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Police signing bonuses | More prison closures | Affordable housing legislation

The latest North State and California news on our airwaves for Thursday, Dec. 8.

Chico City Council approves increase to police officer signing bonuses

The Chico City Council Tuesday adopted an agreement raising a signing bonus for newly hired lateral police officers from $10,000 to $40,000. Lateral officers are those with prior experience. The move comes as the city and the Chico Police Officers Association acknowledge difficulties in recruiting and retaining qualified officers.

— Andre Byik, NSPR

State moves forward with closing more prisons

California is moving forward on closing two more prisons to cut costs. State corrections officials announced Tuesday that they will shut down the privately run California City Correctional Facility in Kern County in March 2024, and Chuckawalla Valley State Prison in Riverside County a year later. This comes after Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration pushed to close a state prison in Susanville and shut down another prison in Tracy.

— Keith Mizuguchi (KQED), The California Report

Health care workers turn to dating apps to trace infectious diseases

Contact tracing is a key public health tool for controlling disease outbreaks, including sexually transmitted infections like syphilis and gonorrhea that are surging nationwide. Traditional methods of tracing are no longer working as well, leading some public health workers to turn to dating apps for help.

— Stephanie O’Neill, Kaiser Health News 

New bill aims to make it easier to build affordable housing

State Sen. Scott Wiener is again introducing a bill to make it easier to build affordable housing on land owned by religious groups and nonprofit colleges. The legislation would require cities to grant permits within a short period of time if projects meet certain criteria.

— Adhiti Bandlamudi (KQED), The California Report

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

In case you missed it

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.