Red Bluff Police have identified the Palo Cedro man who died following an early morning stabbing Thursday. Officers say the victim is 28 year old Samuel Forseth...he was apparently assaulted just before 2:30 AM on Pinon Way. Police say while officers were on the scene, they contacted 39 year old Christopher Hougland, who had minor cuts and wanted medical help. Hougland was later arrested for murder. No word yet on a motive in the attack. An autopsy on the victim is set for today.
A Marysville man and a Roseville woman are dead, following a head-on crash on Highway 70. The CHP says the 50 year old Marysville driver drifted into the path of another truck near Saddleback Road Thursday afternoon. The crash killed both drivers and injured two Roseville passengers. The CHP says its still investigating if drugs or alcohol played a factor in the deadly collision.
SAN DIEGO (AP) — County clerks offices up and down California on Wednesday heard from same-sex couples wanting to get marriage licenses. Officials said they began handling inquiries within hours of a Supreme Court ruling that cleared the way for the lifting of the state ban on gay marriage. County clerks were advised by Gov. Jerry Brown's office that they can issue the licenses as soon as a lower appellate court lifts a stay on the practice, which likely will take at least 25 days. Shasta County received a handful of inquiries about marriage licenses for same-sex couples, said Cathy Darling Allen, the county clerk and president of the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials. She said county clerks offices are ready. Once they get a green light, she expects the same turnout across the state that was seen in 2008, when roughly 18,000 same-sex couples got married in less than five months, after the California Supreme Court struck down a state code provision prohibiting gay unions.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign California's $96.3 billion budget for the coming fiscal year, a spending plan that ends years of deficits and includes more money for disadvantaged students. The budget to be signed Thursday also adopts an optional provision of the federal Affordable Care Act by expanding Medicaid to 1.4 million low-income Californians. Brown also wanted to exhibit restraint in his first budget since voters approved $6 billion in additional taxes last fall. He required lawmakers to maintain a $1 billion reserve. The centerpiece of this year's budget is Brown's priority to reshape California's funding formula for K-12 schools as a way to help close the achievement gap. More money will go to districts with high levels of low-income students and those with limited English proficiency.
Chico Police say a man with a knife robbed a woman on a local bike path. That robbery happened late Wednesday night south of W. Sacramento Avenue. Officers say a man on a bike with a bandana over his face demanded the victim's purse while he held a knife toward her. She was not injured. A search for the robber came up empty.
A former volunteer firefighter who pleaded guilty to arson has been sentenced to more than 20 years in prison in Butte County. Jairo Perkins-Grubbs was arrested in 2011 after a series of fires on the ridge, including at the DeSabla Market and Lovelock Inn. He was sentenced Wednesday to more than 21 years in prison in the arson case and ordered to pay more than 700 thousand dollars restitution to the victims.
A defense attorney for a man charged in a triple killing in Butte County has entered not guilty pleas in the case. 72 year old Don Clark is facing charges including murder and arson, after three bodies were discovered in a burned vehicle in the Magalia area earlier this month. The three victims had been shot. According to the Oroville Mercury Register, a colleague of the defendant claims Clark was afraid of the victims. The Centerville man will return to court in July for a hearing.
Oroville authorities have made an arrest in an alleged assault that left one woman in critical condition this week. 43 year old Olabaku Jones was taken into custody Monday on suspicion of assault to a cohabitant with great bodily injury. Few details have been released about the alleged assault, but the victim suffered a head injury and was taken to a Sacramento hospital.
A Tehama County firefighter says there was a lot to burn inside a secondhand store that went up in flames Monday. Cal-Fire Captain Steve Estes says they got the call of a blaze at the Guardian Angel on Highway 99E in Los Molinos just before 8 AM. Estes says the fire was contained a few hours later. No word yet on the cause. Damage is estimated at 300 thousand dollars.
