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Chico gets new interim city manager | More on Sacramento shooting | California wants to triple electric vehicle sales 

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The latest North State and California news on our airwaves for Thursday, April 14.

Chico City Council picks new interim city manager

The Chico City Council Wednesday selected a new temporary city manager.

According to a city press release, the council unanimously voted to appoint Paul Hahn, the retired chief administrative officer for Butte County, to the role. The council will consider a contract at its next meeting Tuesday.

The move comes after former City Manager Mark Orme resigned earlier this month. Chico Police Chief Matt Madden has been serving as interim city manager since Orme’s resignation.

The city says a recruitment process for a permanent city manager is underway. It’s not clear when that process could be completed.

 — Andre Byik, NSPR

Sacramento mass shooting sparks criminal justice reform debate

A suspect in connection with last week’s mass shooting in downtown Sacramento was released from prison earlier this year, after serving about half of his 10-year sentence. His early release is reigniting debates about criminal justice reform laws.

Suspect Smiley Martin pleaded no contest to domestic violence and assault in 2018. In exchange, a felony kidnapping charge was dropped, which allowed Martin to enter prison as a nonviolent felon.

Former federal prosecutor Laurie Levenson questions why Martin was offered a deal that let him earn more credits and get out of prison sooner.

“So the DA's office, I think, makes him a good deal. And then after that sort of sends messages, ‘Oh, but he's really violent.’ Well, if he's really violent, why did you make that deal?” Levenson said.

Sacramento’s Chief Deputy District Attorney, Rod Norgaard, said in a statement that there are obstacles to prosecuting domestic violence cases, including the willingness of victims to participate. Norgaard said his office believes a 10-year sentence served to hold Martin accountable.

— CapRadio Staff

More on Sacramento shooting: Police seek to understand motives

Authorities have attributed the April 3 mass shooting in downtown Sacramento to a gunfight between what they are calling rival street gangs involving at least five shooters. Sacramento Police Chief Kathy Lester said the department made that part of the investigation public in part to help understand why it happened and find resolutions.

"It's a level of detail that helps us understand really some of the motives behind the shooting because that is a big question, but I think it begs a bigger question that we should be talking about," Lester said.

Lester said people resort to gang activity when there aren't enough alternatives available to them. The shooting left six people dead and a dozen injured.

— CapRadio Staff

Interview: California aims to triple electric vehicle sales

California wants electric vehicle sales to triple in the next four years to 35% of all new car purchases. That puts the state on a path to achieving Governor Gavin Newsom's goal to phase out sales of new gas-powered cars by 2035.

Josh Boone is the executive director of Velóz, a nonprofit organization that tracks EV sales for the state. He said the conversation is moving from “range anxiety” — or how far you can drive on a charge — to how and where people can access charging.

“We’re reporting almost 80,000 chargers in California, both public and public shared chargers,” he said.” So certainly we’ve seen an exponential increase and availability of chargers. To really get all Californians in electric vehicles, we need a lot more charging.”

You can listen to an interview with Boone in today’s Headlines.

— CapRadio Staff

Business groups push back against workweek legislation

A bill that aims to cut California’s workweek down to 32 hours from the usual 40 is working its way through the state Legislature. The proposed legislation would apply to companies in the state with more than 500 employees. Private industry groups are against the idea.

The California Chamber of Commerce says it would significantly increase labor costs for employers. The chamber estimates the bill would result in a minimum 10% increase in wages per employee each week. Ashley Hoffman is a policy advocate for the chamber and said if the legislation is approved, it could have long-term impacts for the state.

“We did some analysis on the bill and estimate that it could end up in job losses of upwards of 340,000, up to potentially a million jobs, just because of the sheer increase in costs,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman said the chamber will continue to advocate for more cost-effective workplace changes, like having individuals be able to arrange more flexible work schedules with their employers, or relaxing some of the strict time requirements when it comes to taking breaks. Read more about the shorter workweek debate.

— Keith Mizuguchi (KQED), The California Report 

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

In other news

  • Planning Commission OKs retail cannabis ordinance: “Retail cannabis storefronts are one step closer to becoming a reality in Trinity County. After four hours of discussion, the Planning Commission voted on Thursday, April 7, to recommend the county Board of Supervisors adopt an ordinance to establish cannabis storefront retail.” — The Trinity Journal
  • Sherri Papini's faked kidnapping bill to exceed $300,000: “Under a plea agreement in which she admits she faked her own kidnapping, Sherri Papini will be required to pay more than $300,000 in restitution to various government agencies, including nearly $149,000 to the Shasta County Sheriff's Office.” — Redding Record Searchlight
  • DA answers questions regarding PG&E settlement for Dixie Fire: “Thank you for the tremendous support concerning the settlement of the criminal case against PG&E for their role in the Dixie Fire. This settlement, which could see north of $500,000,000 coming to Plumas County, is tremendous victory for our county and huge step forward for our recovery.” — Plumas News
  • Sutter Marine closing on 50th anniversary: “Local fishermen and boating enthusiasts may soon notice a hole in the community’s marine service options after Sutter Marine, Inc. in Yuba City closes its doors for good this Friday.” — The Appeal-Democrat
  • Reparations advocates toast historic moment in San Francisco: “Members of California's first-in-the-nation reparations task force convened in a historic African American church in San Francisco on Wednesday, making their own history as they work to educate the public and develop a restitution proposal for the people harmed by the institution of slavery.” — The Associated Press

In case you missed it

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

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.