities for tribal law enforcement to the state of California, and has since provided little ongoing support or attention.
“They did not give the state any additional resources, they just gave them additional responsibility,” Abinanti said. “So, what they did was create a huge vacuum.”
She added these crimes don’t just affect tribal communities, and solutions will require everyone’s involvement.
— Ken Devol, NSPR
State lawmakers propose $400 rebate for every taxpayer
Democratic state lawmakers want to provide a $400 rebate to every California taxpayer to address the rising price of gas and other essentials. They’re pushing to get the bill to Gov. Gavin Newsom this spring.
Los Angeles-area Assembly Member Jesse Gabriel said there will likely be additional proposals targeted at lower-income residents.
“We want to make sure as we’re working through this time that those communities that are struggling the most, get the most help,” Gabriel said. “So, this is not going to be the only proposal on the table.”
The state is projected to have a $45 billion surplus this year. The governor last week called for a rebate for drivers, but it’s unclear if he will unveil his own proposal or support this one.
Republicans say they support any form of tax relief but argue suspending the gas tax would be a faster way to help those who are feeling pain at the pump.
— CapRadio Staff
Interview: Californians are using more water despite requests to cut back
Californians are using more water than they were before the drought, despite calls by leaders to cut back. This January was the second-driest on record.
Rachel Becker, environment reporter for the non-profit news outlet CalMatters, spoke with CapRadio’s Randol White to explain why residents haven’t cut their use. Listen to the interview in today’s Headlines.
— CapRadio Staff
Stories from NPR partner stations are edited by NSPR Staff for digital presentation and credited as requested.
In other news
- Shasta County man arrested after sheriff's deputies find dead man lying in driveway: “A man was arrested on suspicion of murder after authorities found a dead man in the driveway of a home northeast of Redding.” — Redding Record Searchlight
- Big new California reservoir on track for $2.2B federal loan: “A long-delayed plan to build a giant reservoir in Northern California to help withstand the U.S. West’s notorious droughts got a huge financial boost on Thursday when the federal government signaled its intent to loan the project nearly $2.2 billion — about half of the cost to design, plan and build it.” — The Associated Press
- How serious is California’s water crisis and what’s causing it?: “Water is of central importance to our community’s future. We provide in-depth answers to a few deceptively simple questions about California’s water. Plus, resources on where to learn more.” — Shasta Scout
- Pile burning begins near Antelope Lake; be prepared for smoky conditions: “Pile burning near Antelope Lake on the Mount Hough Ranger District of the Plumas National Forest is expected to start today, Thursday, March 17 and could continue over the next three weeks, conditions permitting.” — Plumas News
- Sierra Nevada brewery reopens for tours, tastings: “After a 2-year hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. tours and beer tastings are re-opening to the public once again starting today.” — Chico Enterprise-Record
- Tehama County approves 3 property liens following marijuana violations: “Code Enforcement Officer Clint Weston and Director Tim Potanovic requested the board to approve liens on all three properties pursuant to public nuisance administrative penalties.” — Red Bluff Daily News
In case you missed it
- Butte County settles lawsuit with man falsely accused of child molestation — NSPR (Headlines, March 17)
- Shasta County votes to end COVID-19 emergency proclamation — NSPR (Headlines, March 17)
- Early start to fire season — The Trinity Journal
- $40,000 signing bonus approved for new Redding officers — Redding Record Searchlight
- Drought and Dixie Fire impacts water quality at Lake Almanor — Plumas News
- Local businesses can get $5K from Chico grants to improve exteriors — Chico Enterprise-Record
- South Main Street repairs to begin in Red Bluff — Red Bluff Daily News
- Litigation between city, county of Colusa moved to Sacramento court — Colusa Sun Herald