Marc Albert

Reporter, Morning Edition Host

North State Public Radio reporter Marc Albert joined the staff in 2010 as a morning program host. Formerly a reporter at the Oakland Tribune, Alameda Sun, Berkeley Voice and other publications, Marc is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz and attended the University of California at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. A California resident since 1987, Marc has lived in Kyoto, Japan, Georgetown, Malaysia and Bangkok, Thailand. He originally hails from New York City. His first public radio experience was at age 16, answering phones during pledge drives at the storied WBAI. He later served as a volunteer reporter at KUSP-Santa Cruz, WBAI-New York and KPFA-Berkeley before embarking on a decade plus sojourn in print journalism. He has proudly called Chico his home since 2008.

A 49-year-old Cottonwood man is in custody for alleged sex crimes against several juveniles as Tehama County authorities search for additional victims from as far away as Marysville.

The Tehama County Sheriff’s Office alleges that suspect Scott McLaughlin, a motocross enthusiast and motorcycle mechanic, abused minors at his home, then threatened to kill them if they reported it.

Authorities said McLaughlin allegedly befriended juveniles involved in dirt bike racing and invited them for overnight stays and target shooting.

More details have emerged about the chronology of Tuesday’s shooting rampage in at Rancho Tehama Reserve, with officials describing an unhinged gunman executing his wife and neighbor before unleashing terror on the neighborhood elementary school.

Kevin Janson Neal, already under a court order to surrender firearms and out on bail and awaiting trial after allegedly stabbing a neighbor who complained she lived in fear, opened fire at seven different sites, shooting at neighbors, passersby, and into homes.

Tehama County authorities lavished praise on quick-thinking teachers and other school employees after Tuesday’s deadly shooting rampage.

Phil Johnston is the assistant sheriff of Tehama County.

“I really and truly believe we would have had a horrific bloodbath in that school if that school hadn’t taken the action when they did,” he said.

As rapid gunfire echoed through the hills of Rancho Tehama Reserve, a school secretary rushed out to shoo children inside. A custodian swooped in, yelling "get into the classrooms," at kids in the play yard.

Dave H

Tough restrictions on marijuana will remain on the books in Chico following a close vote by the City Council Tuesday night.

The move more or less preserves existing restrictions while complying with a statewide proposition that legalized recreational marijuana for adults. That law gives local jurisdictions a free hand to pen their own rules.

The 4-3 vote came despite the pleas of a woman using it to manage chronic colitis pain. Charles Pierce, who described himself as a consultant helping growers navigate cannabis rules, cast doubt on the outcome.

The public is invited to weigh in on plans to reduce the number and severity of accidents along State Route 70 north of Marysville.

The nearly $102 million proposal would widen shoulders, straightening curves, move utility poles and add a continuous center left-turn-lane from just north of Marysville to the county line.

Caltrans spokesman Gilbert Mohtes-Chan said that long range plans call for the roadway to have two lanes in each direction.

CA DWR

From above, it looks miraculous. A massive canyon filled in, and near tragedy transformed into triumph, and officials, including Grant Davis, director of the California Department of Water Resources, are justly proud.

“This project is a stunning feat. I’ve been told by engineers and dam experts from across the country just how impressed they are by the amount of work completed in such an accelerated timeline,” Davis said Wednesday as he delivered on his predecessor Bill Croyle’s vow — to have a working gated spillway at Oroville Dam by Nov. 1.

While the progress certainly breaks the recent trend of snail-paced construction projects in California, officials may be exaggerating the accomplishments and downplaying remaining dangers.

A boisterous and crowded Halloween party in Chico ended in a burst of gunfire at about 2 a.m. Wednesday, with one man shot multiple times and an estimated 100 revelers scattering into the night.

The incident occurred just a few blocks from the CSU, Chico campus, on Normal Avenue between Seventh and Eighth streets. The victim is expected to survive.

A man who allegedly opened fire on a home west of Red Bluff, before leading authorities on a chase through four counties Tuesday, was identified Wednesday as 35-year-old Ian Michael Gonzales.

Gonzales was being treated in a Nevada County hospital for injuries sustained in a crash that ended the pursuit. The tires of Gonzales’ green Ford pickup were flattened by spike strips, causing a rollover.

Caltrans

Large plumes of smoke are rising in the vicinity of Shasta Reservoir where a vehicle fire has forced the closure of Interstate 5 in both directions.

First reported just before 11:30 this morning, the blaze has grown to 20 acres in size. Units from the US Forest Service and Cal Fire are on scene.

Authorities said that sparks from an earlier vehicle fire some distance north ignited a load of hay being hauled by a big rig. The big rig eventually became fully engulfed in flames. The fire spread to nearby vegetation.

Marc Albert

“My name is Josh Hegg and I had a question. When I first moved to Chico, a big point that everyone made was that Bidwell Park was the third largest municipal park in the country, so I’m curious where Bidwell Park actually stands in terms of park size in comparison to the rest of the country and where that rumor started and if it holds any merit at all.” 

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