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.

J. Stephen Conn / Flickr, Creative Commons

Water was the topic of discussion at a public outreach meeting in Colusa Tuesday night. About 120 people showed up to listen to what state and county officials had to say about water law, the state’s new Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and Colusa County’s current spring groundwater conditions.  

According to Mary Fahey, water resources coordinator in the Department of Agriculture in Colusa County, the results showed that although things look grim overall due to the drought, this year’s levels weren’t as bad as some might have thought.

Miguel Tejada-Flores / Flickr, Creative Commons

With a little over two weeks before mandatory residential water restrictions go into effect statewide, today, our series looking at conservation efforts focuses on Oroville.

Compared to much of the North State, parts of Oroville have it easy. While many locals will be asked to cut their water usage by more than a third, in much of Oroville, the heavy lifting has already been done.

A van full of Chico middle-school students rolled over Wednesday on its way to the Exploratorium in San Francisco.

The students were seventh-graders from Chico Country Day School traveling on Interstate 505 near Vacaville.

According to the Chico Enterprise-Record, one of the seven students broke an arm. All of the students, plus the parent driver of the van, were taken to nearby hospitals. None are in serious condition.

Local authorities are once again warning the public of the danger posed by rabies after a rabid bat was found in Chico’s Lower Bidwell Park.

The bat was located and trapped near Sycamore Pool. Considered beneficial for their voracious appetite for mosquitoes and other flying insects, bats are also a key vector for the frequently fatal disease.

Robert S. Donovan / Flickr, Creative Commons

One of the largest cities in the North State, Redding is also known for its stiflingly hot summers. Cutting back on water use there may prove especially challenging.

John Wendele is the water utility manager at the City of Redding, which draws its drinking water from Shasta Lake and some groundwater wells. He says when the mercury rises, so does demand.  

“It’s very hot here in the summer as you know,” Wendele said. “We see about a fourfold increase in summertime use over wintertime use.”