Red Bluff is mourning the loss of Larry Snell, a captain in that city’s volunteer fire department who died Tuesday.

Snell suffered an undetermined medical issue while hiking at the Whiskeytown Lake National Recreation Area. He was 52. The department posted a photographic tribute to Snell on its Facebook page. A brief statement notes Snell died “doing what he loved most, hiking and taking in nature.” Friends, colleagues and relatives have added their condolences.

The Meadow Lane School in Anderson was locked down briefly Wednesday morning after police received a call that there may have been a man with a gun on campus.

Once officers arrived they determined that the incident was a domestic dispute between a couple who are in the middle of a custody dispute. The woman had told school officials that the man had a gun. Once police determined that there was no gun, the lockdown was lifted. The man had apparently been trying to serve the woman with legal documents.

Man Drowns At Oroville Wildlife Area In Gridley

May 27, 2015
California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Authorities say a man drowned at the Oroville Wildlife Area near Palm Avenue in Gridley while trying to cross a pond carrying a rock.

Twenty-one-year-old Austin Harr was reportedly attempting to swim across a pond Monday while holding a rock estimated to weigh about 10 pounds.

His friends called for help when he did not emerge from the water.

It's unclear why Harr was swimming with a rock, although California Highway Patrol says alcohol may have played a role.

Sarah Bohannon contributed to this report.

Two small quakes shook an area about 10 miles north of Chico Tuesday morning, but it’s likely you did not feel them. The USGS says a 3.0 shaker hit at 8:01 in the foothills north of Pine Creek in Tehama County. The second quake hit just three minutes later in Butte County, south of Pine Creek. Both were at a depth of 10.5 miles.

Meanwhile a 4.3 quake shook the north coast Tuesday morning 30 miles west south west of Eureka. That quake struck at 3:17. There are no reports of damage or injuries from any of the quakes. 

Late-night highway construction will cause delays for drivers using state Highway 65 through Rocklin this week, Caltrans said.

A section of the highway will be closed as workers build an overpass and interchange for Whitney Ranch Parkway between Twelve Bridges Drive and Sunset Boulevard.

All southbound traffic will be detoured between 11 p.m. Tuesday night and 4 o’clock Wednesday morning. Northbound traffic will be detoured between 11 p.m. Wednesday and 4 a.m. Thursday.

Additional closures may be required. 

City of Chico

Impassioned appeals appeared to compel Chico’s city council to keep its Art Commission alive last night, if only on paper.

Following the meeting, a commissioner noted that the body hasn’t weighed any new public art since his term began—there hasn’t been any money.

Those facts aren’t likely to change soon.

Though budgets aren’t as tight, Chico is hardly flush with cash. While the commissioners aren’t paid, complying with state open meeting laws and other regulations are a financial burden leaders are unwilling to shoulder.

Two Chico schools were briefly locked down Monday morning after police received a report of a confrontation during which a teenager with a gun tried to intimidate a man.

Little Chico Creek Elementary and Marsh Junior High were ordered locked down shortly before 10 on Monday. The order was lifted after about 15 minutes.

After tense moments and an aggressive search of the area, police determined that the gun was an inoperable replica. 

Butte County Department of Development Services

A proposal to build up to 2,700 homes on open rangeland about halfway between Oroville and Biggs goes before the Butte County Board of Supervisors Tuesday.

The board is expected to approve final environmental documents for the development, dubbed Rio d’Oro. It’s being planned by Turlock-based JKB Living. The proposal calls for high density housing and two commercial strips featuring a gas station and fast food, along with single family homes.

A Butte College student was struck and killed by a train this weekend in Chico.

Twenty-one-year-old Christian Lizarraga was hit at 5:30 Sunday morning. He was running across the tracks at Sixth and Orange streets.

According to the Chico Enterprise-Record, preliminary findings show the death was an accident.

Lizarraga came to Chico from Novato, where he was a decorated wrestler at San Marin High School.

According to the new data collected by the state Department of Water Resources, groundwater levels in Butte County really haven’t changed much from last spring to this spring. On average, groundwater levels only declined an inch. Compare that to the 4-foot average difference measured the year before and you might be inclined to think the new levels don’t sound too bad. But Christina Buck, water resources scientist with the Butte County Department of Water and Resource Conservation, says it’s more of a good news, bad news scenario.