An Oroville woman is in critical condition, following a possible assault. Details are limited, but the woman reportedly suffered "suspicious" injuries early Monday morning and was flown to a Sacramento hospital for treatment. At last report, her name had not been released. The Oroville Mercury Register reports officials with the Department of Justice were called in to examine the victim's home. A suspect has been questioned, but not publicly identified.
A 50 year old Red Bluff woman has been arrested on a charge of arson after a weekend fire. Nina Mauricio was arrested and charged with the fire on Lakeside Drive. Fire Crews from Cal Fire and the city of Red Bluff responded to the fire Sunday morning. The fire burned a garage and attic of the residence and caused an estimated 100 thousand dollars damage.
Slow growth is forecast for Butte County in the year ahead. That outlook is reflected in the county spending plan, which County Supervisors are expected to ratify this Tuesday. County Administrator Paul Hahn says for the first time in more than 5 years, the outlook for the county is good. He says there will no major layoffs to the county's 22 hundred member work force. The county General Fund is at 140 million dollars. Hahn says what helped this year is the continual economic recovery and no major cuts from the state.
CHICO, Calif. (AP) — The three people whose bodies were found inside a burning car in Butte County have been identified as two teenagers and the mother of one of the boys. Sacramento television station KCRA reports that family members identified the victims as Sacramento residents 17-year-old Richard James Jr., 15-year-old Roland Lowe, and 46-year-old Colleen Lowe. KCRA says Butte County prosecutors revealed in court Friday that James had spent several summers visiting the man who is being held without bail in the deaths, 72-year-old Donald Clark of Centerville. Authorities think the relationship between Clark and the boy soured last year, but they do not yet know why the three went to see him this month. They allege that Clark shot them when they arrived, then drove the bodies to another location and set fire to the car.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California is projected to face a shortage of up to 17,000 doctors within two years, a problem that is especially acute in rural areas and minority communities. The provider gap, especially among primary care physicians, is a vexing issue in many states as they prepare to insure millions of new patients under the federal Affordable Care Act. Legislatures are seeking solutions. In California, one state lawmaker has proposed a package of bills intended to address the shortage. The legislation by Democratic Sen. Ed Hernandez of West Covina would expand the types of health services that can be provided by nurse practitioners, optometrists and pharmacists.
His three bills, SB491, SB492 and SB493, are currently moving through the Assembly. Opponents, including the California Medical Association, argue that the state should instead focus on training more doctors.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown says he will ask the courts to stay what he calls an "unprecedented order" to release nearly 10,000 prison inmates by year's end. A panel of federal judges on Thursday rejected Brown's attempt to circumvent its long-standing order to reduce California's prison population. It's the latest step in an ongoing legal drama over how to improve inmates' medical and mental health care. The judges ordered Brown to expand good-time credits leading to early release as part of a plan to reduce prison crowding. The governor has already filed notice that he intends to appeal Thursday's order to the U.S. Supreme Court. The federal judges stopped short of citing the Democratic governor for contempt, but they again threatened to do so if he does not immediately comply with their latest order.
MAGALIA, Calif. (AP) - Authorities have arrested a 72-year-old man in connection with a stolen car found burning with three bodies inside in Butte County. The local Sheriff's Office said Thursday that Donald Clark was taken into custody and booked into jail on suspicion of murder and arson. He is being held on more than $3 million bail. The burning car, which was reported stolen to Sacramento police, was discovered on June 13 in Magalia. Two bodies were in the trunk and a third was in the backseat. Sheriff's Lt. Al Smith says investigators worked around the clock to find answers in the case. Sheriff's officials say they each had gunshot wounds. They have been tentatively identified as Sacramento residents, but authorities are not releasing names.
An apparent walk out as Oroville City Leaders were trying to cut the budget. Three members of the Oroville City Council reportedly left the meeting this week. According to Councilman Dave Pittman, councilors were busy going through each department looking for their 18 percent cut. When it came to the Fire Department, the Fire Chief offered to step down to help save money. Pittman says the council suddenly found itself short handed. Pittman says the council is still looking to cut 380 thousand dollars to help balance the budget. It will meet again on July First to continue the process.
