Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

With drought growing more severe by the day, and meaningful rains months away, state officials enacted water restrictions against senior water rights holders for the first time since the 1977 drought.

The move, by the state Water Resources Control Board, affects 114 holders of highly coveted senior water rights, including irrigation districts. California, which allocates seniority based on when a water claim was first made, has already shut down deliveries to nearly 9,000 so-called junior rights holders—basically entities with claims staked since 1914.

City leaders will perform some economic triage Tuesday morning as they grapple with divvying a far-from-flush city budget.

The meeting is scheduled to continue into the afternoon.

Chico, like many California municipalities, has struggled financially since the housing bubble popped in 2008. Although economic activity has mostly returned, tax revenue hasn’t.

Elected officials will have the opportunity to fine-tune a draft budget prepared by the city manager’s office and hear updates on the financial states of the city’s myriad special accounts.

Interstate 5 north of Redding is now open, after being closed following an overnight big-rig crash at Salt Creek Road which delayed traffic for hours. At one point the backup was more than 10 miles. According to the CHP, the truck, carrying canned food overturned about 9 p.m. last night. The driver from Central Point, Oregon, may have had a medical issue. He was not injured in the accident. The CHP says he was not cited.

Chico State Names New Police Chief

Jun 12, 2015

John Feeney has been named chief of Chico State University Police.

Feeney comes from the San Francisco Police Department, where he’s served for more than 29 years. He is currently the commanding officer of the SFPD division at the San Francisco International Airport.

Feeney has more than 29 years of experience. He’ll begin his duties in Chico on July 1.  

A 20-year-old local transient accused of setting seven suspicious fires in Chico’s Upper Bidwell Park in March waived his right to a preliminary hearing Tuesday, clearing the way for a trial.

Joey Lee Valderrama, deemed a “firebug” by Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey, faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of all charges.

The largest fire consumed about a quarter of an acre. A trial date is scheduled to be set June 25.

Drivers using State Highway 44 in the vicinity of Shingletown can expect delays starting Monday and continuing through mid-August as Caltrans repaves the roadway.

Motorists can expect one-way traffic controls and delays of up to 15 minutes between Bear Creek Bridge and Sandhouse Road. Work will be conducted Monday through Thursday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Fridays until 3 p.m.

The next election for Redding City Council is not until next year, but there is at least on candidate who has already thrown her hat in the ring. According to the Redding Record Searchlight, Redding nurse practitioner Julie Winter filed paperwork last month that allows her to begin fundraising and building a campaign. 

Meantime, Vice Mayor Missy McCarthur told the paper that she is not planning on seeking re-election next year, hinting that she may have her sights set on the Shasta County Board of Supervisors. 

James Moran / Flickr CC

Butte County officials are hoping to streamline the path enabling a new, sun-loving “crop” to join a Butte County landscape dominated by almond, walnut and olive orchards. Wednesday evening in Oroville the public had its first opportunity to weigh in.

The plants, officials say, will generate jobs and help California wean itself from fossil fuels. The crop isn’t something you eat; though in most cases, the plants are considered green. It’s electricity — generated at large solar power plants.

Butte College President Kimberly Perry will be leaving at the end of the month. The Chico Enterprise-Record says she has accepted a position at the Bellingham Technical College in Bellingham, Washington. The paper says that Perry submitted a letter of resignation to the board of trustees that will be discussed at its meeting on June 17. She will begin in her new position on July 20.

Braden Gunem / Flickr CC

Some traffic courts in California have been charging ticketed drivers fees before allowing their cases to go to trial. But a new rule approved Monday by the state Judicial Council will put an end to that practice.

In at least eight California counties, ticketed drivers can be required to pay their traffic fines before their cases are allowed to go to trial. The Judicial Council unanimously approved a rule that prohibits that practice.

Judge Harry Hull serves on the council. He says people were essentially paying to see a judge.