North State

Chico State

In an attempt to reduce exposure among students, faculty and staff, Chico State announced today it will suspend classes beginning Friday as health authorities monitor the first cases of Covid-19 in the North State.


On-line classes will not be affected. At this time, classes are scheduled to resume March 25. The move effectively adds three days to spring break, already scheduled for next week.

Getty Images

The Corona virus or Covid-19 has arrived in the North State with one confirmed case and two others awaiting lab results. 


The confirmed case is in Redding. Health officials in Shasta County say the patient, a man in his 50s, is recovering in isolation at home. Authorities believe the man contracted the ailment while traveling.


"The discussion about climate change can seem a little bit abstract sometimes. My question is: are there observable phenomena in our area that scientists can confidently attribute to climate change?" - Ken, Chico 

That’s a great question and one that perhaps is harder to answer definitively than at first glance. Science has a pretty high bar for declarative statements. That’s pretty much why gravity and evolution are often referred to as theories.

Now, we obviously lack polar ice caps or sea levels here in interior Northern California — the items typically measured, mentioned and argued over — but there are plenty of natural systems locally, and people keeping tabs.

Agriculture is huge in the North State, as are rain, snow and migrating wildlife, not to mention temperature records dating back to the late 19th century.

Officials backing a massive public works project planned for the North State are firing back after a state body’s evaluation gave the proposed Sites Reservoir dismal scores.

Backers of Sites, along with 10 of the other 11 proposals have filed official appeals with the California Water Commission, the group charged with ranking proposals vying for $2.7 billion worth of voter approved bond money for new water storage. 

Only the Nevada Irrigation District and its proposed Centennial Dam on the Bear River declined to appeal. 

Portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler

This week we return to the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada, California’s gold country, to meet more of the bold, sometimes brazen women who made their marks early on. Appropriately enough, the U.S. senator who introduced legislation that led to the Nineteenth Amendment (and women's right to vote) lived in Nevada City. World-class soprano Emma Nevada was another well-known native. Locally famous was gambler Eleanor "Madame Moustache" Dumont. Scandalous internationally was Lola Montez of adjacent Grass Valley. 

Jeannie Stafford USFWS

We head up the road this week to Sage-Grouse country. California just happens to take in the far western edge of the Great Basin, high plateaus known for sagebrush and wide open spaces. California is the far edge of home for the Greater Sage-Grouse, which lives only in the West, nibbling at and nesting in sagebrush.

It may be mid-winter, but Cal Fire officials are urging the public to prepare for the blazing days of summer and fall. And fire season is no joke.

California fire victims have asked for nearly $12 billion in reimbursement from insurance companies just from fires occurring between October and December, according to figures released Wednesday by California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.

Marc Albert


According to the old saw, in California, whiskey is for drinking, and water is for fighting. 


And the fighting never seems to stop. 


Last night, the Federal Bureau of Reclamation held the final of three mandatory meetings to collect public comment on a new initiative announced in the fall: maximizing the amount of water delivered to San Joaquin Valley agriculture and cities farther south, maximizing electricity generated by hydropower at California’s dams and re-evaluating protections and consideration for creatures deemed threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. 


After a weekend of suspense over the government shutdown, brinkmanship in Washington is on pause, if only for a couple of weeks.

After all the hoopla, North State Congressman Doug LaMalfa, was breathing an exhausted sigh of relief.

“It’s good to finally be past this silly, 72 hour mess,” he said.

But as the ink dries on this latest continuing resolution, the issues surrounding the impasse remain. LaMalfa had little praise for the process.

Librarians Wrangle Tech, Students, Books In Schools

Aug 3, 2017
Elizabeth Castillo

When Leslie Tharp agreed to work as the librarian for Red Bluff’s Vista Preparatory Academy, she didn’t realize she’d be the keeper of the school’s most popular technology.

“Imagine 30 kids coming in at lunchtime, all wanting to use the 3D printers,” she said. “It got a little bit crazy.”

Tharp’s library houses shelves stacked with books and posters promoting reading. But, it also has a communal space called a Makerspace. It combines manufacturing equipment, like the 3D printers, with education. While tech plays a role in a makerspace, Tharp said it’s about learning.