The addition of a new position in Chico City Hall is still in limbo. That from City Manager Brian Nakamua on the position of an Economic Development Manager. The addition of such a position created some controversy while the city looks at nearly 50 layoffs. Nakamura tells KPAY that whether he'll go ahead with the position remains unclear. Even with a new budget, Chico leaders are looking to restore an unspecified number of police positions without affecting other departments. Nakamura says he hopes to meet soon with Public Safety Officials and have something before the City Council in a few weeks.The 42 million dollar budget was approved Tuesday by the City Council on a 5-2 vote. It cuts the city work force to about 365 positions.
Northstate Assemblyman Dan Logue hopes to make the jump from Sacramento to Washington. The 3rd District Assemblyman will seek the Congressional seat currently held by Democrat John Garamendi. Logue is termed out this fall, and hopes to go from the 3rd Distirct in the Assembly--which includes part of Butte County-- to the 3rd District in Congress. He was first elected to the Assembly in November of 2008.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers will get a pay raise of nearly $5,000 this year while the governor will see an increase of nearly $9,000 after a citizens' panel voted to restore some of the cuts it made during the recession. Gov. Jerry Brown's salary will increase to nearly $174,000, up from just over $165,000 but still below the high salary of $212,000 in 2008. The base pay of rank-and-file lawmakers will rise to $95,000 a year, although most lawmakers take home an additional $30,000 a year in per diem payments and many receive additional pay for being committee leaders. The California Citizens Compensation Commission voted 5-1 Wednesday in favor of restoring the wages to 2011 levels, amounting to a raise of slightly more than 5 percent of current pay.
Chico Police say one man was injured after being beaten during a gunpoint robbery. Police say a man jumped into the back of a car Wednesday around W. 5th and Broadway, put a gun to a passenger's head, and demanded his back pack. The victim was hit in the head with the gun. Police say the victim tried to run from the car, but fell and was beaten again. The robber, described as a tall black man with a shaved head, took off with the victim's property. The victim suffered non-life threatening injuries.
Chico Leaders got a crash course in budgeting Tuesday, as they spend all day weighing the city's new fiscal plan. Administrative Services Director Chris Constentin told them past budget practices are what got the city into an almost 5 million dollar hole, and he wants the city council in the driver's seat, with more control over city spending. The 42 million dollar budget plans to eliminate a 4 point 8 million dollar hole, meaning a 10 percent cut to all departments, including police and fire. The Council voted 5-2 to approve the budget...But the council wants to look at options to restore six police officer positions.
Autopsies are expected today on the multiple bodies found inside a burned vehicle in Magalia. The Oroville Mercury-Register reports investigators are still trying to identify the three bodies. Two bodies were discovered in the trunk, one in the backseat of a car reported stolen from Sacramento. Local detectives have traveled to the Sacramento area to investigate the case.
Butte County authorities say a 'destructive device' was discovered during a vehicle search in the Cohasset area. The Sheriff's Office says a deputy stopped Wayne Smith Tuesday afternoon and found a loaded rifle and the 'destructive device.' Smith was arrested and booked into the county jail. The local Bomb Squad was called to the scene, removed the device, and rendered it safe.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Coroner's officials say a form of cancer killed the serial killer known as the Night Stalker who terrorized Southern California in the mid-1980s. Richard Ramirez died June 7 at age 53 at a hospital where he had been taken for treatment of liver failure. The Marin County coroner's office said Monday that Ramirez died of complications from B-cell lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system. It listed other "significant conditions" including chronic substance abuse and hepatitis C, which is often spread by the use of intravenous drugs. He had been on death row at San Quentin State Prison since he was convicted in 1989 of 13 murders in 1984 and 1985 as well as rape, sodomy, oral copulation, burglary and attempted murder. However, executions have been on hold for years.
