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Butte County settles jail death suit | Missing Indigenous people | Thursday Night Market

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The latest North State and California news on our airwaves for Thursday, May 5.

Butte County agrees to pay family of man who died in custody

Butte County has agreed to pay a $15,000 settlement to the family of a man who died while being held at the Butte County jail.

The county agreed in March to pay the mother of 43-year-old Sherman Silva of Oroville, according to a settlement agreement provided to NSPR by the County Counsel’s Office.

Silva died in March 2021 during what the Sheriff’s Office said was a “brief altercation” with another inmate. Silva’s mother filed a lawsuit against the county alleging jail staff failed to properly monitor Silva, who was mentally ill, and the other inmate an allegation the county denies.

Meanwhile, the surviving inmate, Michael Borgman, is suing the county, alleging jail officials failed to provide a safe environment during his confinement. Borgman alleges in his lawsuit that he was attacked by Silva while Silva was in a state of agitation, “yelling” and “grunting.” Court papers say Borgman grabbed hold of Silva’s head and neck area, releasing him after guards arrived.

Borgman’s suit says he was arrested on suspicion of murder in Silva’s death but never prosecuted.

The County Counsel’s Office declined to comment on Borgman’s case, which was filed this year in U.S. District Court in Sacramento.

— Andre Byik, NSPR

Tribal leaders call on legislators to address crisis of missing people

Tribal leaders testified at the California Capitol on Wednesday, about the ongoing crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous people. Those who spoke offered several proposed solutions, including how to improve communication and coordination with local and county law enforcement.

Sara Dutschke is chairwoman of the Ione Band of Miwok Indians and a practicing attorney in federal Indian law. She told the Assembly Select Committee on Native American Affairs the state Legislature has a responsibility to resolve this crisis.

“We must keep investigating, we must keep working to identify the underlying causes and understand the extent of this crisis, not just throughout California’s Indian Country, but throughout the state as a whole,” she said.

She said Indigenous women and other tribal members are not only disappearing from reservations or rural areas, but from urban areas as well.

— CapRadio Staff

Chico night market opens for the season tonight

The Thursday Night Market in downtown Chico is returning tonight.

The weekly event hosts a variety of vendors, food, and art from the community and is organized by the Downtown Chico Business Association.

The market takes place on Broadway between Second and Fourth streets. It will be open every Thursday from 6-9 p.m. through Sept. 22.

The seasonal reopening comes as the city is celebrating 150 years since its founding in 1872. The city will be celebrating its history as part of the opening night festivities.

— Alec Stutson, NSPR

Parents could sue for social media use under new bill

Parents of children addicted to social media platforms would be able to sue tech companies for negligence under a California bill that passed the state Assembly Judiciary Committee this week.

The bill is called the "Social Media Platform Duty to Children Act." Social media companies would be held liable if a child gets addicted to the technology and, as a result, suffers from depression and other side effects.

The measure is sponsored by San Luis Obispo Republican Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham. He said getting rid of the features causing harm to kids would be an easy fix for the engineers working at social media companies.

"Two generations ago, these engineers would've been putting man on the moon and today they're designing product that's like a slot machine, that gets a 13-year-old addicted and, in some cases, that leads to them going to residential rehab programs like a friend of mine," Cunningham said.

Under the bill, tech companies could face civil penalties of up to $25,000 per violation.

— CapRadio Staff

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

In other news

  • Newsom: Democrats need ‘counter-offensive’ in culture wars: “California Gov. Gavin Newsom faulted his own political party Wednesday for setbacks in the nation’s culture wars and urged Democrats to launch a vocal 'counter-offensive' to protect rights from abortion to same-sex marriage.” — The Associated Press
  • California moves to embrace cryptocurrency and regulate it: “California, which has a economy larger than all but four countries and where much of the world’s technological innovation is born, on Wednesday became the first state to formally begin examining how to broadly adapt to cryptocurrency and related innovations.” — The Associated Press
  • Local fire departments train together: “Weaverville residents who were curious why fire engines from surrounding towns seemed to be driving around town all day Sunday, May 1, may be relieved to know it wasn’t an emergency, but an all-day wildfire training and testing exercise. ” — The Trinity Journal
  • Love of literacy brings community of Colusa together: “Each year since 2010, the VYCRC has chosen a literary work and organized a series of community events based on the piece to promote literacy within Colusa and honor longtime resident Virginia Yerxa, whose long-standing mission was to promote literacy to the community’s youth.” — Colusa Sun-Herald

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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.