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Chico designates lots for unhoused camping | North State water update | Gov. Newsom unveils budget plan

The latest North State and California news on our airwaves for Monday, May 16.

City of Chico selects alternate sites for relocated unhoused residents

The city of Chico identified three locations where it will direct some unhoused residents as it resumes its sweeps of homeless encampments.

The alternative locations are required by the settlement agreement in the Warren v. Chico case, to offer unhoused residents who aren’t eligible to stay in local shelters a place to camp. These new locations are on city-owned lots.

"The intent is to try to get everyone we possibly can into a shelter opportunity," said Eric Gustafson, public works director of operations and maintenance for the city of Chico. "This is just for those folks that we deem are not candidates."

He said the locations are only open for those who are not eligible to stay at the Torres Shelter or the city-run Pallet shelter village.

The locations are not intended as sanctioned campgrounds, but as places where unhoused individuals can go to avoid enforcement for at least 60 days. One of the locations is a field on Fair Street near County Drive. The other two are on the northwest corner of Cohasset Road and Eaton Road, and at the northwest corner of Bruce Road and Humboldt Road.

— Alec Stutson, NSPR

North State reservoirs significantly down from average

California is now in its third year of drought and coming into summer. The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and other agencies held a briefing Tuesday to explain current conditions. Michael Anderson, the state’s climatologist, said the outlook is sobering.

“Unfortunately our big keystone reservoirs up there at Lake Shasta and Lake Oroville didn’t get as much of the winter rain. Oroville fared better than Shasta,” he said

Snowpack — mostly in the Sierra Nevada — is also very low. It provides a third of the state’s water supply. Anderson said this year it’s the fifth-lowest on record. It peaked in early March, which is about a month earlier than usual. Most of it, he said, has already melted.

The early melt is partly a consequence of higher temperatures driven by climate change.

— Ken Devol, NSPR

Gov. Newsom unveils state’s budget plan

California is expecting a budget surplus of nearly $100 billion this year, and Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to use a chunk of it to offset high prices.

He said with inflation at a 40-year high, many Californians are wondering how to make ends meet.

“And that’s why we’re proposing $18.1 billion to put back in the pockets of millions and millions – tens of millions – of Californians,” Newsom said.

Newsom’s inflation relief package includes bonus checks for hospital and nursing home workers. It also includes rental assistance money and $400 rebates for car owners to offset high gas prices.

This is the second year in a row the state is expecting a large surplus. Newsom wants to spend 94% of it on one-time investments.

— CapRadio Staff

California tribe fights to protect its ancestral lands

In recent years, Native communities have won more protections for their ancestral lands.

Universities and museums across the country have been required to repatriate many of the cultural items and ancestral remains they once held for research. And the 2014 California law pushed this conversation even further.

Sherry Treppa, chairperson of the Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake, said the law’s passage was a long time coming.

“Tribes finally had a voice because they had resources after gaming became popular and legal,” she said. “Having attorneys, having the ability to do things like protect sacred sites, wasn't common until tribes actually, you know, started having money.”

For the first time, the law recognized tribal governments as the experts of their ancestral lands. It required developers to consult with a tribe when assessing their plans’ environmental impact on an area. But enforcement of these laws is spotty, and tribes say this has serious consequences. Sometimes, a developer might dig up cultural items. Or worse, remains of a Native ancestor. Read the full story.

— CapRadio Staff 

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

In other news

  • Two people found dead at Community Park, Chico Police say: “Two people were declared deceased at Community Park on Sunday afternoon and two were taken to a local hospital, Chico Police Department Sergeant Dane Gregory said. The scene appeared to be overdose-related, Gregory said.” — Chico Enterprise-Record
  • Cal Fire suspends burn permits in Shasta, Trinity counties: “The increasing fire danger posed by dead grass and hotter, drier conditions in the region is prompting Cal Fire to suspend all burn permits for outdoor residential burning within the State Responsibility Area of Shasta and Trinity counties.” — The Trinity Journal
  • Sheriff’s office seeks help locating Quincy teen: “The Plumas County Sheriff’s Office is requesting the public’s assistance in locating Madison Tabor, 15, of Quincy. Madison went missing on Thursday May 12, around 5:30 p.m. from her home in Quincy. Madison was last seen wearing a black Converse hooded sweatshirt, grey Nike sweatpants, black converse and carrying a grey and blue cat carrier.” — Plumas News
  • Sanchez’s killer accused of abusing wife: “Seven years before killing Eddie Gabriel “Gabe” Sanchez, Chico cop Mark Bass was accused by his wife, Barbara Reed-Bass, of assaulting her physically and verbally during a turbulent separation prior to their divorce.” — ChicoSol
  • California churchgoers detained gunman in deadly attack: A man opened fire during a lunch reception at a Southern California church on Sunday, killing one person and injuring several others before being stopped and hog-tied by parishioners in what a sheriff’s official called an act of “exceptional heroism and bravery.” — 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

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.
Alec Stutson grew up in Colorado and graduated from the University of Missouri with degrees in Radio Journalism, 20th/21st Century Literature, and a minor in Film Studies. He is a huge podcast junkie, as well as a movie nerd and musician.
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.