A 25 year old Bangor man faces charges he caused the death of his 16 month old son. Michael Dollar was arrested on the charge Thursday, after a long investigation from the time of the death in November 2010. Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey says Oroville Police looked into the case along with special investigator Perry Reniff, who is the former Butte County Sheriff. The baby was taken to Oroville Hospital in 2010 with severe head trauma. According to Ramsey, Dollar allegedly claimed the baby fell out of bed, but the autopsy revealed the baby's skull had five fractures caused from blunt force trauma.
Shasta County authorities are piecing together a Redding attack, after locating one man with stab wounds...another with severed hands. The Sheriff's Office says 27 year old Jason Dunn is accused of stabbing his father Monday. Investigators found the suspect with both hands cut off at the wrists. Detectives are still investigating the cause of Dunn's severed hands. Both men were taken to a northstate hospital for treatment.
Chico's budget could be cut by almost 5 million dollars Tuesday if the City Council says so. The all day budget session looks at the fiscal plan that seeks to cut 4 point 8 million dollars to erase a structural deficit. All departments had to cut 10 percent from their budgets, which meant 2 and a half million dollars from the Police Department. City Manager Brian Nakamura says there is no doubt the cuts will hurt, and there is no way the city can maintain the same level of service with less staff.
Chico Police say the teenage driver of a stolen vehicle has been arrested after he reportedly hit a patrol car this weekend. Officers say the stolen vehicle was spotted driving on the wrong side of the road near 1st and Wall early Sunday morning. Police say the 17 year old driver stopped for officers...then backed into a patrol car. Officers broke out windows to remove the two people inside. Both were arrested.
Cal-Fire says no injuries reported during a weekend fire in Butte County. The 4 acre vegetation fire started Sunday in the Foreman Creek Road area around Lake Oroville. Cal-Fire says several spot fires were also extinguished. People in the Foreman Creek Recreation area were temporarily sheltered in place while fire crews were working nearby. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.
A mobile home is lost as a fire in Chico scorches 17 acres. Thursday's fire was reported about 11:30am at the intersection of Hicks Lane and Oasis near the Chico Airport. Chico Fire Inspector Marie Fickert says it's another sign we're looking at a dangerous fire year. Cal-Fire says the cause of that blaze was an illegal dooryard burn.
PARADISE, Calif. (AP) — Authorities in rural Northern California have found a burning stolen car with three people dead inside. Butte County sheriff's Sgt. Jason Hail says deputies and firefighters responded to reports of a vehicle fire on a road in Magalia early Thursday. They arrived to find a green Acura sedan engulfed in flames...when it was out found three bodies. Undersheriff Kory Honea said that two bodies were in the trunk and a third was in the backseat.
Deputies learned the car had recently been reported stolen to Sacramento police. Officials say the cause of the deaths and identities of the dead remain unknown.
Local investigators find a butane honey oil lab and marijuana during an Oroville search. The Butte County Sheriff's Office says deputies searched a Spur Court property Thursday. They found more than 270 empty butane cans, extraction tubes, more than 90 pot plants, and a "substantial amount" of butane honey oil. One man was detained during the search. The Sheriff's Office says butane honey oil has been to blame for several explosions and fires in the county.
MONTAGUE, Calif. (AP) — Officials say two men were killed when a small homemade plane crashed in a field in Northern California near the Oregon state line. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor tells The Associated Press the single-engine homebuilt Glasair II plane crashed in the town of Montague under unknown circumstances on Wednesday morning. Siskiyou County sheriff's spokeswoman Allison Giannini tells the Redding Record Searchlight (bit.ly/13EuM1f) that deputies responded to the crash at a property in the Big Springs area and found two men dead — 55-year-old Lloyd Rugg of Montague and 77-year-old Larry Graves of Yreka. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash and will try to determine a cause.
Chico Police say an officer trying to block traffic with his patrol car was hit by another vehicle Wednesday night. Police say Officer James Dimmitt was trying to position his car to block an on-ramp to Highway 99 while another officer was negotiating with a man threatening to jump from the highway overpass. The officer made a U-turn on Cohasset Road and was hit broadside by another vehicle. Dimmitt and the other driver were treated at Enloe Hospital for minor injuries.
