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Butte County storm damage | Parole hearings & equity | Sealing criminal records

The latest North State and California news on our airwaves for Thursday, Jan. 12.

Butte County weathers storm, but emergency declaration could bring aid if needed

Officials say Butte County has been relatively lucky during recent winter storms. Some roads and guardrails in the county will need repairs, but the major flooding that was anticipated did not occur. A recent local emergency declaration could help the county qualify for federal aid if damages during ongoing storms become more severe.

— Jamie Jiang, NSPR

Report suggests equity improvements for parole hearings

A new report from the state Legislative Analyst’s Office suggests that California could make its parole hearing process more equitable. The report states that the current parole process is vulnerable to a number of biases that keep people from disadvantaged groups in prison longer.

— CapRadio Staff

New law allows Californians to seal criminal records

SB 731 allows Californians to have records of most convictions sealed as long as they serve their time, are no longer on parole or probation, and haven't had contact with the justice system in the past four years. The law does not apply to registered sex offenders. School districts will still have access to records for hiring decisions.

— Alex Hall (KQED), The California Report

Microplastics library helps researchers better understand oceanic pollution

Scientists and public health experts have been raising alarms for years about water pollution in the form of tiny plastic fragments, or microplastics. But they’ve lacked a way to determine the origins of those fragments — until now. A newly built reference library now includes 24 such molecular fingerprints from microplastic samples pulled from Monterey Bay. Researchers can now use this library to trace the origin of microplastics they find.

— Mary Catherine O’Connor, KALW

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

In case you missed it

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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.
Jamie was NSPR’s wildfire reporter and Report For America corps member. She covered all things fire, but her main focus was wildfire recovery in the North State. Before NSPR, Jamie was at UCLA, where she dabbled in college radio and briefly worked as a podcast editor at the Daily Bruin.
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.