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Tyler Rushing lawsuit can proceed | State seeks input on 2020 wildfire recovery funds | Pushback on state’s carbon-neutral plan


The latest North State and California news on our airwaves for Tuesday, May 17.

Supreme Court denies city’s request to review ruling in wrongful death lawsuit

The U.S. Supreme Court denied a request by the city of Chico to review a lower court ruling in favor of the family of Tyler Rushing, who was fatally shot by Chico police and a security guard in 2017.

The Supreme Court’s refusal to take the case means a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the city on behalf of Rushing’s family can proceed toward trial.

The city’s appeal to the Supreme Court was first reported by ChicoSol.

A panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in November reinstated part of the family’s lawsuit against the city. The appellate court’s decision focused on an officer’s use of a Taser on Rushing after Rushing had been shot down by a separate officer during a close-quarter struggle.

The 9th Circuit panel found a jury could conclude that use of the stun gun was excessive.

Reached by email, Chico City Attorney Vincent Ewing declined to comment.

The case now sits in U.S. District Court in Sacramento for further proceedings. No hearings were immediately scheduled.

— Andre Byik, NSPR

Agencies seek input on how to spend wildfire recovery funds

Community members will soon have a chance to give input on how the state plans to use grant funding to aid recovery efforts from wildfires in 2020.

The state has received over $231 million in Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery funds. That money must be spent in areas impacted by wildfires in 2020. In the North State, that includes parts of Butte, Shasta, and Siskiyou counties.

The draft plan on how the money will be spent can be read on the Department of Housing and Community Development’s website. Residents will have a chance to give input during upcoming public webinars on May 18 at 6 p.m. in English and May 19 at 6 p.m. in Spanish.

— Alec Stutson, NSPR

CA judge rules law requiring women on corporate boards is unconstitutional

A law requiring corporations to include a certain number of women on their boards has been ruled unconstitutional by a California judge.

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge says the law violates the equal protection clause of the state constitution.

The law was approved in 2018 and required companies to have up to three women on their board of directors or pay a fine. It was challenged by the conservative activist group Judicial Watch.

Democrats, including State Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins and First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom, called the ruling disappointing. But they said the law led to a more than doubling of the number of women on corporate boards in three years.

A similar law requiring racial, ethnic, or LGBTQ diversity in corporate leadership was also deemed unconstitutional in April.

— CapRadio Staff

Environmental groups push back against the state’s carbon-neutral plan

Last week, California released draft updates to a plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions, but environmental groups have concerns. The plan was first created in 2008 and is updated every five years.

The draft’s goal is carbon neutrality by 2045, meaning the state would be removing as much carbon from the air as it’s emitting. Some of its strategies include transitioning to zero-emission transportation and all-electric appliances in new homes.

But environmental groups say the plan could perpetuate rather than phase out fossil fuels. They’ve criticized its reliance on carbon-capturing technologies and a cap-and-trade program.

Catherine Garoupa White is the executive director of the Central Valley Air Quality Coalition and is a member of the environmental justice advisory committee for the plan.

It's business as usual and it's not equity-oriented. It's oriented towards polluting industries… and perpetuating what we've already been doing,” White said.

The draft is in the midst of a 45-day comment period. The plan will likely be approved in the fall.

— CapRadio Staff

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

In other news

  • PUSD reports new cases of COVID: “Plumas Unified School District reported four new cases of COVID today, May 16: three associated with the C. Roy Carmichael Elementary School campus in Portola and one at the Quincy Elementary School Alder Street campus. This is the most number of cases reported in weeks by the school district.” — Plumas News
  • Anti-abortion activists train to more aggressively intervene at local women’s clinic: “The only Shasta County clinic that provides women with access to abortions was used as a training ground to equip anti-abortion activists for more aggressive interventions to dissuade women from accessing abortions. Local women organizing under the newly-formed Shasta Abortion Coalition say they are prepared to defend women’s right to abortion as clinic defenders, advocates, and escorts.” — Shasta Scout
  • Butte County tourism grew in 2021: “The tourism economy in Butte County grew a significant amount in 2021 from 2020, but visitor spending remains lower than pre-pandemic levels. A report by Visit California analyzing tourism impact data said visitor spending in Butte County increased by 55% from 2020 to 2021 to $301.3 million.” — Chico Enterprise-Record
  • Report: Most Yuba-Sutter residents can’t afford homes: “According to a recent report by the California Association of Realtors, the overwhelming majority of residents in both Yuba and Sutter counties cannot afford median-priced homes in the region.” — The Appeal-Democrat

In case you missed it

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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.