The Chico Association of Realtors is stepping in to help the local 'House of Hope.' The local association will sponsor the new Jesus Center transititional home known as 'House of Hope,' with the goal of helping more women out of the cycle of homelessness. The Association presented the Jesus Center with a 26 thousand dollar check Wednesday. Officials say the association will fund the program for a year, furnish the house, and provide mentoring.
Butte County authorities locate hundred of pot plants in Paradise. The Sheriff's Office says it raided a marijuana garden on Dottie Lane Tuesday. More than 700 pot plants were discovered hidden behind fences. Two people were arrested.
A fatal fire this morning in Magalia. Cal-Fire reports one person has died following a fire the destroyed a mobile home on Drexel Drive just after 2:30 AM. Details are limited, but the blaze was reported by neighbors. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The budget compromise between Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature's Democratic leaders largely mirrors the governor's proposal for a fiscally restrained spending plan that assumes conservative revenue projections. But there's a catch: Rank-and-file Democratic lawmakers say they are agreeing to less spending than they wanted because they expect to push for funding pet projects next year. That's when they hope the state's tax revenue will come in higher than the Brown administration projects. That could clear the way for hundreds of millions of dollars in discretionary spending on a wide range of programs. Doctors who take Medicaid patients, the court system and community colleges could benefit. Republican lawmakers said they had hoped the Democratic budget deal would have done more to pay down the state's debts.
REDDING, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say a man shot and killed himself at in the emergency room at a hospital in Redding. Police Sgt. Mike Wood tells the Redding Record-Searchlight that the 66-year-old man shot himself and died in the emergency room at Mercy Medical Center on Tuesday morning. Hospital officials say the gun was recovered by a security guard doctors and nurses tried to revive him to no avail. The Shasta County coroner came to claim the body and will release the man's name after relatives are notified. Hospital spokeswoman Heather Nichols says the emergency room remains open and had no further comment. Police would not immediately say more on the man's motives or the circumstances of the suicide.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — About 95,000 state employees could be in line for a 4.5 percent pay raise as part of a tentative three-year agreement reached Tuesday between Gov. Jerry Brown and California's largest public employee union. In an email to members, Service Employees Union International Local 1000 President Yvonne Walker said the pay hike would be received by July 1, 2015, with specific timing dependent on state revenues. A California Department of Human Resources spokeswoman said pay increases would be carefully phased in "based on the state's economic recovery." Republican Assemblyman Brian Jones of Santee described the proposed link between raises and state revenues as "laughable," because employees would get the pay increases regardless of the state's finances next year. The deal also includes a guarantee of no furlough days and protects health care and retirement benefits.
A recent Chico fire is reportedly connected to a drug lab. The Chico ER reports a blaze last week in a recreational vehicle on Cohasset Road was caused by a man allegedly trying to refine marijuana into honey oil, when flammable vapors ignited. The fire burned the RV, a motorhome, trailer, and nearby grass.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Lawmakers have until the end of the week to finish their version of California's annual budget. Unlike in recent years, this one contains a rare surplus. Democratic Sen. Mark Leno of San Francisco calls it "a dream-come-true year" as Democrats try to restore cuts to programs such as welfare and dental care for the poor. They also want more money for courts. But Democratic lawmakers have found resistance from one of their own. Gov. Jerry Brown proposed a $96.4 billion state spending plan for the fiscal year starting July 1. He is rejecting the higher revenue projections favored by members of his own party. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg says he's "confident" the sides will reach agreement. The Legislature has until Saturday to pass a balanced budget.
Glenn County authorities say an Orland man shot in the chest is expected to recover. 66 year old Larry Embrey was shot Saturday night after reportedly giving a man a ride...the suspect asked for money, then allegedly shot Embrey. The Sheriff's Office says its possible robbery was the motive for the shooting, but the case is still under investigation.
