After shooting impressive columns of steam skyward for nearly a year, a major eruption 100 years ago Friday shattered Lassen Peak’s 27,000 years of slumber.

The eruption sent a plume 30,000 feet in the air, that witnesses reported seeing 150 miles away in Eureka. Volcanic ash rained down on Winnemucca, 200 miles to the east. A pyroclastic flow of pumice, gases and debris augmented by melted snow thundered into nearby mountain valleys. Steve Zachary is an Education Specialist with Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Following law enforcement controversies elsewhere, the Chico police department is planning to distribute body cameras to its officers later this year. Wednesday evening, the public had its first look at the equipment under consideration, and the proposed policy governing their use.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company said it expects no major changes to the water levels of Lake Almanor, Butt Valley Reservoir and Bucks Lake compared to last year.

Water levels on all three will be below historical averages this summer due to continued drought conditions.

All three man-made lakes are carefully managed for hydropower generation. They also serve recreational purposes and provide wildlife habitat.

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.

FBI

A man robbed the U.S. bank in Chester on Monday, and it may very well be the same person the FBI is calling the Bad Breath Bandit.

According to the Plumas County News, the bank robber was last seen running through the Truman-Collins Sports Complex in Chester after the robbery. Like the Bad Breath Bandit, he was wearing a disposable medical breathing mask.

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.

Courtesy of Jason Halley / CSU, Chico

Chico State held its 125th Commencement this weekend, with about 3,130 undergraduate and 300 graduate students taking part in the ceremonies, according to a press release from the university. Graduates and their families descended upon downtown Chico to celebrate and many took to Twitter to share the experience — here's a small sampling of those posts. 

Kacey Gardner / NSPR

After a brief respite on a proverbial siding, it’s once again “all aboard” at the historic railway coach reconfigured into a steel-wheeled café in Chico.

The car was set to reopen at 7 Monday morning, following an acrimonious dispute between the car’s owner — a local arts group — and the former operator.

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