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Shasta County health officer fired | North Complex road repairs | Prescribed burn in Chico

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The latest North State and California news on our airwaves for Wednesday, May 4.

Health officer fired by Shasta County Board of Supervisors 

The Shasta County Board of Supervisors voted to terminate county Health Officer Dr. Karen Ramstrom by a 3-2 vote during its closed session Tuesday. The announcement was made public at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.

In a letter addressed to the community and published in A News Cafe Friday, Ramstrom wrote that she believed the board would consider her termination during this week’s meeting, but that she had been given no notice that her performance was unsatisfactory.

“My performance review did not mention anything suggesting that my job was in jeopardy, and I have no specific information from the Board that my job performance was unsatisfactory in any way,” she wrote.

Ramstrom had frequently come under fire by some members of the community during board meetings for upholding COVID-19 safety measures and mandates. In her letter, she wrote that she and her colleagues had been no more restrictive than the state required.

— Kelly Frost and Adia White, NSPR

Following disaster in Butte County, road repair woes

Damage to roads and road infrastructure associated with the 2020 North Complex Fire in Butte County is estimated at $75 million, said Public Works Director Joshua Pack, who spoke Saturday at a community meeting in Berry Creek, which was devastated by the fire.

County officials say one challenge to paying for needed repairs is navigating “increasingly difficult” state and federal reimbursement processes as disasters pile up in California and across the country.

Pack said so far, the county has come to an agreement on about $26 million.

“Working with our partners, we struggle — much like a lot of you do — getting them to agree on what’s repairable and what’s not,” he said.

Disaster-recovery work, such as hauling away fire debris with oversized vehicles, can lead to significant damage to infrastructure maintained by local jurisdictions.

Typically, Pack said, the county, which maintains about 1,300 miles of roadways, has a budget of about $7 million for road repairs. Read the full story.

— Andre Byik, NSPR

Prescribed burn planned at Chico airport

Chico residents may see some smoke around the municipal airport today. The Chico Fire-Rescue Department is planning a prescribed burn there from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

According to a press release from the department, the purpose of the 185-acre burn is to reduce vegetation around the airport and to prevent wildlife from straying onto the runways. The aim is also to reduce invasive plants and provide some training to firefighters. The airport will remain open during the burn.

— Alec Stutson, NSPR

Three men charged with murder in Sacramento mass shooting

Homicide charges were filed Tuesday in last month’s mass shooting in Sacramento that killed six and injured 12.

The charges come one month after the shooting, which took place in a busy downtown nightlife district as the bars and clubs let out on the morning of April 3.

Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert announced murder charges against three men for killing three women. Schubert said the other men who died in the shooting were not included in the homicide charges because they may have been involved in the gunfight.

“It doesn’t matter whose bullet killed who,” she said. “What matters is that this was a gun battle between rival gang members who came down to this scene in downtown Sacramento and innocent bystanders died.”

Police have two of the alleged shooters in custody but are still searching for the third. The mass shooting is the deadliest in modern Sacramento history.

— CapRadio Staff

California constitutional amendment would ensure right to abortion

California lawmakers say they will introduce an amendment to ensure the right to an abortion is enshrined in the state’s constitution. The announcement comes after a leaked document shows the U.S. Supreme Court plans to overturn Roe v. Wade, the nationwide ruling that legalized abortion.

State lawmakers are working to expand access, rather than restrict it. But Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins said a constitutional amendment would add another layer of protection to that right.

“This is about the lives of our sisters, our daughters, our granddaughters, their families,” Atkins said. “So we will do what we need to do — women have always done what we need to do — to protect our families and ourselves.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon announced they would back the constitutional amendment, which must be approved by lawmakers and voters.

— CapRadio Staff

Interview: Law professor explains draft opinion on Roe v. Wade

The leaked U.S. Supreme Court document that shows a draft ruling to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision is raising many questions.

Lisa Ikemoto, a professor at UC Davis School of Law, specializes in reproductive rights and health care disparities and spoke with CapRadio’s Randol White to help explain the opinion that’s laid out in the document.

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

  • Man, 72, settles civil rights lawsuit with Tehama over gun dispute: “A 72-year-old Tehama County man settled a lawsuit this week that claimed two plainclothes sheriff’s deputies tried to provoke him into pulling a gun on them, and failing that they then illegally came onto his property, threw him to the ground and arrested him at gunpoint.” — Redding Record Searchlight
  • Butte County Jail inmate dies in cell: “An inmate from Chico at the Butte County Jail was found dead in his cell, according to a Butte County Sheriff’s Office press release Tuesday.” — Chico Enterprise-Record
  • Celebrate parenthood this weekend at the West End Theatre: “The play runs Friday through Sunday, May 6-8, at 7 p.m. Utterly unpredictable, Motherhood Out Loud shatters traditional notions about parenthood, unveils its inherent comedy and celebrates the deeply personal truths that span and unite generations.” — Plumas News

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.