Lightning strikes sparking numerous small fires in the northstate Monday. Fire crews were called out to 11 Butte County blazes...Cal-Fire says there were 20 fires in the Tehama-Glenn Unit. Mary Ann Aldrich with Butte County Cal-Fire says the rain played an important role in helping to keep the fires small...all were held to less than an acre.
Cal-Fire says nearly 6,000 lightning strikes were recorded over a 24 hour period.
REDDING, Calif. (AP) — Redding police have arrested a 40-year-old man in a fatal hit-and-run that left a woman dead. The Redding Record Searchlight reports that Steven Arden Bates of Red Bluff turned himself in Saturday morning and was arrested on suspicion of felony hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter. Police say Bates was identified after officers found a woman lying on a road late Friday night and determined she had been hit by a pickup truck towing a trailer. The woman, whose identity has not been released, died from her injuries. Investigators are trying to determine whether drugs, alcohol or distracted driving contributed to the incident.
Investigators have arrested the suspect in a weekend Oroville stabbing. The Butte County Sheriff's Office says the victim suffered injuries to the head and body Saturday night on D Street, but was listed in stable condition at a local hospital. Investigators say the suspect in the attack, identified as 32 year old Justin Weatherl, was taken into custody Sunday night for assault with a deadly weapon and mayhem.
Chico Police are taking a huge hit in the city's preliminary budget released this week. Chief Kirk Trostle says the force will be cut from 95 to 81 full-time officers. He says if the proposed cuts stay in place, Chico residents will notice it. Trostle empathizes with city leaders who are facing daunting budget numbers. He says his department is trying to find ways to make the staffing numbers fit. But, he adds that fewer officers will mean cuts in services. The City of Chico will hold a public hearing on the proposed cuts on June 18th in the City Council Chambers
Butte County prosecutors won't seek the death penalty in a fatal sniper-style shooting in Chico. The Chico ER reports the local District Attorney decided not to pursue the death penalty against Jeffrey Menzies in order to keep a July trial date. Menzies is accused of murder following the 2011 death of David Yang. The victim was stopped at the
Highway 32 and Bruce Road intersection when he was shot.
A 30 year old motorcyclist has died, after being trapped underneath a minivan in Chico. Chico Police say an 85 year old woman apparently failed to see the motorcycle Thursday on the Esplanade and turned in front of it. Officers say Ronnie Smith laid the motorcycle down, where it slid into the van. The Police Department says Smith was taken to a local hospital, where he died from his injuries. The fatal accident shut down the roadway for about four hours.
40 people could be out of a job in Chico city government under the city's latest budget proposal. City Manager Brian Nakanumra indicates the biggest cuts will come to the Police Department, with 19 full time equivalents targeted for elimination. That would take the department from 147 employees to 128. Other cuts recommended include 5 to the Fire Department and four to Administrative Services. The City Council will hold an all day budget study session on June 18th.
A Chico burglary suspect located hiding on a roof during a local search. Chico Police say two men ran from Lobdell Cleaners on Main Street Wednesday morning after being discovered by the business owner. Officers searched for the pair...and found 24 year old Joshua Preffer hiding on the roof. He was arrested. The 2nd suspect reportedly got away.
Redding Police arresting a 33 year old man for allegedly assaulting a 2 month old baby. The child reportedly suffered a brain bleed earlier this week. According to police, Stephen Rehmeier told investigators he was caring for the infant, became frustrated when she would not stop crying, and physically assaulted the baby girl. At last report, the child was in critical condition. Rehmeier was booked into the county jail.
The city of Oroville could look vastly different in coming years. The city must cut out more than 2 million dollars in its upcoming budget. The plan is to lay off more than two dozen people, and that would cut city departments from seven to three. Councilman Dave Pittman says any option to restore Oroville to fiscal health involves pain. He thinks it may be time to ask for a revenue increase. He adds the council had the option for furloughs, but chose instead a plan of layoffs. City Leaders will be looking at ways to cut the budget at a series of workshops this month.
Tehama County authorities have released the cause of a vegetation fire that prompted evacuations and damaged several Red Bluff buildings Monday. Cal-Fire Spokesman Kevin Colburn says the cause was children playing with a lighter. The Sale Lane fire scorched more than 100 acres. A separate fire in Red Bluff Monday burned two homes and two outbuildings on Peachtree Lane. Cal-Fire says the cause of that blaze was electrical in nature.
An 11 year old boy injured after being hit by an S-U-V in Chico. Chico Police say the boy was riding on Pillsbury Road Tuesday night, tried to cross the street, and reportedly did not see the approaching vehicle. Police say the child suffered injuries to his leg, face, and chest, but was wearing a helmet. He's expected to make a full recovery.
Butte County fire officials ruling out down powerlines as the cause of multiple Palermo fires that merged into 3 large blazes this week. Cal-Fire says the fires do not appear to be suspicious. Ten fires burned into 3 larger fires on Lone Tree Road Monday, destroying two homes and multiple ag outbuildings. Cal-Fire says its investigation is continuing...and the fires may have been sparked by a vehicle with a mechanical problem or vehicle towing a trailer with a low hanging chain.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, a leading California Democrat for decades, has announced he will retire from elected office when his term expires in early 2015. Lockyer's announcement this week means that he won't run for controller next year. Instead, the 72-year-old politician says he's looking forward to "starting a new phase of my life." He says his decision was not influenced by his wife, Nadia Lockyer, who resigned as an Alameda County supervisor amid a series of public substance abuse and relationship struggles.
The city of Oroville is looking at what one councilman calls a "perfect financial storm". The city needs to make up a budget hole of more than 2 million dollars by July First, when it must adopt a balanced budget. The loss of Redevelopment was the big hit, along with other state cuts and the loss of sales tax. Oroville Councilman Dave Pittman says the council looked at either furloughs or layoffs, and chose the layoffs. Interim City Administrator Peter Constentini then came up with a layoff plan for the city's 124 workers.
The second round of layoffs will help pay for costs associated with the first round of layoffs, or the city might look at a loan. Oroville leaders will be grappling with these issues in a series of budget hearings that begin Wednesday and continue through the month.
Cal-Fire says multiple blazes in the Palermo area merged to become 3 significant fires that destroyed 2 homes Monday. The Lone Incident burned 298 acres before it was 100 percent contained. Cal Fire's Mary Ann Aldrich says 2 homes, 7 outbuildings, multiple vehicles, and ranch equipment were destroyed. One civilian was reported to have been injured because of smoke inhalation. At last report, authorities are still investigating the cause of the fires.
Meanwhile, a fire in Red Bluff burned more than 100 acres and forced evacuations Monday. The fire that started off Sale Lane was contained around 6:30 last night. At one point, a local motel and two apartment complexes were evacuated. The blaze damaged the Red Bluff Apartments and a motel pool area. No word yet what sparked that fire.
A teenage boy struck by a car on the ridge has been declared brain dead. 13 year old Skyler Milner was reportedly crossing the Skyway in Paradise when he was hit by a vehicle Friday. He was declared legally brain-dead at Enloe Medical Center Sunday.
A weekend accident involving a tanker truck sent nearly 3 thousand gallons of petroleum onto the ground on Highway 32 near the Butte-Tehama County line. Cal-Fire says the local Haz-Mat team was able to transfer 5200 gallons of petroleum product to another fuel truck after the tanker overturned Friday night. The roadway was re-opened Saturday morning.
Two Tehama County men arrested on robbery and kidnapping charges. The Red Bluff Police Department says the pair allegedly forced their way into a man's car Sunday, made him drive to a vacant parking lot, then stole his cell phone, money, and keys. The 57 year old victim was not injured. 22 year old Johnathon Hogue and 28 year old Jonathan Emerson were booked into the county jail.